Re-Inventing Eastern Europe (7th Edition)

International Conference: Re-Inventing Eastern Europe
 

The 7th Euroacademia International Conference

 

Re-Inventing Eastern Europe

30 Years from the Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe

 

13 – 14 December 2019

 

Anglo American University, Prague, Czech Republic

School of International Relations and Diplomacy

 

Deadline: 1st of November 2019

 

Conference Description

 

Not a very long time ago, a British lady was considered bigoted by Gordon Brown upon asking ‘all these Eastern Europeans what are coming in, where are they flocking from?’(1). The zoological word is not a novelty in the cultural invention of Eastern Europe. Maybe, despite her concern with the dangers of immigration for Britain, the lady was right in showing that such a question still awaits for answers in Europe. The ironic aspect however is that a first answer to such a question would point to the fact that the Eastern Europeans come from the Western European imaginary. As Iver Neumann puts it, ‘regions are invented by political actors as a political program, they are not simply waiting to be discovered’(2). And, as Larry Wolff skillfully showed, Eastern Europe is an invention emanated initially from the intellectual agendas of the elites of Enlightenment that later found its peak of imaginary separation during the Cold War(3).

 

The Economist, explicitly considered Eastern Europe to be wrongly labelled and elaborated that ‘it was never a very coherent idea and it is becoming a damaging one’(4). The EU enlargement however was expected to make the East/West division obsolete under the veil of a prophesied convergence. That would have finally proven the non-ontological, historically contingent and unhappy nature of the division of Europe and remind Europeans of the wider size of their continent and the inclusive and empowering nature of their values. Yet, more than 20 years after the revolutions in the Central and Eastern European countries, Leon Mark, while arguing that the category of Eastern Europe is outdated and misleading, bitterly asked a still relevant question today: ‘will Europe ever give up the need to have an East?’(5)

 

Eastern Europe was invented as a region and continues to be re-invented from outside and inside. From outside its invention was connected with alterity making processes, and, from inside the region, the Central and Eastern European countries got into a civilizational beauty contest themselves in search of drawing the most western profile: what’s Central Europe, what’s more Eastern, what’s more Ottoman, Balkan, Byzantine, who is the actual kidnapped kid of the West, who can build better credentials by pushing the Easterness to the next border. A wide variety of scholars addressed the western narratives of making the Eastern European ‘other’ as an outcome of cultural politics of enlightenment, as an effect of EU’s need to delineate its borders, as an outcome of its views on security, or as a type of ‘orientalism’ or post-colonialism. Most of these types of approaches are still useful in analyzing the persistence of a East-West slope 30 years after the revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe. The region is understood now under a process of convergence, socialization and Europeanization that will have as outcomes an ‘ever closer union’ where the East and the West will fade away as categories. Yet the reality is far from such an outcome while the persistence of categories of alterity making towards the ‘East’ is not always dismantled simultaneously with the increased diversity of political patterns emerging in the region. The discourses on core/non-core, new Europe/old Europe, pioneers/followers, teachers/pupils, center/periphery, cosmos/chaos are often maintaining significant ground within the arena of European identity narratives often yet not exclusively voiced by the EU.

 

The 7th Euroacademia International Conference ‘Re-Inventing Eastern Europe’ aims rather than asserting to make a case and to provide alternative views on the dynamics, persistence and manifestations of the practices of alterity making that take place in Europe and broadly in the mental mappings of the world. It offers an opportunity for scholars, activists and practitioners to locate, discuss and debate the multiple dimensions in which specific narratives of alterity making towards Eastern Europe preserve their salience today in re-furbished and re-fashioned manners. The conference aims to look at the processes of alterity making as puzzles and to address the persistence of the East-West dichotomies simultaneously to assessing the diversity and change within the CEE region 30 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

 


(1) See the whole dialogue between Gillian Duffy and Gordon Brown on BBC News online at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/election_2010/8649448.stm

(2) Neumann, Iver. 2001. Regionalism and Democratisation. In Jan Zielonka and Alex Pravda (eds.), Democratic Consolidation in Eastern Europe, Vol 2 International Dimensions. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 58 – 75, p. 71.

(3) Wolff, Larry. 1994. Inventing Eastern Europe. The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

(4) The Economist, January 7th 2010, http://www.economist.com/node/15213108

(5) Marc, Leon. 2009. What’s So Eastern about Eastern Europe? Twenty Years After the Fall of The Berlin Wall. Trowbridge: Oldcastle Books, p.161.

