The 2nd international conference Riga Readings in Social Sciences (RRSS) took place on November 22-23, and was organized by the Advanced Social and Political Research Institute (ASPRI), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Latvia. The main theme of this year conference was "Baltic Sea Region: One Hundred Years On".
Established scholars, early career academics and postgraduates from 16 countries (Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Russia, United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Kazakhstan) explored various themes from political science, sociology, media and communication studies, information and library sciences.
The RRSS conference was opened by two keynote speakers - Dr. Corneliu Bjola (University of Oxford), “The digital transformation of diplomacy/social sciences” and Dr. Daunis Auers (University of Latvia), “The Baltic states at 100… How about the next 100? The main sessions of both days covered a broad spectrum of interesting themes such as democracy and contemporary governance; Russia’s rhetoric and influence; the transformation of diplomacy: digitalization and innovations; diaspora and cultural diplomacy; public diplomacy and perception in foreign policy; foreign policy and law; historical memory and identity; national and cultural memories; language, identity and cultural heritage; social care and discrimination; local social movements; media and communications in the Baltic States; information literacy; biocultural rights and social ecology; peace research and security; international migration and cultural learning; territorial development and innovations. Following fruitful discussions the RRSS conference was closed by two keynote speakers - Dr. Tom Schumacher (Kiel University) and Dr. Kazimierz Musiał (University of Gdańsk). Both speakers addressed current researcher mobility and scientific excellence in the Baltic Sea Region. As the conference organizers has already received positive responses from many foreign and domestic attendees, the next RRSS conference in 2019 will continue to address regionally and internationally important questions in social sciences.
The conference organizers: Advanced Social and Political Research Institute (ASPRI) is the research institute of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Latvia. Since its creation in 2004, the task of ASPRI has been to coordinate interdisciplinary research projects involving the academic staff and graduate students of the four departments in the faculty, which are political science, sociology, communication studies, information and library sciences. Number of leading scholars, researchers and scientific assistants work in the institute. The Director of the ASPRI is Professor Aija Zobena.