Call for Papers: Informality and Development
Deadline to apply: November 30th, 2019
Studies of Transition States and Societies - June 2020 issue
Studies of Transitions States and Societies is an open access, APC-free, bi-annual journal published by Tallinn University. Published since 2009 it is already indexed in Scopus, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), EBSCO, ProQuest, Central and Eastern European Online Library (CEEOL) and the International Political Science Abstracts (IPSA).
We are currently looking for contributions for our June 2020 issue. Any topics within the scope of the journal would be welcome. But we would particularly welcome contributions discussing the relationship between informality and development (ideally, based on recently-collected empirical material). If interested, please submit a paper through the website. If you have an abstract and you are not sure whether your research will fit, you are welcome to write a (short and clear) message to the co-editor in chief at email@example.com
Rationale: Informality and Development
Since initial conceptualization, a large stream of research on informality (also known as informal sector, gray or shadow economy) maintained that the phenomenon would soon disappear as an effect of economic modernization (Lewis 1954, 1959). Yet, further studies acknowledged the resilience of a robust informal sector able to outlive market reforms (Hart 1973), a fact that also gained the attention of the International Labour Organization (1972, 1973). Furthermore, it was believed that informality affected predominantly lower segments of society and be limited to the poor, the marginalized and the weak (Scott 1985). This is why the interest in creating an interpretative framework to understand informality came largely from anthropologists or economic sociologists concerned with the cultural contextualization of informal practices (Palmer 1989; Parry and Bloch 1989) or their embeddedness in society (Granovetter 1984). These approaches framed unrecorded and shadow transactions (including informal payments and other practices classified as corruption by international organizations) in a dualistic competition between strong and weak society’s actors, attributing informal practices predominantly to society’s reactions to externally imposed decisions (Gupta 1995, Scott 1976). Studies produced between the 1980s and 1990s questioned such paradigms proving that informality existed in developing as well as in advanced societies (Schneider 2002, Williams and Windebank 1998), therefore substantiating claims that people often recur to informality to deal with the shortcomings of ineffective and inadequate economic reforms, or lack of the same (De Soto 1989). These findings were corroborated by Gibson-Graham in her seminal feminist critique to capitalism (1996), who demonstrated that, in contrast to most neoliberal assumption, individuals play a major role in perpetuating local informal economies. Eventually, (St. Martin, 2005, Varley, 2013). Gibson-Graham’s study feed a whole new research stream expanding into anarchist and critical geographies, where economic and social alternatives to the capitalist model were given greater voice (Gibson-Graham and Roelvink, 2011; Springer 2012; St. Martin, 2005, Varley, 2013). A second guiding framework for the study of informality was provided by Ledeneva (1998) and her study of informal practices in post-Soviet countries. The study testified to the impact that informal micro practice in post-Soviet countries, in such case “blat”, had on these countries’ macroeconomic phenomena and dynamics. As the scholars furthered illustrated (2013) such a practice originally developed from one-to-one relations, evolving in a whole “sistema” of alliances that survived the transition of Russia into post-Soviet states. Such studies demonstrate that informal practices are resilient and have the potential to impact states’ micro and macroeconomic practices and, therefore, markets.
Since then, the economic significance of informality has been largely acknowledged. In 2009, estimates pointed at two/third of the global working population (1.8 billion) active in the informal sector (Jütting and Laiglesia, 2009). In the EU, the informal economy is estimated to amount to approximately 18.4 per cent of the national GDP, but these figures are likely to be much higher when transitional states, including the post-Soviet regions with peaks of 40 and 60 percent, are taken into account (Schneider 2012, 2013). It is not a case, in fact, that post-socialist spaces are the places where research on informality has been most coordinated (Giordano & Hayoz 2014; Makovicky & Henig 2014; Morris & Polese 2014, 2015; Polese et al. 2018). These studies explore the short-term or one-time effects of informal transactions (Patico, 2002, Polese 2008), the long-term impact and systemic nature of informal practices (Ledeneva, 2009; Yang, 2002), or the long-term dependency relationships that informality generates (Rivkin-Fish, 2005). Other studies, instead, looked at informality as a coping mechanism towards the implementation of neoliberal reforms (Kaneff, 2002; Smith and Stenning, 2006). A recent tendency has thus emerged in the past ten years and informality frameworks have been used to explain not only micro phenomena that happen at the bottom of a society. Explanations of macro and meso phenomena have started taking into account the role of informality. Scholars have acknowledged, and set out to study, the role of informal political institutions at the national (Helmke and Levitsky 2005) and international level (Dixit 2007). Informality has featured as the theme for the 2012 annual meeting of the Academy of Management, thus recognizing that it has a role well beyond sweatshop and micro-processes. Eventually, it has become also a prism for interpretation of some decision-making processes in international organizations.
