Exploring post-communist evolution 30 years after the Berlin Wall

AACaPS studies political, socioeconomic and cultural issues faced in current and former socialist states.

Griffith University will host the 14th biennial conference for the Australasian Association for Communist and Post-communist Studies (AACaPS) at the end of the month, examining the dynamics of communist and post-communist states around the world 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The two-day event will be held at Griffith’s Gold Coast campus on January 31 and February 1, and will explore key issues facing communist and post-communist states in Europe and Asia.

Presenters and attendees will canvass topics such as Russia’s role in global affairs, the evolution of China under President Xi Jinping, and peace prospects on the Korean Peninsula, among others.

“This year marks a significant milestone in the history of communist and post-communist societies, as we approach the 30th anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall,” the conference’s convenor, Griffith Business School academic Dr Alexandr Akimov, said.

“In the past three decades, we have seen significant reforms take hold in several former communist states, particularly in Eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries, where socioeconomic and political ideals have gradually gravitated towards more Western frameworks.

“Meanwhile, in Asia, we have seen astounding economic growth — but few democratic reforms — in countries such as China and Vietnam, while the unpredictable, isolationist North Korea remains a source of instability for the broader region.”

The 2019 AACaPS conference will feature keynote speeches from William & Mary College (US) Professor of Government Stephen E Hanson, and Viktor Larkin, a Professor of International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Additionally, representatives of diplomatic corpus are expected to come and share their views on the prospect of peace and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula.

Now led by Dr Akimov, AACaPS was founded in 1975 — as the Australasian Association for the Study of Socialist Countries — by the late Professor T H Rigby, an internationally renowned Sovietologist at the Australian National University.

The association adopted its current name in 1993, and describes its purpose as supporting “the academic exchange and study of political, socioeconomic and cultural issues faced by countries formerly belonging to the socialist system”.

For more information, see the GBS AACaPS webpage.