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How to Be Prepared? Governance for Societal Resilience in the Baltic Sea Region and Eastern Europe

Since the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, building societal resilience in the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe has become ever more topical.

Societal resilience describes the ability of communities and institutions to withstand shocks and continue functioning under high-security threats and uncertainty. The experience of Ukraine shows that societal resilience is crucial for national defence and savvy military operations.

The Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) invites applications from scholars and practitioners of the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe to reflect on the region’s preparedness to deal with hybrid threats, including disinformation and propaganda, damage to critical physical and virtual infrastructure, and traditional warfare. We seek contributions focusing on resilience initiatives and forms, structures and processes of stakeholder coordination (governance) that support societal resilience to hybrid security threats in the region.

In addition to scholarly and academic presentations, the conference will offer space for co-creation sessions.

Apply by May 30, 2023 using the button "Online Application" below. You will receive the results of your application by June 15, 2023.

Read further application instructions in the boxes below.

Please submit a max 300-word abstract and a 100-word biographical statement. Scholars will be expected to submit papers by October 1, 2023.

The conference aims to contribute to the academic debate on the efficiency of polycentric or centralised governance for resilience in the face of complex security challenges. Previous research on resilience to natural or technological disasters returned conflicting findings. On the one hand, flexible network-based coordination between political, economic and civic actors can produce innovative, context- and challenge-specific responses because networks facilitate social learning and self-organisation. But on the other hand, decentralised governance may return slow and uncoordinated responses.

The conference contributions shall focus on the governance of solutions to diverse security threats and may include but are not limited to the following aspects of governance:

  1. Typology of societal resilience actors and initiatives (solutions) in the region at national, sub-national and international levels;
  2. Forms of vertical and horizontal coordination of various actors and institutions, including fiscal aspects and division of responsibilities, which support societal resilience;
  3. Practices of anticipation, self-organisation, learning and adaptation;
  4. Accountability and feedback in the systems that support societal resilience;
  5. Role of (digital) technology in facilitating societal resilience;
  6. Theoretical and empirical tackling of a balance between threat preparedness and response and sustaining democracy.
  7. Individual skill-set and organisational characteristics of stakeholders that support coordination for resilience.

We welcome conceptual, empirical and methodological contributions, as well as in-depth case studies and comparative work. Organisers envisage proposing a special issue to an academic journal featuring selected high-quality papers.

For practitioners from government agencies or think tanks, please submit a 150-300-word description of your intended presentation and a max 100-word biographical statement.
We welcome experience-sharing and reflections about solutions and initiatives to respond to hybrid security threats in an uncertain geopolitical environment. Topics could include developing solutions that match threats; understanding impacts; pitfalls to avoid; new problems to tackle; questions you’ve been struggling to answer.

Whether scholar or practitioner, we invite you to suggest a co-creation session. If you have an idea for a research project, policy brief, special issue or other collaborative initiatives, use this conference to find collaborators.
Please submit a max 300-word session proposal and a 100-word biographical statement outlining the purpose and outcome of the co-creation session, your preliminary ideas on how to organise it and whether any special expertise or preparation would be needed from participants

  • Nicholas Aylott, Södertörn University, Associate Professor of Political Science; and the Head of the Europe Programme at the Swedish Institute for International Affairs (UI);
  • Joakim Ekman, Södertörn University, Professor of Political Science, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES),
  • Oksana Huss, PhD, Researcher in an ERC Project, Bologna University, and co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network;
  • Alyona Hurkivska, Doctoral student at Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Visiting Researcher at Södertörn University
  • Dmytro Iarovyi, Lecturer at Kyiv School of Economics and Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, PhD in Political Psychology
  • Kristina Juraite, Professor and Head of the Department of Public Communications, Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas; member of the Baltic Engagement Centre for Combating Information Disorders
  • Oleksandra Keudel, PhD, Assistant Professor at Kyiv School of Economics and Project-Specific Researcher at CBEES (2023)


  • The conference will take place offline at Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden. Hybrid sessions may be organised to accommodate participants who are unable to travel.
  • Travel and accommodation funding is available to a limited number of participants. If you need such funding, please indicate so when submitting your contribution.


Kyiv School of Economics, Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI)


  • Oleksandra Keudel, Kyiv School of Economics (
  • Joakim Ekman, Södertörn University
  • Nicholas Aylott, Södertörn University

This conference is funded by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster..

Tid och plats

12 oktober 2023, 09:00 - 13 oktober 2023, 15:00


Södertörn University, hitta hit


Arrangeras av

Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) together with Kyiv School of Economics, Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI)



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