News

25.05.2016

Round table on "Reintegration of Young Asylum Seekers in the Albanian Education System" is held on 25 May in Tirana, Albania


The event is organized within the National Policy Dialogue in Albania and addresses the compelling need of re-integration of young returned asylum seekers in the education system. The debate centeres on the following questions: What are the upcoming initiatives and policies to enable and support a sustainable reintegration of returned asylum seekers, especially school children? Are these initiatives based on comprehensive processes? What are the potential challenges while preparing such initiatives and how to address them?

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13.05.2016

RRPP Project "Figuring Out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations" was presented at the Center for South East European Studies, University College London (UCL)


The introductory note by the project members was followed by a panel discussion focused on the challenge of overcoming the present enmity and promoting cooperation between Serbs and Albanians in the region. The emphasis was put on the innovative and valuable contribution of this research project to researching the mutual relations between the two nations, as it aimed to offer neutral overview of these relations over the last two centuries on both sides.

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13.05.2016

"Scientific Café" IV entitled "The Road ahead: The New Law on Higher Education and the State of Scientific Research in Kosovo" was organized in Prishtina, Kosovo


As a part of the National Policy Dialogue in Kosovo the meeting focused on the current process of amendment of the Law on Higher Education and its impact on the state of scientific research in Kosovo. The addressd amendments entail: Financing of higher education institutions; focus on building the capacities of the academic units to effectively compete for international projects and grants; linking the curricula to the needs of the labor market in Kosovo; new criteria for academic promotion; increasing role and the character of higher education institutions - thus from solely teaching institutions, they are supposed to become stronger research-oriented institutions.

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13.05.2016

Conference "Social Identities of Youth in Kosovo: Interplay between ethnic, religious and national belonging" was held in Prishtina, Kosovo


The event was organized within the RRPP-funded project From Inclusive Identities to Inclusive Societies: Exploring Complex Social Identity in the Western Balkans. Its main goal was to present research findings from Kosovar case study and examine how they could be used to foster cooperation between Kosovar Albanians and Kosovar Serbs. Inter-ethnic relations in Kosovo remain difficult with over 70% of participants reporting to never have had contact with members of an ethnic out-group. Young people in general are reluctant to include others, who differ on ethnic, religious or national background, as part of their own groups. At the same time they are aware of the extent to which the ethnic identities are politicized and instrumentalized by political elites.

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13.05.2016

International Scientific Colloquium “Solidarity in Transition? Researching Social Enterprise in Post-Communist Societies” was organized in Tirana Albania


The Colloquium took place at the initiative of a member of the academic mentoring team within the RRPP project Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises. The event brought together 30 researchers from Central and Eastern, as well as Western Europe to discuss how 'social enterprise' is understood and has been promoted in their countries. The event represented the first step towards creating a network for social enterprise research in the region.

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13.05.2016

Conference "Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises" was organized in Tirana


The event aimed to present and discuss the preliminary research findings of the RRPP project Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises with the main focus on the national study and results from Albania and Macedonia. It provided a general overview of social enterprises, characteristics of their development and opportunities for employment and integration of marginalized groups. Different experiences of the legal framework and practices from several European countries were also depicted.

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13.05.2016

Workshop on "Building Capacities of Social Science Research System (SSRS) in Albania for Policy Impact Assessment and Evidence-informed Policy-Making" was organised in Tirana, Albania


The event was held within the National Policy Dialogue in Albania as a joint activity of the RRPP and PERFORM (Performing and Responsive Social Sciences). It brought together 25 participants, representatives of the Albanian Prime Minister’s Office (SPU), of the Albanian Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth (MSWY), social science researchers and PERFORM staff. The workshop aimed to familiarize the participants with the concepts of policy impact assessments (PIA) and evidence-informed policy-making (EIPM) and provide insights and related examples from Switzerland. Critical issues such as indpendency of PIA and public access to evaluation reports were discussed.

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28.04.2016

Round Table "The Private Sector and Research: Do they speak each other’s language?" took place in Tirana, Albania


The event was organized within the National Policy Dialogue in Albania and its main objective was to raise stakeholders’ awareness of the importance of cooperation and sustainable exchange between the private sector and scientific community. Albania has more research institutions and researchers per capita compared to other Western Balkan and European countries. However, the "research landscape" in the country resembles "an archipelago, which lacks the material to link different islands." Therefore, an increased role of the state in designing enabling policies towards cooperation between the private sector and academia is pivotal.

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27.04.2016

Regional Conference on "Electoral System and the Intra-Party Relations in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina" took place on 15 April 2016 in Belgrade, Serbia


Organised by the Centre for Democracy at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Belgrade, the conference aimed at presenting the research results of the RRPP-funded project Balkan Electoral Comparative Study: Impact of Personal Vote on Internal Party Democracy. Main speakers of the conference discussed the findings from a public opinion survey related to citizens' views on the functioning of democracy in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, responsiveness of political elites and their relations with citizens, as well as the intra-party relations.

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27.04.2016

Conference on "Social identities of youth in Kosovo: The interplay between ethnic, religious and national belonging" is organized on 29 April in Pristina, Kosovo


The event takes place within the RRPP-funded project From Inclusive Identities to Inclusive Societies: Exploring Complex Social Identity in the Western Balkans and aims at presenting its most relevant research findings. The main goal of the project was to explore the relations between ethnic, religious and national identities of youth in the Western Balkans and examine how these findings could be used to foster cooperation between previously conflicting groups.

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26.04.2016

Debate on "Securing the high quality process of assessment of research project proposals" takes place on 27 April in Skopje, Macedonia


The event is organized within the National Policy Dialogue in Macedonia and pins down the process of assessment of research project proposals. It addresses the need for more transparency and accountability, the inclusion of external evaluators, clear selection critera as well as regular progress reports. Best case practices from other countries will be discussed as well.

