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OPINION PIECES

IACES Annual Lecture 2024

Updated: Feb 14






We are delighted to announce that UCD Professor Ben Tonra will deliver our 2024 Annual Lecture at the Royal Irish Academy on Wednesday, 13 March 2024 at 5pm.

 

Professor Tonra, Ireland's leading scholar on European and Irish foreign, security and defence policy, and recipient of the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award in European Studies, will address the topic of The EU's Westphalian Mirage and Ireland's Security Coma.

 

Ireland and the European Union are foundationally committed to multilateralism, the rule of law and the so-called Liberal World Order. Their respective political and economic successes have also been largely grounded in globalisation. Both are facing a crisis with respect to a more contested world order in which geopolitics and military hard power play a much higher role.

Respectively, however, each is responding very differently to these changing circumstances. The EU rhetorically pursues a more geopolitical strategy and seeks to speak 'the language of power' in ways which are arguably ill suited to its nature and its constitutional foundations. For its part, Ireland continues to grapple with taking security seriously, failing even to aspire to a capacity for independent defence. 

 

The lecture will seek to understand these contrasts, place them in a contemporary European context and identify pathways which might escape both the Union's mirage and Ireland's coma.








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