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We thought connecting the world would bring lasting peace. Instead, it is driving us apart. In the three decades since the end of the Cold War, global leaders have been integrating the world's economy, transport and communications, breaking down borders in the hope that it would make war impossible. In doing so, however, they have unwittingly created a formidable arsenal of weapons for new kinds of conflict. In his new book, Mark Leonard argues that rising tensions in global politics are not a bump in the road - they are part of the paving.

Event details of Mark Leonard on “The Age of Unpeace: How Connectivity Causes Conflict”
Date 1 December 2021
Time 20:00 -21:30

How can the EU respond to these challenges? In this presentation that is part of ACES ‘Visions of Europe’ series, Leonard asks how we might construct a more hopeful future from an age of unpeace – and what can be the EU’s role. 

Mark Leonard
Mark Leonard


Mark Leonard is the co-founder and director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, the first pan-European think tank. He is a regular speaker and prolific writer and commentator on global issues, the future of Europe, China’s internal politics, and the practice of diplomacy and business in a networked world. His essays have appeared in publications such as Foreign Affairs, the Financial Times, the New York TimesLe MondeSüddeutsche ZeitungEl PaisGazeta WyborczaForeign Policy, the New Statesman, the Daily TelegraphThe EconomistTime, and Newsweek. Leonard’s first book, Why Europe will run the 21st Century was published in 2005 and translated into 19 languages, followed by What does China think? published in 2008 and translated into 15 languages. He has published an edited volume on Connectivity Wars followed by the book that he will be discussing tonight: “The Age of Unpeace. How Connectivity Causes Conflict” released in September 2021.


Thijs van der Plas is Director General for Political Affairs at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, having previously served as the Ministry’s Director General for European Cooperation and in a variety of diplomatic postings.  


Luiza Bialasiewicz is Professor of European Governance in the Department of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam and the academic co-director of ACES.