The current processes of globalization have led to a situation where the world has increased faster in complexity than knowledge has increased (see Taleb, 2012). This disputable argument is based on the idea that the incredible rise after the industrial revolution in international trade, accompanied by lengthening logistic changes consisting of a huge amount of often difficult to identify stakeholders have created a system where processes are difficult to understand. On the other hand, an impressive development of knowledge has taken place. This may create the illusion that we think we know more than we really know (Kahneman, 2011). In this context, it can be expected that any kind of event, change or perceived improvement in business policy or government policy has unexpected side effects. It may weaken a system or organization, and lead to different type of fragilities. It also increases the appearance of so-called Black Swans (Taleb, 2007), low probability and high impact events, which can lead to a threat of irreversible losses (e.g., Fukushima), but also can lead to unexpected positive changes (like the development of the Internet). This is in particular importance in complex and tightly knit systems, where fragilities, bottlenecks, etc. can lead to chain effects (a phenomenon in complex systems) with unpredictable, irreversible and non-linear damage due to the strong interconnectedness (Hardford, 2011; Taleb, 2012).

    In the context of the uncertainties around the Brexit process, the question appears whether there are different kinds of vulnerabilities in the European Union, which can lead to different collapse scenarios with significant impact on the functioning of business. As different types of losses can be expected, management of such losses becomes elementary for the survival of organizations, but also administrative units. How to prepare for the disappearance of a market or industry? How to prepare for a loss in export market? How to prepare for a strengthening of integration in the euro zone, when a country or region is outside the euro zone? …….

    In this context, we would like to discuss from an interdisciplinary perspective the current state and future of the European Union, with a focus on the following issues:

    • What vulnerabilities and weakest links exist in the EU institutional structure?
    • Will the EU collapse? Should the EU collapse? 
    • The future of the EU in the context of: climate policy, refugee policy, democratic deficit, conflicting cultures and world views, and other relevant issues.
    • How can companies, administrative units and countries prepare for a collapse scenario? When a collapse is real, how can a disaster scenario be prevented?

    Please submit your papers (completed or nearly completed) or abstract via e-mail to: Prof. Joost Platje (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

    The submission deadline is September 1, 2020. Notification of acceptance: 5 September 2020.


    Harford, T. (2011), Adapt – why success always starts with failure, Little, Brown book group, London.

    Kahneman D. (2011), Thinking, Fast and Slow, Penguin Books, London.

    Taleb, N.N. (2007), The Black Swan - the impact of the highly improbable, Penguin Books, London.

    Taleb, N.N. (2012), Antifragile - things that gain from disorder, Penguin Books, London.

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