Building on, and engaging with the above debates, we have a three-fold goal. First, it will expand the scope of theoretical research on informality beyond its economic understanding at the national level, something pointed out in the above studies by Dixit, Helmke and Levitsky and Stone as something necessary, but not yet systematically approached. We will look at the role of informal practices in the redefinition and renegotiation of business environments and how entrance and exit barriers are created, causing the reversal that state-led measures were intended to bring about. Second, it will apply this interpretative framework to look at the way policy making, and development policies, are affected by informality in the transitional world. This will eventually allow us to engage with worldwide debates in a comparative perspective. Our starting point is, indeed, the post-socialist region, where informality has been widely studied. However, we intend to upscale the scope of our inquiry to Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America. Third, inasmuch as this has been timidly attempted so far. Our event represents a chances to shed the basis and the social capital toestablish and develop a research group on informality that can work together to funding applications and publication projects as outlined below.
Scope of the contributions
In the past ten years, there have been several names and approaches used to describe political phenomena that originate beyond the state level and use institutions other than the official ones. However, the boundary between unorganised and organised dissidence has started being explored only recently. Interestingly enough, a number of relevant observations has been drawn from literature on rebel, insurgent and real governance (Péclard and Mechoulan 2015).
Informal economies are an act of deliberate, if unorganised, non-compliance. They may be distinct from rebel and insurgent governance in that the people who engage with them are not necessarily interested in finding a group identity or refer to a central leader. But it is possible that they are two sides of the same coin or that can be considered two positions on the same spectrum of non-state governance (Polese and Kevlihan 2015). On the one extreme we have informal practices, individual-centred, unorganised and socially irrelevant, in the very beginning at least. These practices can become more and more popular and spread across a given population. They are initially perceived as a survival strategy but are also a way to deny or challenge the role of the state in a given moment, or the right of a state to regulate a particular aspect of its social or economic life. It is possible to hypothesise the existence of a tipping point after which a leader emerge, a collective consciousness spreads and people become aware of being part of a larger movement. After all, all relevant social movements have lived through a tipping point, passing from virtually unknown to nationally or internationally recognised. Where were the (anti-austerity movement) indignados before 2011? Or the Polish Solidarity movement before 1980? The fact that they were not famous or widely visible as they would be does not deny their existence before.
We welcome contributions that explore the scope of research on informality through three distinct approaches: theoretical and methodological dilemmas in the study of informal economies; informal economies in a European context and informal economies in a world context.
Calls for Papers: "Religion and Abuse" Religious Studies Graduate Conference at Indiana University
Deadline to apply: December 1, 2019
The Graduate Religious Studies Association at Indiana University invites graduate student papers for a conference on Religion and Abuse. Our conference will be held from March 6-7 2020 in Bloomington, Indiana.
This conference intends to explore the relationship between religion and abuse—two terms that admit of various interpretations. What does it mean for a religious teaching, text, image, or practice to be abused? Are there specifically religious forms of abuse? How does abuse shape religious communities or religious ideas? How has religion been used to abuse marginalized communities? In what ways can the abused body take on a religious character or be exploited by religious authority? Is some notion of abuse critical to religion itself?
In addition to papers that consider abuse by and within religious communities, of minority religious groups, and assertions of the abuse in discourse on religion and law, we welcome papers that take a broad interpretation of the notion of “abuse” within a religious context. Such papers might consider issues of heresy and apostasy; comedy, parody, and satire; travel, migration, and demography; economics and politics, textuality, interpretation, and translation; theology; psychology; law; queer studies; or postcolonial studies, among others.
We are particularly interested in papers that work with religious and cultural traditions beyond Christianity, Judaism, and Islam and which engage our theme from a pre-modern perspective. We welcome papers from any and all disciplines and fields, provided they have a central focus on religion and abuse.
Please send an abstract (maximum 200 words), a title for your presentation, and a short bio which includes your name, email, institutional affiliation, and a brief description of your research interests to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 1, 2019. Participants will be notified of acceptance by December 15. Papers will need to be submitted by February 7, 2020 and will be pre-circulated among attendees.
Our conference will feature a keynote address by Megan Goodwin, Program Director for Sacred Writes and Visiting Lecturer at Northeastern University. Dr. Goodwin will be speaking about material from her upcoming book, Abusing Religion: Literary Persecution, Sex Scandals, and American Minority Religions.
