Nanovic Forum: ‟A Conversation with Anne Applebaum: The War in Ukraine, Russia, and the Twilight of Democracy”

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The Nanovic Institute for European Studies in the Keough School of Global Affairs will host Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, journalist, and commentator on geopolitics, Anne Applebaum at the Nanovic Forum: ‟A Conversation with Anne Applebaum: The War in Ukraine, Russia, and the Twilight of Democracy” on Friday, April 22, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. in the Jordan Auditorium, Mendoza College of Business.

Applebaum is now a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she recently published an article, co-authored with Jeffrey Goldberg, on a conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that took place in Kyiv on April 12, 2022.

The event is free and open to all.

The book signing will now take place at 4:45 - 5:15 p.m. BEFORE the event.

A reception will take place in the atrium AFTER the event.

Additional Speakers

  • Faculty Fellow Diane Desierto

    Diane A. Desierto
    Professor of Law and Global Affairs, and Nanovic Faculty Fellow
    University of Notre Dame
    Professor Desierto will join in the conversation with Anne Applebaum.

  • Nanovic Director Clemens Sedmak

    Clemens Sedmak
    Professor of Social Ethics and Director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies
    University of Notre Dame
    Professor Sedmak will provide the introduction.


Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, journalist, commentator on geopolitics and keynote speaker, Anne Applebaum examines the challenges and opportunities of global political and economic change through the lenses of world history and the contemporary political landscape.

Informed by her expertise in Europe and her years of international reporting, Applebaum shares perspectives on, and the far-reaching implications of, today’s volatile world events. And as technology allows a new scale of media manipulation to authoritarian governments and changes the tenor of political discourse, she scrutinizes the misinformation, propaganda, and criminal exploitation that influence global affairs, as well.

From Syrian refugees to Putin’s disinformation narratives, from the EU and the European financial crises to responding to terrorism, from solutions to transition-government corruption to political populists’ game-changing campaign language, Applebaum provides both background and up-to-the-minute insights that are vital to understanding the risks and opportunities of today’s world political and economic climate.

Anne’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Gulag: A History is about the Soviet concentration camps. Her book, Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, is the winner of her second Duff Cooper Prize and the 28th Lionel Gelber Prize 2018. In it, Anne proves what many suspected: Stalin set out to destroy the Ukrainian peasantry. Anne is the only author to win the Duff Cooper Prize twice. Her other books include Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1946, which won a Cundill Prize for Historical Literature, and Between East and West: Across the Borderlands of Europe.

In 2021, Anne was awarded the ICFJ’s Excellence in International Reporting Award.  In October 2021, Anne was presented with the 38th ‘Francisco Cerecedo’ journalism award by King Felipe VI of Spain.

In July 2020, Penguin published Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism – in this work, she outlines eloquently why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism. The book became an immediate NYT best-seller in the non-fiction section. Anne was later named one of “The Top 50 Thinkers of the Covid-19 Age” by Prospect magazine. In December 2020, Barack Obama listed this book as one of his favourite reads of the year.

She is a Senior Fellow of International Affairs and Agora Fellow in Residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.

Director of the Transitions Forum at the Legatum Institute from 2011-2015, an international think tank, Applebaum is the co-founder of the institute’s Democracy Lab, an online partnership between the institute and Foreign Policy magazine. An adjunct fellow of the Center for European Policy Analysis, she is the former Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the London School of Economics.

For many years, Applebaum wrote a biweekly foreign affairs column for The Washington Post which is syndicated internationally. She is now a staff writer at The Atlantic. She has been a contributor to Foreign Affairs, the New Republic and The New York Review of Books. She was formerly a member of The Washington Post’s editorial board; foreign and deputy editor of the Spectator magazine; and political editor of the Evening Standard. From 1988 – 1991 she covered the collapse of communism as Warsaw correspondent for The Economist.

Anne attended Yale University and was a Marshall Scholar at the London School of Economics and St. Antony’s College, Oxford.

View additional information on her website

About the Nanovic Forum

The Nanovic Institute deepens Notre Dame’s rich tradition of connections to Europe by bringing prominent figures to campus in a wide range of fields to explore, discuss, and debate the most pressing questions about Europe today. Generously sponsored by Robert and Elizabeth Nanovic, the Nanovic Forum invites its distinguished guests to interact with Notre Dame in ways they most wish, which can be surprising. To view past lectures, visit the archive.


Parking is available in the stadium lots east of the Mendoza College of Business. Most faculty/staff lots are open to the public by 5:00 p.m.


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