Experts & Staff: Alumni



Manuel Langendorf is a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, based in London, where he is working on digitisation and the digital economy in the Middle East, with a special focus on the United Arab Emirates and Jordan as well as Europe's interests in the issue. 

Langendorf has been a frequent contributor to The Arab Weekly newspaper and other media outlets. He was the editor-in-chief of The World Weekly, an award-winning international news magazine, and has appeared numerous times on television to comment on Middle Eastern affairs. He holds an MSc in International Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.


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  • Cover: Russia’s 1989

    Russia's 1989

    In the second in our series on the events of 1989 and how they will shape our world for decades to come, host Mark Leonard is joined by Fyodor Lukyanov. Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and Research Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club. In this podcast, recorded in Dubai, the two discuss America's and Russia's differing views on the Cold War and its end. The trauma of 1989, but also the euphoria it generated in Europe, and Putin's development as a political actor, are set into context. This context allows for a multifaceted understanding of the events of 1989.It also allows the arc of Russian foreign policy to be traced to today, and in doing so provides a useful accompaniment to the Eurocentric 1989 celebrations.

    Bookshelf:
    Mikhail S. Gorbachev "Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World"

    Listen online   


    Cover: Yemen - Seizing the moment of oppurtunity?

    Yemen - Seizing the moment of oppurtunity?

    Recording of the Lunch Discussion analysing Yemen's role in the current Gulf crisis and how recent regional developments will have an impact on the UN-coordinated peace process.

    Almost a year after the widely praised UN-sponsored Stockholm Agreement, there have been significant changes in the Yemeni war but peace appears no nearer. Focus has shifted away from the Hodeida front, leading to the UAE’s military disengagement from Yemen, and leaving Saudi Arabia in sole charge of the war at a time when finding an appropriate response to the September attacks on ARAMCO remains its priority. Within Yemen itself, in recent months, military action and negotiations have concentrated on the summer’s developments in the South, and Saudi attempts to solve the impasse created by southern separatist takeover of Aden, revealing serious differences between the two main members of the Saudi-led coalition.

    Our speakers addressed the role Yemen plays in the overall Gulf crisis, including Gulf States perspectives resulting from US volatility, recent and potential developments in the UN-coordinated peace process and the implications of recent internal events in the country.

    Recorded on 14 November 2019.

    Listen online   


    Hopes for the future dashed: Balkans security after the French veto (Commentary)

    Beáta Huszka - 14 November 2019

    The European Council’s failure to open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania could mark a turning point for peace in the Western Balkans.


    Can regulation save the Internet? The view from London (Commentary)

    Carla Hobbs - 14 November 2019

    Figures from across government, the private sector, and wider society argue in favour of adequate regulation to mitigate the harmful effects of the internet. But what should this regulation look like?



    Bringing the radical right in: Lessons learned from Spain (Commentary)

    José Ignacio Torreblanca - 13 November 2019

    Vox’s success in Spain illuminates some of populism’s successful escalation strategies, as well as the mistakes of mainstream parties.




  • Cover: Russia’s 1989

    Russia's 1989

    In the second in our series on the events of 1989 and how they will shape our world for decades to come, host Mark Leonard is joined by Fyodor Lukyanov. Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of Russia in Global Affairs, Chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and Research Director of the Valdai International Discussion Club. In this podcast, recorded in Dubai, the two discuss America's and Russia's differing views on the Cold War and its end. The trauma of 1989, but also the euphoria it generated in Europe, and Putin's development as a political actor, are set into context. This context allows for a multifaceted understanding of the events of 1989.It also allows the arc of Russian foreign policy to be traced to today, and in doing so provides a useful accompaniment to the Eurocentric 1989 celebrations.

    Bookshelf:
    Mikhail S. Gorbachev "Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World"

    Listen online   

    Cover: Yemen - Seizing the moment of oppurtunity?

    Yemen - Seizing the moment of oppurtunity?

