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Conference “Liberation – Freedom – Democracy? 1918–1968–2018” (Helsinki, 24–26 October 2018)

University of Helsinki, Finland, 24–26 October 2018

The Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki will hold the 18th Annual International Aleksanteri Conference aiming to bring together scholars, experts, and advanced graduate students from a variety of disciplines such as history, political science, sociology, geography, law, economics, and media and cultural studies.

In 2018 we have multiple commemorations of historical events that shaped the development of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia, including:

1918 – the end of the Great War, and the disintegration of old Empires drew a new map of Europe and Eurasia, providing radically new possibilities for societal evolution.

1968 – the year which can be remembered not only for the crushing of “socialism with a human face”, but also as the beginning of welfare socialism and the socialist market economy strengthening entrepreneurialism and individualism – and, as such, the beginning of the end of the communist system.

These, and other events which will be marked by commemorations in 2018, bore consequences in the spatial context, on the idea of the nation state, and the perceptions of the most desirable societal system. These events constantly modified the key values of freedom and power-people relations. When we look back to these previous 100 years – we can ask ourselves: Did liberation mean freedom? Did freedom mean democracy? Did democracy bring security, well-being, and equality for the people? And is democracy irreversible?

The conference committee invites papers in the following themes:

Russian Media Lab thematic stream: “Media Innovation, Horizontal Networks and Digital Entrepreneurship in Russia and Beyond: Avenues for Strengthening Freedom of Speech and Journalistic Practices?”

Submissions: The deadline for submitting paper, panel, and roundtable proposals is 14 May 2018. Please submit your proposal via our website.

For further information, or if you wish to ask any questions, please contact the conference organisers at:

Organisers: Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki in collaboration with the Russian Media Lab project, the Jean Monnet ‘East within Europe’ programme, and East Central European, Balkan and Baltic Studies (ECEBB) and the Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies ‘Choices of Russian Modernisation’.


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