American University of Central Asia - AUCA - CONFERENCES

The Division of Social Sciences in collaboration with the Division of General Education at the American University of Central Asia

is organized a conference entitled

Reimagining Civil Society in a Period of 'Uncivil Societies'


Date: 24-25 March, 2017

Venue:  American University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan


The past thirty years have seen protests, movements, changes, and alterations in not only theorizing and conceptualizations surrounding ‘civil society’, but the lived realities and relations of civil societies throughout the globe. This change has come about from, and been a part of, protests and social movements – from Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, Tulip Revolutions and the Indignados. Each of these movements has challenged specific beliefs about what civil society is as well as contributed to deep changes in civic practice. At the same time, states and institutions have moved towards limiting and delimiting the role and strength of civil society – in part due to the shrinking of the public sphere, the neo-liberalisation of economies, internet technology advancement, and – in many parts of the world – the individuating of society.


Our aim in this conference is to convene a trans-disciplinary conversation about the role and place of civil society, in particular in the 21st Century. Through looking at civil society in the 21st Century, the conference particularly hopes to interrogate the relation between the local and global, and the ways that civil society has played particular roles in challenging as well as advancing globalization and cosmopolitanism. This conference will have a number of streams, including one that focuses specifically on Central Asia and Post-Soviet contexts, and thematic workshops, which provide a forum to address a specific topic at the forefront of civil society research.


Seeking to build on existing literature and move the conversation forward, the conference hopes to create discussions that broaden and think through the concept of civil society itself. We encourage both theoretical and empirical presentations, as well as presentations that either shed light on singular contexts or comparative and regional explorations. We support submissions that seek not only to build on existing (re)formulations of civil society, but also to identify and propose specific strategies and methods for the efficient everyday civic engagement and practice. The conference aims to bring together various perspectives, contexts, and disciplines for a productive conversation that moves the concept of ‘civil society’ forward, and re-theorizes the notion for the 21st Century.


Conference languages: English, Kyrgyz and Russian


Important Dates: 

Paper, Panel, and Workshop proposals should be submitted by January 6, 2017

Notifications via email of their paper acceptance no later than 10 January 2017



Proposals should include a title, an abstract of not more than 300 words, 2 or 3 keywords, and a brief biography. Workshop and pre-formed panel proposals are also strongly encouraged. Please send proposals to



American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028