chapter  7
16 Pages

Collaboration of the social science researchers of Central and Eastern European countries in European research programmes during the period 1994–2006


European social sciences and humanities researchers have witnessed and experienced a period of dramatic changes and opportunities during the last 20 years – the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Iron Curtain and globalisation, which have brought a sense of urgency to understand humanity, in all its diversity, and to do this in collaboration. The need for collaboration was a real challenge, because the fragmentation of European social sciences and humanities research by disciplines and by different research traditions was a well known discussion topic. To achieve the research targets, it was crucial to integrate social sciences and humanities (SSH) into multidisciplinary research consortia. In this chapter we give a brief general overview about the performance of

the research collaboration landscape at EU level and specifically about the activities of SSH researchers from Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. All of these countries are now members of the European Union (EU), and belong to the group named ‘New Member States’, or ‘EU-12’. The proportion of researchers from CEE countries constitutes 18.6 per cent of

the total number of EU-27 researchers. At the same time the proportion of social science researchers is higher (19.4 per cent), and the proportion of humanities researchers is lower (17.0 per cent), than the EU-27 average. As stated in the METRIS Report we need to understand better how different models of science organisation and different disciplinary traditions coexist and influence each other in Europe (European Commission 2009a, 31). Participation and competitiveness in research collaboration networks is the terminus a quo to future success.