China, Russia, and Europe’s Authoritarian Challenge

Feb. 25, 2020, 4:30-6:00pm
Goldman Room, Adolphus Busch Hall, 27 Kirkland St., Cambridge, MA

Join Harvard's Center for European Studies for a talk with Jessica Brandt and Torrey Taussig on Chinese and Russian strategy in Europe. 

Europe is at the center of two defining trends in international politics today: renewed great power competition and the resurgence of global authoritarianism. Amidst the rise of nationalist and authoritarian-leaning governments within the EU and NATO, Europe is increasingly vulnerable to Russian and Chinese influence.

In this context, Jessica Brandt and Torrey Taussig argue in Washington Quarterly that Russia and China are carrying out strategies across Europe at the expense of free and open societies, but that Europe has been slow to forge a counter-strategy.

This conversation will highlight a spectrum of Russian and Chinese overt and covert activities in Europe, ranging from benign state tools, such as public diplomacy, to more malevolent efforts, including direct interference in electoral processes. Moving forward, it will be incumbent on European policymakers to avoid looking any one vector in isolation and to close vulnerabilities across their political systems, economies and societies.


Jessica Brandt, head of policy and research, Alliance for Securing Democracy; fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States

Torrey Taussig, research director, Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship, Harvard Kennedy School