Call for Papers


The Center for Area Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” (NaUKMA) and the Institute of International Relations (IIR) at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with the support of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) organizes

“International Conference “What Can Tempt Ukraine to Get back on the Democratization Path?

Kyiv between the EU's Eastern Partnership and Russia's Eurasian Union. ‒ An Investigation into the Influences of the EU’s- and Russia’s- Driven Integration Projects on Ukrainian Domestic Affairs”

to be held in Kyiv on September 12th-13th, 2013


What could stop Ukraine move towards autocracy and tempt it back to democracy? Are there any options to enhance Ukraine’s regime to stop the pendulum-like behavior of Ukraine’s hybrid regime and move towards the sustainable democracy? To answer these challenging questions, one needs to look at the current mechanisms of Ukraine’s domestic politics and identify their sources – domestic structural context as well as influences of Ukrainian political leadership, business (ranging from small/middle-scale to those large-scale business groups, often called oligarchs) as well as civil society and the population. However, a deep understanding of the development or backslash of democratic institutions in Ukraine is not possible when the analysis is restricted to domestic affairs only. One needs to include external factors as well.

Indeed, Ukraine is a country at the crossroads of diverse diffusion flows coming from the European Union (EU) and Russia. These two external powers are influential not only concerning Ukraine’s foreign policy orientation, but also regarding its domestic development. The absence of an EU membership perspective and Russia’s energy leverage are widely recognized to be responsible for successive reform deadlocks and the paralyzation of the democratization process in Ukraine. Arguably, in no other post-Soviet country, the impact of competing external powers on domestic politics and the interdependence of foreign policy orientations and democratization are so apparent and so complex.

Hence, this conference concentrates on the roles of the EU and Russia – in shaping Ukraine’s domestic politics. In particular, it elaborates the effectiveness of the EU’s and Russia’s bilateral strategies and regional integration projects in empowering certain domestic actors, modifying the structural context and eventually influencing Ukraine’s institutional reforms.


The conference will address the following questions:


         To which degree and through which mechanisms has the EU successfully diffused European institutions in Ukraine? What is the value added and the potential of the EU’s regional approach – with focus on the EaP – to foster democratization in Ukraine and in the post-Soviet area overall?

         Which bilateral and regional mechanisms are used by Russia to influence Ukraine’s domestic politics? Which domestic reforms are triggered? When and why has been Russia successful?

         What are the complementarities and/or rivalries of EU and Russia approaches in bilateral and regional cooperation schemes to be exploited by Ukrainian elites, society, etc. to promote/shift institutional reforms?

         When and why have domestic actors taken over institutions diffused from outside by the EU and Russia? When and why have they been reluctant?

         Which structural factors in Ukraine and in which way have hindered or promoted domestic institutional reforms diffused from outside by the EU and Russia?


The contributions approaching these questions from the perspectives of Political Science (in particular, International Relations), Economics, Law, History and Culture are welcome. Although the conference concentrates on Ukraine, its research focus is not limited to this country case. Contributions comparing Ukraine with other cases in the post-communist area are welcome.

Young as well as established researchers from all over the world are invited to send their abstracts (max. 300 words) to Inna Melnykovska ( by April 30th at the latest. Due to the rules of the funding organization, the organizers could provide accommodation and cover travel costs only for researchers from Germany and Ukraine.

Further details on the conference could be found here.





Frühere Workshops:


CAS-Workshop  “The parties of the radical Left in Western Europe” on January 18, 2013

The workshop pays attention to the parties of the radical left in Western Europe in comparative perspective. Radical left parties are a political sector that experience difficult times in the aftermath of the events of 1989 (collapse of so-called “real socialism” and disappearance of the Soviet Union). This period triggered major transformations, some parties disappeared or mutated and others evolved towards new alliances or submerged into social movements’ organizations. This led some analysts to declare the end of socialism as force of political change. However, by the beginning of the new century there were indications that the demise of the radical left was far from its realization. Indeed, radical left parties have prospered in some countries. Coming into power of governments such as those of Presidents Hugo Chavez, Rafael Correa or Evo Morales in Latin America has invigorated activists and militants in Western countries in a post-revolution political time. An observation of the current moment in Europe shows that, while in some countries radical left parties are on the rise (e.g. in the Netherlands, Greece) or have achieved a significant share of the vote (e.g. in Denmark, France, Germany), in others they are in decline (e.g. in Italy, Spain) or haven't been able to establish themselves within the political system (e.g. in Switzerland, UK, Belgium). There are considerable differences between these parties not only in terms of their electoral success, but also in their relationship with labor unions and social movements, militancy, ideological scope, and strategies, among other aspects.


