Call for Papers

Call for Papers

“Social Movements Today in Russia and the World: the issues of Human agency and Politization”

June 5-7, 2015

Andrew Gagarin Center for Civil Society and Human Rights

Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences (Smolny College), St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia

The conference aims at discussing the present state of social movements throughout the world, with a particular focus on Russia and the other CIS countries. An additional task is to make the social movements research more popular in Russia, to familiarize the international scholarly community with the research on social movements done in Russia, and to contribute to further integration of the Russian scholarship into the international discussions. Apart from the leading Russian scholars in the field, we aim to discover those researchers working in Russian regions, who are not yet well known either nationally or internationally. For this purpose, there will be an open call for proposals on a competitive basis.

Russia has been known as a country with weak social mobilization and underdeveloped movements. However, grassroots initiatives have been emerging in almost all its regions during the past decade. The movement “For Fair Elections” 2011-2013 has had a wide resonance. The Russian case, although understudied in the social movement research, helps to raise some interesting questions. Here are some of those:

  • How can social mobilization emerge in the absence of any obviously conducive structural factors (neither in the political field, nor in “mainstream” culture or in the organizational field)? Moreover, how can mobilization start under the conditions of deep atomization and weak activist organizations and networks?
  • How can the politicization process occur in an apolitical society? What are the effects of the apolitical status quo, on the results of politicization?
  • Who are those “ordinary” people who become activists? What is their life course?
  • Under what conditions can small or local grassroots initiatives transform into more general social movements?
  • An object of special interest are the social and political “anti-movements” (such as terrorist, or reactionary nationalist mobilization)? In the last years, Russia has demonstrated the presence both of spontaneous civic movements with a protest agenda, and the radical nationalist groups that are encouraged and supported by the State.

The topics to be discussed will include (but will not be limited to):

  • human agency and social structures;
  • the political, the civic and the social;
  • the role of the historical legacy;
  • individual engagement in a collective action,
  • activist worlds and “ordinary” people’s worlds;
  • solidarity and the making of social link;
  • narrow/general claims;
  • local/national/global levels.

Working language: English

The Organizing Committee invites researchers of social movements (including MA and PhD students) to send their proposals. The best proposals will be selected by the Organizing committee of the conference and will be included into the program of the conference.

For the speakers from Russia thus selected, the travel costs will be covered and accommodation will be provided. There is no participation fee for international participants. However, they would need to cover the travel and accommodation expenses on their own.

The candidates have to send an abstract (350 words) of their paper and information on the author to the following addresses: or

The proposal has to present the results of an original field research. The summary should specify sources of data and the methodology used. the author’s information must include: name, surname, e-mail, address, institutional affiliation + a one page CV. Abstracts will be published as a part of the conference program. Full papers (2500 words) should be submitted prior to the event, so that the participants could read texts of one another.

Abstracts submission deadline: January 18th 2015


4 thoughts on “Call for Papers

    • Dear Chares, if you’re interested in visiting the conference without presenting your paper, you can do it – however, we didn’t start registration of visitors yet. If you’d like to present a paper, please submit your abstract – the deadline is postponed to January 18, 2015.


      • Thank you for your reply. Actually my case falls in neither of the options you mentioned. The organizing committee is considering whether or not to set up an “author meets critic” panel to discuss my book, and Artemy Magun asked me to register in the meantime. Please consult with him if this situation presents an extraordinary hurdle.



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