Konrad Adenauer Lecture Series (Australia & Pacific)

Second Konrad Adenauer Lecture

by Barbara Rundel

Professor Sir Christopher Clark: “Uncertain Times. Germany, Europe and the World Order”

According to Professor Sir Christopher Clark, history should not be seen as a master, illuminating the way ahead of us, but more like an oracle: It offers us a variety of narratives, and it is only by attempting to understand and explain these stories that we deepen our understanding of today’s problems.
Prof. Clark
Prof. Clark

This becomes even more important when we think of the present state of world politics which is full of political and geostrategic challenges: Brexit, the military conflict between NATO and Russia or President Trump‘s unpredictable foreign policy are just a few of the examples Prof Clark analysed. He compared the current geopolitical situation to the starting point of World War I, noting that in the past, as today, alliances break up when there is a lack of trust among alliance partners.

It is almost impossible to predict the likely trajectory of foreign and security challenges – in Europe and even more so globally. But to avoid being caught off-guard by an escalating conflict, political decision makers should think ahead more. We must anticipate possible incidents, tensions and their consequences proactively so that we can be adequately prepared. In this manner, Europe could still achieve to build a promising future.

The inaugural Konrad Adenauer Lecture was delivered by Prof Dr Norbert Lammert in 2017.  It was devised by KAS Australia and the Pacific as an annual event in cooperation with the Centre for European Studies at the Australian National University (ANU). This year’s lecture attracted 250 guests from politics, the diplomatic corps, academia, the economic sector and the media. The event was held at the The Hall, ANU University House, Canberra.  

Video KAS Lecture 2018 Highlights download
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Barbara Rundel