Lake landscape in Lithuania.

International Young Researchers Conference

The Havighurst Center annually hosts the International Young Researchers’ Conference (YRC), which invites advanced graduate students and recent doctorate recipients from the U.S. and abroad to present their research on a specified topic within the region of Russia, Eastern Europe and/or Eurasia.

Populism in Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union: Conceptual, Empirical and Comparative Perspectives

February 15-17, 2018

Keynote speakers

“Populism” is a term often used in the scholarly literature on postcommunism – and yet its meaning and explanatory potential remain elusive. The consensus that populist discourses, tropes, rituals, ideas and practices should be counted among the most important factors that propelled transformative processes in the former “second world” does not extend to question such as: what is the proper way to conceptualize and contextualize the notion of populism? What are the historical roots of the populist phenomenon and the enduring local traditions that sustain it? How did populist rhetoric and appeal change over time, e.g. when several East European countries successfully completed their accession process and became full members of the European Union? What are the cultural resources that populists are able to mobilize, and in what repertoires of contention are such resources invested? How are populist actors and constituencies situated in evolving configurations of power? What is their impact on mainstream politics and established institutional landscapes? And how do populist demands shape oppositional tactics and governmental priorities?  This Young Researchers Conference seeks to tap into the new wave of research that sheds light on such questions and on postcommunist populism more generally.

Review Working Papers for the 2018 Conference