Conference Panels

 

The Conference is organized around but not limited to the following tentative panels or topics:

 

  • The Agenda of the Enlightenment: Inventing Eastern Europe
  • Thinking Eastern Europe: Contributions to Understanding an Invented Region
  • Europe East and West: On the Persistence of the Division
  • Reviewing Alternative Modernities: East and West
  • Europe and the Inclusive/Exclusive Nexus
  • Mental Mappings on Eastern Europe
  • People-ing the Eastern Europeans
  • Geopolitical Views on the East-West Division
  • Post-colonial readings of Eastern Europe
  • Making Borders to the East: Genealogies of Othering
  • Europe as Seen from its East
  • Myths and Misconceptions on Eastern Europe
  • Social Causes and the Pursuit of Social Beliefs in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Protest and Social Change in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Central Europe vs. Eastern Europe
  • Reading the Past: On Memory and Memorialization
  • The Eastern European ‘Other’ Inside the European Union
  • Core Europe/Non-Core Europe
  • European Values and the Process of Europeanization of Eastern Europe as Pedagogy
  • Assessing Convergence in Eastern Europe
  • Explaining Divergence and Diversity in Eastern Europe
  • Central and Eastern Europe and the EU
  • Scenarios for the Future of Eastern Europe
  • Debating the End of European Solidarity
  • Eastern Europe and Asymmetries of Europeanization
  • Re-making Eastern Europe: Pushing the Easterness to the Next Border
  • From the Ottoman Empire to Russia: Cultural Categories in the Making of Eastern Europe
  • Go West! Migration from Eastern Europe and Experiences of ‘Othering’
  • Explaining the Growth of Far Right Movements and Populist Parties in Eastern Europe
  • Lifestyles and the Quotidian Peculiarities of the Invented East
  • Europe and the Logic of Growth through Austerity: The Impact on Eastern Europe of the Crises
  • Visual Representation of Eastern Europe in Film: From Dracula to Barbarian Kings
  • Guidebooks for the Savage Lands: Representations of Eastern Europe in Travel Guides
  • Urban Landscapes in Eastern Europe
  • Religion and Politics in Eastern Europe
  • European Narratives of the Past: The Mnemonic/Amnesic Nexuses
  • Eastern European Literature and Authors
  • Changing Politics and the Transformation of Cities in Eastern Europe
  • Eastern Europe and Artistic Movements
  • Writing about the East in West
  • Writing about the West in East
  • The Eastern European ‘Other’ Inside the European Union
  • The Formation of European Subaltern Identities
  • Europe and Russia
  • European Diplomacy and Consensus in Foreign Policy: What Role for Eastern Europe?
  • Feminist Readings of Contemporary Eastern Europe
  • Gender Politics in CEE
  • Illiberal States – From Negative Determinants to a Self-Affirming Ideology and State Positioning
  • Anti-Immigration, Nationalism and Far Right Parties in Central And Eastern Europe
  • Migration Routes and New Walls In CEE
  • Assessing the Quality of Democracy and Convergence in the Region

However, if you are willing to propose and/or chair a particular panel we welcome you to advance your proposal in the Propose a Panel section.

Propose a Panel

Deadline for Panel Proposals: 15th of October 2019

Each Panel may contain a maximum of 5 speakers and a Chair that will act also as discussant in the proceedings.
 

Panel Proposal Form

 

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The Readings of the Past: On Memory and Memorialization in Central and Eastern Europe

 

Panel Description

 

One can look at the EU’s formation as based on forgetting rather than remembering. For Europe, as Tony Judt puts it, ‘the past is another country’. In connection with the European integration of CEE countries, one dichotomised pattern came out of their particular relation with the past when meeting the EU’s amnesic nature. The process of integration became indicative of the second-rate concern for the newcomers’ past and a similar pattern of amnesia between 1945/1989 moments as trademarks for Europe took shape. Central and Eastern European past became a function of othering inside the EU that preserves a core monopoly on selective remembrance while peripherializes issues of high salience for the new members.

By looking at the EU institutional narratives, it was argued that within the texts of the European treaties we can already find visible attempts to unify the historical roots of integration in forms that promote an ‘official’ historiography through which ‘some aspects of the European legacy are accepted and some are definitively rejected’ (Larat 2005: 283) while the EU’s enlargements were shaped also by an acquis historique communautaire. In the last twenty years it became visible the asymmetrical nature of cognitive perceptions on the ‘proper way’ to deal with the past in the two socially constructed sides of Europe. In this sense, ‘a division along the East-West line is still an object of reproduction and reification’ (Challand 2009: 397). On one side, from a Western Europeans perspective, if we are to use the East-West slope stereotypes, the last 30 years are a pretext for not cozy commemoration of unclear circumstances in 1989 that have anyway to be integrated as European in their victory and non-European in their past. On the other side, from an Eastern European perspective, emerges an embarrassing confusion on a multitude of not yet clear events that leads to discursive avoidance of remembrance, sometimes politically correct sometimes not, in favor of simply commemorative discourses joined by an exotic feeling of being somehow different and particular in the actual context of Europe.
 
