Call for Papers: The Power of the People: the Dynamics and Limits of Social Mobilization in South Eastern Europe

The University of Oxford is seeking Paper proposals for an interdisciplinary symposium being held on 27 February 2015 at St Antony’s and St John’s College at Oxford.

The aim of the symposium is to bring together distinguished scholars from various disciplines to discuss the merits, limits and legacies of social protests, demonstrations, sit-ins and other forms of social mobilization, which we have witnessed in South Eastern European in the past twenty years and especially since 2011. The keynote speaker for this conference is Professor Michael Biggs (University of Oxford). The keynote panelists of the symposium are two scholars-activists Igor Štiks and Srećko Horvat, who have just published one of the first analyses of contemporary radical politics in the former Yugoslavia.

Social mobilization from the global to the local level have contributed to important shifts in our thinking about political, economic and cultural aspects of our societies. The massive scale of the recent waves of protests – such as the Occupy movements, the Arab Spring, Maidan in the Ukraine, Gezi Park in Turkey and many others – is often a response to particular events, popular disenchantment with their elites and global phenomena such as the economic downturn. In 2013 and 2014 a wave of social protests swept across South Eastern Europe (SEE), unseen since the fall of socialism in 1989. The mass protests in Turkey, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina surprised many by their intensity and duress. These events had been long in the making, nourished by similar grievances and disenchantments, though they were triggered by different immediate causes. Not enough time has passed to evaluate their consequences and legacy yet. However, we can study some positive and negative lessons from these and previous protests and put forward some tentative propositions about their consequences.

The submission deadline is 15 January 2015. Further information about this call including the themes, can be found here.

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