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"Europe Before and After 1989. Trans-national and comparative perspectives on Eastern & Western Europe"

CAS 02/12/2008

Call for papers

Anniversary Conference
10-12 June 2009, University of Padua, Italy

The Europe-wide impact of 1989 deserves thorough examination. The year was a watershed for events, which came in its aftermath: European Union enlargement, trans-
national economics and changing values on both sides of the Berlin Wall. We seek to stimulate dialogue and new research projects that the examine changes for actors and organizations not just in the region formerly known as Eastern Europe, but equally in Western Europe. Indeed, we encourage the examination of the reconfigurations that occurred across the world, linking the ‘before’ and ‘after’ of 1989.

We have two aims in mind:

1. To showcase the best new work on the before and after of 1989, especially insofar as it enlarges our horizon by offering a comparative perspective, analysing regional interdependencies and tracing trans-national impact. Postdoctoral scholars and junior faculty are particularly encouraged to apply.

2. To garner continued public and academic attention beyond 2009 by selecting and promoting new research programmes that principally would be worthy of post-doc mobility stipends or principal investigator awards. In doing so, we suggest to feature panels on the trajectory and careers of actors as the preferred means of tracing change and continuity across the rupture of 1989.

Open call for panel proposals: Before and after 1989

Panel proposals are solicited on any topic of interest, preferably of trans-national and comparative focus. Proposal that demonstrate the significance of 1989 not just for CEE, but also for other European regions or for Europe in relation to the world, are welcome. Panel organisers should be aware that panels will last 100 minutes (3-5 speakers). Participants must hold a PhD (by 31.12.2008).

Panel organisers may choose to contribute. Co-authored papers are welcome. Panel proposals must have a general abstract and provide an abstract for each contribution. The final deadline is 10 January 2009 for selection within two weeks. Invited participants will be required to submit a full and proofread paper by 30 April 2009. All papers will be distributed with the RN 1989 Working Paper Series (ISSN 1867-2833). Please submit your panel proposal as a single file to

Call for featured panels: Trajectories of development and adaptation of political, economic, and social actors and organizations

Proposals for featured panels are invited on how a) 1989 and subsequent developments impacted the position and trajectories of the actors in question b) the strategies aforementioned actors used in order to adapt to the new political and economic reality.

To stimulate the development of panel proposals, we pose the following questions:

1. Political actors: How can we assess the role(s) that communist successor parties have played in transition politics? How has the agenda of leftist western parties changed in the post-1989 environment? Conversely, what were the determinants of the political fortunes of the former anticommunist movements and how have they evolved throughout transition? What were the determinants and patterns of their collaboration with ideological allies at the supranational level? How does this play out at the European level, both in the European Union and beyond?

2. Economic actors: What were determinants of success or failure for former socialist enterprises in the post-1989 environment? What were the respective roles of the old social networks, the state, and the foreign investors in the adaptation of these actors? How did the business strategy, management and production process of firms located in Western Europe change? How have labour markets changed and what is the impact of mobility and migration? How do we judge the future sustainability of integrated European capital, labour and service markets?

3. Social actors: How have the communist-era labour unions, which were the ‘transmission belts’ of the communist party, transformed themselves into fully-fledged labour unions? What are patterns of trans-national labour collaboration throughout the EU? How has civil society across Europe changed in the aftermath of the collapse of communism? What has the collapse of communism meant for gender relations across Europe? How have rising inequality and economic challenges throughout Europe altered the European political scene?

N.B. With a focus on political, economic and social actors, panels examining other domains such as the state, the military, cultural sphere, the legal system and the European Union and other European institutions are also very welcome. Terms and conditions as above. Please send your single file to

Open call for posters: The best of doctoral research

The programme committee solicits poster proposals from doctoral students engaged in research that is related to the conference theme in the widest sense. The public conference will feature a dedicated poster sessions of two hours – to leave ample time for personal introductions and discussions. The purpose of the poster session is to bring together post-docs and doctoral researchers in the spirit of mutual exchange and in the spirit of fostering mentoring and research collaboration in future.

Doctoral students wishing to present a poster should submit an abstract and their full details to the programme committee by 10 January 2009. Please send your single file to

Publication, career advice and further research opportunities

- Participants will be invited to consider book and journal publication opportunities with the Research Network 1989, including a ‘digital collaboratory’ under development in conjunction with a network of European university presses. Further details will be available in spring 2009.

- Panel organisers (or a nominated substitute) will be able to participate in ‘Early Independence,’ the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme for Postdocs. The CPD programme is designed to prepare post-docs for applying to and holding principal investigator awards.

- The RN 1989 offers the opportunity to extend and expanded collaborative projects by means of a Working Group (also open to advanced PhD students). Seed money may be available.

Terms and conditions for RN 1989 membership, Working Group formation and the CPD programme are available on the website: http://www.cee-socialscience.net/1989/

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