Call for Abstracts: Science and Democratisation Processes in East Central Europe and Beyond

Panel at the 11th ESHS Conference, Science, Technology, Humanity, and the Earth

Barcelona, 4–7 September 2024

Our panel focuses on an under-researched topic: the relationship between science and democracy. Current literature on the relationship between science and democracy tends to focus on tensions between science and democracy, neglecting both historical experience and epistemological issues. Our aim is to historicize this relationship and to examine the role of science (including access to data, tools, technologies, etc.) in the democratization of society.

The panel will focus on Cold War science and the role of different expert cultures before and after perestroika. We are particularly interested in analysing the role of science and scientific communities or individual experts in democratisation processes in East Central Europe. In the context of current discussions on the decolonisation of the history of science, we would like to pay special attention to the role of science in the dissolution of the Soviet empire and, in particular, the Soviet Union. Papers may explore national, international or transnational relations as long as they address the practice turn in science as a multilateral process. We particularly welcome scholars working on relations between science and democracy within a broader theoretical framework, or focusing on similar processes in different parts of the world, such as the Global South or East Asia.

We are particularly interested in papers that focus on the divergences between practices and rhetoric, and that critically interrogate received narratives. Our session is not limited to any geographic region, although we encourage the submission of abstracts on less explored regions. Please send abstracts to Doubravka Olšáková ( and Jan Surman ( by November 10, 2023.

Tematické weby