5th Minsk Conference of the Institute “Political Sphere” (deadline –1 March 2016)

5th Minsk Conference of the Institute “Political Sphere”

Nation at the Time of Crisis

National interests, identity, national idea and national politics in Central and Eastern Europe after 2008

13-14 May 2016

Deadline –1 March 2016

Nation as social community was repeatedly prophesied to disappear. Intellectual and political groups have been discussing such forecasts for at least a century, yet these discussions received very little proof in reality. On the contrary, world economic crisis, which started in 2008, increased social meaning of national institutions and elements of culture. Growing attention to the problems of patriotism, nation, culture, national interests manifests itself from the US to China; at the same time the role of national governments grows, as does skepticism towards European integration projects. These processes also take place in Central and Eastern Europe, and visibly change domestic and foreign policy of particular countries including Belarus.

To a certain extent current processes are similar to the national and ethnic revival of 1970s, which unfolded during the economic downturn after the boom of 1950s and 1960s, and embraced both western countries and socialist bloc. A number of factors enhance the importance of national identity, national interest, politics of memory and history. Moreover, the importance of these processes in CEE is further increased by Russia’s conflict withUkraine, the EU and the US, which created new security threats for the entire region.

The conference will intend to analyse the development of nation as a cultural and political community under the influence of crisis and new geopolitical challenges. How did the economic and geopolitical crisis influence nations? How are the processes of nation building, identity, politics of history and memory changing? In which direction are the categories of national idea and national interest evolving? Obviously, since 2008 these questions saw serious changes. Analysing them is important not only from the academic, but also practical viewpoint in order to predict future development of national communities and institutions in CEE.

Around 40 participants from Belarus and CEE countries are expected to participate in the conference.

Main topics of the conference:

  1. The category of national interest and its transformation at the time of economic crisis and growth of regional instability.
  2. Patriotism and nationalism: evolution at the time of economic and geopolitical crisis.
  3. Nationalidea: transformationofthecategoryafter 2008.
  4. National identity, language and cultural policy in CEE after 2008.
  5. Right and left radicalism and national idea in CEE after 2008.
  6. Politics of history and memory before and after 2008 crisis.
  7. Influence of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine and the west on politics of history and memory in CEE.

To apply for participation in the conference, please fill in the online form:


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