Call for papers / proposals
CFP Workshop ‘Soviet and Post-Soviet Imaginings of Climate’ Tags:

Workshop ‘Soviet and Post-Soviet Imaginings of Climate’

Type of Call: Call for papers
Deadline: January 15, 2017

‘Soviet and Post-Soviet Imaginings of Climate’

A two-day workshop organised by Nottingham Trent University and King’s College London’s Russia Institute

Dates: 29th-30th March, 2017

Location: King’s College London, UK

Deadline for Abstracts: 15th January 2017

This workshop will explore the relationship between the science, politics and policy of climate change in the post-Soviet world, by considering the historical development of the concept of climate change as a scientific thesis, environmental problem and policy issue. We invite papers that will complement work on the history of the discursive political construction of climate change in the West by examining a highly contrasting (but intimately related) cultural context. In so doing the workshop will provide an in-depth look at how post-Soviet understandings of climate change (scientific, environmental and political) have developed and how they affect post-Soviet policy engagement and negotiating positions at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

This workshop is inspired by the aims of Maarten Hajer’s discourse analysis, which aims to “illuminate the places, moments, and institutions where certain perceptions of environmental change and social development emerge and are reproduced, and should reconstruct the argumentative struggle that determines which perceptions at some point start to dominate the course of affairs in environmental politics” (Hajer, 1995, p. 19). However, papers are welcome from all branches of study examining the history of scientific, political and environmental ideas relating to the climate and environment in the Soviet and post-Soviet world.

This two-day workshop will first look at Soviet political understandings of the environment, climate change and science (Day One) and then at the legacy or emergence of such understandings in post-Soviet countries and their domestic and international policy engagement (Day Two).

Key-note speakers:

Day One: Dr Elana Wilson Rowe, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs

Day Two: Dr Jon Oldfield, University of Birmingham


If you wish to present a paper, please submit an abstract of up to 250 words via email to Dr Teresa Ashe ([email protected] (link sends e-mail)) with the subject heading “Soviet and Post-Soviet Imaginings of Climate’” by 15th January 2017. You will be notified of the decision on your abstract via email by 1st February 2017.

All queries should be emailed to Dr Marianna Poberezhskaya ([email protected] (link sends e-mail)) or Dr Teresa Ashe ([email protected] (link sends e-mail)).

Peripheral Histories? Blog: Call for Contributions Tags: contributions blog

Peripheral Histories? Blog: Call for Contributions

The Peripheral Histories? Blog is a collaborative and international digital history project of Russian, Soviet and post-Soviet provinces, localities and republics. Peripheral Histories? exists to challenge the logic that the ‘periphery’ was ever ‘peripheral’ to the history of Russia and the USSR, posing and addressing several broad questions: How do differences of geography, culture, society, ethnicity, and nationality shape local, provincial, and imperial identities?  How are divisions between “centre” and “periphery” perceived over time?  And how do scholars access the materials needed to address these questions? The project is also meant to provide a forum for graduate students and early career scholars to publicize their research and connect with other academics who share similar interests.

The blog, which launched in April 2016, is opening a permanent call for contributions. We enthusiastically welcome blog posts on your research, in addition to new methodologies, conferences, book and thesis reviews, archival information, and interviews with scholars in the field. Contributions should be between 500-2000 words in length. 
The blog can be found here:
If you are interested in contributing, please contact the editorial team at [email protected]
Discussion published by Dakota Irvin on H-Net on Tuesday, June 21, 2016
CFP: Chernobyl – Turning Point or Catalyst? Changing Practices, Structures and Perceptions in Environmental Policy and Politics (1970s-1990s)

Call For Papers

Chernobyl – Turning Point or Catalyst? Changing Practices, Structures and Perceptions in Environmental Policy and Politics (1970s-1990s)

International Conference, 2 - 3 December 2016

Heinrich-Boell-Foundation (HBS), Schumannstr. 8, D-10117 Berlin, Germany

Convenors: Christoph Becker-Schaum (Heinrich-Boell-Foundation), Jan-Henrik Meyer (Copenhagen/HoNESt) and Marianne Zepp (Heinrich-Boell-Foundation)

In cooperation with the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Munich, HoNESt – History of Nuclear Energy and Society Project, and the Center for Metropolitan Studies (TU Berlin).

