International conference - Lost in Transition

"Lost in transition - citizens' engagement with transitional changes in Western Balkan societies"


July 6th and 7th, 2013, Skopje, Macedonia


Centre for Empirical Cultural Studies of South-East Europe (Serbia), Institute for Democracy "Societas Civilis" Skopje (Macedonia), Social Research Kosova (Kosovo) and Centre for Social Research "Analitika" (Bosnia-Herzegovina) in cooperation with the Department of Political Science of the Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law, Ss "Cyril and Methodius" University in Skopje announce a call for papers for this international conference.


The conference is organized as part of the project "Resistance to Socio-Economic Changes in Western Balkan Societies. Testing Two Theories of Social Development" carried out within the framework of the Regional Research Promotion Programme in the Western Balkans (RRPP), run by the University of Fribourg upon a mandate of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, SDC, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.


Conference theme


Transitional change in the past two decades is only part of an unending sequence of socio-politico-economic changes through which the countries of the region have gone in the past 100 years. Older members of these communities have often, without a change to their place of residence, been citizens of five or six different states and experienced multiple changes of political systems, ideologies, constitutions, legal systems, and accompanying institutions, and they have borne witness to the creation of new entire social classes and strata and the destruction of old ones. This continuous vortex of transformation, which prevents the stabilization of social structure, and which makes official institutions particularly fragile and thwarts strategic action, has been accompanied by an almost incredible inability of Balkan societies to change and a surprising stability of social practices. It is as if wars, revolutions, and the dissolution of entire world-orders create waves on the surface of the practices of these societies, which then quickly revert to their established course. It is precisely in this space between head-spinning change to the official social institutions and extraordinary stability of social practices that the phenomena which we would like to discuss at our conference are born. We are inviting political scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, historians, social psychologists, legal experts, political economists to take part in the consideration of social, political, economic, legal, cultural, religious, familial, demographic, educational, media changes in the societies of the Western Balkans and the attitude of citizens towards them. We are particularly interested in research on change in citizens' everyday lives in these societies, much more so than in schematic accounts of "system" changes which abound in the "transitiological" literature.


Applying and other information concerning the conference


We would ask all those interested in taking part to send an abstract no longer than 300 words to the e-mail address of the organizers ( or with "conference" in the subject line. Abstracts should include key words, the names, contact details and short biographies of all authors. The working language of the conference will be English.


The deadline for abstract submission is June 10th, 2013. Authors will be notified of acceptance by June 17th, 2013. Participants should prepare a 15 to 20 minute presentation, while the submission of completed papers is welcomed, but not obligatory. The conference will be held at the premises of the Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law, blvd. Goce Delčev 9B, Skopje.


There is no conference fee. Conference participants will need to arrange travel and accommodation, while the organizers will provide meals and refreshments for the duration of the conference.


Please feel free to circulate this call for papers to anyone you think might be interested.


For any additional information, please send an e-mail to organizers: or


Contacts: Institute for Democracy "Societas Civilis"-Skopje, Kragujevačka 2, 1000 Skopje, Macedonia, phone/fax +389 2 3094 760, and Centre for Empirical Cultural Studies of South-East Europe, PC Ambasador, Strahinjica Bana 3, 1st floor, office 41, 18000 Niš, Srbija phone/fax +381 18 246 833.

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