Decolonizing Space in the Global East

The 2023 Aleksanteri Conference will be held on October 25–27 at the University of Helsinki, Finland.

This year’s conference will address changes in the relationships within and between the former communist countries of the Global East, by which we mean the region that has been labelled as post/former -Soviet, -socialist, -communist, -imperial.

We examine the concept and trajectories of choice in relation to political transformations within and between the countries of the Global East. Much research has been about the inevitability of certain processes without providing space for thinking about free will. With this conference, we would like to explore various factors and their combinations that influenced certain legal choices made by the former communist countries of the Global East: the choices that led Russia to attack Ukraine; the choices behind traditional values, policy backsliding, violation of human rights; the choices behind and transformations of carceral practices. Our study of carceral practices moves past stone walls and iron bars, examining the judicial systems of which prisons are both symbols and actualities. We invite scholars to examine punishment and control at the intersections of geography, politics, history, literature, sociology, psychology, as well as penal studies and legal studies.

This conference will be focused on the Global East, as opposed to Russia, which has been central to most of our previous conferences. This year we especially encourage proposals from across the region that address the conference’s principal themes of political transformations, legal choices and carceral practices from a broad range of disciplines. We also welcome submissions on recent research across a broad range of disciplines, including (but not limited to) law, geography, politics, history, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, and international relations.