CfP: Workshop “Whither Liberal World Order? Challenges from Russia, Eurasia, and Beyond”

UPTAKE workshop

Whither Liberal World Order?
Challenges from Russia, Eurasia, and Beyond
2-3 November 2017 University of Kent, Canterbury

Call for Papers

The world order of the 21st century seems to be undergoing some fundamental changes. Some would even claim that its liberal character is weakening, giving way to new configurations. The challenge to liberal world order comes first of all from the West itself, with the election of Donald Trump, the British referendum on the EU, and the rising popularity of illiberal and nationalist parties across Europe, some of which even successfully rising to power. The other key challenge comes from states such as Russia and China that have, at times openly, espoused the idea of a post-Western world order. This workshop aims to take stock of these developments and provide an opportunity for evaluating (and potentially rethinking) contemporary world order from various perspectives.

More specifically, the aim of the workshop is to bring together a diverse group of scholars to discuss the posited challenges to liberal world order taking into account perspectives from both regional powers and small to medium states in Eurasia and the implications of these developments for IR theory. We invite scholars to contribute to this debate by submitting both conceptual and empirical papers on the following themes:

  • The alleged challenge to liberal world order by Russia and China;
  • Perspectives on world order from smaller states in Central and Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space;
  • Non-Western and non-liberal perspectives on issues such as international institutions, international norms, and regional governance structures;
  • The possible implications of a changing world order for IR theory.

The workshop also invites participants to connect these issues with topics such as region-building initiatives in the post-Soviet space, the post-Brexit character of the EU, and the future of American global leadership.

The workshop will take place on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 November 2017 at the University of Kent, Canterbury. It will consist of four panels and a concluding roundtable with interventions from leading scholars in the field, including Richard Sakwa (University of Kent), Trine Flockhart (University of Kent), Barry Buzan (London School of Economics), Viacheslav Morozov (University of Tartu). We are delighted to announce that the keynote address will be given by Georg Sørensen (Aarhus University). We may propose  to develop the workshop papers into a special issue of a reputable journal, subject to the quality of accepted submissions.

Please send your abstracts (max. 300 words) along with a brief one-page CV to by 1 August 2017. Decisions on accepted papers will be communicated by 1 September 2017.

The workshop is organized within the framework of the H2020 UPTAKE project, which brings together the Universities of Kent, Uppsala and Tartu. The organizers are Camille Merlen, Zhouchen Mao and Zachary Paikin (University of Kent). Elias Götz (University of Uppsala) and Maksim Kulaev (University of Tartu) are associate organizers. UPTAKE funding will cover all costs of participation for the members of the UPTAKE consortium and the lunch and refreshments for all workshop participants. Non-UPTAKE participants will have to cover their own accommodation and travel-related costs. Registration for the workshop is free.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at