Conference: 50th Annual ASEEES Convention
Session: Activist Citizenship in Southeast Europe: Innovation and Radicalism at the Periphery?
Chairs: Adam Fagan (Queen Mary University of London) Bojan Baca (York, Toronto) Indraneel Sircar (LSE)
Location and date: Boston, 6-9 December 2018
Deadline for submission: 21 February 2018

Is the emergence of activist citizenship in a small corner of Europe best understood as a ‘local’ response to a much broader crisis of representative institutions of liberal democracy, or is there in fact something much more specific and noteworthy emerging that challenges our theoretical and empirical understanding of contemporary activism? What each contribution to this panel considers is whether there is indeed something more that has been unearthed within the existing literature. Are the mobilizations from Zagreb to Beranselo best understood as part of a global phenomenon of resisting neoliberal transformations; as local configurations relating to the context of the post-socialist semi-periphery? Or, should we be more atuned to the particularly aggressive reconfiguration of public spaces and the corrupt processes surrounding privatisation that are prompting this wave of (largely unanticipated) activism? What each contribution questions is the idea that protest across the region and activism in cities is best studied as merely a local manifestation of a global phenomenon. From various empirical perspectives they each highlight the intensity of the crisis, the response to it, and the emergent forms of activism and activist citizenship that confound notions of ‘weak civil society’ and non-participation.

If interested, please send your abstracts of no more 250 words by Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 to a.fagan@qmul.ac.uk and bojan.baca@gmail.com.