6th Minsk Conference of the Institute “Political Sphere”

Evolution or Devaluation: The Problem of Democratic Order in Eastern Europe

May 26-27, 2017

Application deadline: April 1st, 2017

The world has changed significantly over the past decade. The changes not only affected financial flows and organization of economies but also led to a reassessment of political values and posed new challenges to democracy as an idea and political model. The raising debate on the decline, devaluation, crisis and even the end of democracy is being fed by the growth of skepticism and suspicion towards political establishment, increasing populism, right and left-wing radicalism, religious fundamentalism. Milder forms of this debate attempt to rethink the evolution of democracy, and develop and stabilize a new democratic model.

Stability of democracy has been called into question even in the European Union and the United States. In addition, focus on human rights and democracy declined significantly in the realization of foreign policy. The growth of skepticism about democratic institutions and values on the eastern borders of the EU is particularly evident. In some countries, such as Russia, Armenia, and Kazakhstan, a clear rise of authoritarian trends has been taking place. Unsuccessful attempts to implement democratic change and join the EU led to growing apathy and mistrust to these ideas within the societies of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia. Belarus stands out in this context, as it sees a gradual liberalization since 2014, though the future of this trend remains unclear.

The following issues will be suggested for discussion at the conference: What are the main challenges and prospects for democracy in Eastern Europe? Does the understanding of democracy change in the modern world and does it lead to producing a new model of democracy? Does political democracy experience devaluation? Do human rights and democracy retain an important place in the foreign policy of Western countries?

Thematic blocks:

  1. Development of political systems in Eastern Europe: main trends and challenges.
  2. Populism, right and left-wing radicalism, religious fundamentalism in modern Europe.
  3. Belarusian experience of inchmeal democratization and liberalization after 2014 and its prospects.
  4. Challenges and prospects of democracy, the modern democratic model of Poland, Lithuania and other Eastern European countries of the EU.
  5. European integration and democracy in the era of Euroscepticism: the experience of Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia.
  6. Current authoritarian and democratic trends in Russia.
  7. Democracy, human rights and changing priorities of the EU, US and international organizations.
  8. Democracy and politics of history, manipulation of the past and memory in Eastern Europe.

Conference languages – Russian, Belarusian, English, Polish, Ukrainian.

To apply for participation in the conference, please fill in the electronic registration form.

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