Luuk van Middelaar
(Eindhoven, 1973) is a leading historian and political philosopher. From 2010 to 2015 he was speechwriter and political advisor to the first chairman of the European council, Herman Van Rompuy. Before that he worked for Frits Bolkestein and Jozias van Aartsen. After his time in Brussels, he became Professor of Foundations and Practices of the EU at the University of Leiden, and Professor of European Studies in Louvain-la-Neuve. Van Middelaar is a political commentator for publications like NRC Handelsblad, the Flemish De Tijd, Die Zeit, Le Monde and El País. His De Passage naar Europa (Passage to Europe), about the political developments in Europe of the last 50 years, has been multiply awarded and translated. His book De nieuwe politiek van Europa (The New European Politics) describes how European leaders are rushing from one incident to the next. Van Middelaar offers clarity and perspective.(2017)
Archive available for: Luuk van Middelaar
The Congolese novelist and essayist Alain Mabanckou opened Friday Night Unlimited with a lecture about the values of the French Revolution and their meaning in our time.
Afterwards, writer and essayist Stephan Sanders had conversations with Alain Mabanckou, with historian and political philosopher Luuk van Middelaar and writer Louise O. Fresco about the contemporary meaning of freedom as a driving force of European democracy.
What is the meaning of the French Revolution's motto in today's Europe? For the revolutionaries, freedom stood for much more than individual aims. it stood for the collective longing for self-determination and for the democratic consideration and manifestation of change and progress. Is anything left of the revolutionary meaning of freedom in contemporary Europe?
Alternating with the conversations there was live drawing by visual artist en book illustrator Gerda Dendooven (Belgium) and music by classical accordionist Oleg Lysenko (Netherlands), cello player Jole De Baerdemaeker and soprano Elisabeth Sturtewagen (both Belgium).