Various authors made a research case from the emergence of a ‘subaltern’ type of memory politics for the East European new members inside the EU. CEE countries made insistent demands for inclusion in a pan-European mnemonic loci of an alternative view of the history, and unfolded resistance towards a traditionally liminal status assigned to them in Europe. ‘Becoming’ European has become a struggle for the recognition of Europeaness. However this struggle did not found much attention and willingness to listen from the ‘old’ Europe that prefers to look away when the thin line drawn on a ‘settled’ view of history is questioned. And this in the context of an identity making struggle inside the EU that has so often the tendency to endorse one particular western identity through an assimilatory attitude towards newcomers (Blokker 2008).
 
This panel aims to look further to a future research agenda on competing remembrances involved in the EU politics and in the limits of the EU’s inclusive attitude towards the past of the new members. This is to pursue within the mentioned puzzle an analysis of the nexuses involved in the European memory and identity making by looking at the ways alternative narrations of the past are included or limited in their effort to become part of a common European memory understood as legitimizing narrative for unity.
 
The panel welcomes papers on (but not limited to) following suggested topics:
 

  • Central and Eastern Europe in Search of its Past
  • Memory and Memorialization: Trademarks in CEE History Reading
  • Selective Remembrance and Forgetting in CEE
  • Narratives of Europeaness: Claiming the European Past
  • Official EU Historiographies: Reading the Past Selectively
  • Historical Inclusion/Exclusion of the CEE Past Within the European Memory Narratives
  • Sites of Memorialization in CEE
  • EU’s Acquis Historique Communautaire
  • The Past and the Need for Recognition
  • Concurrent and Alternative Readings of Historical Trademarks in CEE Countries

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by 1st of November 2019 to [email protected]

Space and Imaginary Geographies of Eastern Europe

 

Panel Description

 

The spatial division of Europe between East and West got its complex imaginary features during the Cold War though it’s not even by far its invention. Larry Wolff (1994) placed the formation of the East-West division of Europe within the logic of the Western enlightenment that through self-promotion, intellectual artifice and ideological self-interest invented Eastern Europe as part of an agenda in which ‘intellectual discovery and mastery could not be entirely separated from the possibility of real conquest’ (Wolff 1994: 8). The formation of organized knowledge of the Eastern Europe starting with the 18th century was dependent upon the intellectual program of the Enlightenment whose cartography and mental mappings that framed the region carried the civilizing superiority and missionaries’ pride aiming ultimately to assimilate and imprint its domination. After the Second World War, ‘Eastern Europe could only be surrendered because it had long ago been imagined, discovered, claimed, and set apart’ (Wolff 1994: 143). And after the end of the Cold War the traces of mental mappings are still in place shaping the narratives of a quasi-inclusive logic of the EU.
 
The spatial dimension of the persisting nexuses and of an East-West slope refers to security concerns and perceived threats resulted from the enlargement. It addresses as well the challenges to the emergence of a European ‘monotopia’ and the mental hierarchizations of the European citizens enjoying the forth freedom inside the EU, based on a persisting cartography of belonging. Geographical imaginary frames the EU enlargement process by producing identitarian discourses about a perceived European threatened Self and a threatening Other. The EU enlargement is geopolitical in the sense that it discursively ‘invokes and inscribes borders of Europe and Europeanness, of the West and Western values’ (Kuus 2007: 4). Though not essentially geographic, Europe develops cultural terms for delineative discourses that function as well as a value-driven geography that assigns places with gradations on the scale of Europeaness. The process of enlargement multiplied EUropean hegemonic discourses from the centers of power to the power margins of the new members that are caught between being in the ‘waiting room’ of Europe and pushing the Easterness to their next borders.
 
Reshaped through enlargement the Cold War division dissolved into a tripartite one between ‘core’ Europe, not yet full Europe and Eastern peripheries out of the membership promise. The second category is within the present argument the EU’s internal other. It’s reified in mental mapping as a concentric extension of the European core while Europeaness declines as one moves east. Though not an outsider but a carrier of internal negative connotations on scaling the Europeanness towards east, the new EU member is preserved under the premise of otherness, since its transformations are seen solely as the result of Western tutelage. This leads to the current anti-monotopic views on Europe that scale the Europeanness in multiple hierarchizations. Some argues that the slope of Europeanness became a constitutive part of the process of Eastern enlargement as foreign policy and impacted the perpetuation of a discursive practice that persists in the ongoing process of integration. EU unfolds a type of identity-based geopolitics detached from any military meaning of threats yet based on civilizational mappings.
 
