Sociolinguistic Transition in Former Soviet and Eastern Bloc Countries

Call for book chapters

Edited by
Petteri Laihonen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Marián Sloboda, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Anastassia Zabrodskaja, Tallinn University, Estonia

The volume will be submitted for publication to the Peter Lang’s series Prague Papers on Language, Society and Interaction / Prager Arbeiten zur Sprache, Gesellschaft und Interaktion, edited by Jiří Nekvapil, Tamah Sherman and Petr Kaderka (

Aim and description

The aim of the proposed interdisciplinary book is to investigate various features of the former Soviet and Eastern Bloc countries’ sociolinguistic situations which have started to come to the fore after the fall of the communist regime at the turn of the 1990s. The book will examine new sociolinguistic phenomena which have been a result of, or accompaniment to, the processes of transition. This process itself has been multifaceted and has run in various directions in different countries: from communist socialism to neoliberal democracy or authoritarianism; from centrally-planned to free-market economy or a mixture of both; from communal life to competitive individualism in some of the countries; from the policy of closed borders to international openness or a leaking closure in the context of increasing mobility, transnational interaction and globalization. Needless to say, the recent monetary and economic crisis has also affected these societies, which have had an impact on their sociolinguistic situation as well.

The book will cover a vast geographical area, including East Central Europe (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, eastern Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) and post-Soviet countries in the Baltics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), the European republics of the former USSR (Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine), the Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) as well as the Russian Federation. The book will thus provide a starting point for comparisons of sociolinguistic developments over such a large area.

The post-communist transition has had a profound and complex impact on the lives of individuals and societies. While a number of political, economic and social aspects of the transition have received a great deal of scholarly as well as popular attention, sociolinguistic aspects of these complex dynamic and sometimes dramatic processes do not seem to have been dedicated a book-length volume in English so far. This book will therefore present a collection of studies focusing on these, sociolinguistic, aspects of the transition.

From the distance of the two decades after the fall of the communist regime, the outcomes of the initial language policies set by the political and social actors within and outside the countries at the beginning of the transition are now easier to identify. The chapters in this volume will investigate these developments and their recent outcomes.

The chapters vary in terms of particular topics as well as theoretical and methodological approach.


The editors invite abstracts of contributions. The abstracts should be 300–500 words in length (excluding bibliography). They should be simultaneously submitted to Petteri Laihonen, Marián Sloboda and Anastassia Zabrodskaja (petteri.laihonen[at], marian.sloboda[at], anastassia.zabrodskaja[at] by 31 August 2013. The editors will then make a selection of abstracts in order to ensure coherence of the whole volume. The authors will be notified about the acceptance of their abstracts by 30 September 2013.


The authors of accepted abstracts will be expected to contribute a chapter of maximum 9,000 words in length (including notes and bibliography) and to peer review two other chapters. A first draft of the individual papers will be due by 31 January 2014, after which the draft papers will be submitted to internal and external peer review.

Об авторе Лидия Пивоварова

СПбГУ - старший преподаватель, University of Helsinki - PhD student
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