25th Annual Conference of Central European Political Science Association

“Challenges to Democracy: Political Processes in Central and Eastern Europe”

18-19 November 2021

Organized by
Central European Political Science Association

in cooperation with
Polish Political Science Association 
University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Institute of Political Science

with honorary patronage and financial support of 
Marshal of Warmia and Mazury Region


Central and Eastern Europe was marked in a rather specific way by historical processes observed in the 19th and 20th centuries. The experience of a long period without independence and being portioned among great empires, the development of nationalism, independence after the end of World War I, inclusion in the Soviet sphere of influence after World War II, the experience with “democracy with adjectives” (in this case: people’s democracy) and the processes of political and economic transformation in the 1980s and 90s – all of these factors created the specific conditions for the development of democratic processes in the region.

The aim of the conference is therefore a scientific reflection on the challenges facing contemporary democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and an analysis of factors affecting the quality of democracy in the region. A significant research challenge will also be an analysis of factors affecting the relatively low political participation of societies in Central and Eastern European countries. A characteristic element for the region – which will also be a subject of discussion – is the growing role of populism and proposals for implementation of new types of “democracy with adjectives” (e.g. illiberal democracy, sovereign democracy). The above-mentioned challenges will constitute the main axis of discussions undertaken during the conference. Factors determining the answer for the following dilemma will be presented: to what extent is modern democracy coexistence or a peaceful war of all against all. The conclusions reached as a result of the conference will be the basis for the implementation of comparative research with regard to the challenges and threats to democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and in a supra-regional approach.

Within the conference panels both the theoretical and analytical contributions may be presented with the general theme. Below we include a brief list of themes that could be discussed within the panels:

  •  Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Political participation and civil society in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Electoral processes in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Historical perspective of regimes in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Public discourse in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Political parties, party systems, party membership in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Populism in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Political leadership in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Governance and Governments in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Dilemmas of democracy in Ukraine
  • Central and Eastern Europe and EU, USA, Russia, China, Africa, Asia

The provided list of sub-themes or/and panels is surely not comprehensive. Applicants are encouraged to respond to the conference’s general theme by proposing a specific topics of their own, proposals on all aspects of Central European politics will be considered. The conference is open to the researches from all countries with an interest in Central European affairs.

Paper and panel proposals

The academic program for the conference will be organized in the usual format of panels. Each panel should comprise four to five papers plus a chair. We welcome individual paper proposals and / or complete panel proposals as well.

Proposals for panels should include:
  • Name, institutional affiliation and email address of the proposed panel chair
  • Proposed panel title and summary of its theme (approx. 250 words + up to 5 keywords)
  • Tentative indication of possible panelists including their names, institutional affiliation and email addresses

The tasks for a panel chair include:
  • proposing a panel around a theme;
  • maintaining a balance between established and new-coming scholars, and postgraduate students;
  • maintaining a balance with regards to the national affiliation of panellist (up to two panel members from the same national political science association).


The closing date for panel proposals: 30th July 2021 

Proposal for papers should include:
  • Name, institutional affiliation and e-mail address of the proposed contributor;
  • Proposed paper title and summary of its theme (approx. 250 words + up to 5 keywords);
  • Proposed panel where the paper could be placed (if known).


The closing date for paper proposals: 30th July 2021

Proposals should be submitted to: cepsa2021@uwm.edu.pl.

Participants are informed of the acceptance at the end of July 2021. The first draft of a programme will be available at the begining of September 2021

Conference format:

CEPSA conference will be organized either in-person or in hybrid form between 17th and 19th of November 2021 in Olsztyn. We will announce the final decision in September 2021.


All paper and / or panel proposals that were submitted in 2020 will be automatically moved to 2021 and all authors will be notified.

Publication possibilities:

The organizers do not provide for the publication of the conference papers. Nevertheless, we would like to offer to all scholars presenting their contribution the possibility to publish their papers in the form of a scientific article. For such purposes we offer the following opportunities:


Financial issues:

  • the conference fee is not required
  • the organizers provide meals (lunch breaks and coffee breaks)
  • the organizers do not cover the travel costs
  • the organizers are prepared to help to all participants in search for accommodation



The location of the city allows quick access by various means of transport. There is the new airport Olsztyn-Mazury (London-Luton, London-Stansted, Dortmund, Kraków, Wrocław, and still develop directions). Other airports are: Warsaw-Modlin, Warsaw-Okęcie, Gdańsk.
The trip takes approximately 2,5 hours by train or direct bus for 10 Euro (all destinations). There are plenty of train and coach connections each day. The organizing team will find the best connection for each participant.