Call for Papers: International Development Assistance in the Post-Soviet Space

Application Deadline: January 1, 2007

Oct 11, 2006

The Kennan Institute is pleased to announce a new series of research workshops on "International Development Assistance in the Post-Soviet Space." International development assistance is one of the new global forces in the post-Soviet space, where both public and private sector donors have invested billions of dollars into the region over the past 15 years. The experience has raised many questions about its overall impact, such as: has development assistance alleviated poverty? How does foreign assistance affect the power and prestige of post-Soviet states? How do people in these states understand and talk about the concepts of privatization and democratization? What constitutes a "successful" aid program and how does success vary within the region? The answers to these questions can provide lessons to apply to future development aid policy in the region.

When Western governments, multi-lateral institutions, private foundations, and NGOs entered the region with international assistance, they presumed that they had the tools needed to accelerate the "inevitable transition" of authoritarian socialist regimes into liberal democracies and market economies. Development assistance oriented itself towards an agenda of democratization, with a heightened focus on institutions, and the development of new aid technology. Important questions remain as to what went right and what went wrong with these approaches, and as to what lessons have been learned that can be applied to future endeavors, both in this region and globally.

The Workshop Series is designed to serve as a forum in which junior scholars from a variety of disciplines discuss different aspects of development assistance programs, share research findings, and provide policy recommendations. Participants in the series will explore the ways in which policymakers and practitioners can find mutually beneficial dialogue with academics. The workshops will be directed by Ruth Mandel (University College London), and will consist of two or three meetings, targeting specialists with recent field experience. The first meeting will be held in spring 2007. Participants will be expected to contribute an original submission to a collection of papers on common themes. Key policy actors such as World Bank and USAID officials will be brought into dialogue with the scholars at the second meeting.

Selection for the workshop series will be based on an open national competition. Participation in the series is limited to U.S. citizens and permanent residents only. Applicants should be at the post-doctoral level (pre-tenure) or Ph.D. candidates who have completed field research for their dissertations. For non-academics, an equivalent degree of professional achievement is expected. The workshop series is interdisciplinary. Any area of social science or humanities research that focuses on issues of development in the post-Soviet space is welcome. The Kennan Institute will provide per diem costs and travel support for workshop participants. Interested applicants should submit an abstract (fewer than 1000 words) of their current research, a current CV, and two letters of recommendation to: International Development Aid Workshop, Kennan Institute/Woodrow Wilson Center, One Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20004-3027. Abstracts and resumes may be sent by email to: Renata Kosc-Harmatiy. Recommendation letters must be sent by mail. All application materials must be in English and must be received by January 1, 2007.

When writing your proposal, please keep in mind that the objective of these workshops is to seek compelling narratives of development assistance. You may also consider prescriptive issues such as what should or could have been done differently? Can you offer practical hindsight or suggest how it could have been better managed? Can new paradigms of aid be identified, based on the post-Soviet experience?

***The "International Development Aid in the Post-Soviet Space" Workshop Series is supported by the Program of Research and Training on Eastern Europe and the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (Title VIII). For further information, please contact Renata Harmatiy at 202-691-4132 or Renata.Kosc-Harmatiy@wilsoncenter.org.

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