Academic Resources for East Europeans

From time to time I publish some useful links and announcements for East European researchers. Here is a new issue in this category:

  • The European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC) is currently organising open competitions to recruit new scientific/technical staff in the following fields: Chemistry, Biology and Health Sciences, Physics, Structural Mechanics, Quantitative Policy Analysis, Spatial Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Energy Sciences, Communication/Information Technology. Registration open until 4 November. For further information check go to this link.
  • The John Smith Fellowship Programme. The Programme targets outstanding young leaders working in politics, local government or civil society with an established interest in promoting democratic reform. Once a year, in June, a group of young people aged 25 to 40 come to Britain to take part. Deadline: 31 December 2010. Open to: individuals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine, aged 25 to 40. Scholarships: flights to and from the UK, accommodation and subsistence during the Programme, and the costs of visas. Official web.
  • The Institute for Studies on Federalism and Regionalism of the European Academy Bozen/Bolzano (EURAC), the Faculty of Law and the School of Political Science and Sociology of the University of Innsbruck are organizing the International Winter School on Federalism and Governance. The deadline for applications is 31 October 2010. For further information visit website.
  • Continuity and Change in Southeastern Europe, A Harvard University conference – February 4, 2011. Call for Papers.  Deadline for submission: November 15, 2010. Proposals should be submitted along with a recent CV to Andrew Hall at Small stipends for travel and accommodation will be available for selected participants. Official website.
  • The Robert Bosch Stiftung gladly accepts inquiries regarding funding and support in the context of understanding and reconciliation in Southeast Europeofficial websiteDeadline: October 31, 2010. Continue reading

A Tale about the Soviet Republic of Yugoslavia, Four Centuries of Communism and the Yugoslav states of Baltic Region

In my previous post I was talking about learning history through joint history book projects. This time I suggest to look at history of Eastern Europe and Yugoslavia from students’ point of view. The other day I was reading the blog of my master program professor Florian Bieber who recently published a hilarious post where he quotes his students concerning the history of Eastern Europe and Yugoslavia (From exams 2006-2010 at the University of Kent). Trust me this is a must read material. The copyright to following statements lies exclusively with the students who wrote this, says the author. I had faced such chef-d’oeuvres quite often while my university studies. However my collection couldn’t be compared with professors’ treasures.

Sadly enough, there are southands of people ectually thinking like these students. But what upsets me even more is the category of young people conducting academic studies and still doing such terryfing errors. Aren’t they doing any research at all? Anyways, such examples can teach us as well. For instance, how people perceive events, what is the areal of their intelligence, which prejudices still exist and etc.

Shortly, explore the history of South-East Europe from a new perspective, that is funny and totally wrong 🙂

The History of Yugoslavia

There have been many different countries/empires which have been huge and have had a range of different cultures but have managed to stay as one country. A very important example in term of Yugoslavia is the Ottoman Empire which oversaw some of that region. It was a huge empire with millions of servants who were of different race, religion, customs and beliefs. The empire managed to stay together regardless of this issue.

Furthermore, this can be debated as Yugoslavia never really had any enemy in ancient times

The Creation of Yugoslavia

The formation of Yugoslavia was ‘man made’ rather than inherent and formed through the same values and cultures.

Yugoslavia ….was forced together by the Ottomens and meinteined by leaders such as Tito.

After Yugoslavia was formed three dominant groups fought for power on the left the fascist Usteche who used aggressive ethnic cleansing techniques to drive non-Serbians from the land.

Yugoslavia was formed in 1929 out of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Cheks.

Communist Yugoslavia

When the Ottoman Empire collapsed, Communist leaders took and expanded the idea of a united Yugoslavia.

It is true to say that Yugoslavia was a young state, before the second WW the area consisted of several kingdoms…. After Tito removed Yugoslavia from the Soviet Union & pioneered the non-aligned movements during WW2, Yugoslavia entered relative calm.

Communist rule in Yugoslavia defind the nation until 1948 and when the region detached itself from Commuism it scrambled to find an identity.

