This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 755504).


Parliaments and Constitutions in Eurasia
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Eurasian Parliamentary Practices and Political Mythologies:
Imperial Legacies, Diversities, and Representations in the 20th and 21st Century


June 17–18, 2019

Internationales Wissenschaftsforum Heidelberg (IWH)

Hauptstraße 242, 69117 Heidelberg

Conveners: Ivan Sablin (Heidelberg) and Egas Moniz Bandeira (Madrid)


The Workshop “Eurasian Parliamentary Practices and Political Mythologies” focused on the historical and “reestablished” institutions of collective decision making on the territories of the former Russian, Qing, and Ottoman Empires, as well as adjacent regions of Eastern Europe, Inner and East Asia, and explored parliamentary practices and political mythologies in these parts of Eurasia. The organizers sought to stimulate the dialogue between historians, political scientists, anthropologists, and other scholars working on the named contexts, as well as to breach the divide between different area studies. The goal of the workshop was to present well-researched historical studies of institutions of collective and deliberative decision making in indigenous, imperial, and post-imperial contexts and outline the use of the concepts, stemming from the practices of these institutions, and the appeals to historical practices in modern and contemporary political mythologies. The workshop sought to contribute to the history of concepts and the study of contemporary political mythologies and practices in both theoretical and empirical terms by bringing the material in a variety of non-European languages into the international academic discussion and tracing the exchange in practices and ideas across Eurasia.


Day 1 (Mon, June 17, 2019)

09:00–09:30 Introduction

09:30–11:15 Session 1. (Post-)Imperial Entanglements

Chair: Joachim Kurtz (University of Heidelberg)

Egas Moniz Bandeira (Autonomous University of Madrid) – “Frail Like Piles of Eggs?” China and the Transition from Absolute to Representative Government in the Russian, Persian, and Ottoman Empires

Şener Aktürk (Koç University) – Democracy and Multiculturalism: Political Representation of Ethnic and Religious Groups in the Ottoman and Tsarist Russian Parliaments

Olimpia Dragouni (Humboldt University of Berlin) – (Dis)continuities of Ottoman Religious Self-Government: Political Institutions (sabor, vijeće, skupština) for Bosnia-Hercegovina from the Late Ottoman State to Yugoslavia

11:15–11:45 Coffee Break

11:45–13:30 Session 2. Political Practices in One-Party Regimes

Chair: Marina Shcherbakova (University of Heidelberg)

Olga Velikanova (University of North Texas) – Soviet Constitution of 1936: Sham Democracy in Stalinism

Henrike Rudolph (Friedrich–Alexander University of Erlangen-Nürnberg) – Founding the Myths of a Republic: The First Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference and its Transfiguration

Clemens Büttner (Goethe University of Frankfurt) – “The Whole People in Arms:” Communist State- and Nation-Building during the Great Leap Forward Campaign

13:30–14:30 Lunch Break

14:30–16:15 Session 3. Rural and Religious Governance in Eurasia

Chair: Tanja Penter (University of Heidelberg)

René Trappel (University of Freiburg) – Optimizing People and the Ways to Govern Them: The Transformation of Governance in Rural China

Rustamjon Urinboyev (University of Lund / University of Helsinki) – Community-Based Parliamentary Practices in Post-Soviet Muslim Societies: Case Study of Mahalla Institutions in Uzbekistan

Nikolay Tsyrempilov (Nazarbayev University) – The Cradle of Nation: The Role of Buddhist Monasticism in Buryat-Mongol Self-Organization

16:15–16:45 Coffee Break

16:45–18:15 Keynote Speech

Chair: Aurel Croissant (University of Heidelberg)

John Fuh-sheng Hsieh (University of South Carolina) – Institutional Change in an Emerging Democracy: The Case of the Legislative Yuan in Taiwan


Day 2 (Tue, June 18, 2019)

09:30–11:15 Session 4. Concepts of Parliamentarism and Anti-Parliamentarism

Chair: Maria Ukhvatova (Saint Petersburg State University)

Olga Sevastyanova (Orthodox Research Institute of St. John Chrysostom) – Novgorod Veche as a Political Mythology

Kuzma Kukushkin (Peter the Great Polytechnic University, Saint Petersburg) – Zemskii Sobor: Historiographies and Mythologies of a Russian “Parliament”

Ivan Sablin (University of Heidelberg) – Was Duma a Parliament, and What Were the Alternatives? Russia in the Global Parliamentary Moment, 1905–1917

11:15–11:45 Coffee Break

11:45–13:15 Keynote Speech

Chair: Jargal Badagarov (University of Heidelberg)

Christopher Atwood (University of Pennsylvania) – Assembly and Autocracy: Mongolia’s Consultative Polity from Empire to Post-Colonial Modernity

13:15–14:15 Lunch Break

14:15–16:00 Session 5. (Post-)Imperial Regimes and Representation

Chair: Henning Sievert (University of Heidelberg)

Ellinor Morack (University of Bamberg) – Parliamentary Practice in the Turkish Great National Assembly (Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi) in the 1920s

Joshua Hill (University of Ohio) – Elections and Historical Analogies in Late Qing and Early Republican China

Alexander Balistreri (University of Basel) – Parliaments and Quasi-Parliaments in Anatolia, 1918–1920

16:00–16:30 Coffee Break

16:30–18:45 Session 6. Multilevel Self-Organization in and after Empire

Chair: Aysegül Argit (University of Heidelberg)

Kyonghee Lee (University of Heidelberg) – Autonomy and Governance: Village-Compact (hyang’yak) and Self-Governance Narratives in Colonial Korea

Oleksandr Polianichev (Centre for Advanced Study, Sofia) – The Rada of Empire: Invented Traditions and a Cossack Experiment in Self-Governance in the Kuban Region, 1906–1907

Ivan Peshkov (Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan) – Between Tradition and Invention: Discourses and Practices of Cossack Self-Government in Inner Asia (Siberia and Northern China)

Martin Dorn (University of Heidelberg) – Crimea in the Imperial Crisis of 1917: The Muslim Executive Committee between Liberalization, Secularization, and Modernization

18:45–19:00 Concluding Remarks

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Letzte Änderung: 04.07.2019
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