Call for Proposals: OSCE Academy Regional Security Conference

The OSCE Academy invites all interested scholars to submit their individual paper proposals or pre-organized panels for the conference themed: “Central Asian Security: Factors of Fragility, Sources of Resilience”, to be held on 11-14 October 2018 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. This event merges two of our annually held successive conferences – Annual Security Seminar and Alumni Conference - in a new format, comprising conference panels, practical workshops, and side events. The conference is generously funded by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In a time when old and new challenges are gaining momentum all over the globe, it is paramount to develop an analytical clarity regarding what makes security fragile and what is capable of making it resilient. Security is not a static good, but a condition in time, ever open to change and to being impacted by numberless factors. The challenge for political leaders and their governments, for societies at large, and for scholars and knowledge communities is to train our eyes and to fit our actions to the understanding of the evolving nature of security and, hence, to addressing factors of fragility and tapping into sources of resilience to threats, in Central Asia or elsewhere. Relevant actors are many, within and across states, in Central Asia and outside, all with different interests, backgrounds and capabilities. A critical and topical scholarly inquiry into these actors, the processes they are involved in, interests and capabilities they bring, and generally, into bridling fragility and enhancing resilience, with a concentrated look on the nexus between the two in the wider region of Central Asia, is what the conference hopes to engender.

We especially invite papers/research projects that offer new theoretical approaches, new empirical evidence, cross-country and cross-regional perspectives. Certainly, main challenges and themes of security in Central Asia remain, and we are not aiming to invent new ones. Some of the broad themes of particular interest include, but are not limited to:

- the renewed role of Uzbekistan and how it affects Central Asian regional inter-governmental dynamics;
- the evolving and ever-topical implications of China’s Bridge and Road Initiative;
- the instability and fragile status quo, amid the need for political change, in Afghanistan, and
- comparative analyses and discussions of regions other than Central Asia, and how they relate to Central Asian futures.

The working language of the Seminar is English.

Please send your abstract (max. 300 words), CV and a short bio (max. 200 words) to: securityconference2018@osce-academy.net with the word “Application” in the subject line no later than 15 August 2018. Please also indicate in the text of your application e-mail if you request partial or full travel/accommodation support to participate in the Conference.

We provide full financial support to selected OSCE Academy MA Programme alumni.

Selected participants will be informed by 30 August, 2018.

A conference report will be published, reflecting key findings and themes of discussion of the conference within our Academy Paper Series. Select papers, translated into Russian, will be included in the Academy Yearbook 2019. The Academy Yearbook 2018 is available at: http://osce-academy.net/en/research/policy-briefs/

NOTE: If you would like to serve as rapporteur of the conference please indicate that in your application. (The OSCE Academy offers a modest honorarium for this conference report)

If you have questions please write to conference organizers at securityconference2018@osce-academy.net