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Conference venue: Lublic, Poland
Period: November 28, 2014
Deadline for submitting abstracts: September 25, 2014
Institute of East-Central Europe together with Institute of Political Sciences and International Affairs of the Catholic University of Lublin have an honor of invitation to participate in international conference devoted to public perception of the 1989 transformation. The conference will take place in Lublin in the Institute of East-Central Europe, on 28th of November 2014.
The disintegration of the Eastern Block accompanying decline of monocentric regimes centered around the Soviet Union was welcomed by the population and the new, democratic elites with a huge dose of enthusiasm and hope for a better tomorrow. The failure of more than 50 years long communist project was marked by increasing poverty, decreased level of health- and social-care, and of life's quality in general. The crisis of the 80's was accompanied by a further development of the police state repression against citizens and opposition elites.
Crisis of the communist regimes and the subsequent changes of the 80s and 90s led to a serious reevaluation of the international situation in the former Eastern Bloc, which has been gradually integrated into the transatlantic structures (EU, Council of Europe and NATO ). Also, as a result of the transformation, a new internal order has been introduced in politics and the economy. It manifested itself primarily in the democratization of political life, the introduction of free elections, the “marketization” of the economy, but also in changing the very nature of the labor market, employment structure, broadly defined public policy and public services, i.e. these social and economic elements, which are the decisive factor for the quality of people's lives. For the transformation has had also its price: large segments of the population have experienced serious problems, mainly of economic and social nature.
Quarter of a century has passed, the lifetime of almost a generation, since the transformation in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe began. It has therefore become a historical event, which can already be perceived and assessed from the perspective of its effects, both positive and negative. One could argue whether its most important stage, which is the consolidation of the new political regime, has been successfully accomplished or still continues. According to various theories, the most important factor of the last of these phenomena considered to be not so much the appearance of new (democratic) institutions and rules of the political game but most of all their acceptance by the main political actors and the majority of the population ( i.e. political change should be done in parallel to changes in collective and individual mentality). In addition, one must also remember that the transformation does not have to mean democratization, since it could stay in the middle of the road or not occur at all - from one monocentric regime arose another ( eg, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Serbia and Coratia until end of 1990s). In addition, it is worth noting that the transformation taking place in the former communist countries have a much wider character than, say, similar changes in Spain and Portugal. There has been not only to transform the political institutions, social structures, but also of the economic system ( for the latter process can be adopted to define privatization).
The "Transformations in Europe. 25 years later" aims at exploring changing perception of the transformation which took place in the early 90s of last century. Conference will have comparative and multidisciplinary nature, embracing societies in Central Europe ( Poland , Hungary , Slovakia, Czech Republic , Slovenia, former Eastern Germany), the Baltic republics (Lithuania , Latvia and Estonia) , the Balkan countries outside the European Union (Serbia , Macedonia ) as well as being its Member States ( Bulgaria , Romania, Croatia). Therefore we invite researchers interested in the described above topic of political transformation in Europe to participate in the conference.
Limited founding for travel and accommodation will be provided for participants.
Paper proposals (250 words abstracts) should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org before September 25, 2014.
Dr Jan Mus
Catholic University of Lublin