Natolin Neighbourhood Days: ‘Post-coloniality in the EU’s Eastern and Southern ‘neighbourhoods’: Something old, something new’

Although the post-colonial perspective is well-established in the study of EU’s ‘southern neighbourhood’, only recently it started to make inroads into the study of social, cultural, (geo)economic and (geo)political dynamics in what for long has been called the ‘post-Soviet space’. This is rather surprising given that for over thirty years, the EU’s eastern neighbours have been caught between many ‘post-’s: the post-colonial, the post-communist, the post-Soviet. Their drive towards independence, breaking with the post-/past and embracing decolonial futures marks in 2021 the thirtieth anniversary and naturally calls for casting a more de-centered perspective on their domestic transformation processes as well as their emancipation and assertiveness in international politics. Incidentally, such a paradigmatic shift also coincides with the revival of post-colonial agenda in European studies.

The 2021 edition of the Natolin Neighbourhood Days seeks to bridge the analysis of domestic and foreign political trajectories in EU’s southern and eastern neighbourhoods by applying a critical post-colonial lens. This attempts to understand the post-colonial and decolonial dimensions that have shaped the political trends in spaces bordering the European Union. Thereby, the 2021 edition of the ENP Chair’s flagship event series seeks to ‘Compare the Incomparable’ in a Marcel Detienne-styled contrastive manner in order to explore and reflect on the post-colonial conditions in the European and Russian formerly colonized spaces.

The Natolin Nieghbourhood Days 2021 will open with the high-level talk reflecting, in broad theoretical terms, on a post-colonial agenda in EU studies; then, a panel discussion on the EU’s Southern neighbourhood and a panel discussion with the focus on the EU’s Eastern neighbourhood will cast critical post-colonial perspectives on major political trends and developments in EU’s both neighbourhoods. By looking at both regions from the same approach, the 2021 Natolin Neighbourhood Days seek to understand the role of colonial legacies play in the formation of domestic and external power relations in this space. Some of the central questions that will be pursued include: How do post-colonial conditions affect economic, political and social dynamics in countries that were colonised by Russia and the European powers? What is left of the USSR/post-Soviet space and why there is a growing political demand for moving past post-Soviet among all the six Eastern Partnership countries?

4 November 2021, 09:30-10:45

ENP High-Level Lecture by Professor Kalypso NICOLAÏDIS: "A post-colonial agenda in European studies and a post-colonial approach in EU external action"

  •  Professor Kalypso NICOLAÏDIS,  Professor of International Relations, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.


16 November 2021, 09:30 - 16:00

Natolin Neighbourhood Days High - Level Discussions

  • The continued effects of the colonial era on the EU foreign policy towards the MENA countries: A conversation with Professor Michelle PACE, Roskilde University
  • Post-colonialism, geopolitics and domestic power struggles in Arab world: A conversation with Professor Larbi SADIKI, Qatar University


18 November 2021, 16:30-18:00

Natolin Neighbourhood Days Panel Discussion: ‘Looking/Moving beyond the ‘post-Soviet’: EU’s Eastern neighbours and their decolonial drive thirty years aweather?

  • Dr András RÁCZ, Senior fellow in DGAP's Security and Defense Program, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) [TBC]
  • Prof Kornely KAKACHIA, Professor of Political Science at Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University; Director of Tbilisi-based Georgian Institute of Politics
  • Dr Mykhailo MINAKOV, Kennan Institute’s Senior Advisor on Ukraine; Editor-in-Chief of Focus Ukraine, Kennan Institute's Ukraine-focused blog; Editor-in-Chief of The Ideology and Politics Journal
  • Dr Aliaksei KAZHARSKI, Researcher, Institute of European Studies and International Relations, Comenius University in Bratislava; Lecturer, Department of Security Studies, Charles University in Prague; Fellow, Visegrad Insight

The events are open to all students of the European Interdisciplinary Studies Department. For more information please consult Ms Maja OLSZEWSKA.