8th Annual Conference of the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS), Regensburg

Event date
June 25-27, 2020
Leibniz-Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS), Landshuter Str. 4, 93047, Regensburg
Short description

'Infrastructure in East and Southeast Europe in Comparative Perspective: Past, Present and Future'

Infrastructure has emerged as a key site for understanding such projects and processes as modernization, state- and empire-building, globalization, and other forms of integration. While several scholarly projects have focused attention on the role of infrastructure in integrating Western Europe, there has been no such focus on the Eastern half of the continent, partly because it has been seen as an economic backwater. Yet, research has shown that projects of social engineering were often tried out in so-called peripheries. Moreover, looking forward to the Cold War, as Kimberly Elman Zarecor has recently argued, state-socialism was characterized by "infrastructural thinking," that is, decision- making that was driven by the "requirements and scale" of infrastructure.


Existing research on infrastructure in the Western European context has opened up a number of questions on the history of infrastructure in East Central Europe: What were the imperial and national infrastructure building projects from the 18th century to the end of Empire? Which were realized, and which were not, and for what reasons? What did infrastructures connect, and what did they bypass? What impact did the two World Wars have on the developing of infrastructure? To what extent did the Iron Curtain create a rupture in existing infrastructure predating the Cold War? To what extent was infrastructure used to integrate the Eastern Bloc? And to what extent, on the contrary, did pre-existing infrastructural systems impose their own, "outdated" logic on a changed continent? How did infrastructural projects transform the societies in which they were embedded, and which they connected? At the same time, how did populations in contact with infrastructure appropriate them to their own needs? And what happens when infrastructure malfunctions? How has European integration impacted infrastructure? What new infrastructure projects promise to transform East and Southeast Europe?

The conference intends to facilitate an interdisciplinary dialogue. We also encourage comparative and transnational perspectives.

Access the call for papers HERE

Geographical focus
  • SEE
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
Event type
  • Conference in EU/international

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on October 30, 2019
Modified on October 30, 2019