2023 IES Undergraduate Conference

The Institute of European Studies will be hosting the annual Undergraduate Conference on November 17th, 2023! 

From Kiev to Brussels: Understanding the Implications of the War in Ukraine in a Broader European Context

On February 24, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin shocked the international community by invading Ukraine through the city of Kharkiv. Today, well over a year later it is challenging to predict what will happen next. While European allies have generally united in support of Ukraine, there are concerns that a continuation of the conflict, surging energy prices, and unstable supply chains may end up exposing fractures within the European Union. While EU members continue to strive for European solidarity, as evidenced by Finland’s recent ascension into NATO, there is still not a timeline for Ukraine’s path to EU or NATO membership.

Simultaneously, the EU faces a number of other challenges, from climate change and slow economic growth to immigration, which has led to a steady decline in popular support for the established parties and growing support for extremist parties, especially on the far-right. The intersection of the prolongation of conflict, the rise of extremist parties, and energy instability pose challenges to the future of European values, institutions, and alliances.


We invite undergraduate students in all fields to submit a paper proposal that tries to understand, interpret, and contextualize these continental challenges from a variety of perspectives (political, sociological, economic, environmental, cultural, etc.). We are interested in a wide range of analytical approaches to the topic and welcome submissions from all disciplines.

We ask that students submit a max. 250-word abstract detailing their presentation. Selected students will be notified and will be asked to prepare a ten-minute presentation. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with our moderators.

Submissions are due on October 16 th , 2023. The Conference will be held on the UC Berkeley campus on November 17 th , 2023. We ask that applicants plan to attend in-person. More details will be released leading up to the event.