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IOS Annual Conference 2023: (Re-)Ordering Eastern Europe

30.03.2023 Calls for papers

Call for Papers for the 10th Annual Conference of the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) on "(Re-)Ordering Eastern Europe". The submission deadline is May 15, 2023. The conference will take place from October 12 to 13, 2023.

From the bipolar setup of the Cold-war era via a unipolar world order following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has moved on to yet another stage of being in flux. It is marked by constant re-negotiations and re-adjustments of centres and balances of power, as well as of security arrangements involving volatile and fragmented coalitions. The 2023 edition of the IOS Annual Conference aspires to address these ongoing changes and shifts as multiscalar processes of re-ordering Eastern Europe. ‘Eastern Europe’ is broadly defined as including Eastern and East-Central Europe, Southeastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia. This vast region is of great importance for the social sciences and multidisciplinary research with area studies foci. Since the end of the Cold War, nowhere else in the world we have witnessed either the making and unmaking of states or political and violent territorial conflicts in a similar scale. The experience of disintegration of existing political, economic, and social spaces – e.g., the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia – makes this region essential for studies of multiscalar and enduring transformation processes.

As we release this call for papers, Eastern Europe remains a battlefield of multiple political and violent conflicts. Russia’s war against Ukraine, which has acquired a new magnitude and degree of destruction since 24 February 2022, is the major factor instigating the current wave of re-ordering Eastern Europe, likewise in terms of research on the region across disciplines. Echoing throughout the globe, this war has become a historic watershed in how Eastern Europe functions, perceives itself and is perceived, and how it looks at its past(s) and future(s). With these multiple layers of re-ordering Eastern Europe, the associated multidisciplinary area studies – East and Southeast European studies – undergo profound re-ordering as well.

The 2023 IOS Annual conference invites scholars from a broad range of social science and humanities disciplines – i.e. all fields of Political Science, International Relations, Political Geography, Economy, Law, Social Anthropology, History, Communication Studies etc. – to explore the theme of re-ordering Eastern Europe across times and places. We invite proposals for contributions in particular, but not limited, to the following anticipated sessions and sub-themes:

  • Ukraine’s resilience: for example, sources of Ukraine’s resilience despite Russia’s military and digital aggression, addressing for instance the role of civil society, changing political attitudes, and digital transformation in and of Ukraine.
  • Russia’s domestic developments both on the elite and societal level, its internal colonialism, and its (unlikely) disintegration: for example, reactions of Russia’s ethnic republics to the war and their discussions on their secession; Russia’s disinformation politics and digital authoritarianism more broadly.
  • Digital sovereignty in times of war: for example, digital dimensions of annexation and occupation, war censorship, disinformation, tech sanctions against Russia and their consequences.
  • International criminal courts: legacies and new beginnings: for example, procedures of international criminal law from Nuremberg to the ICTY as tools of transitional justice and conflict memory; the challenges of investigating and prosecuting war crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine since 2014; the implications of recent debates on the establishment of a tribunal for the crime of aggression of Russia against Ukraine.
  • The local, regional and global dimensions of contested territories and fragmentation in Eastern and Southeastern Europe: for example, exploring the legacies and implications of territorial contestations and conflict in Eastern and Southeastern Europe from comparative perspectives; the (un)making of states; the failed processes of political negotiations leading to lasting political settlements; dynamics of conflict and cooperation and re-ordering Eastern Europe from global perspectives; contemporary conflict dynamics as ‘variable geometries’ of forces that promote fragmentation and cooperation.
  • Laboratories and experiments of (international) law in local, regional, and international politics in Eastern and Southeastern Europe: for example, explorations and comparisons of the role of (international) law for dynamics of conflict and cooperation in post-Soviet Eurasia and the post-Yugoslav region together with their regional and global implications for legal and political processes of (re)ordering: is there still a common normative ground for a regional and international order?
  • Conflicted research on and in (South) Eastern Europe: for example: What direction should research on Eastern and Southeastern Europe take in future? What lessons can and should be learned from Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine? How can research about, in and with the region be conducted (including themes of access to the field and data)? How do routines, methods and approaches to research on (South) Eastern Europe need to adapt and change?

Proposals on other topics consistent with the general conference theme and the call for papers are also welcome.

The working language of the conference is English. Participation in the conference is possible in two formats: with either panel or poster presentations.

  • Those choosing a panel presentation will be asked to submit a 4,000-5,000-words conference paper two weeks before the conference – i.e. by 25 September 2023. The texts will be circulated among conference participants.
  • Posters will be presented in a dedicated in-person poster session. The authors of posters are responsible for organising printing.

All interested authors should send either a paper proposal or a poster proposal (between 300—350 words) including a proposed title, five keywords and type of participation (panel presentation or poster presentation), the author’s full name, e-mail, institutional affiliation, and a short biography (of ca. 100 words) in *one pdf-file* by 15 May 2023, to the following email: events_polvr@ios-regensburg.de.

Participants will be informed about the outcome of the selection process no later than 15 June 2023. For invited participants, accommodation (two nights) and travel costs (economy class) will be covered and reimbursed by IOS.

For inquiries, please contact Dr. Cindy Wittke (wittke@ios-regensburg.de), head of the Political Science Research Group, Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) in Regensburg, Germany.

Contact person

Dr. Cindy Wittke

Political Science Research Group
Head of the Research Group

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