1989 in the east : between order and subversion

in collaboration with the University of Paris Nanterre, EHESS (School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences), CERI (Centre de recherches internationales), Triangle, Centre Marc Bloch (Berlin), CEFRES (Prague), Centre d’études franco-russe (Moscou), Société historique et littéraire polonaise, BULAC, La contemporaine, Revue d’études comparatives Est-Ouest (RECEO), Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies (PIPSS), GDR « Empire russe, URSS, monde post-soviétique », and with the support of the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (ACCES programme) and the CNRS.


Thursday, November 7, Polish Library in Paris                    6, quai d’Orléans, 75004 Paris


8:30                            Registration


9:00-9:30                   Introduction

Carole Sigman (CNRS, ISP, SFERES) and Françoise Daucé (EHESS, CERCEC, SFERES)

Georges Mink (ICCEES)

Pierre Zaleski (Historical and Literary Polish Society)

Benjamin Guichard (BULAC)


9:30-11:10                 1989: In the uncertainty of the event

Chair: Michel Dobry (University of Paris I, CESSP)

Discussion: Silvia Serrano (Sorbonne University, Eur’Orbem, CERCEC)

Jérôme Heurtaux (CEFRES): Poland, 1989. Was it the first electoral revolution?

Catherine Gousseff (CNRS, CERCEC): Burying the “counter-revolution”. Imre Nagy’s funerals in 1989

Piotr Wciślik (Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences): Whose nail? Whose coffin? The eclipse of Polish dissident media activism in 1989


11:10-11:25               Coffee break


11:25-13:00               The reconfigurations of the state

Chair: Pascal Bonnard (Université Jean Monnet de Saint-Etienne, TRIANGLE)

Discussion: Guillaume Mouralis (CNRS, Centre Marc Bloch)

Sylvain Dufraisse (University of Nantes, Centre nantais de sociologie): Fighting “the Hydra our sport is the victim of” (Y. Vlasov): the reforms and transformations of state policy in sports (1985-91)

Anne Le Huérou (University of Paris Nanterre, ISP): The creation of OMON: the genesis and first challenges of a policing and law enforcement agency in the USSR

Yaroslav Startsev (Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Philosophy and Law): How politics comes through the Soviet official discourse during Perestroika (1985-91)


13:00-14:00               Lunch break


14:00-15:30               The reconstructions of the economic world

Chair: Amélie Zima (Université Paris 1, CERCEC, IRSEM)

Discussion: Bernard Chavance (University of Paris Diderot, LADYSS)

Svetlana Barsukova (Higher School of Economics) and Caroline Dufy (Sciences Po Bordeaux, Centre Emile Durkheim): Legalizing the second economy during Perestroika: the example of individual plots and the private agricultural production

Isaac Scarborough McKean (Liverpool John Moores University): Importing Sour Grapes: How economic liberalization spurred political liberalisation in Soviet Tajikistan


15:30-15:45               Coffee break


15:45-17:00               Roundtable. How differentiated was the socialist space?

Chair: Georges Mink (CNRS, ISP)

Graeme Gill (University of Sydney): Populism and 1989

Olivier Ferrando (Sciences Po Paris): Understanding the ethnic mobilisations in Central Asia in 1989

Roman Krakovsky (University of Genève, Global Studies Institute): The fall of communism as an outcome of the existential crisis of the 70s


17:00-18:00               News on research on 1989: projects and sources

Chair: Carole Sigman (CNRS, ISP)

Olga Zdravomyslova (The Gorbachev Foundation): 1989: The experience of the Gorbachev democratisation and its significance for today’s Russia (research project)

Salomé Kintz and Alexis Ligotski (La contemporaine, ex-BDIC): La contemporaine’s collections on the USSR and Eastern Europe on the late 1980s and early 1990s

Aglaé Achechova (Bibliothèque universitaire des langues et civilisations-BULAC): BULAC’s sources on 1989



Friday, November 8, BULAC (Auditorium)            65, rue des Grands Moulins, 75013 Paris


8:30                            Coffee


9:00-10:40                 The urban and environmental mobilisations

Chair: Marie-Claude Maurel (EHESS, CERCEC)

Discussion: Katja Doose (EHESS, CERCEC)

Julie Deschepper (European University Institute, INALCO, Centre de recherche Europes-Eurasie-CREE): The patrimonial turn of the 1980s in the USSR or the erosion of the Communist project through the treatments of monuments

Laurent Coumel (INALCO, CREE): A protest technocracy: the academic environmentalism in the USSR (1986-89)

Iwona Bojadżijewa (University of Warsaw, Institute of Sociology): The environment and its discourses as a part of the neoliberal turn in the 1989 Poland


