On Friday 7 July 2017, while moving towards the second workshop at Canterbury Christ Church University in September, addressing democratic recession and social and political changes in Europe, the UACES CRN ‘Europe and the Everyday’, with the support of the University of Leicester, will hold an external workshop at the War Childhood Museum, in Sarajevo. The War Childhood Museum opened this year, in January, and, as presented in their website, contains a number of personal belongings, stories, audio and video testimonies, photographs, letters, drawings and other documents offering valuable insights into the unique experience of growing up in wartime (a short documentary about their work with English subtitles is available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvYJxIgScFA)
The workshop is intended to emerge as a network for critical debate on democratic conditionality, to raise questions and to offer reflections to stimulate further studies and dialogues, and research projects. Academic and think tank participants will benefit from the opportunity to offer general reflections from specific vantage points. Contributions from past enlargements (in Poland or in Croatia) can enable research on the next enlargements and practitioners from the region to re-frame and re-think the democratization process through successes and limits of past experiences and alternative sources of social and political engagement. Scholars with in-depth expertise on different case studies and key concepts at different levels will be able to develop and enrich questions, contribute to analytical reflection within academic debates and make use of comparative research in a wider context.
Delegates, from the region and beyond will have the opportunity to address questions related to statehood, democratization and Europeanization, such as: (i) What type of democracy is developing in the region?; (ii) How do grassroots experiences and civil society engage with everyday democracy (or through militant democracy, see Thiel 2009; Casal Bértoa and Bourne 2016); (iii) How do marginalized communities, engage with and experience the idea of Europe?; (4) How is Europe entrenched in local spaces, cities and neighbourhoods, and what spatial or geographic evidence can we observe?
The theoretical re-assessment of the link between Europeanization and democratization in light of recent experiences in Eastern Europe and practices in the Western Balkans would benefit current academic debates; the empirical analysis of the interplay and implications of the impact on citizens’ engagement with politics and how political competition in Southeastern Europe is shaping in light of the countries’ integration into the EU can offer new insights both at the academic and practitioners levels; while the study of structural factors and reforms can inform policy recommendations in the region.