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Central and Eastern Europe beyond Transition: Convergence and Divergence in Europe Forward Look Final Conference Berlin, 16 February 2011 Karen Henderson, University of Leicester, Silvia Miháliková, Comenius University. Origins of project.

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Central and Eastern Europe beyond Transition: Convergence and Divergence in Europe

Forward Look Final Conference

Berlin, 16 February 2011

Karen Henderson, University of Leicester, Silvia Miháliková, Comenius University

origins of project
Origins of project
  • ESF Strategic Workshop Budapest May 2008 ‘Beyond Transition’
  • Looking at future research agendas
  • Decision to apply for ESF ‘Forward Look’
  • Scientific committee from different EU countries and social sciences
esf forward looks
ESF Forward Looks
  • Flagship activity of ESF’s strategic arm
  • Medium to long-term analyses of future research agendas
  • Aim of defining research agendas at national and European level

Meeting + location and date

general objectives
General objectives
  • Summing up the ‘state-of-the-art’ of research in selected disciplinary areas of the project
  • Defining the scientific challenges in the field
  • Presenting a vision for medium and long term research directions
  • Identifying stakeholders key to realising the vision
  • Providing targeted recommendations for actions
  • Defining follow-up mechanisms

Meeting + location and date

why a forward look
Why a Forward Look?
  • Previous ESF initiatives have looked at research infrastructure in CEE
  • The FL will look at the content of research agendas
  • Setting new frontiers in social science research on Central and Eastern Europe

Meeting + location and date

why now
Why now?
  • 1990s: ‘transition phase’ looked at fall of communism and analysing subsequent changes
  • 2000s: ‘consolidation phase’ where European integration begins to dominate research agendas
  • Forward Look: Post-integration agendas

Meeting + location and date

why convengence and divergency
Why ‘convengence and divergency’?
  • The FL considered research agendas looking specifically at CEE countries AND...
  • ...hopes to input into transnational research agendas, which means reassessing convergence and divergence
  • Removing the normative assumption that convergence with Western Europe is the major aim of social development in CEE…
  • …and looking at the domestic dynamic of change
  • The CEE countries are not the ‘other’ in the EU; post-communist democratisation after 1989 is one of the most common democratisation paths in the EU

Meeting + location and date

foci of research
Foci of research
  • Assessing the consequences of the communist experience
  • Investigating the consequences of rapid transition and radical social change (positive and negative)
  • Critically evaluating the effects of the EU integration process
  • Foresight into future developments

Meeting + location and date

areas addressed
Areas addressed
  • Economics
  • Social structure
  • Democratic institutions
  • Local governance

within CEE states that are ESF members

Meeting + location and date

some major challenges
Some major challenges
  • Tight timeframe for the project
  • Complex nature of ‘state of the art’ survey
  • Adaptation of foresight methods for broad geographic and discipline field

Meeting + location and date

work schedule
Work schedule
  • Oct 2009: First Scientific Committee meeting
  • Dec 09: Survey begins (Dec 09-July 10)
  • 4-5 Feb 2010: Workshop I, Bratislava
  • 13-14 May 2010: Workshop II, Leicester
  • 24-25 June 2010: Workshop III, Sofia
  • Feb 2011: Consensus conference, Berlin
  • June 2011: Publication of Science Policy Briefing and final report
  • Oct 2010-April 2012: Outreach activities

Meeting + location and date

challenges of the foresight method
Challenges of the foresight method...
  • Difficult for social scientists - immediately identify methodological complexities
  • So identify current issues rather than factors causing change
  • Very broad thematic area
  • Imposed external agenda

Meeting + location and date

output
Output
  • Creativity – where are we going – a CEE perspective
  • Generating new research questions: challenging assumptions on relations between old and new EU
  • How should future research be structured?
  • What new inputs are required?

Meeting + location and date

today and tomorrow
Today and tomorrow...
  • Overview of other agenda-setting exercises in Europe
  • Introduction of the survey
  • Tomorrow’s scenarios
  • Project recommendations

Meeting + location and date