Home Event Call for Papers for the International Conference ’25 years of Revolution – Comparing Revolt and Transition from Europe 1989 to Arab World 2014′.

Call for Papers for the International Conference ’25 years of Revolution – Comparing Revolt and Transition from Europe 1989 to Arab World 2014′.

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Date(s) - 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014
All Day

Playfair Library Hall


25 years of revolution

Comparing revolt and transition from Europe 1989 to Arab World 2014

International Conference

The University of Edinburgh

8-9 January 2014

Call for Papers

The events from late 2010 in the Arab world and those of 1989 in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have invited many comparisons and even been described as two chapters in the story of democracy’s spread across the globe.  The popular or spontaneous character of the uprisings, the way in which the ‘spark’ of revolution leapt across borders to ignite protests in neighbouring countries, or the demands of the people for democracy and an end to corruption and broken promises appear to be common themes in this story.  Another thing they share is their diversity.  Despite the convenience of the term ‘Arab Spring’ each uprising and transition has had its own dynamics and characteristics.  Similarly, CEE transitions were diverse in form (some negotiated, others popular revolutions).

But in other ways they differ and do not easily fit in a common narrative.  The Tunisians, Egyptians, Yemenis, Libyans, Syrians and Bahrainis were not revolting against a single overarching power as were those rebelling against Soviet control.  Arab regimes shared, and share, many ideological characteristics, but systems of government and sources of legitimacy vary across the region.  Continued war and instability, and the resilience of the old regimes, further strain the comparisons between the Arab Spring and the uprisings that brought an end to communism in CEE.  Do the Arab uprisings, and their increasingly problematic aftermaths, in fact share more with post-communist transitions in the Balkans and Former Soviet Union than they do with those in CEE?

This unique conference, marking 25 years since the upheavals of 1989 and 3 since the beginning of the Arab Spring, is organised by the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW), Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies (CRCEES), and the Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies (CEELBAS).  It will bring together scholars working on the Arab world, Eastern and Southern Europe, and the Former Soviet Union to showcase and stimulate comparative research on the two sets of revolutions.

Proposals are invited for papers including but not limited to the following topics as they relate either to the Arab uprisings or the revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe.  Papers may deal with one or other case, but priority will be given to those that include a comparative dimension and/or provide insights into analytical and theoretical concerns such as nationalism and ideology; democracy and democratisation; transnationalism; civil society; labour movements; revolutions and international relations; the politics of militaries and security sectors; non-violent resistance; civil wars; the role of religion; social movements; or the role of media and communications.


If you would like to participate in the conference please send a 250 word abstract and a CV to admin@casaw.ac.uk.

Deadline for proposals: 22 September 2013

Please direct enquiries to the CASAW office at the address above.

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