28 November 2019
Conference with Iván Krastev
Fundación Diario de Madrid

Conference with Iván Krastev


Aspen Institute España, ECFR Madrid and Harvard Club of Spain organized, in collaboration with Editorial Debate, the conference “La luz que se apaga”, a dialogue between Ivan Krastev, political scientist and president of the Center for Liberal Strategies of Sofia (Bulgaria), and José Ignacio Torreblanca, director of the office in Madrid and ECFR principal investigator, moderated by Romana Sadurska, member of the Aspen Institute España Board of Trustees, executive vice president of the Professor Uría Foundation and emeritus partner of Uría Menéndez, on the occasion of the publication of the book “La luz que se apaga: Cómo Occidente ganó la Guerra Fría pero perdió la paz” (Debate, 2019) by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes.

Why did the West, after winning the Cold War, lose its political balance? At the beginning of the 90, the project of expansion of the democratic values ​​of the West towards the East seemed unquestionable. However, the transformation of the Eastern European countries provoked a bitter rejection of liberalism itself, not only there, which was seen as a humiliating neo-colonial imposition, but also in the heart of the West itself.

In his latest work, written in collaboration with Stephen Holmes, Ivan Krastev argues that the predicted “end of History” was nothing more than the beginning of an “Age of Imitation.” By carefully studying the geopolitical history of the last thirty years, the authors demonstrate that the wave of populist xenophobia coming from the countries that seek to emulate liberal democracies derives from the rejection of the Westernizing imperative that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall.

This event took place in English and could be followed on networks with the hashtag #Laluzqueseapaga.



Ivan Krastev is a political scientist and researcher at the Vienna Institute for Human Sciences and one of the most respected analysts in the international arena. He chairs the Sofia Center for Liberal Strategies in Bulgaria, collaborates with The New York Times and is the author of the acclaimed essay, After Europe (2017).


José Ignacio Torreblanca is the Director of the Madrid Office and Principal Investigator at ECFR. His areas of expertise are internal European Union affairs, mainly the rise of populism and euroscepticism, institutional reforms, and enlargement and neighborhood policy. He is Professor of Political Science at the National University of Distance Education (UNED) in Madrid, where he teaches Fundamentals of Political Science, the Political System of the European Union and Democracy and legitimacy in the European Union. He is also a Doctor Member of the Juan March Institute for Studies and Research. He has been a fellow of the Fulbright Program, Professor at the George Washington University in Washington D.C., as well as a researcher at the European University Institute in Florence. In addition, he is a columnist for El Mundo – “Café Steiner” and a contributor to RNE.

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  • Romana Sadurska
  • José Ignacio Torreblanca
Fundación Diario de Madrid
  • Conference