We believe that both Croatian and European discussion on the theme are devoid of a scientifically based, historical and political science reflection upon notions of the region and the Mediterranean. The notion of the region is multidimensional and it can refer to: (1) geographic area with a strong/unifying natural identity and homogeneity, (2) territory with significant economic identity, (3) political and administrative unit or (4) area of distinctive cultural identity. Historical and culturological definition takes into account geographic, cultural and mental criteria, and uses the word ”Mediterranean” to denote the area around the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean as the origin of both Croatian and European culture, is nowadays primarily perceived as a tourist destination, as a symbol for certain life style described as sunny and rhapsodic, without taking into consideration, or only occasionally doing so, its role in the core of the European culture and in formating local identities, including Croatian too. Moreover, Mediterranean area is currently mentioned mostly in the context of very dramatic news about refugee boats and asylum seekers risking their lives to reach European soil, so-called promised land of the currents. In that sense, Mediterranean sea is today rather the one to divide us, than to bring us together. It acts as a protector of us from them, turning nature into the matter of interest.
How identifiying Mediterranean is complex can been seen on very local level: while we can not argue geographic and cultural influence, climate and special focus in productive activities (fishing, salt production, etc), people rarely consider Croatia to be part of the Mediterranean. And that is not just a question of description but rather this one: can Croatia today also and even think in Mediterranean terms?
Can Croatia today, besides being an asylum for refugees and a firm South-Eastern frontier, play its role, especially in the years to come, in connecting Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the whole EU with the eastern part of the Mediterranean, Asia Minor and the Middle East?
A well-informed discussion about the contemporary discourse in political science, in which the notion of the region and its role within national states and the EU is becoming more and more present, seems important in reflections on the Mediterranean component in the Croatian politics. What region today stand for and what is their role in contemporary Europe?
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (Split) with its Mediterranean interdisciplinary cultural studies, the centre Studia Mediterranea and already traditional international scientific conference on the ‘Mediterranean Roots of Philosophy’ seems as an adequate place to discuss important questions about modern regions as well as about the role that Croatia could (and should) play within the European Mediterranean political basin. The aim of this international scientific conference is to re-think and re-consider the concept of the region taking into consideration available European examples and to publicly debate on complex challenges awaiting Europe and Croatia in the 21st century.
The conference will put together prominent political scientists and historians in order to discuss, analyze and define a pro-active politics of Croatia as a member state of the EU with regard to the problems Mediterranean is facing.
Deadline for submitting abstracts: September 15, 2015
Deadline for submitting full papers: December 31, 2015
For more informations please visit the website.