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Social Sciences and Political Change

Promoting Innovative Research in Post-Socialist Countries


Robin Cassling and Gabriel Fragnière

The Research Support Scheme (RSS) operated for over a decade as a programme to help researchers from Central and Eastern Europe and from Central Asia. With the conclusion of the programme in 2002 the opportunity presented itself to take stock and reflect on how academic research had evolved in the immediate post-socialist period.
In this book, former RSS grantees have been invited to discuss what they see as the main changes and challenges that emerged in their fields during the process of social and economic transformation. Some basic issues like the de-ideologisation of research, the impact of the Western influx of ideas on particular research fields, and the question of «importing» new ideas and policies from abroad are discussed.
Selected researchers present the outcome of their own work as examples of the progress and changes which took place during the last decade of the century.
The result is a look at the East-West dialogue on ideas that is emerging, as well as a discussion on where academic research is heading in the future. This book proposes a panoramic view of the trends in thought and research going on today in the region related to some important fields of social sciences.
Contents: Gabriel Fragnière: Research and Political Change: A Philosophical Perspective – Gyorgy Enyedi/Karel Kouba/Tibor Vamos/Andrzej Rychard: Research in Central Europe before 1989: The Experience of the Research Support Scheme - Four Points of View – Elvio Baccarini: New Values for New Societies – Marina Sorokina: A Response to Elvio Baccarini – Nadezhda Platonova: Old and New Values in a Period of Crisis – Neven Sesardic: Liberalism and Its Troubles with Nationalism – Vahur Made: A Response to Neven Sesardic – Iveta Todorova-Pirgova: National Myths and Folklore in the Balkans after 1989 – Tatiana Tsyrendorjieva: «Enemies» and «Defenders» in Political Discourse – Aija Priedīte: A Response to Tatiana Tsyrendorjieva – Bogdan Nadolu: Multicultural Dimensions of Social Integration in «e-Europe» – Krassimira Baytchinska: A Response to Bogdan Nadolu – Iuliana Precupetu: Reshaping the Social Landscape in Eastern Europe - The Case of Community Development in Romania – David Melua: A Response to Iuliana Precupetu – Ekaterina Scherbakova: Socio-Economic and Political Mechanisms of Population Migration in the Republics of the Former Soviet Union – Viachaslau Nasevich: A Response to Ekaterina Scherbakova – Tomasz Zarycki: Political Landscape of Central and Eastern Europe: Challenges and Dilemmas of the Comparative Study of Political Scenes and Geographies – Krisztina Keresztély: A Response to Tomasz Zarycki – Milan Sojka: Research on Transformation Alternatives – Galina Koleva: A Response to Milan Sojka – Nada Stropnik: Research on Poverty: Trends, Challenges, and the Impact of the RSS Grant – Marina Kolesnikova: Research on Privatisation: What Is to Follow? – Inese Vaidere: Illustrative Research: Monetary Stabilisation and Banking Reform in Latvia – Lidia Starodubtseva: Memory and Culture – James Aulich: Political Posters in Central and Eastern Europe 1945-2000 – Kázmér Kovács: A Response to James Aulich – András Zwickl: Neoclassicism in the 1920s: Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland – Martina Pachmanová: A Response to András Zwickl – Ekaterina Dmitrieva: The Country Estate as the Subject of Cultural Studies in Russia – Normunds Prieditis: Sustainable Utilisation of Natural Forests: Lessons to Be Learned – Khasan Karimov: Renewable Energy Resources and Rural Communities – Nicolae Opopol: Environment, Health and Sustainable Development in Transition Countries – Tatyana Laktionova: Assessing the Quality of Agricultural Land in Ukraine – Yehuda Elkana: Some Thoughts on the Future of Research.