Some of the questions that frame this discussion are: Does the current economic crisis enhance the options for the radical Left, or under which circumstances this might be the case? Might this happen at the expense of the moderate party of the Left (social-democratic, labor, or socialist)?  Does the consolidation or growth of these parties depend upon what frame of relationship of the Left with the other parties (socialdemocratic, greens)? De-industrialization, postmaterialistic values, environmental risks, and the prolongation of the economic crisis, do these factors –or their combination- announce a reconfiguration of the political system? What are the prospects for the Left -in a broad sense- given these circumstances and challenges?


The workshop brings together a group of scholars with a common interest on this topic to discuss on substantive, theoretical and methodological issues.




CAS - Workshop “Jewish Diaspora in Latin America” 30.08.2012

 Im Kontext der neuen Globalgeschichte befasst sich dieser Workshop mit jüdischer Einwanderung in Lateinamerika im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Die Vorträge sollen dazu dienen, die Rolle der Migration in der Bildung von lateinamerikanischen Gesellschaften herauszuarbeiten und die spezifische Rolle der jüdischen Migration nach Argentinien, Brasilien und Kolumbien zu untersuchen. Die Geschichte der Diaspora hat die jüdische community zu einem transnationalen Paradigma gemacht. Insbesondere die jüdischen Gemeinschaften in Lateinamerika haben einerseits durch die engen Verbindungen untereinander eine starke Identifikation mit der jüdischen Kultur und Tradition bewahrt, andererseits aber auch ein erhebliches Eingliederungsvermögen in die lokalen Gesellschaften gezeigt. Der Workshop zielt auf Fragen über Identitätskonstruktion, die sich im Wechselverhältnis zwischen lokalen und globalen historischen Prozessen herausgebildet und immer wieder neu definiert haben.




Workshop „New approaches to poverty assessment“

Der Workshop wurden den partizipativen Messmethoden, die neue Erkenntnisse über Armut und Armutsreduktion ermöglichen, gewidmet (Programm).

Im Rahmen dieses Workshops hält  Prof. Dr. Anirudh Krishna (Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, USA) einen öffentlichen Vortrag. Kommentiert wurde der Vortrag  von Dr. Philipp Lepenies (Research Fellow - Research Network Desigualdades, Freie Universität Berlin).

In seinem Vortrag „One illness away: Why people become poor and how they escape poverty“ berichtet Prof. Krishna  über seine Erkenntnisse aus der partizipativen Armutsforschung. Mit den Ergebnissen aus seiner Forschung ermöglicht Anirudh Krishna einen Blick „hinter“ das Bild, das aggregierte Armutsindikatoren wie die „1$-a day“ Armutslinie zeichnen. Er fragt arme Menschen nach ihrer Definition von Armut und Wohlstand, rekonstruiert Lebenswege aus und in die Armut und zeigt damit auf, dass die Information von statischen aggregierten Indikatoren unzureichend ist. Sie können nicht erfassen, ob viele Menschen neu von Armut betroffen sind und sich nur die Gesamtzahl der Armen verringert hat. Oder inwiefern sich die Lebenssituation der Menschen aus ihrer eigenen Perspektive geändert hat. Auch gibt seine Forschung Hinweise auf wichtige Determinanten für den Weg in und aus der Armut.

Prof. Dr. Anirudh Krishna ist seit 2007 Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science an der Universität Duke, nachdem er dort seit 2000 Assistant Professor war. Zuvor arbeitete er von 1982 bis 1996 im indischen Verwaltungsdienst und war für zahlreiche Initiativen für lokale Entwicklung und Armutsreduktion verantwortlich. Er hat seine Forschungsergebnisse in zahlreichen renommierten Fachzeitschriften publiziert und zuletzt auch im folgenden Buch zusammengefasst:

 Anirudh Krishna. 2010. One Illness Away: Why People Become Poor and How they Escape Poverty. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.




Letzte Aktualisierung: 09.04.2013