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26.04.2016

Round Table on "Research Priorities and National Development Policies in Albania: Do they meet?" takes place on 27 April in Tirana, Albania


The event is organized within the National Policy Dialogue in Albania and addresses the questions of "open science", how doctoral programs can reflect national development priorities, and how the systems of protection against plagiarism could be improved. The round table brings together representatives of the Government, universities, research institutions and agencies.

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05.04.2016

Round Table "Out of Sight: Poverty, Rurality, Gender" will take place on 05 May 2016 in Belgrade


The event is organized within the RRPP-funded project Gender that Matters: Poverty and Social Inclusion – Social Protection Status in Rural Kosovo and Serbia. It aims at presenting and disseminating the main findings concerning the functioning of the social protection system in the investigated countries. The event brings together relevant actors involved in the process of creating and implementing social policies, in order to discuss opportunities for improvement of the current social protection.

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05.04.2016

RRPP project "Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations" on Radio Free Europe


Two researchers within the RRPP-funded project Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations, Rigels Halili and Aleksandar Pavlović, took part in the radio show „Most“ (Bridge) of the Radio Free Europe in February 2016. The full transcript of the radio interview has been printed in the newspaper Oslobodjenje from Sarajevo and on some web-sites; it had 1500 shares within the first two days of its broadcasting and it triggered off a vivid forum discussion. The transcript is now available in Serbian and Albanian language version.

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05.04.2016

Conference: "Constitutional Courts in the Former Yugoslavia: The Role and Impact in Times of Transition" to be held in Sarajevo on 18 April 2016


Based on the results of the RRPP project Courts as Policy Makers? Examining the Role of Constitutional Courts as Agents of Change in the Western Balkans implemented in 2014-2016, this conference aims at looking at the contribution of constitutional courts to democratic transition, focusing on four successor states of the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia). Constitutional courts have the potential to play the role of a key democratic control and dispute resolution mechanism in the face of considerable constitutional uncertainty characterizing transitional states. But did they manage to realize such potential and meet high popular and scholarly expectations? You need to register for this event by 11 April 2016.

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30.03.2016

2nd Round Table within the National Policy Dialogue in Macedonia


The event is organized on 5 April 2016 within the National Policy Dialogue in Macedonia and addresses the challenges of the application process in the country. The guiding theme is: Applying for research grants at the Ministry of Education and Science: What needs to be changed?

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21.03.2016

Round Table within the National Policy Dialogue in Macedonia:"Priorities for support of scientific and research projects: Where to focus?"


The event takes place on 24 March in Skopje within the National Policy Dialoge in Macedonia - the RRPP-supported project aiming at promoting research in social sciences and advocating for improvement of the status of young researchers.

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17.03.2016

Call for Papers – RRPP Annual Conference 2016
"Is Western Balkans Changing in the Social, Political and Economic Terms?”


Interested young researchers and scholars are invited to apply to participate in the 7th RRPP Annual Conference to be held on 02-03 September 2016 in Tirana, Albania. The event addresses current social, political and economic developments in the Western Balkans in the context of the compelling challenges in the EU and its neighbourhood. It also provides a forum for researchers to exchange and discuss their research results; it exploits possibilities for RRPP networks to develop further beyond 2016 and highlights the impact of the RRPP since 2008. Deadline for abstracts' submission: 30 April 2016.

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15.03.2016

Outputs of the National Policy Dialogue in Serbia are now available online


The second phase of the National Policy Dialogue, centered on the position of young researchers in social sciences in Serbia, has resulted in two studies, on "Education for Young Researchers in Social Sciences in Serbia" and "Institutional Support for Young Researchers in Serbia", a policy brief entitled "Towards Strengthening of Institutional Support and Improving Education of Young Researchers in Social Sciences in Serbia" and a documentary summarizing results of a survey among PhD students on PhD programmes and institutional support for young researchers in social sciences in Serbia.

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15.03.2016

Round Table "Inequalities in Social Protection" was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Organized by Center for Social Research Analitika together with the European Policy Institute – Skopje, the event promoted relevant findings of the RRPP-funded project and addressed main issues of social protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The debate centered on the discrepancies between the actual needs of people receiving social assistance and the policies of the social protection system. Its reform should be conducted by joint efforts and cooperation with other sectors in order to facilitate more effective protection of the most vulnerable members of society. It should also be done in accordance with European principles of active welfare state, in order to ensure an inclusive welfare system.

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15.03.2016

Research project "Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations" will be presented at the Leipzig book fair on 20 March 2016


The promotion of the RRPP-funded project Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations at the Leipzig book fair on 20 March will embrace the project’s presentation, book promotion and a debate with individual researchers about their findings and views on the current state of Serbian-Albanian relations.

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15.03.2016

Conference "From inclusive identities to inclusive societies: Exploring the complex social identities of Western Balkan youth" was held in Belgrade, Serbia


Attended by around 40 participants from the region, including representatives of Serbian, Bosnian and Macedonian Government and non-governmental sector, the event aimed at promoting the findings of the related RRPP-funded project and thus exploring the interplay between ethnic, religious and national identities of young people in the Western Balkans. Almost 900 surveyed youth from both majority and minority groups seem to be generally aware of the existing discriminatory practices in educational systems and media. Moreover, they appreciate group equality, indicating that a fairer society is highly valuable for them.

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08.03.2016

"THE ART OF SURVIVAL: Discussion on inequalities in social protection" is held on 11 March 2016 in Skopje, Macedonia


This closing event is organized by The European Policy Institute - Skopje within the framework of the RRPP-funded project (In)Equality in Social Protection: Multi-level Analysis of Intersectionality in Social Assistance Provision - A Comparative Study. It aims at presenting and disseminating latest project results.

