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Call for papers for the international Conference on “Reforming Socialism: Aims and Efforts Before and After 1968“. The Conference is organized by doctoral researchers from Department of History and Civilization, Aleksandra Komornicka and Saša Vejzagić.


From 25 to 27 October 2018, at European University Institute in Florence, Italy.


The conference aims to shed light on successful and unsuccessful as well as short and long-term attempts to further develop and integrate socialist theory and practice in the period from the mid-1940s until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Organizers decided to take 1968 as a central year, since it witnessed both the rise and fall of one of the most advanced reform attempts in the history of the eastern bloc. Among others, some of the potential topics we would like to see addressed in this conference are:

  • Socialist reform programs (around the globe from the end of World War II until the fall of Berlin Wall) in national or transnational context.
  • Specific aspects of reform agendas, aims and direct effects (economic, technological and organizational modernization, marketization, consumerism, opening towards the West, centralization-decentralization, unemployment, social discontent vs social peace and order).
  • Reformers, implementers and receivers(communist elites, economists, ideologists and their commentators, companies, managements, workers, peasants and other social groups, civic and political institutions, etc).
  • External influences (the role of supranational financial and other institutions from the East and West, their influence on reform programs, and relations with communist parties, governments and businesses).
  • 1968 in context (the impact of the Prague Spring on socialist countries and communist parties, and responses to the Soviet intervention).
  • Reforms as the first step towards transition (what is the relation between reforms and transition to capitalism in the post-1989 period).


Deadline: 15 May 2018. Abstracts of 500 words maximum, with a 300-word biography (essay like), should be submitted to
There will be an opportunity to publish some of the papers in an edited volume or special issue. While the accommodation expenses for the all participants will be fully covered by the organizers, coverage of travel expenses will be reserved for speakers with limited or no support from their home institutions.

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