CfP Panel: 30 Years from the Revolutions in CEE: Assessing the Political Dynamics of an Invented Region, Prague, 13 – 14 December 2019

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Call for Papers for the Panel:

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

As part of the 7th Euroacademia International Conference

‘Re-Inventing Eastern Europe: 30 Years from the Revolutions in CEE’

School of International Relations and Diplomacy

Anglo-American University, Prague, Czech Republic

 

13th - 14th of December 2019

Deadline: 1st of November 2019

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 PostSocialist 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
  • The `Migration Issue` and the Opposition towards Brussels in CEE
  • Changing Demography of a Region
  • Illiberal States – From Negative Determinants To A SelfAffirming Ideology And State Positioning
  • From EuroEnthusiasm 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
  • China’s Growing Economic Role in Central Europe and the Balkans
  • AntiRegime Demonstrations, Protest and Social Movements in CEE after 1989
  • AntiImmigration, Nationalism and Far Right Parties in Central And Eastern Europe
  • Assessing The Quality Of Democracy And Convergence In The Region
  • Russia and its Influence in CEE
  • Decline of Liberal Consensus in CEE
  • Scenarios on the Future of CEE

 

Please use the from to apply on-line on the conference website or submit abstracts of less than 300 words together with the details of affiliation until 1st of November 2019 to application@euroacademia.org

For full details of the conference, please see before applying the conference website:

http://euroacademia.eu/conference/7th-reinventing-eastern-europe/