A widespread spatial polycentrism and concentricity is visible on the background of the cosmopolitan projection of a European monotopia and of a frictionless mobility space. In spatial terms, despite the overall widespread European disparities among regions, Central and Eastern Europe is most often ‘spaced’ as a land of underdevelopment and laggardness within an imagined geography. A brief look on the Western European’s travel impressions of the region available on internet, one can easily recapture the atmosphere of travel logs from the times of Enlightenment when ‘amazing adventures could occur in Eastern Europe, especially because it was so close to Orient, and not much further from outer space’ (Wolff 1994: 104).
 
This panel aims to address from the point of human geography or of cultural geopolitics the space perceptions on Eastern Europe. Some suggested topics for the panel are:

  • ‘Spacing’ Europe – East and West
  • Axiological Geography: EU as a Neo-Medieval Empire
  • European Enlargement and the New Peripheries of Europe
  • Geopolitics of the Enlargement Towards Eastern Europe
  • Human Geographies: Hierarchies of Europeanism
  • Travel and Adventure in the Lands of Eastern Europe
  • Geographical Ignorance: Outer Space and the Borders of Europe
  • The Variable Geography of Europe
  • Pushing Borders to the East: Naming the Europeans
  • Bloodlands: History and Changing Borders in CEE
  • Geopolitical Narratives of the Protectors of the Gates of Europe
  • Geography and Ethnicity in CEE
  • Geography and Religion in CEE
  • Securitizing Narratives at the Borders
  • Changing Geographies in CEE: From Empires to Nation States
  • Geographic Variation in the Formation of Nation States in CEE
  • Secession, Assimilation and Territorial Claims in CEE
  • Geographies of Resources in CEE
  • Displaying Allegiance: Political and Military Spheres of Influence and Threats in CEE

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by 1st of November 2019 to [email protected]

The EU’s Internal Other: Eastern Europe as a Persisting Alterity

 

Panel Description

 

Eastern Enlargement took place within a framework of deeply asymmetric relations between the EU and the candidate countries. A robust theory of enlargement explains the interests driven determination of Central and Eastern European countries to join while they entrapped – according to the dominant constructivist readings – through strategic action the Western European side of the EU in its rhetoric of commitment to norms and values as inescapable arguments to enlarge. This approach preserves a different type of asymmetry while treating candidate countries as identitarian tabula rasa lacking any logic of appropriateness in their pursuit of joining the EU. Yet when any identitarian construct was to be invoked, most often the reference was rerouted to the Cold War attributes of the region as laggard, uncivilized, byzantine or ottoman in its preferences and behaviors. This is to name applicant states in their profile as Europe’s constitutive others.
 
A wide variety of scholars addressed the EU’s narratives of making the Eastern European other as an outcome of cultural politics of enlightenment, as an effect of EU’s need to delineate its borders, as an outcome of its views on security or as a type of ‘orientalism’ or post-colonialism. Yet most of these types of approaches were forgotten in analyzing the persistence of an East-West slope after the enlargement effectively took place. The region is understood now under a process of convergence, socialization and Europeanization that will have as outcome an ‘ever closer union’ where the East and the West will fade away as categories. Yet the reality is far from such an outcome while the persistence of categories of alterity making towards the new members is not dismantled. The discourse on core-periphery, new Europe/old Europe is rather gaining increasing ground in the arena of European identity narratives voiced by the EU.
 
This panel aims to welcome papers on case-studies in which the EU narratives of othering towards Central and Eastern Europe preserve their salience. The core periphery nexus within the EUropean identity making is looked upon as an internal process of alterity making that takes the shape in concentric circles hierarchizations. The present panel advances the EU’s internal processes of alterity making as a puzzle and looks at the persistence of the East-West dichotomies inside the EU.

 
The panel welcomes papers on (but not limited to):
 

  • The EU and Cultural Hierarchies of Europe
  • Eastern Europe – The Eternal Pupil of the West
  • Free Movement, Migration and Alterity Making inside the EU
  • Historicity and the Past in EU’s Formation
  • Identitarian Politics and Preferential Understandings of What Europe is All About
  • Nostalgia and Memory: Competing Ways of Seeing the Past
  • Politically Engineered Perceptions of Eastern Europeans as a Threat to European Values
  • More or Less Europeans: Grading and Generalizations of these Unknown People
  • Persisting Asymmetries in Treating the New EU Members
  • Civilizational Vocabularies: On the Linguistic Creativity in Naming and Placing Eastern Europeans

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by 1st of November 2019 to [email protected]

Visual Urban Transformations: Transition and Change in Urban Image Construction in Central and Eastern Europe

 

Panel Description

 

