aaus-list @ ukrainianstudies.org -- [aaus-list] CFP: Conference: Russia after the Soviet Empire? LundUniversity 17-19 August, 2011

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Conference: Russia after the Soviet Empire?

Lund University 17-19 August, 2011


The year 2011 marks the twentieth anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Although hopes ran high for democratisation, transition to a market economy and transformation of Russia into a a model liberal democratic state, imperial legacies, nostalgia for the lost empire and great power ambitions soon made themselves reminded.. The past decade has seen Russia significantly strengthening its position and using its political and cultural strength to assert itself as a rejuvenated great power,  in international as well as domestic arenas. We note a return of the empire as an important aspect of self-identification. This development has unfolded in conjunction with a “reverse transition” from a democratizing into an authoritarian polity. Understanding Russia’s rise and projection of great power is of course a multi-faceted and complex phenomenon that requires a broad social science approach that builds on political, historical and cultural factors.


There is an important foreign policy component in the renewed assertiveness of Russia’s attitude to the world, and particularly to its former dominions. This is seen not least in the use of energy politics to assert influence abroad, as for example seen in relations vis-à-vis Belarus and Ukraine. Rebuilding and projecting  the great power image and status also has a domestic political component, as it has been accompanied by the intensification of non-democratic trends, amounting to a de-democratization, sometimes conceptualized as “sovereign democracy”. There is also a cultural component to Russia’s great power ambitions, to be seen in projection of imperial status and power in school textbooks, literature, film etc. Nationalism and traditions as a source to political action is also an important part of the cultural component. Different actors make use of nationalism and traditions in different ways for different purposes and ends. 


Keynote speakers will be announced soon.


The conference aims to bring together scholars from various fields in order to further understanding of the complex phenomenon that is sustaining Russia’s great power today and to encourage discussion across disciplines. Focusing on institutions, ideologies and practices, papers should preferably address one or more of the following topics:


* Russian great power ambitions and the European Union

* Foreign and security policy development

* Russian great power ambitions and bilateral relations with other former Soviet republics

* Russia’s great power in political discourse

* Uses of history as a source of legitimacy and/or conflict

* Return of the Russian empire in media and culture

* Whose empire returns? Post-Soviet immigration to Russia and the rise of Russian  



The Conference Committee will consider proposals for individual papers. Each individual paper proposal should include a one-page abstract (300 words) and brief curriculum vitae. There is no registration fee to present or attend the conference.  Please specify any special requirements, such as audio-visual equipment, outlets, or facilities to accommodate disability. Deadline for submissions of abstracts is 22 April, 2011

Please send materials electronically to Dr. Johan Dietsch at johan.dietsch@slav.lu.se


The conference will be held at Lund University, Sweden, at the Centre for Languages and Literature

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