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22.02.2016

Call for Participation:
Workshop on "Building Capacities of Social Science Research System (SSRS) in Albania for Policy Impact Assessment and Evidence-Informed Policy-Making”


RRPP (Regional Research Promotion Programme) and PERFORM (Performing and Responsive Social Sciences) are organizing a workshop on "Building Capacities of Social Science Research System (SSRS) in Albania for Policy Impact Assessment and Evidence-Informed Policy-Making” to be held on 10-11 March 2016 in Tirana. The event aims at presenting the latest approaches to Policy Impact Analysis (PIA) and Evidence-Informed Policy-Making (EIPM), and is targeted to public officials from the Strategic Planning Unit of the Albanian Prime Minister’s Office, the Albanian Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth as well as selected social science researchers. Deadline for applications: 29 February 2016.

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15.02.2016

Training Seminar on "Qualitative Data Management and Analysis" was held on 5-6 February in Belgrade, Serbia


The workshop brought together 25 researchers from the region. The seminar provided participants with an introduction to the basics of the qualitative data analysis (i.e. coding processes, thematic analyses), operationalisation of general concepts into specific tasks and practical exercises based on the interviews conducted within previous research projects. Moreover, various software tools were introduced to facilitate qualitative data analysis as well as data and information management (MaxQDA, databases).

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15.02.2016

Conference on "Social identities of young people in the Western Balkans: The interplay between ethnic, religious and national belonging” to be held on 19 February at the Belgrade University


The RRPP regional team will present the findings based on 840 interviews at the upcoming conference to be held on 19 February. The results prove that the "youth show high awareness regarding sources of stereotypes and the role of politics in maintaining barriers between groups" (pp. 17). What is more, "the youth are aware that their perceptions of self and others are socially constructed and recognize the different sources of these perceptions" (pp. 16). They appear critical towards information coming from "different agents of socialisation" such as family, schools, media. The central question of the conference is how these research findings could be used to promote the cooperation between the groups afftected by the history of conflict.

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22.01.2016

Regional Conference "Communication in the context of citizen protests: The experiences from the SEE region" was held at Mediacentar Sarajevo on 21 January


The main goal of the conference was to present and discuss the research conducted in the period 2014 -2015 within the RRPP-funded project Communication practices in the context of social uprisings and requests for public accountability. The discussion focused on the way the protests were framed in the media content and on how the three major stakeholders - journalists, activists and party/government officials - perceived the communication practices during the protests.

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21.01.2016

How are the research institutes financed and do they have enough space for young researchers? A short, online story about young researchers’ perspective in Serbia


There are various challenges that young researchers in Serbia face on a daily basis: Difficult financial situation; inadequate conditions for scientific work; rigid Ph.D. programmes; insufficient applicability of the acquired knowledge. Politicians always speak about necessary and indispensible investing in youth in order to achieve a sustainable development. Do they really care about the future of young researchers in Serbia? Why are young researchers employed at the research institutes dissatisfied with their status?

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21.01.2016

Research Results: Performance Audit and Policy Evaluation in the Western Balkans - On the Same or Parallel Tracks?


A study, edited volume and a policy brief have been prepared within the RRPP project Performance Audit and Policy Evaluation in the Western Balkans - On the Same or Parallel Tracks? While in Montenegro and Serbia there is no systemic approach to policy evaluation, it has already been introduced in Macedonia but only for legislative procedures. Relatively poor experience and legalistic public administrative culture have been hindering the potential of performance audit to make a positive change. What is more, there has been almost no evidence on the existing links between performance audit and policy evaluation so far.

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21.01.2016

Research Results now online: Country Studies on Electoral and Party Systems. A Perspective of Internal Party Democracy Development


The country studies constitute the first research results of the RRPP-funded project Balkan Electoral Comparative Study: Impact of Personal Vote on Internal Party Democracy. They tackle a crucial but underresearched field of inter-party democracy in Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are some common patterns observable across the region: The informal decision-making process within political parties; the personality of a leader matters much more than a party programme; weak opposition and difficulties of new parties to handle the electoral threshold; social demagogy and avoiding accountability.

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08.01.2016

Upcoming: Regional Conference on "Communication in the Context of Citizen Protests: The Experiences from the SEE Region" takes place on 21 January 2016 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Organised within the RRPP-funded project Communication practices in the context of social uprisings and requests for public accountability, the event aims to present its first research findings and further discuss the communication practices in the context of citizen protests in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, the way the protests are framed in the media content, and how the three major stakeholders (journalists, activists and party/government officials) perceive the communication practices during the protests.

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18.12.2015

Workshop on Developing Effective Strategies & Communication Tools for Policy Advocacy was held in Petrovac, Montenegro


The training brought together 20 participants from 11 RRPP funded projects. It was convened within the Policy Bridging Initiative and tailored for researchers currently involved in the PBI Development Stream programme. The aim of the workshop was to build strategic capacity of participants to design a targeted and policy relevant advocacy campaign in order to achieve their desired policy objectives.

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18.12.2015

Call for Applications: Training Seminar on "Qualitative Data Management and Analysis" to be held on 5-6 February 2016 in Belgrade, Serbia


The RRPP is organizing a training seminar on the computer assisted Qualitative Data Management and Analysis. The event takes place on 5-6 February 2016 in Belgrade. It aims to address the very process of qualitative data management and analysis and provide practical tools to deal with it. It is centered around various ways in which unstructured data can be turned into structured data before being processed further either qualitatively or quantitatively. The Call is now open, the deadline for applications: 05 January 2016.

