Completed Programmes

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Lost in Transition: Social Sciences, Scenarios of Transformation, and Cognitive Dissonances in East Central Europe after 1989

Lost in Transition: Social Sciences, Scenarios of Transformation, and Cognitive Dissonances in East Central Europe after 1989

The project seeks to place the current anti-liberal and anti-democratic backlash in Eastern Europe, arguably manifesting the all-European socio-political and ideological crisis in its most acute form, into a comparative historical perspective. It raises fundamental questions concerning the intellectual contribution and responsibility of those local and international actors (scholars, experts, think-tanks, NGOs, public intellectuals, etc.) who devised roadmaps for the transition to liberal democracy and market economy, and the interplay of these roadmaps and the realities “on the ground”.

Challenges Facing the Future of Social Sciences and Humanities

Challenges Facing the Future of Social Sciences and Humanities

Pilot phase project of the Centre for Advanced Study Sofia, 2019-2022, supported by the Centre for Culture and Governance in Europe, University of St. Gallen. It tries to provide a detailed comparative analysis of the current evaluation policies in both minor and major non-English-speaking countries (a) such as e.g. Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Greece, Slovenia, the Baltic States, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, as well as (b) those somewhat better positioned with regard to research funding, such as e.g. Holland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and juxtapose these with the situation in countries like Germany, Austria, Italy, France, and Spain.

CAS Discussion Series: Forms of Ownership – Property in Communist Bulgaria

CAS Discussion Series: Forms of Ownership – Property in Communist Bulgaria

The inspiration behind the seminar series is the paucity of systematic research on ownership in Bulgaria’s recent history that has not been comprehensively covered at university level, either by the faculties of History and Social Sciences, or by  economics and Philosophy. A possible reason for its neglection is the relatively short historical period since the fall of the communist regime which puts certain limits to any disinterested academic  evaluation. In addition, Bulgarian academics seem to be repulsed by the monotonous ideological clichés that were imposed by the regime on ownership, and thus avoid their scholarly deconstruction.

“How to Teach Europe” Fellowship Programme

The programme targets academics – highly qualified young and established university professors – from (South) Eastern Europe in the social sciences and the humanities to dedicate themselves to research work oriented toward a specific goal: to lend the state-of-the-art theories and methodologies in the humanities and social sciences a pan-European and/or global dimension and to apply these findings in higher education.

CAS Discussion Series: Existential Policies under Socialism

CAS Discussion Series: Existential Policies under Socialism

CAS new seminar Existential Policies under Socialism is based on the presumption that despite the propaganda and repressive apparatus available to the totalitarian state, the latter has been unable to fully implement the matrix of its social-engineering project because of numerous reasons, ranging from faults within the very design and methods of execution, to the presence of different types of resistance  alternative ideologies, traditions, everyday tactics). Following a post-revisionist approach, it attempts to capture the junctions and discrepancies between the ideological models and real-life experience, and investigates the points of tension between the public and the private, between the collective and the individual, between ideology and practice by visualising the tension between the system and everyday life.

EUBORDERSCAPES

EUBORDERSCAPES (Bordering, Political Landscapes and Social Arenas: Potentials and Challenges of Evolving Border Concepts in a post-Cold War World) is a large-scale international research project that investigates and interprets conceptual change in the study of borders, in relation to the fundamental social, economic, cultural and geopolitical transformations that have taken place in the past decades.

RAGE

RAGE (Hate Speech and Populist Othering in Europe: through the Racism, Age, Gender Looking Glass) is a comparative research project funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General Justice, under the Scientific Programme “Fundamental Rights and Citizenship”. The project examines populist political discourse and its effect on those “othered” by such discourse, particularly in the context of economic austerity and dwindling opportunities for young people.

European Regions and Boundaries: A Conceptual History

A key objective of the project is to go beyond the usual discussions on the heuristics of historical regions and expand the toolkit of conceptual history by not just following a conceptual itinerary per se, but contextualizing this itinerary in terms of the changing political, cultural and especially disciplinary contexts. On the whole, this would help us "temporalize" our spatial terminology, and in turn, analyze the ways historical change is encapsulated by spatial categories.

Negotiating Modernity: History of Modern Political Thought in East-Central Europe

Negotiating Modernity: History of Modern Political Thought in East-Central Europe

The Negotiating Modernity Project maps the history of East-Central European political thought from the late eighteenth to the early twenty-first century. Paying attention to both the intra- and extra-regional interferences, and breaking the duality of Western “core” and Eastern “periphery”, it is meant to contribute to the emergence of a truly European perspective of intellectual history. The researchers answer questions about the key components of European political thought, formulated on the basis of a regional and trans-regional comparative analysis.