суббота, 22 июня 2013 г.

Radical Left Wing Movements in the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe

Radical Left Wing Movements in the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe


Research Conference, 24–26 January 2014
Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden

We invite scholars to submit their abstracts by the 27th of August 2013.

Important Dates

27 August 2013: Abstract submission (final deadline)
1 October 2013: Notification of paper acceptance
3 January 2014: Submission of a final paper


The aim of this conference is to contribute to research on radical left wing movements in the Baltic region and Eastern Europe, by establishing contact between researchers studying these movements/activist environments. Sociologists, historians, political scientists, anthropologists, and scholars within other relevant academic disciplines with an interest in the field are invited to submit papers of original research.

Keynote speakers

Donatella della Porta, professor of political science, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, a distinguished international scholar within the field of social movement studies who has written extensively on social movements and their interplay with political actors and systems, protest policing, etc.
Luke March, PhD in Russian and East European Studies, and Deputy Director of the Princess Dashkova Russia Centre, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, an international scholar who in 2011 published a book with Routledge on radical left parties in Europe, and is active in the research fields of Post-Soviet politics, radical left parties and populism.

Theme and Rationale

During recent decades, scholarly attention has been given to differences between the civil societies of Eastern and Western Europe, and the social movements and political protest cultures characterizing these regions. More recently, scholars have focused on the political impact and role of radical leftist parties in Europe, both in newly democratized post-communist political systems and in more established liberal-democratic regimes. However, the corresponding political role and impact of the radical left's extra-parliamentarian part – or its social movement base – in these regions has hitherto not been sufficiently analyzed. Filling this gap is the aim of this conference.
In social movement research, it has often been noted that radical leftist groups have played a prominent role for the broader left (including the Labor movement) and the new social movements of Western democracies since the late 1960s; often appearing as the "radical flank" of the broader left. While many of the radical left wing groups that gained importance after "sixty-eight" were foremost Leninist and Maoist. Since the late 1980s groups rooted in the left-libertarian political traditions of Anarchism and Autonomism, and to a certain extent Trotskyite groups, have gained importance. Albeit being a sometimes marginal political phenomenon, the ideas, strategies and forms of protests of these radical groups often times – directly or indirectly – influenced the agendas and action repertoires of more established organizations, e.g. political parties and trade unions. Notably since the 1990s, anarchist and autonomist activism has been seen in anti-fascist mobilizations, "street parties", squatting and during the protests of the Global Justice Movement and "Occupy" of recent years. Similarly in the newly democratized Eastern European countries, these groups have – especially since the fall of the Berlin wall – been increasingly visible, in spite of the seeming greater hostility towards Marxist and Communist ideological traditions in these countries.
In the light of these transformations of the radical left in both Western and Eastern European countries, it seems necessary to scrutinize the relation between the changing role of these political actors and more general shifts (or continuities) in these societies, in politics, economy, social relations, and cultural patterns.

We especially invite scholars focusing on:

• The political role of radical left groups: their interplay with new social movements and more institutionalized actors on the left (such as political parties and trade unions), as well as their direct or indirect impact on general public debate, agenda setting and decision-making (including the state's use of counter-measures against these groups).
• The impact of differences in Political Opportunity Structures, national historical experiences, and protest cultures between countries and regions on the development of the radical left in these countries.
• The role of specific ideas of democracy and political change for radical left groups' and activists' political visions/goals as well as movement-internal practices/repertoires of action.
• The uses of culture and media in radical left groups, including the impact of/on subcultures, music, alternative media, social media, etc.
• The social movement organizations, networks and activists of the radical left in the countries of the Baltic region (i.e., the countries bordering the Baltic Sea), but also more broadly in the countries of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia.
• The radical left in contemporary perspective, and/or with a focus on the developments of this political context during the last decades (especially since the decisive years of 1968 and 1989).
In particular we invite scholars doing comparative research on these matters, or those who are willing to engage in a comparative discussion with scholars focusing on the same phenomena in other countries.
We also invite scholars to add other relevant research areas.

Conference Format

We expect that around 16 papers will be presented at the conference. The conference format will be joint sessions to encourage joint discussions amongst all participants.
We invite scholars to submit their abstracts by the 27th of August 2013 (final deadline). The abstract should be 1–2 pages, and describe the research question, main theories used (with reference to the relevant literature), and the empirical base of the paper. Applicants should provide information about their general research interests within this field, as well as relevant earlier publications. Accepted papers must be submitted at least 3 weeks before the conference (deadline: 3rd of January 2014). Each presenter is expected to comment on another participants' papers. Conference organizers will inform participants of which paper they will be commenting on in advance.
We also expect to have some capacity for attendees. Attending the conference is free, but as a result of limited capacity we require registration of interest by the 25th of October 2013. Apply by sending a short description of your research interests and your earlier research within the field. Attendees are also encouraged to actively take part in the discussion.


Presenters of papers and attendees can attend the conference for free. All those presenting paper from outside the Stockholm region will also be reimbursed for travel and accommodation expenses.

The organizers

The conference organizers – Magnus Wennerhag, Christian Fröhlich, Grzegorz Piotrowski and Adrienne Sörbom – are part of the research project "Anarchists in Eastern and Western Europe – a Comparative Study". The project is based at Södertörn University and funded by The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, Sweden.
The conference is funded by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), the multidisciplinary research centre focusing on the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe at Södertörn University.


Our aim is to publish a collection of the conference papers in an edited volume in English and/or a special issue of an international peer-reviewed journal.

Contact information

For general questions about the conference, and for applying and sending in paper abstracts, contact radical_left_conference2014@sh.se. In case of the need of visas for paper presenters and attendees, we can assist with invitation letters.

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