Jonathan Holslag is a postdoctoral fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders and teaches international politics at the Free University Brussels. Among other things, in 2007 and 2008 he was a coordinator of the EU-China Academic Network (ECAN), an academic forum organised by the European Commission. In 2014 he became a Rockefeller Fellow of the Trilateral Commission and a Nobel Fellow at the Nobel Institute. His research focuses on the impact of China’s rise on world politics, although also having a decided interest in Europe. His work often bridges different aspects of international relations, such as international political economy, diplomacy and military force. Recent books include China and India: Prospects for Peace and China’s coming war with Asia. He is also an active public intellectual, with articles being published in The Financial Times, The Guardian and Foreign Policy. He also founded The Friday Group, a reflection group of young Belgian leaders.
Where do you see the most exciting research/debates happening in your field? Personally, I am very interested in the question how Europe is going to survive as a polity, and economy and a society in today’s world. This is one of the issues where all the debates come together. Can a group of countries defy the gravity of nationalism and fragmentation, by supplanting nationalism with something better – perhaps a new sort of unity that resembles nationalism, but with more ambition and more benefits to the people in terms of security, prosperity and happiness. For all my interest in Asia, I still consider Europe to be the main laboratory of international politics, and I can only hope that something good comes out of it… Read the rest of the interview here.