As the chaotic canvases of cities are being stretched over a framework of identity, its further exploration seems more than appropriate. Amidst the incredibly rapid urban growth crowding more than half of the world population in towns and cities, the questions are only going to keep multiplying. How are city identities made and re-made, used and abused, imagined and narrated, politicized and communicated, expressed and projected, imposed and marketed? And above all, how do they thrive within the dynamic interpolation of the nexus of East-West, Europe-Balkans, and center-periphery, urban – suburban, old and new. As out-dated as these dichotomies sound, in many places their daily life is far from over. As old cities became new capitals and new capitals struggle for more capital, the challenges of maintaining state-driven collective identities in the face of cultural fragmentation and diversification, coupled with consumer-attractiveness is turning them into urban palimpsest. This transformation is ever more complex in the cities of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. In these last decades, during the period of sociopolitical and cultural deconstruction, the redefinition of their urban space reflect the need to refashion, consolidate or even establish their new/old identities. Flooded with imported ‘non-places’, (not) dealing with the material legacy of memories of the recent past that seem unable to resolve, trying to accept or reject the rest of Europe in the race towards ‘Europeanization’, these cities adopt different approaches in their aim to resemble and at the same time, differ. Zagreb generously welcomed its marketing nickname “pocket size Vienna”, while regenerating itself with the mega Museum of Contemporary Art tailored up to an imagined ‘Western European’ standard. Skopje’s attention seeking project transformed the ‘open city of solidarity’ into a literal national identity construction site. The list goes on. Queuing to win the old continent’s capital of culture contest and eager to squeeze into the ever-enlarging itinerary of the consumerist Grand Tour, the only thing cities are not allowed to be, is invisible.
 
As the research on cultural identities of the city is becoming more abundant, this panel aims at adopting a wide-lens inter-disciplinary approach, while focusing on various transitional processes affecting identities in the urban context in its global-regional-national-local interplay.
 
We welcome any papers which focus on the following topics:

  • Collective Memory, Identity and Urban Image Construction
  • Appropriation, Istrumentalisation and Functualisation of Public Space
  • Contemporary Nomadism and the City as a Common Denominator for Collective Identities
  • Architecture as ‘Politics with Bricks and Mortar’
  • Is There a New Rise of the City-State?
  • Urban Regeneration Projects, Landmark Buildings and ‘Starchitects’
  • Non-Places and (Non)Identity
  • Immigrants and the Cultural Identity of Cities
  • City Marketing and City Branding in Transition
  • European Capitals of Culture and European Identity
  • Identity Creation and the Cultural Offer of the City
  • Urban Cultural Heritage as Identity-Anchor
  • Creative Changes of the Cities
  • Art and Industry in Urban Development
  • Urban Aesthetics
  • Ugliness, Kitsch and Value in Shaping Contemporary Urban Spaces
  • Post-Communism and the Shape of Urban Change
  • East-West Nexuses in Urban Development

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by 1st of November 2019 to [email protected]

Art as Cultural Diplomacy: (Re)Constructing Notions of Eastern and Western Europe

 

Panel Proposed by: Cassandra Sciortino
University of California, Santa Barbara
 

Panel Description

 

The panel “Art as Cultural Diplomacy” seeks papers that explore the function of art (in its broadest definition) as an instrument of cultural diplomacy by the state and, especially, by nongovernmental actors. The main theme of the session is the question of art and diplomacy in Europe before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Papers are welcome which explore issues related to the role of art, diplomacy and the politicization of the European Union and its candidate countries, as are those which consider how the arts have pursued or resisted East-West dichotomies and other narratives of alterity in Europe and worldwide. The panel seeks to combine a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives to explore how art–its various practices, history, and theory–are an important area of inquiry in the expanding field of cultural diplomacy.
 
Some examples of topics include:

  • How can art serve as a neutral platform for exchange to promote dialogue and understanding between foreign states?
  • How can art, including organized festivals (i.e. film, art, music.), cultivate transnational identities that undermine dichotomies of East and West, and other narratives of alterity in Europe and beyond it?
  • The implications for art as an instrument of diplomacy in a postmodern age where geopolitics and power are increasingly mobilized by image based structures of persuasion
  • How has/can art facilitate cohesion between European Union member states and candidate states that effectively responds to the EU’s efforts to create “unity in diversity.”
  • The politics of mapping Europe: mental and cartographic
  • Community based art as a social practice to engage issues of European identity
  • The difference between art as cultural diplomacy and propaganda
  • The digital revolution and the emergence of social media as platforms for art to communicate across social, cultural, and national boundaries?
  • Diplomacy in the history of art in Europe and Eastern Europe
  • Artists as diplomats
  • Art history as diplomacy–exhibitions, post-colonial criticism, global art history, and other revisions to the conventional boundaries of Europe and its history of art
  • The international activity of cultural institutes