10:40-10:50               Coffee break


10:50-12:30               Rethinking the categories of the social issues (I)

Chair: Nadège Ragaru (CNRS, CERI)

Discussion: Laure de Verdalle (CNRS, Centre Marc Bloch)

Karine Clément (EHESS, CERCEC): Social mobilisations and the issue of social classes in Russia from 1989 on

Arlind Qori (University of Tirana): The role of the working class in the fall of bureaucratic socialism in Albania (1990-91)

Levon Abrahamian (National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography): The beginning of the end of Communism? The 1988 rallies in Armenia


12:30-13:30               Lunch break


13:30-14:50               Rethinking the categories of the social issues (II)

Chair: Anne Bazin (Sciences Po Lille, CERAPS)

Discussion: Gilles Favarel-Garrigues (CNRS, CERI)

Irina Gordeeva (St. Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute): “Neformaly for Peace”: Soviet Peace Committee and informal youth in the period of Perestroika

Xavier Hallez (EHESS, CETOBAC): Green Triangle and Red Tractor: two groups of artists eager for freedom in Soviet Kazakhstan


14:50-16:10               The social sciences in a time of change

Chair: Gabrielle Chomentowski (CNRS, CHS)

Discussion: Alain Blum (EHESS, INED, CERCEC)

Pierre-Louis Six (Sciences Po Lyon): Scholars or politicians? The institutionalisation of political science during Perestroika in the USSR

Anne Madelain (INALCO, CREE): The emergence of the “peoples” in Yugoslavia in 1988-89: the mobilisations and the difficulties to think out the collapse of a society


16:10-16:25               Coffee break


16:25-18:00               The international circulations

Chair: Kathy Rousselet (FNSP, CERI)

Discussion: Laure Neumayer (University of Paris I, CESSP)

Katerina Kesa (INALCO, CREE): The transnational action of the Baltic movements for independence in the USSR (1988-91)

Guillaume Sauvé (University of Montréal): Catching up with Eastern Europe: the new temporality and old dilemmas of the Russian democratic movement (1989-90)

Afrim Krasniqi (Academy of Albanian Studies, Institute of History): Importing models from abroad and social pressure from inside: the Albania’s case



18:00              Cocktail



You are also welcome to the BULAC exhibition

1989: Back to history

(from Oct. 4 to Nov. 9, reading room, garden level, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)



Scientific committee

Paul Bauer (Charles University, Prague, CEFRES), Pascal Bonnard (University Jean Monnet of Saint-Etienne, TRIANGLE), Gabrielle Chomentowski (CNRS, Centre d’histoire des mondes contemporains-CHS), Françoise Daucé (EHESS, CERCEC), Gilles Favarel-Garrigues (CNRS, CERI), Catherine Gousseff (CNRS, CERCEC), Pascal Grouiez (Université of Paris Diderot, LADYSS), Anne Le Huérou (University of Paris Nanterre, ISP), Georges Mink (CNRS, ISP), Laure Neumayer (University of Paris 1, CESSP), Cédric Pellen (University of Strasbourg, SAGE), Kathy Rousselet (Sciences Po, CERI), Silvia Serrano (Sorbonne University, Eur’Orbem), Carole Sigman (CNRS, ISP), Ioulia Shukan (University of Paris Nanterre, ISP), Yaroslav Startsev (Institute of Philosophy and Law, Russian Academy of Sciences), Julien Thorez (CNRS, Mondes iranien et indien), Frédéric Zalewski (University of Paris Nanterre, ISP), Amélie Zima (University of Paris 1, CERCEC).


Advisory Committee

Vincent Bénet (CEFR, INALCO), Alain Blum (EHESS, CERCEC, INED), Bernard Chavance (University of Paris Diderot, LADYSS), Dominique Colas (Sciences Po, CERI), Dorota Dakowska (University Lumière Lyon 2, TRIANGLE), Michel Dobry (University of Paris 1, CESSP), Timothy Garton Ash (University of Oxford, St Antony’s College), Vladimir Gel’man (University of Helsinki, European University of St-Petersburg), Graeme Gill (University of Sydney), Jérome Heurtaux (CEFRES, University of Paris Dauphine), David Lane (University of Cambridge), Mark-David Mandel (Université du Québec à Montréal), Marie-Claude Maurel (EHESS, CERCEC), Andrzej Paczkowski (Academy of Sciences of Poland, Collegium Civitas), Jakob Vogel (Centre Marc Bloch).


Organisation committee

Pascal Bonnard, Gabrielle Chomentowski, Françoise Daucé, Fabrice Demarthon, Catherine Gousseff, Yadranka Krasevec, Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski, Carole Sigman, Amélie Zima.