7TH CEU Conference in Social Sciences
“What Follows after the Crisis? Approaches to Global Transformations”
Central European University
May 27-29, 2011


The 7th Conference in Social Sciences is structured on 10 different panels (descriptions below).

We encourage young faculty and graduate students to propose papers for the panels that still have available seats. The chairs  are in charge of the selection for their panels and interested participants should contact them directly. The standard application procedure requires an abstract of the paper (max. 250 words) and a short CV (max. 3 pages). Dead-line for paper applications: March 1, 2011.

Panel 1: Representation in Comparative Perspective (available seats)
Chair: Carsten Q. Schneider (, Central European University

With the emergence of new democracies and the recent warnings on the decay of democratic practices in long-standing democracies the quest for the proper understanding of democratic mechanisms of political representation has been intensified. Different standards of what representation is supposed to mean, outlined in the literature, have sometimes resulted in mutually incompatible assessments. Moreover, as the tool for establishing the legitimacy of decision making and a way in which the institutional incentives of government responsiveness are designed, the logic of political representation remains a constant puzzle for scholars.
Given the fact that there are multiple approaches of conceptualizing political representation and many ways in which authors analyze the concepts of congruence between elites and citizens this panel invites papers that are addressing the issue from a theoretical or empirical perspective. However, priority will be given to papers that directly address the following problems in real-existing democracies:
- Conceptualization of the modes or types of political representation that enables cross-country comparisons
- Investigation of the impact of different institutional configurations on citizen-elite linkages (from policy to allocation responsiveness)
- Quality of political representation of social groups in comparative perspective
- Innovative approaches of measuring various levels of citizen-elite correspondence (one-to-many, many-to-one or many-to-many)

Panel 2: Post-conflict democratization: What role for local actors? (filled panel)
Chair: Dane Taleski (, Central European University

Timothy Sisk (2010) argues that there are two overarching approaches to peacebuilding: democratization and state-building. Democratization is understood as a process of introducing liberal institutions that enable non-violent political competition, inclusion, participation and accountability. However the relationship between peacebulding and democratization is not an easy one. A democratization process itself can create tensions in the war-to-democracy transition (Jarstad and Sisk 2008). However studies of post-conflict peacebuilding tend to focus on the involvement of international actors, on the institutional design and on governance capacities. This panel seeks to expand the understanding of post-conflict democratization by tackling the question what role is there for local actors?
This panel assembles papers having an actor centered approach in studying post-conflict democratization in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon and Macedonia. The proposed papers in the panel aim to show the role of civil society organizations, political elites and political parties in post-conflict democratization and state building. Some of the papers use comparison of small number of cases, while others focus on case studies. Some of the papers analyze the interactions between the international and local actors, while others venture on the sub-national level of analysis. The panel will offer papers that are rich in detail and that show in-depth analysis of local actors in post-conflict countries.

Panel 3: (Neo-)Populism(s) in the Era of Crises (available seats)
Chair: Sergiu Miscoiu (, Babes-Bolyai University/Paris-East University

In the last twenty years, democratic consolidation both in Western and in Eastern Europe has proved to be more problematic that expected by analysts in the early 1990s. With some intermittent periods of democratic enthusiasm and institutional consolidation, numerous countries in the Europe have been confronted with various shapes and degrees of populism. Within this context, the 2008 worldwide economic crisis has brought not only an accelerating impetus to the populist developments but also a new series of Populist challenges to our democratic systems. Our panel will try to identify the specificity of Populism or Neo-Populism in this time of crisis by answering to a series of questions such as:
- How can one define Populism and determine the differences between Populism and Neo-Populism?
- Are the contemporary crises a more suitable framework for the development of Neo-Populism (like Latin America was in the 1960s?)
- What are the main peculiarities of this ‘Crisis-Populism’?
- Is there, in fact, a rather unitary phenomenon or do we deal with a series of divergent phenomena?
- How are Crisis (Neo-)Populism(s) connected to the ‘classical’  Eastern European, Western European or Latin American counter-parts?
- What are the main connections between contemporary Populism and Nationalism, Nationalist and Internationalist Communism, Fascism, Anti-Semitism, Racism, “Autarchism” and other “-isms” abundantly present both in Western and Eastern Europe?
Papers are expected to deal with specific issues under the general frame of these topics in a precise, coherent and concise manner.

Panel 4: The Oscillant Paths of Extremist Parties in Post-Communist Europe (available seats)
Chair: Sergiu Gherghina (, Leiden University

The fall of communism in 1989-1991 marked the beginning of transition processes in post-communist Europe. This transition involved a general movement towards political democracy, market economy, and the occurrence of different social and cultural attitudes compared to the past. The implications of all these changes were that people faced challenges never met in the post-World War II period. Among these, the rise and fall of extremist parties in the first two post-communist decades constitute a relevant empirical puzzle little addressed so far. This panel aims to answer a few specific questions: What favors/triggers the electoral success/failures of extremist parties in the post-communist region? What causes the sharp differences in the success of extremist parties in post-communist countries? Do extremists stabilize their electorate better than other parties (i.e. reduce the electoral volatility, secure a core of voters in consecutive elections)? Why do people cast their votes for extremists? What are the particularities of the extremist parties organizations? This panel tries to partially answer these questions. In doing so, both comparative and single-case studies are encouraged, with a strong empirical component. Studies can focus on any period of time between 1990 and 2010. Abstracts (max. 250 words) should clearly specify the investigated cases, the goal of the paper (eventually, the research question), and the used methodology (no preference in the selection process is given to predominantly qualitative or quantitative methods).