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by 1st of November 2019 to [email protected]

Central East European Economies: Trade, Development and Structural Change in the Region

 
Panel Proposed by: Anca Voicu, Rollins College, Florida, USA
 

Panel Description

 

Among the major economic developments of the past three decades, the transition of the former centrally planned economies of Central East Europe (CEE) to market-driven economies has received great interest from economists, academics and policy makers around the world. One intriguing aspect of this transition is the diversity of the scenarios undertaken by individual countries in reforming their economies, yet remaining within the common framework of mainstream economic policy. There is strong evidence that trade is the primary engine for the growth experienced by these economies and, of the transition process itself and, furthermore, it is central to the current process of development and deeper integration of these economies into the European Union.
 
This panel focuses on the integration process of the CEE economies into the European Union, their outstanding economic performance following accession, the significant challenges faced since the global financial crisis of 2008 as well as their road to economic recovery.
 
The research considered for this panel looks initially at the process of economic integration of the CEE countries through trade; however, it emphasizes the broader aspects of structural change and economic development, caused by trade, foreign direct investment and technology transfer. It is predominantly concerned with the implications that European and intra-CEE trade has had for structural transformation and economic dynamics.
 
A distinct feature of our panel, therefore, is that the discussion moves beyond the core ‘trade and growth’ framework to look at technological progress, foreign investment and structural change in the CEE region.
 
The specific issues that represent the focus of this panel are the following:

  • Trade, and its importance, as the main engine for the growth of the economies of the CEE region.
  • EU membership and its importance in fostering and facilitating economic change including growth, reducing corruption, high quality governance, as well as increasing the living standards for CEE nations.
  • The role of history and culture in explaining the current economic standing of the CEE economies as well as their contribution in shaping their future
  • The role of FDI in improving technological structures and accelerating growth in the CEE economies.
  • The role and importance of institutions in the context of transition and post accession into the EU.
  • The vulnerabilities present in the region and policy measures to overcome them.

 
Contributions explaining the CEE countries trade performance and potential are welcome. Case studies illustrating the idea of path dependency in the economy, with policy approaches taken by various countries and their implications for economic growth and development, are strongly encouraged.
 
Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by 1st of November 2019 to [email protected]

30 Years from the Revolutions in CEE: Assessing the Political Dynamics of an Invented Region

 
 

Panel Description

 

The Revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe were some of the most enthusiastic political moments of the last decades of the twentieth century, bringing to a close the long-lasting and dividing Iron Curtain and dismembering not only the wall of Berlin but the whole dichotomist enmity driven view of separation between Eastern and Western Europe. The Cold War was over and together with it came, for some theorists, the end of history as a universalizing victory of liberal democracy and gradual historical dissolution of its opponents. The post-socialist nations were perceived after 1989 as collectively engaged in a transition towards liberal democracy with hierarchies shaping in the group of post-communist countries around the champions of reformism, rule of law and openness followed by the reluctantly illiberal states lagging behind in reforms, free market openness, rule of law and human rights protection and shadowed by some non-liberal countries falling back in state capture, corruption and return to new types of authoritarianism. The leading narrative however in strategizing on the future of the region was dominated by the idea of gradual convergence towards liberal democracy, be it by internal political will or by external carrot and stick influencing strategies. The integration of specific groups of countries in NATO and/or the European Union strengthened the vision of an emerging convergence of the leading countries to be followed by example by the laggards in the region. However, such a dominant narrative – even if parsimonious – proved to be in many details simplifying if not bluntly simplistic.
 
30 years after the revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe, the fall of the Soviet Union and of the Berlin Wall, the countries in the region prove substantive diversity, signs of divergence rather than convergence, political crisis and segmentation, plurality of allegiances and of perceived threats. Many of the countries in CEE proved to be models of excellence, champions of democratization and innovation, growing towards real economic convergence with the `old` countries in the EU. Others took a slower pace of gradual democratization mainly determined by external influence and benefits of European integration while still followed by the specters of corruption and inefficient economic development. Others were left out in limited impact vicinity agreements and slow pace of converging towards integration due to less credible incentives while some post-soviet republics receded in forms of authoritarianism and state capture. Russia re-consolidated its influence in the region and world politics and reasserted its opposition toward post-soviet republics’ aspirations to closer cooperation or integration in Euro-Atlantic arrangements in several contexts through aggressive means as is the recent case of annexing Crimea. Robert Legvold even goes as far as to assert the emergence of a Second Cold War. In the meantime, after the financial crisis of 2008, the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States and the unfolding of the migration crisis in Europe, some of the `model` countries in the region revolved to nationalism, populism and ironically to opposing models of liberal democracy by transforming the meaning of the initially pejorative term and assertively proclaiming themselves `illiberal states`. If initially the term illiberal democracies referred to laggard countries in CEE in establishing the rule of law and human rights, democracy and eradicating corruption, it was now refurbished by Hungarian and Polish leading politicians – while similar tendencies are detectable in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia – as an aspect of democratic regression to promote their populist agendas, reluctance to liberal models, resistance to immigration and European decision-making indicated as threats, re-assertion of nationalism and limitations to the academic and press freedom.
 
