Call for papers: SNES Spring Conference 2016
In the last few years, the established certainties of politics in Europe have started to break down. Internationally, the hopes of a quarter century ago that the collapse of the USSR would lead to a new wave of democratization seem outdated. The Ukraine crisis and the sanctions on Russia continue to challenge the EU’s relationship with its largest neighbours. At the same time, conflict in the Middle East and the stream of refugees towards Europe have created challenges and divisions within the EU about how to deal with the humanitarian and political issues surrounding them, as well as bringing into question the notion of free movement within the Union. The EU enlargement process has run out of steam, and there seems little likelihood of further expansions in the near future – creating a new ‘paper curtain’ between the EU and non-EU spheres of the continent. Within the institutions of the EU itself, the quest for ‘ever closer union’ and the ‘four freedoms’ at the heart of the European project are for the first time being openly challenged by several national governments. One – the United Kingdom – has called a referendum that may result in the first voluntary demission by a full member state, whilst others are adopting an increasingly sceptical tone towards Brussels and European co-operation. The aftershocks of the World Financial Crisis continue to reverberate, dividing the ‘bailout countries’ (and Greece in particular) from their more economically stable north European neighbours. In the European Parliament and national elections, European voters have increasingly been casting their ballots for non-traditional populist parties of both left and right, polarising political debate and challenging the issues such as immigration and European integration. As old structures reconfigure, new constellations and identities emerge. The 2016 SNES conference therefore invites papers in the disciplines of politics, economics, sociology and European Studies that deal with ‘Europe’s New Dividing Lines’. In particular, papers are welcome that deal with the European dimensions of security, integration, freedom of movement, economic crisis and the rise of populism arising from these new dividing lines (and new constellations and cleavages that emerge from them). The focus may be on particular case studies or wider pan-European dynamics, and should contribute to the theoretical development of the discipline. The conference will be held at Malmö University, in the dynamic transborder Öresund region, on 10- 11 March 2016.
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