Does Chernobyl constitute a turning point in the history of environmental policy and politics? Around the world environmental policy was introduced in the early 1970s as a new policy area and arena of political and societal conflict. However, from mid-1970s onwards, as a result of the oil crisis, the new policy came to be increasingly challenged, and considered an obstacle to traditional economic growth objectives. Notably in West Germany, environmental policy’s great leap forward only happened in the 1980s. The debate about the dying forests led to the introduction of new filter technologies and catalytic converters to stop acid rain from killing trees and harming people. It was the shock of Chernobyl, however, that convinced the West German government to eventually establish a separate ministry of the environment at the federal level.

This conference has two aims:

First, it seeks to assess change in environmental politics and policy making – from its beginnings around 1970 until the 1990s, when the Rio Conference definitely lifted environmental issues to a global scale with the breakthrough of the sustainability agenda and the increasing dominance of the climate change issue. While the early phase of environmental policy is increasingly well-covered by environmental history, we know very little about the subsequent development of the policy.

Against this backdrop, we seek to examine to what extent and how environmental policy and politics changed during the first thirty years of their existence. Transformations may have concerned political, administrative, societal, and media practices and structures as well as problem perceptions. The conference’s goal is to uncover, in particular, the conditions for change, ruptures, intercepted developments and roads not taken.

Secondly, the conference aims at re-assessing the importance of the Chernobyl nuclear accident for change in environmental policy and politics. Did Chernobyl actually constitute a turning point? Did Chernobyl really strengthen environmental policy, by bringing environmental issues back to the centre of political attention? What were the consequences of Chernobyl for the perception of environmental policies? What was the impact on political and societal action, mobilisation and structures? Did Chernobyl offer new windows of opportunity for environmental policy makers.

We will also discuss an alternative interpretation: Is it more appropriate to consider Chernobyl rather as a catalyst where the different environmental debates, growing environmental consciousness and ecological concerns of the 1980s came together to accelerate and strengthen environmental policy. Next to the lasting conflict about nuclear power this included concerns about the visible environmental problems such as dying forests and polluted water, and increasingly also invisible and global concerns about the hole in the ozone layer and climate change. We will look beyond national borders: How does the West German response compare to other European countries – a question that seems relevant with a view to the German phase-out after Fukushima?

The conference seeks to focus on the different actors that shaped environmental policy:

(1) Political parties,

(2) Courts of law, government administrations and bureaucracies, and scientific experts,

(3) environmental movements,

(4) business groups, utilities and industry and

(5) media.

All of these different actors did not only discuss environmental issues from their respective perspectives. They also interpreted environmental problems differently and offered divergent solutions. These include, for instance, the growing interest in market solutions and ideas about green growth and ecological modernisation. These actors engaged in environmental policy at – but routinely also across - different levels – the local, regional, national, but also at the European and international levels.

The starting point of the debate will be the experience in the Federal Republic of Germany, which however needs to be understood in its European and international context, involving transnational linkages and experiences from other countries in a comparative perspective.

Conference languages are both German and English (simultaneous translation is provided). The event is open to the public.

The aim of the conference is to prepare for a tightly integrated publication. Thus all contributors are invited to explicitly address both questions outlined above. We suggest analysing the role of one or several actors in order to cover the issue of change in environmental policy in a broader perspective in a first part. In a second part, contributors may zoom in on the impact and consequences of Chernobyl on the policy and the responses and reactions of their respective actors.

Please submit your proposal (title, abstract [150 - 200 words], biographical note [150 words]) to

[email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]

by 31 July 2016.

Travel and accommodation costs for speakers will be covered by HBS.

Download the English and German Version of the CFP:

Article published by Jan-Henrik Meyer on H-Net on Tuesday, June 21, 2016


February 2018 (1)
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