Luuk van Middelaar is a political theorist and historian. The author of the prizewinning The Passage to Europe (2013), he recently published Le Réveil géopolitique de l’Europe (2022), Pandemonium (2021) and Alarums and Excursions (2019), groundbreaking accounts of the Union’s crisis politics.


Editions in English, German and Dutch.

How did Europe deal with the Covid shock ? In 2021, my book Pandemonium has been published in English (Agenda Publishing), German (Suhrkamp Verlag) and Dutch (Historische Uitgeverij). Le Réveil géopolitique de l’Europe (Editions du Collège de France, 2022) takes the argument further, focusing on the geopolitical dynamics.

Interview with Hospodářské noviny
The 27 have changed fundamentally and their political impotence is gone

At the onset of the Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union, Luuk van Middelaar gave a wide-ranging interview to Hospodářské noviny in which he reflects on the unity of Europeans in the context of the war in Ukraine and the lessons they learned from decades of crises. He also touches upon the meaning of rotating presidencies as unique learning spaces.

Read the interview here

By invitation contribution for The Economist
Straight answers, not false promises

As the debate about Ukraine candidate status is heating up, Hans Kribbe and Luuk van Middelaar argue in this piece for the Economist that instead of non-committal and misleading language on EU membership, EU leaders can offer a lighter pan-European structure for Ukraine. An organisation able to prove that Ukraine belongs in the European family of democratic states in a way that’s real, meaningful and immediate.

Read their contribution on the Economist

Interview on France 24
The EU is at a 'watershed moment'

Luuk van Middelaar spoke with France 24 in a long-format interview as part of the Talking Europe series.

Taking a bird’s-eye view of current events in Europe, Luuk van Middelaar addresses the EU’s approach to the major crises of the past decade. He also assesses the extent to which the EU has found a new “self-confidence” following the Covid-19 crisis which has strengthened the bloc’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Watch the interview in English and French

Publication in The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El País
Europe's Zeitenwende

Two weeks into the Russian war, Luuk van Middelaar shared his thoughts on Europe’s historic moment. Notwithstanding the swift and robust decisions to punish Russia and support Ukraine, perhaps more needs to be done for Europe to cross the Rubicon of geopolitics. This essay was published in four languages at the eve of the EU Summit in Versailles.

Read article in:

The Guardian

Le Monde

Der Spiegel

El País

Latest book out in English, German and Dutch

In October 2021, Agenda Publishing published the English edition of Pandemonium: Saving Europe, Luuk’s assessment of Europe’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. At the occasion of the launch, the author entered into conversation with Steven Erlanger (New York Times) at BOZAR, as part of the series “Meet the Writer”. The German edition of the book was published by Suhrkamp Verlag (April) and the Dutch one by Historische Uitgeverij (September).

Podcast France Culture
Leçons sur l’Europe géopolitique

Au printemps 2021, Luuk van Middelaar a eu l’occasion d’inaugurer le nouveau Cycle Europe au Collège de France à Paris.
Dans une série de quatre conférences prononcées sur place entre le 24 mars et le 14 avril, il a abordé le réveil géopolitique de l’Europe — à travers les thèmes de la frontière (Turquie, Russie), de la rareté (Chine), de la solitude (Etats-Unis) et du récit. Les conférences ont ensuite été diffusées à la radio et “podcastées” par France Culture : à découvrir ici.

En janvier 2022, les Editions du Collège de France ont publié le livre que l’auteur en a tiré : Le Réveil géopolitique de l’Europe.