Save the Date | Annual Conference | 16 and 17 November 2023

Paradigms in Times of War: Unpacking Research and Policy Challenges

Since February 2022, the once prevalent feeling of Europe being a place of peace and security has given way to a sense of uncertainty and insecurity. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has also deeply impacted on how politicians, scholars and citizens think about war and peace in the wider region of Eastern Europe. Living through a critical juncture challenges researchers and policymakers to rethink linkages between the past and the present and consider their implications for the future. The question of what concepts and ideas can guide us in this process is a pressing one.

At this year’s annual ZOiS conference we re-examine a selection of key social science concepts for their analytical leverage in a changed political context. How appropriate are concepts such as ‘development’, ‘mobility’, ‘temporality ’, and ‘generation’ when it comes to analysing current trends? Do the assumptions on which they are based still hold? If not, how can the concepts be adjusted to take account of new circumstances? Switching our focus to a concept-driven discussion does not deflect from the pressing issues at stake, but rather attempts to frame and understand these developments in more depth and generate new research and policy questions in the process. The conference discussion about key concepts will draw on research in all five research clusters at ZOiS and bring it into dialogue with the perspectives of international guests.

We will supplement the conceptual discussion with hands-on practical sessions on the methodological challenges of empirical research in settings that are hard or impossible to access because of the war. We seek to contribute to an in-depth exchange on various qualitative and quantitative approaches to studying different parts of Eastern Europe.

The two-day conference starts on Thursday, 16 November at 2pm. On the first evening, there will be a PechaKucha event with young researchers. 

Further information will be announced in early autumn.