VMU Conference about Europe, Nations and Insecurity

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Europe

Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) in cooperation with the Association for the Study of Nationalities (ASN) is pleased to announce the joint conference “Europe, Nations, and Insecurity: Challenges to Identities”. The Conference will be held on 30 June – 2 July 2016 in Kaunas, Lithuania.

The panels of the conference will embrace a wide range of topics related to the political and economic situation in all regions of Europe. A serious consideration will be given not only to the persistent problem of state aggression and ethnic conflicts, but also to the newly emerging threats, challenges, and insecurities. These new uncertainties create serious threats for world stability and over the past years have become the only certainty in the modern world. Due attention will also be given to contested and challenged identities, ranging from Baltic, Nordic Eastern, Central and other European to all world’s regions and nationalities, be these identities state-controlled and manipulated or sporadically emerging and self-asserting. Programmatic themes encompass Nationalism Studies, Memory and Culture Studies, Migration and Diasporas, History, Politics, Gender Studies, Ethnicity and Violence, Minority Rights, Energy Security, Language, Literature and Education, Public Diplomacy, etc.

The main regional focus of the conference will fall on the Baltic region and Eastern Europe, while a considerable number of presentations will deal with the issues in the Balkans, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and the Caucasus, as well as the Middle East and Central Eurasia, with the panels organised in respect to the regions and nations. The conference will offer 60 panels, roundtable discussions and book presentations. More than 240 participants from 46 countries are expected at the conference.

Reports on the Baltic and Eastern European regions will revolve around identities in post-Soviet states, conflicting borders, security, dependent states, European Union and regional cooperation, approaching these issues from the perspectives such as Nationalism Studies, Memory and Culture Studies, Migration and Diasporas, History, Politics, Gender Studies, Ethnicity and Violence, Minority Rights, Energy Security, Language Policy, and Conflict Studies. These paradigms will resonate in panels of other regions as well, helping to pin down the always changing and shifting face of Europe, its problems of state aggression and ethnic conflicts, and to the newly emerging threats, challenges, and insecurities.

The opening event of the conference, a roundtable discussion After 2014: Prospects of Peace and Security in the Baltic Region, will begin at 17:30 on June 30th and will focus on newly emerging threats, challenges, and insecurities in Europe. It will bring together the ambassadors of the countries of the Baltic Region to Lithuania, prominent Lithuanian politicians and experts in foreign policy. The discussion will be moderated by the philosopher, political theorist, professor Leonidas Donskis.

Keynote speeches will be delivered by:

Lilia Shevtsova, Russian analyst, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Russia as the Challenge of the 21st Century: How the Personalized System Survives in Post-Modern Times (July 1, 9:00 – 10:30)

Krzysztof Czyżewski, Polish public intellectual, one of the initiators of the Borderland Foundation in Sejny, Poland
From Memory of Insecurity towards Culture of Solidarity (July 2, 17:00 – 18:30)

The conference is organised by the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Political Science and Diplomacy of Vytautas Magnus University.

For more detailed information please visit the conference’s webpage.

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