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Addressing the root causes of political conflicts

Current conflicts often have historical roots. At the 2017 Körber History Forum, Wolfgang Schäuble, Adam Roberts, Harald Welzer, Nina Krushcheva, Pierre Moscovici and other high-level experts will be discussing the political dimensions of history.

A resurgence of nationalism and protectionism, growing insecurity about the role and the future of the West, as well as persistent tensions in relations between Russia and its European neighbours – these and other issues are currently posing challenges to politics in Germany, Europe, and the world.

Many current conflicts have historical causes. By familiarizing ourselves with history and understanding the past, we can open up paths to additional approaches. 200 international guests are invited to this year’s Körber History Forum. The Forum is due to take place on 16 and 17 June 2017 at the Humboldt Carré in Berlin; it is focused on current conflicts and political challenges with a view to their historical contexts. The Körber History Forum is attended by high-level experts and is an interdisciplinary, cross-border event.

This year’s opening speaker is the former German Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Joschka Fischer. He will open the Forum on the evening of June 16 by contextualizing and appraising historical developments, the current situation and the future of the “West.”

On June 17, further key policy issues will be on the agenda:

The European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble will speak about the past and present state of the “German question” in Europe. The Russian-American professor for International Affairs Nina Khrushcheva, the editor of Russia in Global Affairs Fyodor Lukyanov, and Gwendolyn Sasse, the director of the newly established Centre for East European and International Studies will discuss the issue of whether Russia is on the path towards a post-European era.

The chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, among others, will be participating in the debate about whether individual elements of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia can provide new impetus to the Middle East peace process.

Further topics of the 2017 Körber History Forum are nationalism in the past and present and global order principles. The British historians Gwythian Prins and Adam Roberts will be taking part in these debates. During a lunch session, the sociologist Harald Welzer is set to consider the question of whether we are approaching a period characterized by climate wars.

“Knowledge of history sharpens our focus, and this helps us to find solutions to current problems. That is why the Körber History Forum is committed to bringing politics and history together as part of a fruitful exchange,” stressed Sven Tetzlaff, head of department and responsible for the historical political activities at the Körber Foundation.

Every year, leading stakeholders from politics, science, public life, intellectuals and opinion formers from Germany, other European countries, North America, and the Middle East are invited to Berlin to participate in the Körber History Forum. The Forum is aimed at promoting international understanding about the political dimension of history.

Further information on the programme for 2017 (PDF)

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