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15.12.2015

RRPP Annual Conference 2016


The final RRPP Annual Conference will take place on 2-3 September 2016 in Tirana, Albania. The Call for Papers and further organisational issues will be communicated in due course. Stay tuned.

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15.12.2015

Book promotion: "The Figure of the Enemy" took place on 27 November in Belgrade


The event was organised as a part of the RRPP-funded project Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations, implemented by the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory and KPZ Beton. Because the dialogue between Serbia and Albania has usually been hampered by political factors and inherited prejudices, the authors of this book aim at broadening debate on common issues between Serbians and Albanians by inclusion of theoreticians from Kosovo, Serbia and Albania. The book provides not only the most comprehensive overview of scientific and theoretical thoughts concerning political and media relations of the two countries, but also analysis of the current potential and limitations for critical thinking.

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11.12.2015

International Conference on "Labour Migration and Industrial Citizenship" took place at the University of New York Tirana, Albania


The event was organized within the RRPP-funded project Industrial Citizenship and Migration from the Western Balkans: Migration from Albania and Kosovo towards Greece, Germany and Switzerland and was a joint effort of the RRPP grantees from the University of New York Tirana, University of Prishtina and their mentoring Institution, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. It was attended by remarkable 120 high-level participants: representatives of governmental bodies, diplomats, NGOs, trade union, international organizations and academic community. Guest speakers observed that the increased migration was caused not only by the lack of jobs, but above all by the lack of perspectives. The migration was an outspoken evidence of the situation in the source country. The state should play an important role in regulating issues related to migrants’ working legal status, recognition of the time of employment, the ability to combine working years in several countries to obtain adequate pensions.

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10.12.2015

Scientific Café III: How Social Science Research Imagines Kosovo - American Impressions


The event was organised as part of the Policy Dialogue for strengthening social science research in Kosovo, and with the aim to increase informed dialogue between various interest groups. Guest speaker of the meeting, Dr. Mark Baskin from the State University of New York, pointed to the still missing good quality research on crucial but typical issues such as political parties, public policies, urban-rural divides. Kosovo is still regarded as an "interesting experiment" associated with post-conflict challenges that will hopefully develop into a "boring" case, similar to other small countries in Europe - also for scientific comparison.

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10.12.2015

Call for Participants - Research Academy: Introduction to Social Science Research Methods for Junior Researchers in the Western Balkans, 11-18 April 2016 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


The RRPP is organizing a fully-funded comprehensive training on social science research methods tailored for junior researchers in the Western Balkans. It is designed as a summer school composed of several linked one-day modules. Junior researchers will be guided through all stages of the research process and the sessions will be highly interactive and practice-oriented. The program will be delivered by a team of 13 trainers coming from European and regional universities and research institutes. Deadline for applications: 15 January 2016.

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09.12.2015

Round table on research results: "The Politicized Life in Serbia - Rules of the Game“ was held on 30 November in Belgrade, Serbia


Organised by the SeCons Development Initiative Group within the RRPP-funded project Informal Practices of Capturing Economic Resources by Political Elites: Exploring Party Patronage in Kosovo and Serbia, the event unvailed that the employment based on belonging to political party is one of the key mechanisms in the process of 'capturing' of public resources. In Serbia, on the top of the social hierarchy there are networks of political and economic actors - "ekipa" - based on loyalty and aimed at using public resources in order to finance political parties and for personal benefit.

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04.12.2015

Now in English: Web Platform PolicyHub Dedicated to Development of Social Research


Center for Social Research Analitika (Bosnia and Herzegovina) started a web platform PolicyHub (www.policyhub.net/bs) now also available in English: http://www.policyhub.net/en and easily accesible at the policy hub twitter account @policyhubWB. The platform is dedicated to the development of social research, with a focus on policy-relevant and applied research in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans.

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02.12.2015

Round Table on "Migration as social protection: Analysis of Albanian remittance-receiving households" was held in Elbasan


The event was organized by the Albanian Centre for Socio-Economic Research (ASCER) within the RRPP-funded project Migration as social protection: Analysis of Macedonia, Albanian and Serbian remittance-receiving households to present the project’s preliminary findings. Accordingly, remittances seem to affect poverty by fueling every-day consumption. Their positive effects are also related to other non-income aspects of vulnerability, such as health, housing and leisure.

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19.11.2015

"To UNESCO or not to UNESCO: Serbian Cultural Heritage in Kosovo between Sovereignty and Protection" by Aleksandar Pavlović and Jelena Lončar


The article has been published at the Balkans in Europe Policy Blog within the RRPP project Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations. It touches upon the legal status of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo, its forced adoption and the opposition to its implementation. Shifting the focus from the question of sovereignty to the legal framework of this cultural heritage in Kosovo seems to be the most productive option in the long run.

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18.11.2015

International Workshop for Managers of Research Organizations in the Western Balkans and the EU took place on 19-21 October 2015 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina


The workshop was organized by the Center for Social Research Analitika in cooperation with the RRPP and the Think Tank Fund of the Open Society Foundations to address the needs of managers (directors, executive directors, deputy directors and research directors) of research organizations while facing the common obstacles: Unpredictable socio-political contexts, insecure sources of funding, high staff turnover and a shortage of trained staff, as well as an increasing competition.

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18.11.2015

International Conference "Informality in Central and South-East Europe: Linkages between Political and Economic Actors" was held at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, on 30-31 October 2015


The conference was organized within the RRPP-funded project Informal Practices of Capturing Economic Resources by Political Elites: Exploring Party Patronage in Kosovo and Serbia. It highlighted actors as well as resources of the party patronage in the political field in Serbia. The most important mechanisms guiding the relation between political elites and the public sector in the economy are parties’ capture of the management structures of public enterprises; parties' funding by public enterprises and parties' directed employment.

