I would like to draw Your attention to the following Conference.
11th ALEKSANTERI CONFERENCE: “THE DRAGON AND THE BEAR: STRATEGIC
CHOICES OF CHINA AND RUSSIA”
9th-11th November 2011, University of Helsinki, Finland
EXTENDED CALL FOR PAPERS until 15th of June 2011
Over the past two decades, Russia and China have both experienced
extensive socio-economic and political transformation, as well as
foreign policy reorientation. Within the framework of “transition
studies”, these developments have naturally been a rather popular
subject of academic study and applied research. However, only a few
scholars have studied the post-Communist developments in Russia and
China in comparative perspective. The 11th Aleksanteri Conference
compares Russia´s and China´s transformation from three interrelated
perspectives: the socio-economic system, the political system, and the
The outcomes of the Chinese and Russian reforms differ considerably.
From a social and economic impact perspective, the “Chinese way” has
undoubtedly been a great success. For almost three decades now, the
average annual growth rates of the Chinese GDP and industrial added
value have been about 10%, far higher than the world average. Over the
same period, the annual net income per capita, calculated at
comparable prices, has increased more than five times both in urban
and rural areas.
In sharp contrast, Russia?s economic development after the collapse of
the Soviet Union was characterised by a sudden decrease of GDP and
industrial output, followed by major problems throughout the 1990s,
leading to the crash in 1998. This development naturally resulted in
major negative social consequences. Only since 1999, mainly due to the
1998 devaluation effect and extremely high energy prices, Russian
economy has been on a growth track and, even hit hard by the financial
crisis in 2008, is expected to grow also in the near future.
Why have Russia and China chosen such different paths for their
post-Communist transitions? How do their strategies differ, how do
these resemble each other and are they interrelated? When ? at what
junctures ? were the crucial choices made? And what are the strategic
choices yet to be made by Russia and China? What are the alternatives,
how are they constructed, and what are the internal and external
settings that constrain the choices between different policy lines?
The thesis that the economic development of large countries can
produce major power shifts in international politics is widespread and
generally accepted. There are many speculations that suggest that
China, after it has become the most important regional economic and
military power in East Asia, will ultimately become the strongest
great power in the world. By contrast, much of the literature on
Russia points out that the country with its rather modest economic
power (despite its energy resources) is doomed to be a declining great
power. However, while Russia?s military capacity cannot be compared to
that of the Soviet Union, it still remains a major military (nuclear)
power by any yardstick and can at least play a crucial role regionally.
The rapprochement of Russia and China is one of the most significant
post-Cold War developments in international relations. In 2001, the
close relations between the two countries were formalised with the
Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, a twenty-year
strategic, economic, and controversially, an implicit military treaty.
A month prior to that, the two countries joined in the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation, which is an intergovernmental
mutual-security organisation. In addition to China and Russia, its
members are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The
SCO focuses on tackling the main threats it confronts such as being
terrorism, separatism, and extremism. Most recently, socio-economic
aspects have been added to its agenda.
In August 2010, Russia opened its section of a 1,000km oil pipeline
from eastern Siberia to China. The pipe connects Russian oil fields
with Daqing, a major oil production base in northeastern China. Both
sides hailed the move as a “new era” in co-operation and have stated
that this is only a beginning of a new chapter in their bilateral
relations. As yet however, economic integration between the countries
remains rather moderate. In order to address these fundamental
developments in global economy and politics, the Aleksanteri Institute
will host the 11th Aleksanteri Conference on 9-11th November 2011 at
the University of Helsinki, Finland.
The paper proposals may be oriented towards either Chinese or Russian
questions, as well as comparative approaches.
The conference will emphasize a multidisciplinary and comparative
approach and bring forth new interpretations on the different
strategic choices of the two giants and their mutual relations.
Hence, conference participation is open to a broad array of
international scholars from the political and social sciences,
economics, the law, and the arts and humanities. Additionally, due to
the obvious economic and policy relevancy of the topic,
representatives of the public and private sectors are also invited to
contribute in the panels and roundtable discussions.
* HISTORY AND CHANGE: converging and diverging models of communism and
* INTERNATIONAL FRAMEWORK: Cold War legacy, spheres of influence,
integration, bilateral relations
* ECONOMY: transformation models, FDIs, legal framework, state
ownership and the entrepreneurial environment
* DEMOCRACY: aspects of authoritarianism and democracy, institutions,
elites, practices of governance
* SOCIAL BALANCE: socio-economic and welfare development
* CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECURITY: national crisis management systems
and their implications to regional security balance
* Prof., Associate Dean Jin Canrong, School of International Studies,
Renmin University of China
* East Asia Programme Director Linda Jakobson, Lowy Institute for
International Policy, Sydney
* Dr., Chief Research Fellow Alexandre V. Lomanov, Institute for Far
Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Science
* Prof. Minxin Pei, Claremont McKenna College, California
* Dr., Director Dmitri Trenin, Carnegie Moscow Center
* Prof. Wang Xiaoju, Institute of World History, Chinese Academy of
CONFERENCE SCHEDULE AND DEADLINES
* Proposals for panels (approx. 500 words): June 15th, 2011
* Abstracts for individual papers (approx. 300 words): June 15th, 2011
* Notification of Acceptance: June 30th, 2011
* Publication of the conference programme: September 2011
* Conference: 9-11th, November 2011
Please submit your abstract and contact information through the
abstract submission form:
https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/26504/lomake.htm or panel
proposal submission form:
https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/26506/lomake.html. For further
assistance or more details, please see the conference web site
http://www.helsinki.fi/aleksanteri/conference2011/ or contact the
Conference Coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The Aleksanteri Conference is an annual, multidisciplinary,
international conference organised by the Aleksanteri Institute, the
Finnish Centre for Russian and Eastern European Studies, affiliated
with the University of Helsinki. Aleksanteri Conferences have
attracted broad interest among researchers and policy-makers in a wide
variety of disciplines, both in Finland and abroad, interested in the
development of post-socialist countries.
Please feel free to distribute this announcement.