Lectures and debate by Peter Hallward (professor, University of Kingston) and Panagiotis Sotiris (journalist, editor), "The Will of the People and the Future of Europe"
As soon as the result of the referendum on Brexit was announced in June 2016, politicians and commentators from all sides of the spectrum affirmed it as an inviolable expression of the 'will of the people.' Ongoing opposition to a further referendum on the eventual exit deal also tends to be couched in terms of respecting democracy and popular sovereignty. In Greece, conversely, the dominant narrative after the Oxi vote and its aftermath was not that the will of the people was sovereign. Here, pragmatics and compromises were deemed to be more important. So, what is the significance of popular sovereignty today? What is the will of the people, how is it expressed, and who is the people anyway? How we answer these question, which lie at the heart of the present crisis of the EU, might very well determine the future of Europe. Peter Hallward will discuss these questions in light of the Brexit vote, whereas Panagiotis will focus his presentation on the specifics of the Greek situation. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion following the two presentations.