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18.11.2015

Research results: Round table on "Socio-economic position of the remittance-receiving households in Serbia" was held on 2 November in Belgrade


The event was organized by the Foundation for the Advancement of Economics (FREN) within the RRPP-funded project Migration as social protection: Analysis of Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian remittance-receiving households – The first project to investigate effects of remittances on the socio-economic position of the remittance-receiving households. It proves that the received remittances do serve as an informal social protection for households in rural areas and contribute to a decrease of the overall vulnerability of the household.

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06.11.2015

Save the date: International Conference on "Labor Migration and Industrial Citizenship. Albanians on the move - Citizenship, Identity and Development" will be held on 13-14 November 2015 at the University of New York Tirana


The conference is organized as a joint collaboration between University of New York Tirana (Albania), University of Prishtina (Kosovo) and the University of Jyväskylä (Finland) within the RRPP Academic Mentoring programme and draws on the research findings of the RRPP project Industrial Citizenship and Migration from Western Balkans: Case studies from Albania and Kosovo migration towards Greece, Germany and Switzerland. It intends to explore the formation of industrial citizenship of Albanian labor migrants (both from Albania and from Kosovo) in the time of austerity.

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05.11.2015

Now online: Research results of the RRPP project "The Impact of Socio-Economic Structure of Rural Population on Success of Rural Development Policy"


The main research findings of this RRPP-funded project encompassing one monograph and three policy briefs reveal that rural areas of Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina face common problems such as intensive depopulation, low activity on the labour market, slow process of farm restructuring and a high share of small and semi-subsistent farms with mixed income. However, the analysis confirms the existence of large differences in the socio-economic structure of rural areas between and within the countries, as well as among surveyed farmers and their farm households.

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05.11.2015

Round Table entitled "Young Researchers in Social Sciences: Education and Support" was organized by the Institute of Economic Sciences on 23 October 2015 in Belgrade


The event was held within the National Policy Dialogue in Serbia to present the research on institutional support and education for young researchers in humanities and social sciences. A servey conducted by the Working Group on Young Researchers within 356 doctoral students indicates that 8% of PhD students have no regular income, while 20% estimate that their income is not sufficient to cover their basic needs. Only 27% of respondents believe that the doctoral programs are internationally relevant. Institutional support is missing even for participation in conferences. The access to international journals is limited and the university libraries are not fully equipped with the necessary literature. Doctoral programs do not provide training in research methodology. Only 11% of respondents believe that they are fully trained to work in programs for data processing.

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05.11.2015

RRPP project "Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations" will be presented on 18 November at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University


The research project aims to challenge the Serbian-Albanian hostility by reinvestigating contemporary events and discourses from the past and recent times. In his lecture, Mr Aleksandar Pavlovic will try to identify common views and practices that could deescalate the present enmity and promote cooperation.

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RRPP Joint Volume

The RRPP is proud to present the volume Stagnation and Drift in the Western Balkans.
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New RRPP Flyer 2014

Please click here to download the current RRPP flyer.

25.05.2016

Round table on "Reintegration of Young Asylum Seekers in the Albanian Education System" is held on 25 May in Tirana, Albania. The event is organized within the National Policy Dialogue in Albania and addresses the compelling need of re-integration of young returned asylum seekers in the education system. The debate centeres on the following questions: What are the upcoming initiatives and policies to enable and support a sustainable reintegration of returned asylum seekers, especially school children? Are these initiatives based on comprehensive processes? What are the potential challenges while preparing such initiatives and how to address them?
learn more

13.05.2016

RRPP project Figuring Out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations was presented at the Center for South East European Studies, University College London (UCL). The introductory note by the project members was followed by a panel discussion focused on the challenges of overcoming the present enmity and promoting cooperation between Serbs and Albanians in the region. The emphasis was put on the innovative and valuable contribution of this project to researching the mutual relations between the two nations, as it aimed to offer neutral overview of these relations over the last two centuries on both sides.
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13.05.2016

"Scientific Café" IV entitled "The Road ahead: The New Law on Higher Education and the State of Scientific Research in Kosovo" was organized in Prishtina as a part of the National Policy Dialogue. It focused on the current process of amendment of the Law on Higher Education and its impact on the state of scientific research in Kosovo.
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13.05.2016

Conference "Social Identities of Youth in Kosovo: Interplay between ethnic, religious and national belonging" was held in Prishtina, Kosovo within the RRPP-funded project From Inclusive Identities to Inclusive Societies: Exploring Complex Social Identity in the Western Balkans. Its main goal was to present research findings from Kosovar case study and examine how they could be used to foster cooperation between Kosovar Albanians and Kosovar Serbs. Inter-ethnic relations in Kosovo remain difficult with over 70% of participants reporting to never have had contact with members of an ethnic out-group.
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13.05.2016

International Scientific Colloquium "Solidarity in Transition? Researching Social Enterprise in Post-Communist Societies" was organized in Tirana Albania. It took place at the initiative of a member of the academic mentoring team within the RRPP project Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises. The event brought together 30 researchers from Central and Eastern, as well as Western Europe to discuss how 'social enterprise' is understood and has been promoted in their countries. The event represented the first step towards creating a network for social enterprise research in the region.
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13.05.2016

Conference "Challenges and Opportunities for Employment of Marginalized Groups by Social Enterprises" was organized in Tirana and aimed to present and discuss the research findings of the RRPP project. It provided a general overview of social enterprises, characteristics of their development and opportunities for employment and integration of marginalized groups. Different experiences of the legal framework and practices from several European countries were also depicted.
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13.05.2016

