Scrambling for Power: War and Political Transformation in the Balkans,1940s

Scrambling for Power: War and Political Transformation in the Balkans,1940s

(Thessaloniki, November 24th – 27th  2011)

When it comes to the Balkans, the Second World War is associated with a process of rapid and radical political transformation. Some countries became Axis satellites (Romania, Bulgaria) and others resisted Axis power and were occupied by them (Yugoslavia, Greece). With the exception of Greece, all other countries in the region underwent a transition to a communism, with the ratio of indigenous input to external push varying across countries and over time.  The Second World War in this region is also associated with the discrediting of prewar political institutions, particularly the monarchy, associated with a number of civil wars both between collaborationist and resistance forces, and between resistance forces.  Ethnicity and nationalism became intertwined with communism and anticommunism in complex ways.  This rich and contentious past has yet to be explored in a comparative and cross-national fashion.

This conference seeks to examine the ways in which the political conditions of the Second World War led, mediated, or prevented political transformations; produced, exacerbated, or mitigated civil conflict, and affected the consolidation of power by new communist elites, in cases of transition.  We are, therefore, seeking explicitly comparative papers or case studies that explore these processes and can be framed comparatively.  We are also seeking papers that examine the ways in which historians and others visited and revisited this contentious past.

We are particularly interested in the following topics:
a) The interaction of resistance and civil war during the war and after
b) Political parties and the politics of electoral competition in the shadow of the transition to autocracy
c) Ethnic groups and minorities issues
d) Historiography: historical research and public history during the Cold War and Post Cold War eras

The Conference will be held at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki on November 24th – 27th 2011.  Accommodation expenses will be covered by the organizers, but not travel expenses.
Applicants must send a brief summary of the proposal up to 500 words and a brief CV (no more than one page). All proposals are to be sent to  (Ilias Skoulidas) no later than December 12th, 2010.

Organizing Committee: Stathis Kalyvas, Nikos Marantzidis, Ilias Skoulidas, Katerina Tsekou, Eleni Paschaloudi.

Civil Wars Study Group.
Department of Balkan, Slavic & Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia
Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence, Yale University

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