Political Participation in Central and Eastern Europe During the Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic altered the functioning of societies and people’s behavior in many areas of daily life. Political participation is one behavior that faced important challenges due to the social distancing regulations and general restrictions for personal interactions in many countries. In spite of these limitations, the political participation continued during the pandemic: elections were organized, people protested, social movements continued to develop, political parties organized activities, referendums and deliberative practices took place. This was partially possible due to the broad array of technology tools available to organizers and participants.
Although these political activities were organized, several questions remain unanswered: Who participates during the pandemic? What determines people to get involved? How important is the online mobilization and interaction? What forms of political participation are more preferred? How did political participation or the profile of participants changed compared to the pre-pandemic participation? What are the effects of political participation during the pandemic?
This conference aims to understand better the complexity of this picture and to answer some of these questions. It brings together researchers discussing developments in Central and Eastern Europe (including the Balkans and the Baltic countries), either with an emphasis on single-case studies or with a comparative perspective. The conference will provide the space for an academic debate in which scholars can present the most recent findings of their research. The event will be multi-disciplinary and addresses scholars from Political Science, Sociology, History, International Relations and European Studies. A variety of perspectives and approaches will be encouraged.
Depending on the homogeneity of the papers, a special issue in a peer-reviewed journal or an edited book may be also feasible.
The conference is intended to take place face to face. Depending on the COVID-19 regulations, it may be hosted it in a hybrid or completely on-line format.
The conference will be organized for two days (3 and 4 November) and will gather 17 participants (15 from outside Södertörn University). The papers will be clustered in thematic areas that will be decided after the acceptance of papers. Each presenter will be allocated 45 minutes: 15 minutes to present the paper, 10 minutes for the discussant and 25 minutes for general discussion.
There is no conference fee. The organizers will provide accommodation and meals for the entire duration of the conference. Authors should fill in the application form (available below) until 5 October 2021 (applications received after deadline will not be reviewed). The results of the selection process will be announced until 8 October and a final version of the paper to be presented at the conference must be delivered until 28 October.