Workshop on "Building Capacities of Social Science Research System (SSRS) in Albania for Policy Impact Assessment and Evidence-informed Policy-Making" was organised in Tirana, Albania within the National Policy Dialogue. It brought together 25 participants, representatives of the Albanian Prime Minister’s Office (SPU), of the Albanian Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth (MSWY), social science researchers. The workshop aimed to familiarize the participants with the concepts of policy impact assessments (PIA) and evidence-informed policy-making (EIPM) and provide insights and related examples from Switzerland.
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28.04.2016

Round Table "The Private Sector and Research: Do they speak each other’s language?" took place in Tirana, Albania within the National Policy Dialogue. Its main objective was to raise stakeholders’ awareness of the importance of cooperation and sustainable exchange between the private sector and scientific community. Albania has more research institutions and researchers per capita compared to other Western Balkan and European countries. However, the "research landscape" in the country resembles "an archipelago, which lacks the material to link different islands." Therefore, an increased role of the state in designing enabling policies towards cooperation between the private sector and academia is pivotal.
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27.04.2016

Regional Conference on "Electoral System and the Intra-Party Relations in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina" took place on 15 April 2016 in Belgrade, Serbia. Organised within the RRPP-funded project Balkan Electoral Comparative Study: Impact of Personal Vote on Internal Party Democracy the event aimed at discussing findings from a public opinion survey related to citizens' views on the functioning of democracy in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, responsiveness of political elites and their relations with citizens, as well as the intra-party relations.
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27.04.2016

Conference on "Social identities of youth in Kosovo: The interplay between ethnic, religious and national belonging" is organized on 29 April in Pristina, Kosovo, within the RRPP-funded project From Inclusive Identities to Inclusive Societies: Exploring Complex Social Identity in the Western Balkans. The main goal of the project was to explore the relations between ethnic, religious and national identities of youth in the Western Balkans and examine how these findings could be used to foster cooperation between previously conflicting groups.
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26.04.2016

Debate on "Securing the high quality process of assessment of research project proposals" takes place on 27 April in Skopje, Macedonia. The event is organized within the National Policy Dialogue in Macedonia and pins down the process of assessment of research project proposals. It addresses the need for more transparency and accountability, the inclusion of external evaluators, clear selection critera as well as regular progress reports. Best case practices from other countries will be discussed as well.
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26.04.2016

Round Table on "Research Priorities and National Development Policies in Albania: Do they meet?" takes place on 27 April in Tirana, Albania. The event is organized within the National Policy Dialogue in Albania and addresses the questions of "open science", how doctoral programs can reflect national development priorities, and how the systems of protection against plagiarism could be improved. The round table brings together representatives of the Government, universities, research institutions and agencies.
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05.04.2016

Round Table "Out of Sight: Poverty, Rurality, Gender" will take place on 05 May 2016 in Belgrade within the RRPP-funded project Gender that Matters: Poverty and Social Inclusion – Social Protection Status in Rural Kosovo and Serbia. It aims at presenting the main findings concerning the functioning of the social protection system in the investigated countries. The event brings together relevant actors involved in the process of creating and implementing social policies to discuss opportunities for improvement of the current social protection.
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05.04.2016

Two researchers within the RRPP-funded project Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations, Rigels Halili and Aleksandar Pavlović, took part in the radio show „Most“ (Bridge) of the Radio Free Europe in February 2016. The full transcript of the radio interview has been printed in the newspaper Oslobodjenje from Sarajevo and on some web-sites; it had 1500 shares within the first two days of its broadcasting and it triggered off a vivid forum discussion. The transcript is now available in Serbian and Albanian language version.
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05.04.2016

Conference on "Constitutional Courts in the Former Yugoslavia: The Role and Impact in Times of Transition" will be held in Sarajevo on 18 April 2016. Based on the results of the RRPP project implemented in 2014-2016, this conference aims at looking at the contribution of constitutional courts to democratic transition, focusing on four successor states of the former Yugoslavia (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Serbia). You need to register for this event by 11 April 2016.
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30.03.2016

2nd Round Table within the National Policy Dialogue in Macedonia is organized on 5 April 2016 and addresses the challenges of the application process in the country. The guiding theme is: Applying for research grants at the Ministry of Education and Science: What needs to be changed?
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21.03.2016

Round Table within the National Policy Dialogue in Macedonia:"Priorities for support of scientific and research projects: Where to focus?" takes place on 24 March in Skopje. This RRPP-supported project aims at promoting research in social sciences and advocating for improvement of the status of young researchers.
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17.03.3016

Call for Papers – RRPP Annual Conference 2016: "Is Western Balkans Changing in the Social, Political and Economic Terms?” Interested young researchers and scholars are invited to apply to participate in the 7th RRPP Annual Conference to be held on 02-03 September 2016 in Tirana, Albania. The event addresses current social, political and economic developments in the Western Balkans in the context of the compelling challenges in the EU and its neighbourhood. Deadline for abstracts' submission: 30 April 2016.
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15.03.2016

Outputs of the National Policy Dialogue in Serbia are now available online: Two studies, on "Education for Young Researchers in Social Sciences in Serbia" and "Institutional Support for Young Researchers in Serbia", a policy brief entitled "Towards Strengthening of Institutional Support and Improving Education of Young Researchers in Social Sciences in Serbia" and a documentary summarizing results of a survey among PhD students.
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15.03.2016

Round Table on the RRPP-funded project (In)Equality in Social Protection was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The event promoted the project findings and centered on the discrepancies between the actual needs of people receiving social assistance and the policies of the social protection system in BiH. Its reform should be conducted by joint efforts and cooperation with other sectors and in accordance with European principles of active welfare state, in order to ensure active and inclusive welfare system.
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15.03.2016

