S37 | Resurfacing 1989 in the History of International Relations

Section Chair:

Cristina Blanco Sío-López,
European University Institute

The key turning point implied by the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin wall generated ripples of concepts, events and designed scenarios that are strongly resurfacing as paradigmatic points of reflection and comparison in times of fundamental change. Indeed, the groundbreaking socio-economic and political consequences of our misguided responses to the current multilevel crisis in Europe and at the global level accentuate the need to search for pivotal triggers and reference points.

Taking into account this premise, this section aims to analyse how the history of the present and the history of international relations are interpreting multiple derivations of the '1989 impact' including: the socio-political effects of the EU's eastward enlargement; narrative shifts in political communication; its influence in EU and global diplomacy practices and priorities; aesthetic representations of mainstreamed new versions of International Relations; social movements in post-communist societies; geopolitical changes and re-organised partnerships; comparative regional integration approaches in relation to 'change and opportunity'; missed chances in interregional dialogue; consequences for mobility and migration policies and trends; perception management in change passages and the use and abuse of historical arguments justifying policy-making evolving vectors.

In short, this section expects to shed light on interdisciplinary '1989' categories and research insights which will help to elucidate to what extent turning back to this era-originating mirror can clarify elusive self-definitions and formulate firm directions based on historical lessons and challenges.

This section will be organised around the following five panel themes:

  1. The '1989' trigger and the socio-political impact of EU's Eastward enlargement.
  2. 1989-inspired narrative shifts in political communication and global governance.
  3. The consequences of '1989' for European mobility and migration.
  4. '1989', perception management, aesthetic representation and EU-policy making.
  5. 1989-inspired geopolitical shifts and their long-term impact on European diplomacy.