Panel 5: Before and after: The impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the policy-making process and political dynamics of the EU (available seats)
Chair: Stefano Braghiroli (, University of Siena

The Lisbon Treaty has been often described by a number of observers as a solid institutional platform for the EU, following the political turmoil provoked by the French and Dutch rejection of the Constitutional Treaty. Accordingly, following the signing of the Treaty in December 2007, the European Council officially stated that this new constitutional agreement “provides the Union with a stable and lasting institutional framework. We expect no change in the foreseeable future, so that the Union will be able to fully concentrate on addressing the concrete challenges ahead”. The new framework was expected therefore to introduce important improvements in terms of democratic accountability, clarity, and effectiveness. The extent to which the Treaty has been successful in conditioning the development of these crucial dimensions and in making the Union’s policy-making process and political dynamic more democratic, efficient, and accountable is still an open question. Three years after its signature and almost a year after its full ratification, it seems to be not only useful, but also necessary, for academic research in European studies to debate and assess debate the impact of the new treaty on the development of the EU’s functioning and policy making, from different perspectives and methodological vantage points. The ambition of this panel is to assess the dynamics unleashed by the Lisbon Treaty and subsequent developments in key areas of institutional and political integration, in an attempt to actively contribute to the ongoing debate on the ‘Future of Europe’.

Panel 6: Challenges of the global financial crisis for migrant workers (available seats)
Chair: Antonin Mikes (, Charles University Prague

The impact of economic crisis on individuals is immense varying from the normal day to day worries to the more severe fear for ones job security. This panel aims to look at how the recent financial crisis has impacted upon migrant workers(documented and undocumented). Has the crisis affected irregular migrants in Spain? Has there been a shift in push-pull factors which has caused people to return to their country of origin? What are the policy options available to policy makers? What policy changes have taken place due to the crisis? Challenges facing migrant workers are diverse, as such this panel represents this diversity by drawing individual contributors from a variety areas of study.

Panel 7: Crisis and emergence: radicalization, institutionalization, and generation of social movements (available seats)
Chairs: Cesar Guzman-Concha (, University of Barcelona
Mariya Ivancheva (, Central European University

This panel approaches the topic of political conflicts within the framework of the literature on contentious politics, political sociology and the anthropology of social movements. Our aim is to explore how trajectories of collective and individual actors and their relations to the fields of power and autonomy lead to the processes of radicalization (e.g. squatting, rioting, uprising), institutionalization (mainstream politics, ngo-ization etc), and emergence of new movements, generations of activists, and waves of contention. The papers focus on movements in contemporary societies, through case studies, and comparative and historical perspectives. The panel traces the organizational and/or political dynamics of groups engaged in political claim-making on a local, national, or transnational level.
Questions this panel would like to address –but is not restricted to – are:
• What happens with and within non-mainstream groups after episodes of engagement with contentious politics?
• What are the determinants of social movement outcomes such as emergence, radicalization, or institutionalization?
• How do social movements maintain, negotiate, or change frames of campaigns, and opportunity structure openings beyond individual waves of mobilization?
• How do movement members engage in the transmission of knowledge to emerging new generations of activists, and for new sustained campaigns of collective action?
• How do political, economic, or social crises foster or hinder social movement emergence, radicalization, or institutionalization?
The purpose of this panel is twofold: on the one hand, to foster discussion regarding theoretical approaches, findings and implications of ongoing research in the concerned fields of social inquiry. On the other hand, we aim to settle a platform for further collaboration on the topics and sites emerging in the presentations.

Panel 8: The Normative Significance of the Crisis (available seats)
Chair: Andres Moles (, Central European University

We are as yet uncertain of the effects the recent crisis will have. We have even less certainty about  the extent to which it will challenge some of our normative views about what the global order should be or about how we should organize  domestic political institutions. The panel reflects on how recent changes in the political arena impact on our normative views, and how our normative views can direct whatever changes need to be made to existing institutions and practices.

Panel 9: Crisis and Its Management in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Times (filled panel)
Chair: : Katalin Szende (

This panel intends to show that the concept of crisis is not a phenomenon restricted to our modern world. Throughout the Middle Ages (as in any other period) crises and negative tendencies were alternating with recoveries and periods of positive development. However, applying a particular negative viewpoint and concentrating on features of decline and recession, their contemporary perception and explanation as well as responses and management strategies of medieval and early modern society to these challenges can deepen our understanding of the period and its main actors. The speakers will look at various cases from the sixth to the sixteenth century representing these negative phenomena, and analyze the processes from a long-term perspective.

Panel 10: Cross Border Management and Development in Eurasia: lessons learned from the EU experience (available seats)
Chair: Füsun Özerdem (, Trakya University

Cross-border cooperation has been developed within the EU since the 1960s through ‘Euroregions’, because ethnic backgrounds of displaced peoples within border regions often caused alienation from their national authorities. So processes to ‘institutionalise’ border affairs have developed. The Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) component aims to promote good neighbourly relations, strengthening co–operation in border areas between countries through joint local and regional initiatives combining both external aid and economic and social cohesion objectives. In particular, this component focuses on promoting sustainable economic and social development in the border areas; working together to address common challenges (e.g. environment, natural and cultural heritage, public health, prevention of and fight against organised crime, etc.); ensuring efficient and secure borders; promoting joint small scale actions involving local actors from the border regions. When EU’s borders extends to the Caucasus and Middle East regions, the new CBC programmes will be implemented. And what is the eurasianism? How can we implement the lessons learned from the EU experience to Turkey’s south and east borders? This panel will try to give the answers of these research questions.

The organizers provide hotel accommodation (two nights) and meals for all presenters, panel chairs are entitled to travel grants.

Refer to for further enquiries.

Deadline for paper proposals: March 1, 2011.

The provisional program will be available on March 15, 2011.