RRPP-funded research project Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations will be presented at the Leipzig book fair on 20 March 2016. The promotion of the project will embrace the project’s thorough presentation, book promotion and dissemination of other results, as well as a debate with individual researchers about their findings and views on the current state of Serbian-Albanian relations.
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15.03.2016

Conference within the RRPP-funded project From Inclusive Identities to Inclusive Societies: Exploring Complex Social Identity in the Western Balkans was held in Belgrade, Serbia. Attended by around 40 participants from the region including representatives of Serbian, Bosnian and Macedonian Government and non-governmental sector, the event aimed at exploring the interplay between ethnic, religious and national identities of young people in the Western Balkans. Almost 900 surveyed youth from both majority and minority groups seem to be generally aware of the existing discriminatory practices in educational systems and media. Moreover, they appreciate group equality, indicating that a fairer society is highly valuable for them.
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08.03.2016

"THE ART OF SURVIVAL: Discussion on inequalities in social protection" is held on 11 March 2016 in Skopje, Macedonia. This closing event is organized by The European Policy Institute - Skopje within the RRPP-funded project (In)Equality in Social Protection: Multi-level Analysis of Intersectionality in Social Assistance Provision - A Comparative Study. It aims at presenting and disseminating latest project results.
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22.02.2016

Call for Participation: Workshop on "Building Capacities of Social Science Research System (SSRS) in Albania for Policy Impact Assessment and Evidence-Informed Policy-Making”. The event takes place on 10-11 March in Tirana and is organized by RRPP (Regional Research Promotion Programme) and PERFORM (Performing and Responsive Social Sciences). It is targeted to public officials from the Strategic Planning Unit of the Albanian Prime Minister’s Office, the Albanian Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth as well as selected social science researchers. Deadline for applications: 29 February 2016.
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15.02.2016

Training Seminar on "Qualitative Data Management and Analysis" was held on 5-6 February in Belgrade, Serbia. It brought together 25 researchers from the region. The seminar introduced the basics of the qualitative data analysis (i.e. coding processes, thematic analyses), operationalisation of general concepts into specific tasks and practical exercises based on the interviews conducted within previous research projects.
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15.02.2016

Conference on "Social identities of young people in the Western Balkans: The interplay between ethnic, religious and national belonging" to be held on 19 February in Belgrade. The central question of the conference is how the research findings of this regional RRPP-funded project could be used to promote the cooperation between the groups afftected by the history of conflict.
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22.01.2016

Regional Conference "Communication in the context of citizen protests: The experiences from the SEE region" was held at Mediacentar Sarajevo on 21 January. The main goal of the conference was to present and discuss the research conducted in the period 2014 -2015 within the RRPP-funded project. The discussion focused on the way the protests were framed in the media content and on how the three major stakeholders - journalists, activists and party/government officials - perceived the communication practices during the protests.
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21.01.2016

How are the research institutes financed and do they have enough space for young researchers? A short, online story about young researchers’ perspective in Serbia addresses various challenges that young researchers in Serbia face on a daily basis: Difficult financial situation; inadequate conditions for scientific work; rigid Ph.D. programmes; insufficient applicability of the acquired knowledge. Politicians always speak about necessary and indispensible investing in youth in order to achieve a sustainable development. Do they really care about the future of young researchers in Serbia? Why are young researchers employed at the research institutes dissatisfied with their status?
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21.01.2016

Research Results: Performance Audit and Policy Evaluation in the Western Balkans - On the Same or Parallel Tracks? are now available online. While in Montenegro and Serbia there is no systemic approach to policy evaluation, it has already been introduced in Macedonia but only for legislative procedures. Relatively poor experience and legalistic public administrative culture have been hindering the potential of performance audit to make a positive change. What is more, there has been almost no evidence on the existing links between performance audit and policy evaluation so far.
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21.01.2016

Research Results now online: Country Studies on Electoral and Party Systems. A Perspective of Internal Party Democracy Development. Written within the RRPP-funded project Balkan Electoral Comparative Study: Impact of Personal Vote on Internal Party Democracy, they tackle a crucial but underresearched field of inter-party democracy in Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are some main patterns observable across the region: The informal decision-making process within political parties; the personality of a leader matters much more than a party programme; weak opposition and difficulties of new parties to handle the electoral threshold; social demagogy and avoiding accountability.
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08.01.2016

Upcoming: Regional Conference on "Communication in the Context of Citizen Protests: The Experiences from the SEE Region" takes place on 21 January 2016 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Organised within the RRPP-funded project, the event aims to discuss the communication practices in the context of citizen protests in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia, the way the protests are framed in the media content, and how the three major stakeholders (journalists, activists and party/government officials) perceive the communication practices during the protests.
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18.12.2015

Workshop on Developing Effective Strategies & Communication Tools for Policy Advocacy was held in Petrovac, Montenegro. The training brought together 20 participants from 11 RRPP funded projects. It was convened within the Policy Bridging Initiative and it served developing the strategic capacity of participants to design a targeted and policy relevant advocacy campaign in order to achieve their desired policy objectives.
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18.12.2015

Call for Applications: Training Seminar on "Qualitative Data Management and Analysis" to be held on 5-6 February 2016 in Belgrade, Serbia. It aims to address the very process of qualitative data management and analysis and provide practical tools to deal with it. It is centered around various ways in which unstructured data can be turned into structured data before being processed further either qualitatively or quantitatively. The Call is now open, the deadline for applications: 05 January 2016.
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15.12.2015

The final RRPP Annual Conference will take place on 2-3 September 2016 in Tirana, Albania. The Call for Papers and further organisational issues will be communicated in due course. Stay tuned.
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15.12.2015

