Idea of the Revolution and Experience of History

CFP: a conference in Moscow, July 2007
Praxis Research and Educational Center
School for Labor Democracy

International conference

1917-2007: Idea of the revolution and experience of history

Moscow 9-10 July 2007

The aim of the conference, on the 90th anniversary of the revolutionary events of 1917 in Russia, is to discuss historical and theoretical problems of revolutionary tradition in social thought and political practice, its nature, fate, contemporary expressions and possible prospects.

Papers are invited on the following basic themes:
  • The character of the revolutionary process in Russia: old and new interpretations. February 1917: was there a possibility for democratic development? The nature and meaning of October revolution. The phenomenon of Russian and world Bolshevism. Alternative socialist currents and conceptions of social change. World revolution: idea and reality.
  • Was the totalitarian transformation of Bolshevik regime inevitable? Leninism and Stalinism: continuity or break? Results of discussions on the nature of Stalinism. The history of anti-totalitarian resistance. Lessons of revolution and counter-revolution in Russia.
  • The breakdown of the "Socialist system": completion of the counter-revolution or democratic revolution? The character of post-communist regimes and "colored revolutions" on post-Soviet space. Political prospects of protest movements. The ex-USSR left: problems of self-identification.
  • The idea of revolution in political theory. October revolution and Western Marxism. Rethinking of revolutionary conceptions in socialist thought. Science and utopia in the revolutionary discourse. The aims and nature of social change: present-day approaches. Transformations of capitalism and left political theory. The problem of subject of social change.
  • The experience of revolutionary movements and debates on the strategy of the Left today. Is it possible to change the world without taking power? Revolution vs. reform: are revolutionary reforms possible? Internationalism and alterglobalism. Alternatives and pseudo-alternatives to capitalism. Search for new forms of organization of the Left.
The conference will be held in the conference hall of "Memorial" Society (Malyi Karetnyi pereulok, 12). The working languages of the conference will be Russian, English and French. Conference fee (for organizational expenses): 40 euros. Proposals for papers should include brief summary and authors' CV. Deadline for submitting proposals is 11 June. Contact with the organizing committee: [mailto]praxis2001@mail.ru[/mailto]