POLITICAL SCIENCE AND SOCIETY.
Challenges of Democratization, Development, and European Integration.
19-20 November 2004
The Albanian Political Science Association will organize the 1st Albanian Political Science Conference in Tirana on 19-20 November 2004.
The conference will bring together political and social scientists from Albania, its neighboring countries, Western Europe, and the United States to meet and network with the common goal of advancing Albanian political research studies. Albanian graduate students who study political sciences in Albania or abroad are encourages to apply.
The first part of the conference dedicated to the presentation of research studies will include presentations by conference participants and keynote speakers on issues of democratization, political economy of development, European integration, and relations between Albania and the European Union. The second part of the conference dedicated to academic teaching of political science will include special sessions on how to improve teaching of political science at Albanian universities and on how to prepare papers for submission to academic journals.
Albanian social scientists currently working or residing in other countries are particularly encouraged to apply. ALPSA will cover travel expenses and participation costs of all participants who will present papers in the conference. Applications and conference registrations should be submitted online through this website or my e-mail (address given below). Applications should include an abstract of the paper (up to 250 words)
A selected number of presentations will be published in print and electronic formats, available free of charge to all educational and research institutions in Albania.
The conference committee will accept papers on all topics related to the main theme of the conference. The final program of the conference will be prepared in early November. A preliminary list of panels and issues to be discussed is as following:
Relations between the European Union and Albania.
The EU has emerged as one of the leading actors involved in post-communist transformations. In addition to early cooperation agreements, it has created an extensive portfolio of support mechanisms for new democracies in Eastern Europe. The EU policy in the Balkans is closely associated with the instrument of conditionality. In addition to participating in the Stability Pact, Albania has established contractual relations with the EU in the context of Stabilization and Association Process.
Are there any weaknesses to the EU approach? Do regional cooperation efforts contradict the wider EU integration processes? Does the vague membership promise weaken the credibility of conditionality? Do the EU efforts overlap with the programs of other actors? What is the EU leverage comparing to other actors? Have the EU integration efforts paid off so far? What areas or sectors are most influenced, and which are not?
Democratic institutions and democratization in Albania (and Eastern Europe).
Democratic institutions determine the modes of political interest intermediation, public policy-making, and regime stability in a country. We would like to discuss political consequences of institutions that profoundly affect the governance structures of democracy in Albania and other new democracies. What are the general effects and interactions among institutional components of democratic regimes? Special panels will focus on electoral regimes, legislative-executive relations, political parties and party systems, civil society, the role of media in politics, etc.
Political economy of development.
Many issues fall under the scope of this topic. We expect to organize several panels focusing on the role of domestic institutions, international trade, and globalization on economic development of a country. A limited list of suggested questions include discussion of issues related to property rights, corruption, trade relations or exchange rate regimes, with special focus on Albania and other Western Balkan countries. Papers will also address more general questions like: Has globalization undermined national economic autonomy? Do domestic institutions matter to the manner in which globalization has an effect on domestic economy? How does globalization affect political preferences of domestic actors and domestic politics in general? What are political and economic effects of unilateral Euroization in Western Balkans?
Teaching Political Sciences
There will be one workshop and one panel discussion on this issue. The workshop will be open to all participants and will enable a wider dialogue and interaction among conference participants. The workshop will focus on such themes as pedagogy, use of technology (like power point presentations, documentary films, and internet and websites), discussing global perspectives of politics in classroom, promoting civic education and engagement, etc. The panel discussion will include presentations by political science professors at Albanian universities and abroad who will discuss various issues related to academic teaching of political science. All conference participants will have an equal opportunity to contribute and participate in the workshop and the panel.
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