Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Michael McFaul: The Re-Emergence of the Nordic-Baltic Region
Join us for an engaging conversation with Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Michael McFaul, who will discuss:The Re-Emergence of the Nordic-Baltic Region Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the communist block more than a quarter century ago, countries in that region have developed following rather different trajectories. The most successful post-Soviet nations by far have been the Baltic countries, long written off during the Cold War. This unexpected development has led to a new geopolitical dynamic: the old and arbitrary categories of East/West, Nordic/Baltic, Old/New EU and NATO members are receding, overtaken by a new regional dynamic in a broad range of activities, related to security as well as economic and political development. At the same time, new challenges have emerged. The long-dormant Cold War threat of the USSR has been replaced by a resurgent, revanchist Russia, willing to use military might to advance its interests. Right-wing populist movements threaten the political status quo in Europe (though interestingly, not in the Baltic countries). Europe and the European Union are amidst an existential crisis, and the importance of the Nordic-Baltic countries as a liberal democratic bloc is thus greater than ever before.
The above-mentioned issues and the future of the Nordic-Baltic bloc are the topics to be discussed in a conversation by Toomas Hendrik Ilves and Michael McFaul.
Toomas Hendrik Ilves is the former President of Estonia (2006–2016). He has previously also served as Estonian foreign minister, member of European Parliament, and the ambassador of Estonia in Washington. In 2017 Ilves joined Stanford University as a Bernard and Susan Liautaud Visiting Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, Stanford’s hub for researchers tackling some of the world’s most pressing security and international cooperation problems. He is currently Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Hoover Institution. Michael McFaul is Professor of Political Science, Director and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Peter and Helen Bing Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He joined the Stanford faculty in 1995. He is also an analyst for NBC News and a contributing columnist to The Washington Post. Dr. McFaul served for five years in the Obama administration, first as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russian and Eurasian Affairs at the National Security Council at the White House (2009-2012), and then as U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation (2012-2014). He was also the Distinguished Mingde Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Center at Peking University from June to August of 2015.