The ERSTE Foundation and the Center of Advanced Studies Southeast Europe, University of Rijeka invite you to
“(Re)building Progressive Thought for Common Europeanness in Central Eastern & Southeastern Europe”
A Round Table Discussion and Presentation of the Southeast European Institute (SEI) initiative
Date: May 8, 2019
Venue: ERSTE Foundation, Am Belvedere 1, Vienna
Time: 17.30 – 19.30 (followed by reception)
The region of Southeast Europe today has fallen to one of the least advanced in Europe and one of the world leaders of brain drain. Unsecure and anxious environment encourages emigration of reproductive and capable layers of the population. SEE thus loses everything from its demographic to its social and intellectual potential for progressive change, leaving it ever more lagging behind the developed parts of the world. This regression is not only a result of socio-economic hardship, clientelism and captured state. We argue that it is also very much a consequence of a conservative, provincial political culture that is prone to authoritarianism and collective (nationalistic) hysteria that has for too long taken root. Progressive, pro-European thought is largely scattered and isolated. But this hardship is not a fate, not unchangeable.
There is a need for alternatives, future horizons that can overcome the current status quo with engaging for more democracy and new productive togetherness. Building up on the success story of the first Center of Advanced Studies (CAS SEE) in the region based in Rijeka, a new initiative emerged for establishing the “Southeast European (University) Institute”. It is aimed at innovation and academic excellence while also fostering cooperation, cultural exchange and broad engagement between the countries of the Western Balkans and wider Eastern and Southeast European region.
Together with a group of bright minds and on the eve of Timothy Snyders speech for Europe powered by ERSTE Foundation we invite you to discuss the potential of the academia to engage progressive civic society and new movements in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. How to act together for democracy and common Europeanness is the key question of the event. We offer a powerful tool of Southeast European Institute as poignant factor of joint action towards this common goal.
Hedvig Morvai, ERSTE Foundation & Vedran Dzihic, Austrian Institute for International Affairs; CAS SEE
17.30 Greeting by Boris Marte, ERSTE Foundation & Erhard Busek, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe
17.45 A European issue: Progressive Thought and Academic Freedom in Eastern and Southeastern Europe on the Retreat?
Kick-off remarks by:
Kemal Nedzibovic, Europe-University, Flensburg
Bojan Baca, Ernst Mach Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for South East European Studies, University of Graz and University of Rijeka, CAS SEE
Nilay Kilinc, University of Surrey, UK and University of Rijeka, CAS SEE
followed by a round table discussion
18.45 Presentation of the Southeast European Institute initiative by CAS SEE
Snjezana Prijic-Samarzija, University Rijeka, CAS SEE
Sanja Bojanic University of Rijeka, CAS SEE
Gazela Pudar University of Belgrade, Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory