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Beyond Transition? New Directions in Eastern and Central European Studies, Sweden


We have the pleasure to inform you about an interdisciplinary Nordic conference in Eastern- and Central European Studies organized in cooperation between the Centre for European Studies at Lund University, the Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) at Södertörn University (Stockholm), with support from The Swedish Society for the Study of Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Sällskapet).

This event is organized as a follow-up conference after the 8th ICCEES World Congress in Stockholm 2010. We hope that the World Congress was instrumental in revitalizing scholarship around the Nordic states. One of the purposes is to outline new directions of research and make a reassessment of academic resources in this field of knowledge as these are represented by Nordic scholars and academic institutions, as well as journalists and experts specializing in the East and Central European area.

We would also like to involve you in the discussion about to what extent the developments in the Post-Soviet states and the former socialist countries in Eastern and Central Europe should be studied mainly in relation to their trajectory from the old system. Beyond transition dismisses the implicit teleological assumptions of such a trajectory. It implies that traditional constructs of regional subdivisions or of macro regions in the vast space from Oder to Vladivostok and from Murmansk to Dushanbe no longer can be taken for granted. How fruitful is it e.g. to habitually treat the former socialist countries now having become members of the European Union as a coherent socio-economic or socio-cultural bloc? What does Eastern Europe mean in such a context? Do the old mental geographies of East and West still linger on in the minds of researchers hindering the emergence of new questions and new comparative perspectives that go across the old division? Maybe taking into account patterns of convergence and divergence between European countries on both sides of the former Iron Curtain facing the pressures and possibilities of globalization could reveal more a rewarding research agenda.

We welcome papers that aim to explore the emergence of new regional patterns inside and beyond the countries of the former socialist countries. How can we study cultural change and continuity from the perspective of Eastern and Central European or Eurasian Studies when societies as diverse as Estonia and Turkmenistan or Slovenia and Mongolia, to various extent and in various ways, have to handle the impact of global ideological, consumerist and migrational trends? We also encourage the authors to reflect especially on the theoretical and methodological tools used in the analysis of the region.

Keynote speakers

Karl Schlögel, professor of East European History at European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder).

Boris Kapustin, professor, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences and Senior Lecturer for the Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale University. His most recent publication is “Гражданство и гражданское общество” (Citizenship and Civil Society, 2011).

Anna Ledeneva, professor of Politics and Society, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London

Svetlana Alekseievich, writer, the author of “Voices form Chernobyl”

The papers at the conference will be presented and discussed in thematic workshops. If you are interested in participating in one or more of the following workshops please contact the chair of the workshop directly (see the contact details below) with a copy to the coordinator niklas.bernsand@slav.lu.se. If you are not sure which workshop is most suitable for your paper please send a short abstract to the coordinator niklas.bernsand@slav.lu.se for suggestions.A selection of the papers presented at the conference will be subsequently published.


  1. Memory Conflicts and Memory Travels across the old East-West division. (Barbara.Tornquist-Plewa@slav.lu.se)
  2. What is left from all these years? Cultural Transformation after Communism.(Eleonora.Narvselius@slav.lu.se)
  3. Visions and Conceptualisations of Cultural Diversity. Multiculturalism beyond the EU (Niklas.Bernsand@slav.lu.se)
  4. Politics and Religion (elena.namli@ucrs.uu.se)
  5. Civil society – politics and ethics (elena.namli@ucrs.uu.se)
  6. Europe in Fatigue: Backslide of Democratic Values and Their Re-Invention in Culture and Society. (irina.sandomirskaja@sh.se)


The deadline for submitting your abstract to a Workshop Chair (with a copy to the conference coordinator niklas.bernsand@slav.lu.se) is March 1, 2013.

We look forward to seeing you in Lund in 2013. Please notice that no conference fee is required.

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