ECMI announces Call for Papers for the conference “The 1990 CSCE Copenhagen Document, East-West encounters and evolutions of the minority regime in Europe”, taking place in Flensburg between 5-7 June 2015. Deadline for the submission of paper abstracts: 15 January 2015.
Interested scholars are invited to participate in a multidisciplinary conference on the inception of the European minority rights regime a quarter of a century ago, at the end of the Cold War; the regime’s subsequent evolutions, affected by the re-drawing of the dividing lines in Europe; and the new challenges created by the turmoil in Eastern Europe.
The conference is organised and hosted by the European Centre for Minority Issues. The organisers intend to publish a selection of the papers in the form of edited volumes and/or journal special issues. The conference will also incorporate workshop sessions to discuss the establishment of new research networks dedicated to the key themes under consideration.
This conference has been timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the Conference on the Human Dimension of the CSCE. For several reasons, this document and its anniversary deserve the attention of scholars and practitioners dealing with minority issues. First of all, it constitutes a landmark and in some respects a starting point in the development of the European minority rights regime. Part IV of the Document contains numerous innovative concepts – such as ‘full equality’, ‘effective participation’, ‘autonomy arrangements’, ‘proportionate measures’ and so forth – that provided an impetus for further political and scholarly debates and have since become central for minority protection in the framework of the OSCE, CoE and UN, as well as in national legislations in Europe and beyond.
Second, the Copenhagen Document was a byproduct of the cooperation between the West and the East at the end of the Cold War. The still underexplored contributions of the USSR, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and East Germany to the drafting and adoption of the Copenhagen Document were in part inspired by the resurgence of ethnic claims and ethnic conflicts in the former communist states and the energetic attempts of the ruling elites in the USSR, Yugoslavia and Hungary to cope with the new challenges in the framework of democratization processes. These transformations of the previously closed party apparatus-led decision-making into public politics, the related new institutional set-ups and the legacies of this period deserve a thorough analysis. The fact that the communist rulers and the Western democracies were able to talk the same language with regard to minority issues also begs questions.
Third, as some scholars argue, Europe is slowly sliding today towards a new Cold War period, and minority issues are playing a significant role in the recent escalation of tensions around Ukraine. The recent developments prompt an examination of the achievements and failures of the last 25 years, particularly of the loopholes in the international and domestic normative regulations of minority issues and the destructive effects they can generate. Broader challenges that the minority rights regime in Europe faces today and possible remedies to these issues shall be also addressed.
We thus suggest a multidisciplinary international discussion which would involve scholars and policy-makers and would focus on several topics. The list of potential topics includes, but is not limited to:
- The conceptual evolution of the minority regime in Europe and North America and the impact of the 1990 Copenhagen Document;
- Modes of international cooperation with regard to minorities in Europe and North America;
- Merits and flaws of the European minority rights regime;
- Institutional underpinnings of ethnic politics and diversity policies at the domestic and international levels;
- Liberal-democratic and authoritarian approaches to minority policies – is there a common ground?
- Communist conceptual and institutional legacies in the international and domestic minority regimes;
- The new challenges and new dividing lines between the ‘West’ and the ‘East’ and the future of the European minority rights regime.
We aim to attract innovative contributions that develop theoretical arguments while embedding these in the context of case studies. Applications from early career scholars are especially welcome. Applicants must submit a 300 word abstract, short academic CV and preliminary registration form to email@example.com by 15 January 2015.
Conference participants recruited through this call will be responsible for meeting the costs of their travel and accommodation. The organizers are currently looking into sources of external funding for the conference, and, provided this can be secured, a limited number of bursaries for early career researchers (doctoral students and the holders of PhDs awarded after 1 January 2012) might be available. Applicants should indicate if they wish to be considered for the early career bursary when submitting their abstract and registration form. We strongly encourage applicants to seek funding from their home institution or alternative sources. The organisers will confirm the overall selection of speakers for the conference and the offers of early career bursaries by the end of February 2015.
Accommodation for conference speakers will be provided at the Akademie Sankelmark (in the vicinity of Flensburg), at a special institutional rate of 75 EUR per night for a single or double rooms. ECMI will make bookings on behalf of the participants, using the information provided on the conference application form. Participants will then be responsible for paying their own hotel bill while in Sankelmark. The conference is scheduled to begin at 10:00 on 5 June, and end at 12.30 on 7 June. All the meals are included in the daily rate of the accommodation.
If you have any further questions regarding the remit of and arrangements for the conference, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject CONFERENCE APPLICATION and YOUR NAME.