The Themes of “Western Review” in 2018
The editorial team of the quarterly “Western Review” invites authors to submit articles, materials, reviews and commentaries, book reviews and reports intended for publication in 2018. We also welcome any suggestions and proposals concerning the subject matter of particular issues of the journal as well as information on planned papers.
Europe – a bridge or a bastion?
Slightly over a quarter of a century after abolishing its East-West division, Europe is again confronted with the question of its ability to overcome barriers and conduct a constructive peaceful dialog both on the forum of the European Union and in its more immediate as well as more remote international environment. The changing system of global interests and shifting centers of geopolitical gravity once again challenge the place and role of Europe. Will it, mindful of its experiences, maintain its role as a bridge that connects a multipolar world or will it become a closed bastion. Will the European community be written off by egoisms, so flagrantly demonstrated in Brexit, or will the EU keep up and develop its integrating charisma? What shape will the community adopt vis-à-vis changing political preferences and social behaviors in particular countries? How will external challenges affect the “European playground”? Will it be possible to build a community in the face of a conflict around the basic issues of independence that smolders in the eastern part of the continent?
The deadline for submission of papers is the end of November 2017
The era of Angela Merkel
The 2017 elections to the Bundestag confirmed the major changes that have been taking place on the German political scene. At the same time the federal ballot provide a fascinating field of observation of electoral behaviors and political analyses.
The election results mirror the multidimensional transformations ongoing in the German society, economy, culture and relations with the international environment. The FRG of today combines the burden of history, the traditions of the Bonn democracy and the great, still unfinished work of reunification, with new social, political and international challenges. Are we witnessing the twilight of the era of Chancellor Angela Merkel which will turn out to be the opening of a new chapter in the history of a country that has so often impressed its mark on the fate of Europe? How do the internal transformations influence the perception of the FRG from the outside? What do the returning fears of Germany on the part of other countries signify – do they result from Germany’s changing position or are they the effect of continuing stereotypes or attempts to instrumentalize them?
We invite scholars who examine the ongoing changes as well as those who analyze the place and role of Germany in Europe and the world to contribute their studies and analyses on the prospects for Germany.
The deadline for submission of papers is the end of January 2018
The independence of Poland – one hundred years on
The centenary of regaining independence by Poland leads us to deliberate on the genesis of the Second Republic and to look afresh at the history of a country that was fully sovereign for only half of the past century. This is ample occasion to undertake broader reflection on the themes of Poland’s independence, sovereignty, place in Europe and relations with neighbors. The anniversary can inspire authors to examine concepts which even today are in the center of an ideological debate: law and order, independence, sovereignty, European solidarity, democracy, freedom. The incentive to deepen our knowledge of the activity of Poles towards rebuilding an independent state induces us to go beyond the views of such renowned personages as Józef Piłsudski and Roman Dmowski, and takes us to visions contained in literature or the writings of less known journalists. What was the Poland of their dreams supposed to be like?
Considerations on the beginnings of an independent Polish state cannot disregard the shaping of Polish statehood in terms of its territory, legal system, social structure and economy. The revived Poland was also home to national minorities. What was their attitude to the Polish state – did they want to unite their future with Poland or did they perceive themselves as strangers? International conditions after the First World War should certainly be taken into account as well. To what extent did the outcome of the First World War enable Poles to rebuild their state? How effective were the diplomatic endeavors for the cause of the future Poland, undertaken both during the war and after its conclusion? What was the attitude of the powers to the issue of Poland’s independence?
The deadline for submission of papers is the end of April 2018
Sport – an instrument of politics?
For ages the idea of competition, the need to relax or the drive to satisfy one’s curiosity of the world by traveling and tourism have served the goal to know, to broaden and enrich one’s view of the community of nations and to propagate peaceful dialog. Due to its popularity and ubiquitous character, merged nowadays with broad media coverage and growing commercialization, sport is not free from attempts to instrumentalize it. Sporting events as well as the publicity and collective emotions that accompany them have long been found attractive not just by politicians but also an array of leaders of all sorts, apologists of catchy ideas and populists who try to take advantage of the potential of sport to realize their immediate plans and interests. The proverbial other side of the coin is the promptness with which sport institutions yield to such influences. Or is it perhaps that noble ideals have lost their luster and smothered by utilitarian abuses have fallen prey to a great manipulation? The example of the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936, the post-war competition between the political blocs manifested in the boycott of great sporting ventures and events that – defying the actual results – are preserved in the collective memory as moments of triumph, are ample evidence of the various ways in which sport plays a part in the creation of history. The proposed title opens a wide scope of studies and reflections before historians, but also researchers of social reality, culture scholars, anthropologists and even philosophers.
The deadline for submission of papers is the end of June 2018