All research presented at this conference will be considered for publication in a special issue of the journal, Theology and Sexuality. The editors of the journal consider both of these terms in the broadest possible sense and welcome submissions from a diverse array of disciplinary and methodological perspectives.
Call for Papers: History Graduate Student Association at Indiana University
Deadline to apply: December 1, 2019
Call for Papers:
How do we, as historians, meet the current moment? In the pursuit of knowledge and training in the study and practice of history, many of us grapple with issues of race, ethnicity, citizenship, belonging, immigration, carceral spaces, violence, and the state in our work and in our everyday lives. Over the past few years, there have been countless conversations in the media (mass and social) which have raised a multiplicity of historical examples to cite as comparison between what is currently happening and what has happened in the United States and around the world at various points throughout history. These examples have been raised by pundits, politicians, journalists, academics, activists, and everyday people bearing witness to the conditions experienced by those held in government facilities, to those who are making the journey to immigrate and seek asylum, and those who are currently in the U.S. who are just trying to live their lives. Historians, therefore, are a necessary part of the conversation. In order to encourage new scholarship that speaks to the crises of our time, the Indiana University History Graduate Student Association will host its annual conference for graduate students to come together and present their research. Our conference this year will take place on March 5th-6th, 2020. We solicit papers which include, but are not limited to, the following:
citizenship and belonging • identity • state • human rights • social movements • empire • capitalism • modernity/modern culture • politics of knowledge • labor • immigration • global/transnational • movement of bodies, ideas, and material things • environmental and ecological histories • sexual violence and harassment • intellectual and cultural history • gender • sexuality • race • class
We invite students to submit an abstract, addressing these questions and any others which illuminate the relationship between past and present, and what it means to be living in a moment of “crisis.” This theme does not necessarily translate to charting similarities between past in present, but discovering the throughlines. Rather than think about history as a linear timeline, we encourage participants to think deeply about the connecting and intersecting strands within the complex skein of history. We welcome submissions from all disciplines, geographic specializations, and time periods which address our conference theme. This theme is purposely broad, allowing participants to frame topics around their interests while historicizing issues of the present.
Please send (as PDF attachments) titles, abstracts no longer than 350 words, and CVs to email@example.com by December 1st, 2019.
Call for Applications: Open Research Laboratory at Illinois
Deadline to apply: December 1, 2019
REEEC is now accepting applications from regional specialists (including advanced graduate students, faculty, independent scholars, and library science or other professionals with appropriate qualifications) to conduct short-term research concerning all aspects of Russian, eastern European, and Eurasian studies in conjunction with the spring Open Research Laboratory, which will take place from January 21 – May 1, 2020. Those applicants who are US citizens and whose research holds relevance for US foreign policy may also apply for US Department of State Title VIII fellowships to support their visits.
The application deadline is December 1, 2019.
WHAT THE LAB OFFERS:
- Full access to the physical and electronic collections of the University of Illinois Library.
- Use of the Library’s technological resources, including advanced scanning equipment and other resources.
- Consultations with the Slavic Reference Service.
- Opportunities to participate in REEEC programming (lectures, workshops, conferences, etc.).
- The help of REEEC staff in answering logistical questions related to your stay.
- Informal meetings with local scholars as desired.
FINANCIAL AID: US DEPARTMENT OF STATE TITLE VIII FELLOWSHIPS
Applicants who are U.S. citizens and who are conducting policy-relevant research may apply for a Title VIII fellowship to support their visits. These fellowships provide:
- A housing award furnishing accommodation on campus for up to 5 days,
- A travel award of up to $500 to offset transportation costs to and from Urbana-Champaign,
- A stipend of $500 to cover food, incidentals, and other costs associated with the research visit.
For more information and to apply, please click here
Call for Papers: Special issue of Canadian Slavonic Papers on "The Legacies of State Socialist Memory Politics"
Deadline to apply: December 15, 2019
Canadian Slavonic Papers/ Revue canadienne des slavistes seeks submissions for a special issue on the theme of “The Legacies of State Socialist Memory Politics.” This project will investigate those mnemonic discourses, strategies, and media which, transcending the collapse of state socialism, continue to play a role in contemporary memory politics. The special issue aims to rebalance the discussion in a field that tends to focus on the contemporary determinants of memory: the political and sociocultural vagaries of post-socialism.
