International Projects

Researchers from the Faculty of Arts have been recently involved (individually or as a team) into several international research projects.

2017 – 2018: Comprehending & Debating EuroScepticism (CODES) (Aneta Világi, PhD. Department of Political Science)

Grant Scheme: Europe for Citizens - Democratic Engagement and Civic Participation

Currently, we face mutually reinforcing threats to the idea of European integration due to internal crises (and their misuse by Eurosceptic populists) and geopolitical challenges which support de-stabilization tendencies mainly within the CEE societies. The CODES project aims to contribute to citizens’ acknowledgement of the Union benefits and European values by stimulating debate and reflection.  To achieve the objective of the project, there are four specific targets to reach:

  1. Identify the sources of Euroscepticism among citizens.
  2. Increase awareness of the EU contribution to the well-being of its peoples in the fields that matter to EU citizens in their daily lives.
  3. Discuss the sources of Euroscepticism with the local leaders and identify possible ways how to address Euroscepticism as a part of their daily work.
  4. Spread the knowledge on sources of Euroscepticism and specific attempts to address it in meaningful way.  

The targets will be reached via interactive debates with citizens, round-table discussions with local opinion leaders and dissemination events in Bratislava and Brussels. The project will provide  “food for thought” that might be used by EU institutions in drafting process of communication strategy ahead of the campaign leading to EP elections in 2019.

Eight organizations from 7 EU countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia) are involved in the project. Comenius University is a leading institution in CODES project and will provide consortium management and implementation of project activities in Slovakia.

2016 – 2019: Good intentions, mixed results – A conflict sensitive unpacking of the EU comprehensive approach to conflict and crisis mechanisms (EUNPACK)- 

Project partner for Comenius University:  Faculty of Arts, Department of Political Science (Project leader: Prof. Jozef Bátora, Ph.D.)

Research consortium: Norsk Utenrikspolitisk Institutt  (NUPI), Norway - Coordination

The University of Manchester, United Kingdom, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany 

Centre for European Policy Studies , Belgium, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia,

Scuola Superiore di Studi  Universitarie di Perfzionamento Sant´Anna, Italy, Beogradski centar za bezbednosnu politiku udruzenje, Serbia, Kosovar Centre for Security Studies KCSS, Kosovo * UN resolution, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine, Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain, Tunisia, Alliance pour Refonder la Gouvernance en Afrique, Senegal, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), Afghanistan, Middle East Research Institute (MERI), Iraq

Grant Scheme: Horizon 2020 - The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation;

Project annotation: The EUNPACK project unpacks EU crisis response mechanisms, with the aim to increase their conflict sensitivity and efficiency. By combining bottom–up perspectives with an institutional approach, EUNPACK will increase our understanding of how EU crisis responses function and are received on the ground in crisis areas. This entails exploring local agencies and perceptions in target countries without losing sight of the EU’s institutions and their expectations and ambitions. It also entails examining the whole cycle of crisis, from pre-crisis, through crisis, and into post-crisis phase.

EUNPACK analyses two gaps in EU crisis response. First, the intentions–implementation gap, which relates to 1) the capacity to make decisions and respond with one voice and to deploy the necessary resources, 2) how these responses are implemented on the ground by various EU institutions and member states, and 3) how other actors – local and international – enhance or undermine the EU’s activities. Second, the project addresses the gap between the implementation of EU policies and approaches, and how these policies and approaches are received and perceived in target countries, what we refer to as the implementation¬–local reception/perceptions gap. Our main hypothesis is that the severity of the two gaps is a decisive factor for the EU’s impacts on crisis management and thereby its ability to contribute more effectively to problem-solving on the ground. We analyse these gaps through cases that reflect the variation of EU crisis responses in three concentric areas surrounding the EU: the enlargement area (Kosovo, Serbia), the neighbourhood area (Ukraine, Libya), and the extended neighbourhood (Mali, Iraq, Afghanistan). The results of our research will enable us to present policy recommendations fine-tuned to making the EU’s crisis response mechanisms more conflict and context sensitive, and thereby more efficient and sustainable.

2016 – 2019: Cultural Opposition: Understanding the Cultural Heritage of Dissent in the Former Socialist Countries (COURAGE)

Project partner for the Comenius University: Faculty of Arts, Department of Musicology, Project leader: Assoc. Prof. Vladimír Zvara, PhD.

