University of St Andrews

Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and Eastern European Studies

24th Annual Conference

24th Annual Conference of the Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and East European Studies at the University of St Andrews.

Co-hosted by the Institute for Transnational and Spatial History at the University of St Andrews

Between Federalism, Autonomy and Centralism: Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Byre Theatre, Abbey Street, St Andrews
Friday, May 29, 2015

"From Quebec in the west to Crimea in the east, from Scotland in the north to the Balkans in the south, peoples of the Western World have recently sought to redefine their relationships with their states. The international conference “Between Federalism, Autonomy and Centralism”, organised by Tomasz Kamusella and Frances Nethercott from the University of St Andrews, treats modern Central and Eastern Europe as a point of departure to discuss the concepts of federalism, autonomy, and centralism in Europe and beyond.

On Friday, May 29, the Byre Theatre in St Andrews will house nine speakers from universities and research centres across Europe. Their papers, which vary in scope and regional focus, will deal with connections between the official state model on the one hand, and issues of ethnicity, religion or identity on the other. The event will also feature Neil Ascherson and Colin Kidd, who will comment on the talks and lead a round table discussion on the topics raised.

The organizers of the event, together with the Centre for Russian, Soviet, Central and Eastern European Studies and Institute for Transnational and Spatial History at the University of St Andrews, invite all students, academics, and members of the general public to participate in this event. Admission is free for students and staff of the University. "

Tadek Wojtych, University of St Andrews

Online registration
Download conference poster
Download conference abstracts and speaker biographies

Tentative program:

8:30-9:00 Registration

9:00-9:30 Opening
9:30-10:30 Panel 1

Olaf Mörke
(Univeristy of Kiel, Germany)
From Insurrection to Confederation – Swiss Concepts of (Con-)Federalism from a Comparative Perspective

Wilfried Swenden
(University of Edinburgh)
Built to Last? Why Belgium is Not the Next Czechoslovakia (or Scotland)

10:30-11:30 Panel 2

Alexander Osipov
(European Centre for Minority Issues, Flensburg, Germany)
Territorial Autonomy as a Tool of Minority Accommodation in the Post-Soviet Space: The Cases of Ukraine and Moldova

Pavel Tereshkovich
Independent Belarusian Bologna Committee
Modern Belarusian State: A Case of Postmodern Soviet-style Authoritarian Centralism

11:30-12:00 Coffee Break

12:00-1:00 Panel 3

Ana S. Trbovich
(Faculty of Economics, Finance and Administration, Belgrade)
Federalism or Centralism? The Global Impact of Failed Regulation of Self-Determination in Former Yugoslavia

Soeren Keil
(Canterbury Christ Church University)
Federalism as a Tool of Conflict Resolution: The Case of Bosnia and Herzegovina

1:00- 2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:00 Panel 4

Elena Marushiakova and Vesselin Popov
(Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Roma (Gypsies) in Central and Eastern Europe Between Different Models of Statehood

Michael Talbot
(Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
The Idea of 'Millet' in the Late Ottoman Empire and Republic of Turkey

3:00-3:30 Coffee Break

3:30-5:30 Round Table
Scotland: Between Independence, Autonomy, Federalism and Centralism
Neal Ascherson, Commentator
Collin Kidd, Commentator
(University of St Andrews)

5:30-6:00 End of Conference

For more information about the conference, please contact Tomasz Kamusella at