This conference will bring together Central and Eastern European scholars to examine various interpretations, permutations and implications of the concept of “Intermarium” (land between the seas), and assess the chances for its various configurations to be implemented.
With the recent rise of scepticism towards integration and of anti-globalist views on the European continent, as well as a more aggressive Russian foreign policy, some elites of Central and Eastern European states have started to examine the idea of strengthening regional cooperation. The traditional geopolitical dichotomy determined by the East-West axis has lost its formerly indisputable solidity. The European Union is no longer perceived as an undisputed standard-bearer while Russia has gradually discredited itself as a partner and evolved into a source of concern. As a result, a shift towards broadly understood regional cooperation has acquired a powerful impetus and may soon appear at the political agendas of various European states. The old idea of Intermarium offers a historical reference point for future regional cooperative frameworks in Central and Eastern Europe.
The concept of Intermarium as a geopolitical framework embracing certain Central and Eastern European states has its roots in medieval times and, under various guises, envisages a partial reconstruction of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. During the XVI-XVII centuries, this Commonwealth was regarded as a serious power on the European continent able to withstand assaults from both the West and the East. In the inter-war period, an Intermarium alliance was favored by such statesmen as Józef Piłsudski and Symon Petliura. However, the concept also provoked suspicion and mistrust regarding the intentions that stood behind it. Today, the concept of Intermarium, notwithstanding its romantic connotations, constitutes an indigenous proposal for regional security and emancipation.
The conference “The Intermarium in the 21st Century” aims to assess various Intermarium narratives circulating in contemporary regional intellectual discourse and outline the major commonalities and differences between these ideas and the states possibly involved in it. It also aims to assess the chances and potential for the emergence of an Intermarium geopolitical framework via predicting the possible character, areas, and depth of regional cooperation. Finally, it will examine the potential power and impact of an Intermarium framework within the peculiar contemporary East European political environment, as well as assess how far it can contribute to the well-being and security of the inhabitants of the region.
The conference will reflect on the Intermarium’s following major dimensions:
- The geographic dimension entails the perception of the Intermarium framework by post-communist non-EU states (i.e. Ukraine, Belarus), post-communist EU states (i.e. Poland, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania), and „old” EU member states (i.e. Germany, Sweden, Finland).
- The political dimension entails the perception of the Intermarium framework by contemporary political elites in Central and Eastern European states including an estimation of potential proneness for cooperation among elites from different states.
- The security dimension entails areas of cooperation within the Intermarium framework regarding contemporary security challenges including the implications of Russia’s aggressive foreign policy and contemporary global challenges.
- The economic dimension entails opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation within the Intermarium framework, assesses existing obstacles, as well as envisages possible future economic risks.
- The cultural dimension entails an assessment of a variety of non-material and material factors which could either accelerate, or hamper cooperation within the Intermarium framework (including national myths and stereotypes and painful memories of earlier conflicts).
These five dimensions are not exclusive and may be expanded or altered.
Preliminarily, the conference aims to be made up of three panels reflecting the above-mentioned dimensions. These panels will be focused on: 1) Intermarium geopolitical issues; 2) Intermarium security issues; 3) Intermarium politics, economics, and culture.
The keynote speaker will be Andreas Umland, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation, Kyiv.
Scholars wishing to participate should include contact details of the author(s) and an abstract of up to 200 words. Proposals should be submitted via E-mail by 31 March 2017. The selected speakers will be informed soon afterwards. We expect conference contributors to submit full-sized papers by 16 June 2017.
All abstracts should be submitted to Dr. Ostap Kushnir: firstname.lastname@example.org . The email should be entitled “Intermarium Conference Paper Proposals.”
We intend to publish a selection of conference papers. We expect conference contributors to submit full-size, properly referenced papers.
The conference registration fee will be €80. Those who register by 21 April 2017 will only be required to pay €50.
Organising committee: Prof. Krzysztof Łazarski, Dr. Spasimir Domaradzki, Dr. Ostap Kushnir, Ms. Margaryta Khvostova, Ms. Yana Humen.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Ostap Kushnir at email@example.com
Dr. Ostap Kushnir
Department of Government Studies
43, Świeradowska Str.,
Warsaw, Poland, 02-662