Imagining Development Workshop at Tallinn University

Deadline: 25 September 2013
Open to: international PhD students and recent PhD graduates who would like to present their research
Venue: 8-9 November 2013 in Tallinn, Estonia


International Workshop Imagining Development: Comparing Theory and Practice of Development in the Post-Socialist World is calling for papers.

The main aim of the project PSDEV is to establish, maintain and make sustainable a world class research group with a focus on foreign and domestic development policies in post-socialist spaces. Thanks to its wide geographical and disciplinary focus, this project will provide an international and intercultural environment for a team of researchers to connect, reflect, come up with new findings and establish new collaborations in order to help them further their regional specialism and professional development. PSDEV will also contribute a significant body of knowledge in its own right. The research will explore the way development (be this local or national, political or social) in a series of post-socialist states has been conceived, implemented and applied to different political, economic and geopolitical realities across the region and the response that has generated from this implementation. This project is the first attempt to connect EU, CIS and Chinese institutions working on post-socialist transformation and will create the basis for a long term individual and institutional interregional and international collaborations.

PSDEV is coordinated by the Institute of Governance and Political Science at Tallinn University and features seven other partners:

  • University of Birmingham, Centre for Eastern European and RussianStudies
  • University of Fribourg, Seminaire d’Anthropologie
  • University of Latvia, Centre for Gender Studies
  • Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Humanities
  • Moscow Higher School of Economics, Laboratory for Business Communication
  • Renmin University of China, School of International Studies
  • Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

The workshop will explore the ways in which development (be it local or national, political or social) has been conceived, implemented and applied to different political, economic and geopolitical realities in post-socialist states as well as the responses that these implementations have generated across the region. The are three main guiding research questions:

  1. What are the main features of development policies conceived in the past 20 years in and towards the post-socialist region? What have been their main achievements and limits?
  2. What have been the effects of development policies conceived at the national and international level on the different segments of a society or a given local territory? Whilst policies may be regulated in details, and their rules can be found in official documents, little is known about the extent and the ways in which those instructions are renegotiated and alternatives channels of distribution are created in cases where formal and informal rules do not overlap.
  3. What are the new interactions being created and what is the relationship with traditional spaces of economic development policies? Often failure to deliver the expected results is ascribed to the wrong measures adopted or the result of incompetence (or corruption). Those two interpretations fail to consider the case when such irregularities persist in time and bring different results but not necessarily worse than the ones envisaged when conceived given policies or actions.


There will be participants from all partner institutions but the organizers would use this workshop also as a networking event. Therefore, scholars from outside the network who would like to present their research and to network with the prospect of a follow-up project in the coming years are welcome. The workshop will be formed by two sections:

  • Young scholars section: PhD students and recent PhD graduates will have an opportunity to present their research and get feedback from senior scholars.
  • Networking section: Participants will have the chance to present  their research briefly and meet with other scholars from a wide array of universities. In addition to the project partners, we will invite scholars from two more networks Tallinn University is coordinating as well as from other major European universities.


There is no registration fee. Travel costs are not covered, but the organization will provide accommodation and food for selected speakers.


Deadline for submission of abstracts (with a short bio) is September 25, 2013. They must be send to Emilia Pawlusz

If you are interested in the workshop, but didn’t learn about the event in time to meet the deadline, there is a chance that we can still accept 1-2 late abstracts. Note that accommodation is not guaranteed for latecomers or non-speaking attendants.

For more information, please visit the official website.

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