After all, mnemonic discourses are path-dependent, and thereby partially disconnected from the political objectives of the present moment. Which narratives of the past survived state socialism and retain a certain degree of resonance? How do they constrain memory actors? Conversely, can they be embraced as a political resource (for instance, by illiberal forces)?
Legacies of state socialism may also be traced institutionally. How do inherited institutional configurations (for instance, of the museum or archival services) reproduce state socialist strategies of memorialization? Do they continue to gravitate towards centralist decision-making and administrative solutions? In what ways do counter-memory movements (for instance, the Memorial NGO in Russia) derive their organization and strategy from their subversive activities under state socialism?
Not least, state socialism bequeathed palpable material legacies; its monuments dominate the post-socialist cityscape. Are these fundamentally passive objects, or can they exert an independent force on contemporary collective memory dynamics? Why do these monuments retain such political salience (as objects both destruction or revalorization)? Canadian Slavonic Papers/ Revue canadienne des slavistes encourages submissions on these and related questions, from all disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Founded in 1956, Canadian Slavonic Papers/ Revue canadienne des slavistes is the official quarterly of the Canadian Association of Slavists. Published by Taylor and Francis, it is the leading journal of the field in Canada and has a wide international readership.
Please send expressions of interest to the Guest Editor, Dr. Antony Kalashnikov, Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta firstname.lastname@example.org by December 15, 2019.
Authors will be invited to submit their manuscripts (in English or French) by May 15, 2020, formatted to the journal’s submission and style guidelines https://sites.ualberta.ca/~csp/Submissions.html. All submissions will be subject to the normal peer-review process. All potential contributors must become members of the Canadian Association of Slavists.
Call for Papers: Central Slavic Conference
Deadline to Apply: December 15, 2019
February 28th – March 1st, 2020
Missouri Athletic Club and Hotel
St. Louis, Missouri
The Central Slavic Conference is pleased to invite scholars of all disciplines working in Slavic, Eurasian, and East European studies to submit proposals for panels, individual papers, and roundtables at its annual meeting at the historic Missouri Athletic Club and Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Friday, Feb. 28th-Sunday, March 1st, 2020.
Founded in 1962 as the Bi-State Slavic Conference, the Central Slavic Conference now encompasses seven states and is the oldest of the regional affiliates of ASEEES (Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies). Scholars from outside the region and from around the world are welcome.
Proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables should be submitted by email to program chair Charles Allen at CentralSlavic@outlook.com no later than December 15th, 2019. Early proposals are encouraged. All proposals should include:
- Participant name, affiliation, and email contact information;
- For individual paper presentation: title and brief description (limit 50 words);
- For panels: panel title + above information for each participant and discussant (if applicable);
- For roundtables: roundtable title and participant information.
For the third year, the CSC will also dedicate a separate portion of the conference to undergraduate research presentations. Faculty are encouraged to support conference proposals from undergraduate students for this section of the conference. Limited funding is available to provide graduate and undergraduate students with travel stipends.
Charles Timberlake Memorial Symposium
Now a regular part of the CSC program, the symposium is dedicated to the memory and scholarly interests of longtime CSC member Charles Timberlake. Those interested in participating should contact symposium coordinator Dr. Nicole Monnier at email@example.com.
Timberlake Memorial Graduate Paper Prize
Students who present at the CSC Annual Meeting are invited to participate in the Charles Timberlake Graduate Paper Prize competition. Dedicated to the memory of Charles Timberlake as a teacher and mentor, the prize carries a cash award.
Call for Papers: 12 Annual Romanian Studies Conference
Deadline to Apply: December 31, 2019
The Romanian Studies Organization at Indiana University is pleased to announce the 12th Annual Romanian Studies Conference, taking place April 10-12, 2020, on the Bloomington campus.
The keynote address, titled “The Bucharest Underground,” will be delivered by Dr. Bruce O’Neill, Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Saint Louis University. His current project, The Bucharest Underground, is an ethnography of subterranean Bucharest and examines the way post-socialist urban life unfolds beneath the sidewalk down inside Metro stations, basements, and cemeteries, for example. Professor O’Neill’s research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Fulbright-Hays and the Fulbright programs.
Please submit abstracts of 250-300 words, along with your contact information and a brief biography, in a single .doc, .docx, or .pdf document to Leah Valtin-Erwin at firstname.lastname@example.org by December 31, 2019. We will send notifications of acceptance by January 30, 2020.
Any inquiries about the conference or the program may be directed to Leah Valtin-Erwin at email@example.com. Please forward this request for proposals to anyone who might be interested.
