The University of Heidelberg invites paper proposals for the Workshop “Parliaments and Political Transformations in Europe and Asia: Political Representation in Russia, China, Mongolia, and Ukraine in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century” to take place on February 12–13, 2019.
Focusing on the histories of political representation and deliberative decision-making in Russia, China, Mongolia, and Ukraine, as well as in the imperial formations which preceded them (the Qing Empire, the Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union), the workshop will explore the role of parliaments in major social and political transformations of the twentieth and twenty-first century. Juxtaposing the periods of the 1900s–1920s and the 1980s–2000s, the organizers seek to stimulate the dialogue between historians, political scientists, and other scholars working on the named contexts, as well as to breach the divide between Eastern European and East Asian Studies. The workshop will trace the emergence of so-called “peripheral” parliaments in early twentieth century Eurasia, discuss the eclipse of parliamentary institutions in republican and communist China, the Soviet Union, and socialist Mongolia, and examine post-socialist and post-authoritarian parliamentary designs in Russia, Ukraine, Mongolia, and Taiwan. Special attention will be devoted to the role of parliaments and parliamentary formations (such as congresses and councils) in representation and management of ethnic, religious, regional, and other social and cultural diversity, recruitment of elites, and legitimation of political and economic regimes. One of the workshop’s main goals is to challenge the persistent stereotypes about inclinations towards democracy in particular national or regional contexts by foregrounding relevant transnational practices and interactions and including nuanced political and intellectual histories of parliamentarism into the global discussion.
Paper proposals can address parliamentary developments in one or several contexts, interactions among imperial and post-imperial intellectuals and their engagement in global discussions, shared imperial and socialist legacies, mutual borrowings and references, political practices and translatability of concepts on the territories of today’s Russia, China, Mongolia, and Ukraine. The organizers will also consider submissions related to the neighboring contexts (e.g., the territories of the former Ottoman and Habsburg Empires). After the workshop, the organizers will submit a selection of papers to a leading peer-reviewed journal for consideration for a special issue or a thematic section.
The workshop is part of the project “Entangled Parliamentarisms: Constitutional Practices in Russia, Ukraine, China, and Mongolia, 1905–2005” (ENTPAR) which has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 755504). The organizers will be able to provide accommodation and cover travel expenses within geographical Europe but encourage participants to seek additional funding from their home institutions.
Please submit a 300-word abstract along with a paragraph containing biographical information to ENTPAR.Heidelberg@gmail.com before June 1, 2018. Invited participants will be expected to submit their drafts of 7,000–10,000 words by January 15, 2019.