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By Jonathan Brooks
On the 6th of February The Henry Jackson Society hosted Dr Bruno Maçães to introduce his book The ‘Dawn of Eurasia’, and present a talk titled ‘The Dawn of Eurasia: On the Trail of the New World Order’. Dr Maçães is currently a Senior Advisor at Flint Global, where he advises companies on international politics and a Senior Fellow at Renmin University, Beijing and the Hudson Institute in Washington. He was the Portuguese Europe Minister from 2013-2015, and was decorated by Spain and Romania for his services to government. Dr Maçães’ received his doctorate in political science from Harvard University, and was a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington and the Carnegie Institute in Brussels.
Dr Maçães began his talk to a filled room by introducing the concept of Eurasia and its etymological roots, arguing that Eurasia should be understood beyond a narrow geographic region and instead as a new deviating global order. This ‘super-continental Eurasia’, he argued, had emerged after the end of The Cold War and has brought around a seismic shift in the geopolitical equilibrium in which a Eurasian order diverged from traditional Western notions and predeterminations of the global order. Indeed, he portrayed Eurasia as an anomaly for Western comprehension, often viewed with cynicism or misunderstood through Euro-centric paradigms. Instead, Dr Maçães articulated the ways in which the deep-rooted architypes of European exceptionalism had customarily been projected onto the global order and its international institutions were being challenged by an embryonic Eurasian order which was determined to navigate its own path. Dr Maçães then used the example of the Chinese One and Belt One Road Initiative as a representative of the infrastructural, economic, political and cultural integration beginning to develop on the super-continent which serves to solidify the veracity of this rival global order.
At the conclusion of Dr Maçães’s talk, the floor was opened to questions from the audience on the topic, which looked to expand on various points he had made. He fielded questions on the European political institutions and their (mis)understandings of the Eurasia, here Dr Maçães spoke of a European Union which had developed a dogmatic political ideal for the global order that was discordant with the priorities and realities other regions, in turn inhibiting the spread of Western soft power and instead allowing for the possible role reversal in which influence travels westward from the East. Other questions asked his opinion on the potentials for post-Brexit Britain when navigating the Eurasian order and the possible implications for Russia. Indeed, Dr Maçães elaborated on the geographical significance of Russia to Eurasia, as Russia had dismissed expansion eastward being historically preoccupied with Europe, the rise of Eurasian power has initiated a pivot to recognise and form closer ties with their Asian neighbours.
The Henry Jackson Society would like to thank Dr Bruno Maçães for taking time out of his schedule to present this enlightening talk, and for all guests that attended the event, for making it so successful.