Decolonizing Space in the Global East: Legal Choices, Political Transformation, Carceral Practices

Decolonizing Space in the Global East: Legal Choices, Political Transformation, Carceral Practices

Aleksanteri Institute, Universtiy of Helsinki
Takes place
In Attendance
From - Until
25.10.2023 - 27.10.2023
Connections Redaktion, Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig

We welcome submissions to the 22nd Annual Aleksanteri Conference. This year’s conference will address changes in the relationships within and between the former communist countries of the Global East. We focus on region(s) that have been labeled as post/former -Soviet, -socialist, -communist, or even wider as Eurasia, to afford thinking about differences rather than similarities, specificities rather than generalizations.

Decolonizing Space in the Global East: Legal Choices, Political Transformation, Carceral Practices

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.

Extended deadline for submitting panel, roundtable, and paper proposals: May 15, 2023
Notification of acceptance: June 30, 2023
Online registration and registration fees due by:
- Early bird: July 30, 2023
- Standard: August 30, 2023
Connference programme published: early September 2023
Conference: October 25–27, 2023

We strongly recommend panel submissions as opposed to roundtable or individual paper submissions.

The following panel proposals will be accepted:
- Chair + three paper presenters + discussant
- Extended chair (chair and discussant functions combined in one role) + four paper presenters

Panels must aim for an international composition. One of the speakers on the panel may participate remotely, but all others will be expected to give their presentations in person. Chairs should be present at the conference.

Please submit your panel proposal, including an abstract of 250 words and information on the form of participation, via the panel proposal submission form ( )

Roundtables must have a moderator and three to five speakers. As a rule, only one of the speakers of the roundtable can participate remotely, while the others will give their presentations in person. Moderators should be present at the conference. The preferred option is to organise in-person roundtables. Please submit your roundtable proposal, including an abstract of 250 words and information on the form of participation, via the roundtable proposal submission form ( )

Individual paper proposals
Please submit your individual abstracts of 250 words via the paper submission form ( ). Abstracts must include a working title, and the name(s) and affiliation(s) of the author(s). The organisers will form a limited number of thematic panels from the highest-ranked individual proposals. These panels will take place in person.

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

The chair will introduce the panel and its participants, and keep time for the individual presenters. The discussant will have 10 minutes to give their comments after all panellists have presented their papers.

In panels with four papers, the chair and discussant functions will be combined into the single role of “extended chair.”

Roundtables will also last 90 minutes. Please be mindful of time constraints so that we can achieve a fair allocation of time between participants. For chair instructions see above – this will be the same as for panels.

Additional Information
The working language of the conference is English.
There is a PC and projector in every lecture hall.
Please let us know in advance if any special assistance is needed (please email
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 (standard registration rates apply, see Registration Rates page).
All conference participants are required to register.


Plenary speakers include:
- Madina Tlostanova, Professor of Postcolonial Feminism, Linköping University, Sweden
- Epp Annus, Associate Professor, Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University, Estonia
- Dominique Moran, Professor in Carceral Geography, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK
- Viacheslav Morozov, Professor of EU-Russia Studies at the University of Tartu, Estonia
- Jeffrey Kahn, Professor, Southern Methodist University, USA
- Yevgeniy Zakharov, Director, Kharkhiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG), Ukraine

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