Eastern Platform Seminar 2016

The two-day seminar was organized by the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies of the University of Tartu and the Centre for EU-Russia Studies (CEURUS) in cooperation with Eastern Platform-Platform Ukraine, a multidisciplinary project based at the School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (SSEES), University College London. The event was generously supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia.

Eastern Platform-Platform Ukraine is a multi-disciplinary initiative aimed to analyse and better understand the Ukrainian crisis of 2014 by creating a unified resource and network of academics studying the post-socialist space which has the ambition to develop and grow as a forum and incubator to promote high quality research and knowledge sharing on the broader post-Soviet space.

Academic conveners of the event are Dr. Stefano Braghiroli (University of Tartu), Prof. Andrey Makarychev (University of Tartu), and Anna-Cara Keim (University College London).

The Tartu Seminar “Post-soviet space between the EU and Russia. The state of the crisis: winding down or going global?” represents the second edition of a previous event organized in April 2015 by the European College of the University of Tartu, in cooperation with the University College London within the framework of Platform Ukraine.

The seminar constitutes an opportunity to discuss the consequences of the Ukrainian crisis and its expansive destabilization potential in the region and globally. The event seeks to shed light on the evolution of the crisis and its impact on the nature of the EU-Russia relations at a time when few dare to predict how events will unfold in the future. Conflict in Ukraine has potential to crystallize into a new frozen conflict, thereby posing an additional challenge not only to the post-Cold War security architecture in Europe, but also to agreed definitions of “borders” and “neighbourhoods”. At the same time, acute global challenges may pave the way to functional rapprochement between Moscow and the West which could reduce the conflict in Ukraine to a factor of secondary relevance.

The organizers of the seminar welcome contributions addressing developments in and around Ukraine, in post-Soviet space more broadly, and in EU-Russia relations from different methodological and disciplinary angles, including politics, history, economics, anthropology, sociology, geography, semiotics, and media studies. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the multiple challenges threatening peace, security, democracy and prosperity in the region, and to identify and assess possible scenarios for the future. While the focus will be mostly on the Ukrainian crisis and its repercussions at the continental level, contributions involving relevant comparisons with other events and/or geographical areas will also be welcome. Contributions are expected to capture the multidimensionality of the current developments and the related patterns and relevant cleavages in the European and Eurasian political and cultural space.

The overarching objective of the seminar is therefore not only to map the challenges to the instable development of the EU-Russia relations, but also to understand and conceptually frame these challenges and their expansive potential within the former Soviet space and at the global level. Contributions are welcome from a wide multi-disciplinary perspective addressing (but not limited to) the following issues:

Re-framing the post-Soviet space’s relationship with Moscow and the West
Global consequences of a regional crisis;
Beyond geopolitics: What future for the EU-Russia relationship?;
The crisis from different regional and national perspectives.

See the conference programme at the event website