Call for Papers


Dates and venue: 21–23 October 2020, University of Helsinki, Finland
Organiser: Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki

The 20th Aleksanteri Conference “Eurasia and Global Migration” is still scheduled to take place in Helsinki in the end of October 2020. The call for papers is open till 15th of May. We sincerely hope that colleagues all around the world are safe and doing well in this difficult pandemic situation!

The 20th Annual Aleksanteri Conference brings together scholars exploring dimensions of global migration to, from and within the Eurasian space. For the purposes of this conference, the geographic domain of the Eurasian space includes Central and Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space. We discuss migration and the agency of migrants in terms of social, political, cultural and economic processes and flows, which redefine the contours of national boundaries and affect societal development in both sending and receiving societies. Migration to, from and within the Eurasian space has been a part of flows and processes between the Global North and Global South, but also a part of the building of past empires.

Historically, the impact of migration in many fields, such as economy and culture, has been enormous. In addition to these, migration affects national politics, global inequality, urbanization, local communities, travel of ideas, cultural renewal, institutional development, labor markets, innovation, education and social policy,  as well as foreign and security policy. Migration also requires transnational solutions as a part of national and regional migration policy. New migration flows and processes can be expected due to political upheavals, environmental degradation and climate change.

In the 20th Aleksanteri Conference, we ask what kind of migratory flows and processes can we detect in Eurasia? What has been the impact economically, culturally, politically and strategically in both sending and receiving countries? What has been the significance of Eurasian migration in other parts of the world? What are the peculiarities of today´s Eurasian migration? What kinds of transnational solutions to migration are required in Eurasia? Who are migrants and how do they live their lives? What has been the contribution of migrants to innovation and development in different fields? How have transnational communities and the travel of ideas changed the Eurasian space?

We invite you to discuss a broad range of migration related topics through these contemporary and historical perspectives. The conference organising committee will also consider other relevant questions related to Russian, Central and Eastern European and Eurasian Studies.

Ulf Brunnbauer, Professor & Academic Director, Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany
Franklin Obeng-Odoom, Associate Professor of Development Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland
Madeleine Reeves, Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, UK
Sergey Ryazantsev, Professor & Director of the Institute for Social and Political Studies of the Federal Scientific Research Sociological Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Caress Schenk, Associate Professor of Political Science, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan
Teivo Teivainen, Professor of World Politics, University of Helsinki, Finland.

In addition to plenary sessions, the conference features scientific panels, roundtables and a poster session. Complementing academic activity, the conference programme will also include cultural events and discussions with practitioners and public figures involved in global migration. We will organise a guided tour of the Slavonic Library, which is a world-renowned treasure, especially for scholars of Russian history and culture. Conference guests are invited to attend evening receptions hosted by the City of Helsinki and University of Helsinki. This year we will again organise a book exhibition at the main conference venue.

  • Deadline for submitting paper, poster, panel and roundtable proposals: 15 May 2020
  • Notification of acceptance: 17 June 2020
  • Online registration and registration fees due by 21 August 2020
  • Conference programme published by early September 2020
  • Conference: 21-23 October 2020

All abstracts must contain the following information to allow a sound referee review:

  • Abstract title
  • Abstract structure: aim, background, methods, findings and conclusion/recommendations
  • Abstract text in English within the given word limits    
  • All authors’ and co-authors’ names and affiliations
  • Contact information (name, email address) of corresponding author(s)

Individual paper proposals: Please submit your individual abstracts of 300-500 words via the paper submission form. The organisers will form a limited number of thematic panels from the highest rated individual proposals. NB: If you submit a paper for an organised panel, please do not submit it as an individual paper proposal.

Poster proposals: This year the poster session will focus on the presentation of on-going research projects that relate to conference topics. We encourage collaborative research projects for poster presentations. Please submit your poster abstracts of 300-500 words via the poster submission form. In addition to a poster proposal, it is possible to submit an individual paper proposal or panel and roundtable proposal.

Panel proposals: Panels should consist of 3 paper presenters, a chair and a discussant (or 4 paper presenters and a chair). Panels must aim for an international composition. Please submit your panel proposal, including an abstract of 300-500 words, via the panel proposal submission form.

Roundtables: Each roundtable will feature a structured discussion on a timely theme or problem that requires a more open format of debate than a conventional paper session. Roundtables must have a moderator and 3-5 speakers. Please submit your roundtable proposal, including an abstract of 300-500 words, via the roundtable proposal submission form.

The deadline for all proposals is 15 May 2020.

All abstracts will be reviewed and rated by scientific experts for abstract quality and presentation content. Notification of acceptance for paper, poster, panel and roundtable proposals will be sent via email by 17 June 2020.  Abstracts of accepted posters/papers/panels/roundtables will be published on the conference website.

Panel sessions will last 90 minutes each and shall be structured as follows:
Oral presentation: 15 min (in panels with 4 papers) or 20 min (in panels with 3 papers)
Discussant’s comments: 10 min
Q&A: 20 min

The chair will introduce the panel and its participants, proceeding to make sure that time is allocated equally between individual presenters. The discussant will have 10 minutes to give their comments after all panelists present their papers.

Papers will be circulated amongst the panel chairs and discussants prior to the conference, by at latest 10 October 2020.

Roundtables will also last 90 minutes. Please be mindful of time constraints so that we can achieve a fair allocation of time between participants.

The poster session will be held on 22 October 2020 in the afternoon.

The working language of the conference is English. Unfortunately, no translations can be provided.

There is a PC and projector in every lecture hall.

Participants are requested to make their own arrangements for travel and accommodation. Costs related to participation are also the responsibility of the participant. Information on hotels will be provided later on the conference webpage. For Helsinki hotel and tourism information, please see

Participants and observers who do not wish to give a paper or organise a panel or roundtable are also welcome to take part in the conference. All conference participants are required to register. Please see the ‘Registration rates’ section above for details.

For further information, or if you wish to ask any questions, please contact the conference organisers at: