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Conference “A Year That Shook the World: European and Eurasian Responses to America’s Withdrawal” (Princeton, May 11-13, 2018)

CALL FOR PAPERS

 

Princeton University

Princeton Institute for Regional and International Studies

 

A YEAR THAT SHOOK THE WORLD:

European and Eurasian Responses to America’s Withdrawal

May 11-13, 2018

Princeton

 

Keynote Speakers:

 

Anatol Lieven

(Georgetown University Qatar,

New America Foundation)

 

Lutz Niethammer

(Friedrich-Schiller-Universität, Jena, Germany)

 

 

The American election of November 2016 was not only a rupture for Americans – it was also a global event. The electoral victory of Donald Trump and Republican Party dominance of the legislative branches of government has significantly altered the political and social landscape of both the US and, consequently, its relations with the world as a dominant power guaranteeing the stability of postwar global structures.

 

The election also changed the world’s perception of the inner workings of America.  It made explicit deep ideological and perceptual cleavages within the social body. It exposed the sclerotic condition of the two-party state. It demonstrated the fundamental ambivalence of the status of truth in the media environment, pointing to less than adequate tools of political analysis and sociological forecasting.

 

Since the 2016 elections, the global landscape has begun to become more unstable. The first year of the Trump administration was characterized most fundamentally by the activation of the most parochial elements of American political life which in turn triggered effects abroad. Accidental as it might have been, the bloody clashes of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville with its forceful assertion of American nationalism were separated by only a week from the official announcement of the US about the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement and its transnational commitments. Two months later, this tendency to withdraw was reconfirmed by the US decision to leave UNESCO. Pulling the plug on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and threatening to do the same with the Iran nuclear agreement showed that Trump’s “America First” slogan really did mean that the US would go it alone if it felt that its own interest demanded the repudiation of its prior commitments.

 

This conference aims to explore the geopolitical consequences and cultural repercussions of America’s new engagement with withdrawal as a global strategy. How have European and Eurasian relations with each other changed since the American revolution of November 2016? In particular, how have the internal implosions of the political mechanisms and institutions in the US influenced the perceptions of and actions in world politics in Europe and Eurasia. How do these implosions of what passed for normal in the US modify the current map of international relations? How does it change the views of the European and Russian political classes on the role of the EU and NATO in the near future? What are the alternative political configurations and arrangements that are being envisioned and discussed in Europe and Eurasia against the backdrop of Trump’s America?  Given the downward spiral of US-Russia relations, how is Russia’s presence in European relations understood and conceptualized by European and Eurasian elites and publics? Similarly, what are the roles that Europe is expected to play in Russia’s politics after the election of Donald Trump? In general, how does globalization look from the point of view of local actors in, say, Berlin, Rome, Tbilisi or Bishkek now, after the ostensible US disengagement from international institutions and networks?

 

We invite proposals from scholars of politics, social relations, history, culture, law, and media interested in analyzing changes of the political imaginaries in Europe and Eurasia after November 2016. We seek empirically grounded and theoretically informed accounts of cultural shifts, political and social transformations, as well as new conceptual frames that are emerging in “old” and “new” Europe, Russia, and Central Asia in response to the geopolitical challenges posed by the Trump administration.

 

By bringing scholars from different fields and different regions together, we hope to generate a productive discussion on the state of international relations across Europe and Eurasia against the backdrop of the revolutionary reconfiguration of the US’s role in the world.

 

To apply, please send your abstract (300 words) and a short CV (~ 2 pages) to the Program committee at AmericanWithdrawal@gmail.com by January 25, 2018.

 

Those selected to give presentations at the conference will be contacted in early February 2018.

 

Final papers will be due by April 15, and they will be posted on the conference’s website.

Pending funding decisions, travel grants for graduate students and participants from overseas may be available.

 

Program Committee:

 

Co-chairs: John Borneman & Serguei Oushakine (Princeton);

Bruce Grant (NYU); Regina Schulte (Ruhr-Universität Bochum); Gulnaz Sharafutdinova (King’s College London).

 

The Conference is organized by

The Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society 

&

The Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

 

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