Institutional members of the research consortium: Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences; Trinity College, Dublin (Ireland); The Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) Regensburg (Germany); Institute of Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Lithuanian Institute of History, Vilnius; Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic); University of Bucharest (Romania); Croatian Institute of History, Zagreb; Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia); University of Oxford (United Kingdom); Institute for Computer Science and Control, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Grant Scheme: Horizon 2020 - The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation; Call: H2020-Reflective Society 2015

Project Annotation: Twelve outstanding universities and research institutes of ten countries, including the research team of the Faculty of Arts formed a research consortium to explore the cultural heritage of the post – socialist countries. The project will create an electronic registry of representative online and offline, private and public collections of cultural opposition in all former socialist countries in Europe and to study the origins, uses and changing roles of these collections in their social, political and cultural contexts. It will also further an understanding of how these (private and public, alternative and mainstream) collections work, what functions they serve in their respective societies, and how they represent their holdings to the public. The project will examine the legal and political circumstances that determined the collections before 1989 and the conditions that shape them in the post-socialist period. The analyses of the collections will identify various types of cultural opposition.

The project will collect material from all former socialist countries in Europe including the member states of the European Union (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia) and the candidate states (Serbia, Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina), as well as ex-Soviet states (Ukraine, Moldova). An electronic registry of representative digital and offline, private and public collections on cultural opposition during the communist-era cultural will be created, both in the original languages and in English. At the same time, descriptions of and guides to the collections will be provided. For every participating country a country report on the collections will be available.

Research outcomes and digital collections will be accompanied by a carefully developed curricula, pedagogical recommendations and digital content for educational purposes. A documentary film festival, travelling and online exhibitions and local media events on the collected cultural heritage will be organised. Approximately 150 researchers both from Eastern and Western Europe will contribute to the research.

cultural-opposition.eu

2015-2016: Democratic Governance and Differentiation in Europe
Project Leader: Assoc. Prof. Jozef Bátora, Ph.D., Department of Political Science
Project Partner: ARENA- Centre for European Studies, University of Oslo (Norway)

Grant schema: EEA Scholarship Programme Slovakia

Project Annotation: Processes of European integration have been developing in multiple and varying directions in recent decades. Countries in Europe have been developing various forms of attachment to the institutional arrangements of political and economic governance in the European Union. European integration, in short, is not and for the foreseeable future will not be a unifying and coherent process leading towards one dominant type of political unification process across countries in Europe. Slovakia and Norway are examples of countries with various degrees of integration into the EU’s political order. A comparative approach using the two country contexts as a point of departure and extending the research scope towards other country contexts in Europe and beyond provides a fertile ground for the study of differentiation and democratic governance in today’s Europe. The current project addresses this issue area and seeks to establish lasting cooperation between Comenius University as the leading political science milieu in Slovakia and ARENA at the University of Oslo as a leading European center of research excellence on democratic governance in Europe. The project sets up frameworks for transfer of a successful set of best practices in managing research and teaching excellence on the PhD level in the field of democratic governance.
Web: www.teritoria.sk

2012–2015: IRISS: Increasing resilience in surveillance societies

Project member: Assoc. Prof. Erik Láštic, Ph.D., Department of Political Science
Institutional members of the research consortium: Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology (Austria), Trilateral Research & Consulting (UK), University of Stirling (UK), University of Edinburgh (UK), Eotvos Karoly Policy Institute (Hungary), Institute of Technology Assessment (Austria), University of Sheffield (UK), University of Hamburg (Germany), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), Open University (UK), Universitat de Barcelona (Spain), Comenius University (Slovakia), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V (Germany), Peace Research Institute Oslo (Norway), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy), Universität der Bundeswehr München (Germany)

Grant Scheme: Seventh Framework Programme

Project abstract: IRISS reconstructed the spread of surveillance systems and technologies in public and private sectors from the perspective of their impact on the fabric of a democratic society. The project focused on the observable effects and everyday understanding of surveillance in contemporary Europe, analysed differences within and between individual societies and matched the observable effects against the situation in other parts of the world.

The project pursued a strategy of in-depth analysis of a broad range of carefully selected cases, applying a mix of methods to produce a comprehensive account of the effects that surveillance can have on public discourse, perceived security and citizens’ fears. IRISS analysed citizens’ interpretations with regard to the effects they can have on different policies in the fight against crime and terrorism.

This empirical research informed an analysis designed to explore options for increasing social, economic and institutional resilience. IRISS produced a comprehensive account of resilience options, focusing on strengthening democratic processes and public discourse about appropriate reactions towards threats against open democratic societies.

