Annual Conference of the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS)
From the bipolar setup of the Cold-war era via a unipolar world order following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world has moved on to yet another stage of being in flux. It is marked by constant re-negotiations and re-adjustments of centres and balances of power, as well as of security arrangements involving volatile and fragmented coalitions. The 2023 edition of the
IOS Annual Conference aspires to address these ongoing changes and shifts as multiscalar processes of re-ordering Eastern Europe. ‘Eastern Europe’ is broadly defined as including Eastern and East-Central Europe, Southeastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia.
This vast region is of great importance for the social sciences and multidisciplinary research with area studies foci. Since the end of the Cold War, nowhere else in the world we have witnessed either the making and unmaking of states or political and violent territorial conflicts in a similar scale. The experience of disintegration of existing political, economic, and social spaces – e.g., the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia – makes this region essential for studies of multiscalar and enduring transformation processes.
As we release this call for papers, Eastern Europe remains a battlefield of multiple political and violent conflicts. Russia’s war against Ukraine, which has acquired a new magnitude and degree of destruction since 24 February 2022, is the major factor instigating the current wave of reordering Eastern Europe, likewise in terms of research on the region across disciplines. Echoing throughout the globe, this war has become a historic watershed in how Eastern Europe functions, perceives itself and is perceived, and how it looks at its past(s) and future(s). With these multiple layers of re-ordering Eastern Europe, the associated multidisciplinary area studies – East and Southeast European studies – undergo profound re-ordering as well.