Open Call for Papers: „Geopolitical Change in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus: What Future Role for Europe?“

The Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) and the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) are organising a high-level international conference on the “Geopolitical Change in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus: What Future Role for Europe?” in Berlin on the 3rd and 4th of July 2017. The conference is taking place in the framework of the PhD support programme “The EU, Central Asia and the Caucasus in the International System” (EUCACIS) which is organised with significant funding from the Volkswagen Foundation and financially supported by the Erasmus+ Programme.

The geopolitical framework of the EU’s relations with Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus has changed significantly. China shows increasing interest in cooperating with the Central Asian countries while Russia pursues its ambitions in its immediate neighbourhood through the Eurasian Economic Union. The interest of the US in both regions has decreased since Clinton’s Silk Road Initiative. Whether the Trump administration will change this, remains unclear. Also regional powers, such as India, Iran and Turkey have put stronger emphasis on their policies towards the regions. Against this backdrop, the EU has to discuss the renewal of its strategy for Central Asia (the current dates back from 2007) and the adjustment the European Neighbourhood Policy with regard to the Southern Caucasus. The debates have to consider the changing geopolitical context as well as domestic factors in the target countries and in the EU, notably the process of implementing the new EU “Global Strategy”.

With regard to these current developments, the conference is devoted to the discussion of the prospects of the EU’s role in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus: Which lessons can be drawn from previous cooperation with the target countries? How should the EU position itself towards China, Russia, the US and regional powers in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus? How can the EU implement the “Global Strategy” in its policies towards the regions? Which new challenges will the regions face in the next years? How can the states in both regions and global actors cooperate to deal with these challenges? Is there an option for regional integration or cooperation to address these challenges?

These questions will be discussed with high-level speakers from China, Central Asia, Europe, Russia, the Southern Caucasus and the US as well as researchers and PhD candidates. The junior researchers have the chance to present their research projects in the international conference and receive feedback from renowned researchers. The conference offers them networking opportunities with other researchers, university professors and lecturers from Europe and the wider Central Asia. It aims at establishing a European-Central Asia-Southern Caucasus research network, including the fellows of the EUCACIS programme and alumni of the Master Programme “The EU and Central Asia in the International System”.

Submission of paper proposals:

IEP and CIFE invite researchers to submit paper proposals, which are related to one of the following topics:

Please submit your paper proposal in English to Mr. Julian Plottka, ( by 31st of May 2017. Paper proposals should have a length of 300 words and include full contact details.

Invitation to the Conference:
Participants of the working groups of the international conference will be selected from the submitted paper proposals by a board of reviewers. Selected participants do not have to pay a conference fee; food and drinks will be provided.

About the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP):
Since its founding (1959), the IEP has been a non-profit organisation dedicated to the study of European integration and of the EU in the international system. It is one of the leading foreign and European policy research centres in the Federal Republic of Germany and serves as a forum for exchange between academia, politics, administration and political education.

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About the Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE):
Established in 1954, CIFE is a private, non-profit international organisation, receiving the support of the European Union and other organisations. CIFE has offices in Nice, Berlin, Brussels and Istanbul. The programmes of CIFE encompass educational and research activities concerning European integration, federalism, regionalism and changes within the structure of contemporary society in accordance with a federalist perspective.

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Contact Details:
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Julian Plottka (