Conference: Post-Cold War. Change and Continuity in the Making of a New World Order at the turn of the 1990s, University of Minnesota, October 27th-28th, 2016.

Juhana Aunesluoma's picture
Call for Papers
June 20, 2016
Minnesota, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, German History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies, Russian or Soviet History / Studies

Post-Cold War. Change and Continuity in the Making of a New World Order at the turn of the 1990s

27-28 October 2016, the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Hosted by the Department of History, the Institute for Global Studies and the Centre of German and European Studies at the University of Minnesota in association with the University of Helsinki, Finland. Convenor: visiting professor Juhana Aunesluoma.

Keynote speakers: Mark Kramer, Harvard University, Raymond Duvall, University of Minnesota, Kimmo Rentola, University of Helsinki.

The Cold War’s end at the turn of the 1990s has become a focal point in the study of international relations history. Already at the time, the end of the superpower confrontation, regime changes in Central and Eastern Europe, Germany’s reunification, the deepening of European integration and the dissolution of the Soviet Union generated considerable interest in various fields.

Besides highlighting different regional, institutional and ideational dimensions of the transformation of international politics at the Cold War’s end, recent advances in archive- and interview-based research have also shown the significance of continuities and the rootedness of the post-Cold War international order on foundations established during the superpower conflict. Newer research has also stressed the significance of the ‘long’ 1980s in laying out the fundamentals of the Post-Cold War world.

This conference will bring together scholars working in history, international relations and related fields to re-evaluate existing knowledge and present new findings on the course and the significance of the end of the Cold War and the beginning of the post-Cold War era. The organizers are particularly interested in contributions that explore elements of change and continuity in the transformation of the international order in the 1980s and 1990s. To what extent should this period be understood as a critical juncture with an unusual degree of systemic openness and fluidity on the global and regional levels? If so, was it then preceded and followed by an international system that has been less open for realignments of power, institutional orders and their normative aspects?

Besides exploring world politics at the turn of the 1990s, we also want to encourage participants to re-evaluate prevailing conceptualizations of the history of international relations into the ‘Cold War’ and ‘post-Cold War’ eras. It has been customary, in the absence of a better term, to label international relations since the turn of the 1990s as the ‘post-Cold War’ era. The organizers are interested in exploring to what extent there may be grounds to use this term more specifically to describe a distinct transitory phase beginning from superpower détente in the 1980s and culminating in a process of change until the mid-1990s, which was then followed by a more diffuse epoch.

The conference organizers invite paper proposals based on original research that offer new accounts on the end of the Cold War from different perspectives, geographic areas and levels of analysis. Our understanding of international relations and relevant actors is broad, including, inter alia, domestic, ideological, cultural, economic and transnational dimensions. Papers are especially welcome that explore questions of change and continuity, perceptions and expectations of actors, visions of the future, and realized and unrealized plans for the institutional and normative reconfiguration of the international order following the Cold War’s end.

Please send brief proposals (350 words maximum) to the organizers, accompanied by a 1 page CV, to by June 20th 2016. Early career-scholars may apply for support of their air travel and hotel costs from the organizers.


Contact Info: 

Research Director Juhana Aunesluoma

Network for European Studies, University of Helsinki