EUniWell Open Lecture Series: War, Peace and Overcoming Helplessness


Leiden University Online EUniWell-Event

As part of the EUniWell Open Lecture Series, Prof. Dr. Joachim Koops spoke on "War, Peace and Overcoming Helplessness: The Role of Universities" on Thursday, 10 March.

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Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Joachim Koops
Moderator: Dr. Silviu Piros
Related EUniWell Arena: 2) Individual and Social Well-being


About this lecture:

The war waged on Ukraine by the Russian regime’s forces and the flagrant killing of civilians have shocked the international community. The European University for Well-being, EUniWell, alongside 40 other European University Alliances unequivocally condemned the Russian government’s attack and called for “the restoration of peace, democracy and respect of human rights in Ukraine”. Staff, students and university leaders are struggling with how to best respond to the war and its implications for Ukrainian civilians, European security and global order and to overcome what the Munich Security Conference already termed this year as a society-wide “sense of helplessness”. While the role of universities are of course limited in the face of atrocities, some lessons from history and the present can be drawn on where universities maintained “academic diplomacy” links and sought to contribute through small and larger acts to the restoration of peace and dialogue. This lecture examines the role of universities in acute periods of crisis and also examines the many practical hands-on ways in which university communities can help to overcome helplessness.

Research background:

Prof. Joachim A. Koops is Chair of Security Studies and Scientific Director (WD) of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs (ISGA) at Leiden University’s campus in The Hague. His research focuses on Global Security Governance and the European Union’s foreign and security policies, the role of the United Nations, European Union, NATO (and their inter-organisational relations) in peace and security as well as crisis management, peacekeeping, the responsibility to protect (R2P) and the changing nature of diplomacy. In addition, Prof. Koops is interested in issues of academic diplomacy as well as higher education innovation and reform.


This lecture was part of the EUniWell Open Lecture Series. Find the full programme here.