‘Knack Debate - Dare to ask: Jonathan Holslag & Geert Mak’

9 Sept.'21
- 20:00

The end of the Cold War in 1989 heralded a new era of freedom and prosperity. Today, this golden age seems to be over. Where did it go wrong? What brought about the demise of the ideals of globalisation and international connectivity? Exactly twenty years on from the attacks on the Twin Towers, Jonathan Holslag and Geert Mak examine our recent history. Which of the historic events of the past decades have defined us the most? The fall of the Wall, 9/11, the rise of China, the presidencies of Obama or Trump or, perhaps, the existential threat to the planet and its occupants? 

Holslag and Mak attempt to find an answer to the riddle of history, in a conversation moderated by Bert Bultinck, editor of Knack magazine. The occasion for this is the publication of Van muur tot muur. De wereldpolitiek sinds 1989, Jonathan Holslag’s most recent book, whose title can be translated as From Wall to Wall, World Politics Since 1989.


Jonathan Holslag (1981) is a political scientist attached to the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. As an expert in international relations and politics, he has numerous publications to his name, often dealing with the rocky relationship between Europe and Asia. For almost ten years, Holslag has had a regular slot in Knack in which he gives his view on the world, and he is a much sought-after voice in the public debate.


Geert Mak (1946) is the author of many historical bestsellers including In Europa. Reizen door de twintigste eeuw (In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century) and its follow-up, Grote verwachtingen. In Europa 1999-2019, which will be published in English this autumn under the title The Dream of Europe. Travels in the 21st Century. Both have been made into successful television series. Mak’s work has been translated into many languages.

Practical information


Hall M

Rue Ravenstein 23 1000 BRUSSELS


  • Dutch




This event is organized by an external institution.​​​​​​​