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Call for Papers 2015

BELGRADE SECURITY FORUM 2015 : CALL FOR PAPERS

“Does the EU Need a Foreign Policy?”

 

Open Call

The organizers of the Belgrade Security Forum (BSF) are pleased to invite security scholars and researchers to submit proposal papers for the fifth Belgrade Security Forum (BSF) to be held on September 30 - October 2, 2015. The Belgrade Security Forum is the biggest international security conference in Southeast Europe, each year bringing together several hundred top level policy and decision makers, NGO leaders, experts, academics and journalists. Belgrade Security Forum is co-organized by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy, Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence and the European Movement in Serbia. The Belgrade Security Forum is a combined event divided into two parts: an academic event on the first day, and a policy event that takes place over the following two days. All participants of the Forum are also invited to take part in a Method Cafee sessions, hosted by senior scholars. The general topic of this year's Forum is “Can Europe Redefine Itself?” while the theme of the academic event is “Does the EU need a Foreign Policy?” All accepted papers will be presented during the academic event (September 30). The aim of the academic part of the conference is to feed scholarly insights into the policy event (October 1-2) of the Forum. Following the conference all presented papers will be peer-reviewed for publication in the Journal of Regional Security (www.regionalsecurityjournal.com).

 

 Rationale

When the Berlin Wall came down quarter of a century ago many hoped that Europe was stepping out of history and its eternal recurrence of wars only to enter a post-modern era of liberal peace. Enlargement of the EU was seen as a vehicle that will spread this utopian vision to the East and fill out the geopolitical void left behind the implosion of the Soviet Union. The EU also devised the Neighbourhood Policy in order to share “everything but institutions” with countries beyond the reach of its Enlargement Policy. For more than two decades, the EU compensated for being a “political dwarf” and a “military worm” with its Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policies. Their transformative potential by most accounts, dwarfed the strategic impact of the nascent Common Security and Defence Policy. Instead of opposing the political and normative expansion of the EU, other powers seemed to be magnetically attracted to it. This made many optimists believe that the very logic of the balance of power, so central for the tragedy of world politics, is finally being reversed on the old continent. In 2014, for the first time in history, the external promotion of EU values and norms became a part of the security problem by contributing if not causing the crisis in Ukraine. With this, the EU’s soft power seems to have hit the hard rock of the Russia’s spheres of interest. As a result, Moscow annexed the Crimean Peninsula and militarily intervened in the Eastern Ukraine. Unfortunately, Europe is not facing a crisis only in its Eastern neighbourhood. In the Southern Mediterranean, the hopes raised by the Arab Spring have increasingly turned into a nightmare of state collapse, sectarian strife and Islamic radicalism. The question is not “if” but “how” will the ensuing chaos from the Middle East translate into a variety of European security problems, ranging from illegal migration and terrorist attacks to nuclear proliferation and regional conflicts along with inevitable repercussions for European democracies. All these developments, coupled with the unfolding Eurozone crisis and US ”rebalancing” to Asia will once again put to the test the internal cohesion of the Trans Atlantic Alliance. Finally, the problems in Europe’s Western Balkan backyard, including the democratic backslide and protracted political stagnation, have all been increasingly neglected by the EU. This is an open invitation for other geopolitical actors with agendas not always compatible with EU’s visions of the region. In this radically changed context of the return of geopolitics to the old continent, it is the right time to ask: does the EU need to rethink its foreign policy? Should the EU start prioritizing geopolitical interests over the promotion of values? What is the role of European Neighbourhood Policy in a post-enlargement era? Whither the Common Security and Defence Policy and the idea of an EU army? Should the EU seek energy independence from Russia or should it utilize interdependence to seek solutions?  The organizers of the Belgrade Security Forum are particularly interested in contributions that work at the intersection of Critical Geopolitics, International Security, Foreign Policy Analysis and European Studies focusing on EU’s policies towards the Western Balkans, Post-Soviet Space and the wider Middle East.

 

Application process

Participants will be selected based on the quality of their application. All submissions are required to include the applicant’s CV (up to 2 pages) attached to his/her paper proposal (up to 400 words). Submissions should be made electronically to jrs@fpn.bg.ac.rs titled “Call for paper proposals for BSF 2015”. The applicants should clearly state whether they would like to be considered for the accommodation and travel grant. Incomplete applications will be excluded from our review. The organizers will financially support travel and accommodation expenses of selected participants on a needs basis. Following the conference all presented papers will be peer-reviewed for publication in the Journal of Regional Security.

The deadline for submissions is 20 May 2015. All successful candidates will be contacted by 20 June 2015.