Book promotion "The Figure of the Enemy" within the RRPP-project Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations took place on 27 November in Belgrade within the RRPP-funded project implemented by the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory and KPZ Beton. Becuase the dialogue between Serbia and Albania has usually been hampered by political factors and inherited prejudices, the authors of this book aim at broadening debate on common issues between Serbians and Albanians by inclusion of theoreticians from Kosovo, Serbia and Albania.
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11.12.2015

International Conference on "Labour Migration and Industrial Citizenship" took place at the University of New York Tirana, Albania. It was organized within the RRPP-funded project Industrial Citizenship and Migration from the Western Balkans: Migration from Albania and Kosovo towards Greece, Germany and Switzerland and was a joint effort of the RRPP grantees from the University of New York Tirana, University of Prishtina and their mentoring Institution, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Attended by remarkable 120 high-level participants, the conference highlighted the missing role of the state in regulating issues related to migrants’ working legal status, recognition of the time of employment, the ability to combine working years in several countries to obtain adequate pensions.
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10.12.2015

Scientific Café III: How Social Science Research Imagines Kosovo - American Impressions was organised as part of the Policy Dialogue for strengthening social science research in Kosovo. Guest speaker of the meeting, Dr. Mark Baskin from the State University of New York, pointed to the still missing good quality research on crucial but typical issues such as political parties, public policies, urban-rural divides. Kosovo is still regarded as an "interesting experiment" associated with post-conflict challenges that will hopefully develop into a "boring" case, similar to other small countries in Europe - also for scientific comparison.
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10.12.2015

Call for Participants - Research Academy: Introduction to Social Science Research Methods for Junior Researchers in the Western Balkans, 11-18 April 2016 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Participants will be guided through all stages of the research process and the sessions will be highly interactive and practice-oriented. The program will be delivered by a team of 13 trainers coming from European and regional universities and research institutes. Deadline for applications: 15 January 2016.
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09.12.2015

Round table on research results: "The Politicized Life in Serbia - Rules of the Game“ was held on 30 November in Belgrade, Serbia within the RRPP-funded project Informal Practices of Capturing Economic Resources by Political Elites: Exploring Party Patronage in Kosovo and Serbia. The event unvailed that the employment based on belonging to political party is one of the key mechanisms in the process of 'capturing' of public resources.
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04.12.2015

Now in English: Web Platform PolicyHub Dedicated to Development of Social Research is availabe also in English: http://www.policyhub.net/en and easily accesible at the policy hub twitter account @policyhubWB. The platform is dedicated to the development of social research, with a focus on policy-relevant and applied research in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans.
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02.12.2015

The Round Table on "Migration as social protection: Analysis of Albanian remittance-receiving households" was organized in Elbasan by the Albanian Centre for Socio-Economic Research (ASCER) within the RRPP-funded project Migration as social protection: Analysis of Macedonia, Albanian and Serbian remittance-receiving households. According to the preliminary findings, remittances seem to affect poverty by fueling every-day consumption. Their positive effects are also related to other non-income aspects of vulnerability, such as health, housing and leisure.
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19.11.2015

"To UNESCO or not to UNESCO: Serbian Cultural Heritage in Kosovo between Sovereignty and Protection" by Aleksandar Pavlović and Jelena Lončar has been published at the Balkans in Europe Policy Blog within the RRPP project Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations. It touches upon the legal status of Serbian cultural heritage in Kosovo, its forced adoption and the opposition to its implementation. Shifting the focus from the question of sovereignty to the legal framework of this cultural heritage in Kosovo seems to be the most productive option in the long run.
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18.11.2015

International Workshop for Managers of Research Organizations in the Western Balkans and the EU took place on 19-21 October 2015 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Organized by the Center for Social Research Analitika in cooperation with the RRPP and the Think Tank Fund of the Open Society Foundations it addressed the needs of managers of research organizations while facing obstacles in their daily work: Unpredictable socio-political contexts, insecure sources of funding, high staff turnover and a shortage of trained staff, as well as an increasing competition.
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18.11.2015

International Conference "Informality in Central and South-East Europe: Linkages between Political and Economic Actors" was held at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, on 30-31 October 2015 within the related RRPP research project. It highlighted actors as well as resources of the party patronage in the political field in Serbia.
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18.11.2015

Round table on "Socio-economic position of the remittance-receiving households in Serbia" was held on 2 November in Belgrade and was organized by the Foundation for the Advancement of Economics (FREN) within the related RRPP-funded project. It proves that the received remittances do serve as an informal social protection for households in rural areas and contribute to a decrease of the overall vulnerability of the household.
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06.11.2015

Save the date: International Conference on "Labor Migration and Industrial Citizenship. Albanians on the move - Citizenship, Identity and Development" will be held on 13-14 November 2015 at the University of New York Tirana.
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05.11.2015

Research results of the RRPP project The Impact of Socio-Economic Structure of Rural Population on Success of Rural Development Policy are now available online. Rural areas of Macedonia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina face common problems such as intensive depopulation, low activity on the labour market but at the same time large differences in the socio-economic structure of rural areas between and within the countries, as well as among surveyed farmers and their farm households.
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05.11.2015

Round Table entitled "Young Researchers in Social Sciences: Education and Support" was organized by the Institute of Economic Sciences on 23 October 2015 in Belgrade to present the research on institutional support and education for young researchers in humanities and social sciences.
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05.11.2015

RRPP project Figuring out the Enemy: Re-imagining Serbian-Albanian Relations will be presented on 18 November at the Harriman Institute, Columbia University. In his lecture, Mr Aleksandar Pavlovic will try to identify common views and practices that could deescalate the present enmity and promote cooperation.
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University of Fribourg
Interfaculty Institute for Central and Eastern
Europe

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Tel +41 26 300 79 97
Fax +41 26 300 96 26
office@rrpp-westernbalkans.notexisting@nodomain.comnet