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April 02, 2013

CFP: Informal Practices & Structures in Eastern Europe & Central Asia, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (Nov 21.-23, 2013)

Deadline: May 2, 2013

The Academic Swiss Caucasus Net (ASCN), in cooperation with the Regional
Research Promotion Program (RRPP) and the Interfaculty Institute for
Central and Eastern Europe at the University of Fribourg (IICEE), with
support from the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and
Innovation (SERI), is pleased to organise an international conference
onInformal Practices and Structures in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, to
take place at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) on 21-23 November
The conference offers a forum for the presentation and discussion of
on-going research projects. It will consist of thematic panels,
roundtables and keynote speeches bringing together researchers from
various disciplines.

The conference aims to identify and compare forms, functions
and meanings of informal structures and practices in Eastern Europe and
Central Asia under the following topics: politics, law, economy,
education or, more generally, society. In this sense it will be focused
on the dialogue between different disciplines and perspectives with
regard to informality. This will be one of the first and largest
international conferences focusing on informal structures and practices
in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in a multidisciplinary perspective,
covering the problem of informality in different social systems and
contexts. It will cover forms of informality in politics (informal
governance, networks of power, clientelism, corruption, etc.), the
economy (shadow economies, informal labour markets, etc.), migration,
education or other social practices in society within focus of
anthropologists and sociologists. The conference will ask for the
definition of fields or contexts that demonstrate the certain forms of
informality that are more peculiar, persistent or typical for certain
regions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, for example that of the
post-Soviet context. To what extent can they be considered transitional
or a structural phenomenon in Eastern Europe and Central Asia? What are
the social effects of certain practices? And to what extent are informal
structures in Eastern Europe and Central Asia different from those in
established democracies?

Eligibility: The call for papers is open to PhD students and recent PhD
graduates (2008 or later) dealing with the conference topic in their research
activities. The topics may be addressed from a political science,
sociological, anthropological or economic perspective.

Geographic Area: Submitted papers must focus empirically and/or
theoretically on the countries and regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, i.e., the new
EU member states of Central- and Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the
(non-Baltic) Post-Soviet countries (Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia,
Moldova, Southern Caucasus or Central Asia).

Papers should cover one or several of the following themes or
fields of research related to informal practices or institutions. They
should focus on the interplay between formal and informal institutions
or practise. In addition, they should focus on concrete cases or the
identification of specific forms of informal practices and institutions.
Papers handling specific forms of informal practices, such as
clientelism or corruption, should discuss their topic in the framework
of the formal / informal distinctions.

• Informality and Politics: Informal institutions vs. formal institutions
in politics, informal
practices and structures at governmental levels, parliaments, political
parties, state bureaucracies and, more generally, at the level of
political and economic elites.
• Informality, Society and Culture: Informality and cultural diversity,
informal practices in multi-ethnic societies, minority-related informal

• Informality and Economy: Shadow or parallel economies, informality in
labour markets, etc.

• Informality and Law: Informal practices in legislation and judiciary
processes, the problem of ‘rule of law’.

• Informality in Other Fields and Social Systems: Migration-related
informality, informality in education and health
systems, informality in civil society, the Church and its organisations.

• Transversal Topics: Certain transversal topics are present in the
aforementioned themes
above. They are particularly important in the context of this
conference: Informal governance, power networks, corruption,
clientelism, patrimonialism, criminal networks and "post-socialist
informality", i.e., the continuity or discontinuity of informal
practices from the socialist period. Moreover, we also welcome papers
approaching these topics with both theoretical and methodological
aspects of informal practices and institutions in Eastern Europe.
The selected candidates will have the opportunity to present and discuss
their paper in a thematic panel.

Submission Instructions
All interested scholars are requested to submit an abstract (no more than
300 words) of their paper together with a short biographical
statement (including author, affiliation, postal address, phone number
and e-mail address) and a one-page CV.

Submissions must be sent no later than 2 May 2013 to info@ascn.ch and
jan.kreuels@ascn.ch with the following email subject: ASCN Informality
Conference 2013. All documents have to be in English and need to be merged
into a single PDF file. The result of the selection process will be
announced by mid-June 2013.

Selected candidates will then be invited to
submit full papers (up to 5,000 words) by the end of October 2013.
After the conference, participants will be invited to submit a revised
definitive version of their contribution. The best papers will be
published in a volume dedicated to the conference proceedings.

Best Paper Reward
The best paper will be rewarded with a prize during the conference.

Venue, Accommodation and Transport
The conference will take place at the University of Fribourg. The
organizers will cover travel and accommodation expenses for all
selected participants. Opportunities for co-financing will arise should
the travel costs in individual cases exceed the average expenses per
participant attending the conference. Participants will be located in
hotels close to the conference venue.
The selected participants
will be informed about the programme, the specific conference panels and
the format of the paper to submit, as well as organisational details,
in due time.


* Application Deadline: 2 May 2013
* Abstract Selection: mid-June 2013
* Paper Submission: end of October 2013
* Online Publication of the Papers on the Conference Website: 7 November
* Conference: 21-23 November 2013

Further Questions

Prof. Nicolas Hayoz, Director of ASCN, Director of the
Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern Europe, Department of
Social Sciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Contact:
Prof. Christian Giordano, Chair of Anthropology, Department of Social
Sciences, University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Contact:
Denis Dafflon, ASCN Programme Manager, Department of Social Sciences,
University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Contact: denis.dafflon@unifr.ch

Posted by jmkirsch at April 2, 2013 12:30 PM