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Call for Papers: Advocating religious freedom in the Helsinki process

New research perspectives on the non-state actors in view of the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki treaty (1975–2025)

Online Workshop

14. Oktober 2021

The Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) born of the Helsinki Agreements (1973-75) is often described as one of the main diplomatic achievements of the détente era, and a crucial milestone towards ending the Cold War. Yet not only diplomats played a part in the process. Non-state actors and NGOs also did their share by lobbying CSCE staff and conference attendees for human rights and Religious freedom violations behind the Iron Curtain.

Drawing on the most recent research on this topic (Badalassi and Snyder, The CSCE and the End of the Cold War: Diplomacy, Societies and Human Rights, 2019), this online workshop aims at further exploring human rights activists involved in the Helsinki process, at the interface between the Dissent and the Western public, and between state and other private networks. The focus of this workshop is on the religion, on religious networks and actors who advocate religious freedom and human rights in the CSCE process.

We are looking for new research contributions that deal with the following topics in the context of the Helsinki Process:
—Presentation of new primary sources and archives
—Religious networks in support of the CSCE, Helsinki monitoring groups
—Religious actors and their perspectives (first-hand testimonies and retrospect assessments)
—Religious freedom and anti-communism

Politically and geographically, we are particularly interested in contributions focussing on the neutral States of Europe (e.g. Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Malta, Austria) and on Eastern European groups as they are often underrepresented in international research.

To apply, please send a 300-word abstract of your proposal, along with a 100-word personal biographical statement. Abstracts may be submitted in either English or German. The working language of the workshop will be English. It is planned to develop further research activities from this workshop in 2022 for the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Agreement. The deadline for applications is June 30, 2021. Participants will be informed of the result until 30 July latest, and the workshop program will be published until 15 September latest.

Please send your suggestions to:
Katharina Kunter () and Stéphanie Roulin ()

Dr. Katharina Kunter
Professor Contemporary Church History specifically in the Nordic countries and Europe
Faculty of Theology
P.O. Box 4 (Vuorikatu 3)
FI —00014 Helsingin yliopisto / University of Helsinki

PD Dr.
Stéphanie Roulin
Département Histoire contemporaine
Université de Fribourg
Bureau 2 131
Rue du Criblet 13
CH-1700 Fribourg

pdfCall for Papers