To find out more about our event
Call for Submissions: NYU Jordan Center Grad Student Essay Competition
Deadline to apply: December 30, 2019
The Jordan Center for the Advanced Study of Russia and All the Russias are pleased to announce the inaugural Graduate Student Essay Competition! Enter for a chance to get published on the blog and win cash prizes.
We invite 750-1200 word submissions from full- or part-time M.A. and Ph.D. students from any accredited academic institution in the United States, on any topic and sub-discipline within Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, broadly defined. Cultural criticism; public-facing treatments of scholarly work; political analysis; book, film, or event reviews; and more are welcome.
All submissions must be in English and observe the blog's submission guidelines and full competition rules. Essays are due no later than Monday, December 30, at 11 PM EST and must be submitted via this Google form.
Seven (7) winners will be selected based on their pieces’ originality, clarity, and argumentation, as well as their correspondence to the blog’s general tone and interests as stipulated in the submission guidelines linked above. Winners will receive, respectively, $250 (first prize); $100 (second prize); $50 (third prize); and $25 (runners-up). Winners and runners-up will have their essays published in All the Russias.
Competition results will be announced by February 2020.
Please direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call for Papers: 58th Annual Meeting:
Southern Conference on Slavic Studies
March 12 - 14, 2020 in Greenville, SC
Deadline for Submission: January 15, 2020
The Fifty-Eighth Annual Meeting of the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies (SCSS) will be held at the Westin Poinsett Hotel in Greenville, South Carolina, March 12-14, 2020. The meeting will be hosted by Clemson University. The SCSS is the largest of the regional Slavic and Eurasian Studies associations and its programs attract national and international scholarly participation. The purpose of SCSS is to promote scholarship, education, and in all other ways to advance scholarly interest in Russian, Soviet, and East European studies in the Southern region of the United States and nationwide. Membership in SCSS is open to all persons interested in furthering these goals.
The John Shelton Curtiss Lecture at the Friday Banquet will be given by Professor Donald Raleigh, Jay Richard Judson Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His talk is provisionally titled “GenSec: The Brezhnev You May not Know.” Raleigh has authored, translated, and edited numerous books on modern Russian history including Revolution on the Volga (1986), Experiencing Russia’s Civil War (2002), Russia’s Sputnik Generation (2006), and Soviet Baby Boomers (2012), a Russian-language edition of which was published in 2015. The book was short listed for the Pushkin House Prize in Great Britain and won the Southern Conference on Slavic Studies Book Prize. His current book project, a biography of Soviet leader Leonid Ilich Brezhnev, has taken the author to archives in Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
Papers from all humanities and social science disciplines are welcome, as is a focus on countries other than Russia/USSR. We encourage participation from scholars of all Slavic, East European, and Eurasian regions. Papers can be on any time period and any topic relevant to these regions.
The program committee is accepting panel and paper proposals until January 15, 2020. Whole panel proposals (chair, three papers, discussant) or roundtables (chair and three to five participants) are preferred, but proposals for individual papers will also be accepted. Whole panel proposals should include the titles of each individual paper as well as a title for the panel itself and identifying information (email address and institutional affiliation) for all participants. Roundtable proposals should include a title and identifying information for all participants. Proposals for individual papers should include paper title, identifying information, and a one-paragraph abstract to guide the program committee in the assembly of panels. If any AV equipment will be needed, proposals must indicate so when they are submitted. AV will be of limited availability and assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Email your proposals to Emily Baran at email@example.com.
For local arrangements or conference information other than the program, please contact Steven Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions regarding the program, please contact Emily Baran at email@example.com.
Call for Papers - Central Association of Russian Teachers of America
Deadline to Apply: January 15, 2020
CENTRAL ASSOCIATION OF RUSSIAN TEACHERS OF AMERICA
«Изучение и сбережение русского языка является не праздным занятием, но насущной необходимостью».
—А. И. Куприн
Twenty-Second Annual Conference
3-5 April 2020
Send proposals for individual papers, complete panels, poster presentations, and roundtables on Russian language, literature, history, social sciences, culture, language pedagogy, and related topics no later than January 15, 2020. Proposals may be mailed or sent electronically.
Please encourage your students who are conducting research to present their research topic, objectives, and findings in a well-organized poster.
The conference will be held at the Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C.
Rooms have been pre-booked at the special rate of $194, single or double occupancy. Make your reservations no later than 5:00 pm on Sunday, March 1, 2020, by calling the hotel at +1 (202) 483-3000 and identifying yourself as a CARTA conference participant. Use Group Code RTA. You can also book the hotel room online with this link.