International and IARCEES Conference: Individuals and Institutions in Europe and Eurasia

We are pleased to announce that the next annual conference of the Irish Association for Russian, Central, and East European Studies will be held at Maynooth University, from 6-8 May 2016. We invite scholars from all disciplines and at any stage of their careers to submit a paper or panel proposal related to this year’s conference theme ‘Individuals and Institutions in Europe and Eurasia’.

By choosing the topic of individuals and institutions, we are in a sense re-opening the time-honored dilemma of structure against agency. The conference organizers wish to explore the nature of and the relationship between these two socio-historical agents in the region. Some possible lines of enquiry are: how successful were imperial and national institutions such as armies, schools, and political bodies in forging a sense of imperial and national loyalty throughout the region? How successful were/have been new leaders in moving away from failed institutional projects of the past, such as empire, dictatorship, communism, and fascism? What is the relationship between Russia, Central and East Europe and international institutions of the past and present-day, such as the League of Nations, the Comintern, the Little and Balkan Ententes, the Warsaw Treaty Organization, NATO, and the EU? Have such bodies inhibited sovereignty, or have they helped to protect and promote international stability and national sovereignty? Institution building has often taken place in the context of war and its aftermath (e.g., the Soviet state and the ‘successor states’ of Austria-Hungary after the First World War and the Russian Civil War, Axis-affiliated states during 1939-1941, the Eastern Bloc satellites after the Second World War, and the post-socialist democracies after the Cold War). Is this a defining feature of the region? What are the implications of repeated and often unsuccessful attempts to create new institutions and institutional cultures?

We are also interested in the position and role of individuals as they shape and are shaped by their institutional affiliations. What impact do forced and voluntary associations to armies, schools, political parties and other institutions have on individuals? How have attitudes towards international organizations of the interwar, Cold War, and post-1989-91 period evolved, and why? How have people coped with repeated institutional overhauls within their own lifetimes?

Please send paper or panel proposals of no more than 300 words along with a short biographical statement (200 words) and enquires to Deadline for submissions is Friday 9 December 2015.

N.B. Researchers from all related disciplines are encouraged to apply. The organizers are committed to ensure the interdisciplinary character of the event, therefore, every attempt will be made to maintain a balanced representation of different disciplines. IARCEES members and academics are particularly encouraged to apply and need not restrict their papers or panels to the conference topic. 

John Paul Newman,

Lecturer in Twentieth-Century European History, Maynooth University, Ireland

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