Martin M. Šimečka

is a writer and journalist based in Bratislava. Before 1989 he could publish only in samizdat; later he co-founded the Archa Publishing House, and edited the...

Irena Brežná

is a writer and journalist. Born in Slovakia, she emigrated with her family to Switzerland in 1968 and now lives in Basle. She has worked as psychologist,...

Thierry Chervel

is a German journalist with Franco-German roots based in Berlin. After studying music theory, he worked as staff writer for the German daily taz and later as...

Zygmunt Bauman

is a Polish sociologist and philosopher, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Leeds and at the University of Warsaw. Professor Bauman is one...

László Rajk

is an Hungarian architect and designer. He is the son of László Rajk, the former communist foreign minister and most prominent victim of the Rákosi show...

Pascal Bruckner

is a French philosopher based in Paris. He is the author of several bestselling novels, including Lunes de fiel (Evil Angels, made by Roman Polanski into a...

Martin C. Putna

is a Czech literary historian. A graduate in Russian language and literature from Prague’s Charles University, he is now a professor at his alma mater....

Adam Michnik

is a Polish writer and journalist, the founder and editor-in-chief of the daily Gazeta Wyborcza. He lives in Warsaw and has been visiting professor at...

Martin Bútora

is a sociologist, writer and translator based in Bratislava. He began his career in the 1960s as a journalist and after becoming a persona non grata...

Slavenka Drakulić

is a Croatian writer and journalist. She graduated in comparative literature and sociology from the University of Zagreb. From 1982 to 1992 she was a staff...

Karel Schwarzenberg

is a Czech politician, leader of the political party TOP 09 and member of the Czech Parliament. A descendant of the old aristocratic House of Schwarzenberg,...

Jáchym Topol

is a Czech journalist, poet and novelist based in Prague. He was one of the founders of the samizdat literary journal Revolver revue, worked on the weekly...

Franzobel (Stefan Griebl)

is an Austrian writer based in Vienna. His most recent books include Liebesgeschichte (Love Story) Franzobels grosser Fussballtest (Franzobel’s Great...

Laurent Binet

is a French writer. He lives in Paris and teaches French at a Paris suburb. He is the recipient of the 2010 Prix Goncourt for his first novel HHhH...

Mircea Cartarescu

is a Romanian writer, novelist and essayist. He lives in Bucharest and teaches Romanian literature at Bucharest University. His first novel, Nostalgia, has...

Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi

is an Austrian journalist. A member of the Coudenhove-Kalergi family, she is the daughter of Gerolf von Coudenhove-Kalergi and thus the niece of Count...

Ivajlo Dičev

is a Bulgarian cultural anthropologist and writer based in Sofia. He teaches anthropology at the St. Climent of Ohrid University in Sofia and contributes to...

György Dragomán

is a Hungarian writer and literary translator. He was born in Marosvásárhely (Târgu-Mures) in Transylvania and has lived in Budapest since 1988. His...

Andrej Dynko

is a Belarussian writer and essayist. He is the Chairman of the Belarussian P.E.N., Editor-in-Chief of the independenty weekly Nasha Niva and Deputy Editor...

Viktor Fanjberg

at the age of 16 he moved to Leningrad from his native Kharkov. After being expelled from the Military Artillery Academy he went on to study philology and...

László F. Földényi

is a Hungarian art critic, literary scholar and commentator based in Budapest. He teaches at the Institute for Comparative Studies at the Loránd Eötvös...

Natalia Gorbanevská

is a Russian poet, translator from Polish and civil rights activist. ON 25 August 1968, together with Konstantin Babitski, Tatiana Bayeva, Larisa Bogoraz,...

Michael Kocáb

is a Czech politician and civil activist. From 2009 to 2010, as an independent MP nominated by the Green Party, he served in the Czech Government as...

Jeanette Maziniová

is a manager and blogger. After graduating in social studies from Nitra University she worked as insurance counsellor, labourer, primary school teaching...

Claus Offe

is a German sociologist, political scientist and philosopher based in Berlin. In the late 1960s he worked with Jürgen Habermas at the Institute for Social...

Marcia Pally

is an American literature scholar. She teaches at New York University in Multilingual Multicultural Studies and is a permanent Fellow of the New York...

Iveta Radičová

is a sociologist and currently Slovakia’s Prime Minister. A teacher at the Comenius University in Bratislava, she was named full professor following...

Panel IV: Which Way Forward for Central Europe?

Friday November 19th, 2010

How will Central Europe deal with its experience as a passive victim of history? And what role will it play in a multipolar world? Martin Bútora, Barbara Coudenhove-Kalergi, Adam Michnik, László Rajk, Laurent Binet and Andrei Dynko.

Panel III: The Square of Dissent

Thursday November 18th, 2010

On 25 August 1968 eight Soviet citizens protested against the invasion of Czechoslovakia in Moscow’s Red Square. Their protest was dispersed within five minutes and the protesters spent years incarcerated in prisons, labour camps and psychiatric institutions. Natalia Gorbanevskaya, Viktor Faynberg, Irena Brežná and Michael Kocáb.

Panel II: The End of Politics

Wednesday November 17th, 2010

Is the era of classical politics coming to an end?  What are the chances of ordinary citizens being able to influence public life and what can we do to safeguard our freedom? Martin M. Šimečka, Marcia Pally, Claus Offe, Zygmunt Bauman, László F. Földényi, Ivajlo Ditchev and Martin C. Putna.