Confronting Far-Right Extremism in Europe

March 22, 2016 - 4:00 pm

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator)
Washington, DC


Confronting Far-Right Extremism in Europe

Welcome remarks by:

Dr. Frances Burwell 
Vice President, European Union and Special Initiatives
Atlantic Council

A conversation with:

Ms. Susan Corke
Director, Antisemitism and Extremism
Human Rights First

Dr. Marlene Laruelle
Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs
The George Washington University

Dr. Alina Polyakova
Deputy Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
Atlantic Council

Moderated by:

Mr. Christian Caryl
Foreign Policy Magazine

A wave of far-right populism is sweeping across Europe. Once on the fringes of politics, extremist parties are capitalizing on the refugee crisis and the financial meltdown of 2008 to gain at the polls. The re-emergence of anti-immigrant and isolationist groups and parties in Europe erodes the European Union’s ability to coordinate policies for solving Europe’s crises. Indeed, their growing popularity undermines the basic tenets of the European project. Taking advantage of Europe’s far-right turn, Russia has been aiding its far-right allies, which in turn publicly support Putin’s geopolitical interests and foreign policy agenda. Western policymakers have been slow to recognize the problem and to effectively respond. At a time when Europe faces some of its greatest challenges, we urgently need strategy-driven policies to strengthen the transatlantic relationship.

We hope you can join us for this important and timely discussion.

On Twitter? Follow @ACEurasia and use #RightRising and #ACEurope

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record.

VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info 


Frances Burwell is Vice President, European Union and Special Initiatives, at the Atlantic Council. She has served as Director of the Council’s Program on Transatlantic Relations and as Interim Director of the Global Business and Economics Program. Her work focuses on the European Union (EU); US-EU relations; and a range of transatlantic economic, political, and defense issues. She is the principal US-based organizer of the Wrocław Global Forum, held annually in Poland. Her publications include A Transatlantic Approach to Europe’s East: Relaunching the Eastern Partnership; Shoulder to Shoulder: Forging a Strategic US-EU Partnership; Rethinking the Russia Reset; and Transatlantic Leadership for a New Global Economy. She is a frequent commentator on European politics and transatlantic relations, with interviews and op-eds appearing in the Huffington Post, Financial Timesand Christian Science Monitor, among others. Prior to joining the Council, Dr. Burwell was Executive Director of the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland and Founding Executive Director of Women In International Security. She has a PhD from the University of Maryland, an MPhil from Oxford University, and a BA from Mount Holyoke College.

Christian Caryl is a Senior Fellow at the Legatum Institute and a Contributing Editor at Foreign Policy magazine, where he edits “Democracy Lab,” an online publication devoted to countries aspiring to make the transition from authoritarianism to democracy. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and a contributing editor at the National Interest. From 2004 to 2009 he headed the Tokyo bureau of Newsweek. From 2000 to 2004 Caryl served as Newsweek’s Moscow Bureau Chief. After 9/11 he carried out assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan reporting on the war on terror. Starting in 1997, he served as Moscow Bureau Chief for US News & World Report. Before moving to Moscow, Mr. Caryl was a freelance journalist in Germany, where he contributed to publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New Republic, and the Spectator. He was a winner of the 2011 Overseas Press Club award for Best Online Commentary, a member of a Newsweek reporting team that won a 2004 National Magazine Award, and a 1999 finalist in the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting. A 1984 graduate of Yale College, he speaks Russian and German. 

Susan Corke is Director of Countering Antisemitism and Extremism at Human Rights First, where she works to ensure that the United States leads internationally on combating antisemitism and extremism in partnership with European allies. She focuses on addressing authoritarian regimes in Eurasia that have increased popular hostility to principles of democratic governance and propelled extremism. Susan joined Human Rights First after more than four years at Freedom House, where she was Director of Programs for Europe, Eurasia, and Southeast Asia and led corporate engagement efforts. She has been a regular commentator in American and European media and testified on Capitol Hill. Before joining Freedom House, Susan held senior positions at the US Department of State, where she was the Deputy Director for European Affairs in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and took assignments in Russia and the Czech Republic. Prior to joining the State Department, Susan helped found and manage the US Foreign Policy Institute at The George Washington University. Susan has a master’s degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from the College of William & Mary.

Marlene Laruelle is Research Professor of International Affairs and Associate Director of the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at the Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. She explores contemporary political, social, and cultural changes in Russia and Central Asia through the prism of ideologies and nationalism. She has authored Russian Eurasianism: An Ideology of Empire (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), In the Name of the Nation: Nationalism and Politics in Contemporary Russia (Palgrave, 2009), and Russia’s Strategies in the Arctic and the Future of the Far North (M.E. Sharpe, 2013). She has recently edited Eurasianism and the European Far Right: Reshaping the Russia-Europe Relationship (Lexington, 2015).

Alina Polyakova is the Deputy Director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center at the Atlantic Council. Dr. Polyakova is a frequent media commentator on developments in Ukraine, Russia, and Europe. Her writings have appeared in major publications and academic journals including the Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and the American Interest. Dr. Polyakova's book, The Dark Side of European Integration, examines the rise of far-right parties in Western and Eastern Europe. She is a Swiss National Science Foundation Senior Research Fellow and coinvestigator on a multi-year project examining the rise of far-right political parties in the European Union in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Concurrently, she is a Eurasia Foundation Fellow. Before joining the Atlantic Council, she was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Fulbright Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the International Research and Exchanges Board, and the University of Bern. Dr. Polyakova holds a PhD and MA in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in Economics and Sociology from Emory University.