Unity, Diversity, Populism - The European Union in Challenging Times
In the words of former German foreign minister, Joschka Fischer, "after two World Wars and during the Cold War, European integration was a no-brainer. But the shared understanding that unity delivers peace, prosperity, and democracy has been weakened over time by persistent crises, and it could now be lost completely unless it is reinforced by a forward-looking message." The question now remains, how is the European Union meeting contemporary challenges to maintain its "Unity in Diversity"?
The project of European integration has always had, as its primary goal, the security of peace and stability on the European continent. Through close economic, and later political cooperation, the states of Europe have moved to replace the destructive nationalisms of the early 20th century with a shared understanding of the importance of unity and cooperation. And yet, the rise of new nationalisms, reflected in the election of populist leaders as well as in
Brexit and rising Euro-scepticism, are undermining the stability of the European project and threatening a return to the inward-looking, nationalist, and exclusionary politics of the early 20th century. These challenges threaten the project of integration, and as states attempt to salvage the core projects, may also threaten many of the advancements that Europe has made in terms of gender and racial equality, combatting social exclusion and poverty and advancing social and human rights.
The 12th Biennial European Community Studies Association Conference will take up the questions of unity, diversity and populism to interrogate the ways in which the European Union, member states and citizens are responding to the challenges arising from a changing global reality.
We wish to address the ways in which Europe promotes and undermines both unity and diversity through its policies, its interactions on the global stage, and its institutional organization. Topics might include citizenship, economics, cultural policies, democratic empowerment, gender and racial equality, freedom of movement, learning, active citizenship, minority rights and the refugee crisis, and the EU's impact on its periphery and the world, including enlargement, foreign, security and trade policy. We will explore the role of EU institutions, but also member state governments, political, cultural and economic forces, and integration dynamics. Our objective is to provide a balanced assessment and analytical understanding of the EU's specific contributions (or lack thereof) to unity and diversity broadly understood. To this end, we welcome thesubmission of papers and panels on any topic related to the EU.
This two and a half day conference will bring together scholars and practitioners from variety of disciplines and backgrounds and will include plenary sessions, keynote speakers, a professional development day for graduate students, panels, and workshops. A limited number of travel grants will be available to graduate students to help offset costs (further information after acceptance). Come and celebrate Europe Day with us in Toronto!
We welcome submissions for individual papers, panels (3-4 papers) and workshops (approximately 12 papers) in either English or French. Please send proposals/abstracts including names, affiliation, and email addresses, to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to be considered for a Discussant or Chair spot, please advise in your email submissions.