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DESEE 2017 : Democratic Engagement in South-East Europe: Stories to be told


When Nov 28, 2017 - Dec 5, 2017
Where Belgrade
Submission Deadline Nov 28, 2017

Call For Papers

Group for Social Engagement Studies of
the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory

Call for Papers
Democratic Engagement in South-East Europe: Stories to be told

South-East Europe (SEE) has in recent years become a region marked by various kinds of dissent. In Bosnia, people protested and later organized in plenums to articulate their growing dissatisfaction with the political elite; in Gezi Park, Belgrade and Skopje people took to the streets to protest usurpation and privatization of public spaces; in Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania the key topic of demonstrations was corruption. Also, more than fifty thousands of people in Croatia protested over an educational reforms proposed by the actual government. Beside these cases which are by now well documented, there are many smaller and less organized initiatives throughout the region that went relatively unnoticed in the eyes of the public.
This “surge of social engagement” should not be perhaps too surprising, given the impact of 2008 financial crisis on all countries at the political and economic semi-periphery of global capitalism. Although many instances of social engagement in the SEE share a common theme of political and/or social inequality, they recently began to unravel much broader skepticism regarding the democratic capacity of modern national and international liberal institutions. It might be argued that the turmoil of financial crisis opened up the space for a wide array of bottom-up forms of social engagement. Those offered a proper diagnosis of pressing social problems and hope that (democratic) political innovations are possible and, indeed, needed. Moreover, the simultaneous emphasis on concrete social problems and a large-scale social change links these local examples of social engagement with other newer social movements, such as Global Justice Movement, the Arab Spring, the Indignados and Occupy Movements.
This edited volume aims to collect accounts and brief analyses of different forms of social engagement, focused primarily on the local level of action. We welcome contribution on specific Bosnian plenums and less known initiatives, Macedonian struggle beyond Colorful revolution, Serbian initiatives beyond main cities and its well-known movements (as We won’t let Belgrade d(r)own). We focus on the area of South-East Europe, more specifically former Yugoslav countries and Albania.
We welcome contributions from, but not limited to, academics, civil society representatives and local activists. Contributions should be written in the form of a case study and not exceed 2000 words. All papers should be written in an accessible manner suitable for wider audience, not necessarily accompanied with theoretical and methodological problematization, as our primary goal is to gather representative and rich material and data on numerous local protests and social engagements that go beyond the general public radar.
By submitting their contribution, authors give approval to reproduce mentioned case study in media and future research studies of social engagement in the SEE, undertaken by Group for Social Engagement Studies of the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory. The Group’s mission is the productive reflection on the civic, public and social forms of engagement. Over the next five years, the Group for Social Engagement Studies plans to develop a nuanced conceptual apparatus for the study of social engagement in a comparative perspective. Hence, this volume will represent significant material for such endeavor.

Submission Guidelines:

We are strongly encouraging initial contact with editors with the short abstract – max 150 words – prior to submission of the paper.

Manuscripts with length no more than 2000 words are due: October 30, 2017.
Acceptances will be communicated by: November 10, 2017

Please send inquiries, abstracts and manuscripts to editors Irena Fiket, Gazela Pudar Draško and Srđan Prodanović at:

The volume will be published by the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory in cooperation with Centre for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy until mid-December 2017. Presentation of the publication will be organized in the mid December in Belgrade. Selected authors will be invited to attend (subject to financial possibilities).

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