School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London
16-18th February 2006
7th Annual International Postgraduate Conference
November 2007 !!
"Nation in Formation
INCLUSION & EXCLUSION
& EASTERN EUROPE"
is now available
The boundary changes that have occurred in Central and Eastern Europe over the past two hundred years have been far greater than any that have taken place in Western Europe during the same period.
This conference seeks to address the issues of inclusion and exclusion that have arisen from these boundary changes. The boundaries of Central and Eastern Europe have been constantly contested from within and without and continue to shift and evolve in the wake of the fall of communism.
This perpetual change is reflected through the redefinitions and realignments of identities within the region. The challenge of the expansion of the European Union in the new century represents a key factor in the ongoing processes of regional realignment.
Every aspect of identity within the new members, the 'old' EU countries, the candidate states, as well as the regions excluded from the process has to be reasserted in the face of these dynamics.
At the heart of this evolving process of redefinition or reassertion lie the notions of 'exclusion' and 'inclusion'.
These concepts inform current debates at all levels of European society, from the attempted spread of democracy beyond the old borders, to the exclusion of minority groups from mainstream economic, political and social activity or the place of minority languages in the new enlarged Europe.
The lingua franca imposed by information technology threatens to exclude those who do not have at least a passive knowledge of English. This may also contribute to a new barrier between the old, once influential intellectuals of the region and young cosmopolitan intellectuals.
The re-evaluation of history, especially that of the twentieth century, may also have a destabilising impact on the old narratives and intellectual certainties that have shaped our understanding of Central and Eastern Europe.