Populism in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: Conference for PhDs

Populism in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union:
Conceptual, Empirical and Comparative Perspectives
Annual Young Researchers Conference
Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies
Miami University
Oxford, OH
February 15-17, 2018

“Populism” is a term often used in the scholarly literature on postcommunism – and yet its meaning and explanatory potential remain elusive. The consensus that populist discourses, tropes, rituals, ideas and practices should be counted among the most important factors that propelled transformative processes in the former “second world” does not extend to questions such as: what is the proper way to conceptualize and contextualize the notion of populism? What are the historical roots of the populist phenomenon and the enduring local traditions that sustain it? How did populist rhetoric and appeal change over time, e.g. when several East European countries successfully completed their accession process and became full members of the European Union? What are the cultural resources that populists are able to mobilize, and in what repertoires of contention are such resources invested? How are populist actors and constituencies situated in evolving configurations of power? What is their impact on mainstream politics and established institutional landscapes? And how do populist demands shape oppositional tactics and governmental priorities?

This Young Researchers Conference – an annual event sponsored by the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies at Miami University – seeks to tap into the new wave of research that sheds light on such questions and on postcommunist populism more generally. It is intended to be interdisciplinary, so we invite contributions from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: gender, literary, anthropological, sociological, historical, media studies, political science. The research projects might be related to any region that formerly belonged to the sphere of Soviet domination (East and Central Europe, the Balkans, the Baltics, Central Asia, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus).

Eligibility: The Havighurst Center welcomes papers from scholars who are completing their dissertation or have received their PhD (or candidate degree) within the past five years.
Conference Formal: Participants will prepare a paper to be circulated well in advance and read by all conference presenters, chairs, and discussants. During the conference presenters will have 15 minutes to summarize their findings. The small number of participants and mix of junior and senior scholars make the Havighurst Center’s Young Researchers Conference an excellent venue for both advancing research projects and networking with leading and upcoming figures in a wide range of fields. The working language of the conference is English.
Submitting Abstracts and CVs: Please submit by December 15, 2017 a one-page, single-spaced abstract, as well as a one-page, singled-spaced curriculum vitae to Venelin I. Ganev, Professor in Political Science, Miami University – ganevvi@miamioh.edu ). Participants will be notified by December 20, 2018 if they have been selected for the conference.

Accommodation and Travel Arrangements: The Havighurst Center will provide meals and hotel accommodation in Oxford as well as ground transportation between the Cincinnati and Dayton airports and Oxford, Ohio. Partial travel funding might also be available if needed.