All this factors show intuitively that by no means it’s easy to look and discuss the political dynamics of such a diverse and often diverging region as Central and Eastern Europe in its developments from the revolutions of 30 years ago. However, this panel aims to address a diversity of micro-assessments and case studies that could even marginally account for a `state of the region` and for provisions and scenarios for future development. The panel welcomes contributions addressing comparative, regional, country-based or local studies providing evaluative understandings of changes and political dynamics in Central and Eastern Europe from the revolutions in 1989 until now.
 
Some of the topics to be considered non-exclusively for the panel include:
 

  • Reading the Past: Memories of Revolutions in CEE
  • Claims of Memorialization in CEE
  • From Authoritarianism to Democracy: Regime Change and Path Dependencies
  • Patterns of Democratization in Post-Socialist Countries
  • Transition and Conflict in CEE
  • Asymmetry And Economic Dependency in CEE
  • European Integration: Eastern Enlargement and Hierarchies of Europeanization in CEE
  • The Visegrád Group and Club Based Associations in CEE
  • Defense, Foreign Policy and International Security in CEE
  • Convergence and Divergence in CEE
  • Emergence of Historical Revisionisms in CEE
  • Perceived Civilizational Hierarchies in Europe
  • Brain Drain and Migration from CEE after 1989
  • Changing Demography of a Region
  • The `Migration Issue` and the Opposition towards Brussels in CEE
  • Illiberal States – From Negative Determinants To A Self-Affirming Ideology And State Positioning
  • From Euro-Enthusiasm to Euro-Skepticism in CEE
  • Migration Routes and New Walls In CEE
  • Populists in Power in CEE and the `Democratic Fatigue`
  • Emerging Dichotomies in Allegiances in CEE: US versus EU from the Intervention in Iraq to Trump Era
  • Russia and its Influence in CEE
  • China’s Growing Economic Role in Central Europe and the Balkans
  • Anti-Regime Demonstrations, Protest and Social Movements in CEE after 1989
  • Anti-Immigration, Nationalism and Far Right Parties in Central And Eastern Europe
  • Assessing The Quality Of Democracy And Convergence In The Region
  • Decline of Liberal Consensus in CEE
  • Scenarios on the Future of CEE

 

Please apply on-line or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation by 1st of November 2019 to [email protected]

Participant’s Profile

The conference is addressed to academics, researchers and professionals with a particular interest in Central and Eastern Europe, Europe related and European Union topics from all parts of the world. As the nature of the conference is intended to be multidisciplinary in nature, different academic backgrounds are equally welcomed. Cultural approaches, political studies, critical studies, out of mainstream approaches and artistic/literary contributions to the better understanding of Central and Eastern Europe in its past present and future dimensions are all equally welcomed. Euroacademia favors alternative and innovative thinking proposals and non-mainstream methodologies.

 

Post-graduate students, doctoral candidates and young researchers are welcomed to submit an abstract. Representatives of INGOs, NGOs, Think Tanks and activists willing to present their work with impact on or influenced by specific understandings of Central and Eastern Europe are welcomed as well to submit the abstract of their contribution.

 

Abstracts will be reviewed and the participants are selected based on the proven quality of the abstract. The submitted paper for the conference proceedings is expected to be in accordance with the lines provided in the submitted abstract.

Registration and Fee

 

Registration fee is 195 Euro

 

The Participation Fee Includes:

 

  • the conference registration and full access to proceedings
  • participant’s package with all the materials for the conference
  • official invitation
  • eligibility for inclusion in the publications resulting from the conference
  • access to Euroacademia discussion group and newsletters
  • coffee brakes with refreshing drinks for all the duration of the conference
  • a 3 course lunch on 13th of December 2019 at a typical Czech cuisine restaurant
  • a 3 course lunch on 14th of December 2019 at a typical Czech cuisine restaurant
  • certificate of attendance
  • access to optional social program

 
 
Unfortunately, Euroacademia has no available funds for any financial assistance in arranging transport and accommodation to/in Prague. Participants are responsible for securing funding to cover transportation and accommodation costs during the whole period of the conference. Official invitation letters can be sent by Euroacademia to the financing institution to confirm the selection and participation in the conference upon request.
 

