CALL FOR PAPERS: Central and Eastern Europe a quarter of a century after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The outcome of change.

Objectives and guidelines

tl_files/igipz/ZPZ/foto_news/mur.jpgThe political breakthrough in 1989 set in motion a range of processes that would fundamentally transform the organisation and functioning of spatial systems across Central Europe. More than two decades later, we want to take stock of this broad-ranging change in their social, economic and environmental dimensions.  A volume entitled “Central and Eastern Europe a quarter of a century after the fall of the Iron Curtain. The outcome of change” is planned as a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the phenomena, processes and patterns that emerged in the post-communist EU member states.

We want this volume of Geographia Polonica to be the best possible review of the current state of knowledge on the transformation across the region. For this reason preference will be given to review-type papers involving a description, explanation and evaluation of the phenomena and processes across various socio-economic and nature-related topics. We welcome papers covering as wide a spectrum of countries which could be considered part of “Central and Eastern Europe” as possible (including Poland, former GDR, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and possibly also Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Moldova, Albania and the Kaliningrad district of Russia).

We particularly wish to encourage researchers dealing primarily with human geography and who have published widely on the transformation to make contributions; we also invite specialists on the new economic geography, spatial sociology and spatial management. The choice of individual or group efforts and international projects is left to the authors.


We would like to receive answers to the following questions:

  • What major features, trends and patterns of the transformation can be identified at different spatial scales? Can these be used to offer more general patterns, models or concepts?
  • What avenues were followed by a change in the functioning and development of the various sectors of the economy (including agriculture, industry, services, trade, tourism, finance, etc.), aspects of the social structure (biological, educational, occupational, etc.) and how researchers evaluate these changes from the point of view of policies on the development and planning of systems of territorial organisation?
  • What changes occurred within the mechanisms of functioning, forms of activity and specific spatial, structural and functional features and properties of socio-economic systems, for example in terms of settlement systems, spatial mobility, international migration, demographic structures (including the ageing of societies and depopulation of peripheral regions), functional interlinks, transport networks, daytime urban systems and labour markets, the urban-rural relationship, deindustrialisation, tertiarisation, social activity, etc?
  • What are the outcomes of the transformation in terms of quality of life and living standards and trends in their impact on the natural environment?

Some examples of papers that might be anticipated could be entitled: “International migration flows in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989”, “The changing impact of cities and the development of functional regions in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, 1989-2012”, “High-level patterns of rural change”, “Ageing and depopulation of peripheral regions in Central and Eastern Europe”, “Social and occupational change and new economic phenomena in Eastern Europe”, “The second stage of the demographic transition in the former Soviet bloc”, “The development of transport networks and their impact on spatial accessibility” and “The polarisation of development and efforts to overcome it”.

The scope of topics is very broad indeed and the editorial team realises that obtaining answers to all of the questions and a perfect geographical synthesis may not be fully achieved. To address this inherent difficulty the papers should involve the following common denominators: i) a comprehensive approach (focusing on a broad, but cohesive and important research topic); ii) a long time scale; and iii) a high degree of representativeness (which excludes small case studies). We would like the volume to serve as a “model” set of topics together with their explanations and evaluation from the point of view of the transformation process. In future, this model might provide a point of departure for new analyses of Central and Eastern Europe, and is also designed with a view to citability.

The papers must be founded on sound analytical practice, involve reliable and representative sources and include exhaustive reviews of the available literature. The reviews should include the most important publications dealing with the topic of transformation, including the key features of their results.

Organisation and deadline

Authors interested in contributing should first submit the title and a very brief synopsis of the proposed paper by 30 June 2014, which will allow the editorial team time to plan its programme of action. Complete papers should be submitted by the end of 2014. The contributions, fully compatible with our formatting and other requirements, will go through a publishing procedure which will include at least two anonymous double blind reviews, leading to the selection of between eight and ten of the best papers. We intend to publish this Geographia Polonica volume in late 2015.  Other papers remaining after this selection process that  have obtained positive reviews will be posted on our website as “forthcoming” and will be considered for publication in the future. If the response is strong and the papers are of high quality, we envisage one or more additional themed volumes. Professor Przemysław Śleszyński will be responsible for collating and preparing the papers for publication.

Please, send your contributions to stating that it is intended for the volume on transformation processes in Central and Eastern Europe.

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