    Recording of the Lunch Discussion analysing Yemen's role in the current Gulf crisis and how recent regional developments will have an impact on the UN-coordinated peace process.

    Almost a year after the widely praised UN-sponsored Stockholm Agreement, there have been significant changes in the Yemeni war but peace appears no nearer. Focus has shifted away from the Hodeida front, leading to the UAE’s military disengagement from Yemen, and leaving Saudi Arabia in sole charge of the war at a time when finding an appropriate response to the September attacks on ARAMCO remains its priority. Within Yemen itself, in recent months, military action and negotiations have concentrated on the summer’s developments in the South, and Saudi attempts to solve the impasse created by southern separatist takeover of Aden, revealing serious differences between the two main members of the Saudi-led coalition.

    Our speakers addressed the role Yemen plays in the overall Gulf crisis, including Gulf States perspectives resulting from US volatility, recent and potential developments in the UN-coordinated peace process and the implications of recent internal events in the country.

    Recorded on 14 November 2019.

    Listen online   

    Cover: Iran & the US escalation game - What Europe can do?

    Iran & the US escalation game - What Europe can do?

    In this episode, live from Brussels, Ellie Geranmayeh is standing in for our host Mark Leonard to discuss Iran’s further withdrawal from the 2015 Nuclear Agreement. 
    After the Iran Strategy Meeting meeting, she met with Hossein Mousavian (Princeton University), Ilan Goldenberg (Center for a New American Security) and Nasser Hadian (University of Teheran) to analyse the responses coming from the US and European governments, in particular from France. By marking the 40th anniversary of the Iran Hostage Crisis, they look back on how this has shaped the Iran-US relations in the past 4 years. Moreover, after one year, how has the re-imposition of the US sanction impacted Iran domestically? 

    This podcast was recorded on 6 November 2019.

    Bookshelf:

    Listen online   

    Cover: 1989- the greatest year in European history?

    1989- the greatest year in European history?

    In the first in our mini-series on the events of 1989, host Mark Leonard is joined by very special guest Timothy Garton Ash, historian and Professor of European Studies at Oxford University. This series considers how 1989 and it's events will shape our world in the future. Was 1989 the greatest year in European history? How much of what is going on was a blip? Are we witnessing the decline of liberalism today? Ash provides insights into the course of our political history, but cautions on prescribing a course to our future. The failure to develop solidarity, identity and community as part of the European Union project has led to a hollowing out of European identity. Global challenges and populism put the future of the liberal democratic world into question, unless answers are found.

    Bookshelf:

    The Light that Failed: A Reckoning, by Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes

    The Power of the Powerless, by Václav Havel

    Listen online   

    Cover: After Baghdadi is before Baghdadi: How the West still has to fight ISIS

    After Baghdadi is before Baghdadi: How the West still has to fight ISIS

    How will IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s killing impact ISIS as a terror organisation and the situation in Syria? Host Mark Leonard is joined by Anthony Dworkin and Asli Aydıntaşbaş to analyse the current events and political implications for Syria’s neighbouring countries, the US and the EU. As the European Union has failed to come up with a coherent policy on how to handle their citizens who travelled to join ISIS, they argue it would still be best, to bring them home and to try them there. But how could the EU member states go ahead with the process?

    Further read: "Beyond good and evil: Why Europe should bring ISIS foreign fighters home" by Anthony Dworkin

    The podcast was recorded on 30 October 2019.

    Bookshelf:

    Listen online   

    Cover: How to deal with our Western Balkan neighbours?

    How to deal with our Western Balkan neighbours?

    North Macedonia and Albania wanted to start negotiations with the EU after having been candidate countries since 2005 and 2014. But the enlargement plans seemed to have stalled especially after opposition from France.
    Host Mark Leonard is joined by Susi Dennison, José Ignacio Torreblanca and Vessela Tcherneva to get to the bottom of things and the divisions particularly between France and Germany on this issue.

    The podcast as recorded on 17 October 2019.

    Bookshelf:

    Listen online