CfP: Societal Evolution or Social Ruin? Universities and Elite Formation in CEE
 CALL FOR PAPERS: “Societal Evolution or Social Ruin? Universities and Elite Formation in Central, Eastern and Southeastern EuropeInternational Cooperation Project of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs and the Karl-Franzens University Graz; Graz, Austria (Deadline: May 31, 2012).


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? 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 <mail 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.

Date: 2012-03-06