Tito was already emerging as the glue that binds this group of autonomous provinces.

Tito was almost the puppeter of Yugoslavia pulling its strings.

In the years before Tito’s death, when he was forgetful and sported a terrible wig

In 1980, President Tito of Yugoslavia died, having ruled the state for over 10 years

When Tito died the emperror died with him.

There were two bodies that led Yugoslavia right before it disintegrated, Tito Braz and Slobodan Milosevic.

Tito had maintained a Yugoslavia with a federal government system: again, not a typical feature of countries…if Milosevic had succeded would have made Yugoslavia a less artificial country.

The provinces of Yugoslavia include Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, , Yugoveada and others…

Continue reading

Joint History Project books for free download – response to conflict resolution through education

I have been ingaged in the studies and research of south-east Europe for past few years through academic master program and professional activities. This is why the following project catch my attention. “Joint History Project book” is truly worth sharing project.

Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe has published 4 Workbooks are now available for free download, have been made through the Joint History Project. The books have been produced in the Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, English (with the 2nd edition published in the summer of 2009), Greek, Macedonian, Serbian and Turkish languages. In addition, an edition of the books in Japanese is underway.

“The goal of the Joint History Project (JHP) is to encourage debate, celebrate diversity and recognise shared suffering and achievements through a participative approach to history teaching, in order for students and teachers to develop the understanding and skills needed for sustainable peace and a democratic future. The JHP aims in the long-term to revise ethnocentric school history teaching by avoiding the production of stereotypes, by identifying attitudes that encourage conflict, by suggesting alternative teaching methods and by promoting the idea of multiple interpretations of one event. The objectives of the JHP are achieved through the production of a set of alternative history-teaching education materials (workbooks) – designed and written by experts from all over the region – along with teacher training, outreach and media work.”

For the download and more info:

First workbook is called “The Ottoman Empire”, the second one: “Nations and States in Southeast Europe”, third workbook: “The Balkan Wars”, and the last one: “The Second World War”.

According to the web-site the JHP is a long-term participative project that brings together historians, teachers, pedagogues, CSOs and students to work together towards the emergence of democratic and peaceful societies in the region, through multi-perspective history education.

“…and you, parents, give your children an education, teach them to read and write.  Do what you have to do to set up a school and find a teacher.  It would be better to leave them poor and educated, rather than rich and illiterate.” Kosmas the Aitolian (1714-1779) as quoted in Workbook 1 – The Ottoman Empire.

The aim of this project is to revise ethnocentric school history teaching by avoiding the production of stereotypes, by identifying attitudes that encourage conflict, by suggesting alternative teaching methods, and by promoting the idea of multiple interpretations of one event. History that instils values of academic rigour and critical analysis would serve as a solid basis for democracy, reconciliation and tolerance in Southeast Europe.

…the parties will base their relations on confidence, cooperation and mutual respect. ….they shall settle any dispute arising between them exclusively by peaceful means.” Romania-Hungarian ‘Good Neighbours’ Treaty of 1996 (Nations and States JHP Book)

The JHP is divided into two sections, one overseen by the Academic Committee, first chaired by Professor Maria Todorova and currently chaired by Professor Fikret Adanir, and the other overseen by the History Education Committee, chaired by Professor Christina Koulouri, with Professor Halil Berktay and Dr. Dubravka Stojanovic as Vice-Chairs.

I haven’t read any of those workbooks yet, but can not wait to start. Your opinions would be highly appreciated. Interested in south-east Europe and European studies in general? Then this works are for you.

Lepa Sela Lepo Gore

“Is Former Yugoslavia Stuck On The Sand Dune Of History?” very interesting article By Charles Crawford for Radio Free Europe. Earlier this month, Slovenia hosted a summit of leaders from across the former Yugoslavia. “This conference was a lugubrious occasion that emphasized differences rather than renewed shared purpose. It compels us to look at a worrying question: Is the former Yugoslavia region facing a new round of division and animosity?” – asks the author. Read full article HERE.