Children of Transition, Children of War The 'Generation of Transformation' from a European Perspective International Conference in Vienna

Children of Transition

Date: November 3-5, 2016 

Venue: University of Vienna 

Conference Report in German

Conference Trailer

Conference Programme

Conference Programme (Web Version)

ORF Science: "Alle sehen sich als Opfer"

APA Science Pressemeldung

Pressetext zur Konferenz

Pressemeldung der Universität Wien


The Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bonn) in cooperation with the Association for European Studies (Vienna) and in association with the Franz Vranitzky Chair for European Studies (University of Vienna), the Sigmund Freud Private University (Vienna), the Deutschland Archiv Online (Berlin), the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue (Vienna) and the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe – IDM (Vienna).

Conference topics 

The 1990s have a long lasting impact on the children who experienced the fall of Soviet-dominated societies and the related transformations on the other side of the "Iron Curtain". This generation consists of the German "Wendekinder" (in the East, but also in the West) who experienced the political turnaround and unification as well as the children of the political revolutions in Poland and the Baltic states, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in Hungary and Ukraine. It also includes the children of the former Yugoslav Republics, who experienced political change through the violence of war that led to the creation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. 

Having now reached adulthood, the question of how this generation deals with the past, present, and future in Europe is raised. The experiences and expectations as well as the social, cultural and political viewpoints that form the foundation of these young adults’ roles in society will guide their decision-making processes as well as their attitudes towards Europe, the European Union and their neighbouring countries.

Conference questions 

  • How do these young adults define themselves today – culturally, socially and politically?
  • Which images of themselves and the so-called "other" do they share? Are there "national" differences?
  • What personal, psychological and/or collective difficulties is this generation confronted with? 
  • How and in what way(s) are family, education, religion, customs and traditions important to those young people? Are there any other influencing factors?
  • What experiences are important in their everyday lives? To what extent and how have they changed in the last 25 years?
  • Which traditions, rituals and activities are central to their communities?
  • What does the disappearance of former socialist symbols and products as well as the appearance of new capitalist ones mean to these young adults?
  • To what extent do they use (social) media and for which purpose and with which effect?
  • To what extent are they concerned with and affected by issues such as mobility, migration and even re-migration?
  • Which individual and collective memories as well as future prospects do they share within their respective nation states and the today’s migrant societies?
  • Where do these young adults position themselves within the dichotomy of Europe and their nation states?
  • What are their attitudes towards Europe, the European Union and the European idea in general?
  • Which role do they assign for civic education? Are there already respective institutions and/or NGOs? 

Submission guidelines 

The conference language will be English. Proposals of a maximum of 300 words and a short academic CV for contribution and participation in the conference are to be submitted by July 31, 2016, to

When accepted, the applicants have to send a paper of 5 to 10 pages (A4) in length by September 30, 2016, to

Junior scholars (MA and PhD students) may present a poster of their own research project to be displayed at the conference. 

Target groups and funded costs

Scholars from different human and social sciences (history, anthropology, psychology, pedagogy, political science, communication science, sociology) are invited to apply to this interdisciplinary international conference. The contributors will have free accommodation in a conference hotel for two nights. The international travel costs will be refunded up to 250 EUR per person.