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Adjusting to Europe, Kaunas, Lithuania

European Centre for Minority Issues (Flensburg, Germany) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (Baltic Office) are pleased to invite paper proposals for the conference
*Adjusting to Europe: Institutional Legacies of Communism and Ethnocultural Diversity*
on August 29-30, 2011 in Kaunas, Lithuania

The impact of the European norms, standards and policies of minority rights protection on the countries of Central Eastern Europe and in the states of the former Soviet Union have been intensely studied. However, the institutional dynamics inhereted from the Soviet nationalities policies have barely been in a focus of interest. The conference asks how institutional legacies of the past impact on policies supporting minority communities in the new Europe since a range of the formerly communist states have accessed the European Union. Much academic and policy-oriented research has been done on the impact of European norms and institutions on the post-communist democratisation, yet none on the reverse influence.

Now, 20 years following the demise of the Soviet states and its nationalities policies, we ask how the European political institutions reflect the experiences of the communist era and whether, and if so how, the institutional dynamics are reflected in the EU relations with its postcommunist neighbours. The issues to be addressed include - but are not limited to - interpretations of social equality, ethnocultural development, ethnic representation and autonomy, all addressing the "systemic hypocrisy" in coping with ethnicity-based claims. We are explicitly interested in contributions assessing the convergence and/or conflict between the communist ethnic policies and the minority protection standards in contemporary Europe.

The conference seeks to bring young and established scholars working on issues pertaining to contemporary ethnic policies in postcommunist states. The conference will feature the following panels:
1) Institutional support for cultural diversity;
2) Norms and policies of minority protection;
3) Practical challegenes in diversity management;
4) Nationalities policy and minority rights regime;
5) Territorialisation of minority: USSR vs EU;

The conference seeks to raise questions about the role of communist institutional and ideological legacies in contemporary European minority politics. Preference will be given to theory-driven papers that assess norms and policies of minority accomodation, non-discrimination and cultural diversity diachronically. A comparison of communist states' - understood here as republics of the USSR and SFR of Yugoslavia, as well as the European states, members to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance - "nationalities policies" with the instruments of minority proteciton in contemporary Europe is highly encouraged.

Please send your paper proposal of 500-600 words as an email (attachements will be discarded) to Timofey Agarin by April 4, 2011. Authors whose papers are selected will be notified by April 11 and will be receiving further particulars on the conference. All papers selected must be submitted in their draft version by July 31 to allow a prompt publication as a special issue of the ECMI's Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues ( by the end of 2011.

More Information:
William McKinney
Electronic Services Librarian
European Centre for Minority Issues
Schiffbrücke 12
24939 Flensburg