International Conference: “The Fate of Freedom in Eastern Europe: Autocracy – Oligarchy – Anarchy?” 22-23 September 2016 (College of Europe Natolin)


The European Civilization Chair at the Natolin (Warsaw) campus of the College of Europe, will be hosting its largest event yet on 22-23 September 2016: the International Conference “The Fate of Freedom in Eastern Europe: Autocracy – Oligarchy – Anarchy?”.


Conference topics

This major international conference addresses a timeless problem posed by many thinkers since Aristotle – the degeneration of various forms of government: of monarchy into tyranny, of aristocracy into oligarchy and of democracy into anarchy.

Leading historians, political scientists, public intellectuals and politicians will gather to consider whether ‘Eastern Europe’, understood for these purposes as the region between Poland and Russia, has from the Middle Ages to the present been historically fated to experience the failure of every form of government based on freedom. Or whether – au contraire – the nations of the region (not just the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but also including the old kingdoms of Bohemia and Hungary) have for many centuries sustained a rich potential for personal liberty and government by consent. In this context participants will discuss the relationships between freedom and oligarchy, citizenship, diversity, autocracy, anarchy, sovereignty and democracy. These problems are of crucial importance to European civilization as a whole.

Programme in English | Programme in Polish


The conference will be held in English and Polish, with simultaneous translation provided. No fee will be charged for attendance, but as places are limited we ask all interested persons to register in good time by writing to Mrs Anna BANACH at