A specific spot in the conference program will be dedicated to social networking and therefore all the participants interested in setting or developing further cooperation agendas and prospects with other participants will have time to present and/or promote their project and express calls for cooperation.

 

A specific setting (Social Corner) for promotional materials connected with the topic of the conference will be reserved for the use of the participants. Books authored or edited by the participants can be exhibited and promoted during the whole period of the conference and can also be presented within the conference package based on prior arrangements.

 
Photos and videos will be taken during the conference and the organizers will consider through the participation of selected presenters or members of the audience that the agreement for being photographed or filmed during the event was granted through registration to the event. Please notify the organizers in written form prior to the the event if you are a confirmed participant and would prefer otherwise.
 

An optional dinner and a social event will be organized for the second evening of the conference in a typical Czech cuisine restaurant as optional program for the willing participants. The social dinner will be held based on participant’s confirmation and covered by participants individually on spot based on their order.

 

Publication:

Selected papers will be published in an electronic volume with ISBN after the confirmation of the authors and a double peer-review process based on an agreed publication schedule. All the papers selected for publication should be original and must have not been priory published elsewhere. All participants to the conference will receive a copy of the volume.

 

Specific selected papers will be also published in CEJISS (Central European Journal of International & Security Studies)

 

About CEJISS
Formally launched in January 2007, CEJISS is designed as a double-destination scholarly bridge. The first bridge was constructed with Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) in mind, focusing on increasing the audience for Central European scholars. In this regard, CEJISS is making a substantial impact as each issue attracts attention in some 45,000 people in nearly 160 countries. However, CEJISS is not Central European centric and invites scholars from around the world to contribute. This has meant that just as Central European scholars now have an easier time gaining a footing outside of the region, so international scholars also have an easier time getting in and making an impact here. With a mere two decades separating our times from the ‘darker’ Cold War years, CEJISS aims to contribute English language perspectives to the peoples of Central Europe and give the latter the amplification their research deserves.

Important Dates
15th of October 2019 Deadline for Submitting Panel Proposals
1st of November 2019 Deadline for Submitting Paper Proposals
4th of November 2019 Latest notification of acceptance
7th of November 2019 Sending the Registration Form
11th of November 2019 Payment of the conference fee
28th of November 2019 Sending the draft paper to be uploaded on the conference website
29th of November 2019 Publication of the conference program and uploading the draft papers on the website
13th of December 2019 The conference commences at 9.00 am

 
[In order to facilitate better travel arrangements for selected participants, the paper proposals are analyzed on a constant basis through regular meetings of the Selection Committee and therefore a response to the application will be delivered in maximum 5 days after the application.]
 

Venue and Directions

 
 

The conference will take place in the beautiful premises of the Anglo-American University, centrally located in the heart of Prague, few steps away from the fabulous XIVth century Charles Bridge and within a walking distance from the main historical landmarks of Prague and in the proximity of the Franz Kafka Museum.

 

 

Anglo American University, Prague

Letenska 5
118 00, Prague, Czech Republic
 
Anglo-American University is the oldest private institution of higher education in the Czech Republic and provides a personalized and distinctive university education in the English language. Utilizing the best from American and British academic traditions, Anglo-American University educates future leaders and global citizens in a multicultural setting of students and faculty from over 60 different countries.
 

 
With its main campus situated right under the Prague Castle in the historic district of Malá Strana, AAU boasts one of the most attractive locations of any Central European university. The palace offers 16 modern fully-equipped classrooms, a computer lab and a visual arts studio along with a cafeteria, spacious courtyard and modern student lounges for studying and socializing. Located next to the palace and directly accessible from the campus is the beautiful park Vojan Gardens.
 


 

Prague is a wonderful European city with a very rich history and a vivid passionate intellectual life; a place full of various and inspiring cultural events, sightseeing opportunities, great food, exquisite architecture and of course the city that brings easily to your mind Jan Hus, Franz Kafka, Jan Palach, the Prague Spring, and Milan Kundera. After all these, the unique atmosphere gives anyone a chance for personal memories and reveries. Prague is a city of beautiful moments!

 




 

 
See full details for arriving at the conference location:

HERE


 

 

Conference participants are fully responsible for arranging their accommodation and travel to Prague.

Application Form

 

The 7th Euroacademia International Conference

Re-Inventing Eastern Europe

 

Deadline for applications: 1st of November 2019

 

Anglo American University, Prague, Czech Republic

 
[In order to facilitate better travel arrangements for selected participants, the paper proposals are analyzed on a constant basis through regular meetings of the Selection Committee and therefore a response to the application will be delivered in maximum 5 working days after the application.]
 

Please check your e-mail for a confirmation of receipt. In case you won’t receive a confirmation in 48 hours, send your abstract proposal also by e-mail to [email protected]

 

Application Form

 

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