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.
Open Call for Paper
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).
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Impressions from previous Belgrade Security Forums
“Fora which bring together practitioners and theorists are often tenuous affairs, for they assume that overall political diagnoses, fixing of specific problems and questions of efficient organizations may all be addressed within the confine of specific debates. The Belgrade Security Forum elegantly works around this problem by setting aside specific discussions for different kinds of political questions. The result is a vibrant meeting place where all those who take some kind of interest in European security matters are certain to find what they are looking for. It’s the perfect gathering of the tribes”
Iver B. Neumann, Montague Burton Professor of International Relations, LSE
“Belgrade Security Forum is superbly organized conference that successfully combines top policy insights with cutting edge theory. Its one of a kind!”
Ayse Zarakol, Lecturer in International Relations, Cambridge University
“The Belgrade Security Forum is an exceptional opportunity to listen to high-level experts, academics, and practitioners in the field of European security providing valuable insights into what they know best. There are numerous occasions for discussion and networking, both in the panel sessions and during the breaks. The academic portion of the conference is highly selective, involving researchers at the cutting-edge of this important field of study. The conceptual and theoretical debate even spills over into special events for graduate students, like the innovative Methods Cafe. BSF makes every effort to ensure that participants from diverse backgrounds are brought together for a fruitful debate in a highly productive atmosphere.”
Dr. Mai’a K. Davis Cross, Senior Researcher, ARENA Centre for European Studies