Conf/CfP - Liberation – Freedom – Democracy 1918–1968–2018, 24–26 October 2018, Finland

Deadline : 14 May 2018

State University: University of Helsinki

All specialities

Study level: Postgraduate

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Conf/CfP - Liberation – Freedom – Democracy 1918–1968–2018, 24–26 October 2018, Finland

18th Annual Aleksanteri Conference “LIBERATION – FREEDOM – DEMOCRACY? 1918–1968–2018”

The Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki will hold the 18th Annual International Aleksanteri Conference aiming to bring together scholars, experts, and advanced graduate students from a variety of disciplines such as history, political science, sociology, geography, law, economics, and media and cultural studies.

In 2018 program will have multiple commemorations of historical events that shaped the development of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia, including:

  • 1918 – the end of the Great War, and the disintegration of old Empires drew a new map of Europe and Eurasia, providing radically new possibilities for societal evolution.
  • 1968 – the year which can be remembered not only for the crushing of “socialism with a human face”, but also as the beginning of welfare socialism and the socialist market economy strengthening entrepreneurialism and individualism – and, as such, the beginning of the end of the communist system.

These, and other events which will be marked by commemorations in 2018, bore consequences in the spatial context, on the idea of the nation state, and the perceptions of the most desirable societal system. These events constantly modified the key values of freedom and power-people relations.

When we look back to these previous 100 years – we can ask ourselves:

  • Did liberation mean freedom?
  • Did freedom mean democracy?
  • Did democracy bring security, well-being, and equality for the people?
  • And is democracy irreversible?  

The conference committee invites papers in the following themes:

  • Changing Spatial Contexts 
  • Empires and restructuring the post-imperial world 
  • Regionalism, independence, secession
  • East-West: convergences and divergences
  • Territory and environment

Systemic Transformations 

  • Democracy and its rivals
  • Communism and its rivals
  • War and conflict
  • Current developments and new systemic challenges
  • Transnational diffusion of ideas, practices, and political cultures

Freedom of Expression and Protest 

  • Counter-culture and protest
  • Human rights, critical thinking, samizdat, dissidence 
  • Media agency
  • Uses of history
  • Humor and irony as methods of resistance

Societal values 

  • Societal change
  • Well-being and social security
  • Equality/inequality  

Russian Media Lab thematic stream: "Media Innovation, Horizontal Networks and Digital Entrepreneurship in Russia and Beyond: Avenues for Strengthening Freedom of Speech and Journalistic Practices?"

The Russian Media Lab project is organising its concluding conference within the framework of this year’s Aleksanteri Conference. For this thematic stream, submissions of panels and individual papers are invited to explore emerging (digital) media practices in relation to the question of freedom of expression and independent journalism. In addition to studies of Russia, we look forward to receiving proposals examining Central and Eastern Europe, as well as comparative studies.

Keynote speakers and programme:

  • Professor Grzegorz Ekiert, Harvard University
  • Professor Stephen Hutchings, University of Manchester
  • Dr Maria Mälksoo, Brussels School of International Studies/University of Kent
  • Professor Susan Reid, Loughborough University
  • Professor Katrin Voltmer, University of Leeds
  • Professor Veljko Vujačić, European University at St. Petersburg

Complementing academic activity, the conference programme will also include cultural events and roundtable discussion by public figures with hands-on experience of historical changes. It will be organised a guided tour of the Slavonic Library, which is a world-renowned treasure, especially for scholars of Russian history and culture. Conference guests are invited to attend two evening receptions hosted by the City of Helsinki and University of Helsinki. This year program will again organise a book exhibition at the main conference venue.

Registration rates:

Paper presenters, chairs, and discussants 100 €

Graduate students, participants from ex-Soviet countries or with a yearly income of less than 30,000 euros 50 €

Accompanying persons and observers not presenting a paper (partial participation in the conference is allowed) 25 €


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