3rd Young Scientists Forum (YSF) on Central and South East Europe

Deadline: 15 May 2012
Open to: Young scientists dealing with Central and South East Europe in the fields of cultural studies, history, European ethnology, media studies, political sciences, geography and sociology
Venue: 6 – 8 December, 2012, Vienna


The Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM), Vienna, and partners are organizing the 3rd Young Scientists Forum (YSF) on Central and South East Europe on “(In-)Equality – Political, Economic, Social, Spatial and Gender Aspects”.
Inequality has increased in Central and South East Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain and during transformation. While Communist regimes laid some emphasis on disparity equalisation – thus also overburdening in this way their economies and promoting their breakdown – post-communist countries were rather inclined to apply liberal and neo-classical political concepts, relying on the forces of the free market much more than e.g the social market economies of West Central Europe such as Germany and Austria. Inequalities appeared and became more and more significant in a vertical as well as in a horizontal (spatial) and gender dimension. Questions arise such as:

  • whether such inequalities were unavoidable in a period of transformation,
  • whether they are sustainable or will lead to fragmented societies, social and political conflict,
  • whether they can be seen as inefficient use of socioeconomic capacities and resources
  • and what is to be done to balance and compensate inequality.

Another important issue and task in this context is, of course, to question how to document inequality precisely in a scientific way.
The following list of potential subtopics can stimulate ideas, but is by no means exclusive:

  •  Social disparity equalisation as an political agenda item Central and South East European countries
  1. Redistributive effects of tax systems
  2. The effects of administrative decentralization on social disparities
  3. The party system in relation to social disparity equalisation
  • The socio-economic NW-SE gap in Europe – can a secular phenomenon be changed?
  1. Relative economic performance of countries by macro-economic indicators
  2. Reasons for a macroregional gap
  3. Documented and expected effects of European integration like
  4. cohesion and regional development policies,
  5. Common Agricultural Policy,
  6. adaptation to a Western European legal and societal system,
  7. TEN-T corridors,
  8. ceding powers to European institutions,
  9. trust in European versus domestic institutions.
  10. Europeanization – pros and cons
  • Urban/rural and other spatial disparities in Central and South East Europe
  1. Reasons for urban/rural socio-economic disparities
  2.  Characteristics of rural development
  3. Characteristics of urban development
  4. Domestic migration
  5. Regional development policies and programs
  6. Tourism as a driving force of regional development
  7. The roles of local and regional governance in spatial disparity equalisation
  8. Space-related identity building as an ingredient of regional development
  9. The role of trans-border cooperation on the regional and local level for regional development
  •  The widening social gap in Central and South East Europe
  1. Social polarization and its reasons
  2. Socially disadvantaged groups (e.g. Roma)
  3. Emigration as a way out?
  4. Consequences of emigration
  5. Brain drain
  6. Demographic decline
  7. The ambivalent role of emigration (negative and positive effects: remittances, reduced unemployment, better opportunities for the people at home)
  8. The role of the educational system
  9. Who works against the social gap? The role of the state, civil society institutions, churches…
  • Gender equality in Central and South East Europe?
  1. Gender (in)equality related to cultural groups
  2. Gender (in)equality in education
  3. Gender (in)equality in the economy
  4. Gender (in)equality in politics
  5. Measures of equality enforcement taken
  6. The influence of the Western model

– Promoting and encouraging young scientists to engage in the regions of Central and South East Europe;
– Presentation of innovative research to a wider public;
– Exchange between young and more advanced researchers on topics, methods, sources and results;
– Networking;
– Furthering mobility within the region;
– Publication of contributions and results.


The Forum is open to young scientists dealing with Central and South East Europe in the fields of cultural studies, history, European ethnology, media studies, political sciences, geography and sociology.


The symposium will take place 6 – 8 December, 2012 in Vienna.

– Presentation of research papers/projects by high level experts and young scientists;
– (Plenary) discussions;
– Social and cultural programme.


Applications for participation may be handed in by e-mail by May 15, 2012 and have to include a full academic CV and an abstract (max. 1 page) of the research project/paper that shall be presented and discussed at the symposium.
Costs for travel expenses and accommodation will be reimbursed by the IDM.
Language: English and German (German speaking applicants can submit their applications also in German language).
Please send applications to:
Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM)
Mag. David Zuser
e-mail: d.zuser@idm.at
phone: +43-1 319 72 58-21

The Official Website

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