Twenty Five Years of Post Soviet Experience:
Perspectives on Nation Building and Democratization in Eurasia
Date: 2 – 4 November 2016
Venue: School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi-110067
Twenty five years ago the political and social landscape of Eurasia underwent a radical transformation with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the emergence of 15 new states. The immediate tasks before these states were to redefine nationalism, establish democratic political systems and economic reforms. The nation-building process in these states grappled with the ideas of ethno-linguistic nationalism, multiculturalism and civic nationalism. The challenges before these states were to reclaim the lost nationhood and integrate the minorities. They sought to achieve the first by state policies to promote culture, language, demography and economic welfare of the majority ethnic group which constituted the “core” of the nation. They tried to redefine nationalism on the basis of linguistic, historical and cultural symbols. This unfortunately engendered social conflicts leading to civil war in some of the states. The nationalizing project remains unfinished and the process of separation and reintegration continues unabated as witnessed in Georgia and Ukraine. As a consequence of ethno-cultural nationalism, civic nationalism seems to have suffered a setback. However in many other instances the states have achieved relative success in maintaining social harmony, political stability and containing extremism/radicalization.
The Soviet disintegration raised hopes of democratization among the newly independent states. At the time of independence nearly all these states declared liberal multi-party democracy as their political ideal. Some of these have relative success in this regard. But many post-Soviet regimes are often characterized in the Western literature as “authoritarian”, “semi-authoritarian”, “managed-democracy” and so on. The counter-narratives that emerge from this region often use concepts like “Sovereign-democracy” to describe their unique models. The question is how do we understand and analyze the concept of “Sovereign-democracy”? Is it merely a state rhetoric or has essential normative and analytical value in interpreting the unique cases of Eurasia? Similarly there are alternative models of democracy in Central Asia, emphasizing the centrality of state as the guarantor of security and economic development. Where does Indian scholarship on democracy and nationalism fit into this debate? There is a general consensus that “one size fits all liberal model” may not be suitable for all the countries. But what are the alternative models? How far the varied/diverse experiences/practices of nation building, ‘political democracy’ and economic transition in these post-Soviet states help us critically analyze and better understand these complex concepts?
The debates on these subjects have traditionally been dominated by western ideas and scholarship. The seminar aims to explore alternative perspectives. Scholars are encouraged to critically examine the existing/dominant concepts and discourses and offer their insights based on their own experience, regarding nation building, treatment of minorities, federalism, democracy, multi-party system, economic transition and so on.
Theories on Nation Building and Democratization
Democratization in post-Soviet states: “Sovereign Democracy” vs. Liberal Democracy of West
Political Institutions and Processes
Comparing Indian and post-Soviet Experiences of nation-building and democracy
Ethnic and Civic Nationalism in post-Soviet States
Sub-national and supra-national identity: Eurasianism vs European
Economic Transition and Regional Cooperation
Experiences of Economic Transformation
Eurasian Union, SCO
Geopolitics and External Relations
Relations with India
Society and Culture
Literature, Art and Cinema
Last date for submission of paper titles along with abstract: 30 June 2016.
The abstracts will be screened by the Organising Committee and the applicants will be informed about the decision.
Last date for submission of full paper: 30 September 2016.
Local hospitality (accommodation and food) will be provided to all participants for four days. Accommodation will be arranged by the host from 2nd November to 6th November 2016 morning. The inaugural session will be on 2nd afternoon at 4 PM.
Due to limited resources we will not be able to provide airfare to international participants.
Only in select cases Indian participants will be provided return airfare (by Air India only) with a cap of Rs 10,000/-
For further communication in this regard please send your Title/abstract/paper/queries on firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Sanjay Kumar Pandey
Chairperson, Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies,
School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi-110067
Email: email@example.com, Phone: +91-11-26704365, Mobile: +91-9868443183
Prof. Ajay Kumar Patnaik
Director, Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies,
School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi- 110067