24th Annual Conference of Central European Political Science Association: CEE – A Region in-between

Country: Hungary

City: Pécs

Abstr. due: 31.05.2019

Dates: 26.09.19 — 27.09.19

Area Of Sciences: Political science;

Organizing comittee e-mail: cepsa2019@pte.hu

Organizers: Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Pécs Central European Political Science Association.


Recent trends in the Central Eastern European countries further proved the unique position and mindset of the region – in-between two different worlds and cultures, the East and the West. What a few might call the return of history, the countries once again experience uncertainty, political extremity and the influence of external powers.

The EU scepticism, the refugee situation, the soap opera called BREXIT, the rise of nationalism and the (re)arrival of the Russian interest questioned the world the CEE countries created for themselves after the change of regimes and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. What once was a strategic priority, i.e. to become members of the Euro-Atlantic organizations, now is a target of criticism. Though most of their goals have been accomplished, there still is a huge gap between the Western European members and the CEE region, driving the critical voices.

Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary became members of the NATO 20 years ago, starting the Eastern Enlargement of the security cooperation as well. What was a criticised move back then by
some scholars and NATO officials (and Boris Yeltsin, the then President of the Russian Federation), is a historical turning point looking back from 2019. But that cooperation is also uncertain, given the
slightly changing foreign policy of the US, their shift towards Asia and the continuous criticism of the military budgets of the majority of the European members.

Within this uncertain situation, in-between East and West – the project that once was a holy grail for the CEE countries, is at least losing its previous shine. Regional initiatives might offer answers to
these challenges, but there are also serious concerns about what concept these countries should adhere to – not to mention the rebirth of nationalism, in some cases generating suspicion and fear
among countries of the region.

In 2019 these processes are going to continue, conclude (in the case of BREXIT possibly) and generate further questions for CEECs. Therefore, we are offering our academic community a chance to meet and reflect on the major issues of our region, the continent and its initiatives. Given the success of the previous editions of the CEPSA conferences we are convinced that amidst these challenges and debates, there is still a need for substantive discussions and recommendations from the academic community.

Within the conference panels both theoretical and analytical contributions might be presented in connection with the general theme “CEE – A REGION IN-BETWEEN”. Below, we mention a brief list of
themes that might be discussed within the panels:

  • NATO’s first Eastern Enlargement;
  • CEECs towards the idea of military integration in the EU;
  • Importance of Collective Defense for CEECs;
  • NATO’s future enlargement: The case of Macedonia (Northern Macedonia) and Ukraine;
  • Political trends in CEE;
  • Civil society in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Trajectories of Party Politics in the Region;
  • Threats to Liberal Democracy;
  • Rise of Conservativism and Nationalism;
  • Rise of right-wing populism in CEE;
  • Regional Initiatives - The V4 and the Three Seas Initiative;
  • CEE and the EU;
  • CEECs and the EP elections;
  • What’s next for CEE after BREXIT?;
  • CEE towards the refugee crisis;
  • CEE towards the EU enlargement process and the Balkans;
  • Energy Security in CEE;
  • CEECs and the US;
  • CEECs and Ukraine;
  • CEECs and Russia;
  • CEECs and China;
  • CEECs in Africa;

A broad range of topics is suggested, which cover theoretical studies, international relations, comparative politics, area studies and other sub-disciplines of political science. While participants are
especially invited to respond to the conference theme, proposals on other aspects of Central European politics will be considered as well. The conference is open to researchers from all countries
with an interest in Central European affairs.

Conference Web-Site: https://www.cepsanet.org/

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