In the Early Modern Period and during the nineteenth century the south-eastern corner of Europe is the meeting point for three Imperial models – the Ottoman, the Habsburg and the Russian. Despite the different religions to which the ruling dynasties belong, their ways of exercising power in South-Eastern Europe demonstrate many similarities. This specific characteristic remains on the whole unchanged even after the emergence of the newly established, autonomous and independent states in the Balkans, where modern European institutions co-exist with the traditions of informal power and authority.
The task of this academic conference is to examine the history of the different forms of power and influence, of authority and informal might in South-Eastern Europe. The broad chronological sweep of four hundred years will allow us to distinguish long term tendencies as well as to locate processes with a shorter life span. The Peninsula, on the other hand, is a contact centre between the Ottoman Balkans, Habsburg South-Eastern Europe and the Russian lands bordering on the Lower Danube. This is also the place where non-imperial statehood could exist – small autonomous lands, vassal principalities and independent monarchies. The established social order in that region, which displays varied patterns of confession and civilization, is moving along the road of modernization, though at different speeds. South-Eastern Europe, however, still preserves those elements of formal and informal power and influence which bring the region closer to the Levantine-Oriental traditions typical for the Eastern Mediterranean than to the more structured and, in terms of power, more clearly defined societies of Central and Western Europe.
1. Formal power in South-Eastern Europe
- Men of power, state and stately power in the Ottoman Balkans
- State, state power and statesmen in Habsburg South-Eastern Europe
- Men of power, state power and governors in the Russian lands of the European South-East
- State power, statesmen and the methods of rule in autonomous lands and provinces
2. Informal power in South-Eastern Europe
- Autonomous lands and self-ruling local and religious communities in the European Southeast
- Corruption, protection and clientelism as an informal influence on power in South-Eastern Europe (the imperial characteristics of the monarchy of the Ottomans, Habsburgs and Romanovs)
- Protégées, favourites and mistresses in the European South-East (the informal use of power)
- Formal and informal power as interlinked characteristic of the modernization process in South-Eastern Europe
3. Secret Power in South-Eastern Europe
- Ideas of Empire and Imperial influence
- Diplomats and consuls as instruments of influence on power
- Creeds and hidden power
- Espionage and intelligence in South-Eastern Europe
The conference will be held on 8-9th October 2010 in the Main Building of the University of Sofia. Participants are invited to present papers of about 20 minutes on the above-mentioned themes. The working languages of the conference are Bulgarian and English. The papers will be published in a separate volume.
Deadline for the call for papers is May 31th 2010. Applications should include an abstract up to 500 words, current post and contact address and be sent to one of the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com. Applications in writing should be submitted to the following address: International Conference “Power and Influence”, University of Sofia “Sv. Kliment Ohridski”, Faculty of History, 15 Tzar Osvoboditel Blvd., 1504 Sofia, Bulgaria.