Call for papers:
“1989-2009: The East European Revolutions in Perspective”, London (University of London Union), 17-18 October 2009.
Debatte. Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe.
Caroline Humphrey, Boris Kagarlitsky, Gáspár Miklós Tamas, Peter Gowan, Alex Callinicos, Bernd Gehrke, Catherine Samary.
Deadline for abstracts and panel proposals:
31 May, 2009. A list of titles received is appended.
Debatte is marking the twentieth anniversary of the revolutionary upheavals of 1989 by inviting scholars and students of Central and Eastern Europe to reflect upon the events of that year, their causes and processes, and the ensuing transformation of the region.
In line with Debatte’s credo, the conference encourages critical and inter-disciplinary contributions. Especially welcome are papers that:
• examine the part played by social movements in overthrowing regimes and bringing about democratic change;
• explore the power relations involved in the post-1989 restructuring of Central and Eastern Europe;
• look afresh at the seminal contributions and debates in this area of research;
• investigate ways in which research on 1989 and the transition has affirmed, deconstructed or challenged dominant ideological conventions.
Promising areas for papers include:
• The dissolution of the Soviet system. The roles played by relative economic decline, military competition, social and cultural change, the Western media. Comparison with the trajectory of ‘communism’ elsewhere: China, North Korea, Cuba etc.
• Revolution and social change. The question of the ‘revolutionary’ nature of the events of 1989. Comparative revolutions and pseudo-revolutions. The contribution of social movement theories to analysing processes of mobilisation etc. in 1989. The history of dissident, resistance and reform movements.
• Post-1989 transitions.
o Geopolitical: Russia and the West; E.U. enlargement;
o Geo-economic: Central and Eastern Europe’s changing location within the global division of labour; labour migration.
o Geo-ideological: what has become of the Cold War mentality?; the repositioning (‘othering’?) of Central/Eastern Europe within Western discourse.
o Economic: neoliberal reform; ‘shock therapy’; comparative economic policy.
o ‘Bringing labour back in’: working-class recomposition and industrial relations.
o Political and social: expansion and privatisation of the public sphere; the restructuring of social power ; elite continuities and discontinuities; democratisation and ‘managed democracy’; the evolution of Communist parties and of pre-1989 currents of dissidence and resistance; changing gender roles and relations; old and new nationalisms (including the break-up of Yugoslavia); the environment, transport and climate change.
o Anthropological: cultures of everyday life; the ethnography of societies in ‘transition’; new forms of division and exclusion;
o Cultural: new freedom, new censorship; the changing role of the artist; developments in cinema, literature, art and music; the creation of collective memories and narratives of the pre-1989 era.
• Historiography of post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe: assessing the debates and breakthroughs; identifying gaps and silences in the scholarly literature.
Papers and panel proposals
Submission of a panel proposal: The proposal should be no longer than 500 words, and should include the panel convenor's full name and e-mail address, as well names and e-mail addresses of at least two other panel participants.
Questions, as well as submissions of panel proposals and abstracts, should be directed to Gareth Dale,
Abstracts received (as of January 2009):
The Impact of Social and Economic Change on Politics: Mongolia in the Post-Soviet Period
Transformation processes in Post-Soviet Central Asia - the Case of Turkmenistan: from Command Economy to centrally planned vulnerability?
Historicizing 1989. Transnational Culture, epistemic communities, and the political transformation of East-Central Europe.
Literature in the “Other” Europe Before and After the Democratic Change
Writing Public Culture from the Solidarity Text(s): Post-Revolutionary Remembering in the Re-imagined Poland
The Second Being: Transitional Polish-Jewish Identity in Poland post 1989
The changing role of East- and West German writers before and after 1989
Russia's Caesarist Journey: Post-Communist Russia and its (dis)integration into the global political economy.
Neopatrimonialism by default: Georgia after the Rose Revolution.
The Transition in the Szeklerland. The Ethnic Dimension of the Romanian Transition.
The Changing Image of the Roma during the Regime Change in Slovakia and Hungary.
Lessons from Yugoslavia: The role of traditional nationalisms and the importance of contemporary economic differences for the break-up of states in Central and Eastern Europe, 1990-1992.
The “Orange revolution” in the Ukraine.
Who’s Afraid of the ‘New Europe’? Nationalism and the post-1989 project of European unity.
Communications between Western and Eastern Europe.
Organised crime in Eastern Europe.
The Polish Round Table of 1989.
East Central Europe and the European ‘Double-Movement’: Contextualising Accession Preparations and EU Membership.
Neoliberal globalization, regressive nationalism, and labour in the `new' Europe.
The impact of transnational discourses on Poland's transition.
The Wages of Germanness: Working-Class Recomposition and (Racialized) Nationalism after Unification.
Marxism in Eastern Europe: From Socialist Dissidence to Liberal Restoration
The GDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary: Socialist development paths in comparative perspective.
Unfinished transformation? Institutional problems of Polish economy after two decades of reforms.
The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty, 1991) and Moldova’s
reluctance towards it.
From the ‘Self-governing Theory’ to Capitalism in Poland
The Dissolution of the Soviet Union and oil extraction
Key developments in the system change of Soviet Russia.
Political Change and the National Question During the Transition in Bulgaria
Belarus or Belorussia: historical roots and the possible causes of an unfinished transition
The Croatian regime change in the mirror of nationalism.
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