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Conference: Social Evolution or Social Ruin? Universities and Elite Formation in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe‏

Societal Evolution or Social Ruin? Universities and Elite Formation in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe
International Cooperation Project of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the Karl-Franzens University Graz
Since 1989 the countries in transition have taken innovative paths in catching up the educational developments of the European Union. Here numerous challenges have emerged, from the question in which fields highly qualified graduates are most needed, to whether graduates stay in their country after their studies or migrate abroad.
These challenges are not new, but have been relevant since the emergence of modern academia in the 19th century. It is thus only appropriate to take a look back and to explore these questions in a historical perspective, considering the period from the late 19th century until today.
Key Questions
What have been the processes through which elites have been formed in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe over the past 150 years[1]? How central is the formation of elites to the respective state and society and which resources have been made available at different historical periods? Which role have universities and other institutions of higher education taken, and what significance have Academies of Sciences and Arts had in creating an elite? How has the interrelationship between political elites and universities changed across time in different political systems with divergent ideological orientations? Are there success stories? If not, why not? What, if at all, are the particularities of these phenomena in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe? What have been the consequences of cross-border university education for elite formation?
Logistical Details
All those interested contributing to the project are invited to submit their proposal in German or English by 31st May to<> and The proposal should contain the following:
 1. Academic details of the author
 2. Email and contact information
 3. Title of the proposed paper and abstract (at least 300 words).
There are two types of papers
1: Longer chapters with a broad perspective on the above questions, in particular from a comparative perspective (20-25 pages);
2: Shorter chapters on particular case studies based on the above mentioned questions (ca. 10 pages).
The project coordinators will make a selection of proposals and determine which of the two categories they belong to and inform all applicants by 30th August 2012.
The authors of the accepted chapters will receive editorial institutions and are invited to submit their completed chapters by 30th May 2013. No honorarium for chapters is envisaged.
The volume will be published in 2014 and subsequent book presentations and discussions on the topics are planned in Austria and abroad.
Harald Heppner, Florian Bieber
Dr. Florian Bieber
Professor für Südosteuropa
Leiter, Kompetenzzentrum Südosteuropa
Professor for Southeast European Studies
Director, Centre for Southeast European Studies
Karl-Franzens Universität Graz
Universitätsstr. 15
A-8010 Graz
Tel: +43/316/380 6822