21.01. 2019


28.02. 2019

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Antje Zettler


What is the relationship between the global caesura of “1989” and the many political, economic, social and cultural transformations that have taken place across the world during the last 30 years? This is the key question that the international conference on “Revolutions and transformations in global perspective, 1989-2019” will seek to address. It will be held from 12-16 June 2019, in the thirtieth year since 1989, at Leipzig University.

“1989” can be interpreted as a watershed in global history, with huge implications in all world regions for political and economic order, but also infrastructure, communication, cultural entanglements, migration regimes, and the like. We are interested in the entanglements and path-dependencies that developed in various world regions from “1989”, and connections between “1989” and increasing levels of political, economic and cultural global interdependence. We wish to relate “1989” to structural changes in the world economy, including processes of regionalization, as well as the integration of zones of production in transregional commodity chains and processes of financialization and digitalization. Are there links to be drawn between “1989” and the third wave of democratization in Africa in the early 1990s and the many revolutions, from Central Asia to the so-called Arab Spring, that have taken place in the last decade? Participants will reflect on how the proliferation and growth of international organisations under conditions of increasing levels of violent conflict, the re-adjustment of the relations between state and non-state political actors, and the securitization of international relations emerged out of the economic, social and cultural changes triggered by “1989”. What processes of differentiation emerged between post-socialist societies? How did different rescaling of relations between sites of industrial production and the many forms of service industries, including the growing financial sector, occur? Can the rise of a global middle class be linked to “1989”?

We invite global historians, social scientists and area studies specialists from all world regions to submit abstracts for papers that will address any of the above-mentioned topics and will preferably be based on new archival and other material. Transregional perspectives will be privileged. The conference’s organizing committee will select from the abstracts roughly 30 papers for presentation at the conference and publication in the conference proceedings.
300-word abstracts should be sent to: Centre for Area Studies, Leipzig ( by 28 February 2019. Acceptance of papers will be communicated by the end of March.