James Kirchick is a visiting fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution and author of The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age. Kirchick delivers a compelling keynote on the issues addressed in his book. He tells the story of why Europe, once the world’s bastion of liberal, democratic values, is now having to confront demons it thought it had laid to rest. He describes how the old pathologies of anti-Semitism, populist nationalism, and territorial aggression are threatening to tear the European postwar consensus apart.
In riveting dispatches from this unfolding tragedy, Kirchick relates the shallow disingenuousness of the leaders who pushed for “Brexit;” examines how a vast migrant wave is exacerbating tensions between Europeans and their Muslim minorities; explores the rise of anti-Semitism that causes Jewish schools and synagogues in France and Germany to resemble armed bunkers; and describes how Russian imperial ambitions are destabilizing nations from Estonia to Ukraine.
He is also a correspondent for The Daily Beast, a columnist for Tablet magazine and a contributor to a wide variety of publications including The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Commentary, among many others. Prior to joining the Brookings Institution, Kirchick had a 3.5 year stint based in Europe; first working for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty based in Prague, then in Berlin as a participant in the Robert Bosch Foundation’s highly competitive fellowship program for young American leaders. Throughout his time in Europe he traveled extensively to regions spanning North Africa to Central Asia covering stories ranging from the Arab Spring to the new Russian imperialism.
Kirchick’s other speaking topics include:
“The Global Fight for LGBT Equality” — He relates his experiences as a journalist who has covered gay rights struggles on the ground in some of the world's most dangerous places.
“American Foreign Policy in the Era of Trump” — As a foreign correspondent based in Europe and now a policy analyst based in DC, he offers a unique perspective on how nations are responding to the unprecedented presidency of Donald Trump.
“New Threats to Free Speech” — From Islamists who murder cartoonists to oversensitive American college students, the vital liberty that is freedom of speech is coming under increasing attack. In this witty and compelling address, he makes an impassioned case for why free speech is the most important right that we have as individuals.
Keywords: anti-semitism, Israel, foreign policy, LGBT, hate, Jewish issues, Middle East, equality, Brexit, populism, nationalism