Conf/CfP - Political Development Between Competing Empires: Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia in Search of Sustainable Political and Economic Order, 2-3 December, 2016, Kyiv

Publish Date: Sep 19, 2016

Deadline: Oct 15, 2016

Event Dates: from Dec 02, 2016 12:00 to Dec 03, 2016 12:00

Call for Papers

Political Development Between Competing Empires: Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia in Search of Sustainable Political and Economic Order

2-3 December, 2016

National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA), Kyiv, Ukraine

Since 2014 and the events following the «Revolution of Dignity» in Ukraine, the still so called post-Soviet region has taken yet another step towards more diversity in terms of regime characteristics as well as geopolitical orientations. While post-revolutionary Ukraine and a more democratically consolidated Georgia are trying hard to integrate into the West, turmoil-ridden Moldova and Armenia are struggling to find working models and direction, and even Belarus and some Central Asian states – despite the persistence of autocratic rule – are eager to strike a new balance by reducing Russian influence. Clearly, however, most states of the region confront a new quality of domestically and internationally-induced stress for the foreseeable future: whereas the prolonged and structurally–based economic recession of the whole region is questioning the existing political and economic orders with a growing potential for social unrest, Russia's military answer to Ukraine's revolution and the EU's foreign policy-«catharsis» challenge statehood and make security a priority.

Those observations are a challenge also to existing approaches in the study of political transformation and democratization. Whilst it has been accepted now that the once popular «linear» or «convergence model» of transformation cannot explain the many democratic roll-backs and hybrid or even autocratic «regime equilibria» in many third and fourth wave democratization contexts, there is still a considerable lack in explanations of what drives political and economic development and how new «equilibria models» could look like. The Conference is designed to explain the latest development of political and economic orders in the post-Soviet region from a multitude of mainstream and not so mainstream perspectives (such as (critical) political economy, political learning or political culture/psychology). It is encouraging esp. young researchers from the region itself but also from EU states to present papers based on creative theoretical and methodological thinking and profound empirical observations. Comparative perspectives discussing two or more countries are most welcome. We accept paper/presentation proposals on the following three overarching topics:

  • Political Institutions and Open Societies: Proposals should concentrate on institutional change and the development of particular political regimes in the region. What are the structural, ideational and agency-related causes for a certain developmental path? At the same time, the societal dimension should be adressed, asking for the nature of observable social activity (civil or uncivil?, civil without political society?) and the relationship between active civil society and state institutions.
  • Post-Soviet Capitalisms and National Economies: Proposals should focus on the variety of economic models in the region, explain their whereabouts and problems of inter-connectivity, discuss their sustainability, their answers to the current crisis and potential for reform. Special emphasis should be devoted to the central role of the state in many post-Soviet economies, to the role of commodities, but also to likely agents of change. Proposals based on focussed studies of specific regional or local contexts are welcome.
  • Challenges of Globalization and Multipolarity: Proposals should adress the external dimension of domestic political and economic change. What is the reaction of regional policy-makers and business to the increased pressure of globalizational forces? Which role do International Organizations play in the region and do their policies have an effect on local development? How does the renewed focus on security as well as the availibility and competition of two integration alternatives influence domestic political and economic calculations and coalitions?

In order to narrow the focus while discussing a variety of regime types we will discuss political and economic developments in three post-Soviet states in particular: Ukraine, Belarus and Georgia.

The 2-day Conference will take place on 2nd and 3rd December 2016 at the premises of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA) in Kyiv, Ukraine. The organizers are the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), NaUKMA and the team of the joint MA program (DSG) “German and European Studies” of Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena (FSU Jena) and NaUKMA. The CfP is open to young scholars, meaning PhD candidates or Post-Docs from the post-Soviet region and EU countries. We cover travel and accomodation costs depending on your affiliation (university, think tank, etc.) based on DAAD-defined rates and categories. Working language is English. Proposals (no more than 250 words) fitting well into one of the three overarching topics outlined above can be sent to the main organizer Dr. André Härtel ( until no later than 15 October 2016. A publication based on paper versions of selected presentations of the Conference is planned for 2017.

The conference is supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany within the framework of the special program: “Strengthening the Cooperation with Civil Societies in the Countries of the Eastern Partnership and Russia”.

Dr. André Härtel
DAAD Associate Professor for “German and European Studies”
Political Science Department, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (NaUKMA)

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