Blue Bird Project: Agenda for Civil Society in South-East Europe
At the beginning of the 21st century the real challenge of reconstruction of Southeast Europe is the re-invention of Southeast Europe. The "Agenda for Civil Society in Southeast Europe" was a three-year long research project, co-funded and coordinated by the Center for Policy Studies at the CEU Budapest, and involving the Centre for Liberal Strategies, the Centre for Advanced Studies in Sofia, the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, the New Europe College in Bucharest, and the United Nations Development Program's Bratislava Regional Center among others.
The project, surrealistically nicknamed Blue Bird, started with the assumption that the invention of the region requires the construction of a common regional vision and the emergence of a regional public debate. The Blue Bird was an attempt to formulate such a vision and to assist the emergence of civic regional debate in Southeast Europe. The project’s primary ambition was to reflect on the reconstruction of Southeast Europe, both as an intellectual challenge and a policy challenge. The current debate has never addressed the production of knowledge and innovative ideas about the region as a distinctive problem. The international community fails to recognize the lack of local knowledge as a specific and powerful obstacle for the region’s development. This is one of the reasons why the academic community and the intellectual community in general remained marginal in the initial stages of debate about what to do in the Balkans.
Research was organized into four interdisciplinary research groups, each consisting of up to six scholars from the region/or born in the region/, each focusing on a specific theme. The research work was coordinated by the Bulgarian scholar Ivan Krastev, who originally envisioned the project. In order to secure sufficient coherence and coordination of the project the Center for Policy Studies acted as the resource center and as the administrative coordinator of the project.
1. Research Group 1: “How the Politics of Social Inclusion is Possible in South East Europe?”
2. Research Group 2: “How the Regional Economies Can be Integrated in the Global Economy?”
3. Research Group 3: “What is the Future of the Nation States in South East Europe?”
4. Research Group 4: “How to think about the Balkans: Culture, Region, Identities”