Debatte Conference on `Crises and Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe’- November 2014 Call for Papers Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe

Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe

The year 2014 marks twenty-five years since the end of Communism in Central-Eastern Europe (CEE) and ten years after the enlargement of the European Union into the region. To mark this event Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe is planning to hold a conference on 22-23 November at Warsaw University entitled ‘Crises and Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe’.

These anniversaries are significant landmarks in the history of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the continent as a whole. However, even more importantly, they occur during a time of intense economic and political difficulties in Europe. The economic crisis has brought a prolonged economic downturn that has worsened the living standards of its populations and brought political uncertainty and instability. The crisis has hit CEE particularly hard, shaking the neo-liberal economic model that has dominated over the past quarter of a century, and sparking a wave of instability as well as resistance that has spread throughout the region. The most notable events have taken place in Ukraine from November 2013 onwards but we have also seen significant unrest in countries like Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina among others. On the other hand, in some countries such as Poland and the Baltic States neo-liberal commentators have claimed that a relatively strong economic recovery has taken place which shows the strength of the region’s economic model.

It is in this context that we have planned this conference and invite anyone interested in participating to submit a paper or a proposal for a session. Debatte is a journal published by Taylor and Francis that seeks a radical critical analysis that is sympathetic to democratic, labour, feminist and ecologist movements in CEE.  In 2009 we organised a successful conference in London on the twentieth anniversary of the fall of Communism. We hope our 2014 event will provide a forum for bringing academics and activists together to discuss the current economic and political climate in the region, look at how progressive social and political movements are responding to it and map out alternatives to the neo-liberal order.

Among the areas that we plan to discuss at the conference are: 

•    Economic crisis and alternatives
•    The role of social movements in the region
•    Gender and feminism
•    Historical politics
•    Migration, multi-culturalism and the struggle against racism and the far-right
•    The nature of left parties in the region
•    Ecology and the environment
•    Welfare and poverty
•    Education
•    Health
•    Ten years of European Union membership
•    The balance sheet of the transition from Communism
•    Culture
•    The geo-political context of Central and Eastern Europe.

The conference will consist of two plenary sessions together with a series of workshops held in parallel. If you would like to propose a panel or offer a paper for a workshop then please contact debatteconference@yahoo.co.uk as soon as possible.

•    Proposals for panels and abstracts of proposed papers must be received by 1 July 2014. Abstracts should be 300 words or less. When sending an abstract or proposal please include an e-mail address for correspondence.
•    We plan to publish at least one special issue of Debatte based on papers presented at the conference. If you would like your paper to be considered for publication in the journal please submit a full draft by 1 October 2014
•    The languages of the conference will be English and Polish and we will be arranging translation between these two languages at the conference. Abstracts and papers should be submitted in one of these two languages.

We want the conference to be accessible to as many scholars and activists as possible from the region. The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, which is supporting the conference, has provided funds to help with travel and accommodation costs specifically for those coming to the conference from Central and Eastern Europe (including Poland apart from Warsaw itself). These funds are limited and will be allocated on the basis of need. If you would like to apply for help with such costs then please do let us know at the address above.

Admission to the conference will be free but we will be asking those with institutional support to pay a fee of £80.

Please publicise this call for papers as widely as possible and do get in touch with the conference organisers if you have any questions or suggestions.

Andrew Kilmister
Editor, Debatte (for the conference organising committee)
1st April 2014