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The EU in the Face of Populism and War

April 19, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

The EU in the Face of 
Populism & War Event poster

The roundtable will explore how European politics and the EU are being transformed by Russia’s war against Ukraine. Panelists will discuss the rise in support for ethnopopulist parties in Europe over the last decade, how they govern, and whether Ukraine’s fight for freedom and European values has weakened support for the far right and emboldened the European Union to stand up against democratic backsliding. We will also explore Ukraine’s path to EU membership and how citizens across Europe are mobilizing in response to backsliding and the war.



Monika Nalepa

Monika Nalepa (PhD, Columbia University) is professor of political science at the University of Chicago. With a focus on post-communist Europe, her research interests include transitional justice, parties and legislatures, and game-theoretic approaches to comparative politics. Her first book, Skeletons in the Closet: Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe was published in the Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics Series and received the Best Book award from the Comparative Democratization section of the APSA and the Leon Epstein Outstanding Book Award from the Political Organizations and Parties section of the APSA. Her next book with Cambridge University Press, published in 2022, is entitled After Authoritarianism: Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability.

Dr. Nalepa is also the Director of the Transitional Justice and Democratic Stability Lab, which produces the Global Transitional Justice Dataset.


Milada Vachudova

Milada Vachudova | Moderator

Professor Milada Anna Vachudova specializes in European politics, political change in postcommunist Europe, the European Union and the impact of international actors on domestic politics. Her recent articles explore the trajectories of European states amidst strengthening ethnopopulism and democratic backsliding – and how these changes are impacting party systems and the European Union. She is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also part of the core team of the Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES) on the positions of political parties across Europe. She served as the Chair of the Curriculum in Global Studies at UNC from 2014 to 2019. Her book, Europe Undivided: Democracy, Leverage and Integration After Communism (Oxford University Press) was awarded the Stein Rokkan Prize for Comparative Social Science Research. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University. As a British Marshall Scholar, she completed an M.Phil. and a D.Phil. in the Faculty of Politics at the University of Oxford. She has held fellowships from the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research (NCEEER), the European University Institute (EUI), the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, the National Science Foundation, the Center of International Studies at Princeton University and many other institutions.

Courtney Blackington

Courtney Blackington is a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is affiliated with the Authoritarian Politics Lab, the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning, and the Royster Society of Fellows. Her research focuses on protest, partisanship, and conspiracy theories. Courtney’s dissertation analyzes how political socialization processes and psychological factors shape who protests for different issues.



Frances Cayton

Frances Cayton is a Ph.D. student in Cornell University’s Department of Government with a primary subfield concentration is Comparative Politics and a special minor in Methodology. Frances obtained her master’s degree from Harvard University in Russian, East European, and Central Asian studies in 2021, and her bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018. Her research has been supported by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, the U.S. Department of Education, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Silviya Nitsova

Silviya is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, where she studies comparative politics and quantitative methodology. Her research focuses on the interactions between big business and politics in developing democracies and draws heavily from the contemporary experiences of Ukraine and other post-communist states.

EU flag with the text co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
This event is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


April 19, 2023
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm


FedEx Global Center #1005
301 Pittsboro St
Chapel Hill, NC 27514 United States
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