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Workshop | A New American Civil War: Realistic Possibility or Fantasy?

Thursday June 8, 2023, from 16:00 to 17:45
Online & Face-to-Face. Room 24.S18, Polivalent Room (Basement). Mercè Rodoreda 24 building. UPF Ciutadella

Julie Norman (University College London Centre on US Politics), Ken Kalfus (author, 2 a.m. in Little America), Andrew Gawthorpe (University of Leiden) and Emma Long (University of East Anglia). Moderator: Jeffrey Michaels (IBEI)

▶️ Video recording is available here
📸 Pictures of the event here

Until several years ago, the prospect of a new American civil war was widely regarded as completely absurd. After the 6 January 2021 assault on the US Capitol, however, what had previously been thought of as absurd now seemed at least worthy of consideration as a possibility, albeit still being viewed as far from an inevitability. But before one can meaningfully assess the likelihood of a civil war, it is essential to understand what sort of conflict this might look like, what historical analogies are useful to draw on to appreciate its size, scope, and consequences, where in the US might significant armed violence occur, what circumstances would act as a trigger, how long might the conflict last, would some state governments encourage disorder, and would the federal government actively counter it? Is civil war too dramatic a term to employ, whereas widespread civil unrest is more likely? With the next presidential election less than 18 months away, answers to these questions will be increasingly sought.

This panel discussion will bring together four distinguished analysts and observers of American politics and culture to offer their perspectives*:

  • Dr. Julie Norman, Co-Director of the University College London Centre on US Politics

  • Ken Kalfus, author, 2 a.m. in Little America

  • Dr. Andrew Gawthorpe, University of Leiden, host of the America Explained podcast

  • Dr. Emma Long, American Studies, University of East Anglia

Moderator: Dr. Jeffrey Michaels, IEN Senior Fellow, IBEI

Organised within the program on American politics and international security by Institut d’Estudis Nord-americans (IEN) and IBEI.

*Please note that this event will be entirely in English without translation services.