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Reflections on East Central Europe in the Post-Communist Period: What Have We Learned, and What Did We Miss?

Politics of uncertainties Annual doctoral conference 6-8 april
Thursday, April 7, 2022, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join the Political Economy Research Group and the DSPS in the third keynote of the17th Annual Doctoral Conference: Politics of Uncertainties.

After a full-online 16th edition of the ADC, this year we return onsite, at our Vienna campus in Quellenstraße 51! Still, we decided to guarantee the hybrid mode for the whole conference, so that presenters, discussants, as well as the audience, can join via Zoom. Register here by April 4 to attend.

This year the conference will take place between 6-8 April in a hybrid format, consisting of 22 panels and hosting 5 keynote speeches. Our panels are organised around a wide array of research areas: authoritarianism; conflict and cooperation; deliberative democracy; democratisation; global governance; heterodox approaches in IR and policy studies; higher education policy; media and digitalisation; memory politics; peace and security studies; political discourse and political behaviour; political economy; political theory; postcolonial theories; research methods; refugees and migration.   

See the full conference programme here.

Abstract / “Postcommunism” in Europe is now in its fourth decade, with decidedly mixed results. On the one hand, a range of former Soviet satellites and republics has joined the European Union and NATO, affording them voice in powerful international organizations as well as expanded economic opportunity. But on the other, Russia’s war in Ukraine has been devastating, the democratic opposition in Belarus has been crushed, and even among EU and NATO members, democratic rights have not proven secure in some countries and income convergence is still only a distant prospect for many. This lecture reflects back on the literature and events of more than three decades and argues that many scholars overestimated both the power of international institutions and the intrinsic appeal of the liberal project. In light of what we have learned and also what we missed, it suggests pathways for future research, drawing also on audience interests, concerns and insights.

Bio  Prof. Rachel Epstein is Professor of International Relations and European Politics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. She's also the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs and an affiliated faculty member with the Sie Cheou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy.