On Monday 29 May 2023, Jonathan Holslag welcomed renowned journalist Robert D. Kaplan to Brussels City Hall for a lecture on Europe in a new age of power politics. The event took place as part of PACT, the Caroline Pauwels Academy of Critical Thinking.

Europe is a besieged continent. In the East, it grapples with the War in Ukraine, other assertive regional powers, and the fallout of China’s rise. In the South, it faces growing instability in Africa, unprecedented numbers of refugees, and a persistent advance of various armed groups. In the West, it sees its main strategic partner increasingly determined to rebuild its economic prowess, event at Europe’s detriment, and increasingly outspoken about its expectations towards Europe in light of rivalry with China. In this town hall lecture, Robert D. Kaplan will share his ideas about how Europe can more consistently address these different geopolitical frontlines.

The lecture through the eyes of a student

Full recording of the lecture

World renowned author and expert in geopolitics
Robert D. Kaplan is the bestselling author of twenty-one books on foreign affairs and travel translated into many languages, including The Tragic Mind, Adriatic, The Good American, The Revenge of Geography, Asia’s Cauldron, Monsoon, The Coming Anarchy, and Balkan Ghosts. He holds the Robert Strausz-Hupé Chair in Geopolitics at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. For three decades he reported on foreign affairs for The Atlantic. He was a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board and the U. S. Navy's Executive Panel. Foreign Policy magazine twice named him one of the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.”

A photo report of the lecture

PACT: lezing Robert D. Kaplan, 29 mei 2023

Caroline Pauwels Academy of Critical Thinking

With the Caroline Pauwels Academy of Critical Thinking (PACT), the Vrije Universiteit Brussel aims to encourage critical thinking and the connection between various opinions. As an Urban Engaged University, the VUB wants to be the driver of change in the world. That change starts with ourselves. By examining and questioning our own knowledge, we arrive at new insights and solutions. To this end, our professors, scientists and students develop a 'critical' programme. They work together with inspiring thinkers and top speakers from home and abroad, such as Professor Jonathan Holslag with Robert Kaplan.