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International Scientific Conference "Minorities and Conflicts: Asian and African States in the Modern World"

On October 9-10, 2015 the Higher School of Economics – St. Petersburg will host the international scientific conference “Minorities and Conflicts: Asian and African States in the Modern World”. The organizers of the conference are the Centre for Asian and African Studies and the Department of Asian and African Studies at the Higher School of Economics – St. Petersburg.

On October 9-10, 2015 the Higher School of Economics – St. Petersburg will host the international scientific conference “Minorities and Conflicts: Asian and African States in the Modern World”. The organizers of the conference are the Centre for Asian and African Studies and the Department of Asian and African Studies at the Higher School of Economics – St. Petersburg.

 

The aim of the conference is to facilitate multi-disciplinary discussion of research experience, theoretical, methodological and empirical findings in the field of Asian and African minorities’ studies.

In the increasingly globalizing world the destruction of the old patterns of governance happens faster than the development of the new ones. After the fall of the colonial system in the middle of the XX century newly independent Asian and African states faced a number of challenges. On one side, there was an urgent need for state-building, national identity construction, integration and modernization. On the other side, the high diversity of their populations resulted in the strive of minority groups for self-determination, equal rights and protection of their language and culture. These challenges have not been solved completely and up to date are sources of ethnic tensions and violent crises. In Asia and Africa, where the majority of states are demographically diverse, racial, ethnic, religious minority groups are often subjects of discrimination and participants of armed conflicts. Such conflicts, being domestic in their nature, have a devastating impact not only on populations of host-countries, but also on neighboring states, regions and the whole international system by producing refugee flows and destabilizing international economy.

The theme of the conference Minorities and Conflicts: Asian and African States in the Modern World brings us to a wide range of questions: What types of minority conflicts exist? What are their causes? What role does economy play in the majority-minority relations? Why do some countries experience relative stability, while others suffer from protracted violent conflicts? What policies regulate the status of ethnic and religious minorities in Asia and Africa? What are the successful examples of such policies? What role do international organizations and external states play in this type of domestic conflicts? When do domestic ethnic and religious conflicts become internationalized?

The following topics are planned to be discussed at the conference:

  • Theoretical background, conceptual foundations and methodology of the studies that focus on ethnic, racial and religious minorities and related conflicts;
  • History and current state of minorities in Asia and Africa, their involvement in political, social and economic sphere;
  • Reasons and consequences of ethnic, religious and racial conflicts in the modern Asian and African states;
  • Ways of conflict resolution and prevention;
  • Role of international organizations and external states.


If you would like to take part in the conference, please, send in your abstract (300 words) and a CV toedsoboleva@hse.ru by 1st of August 2015. The organizing committee will notify applicants about the results of papers’ selection no later than on 1st of September 2015.

The working languages of the conference are English and Russian.

In case you have any questions regarding the conference, please,  contact  Elena Soboleva: edsoboleva@hse.ru.

 

We look forward to seeing you at the conference!

Please, feel free to disseminate this information among your colleagues.