CfP for the Conference
What is left? 110 years between Socialism, Communism and Social Democracy in Bosnia Herzegovina
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Bosnia Herzegovina
Sarajevo, 27-28 June 2019
The idea of socialism is a longstanding part of the historical reality in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The pioneer concepts of equality and social justice drawn by Vaso Pelagi? saw the light about a century and a half ago. These ideas inspired the establishment of the first workers? associations which, in turn, laid the ground to the foundation of the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia Herzegovina on 28-29 June 1909. Since then, the left-wing actors and have experienced every possible sort: repression and marginalisation; one- and multi-party rule; hierarchy and dissidence; cooperation and cooptation.
One hundred and ten years later, this conference aims to explore the principles, the actions and the mutual interaction of left-wing political forces (socialist, communist, social democratic parties; progressive intellectuals; workers? movements; etc.) throughout the history of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The studies on these foundations and practices has suffered a setback since the 1990s, as a consequence of dissolution of Yugoslavia. Ethnonationalism, cultural-religious identities and elite-driven processes have become the absolute dominant interpretative frames and subjects for empirical research. Moreover, despite in the last few years a flourishing interest has surfaced on global labour history including some new valuable research avenues regarding the Yugoslav socialism, little attention has been devoted to Bosnia-Herzegovina specifically.
Hence, the focus of the conference is on Bosnia-Herzegovina, in order to fill some vacuum and stimulate further research paths. However, we also invite researchers with a scope on the overall Yugoslav and post-Yugoslav area, and welcome comparative approaches.
This conference aims to bring back the focus to the imaginative and material agency of socialist actors, examining the interplay between social and political sphere: how bottom-up initiatives have been influencing high politics and intellectuals, and vice versa, how have decision-makers and thinkers have been shaping social phenomena. Therefore, besides contributions from social and political history, we welcome approaches from political science, sociology, anthropology, philosophy and economy as well as interdisciplinary approaches.
The vast timeframe of the conference encourages to identify overlaps, continuities and differences around various conceptual axes (reform/rupture, autonomy/cooptation, grassroots mobilisation/ hierarchies? control, bureaucracies/ordinary, rule/dissidence, urban/rural etc.) throughout the epochs. In this vein, the conference aims to offer a broader picture of ideas and legacies which have transcended production and technological systems as well as institutional frameworks.
Panels will be focused on the following topics:
- Origins of social democracy: ideas and concepts
- Trade unions, workers? mobilisations in XX and XXI century
- Resurgence of workers? struggles in 2010s
- Women in left-wing movements: ideas and practices
- Legacies of The Communist era: achievements and setbacks
- Left-wing conceptualisations of national-constitutional question in Bosnia-Herzegovina/Yugoslavia
- Transnational networks of Bosnian left: cooperation, alliances, ideological inspirations etc.
- Social democracy and transformations in labour and political systems: current perspectives
Working languages: Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and English
Deadline for abstract submission (250 words max): May 3, 2019 to firstname.lastname@example.org
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung will cover travel expenses and accommodations to participants from outside Sarajevo, as well as course meals for all the participants.
Selected contributions from the conference will be included in an edited volume.