ESF-LiU Conference


Chaired by:

Université Pierre Mendes FranceEspace EuropeSaint Martin D'hèresFrance

Co Chair:

Mrs. Claske Dijkema
  Modus Operandi and Espace Europe,  Paris

Member of the Organising Committee: Dr. Karine Gatelier


1-5 May 2009


The conference will be held at Scandic Linköping Väst, Sweden – 7km from Linköping airport and 4km from the train station. Most notably, the Swedish chain Scandic Hotel´s commitment to sustainability won the Green Meetings Award in 2008. It is located in Linköping which is the capital of Östergötland county, situated in the center of a vast open farmland. It is Sweden's fifth largest city with more than 136,000 inhabitants and has a long history as a city of learning.

Preliminary Programme

Consensus is growing that the use of the Western model of the Nation State in post-crisis contexts poses many problems. This particular model of the State is at the foundation of the current international system. While it originates from the specific socio-historic context of Europe, the model is widely applied in post-crisis countries (post colonial, post-conflict and post-Soviet) under the assistance or influence of the international community. Mainstream models of State-building assume that State legitimacy can be established and State collapse avoided through international intervention combined with military presence, huge amounts of aid and democratic elections. Realities on the ground lead us to question their effectiveness, at least in the way measures have been implemented. Rather than the methods of State reform or State-building, the focus of this conference is the question of the model of the State and its transformation. Far from basing itself on the Weberian concept of the State, the conference takes the expectations and needs of the population as a foundation for State transformation.

While international and national actors are involved in the building of the State, local and regional actors are also involved in forming governance structures. They have received much less attention. The authorities taking over when States fail, and ultimately collapse, include the actors of war, such as military faction leaders; but they also include remnants of the former State administration, revitalized traditional authorities, religious courts, local businessmen, etc., who continue or begin to exercise authority as "functional equivalents" (security, social services etc.) of the former State, at times aspiring to replace it. Civil conflict can therefore be understood as centrifugal dynamics that benefit private actors (political, military, religious, social leaders) on the basis of sub-national communities.  At regional or international level, the presence of cross-border identities (be it of ethnic, religious, language, or other nature) may represent a further competition for the State and may increase interference in State affairs (through military interference, diaspora support).

The link between legitimacy and stability established decades ago by Max Weber still sounds very contemporary when considering post-conflict contexts: there is no possibility of recourse to coercion to impose a political system in the long term. A key question during the conference therefore is how to assist in the (trans)formation of States so that they can function in the interests of populations at local, national and international level.

Conference sessions will focus on:

  • Configuration  of actors and post-crisis State transformation
  • Trajectories of post-crisis State formation
  • Connecting Nation and State in diversified societies
  • Elections, democratisation and its effects on State consolidation
  • Central power in search of renewed legitimacy
  • Criteria for working States
  • Empirical approaches to State performance
  • Is State formation still an agenda ? What alternatives to the Nation-State ?
  • Forward Look Session: Where are knowledge gaps for effective action?

Preliminary Programme as of 5 March 2009 (PDF - 97 KB)
Speakers' Background & Research Interests (PDF - 37 KB)
Conference Flyer (PDF - 96 KB)

Final Programme PDF (351 KB) Last updated 23 April 2009

Presentation of Sessions PDF (238 KB)
List of Invited Speakers and Accepted Participants

Abstracts, Posters & Short Oral Contributions

Participants whose abstracts or posters have been accepted as short talks have been informed.

Poster size should be no more than 100 cm high x 100 cm wide. Use letters and drawings that can be read from approximately 100 cm distance.

List of Accepted Posters PDF (123 KB) Last Updated 24 April 2009

Application Form open until 23 March 2009

To apply, fill in an Application Form 
Please note that no more grants are available - new applications are welcome  but new abstracts will be considered by the scientific committee only in case of other participants' cancellation.

Registration Form

All participants - including speakers & session chairs - are kindly expected to confirm their attendance (and, when applicable, to pay the conference fee) by filling in a Registration Form.
Closing date for registration & fee payment: 3 April 2009


Single accommodation can be guaranteed for invited speakers. All other participants will share TWIN rooms. If single rooms become available for participants, they will be attributed on a "first come, first served" basis. Please email to the Conference Officer to be put on the single room waiting list. If you are bringing a guest and need to be accommodated in a double room, please also let her know without delay. Than

Group Transportation

Buses will be arranged on arrival and departure day between Linköping airport via the Linköping train station and the hotel. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes.
The coaches will have a sign in the window indicating   “ESF Research Conferences” for easy recognition.
Airport departure point: Friday 1 May 2009 at 16:30 and 18:00. The meeting point is located just outside the small airport building.
Railway station departure point: Friday 1 May 2009 at 16:45 and 18:15. The meeting point is located in the long distance bus terminal of the station. From the exit of the main building of the railway station, it is approximately 300 meters to the right.
Group transportation back will be arranged in a similar way for the departure day.

Do not forget to plan enough time for both journey and checking-in at the airport when booking your flight!
You are strongly urged to take advantage of this organised transportation, which is included in the conference fee.

What Conference Fee Covers

Basic expenses comprise:

  • registration and meeting costs;
  • accommodation in twin room sharing with another participant;
  • all meals, coffee breaks and drinks included;
  • participation at the excursion and the conference dinner;
  • group transportation from/to the nearest airport.
To Pay
Conference fee will be covered by ESF and its partners0 €
AssistedConference Fee will be partially covered by ESF and its partners375 €
Early Bird
Registration and payment by 20 March 2009
700 €
Registration and payment by 3 April 2009
800 €
Conference participation without accommodation550 €

Extra costs:

To Pay
Industry Supplement
For participants working in industry, 100 € will automatically be added to the fee
Plus 100 €
Single Room SupplementSome single rooms may be available upon request. An additional cost of 150 € will be charged for an upgrade to a single room. The supplement is payable directly to the hotel.Plus 150 €
Late Registration SupplementAn additional 150 € will be charged if participants register after 3 April 2009
Plus 150 €


Should you need to cancel your participation, please contact the Conference Officer immediately. If notice of cancellation is received more than two weeks before the conference, all but EUR 100 will be reimbursed. No refund is possible if notice of cancellation is received less than two weeks before the conference.

ESF Contact

Conference Officer

Phone: +32 (0)2 533 2023
Fax: +32 (0)2 538 8486
Please quote 09-271 in any correspondence.


This conference is organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) in partnership with Linköping University.

With Support from