The changes that have occurred in Europe in the past quarter-century were dramatic, rapid and unforeseeable.  These changes—from the rise of the Solidarity Movement in Poland in the early 1980s to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the unification of Germany, the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc, through the creation of the Eurozone, to the enlargement of the Union to 28 states—seemed to reaffirm the spirit of Europa, the cradle and carrier of Western civilization. They also seemed to amply justify the ideal of the New Europe as defined by the European Union: to create a peaceful and prosperous Europe. This vision, it was hoped, would heal the continent, torn and destroyed by two world wars, and consolidate its central role in the global arena of world politics.  Recent events, however, have seriously undermined this vision of peace and prosperity, including the global financial crisis, the political crisis in Ukraine, the humanitarian crisis of immigration, and the repercussions of the political upheavals across the Middle East, Europe’s geographical neighbour.

It would seem that Europa, that symbol of a united and peaceful Europe, cannot be upheld without examining what Europe is today, without, that is, attending to Europe’s own self-understanding alongside how it is seen by non-Europeans, from east to west. Since ideals and realities have a history, often a very long history, and since our terms of reference are determined by particular methodologies and disciplines, the attempt to examine the ideal in light of the real, to assess what is new in the New Europe, calls for multiple perspectives on the ever changing faces of Europe.


The breadth of our conference theme, as implied by “multiple perspectives” in the last sentence, means that we would also welcome papers on Selected Topics on European Scholarship—to allow groups of scholars to meet and address common themes on which they are doing research and writing.

The organizers of  ISSEI 15th Conference invite scholars from various academic fields to discuss the multiple dimensions and problems of  ‘The New Europe’ and ‘Selected Topics on European Scholarship’ in the conference workshops.  If you would like to present a paper in one or more of the workshops please note the following:

1. Papers should not exceed 3000 words or 10 double-spaced pages, including the Notes.

2. Abstracts should be submitted directly to a Workshop Chair.
Please check thelist of workshops with the contact information of the Chairs. If you are unsure which workshop best suits your proposed paper, please consult Dr. Edna Rosenthal by sending her your abstract (

3. The deadline for submitting abstracts to a Workshop Chair is May 31, 2016.

Previous ISSEI conferences were held in Amsterdam (1988), Leuven (1990), Aalborg (1992), Graz (1994), Utrecht (1996), Haifa (1998), Bergen (2000), Aberystwyth (2002), Pamplona (2004), Malta (2006), Helsinki (2008), Ankara (2010), Cyprus (2012), and Porto (2014).  

What one regular conference participant has said about our conferences:

ISSEI’s composition is an invitation to move beyond the limits you have set for yourself, the constraints you have imposed on your own thinking, breaking through to new levels of performance and ability. ISSEI’s engaging in age-old questions brings new dimensions and casts new light on situations and events of Europe’s history and perspective.  

– Prof. Dr. Heinz-Uwe Haus, Dept. of Theatre, University of Delaware, USA  

 We very much look forward to seeing you in the University of Lodz in the summer of 2016,

Conference co-Chairs:

What’s New in the New Europe? Redefining Culture, Politics, Identity

Professor Krystyna Kujawinska Courtney

Department of British and Commonwealth Studies, University of Lodz, ul. Narutowicza 65,  Poland

Dr. Edna Rosenthal
The European Legacy/ ISSEI


The next conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas—ISSEI’s 15th conference—will be held in cooperation with

The University of Lodz, Poland, July 11 – 15, 2016

The conference theme is:​​


​​​​​​2016 ISSEI conference 

The University of Lodz, Poland