Stakeholder engagement was key to the success of IRISS and the consortium involved stakeholders in expert workshops, an international advisory board as well as by other direct contacts.

Objectives: The IRISS project had the following main objectives: A) To investigate the emergence, development and deployment of surveillance technologies, their impact on basic rights and their social and economic costs; B) To design a theoretical framework of understanding which captures core dimensions of the relationship between surveillance and democracy and which can be utilised to explore these relations empirically; C) To understand and reconstruct citizens’ views and understanding of surveillance and their options to exercise their democratic rights in surveillance societies; D) To identify and analyse the options for enhancing social, economic and institutional resilience in European societies.

The project concluded in January 2015. Web: irissproject.eu

2011–2014: INPROFOOD – Towards inclusive research programming for sustainable food innovations

Project member: Assoc. Prof. Zuzana Kiczková, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. Mariana Szapuová, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy and History of Philosophy

Institutional members of the research consortium: University of Hohenheim (Germany), DIALOGIK gemeinnützige Gesellschaft für Kommunikations- und Kooperationsforschung mbH (Germany), Sociedade Portuguesa de Inovação (Portugal), Maastricht University (Netherlands), University of Surrey (UK), Observa – Science in Society (Italy), World Health Organization (WHO) – Regional Office for Europe (Denmark), Foundation for Research and Technology (Greece), European Food Information Council (Belgium), Lebensmittelwissenschaftliche Beratung (Germany), Gene Rowe Evaluations (UK), European Network of Science Centres and Museums (Belgium), Science Shop Vienna - Wissenschaftsladen Wien (Austria), Hacettepe University (Turkey), Centro tecnológico agroalimentario (Spain), University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Comenius University (Slovakia), Agropolis International (France)

Grant Scheme: Seventh Framework Programme

Project abstract: Food and health is a highly complex societal challenge and public engagement in research requires ever more focus. Over the past decade, most EU Member States have identified food and health as key priorities. This is in response to increases in obesity and diet-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases amongst their populations.

Attempts to increase public awareness of appropriate ways to eat more healthily though do not seem to have led to significant changes in patterns of food purchase and consumption. It has become obvious that the development of effective measures for improvement is a demanding task and requires further systematic research and innovative approaches. INPROFOOD is determined to tackle this hugely ambitious task during 3 years of intensive activities. Their aim is to foster dialogue and mutual learning between industry, academia and civil society already in the earliest stages of the research processes directed towards developing innovative approaches (technical and social) for dealing with the food and health challenge. INPROFOOD was materialized with the basis that social discourse among research institutions, industry and civil society is therefore to be considered as a basic pre-requisite for moving towards a more reliable and achievable vision.

Aims and objectives: INPROFOOD aims to find new ways to establish dialogue and mutual learning between industry, academia and civil society and achieves it through workpackages aimed at: A) promoting bottom-up development of concepts (processes and structure) of societal engagement in food and health research; B) investigating current processes and structures in the area of food and health in both private and public research sectors and the role ‘Public Engagement in Research’ takes in these sectors; C) developing stakeholder engagement programs both at national and European levels; D) stimulate the adoption of concrete initiatives of societal engagement in food and health research already in the course of the project by forming an action plan that draws insights from various workshops; E) improving the current methodology used in Science in Society (SiS) projects through evaluation of the methodology implemented during the planned project in relation to its objectives and expected impacts; F) keeping the target audience and wider audience informed regarding the advances of the project by continuously disseminating relevant information using various communication tools and channels; G) additionally supporting and complementing existing FP7 programmes KBBE and HEALTH through establishing cooperations with approved projects and implementing joint activities.

Web: http://www.inprofood.eu

2013: Visegrad Eastern Partnership Literary Award

Project Director: Assoc. Prof. Ľubor Matejko, Ph.D., Department of Russian and East European Studies

Institutional members of the research consortium: Charles University (Czech Republic), Péter Pázmány Catholic University (Hungary), Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary), Slovak Academy of Science (Slovakia), Prešov University (Slovakia) and 20 partners from Eastern Partnership Countries

Donor: International Visegrad Fund

Project abstract: The Visegrad Eastern Partnership Award project (VEaPLA) presents authors of poetry, fiction and non-fiction literary works from countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldavia and Ukraine) to readers from Central Europe.

The ambition of the project is to create a platform for a cooperation among intellectuals working in the field of literature of the post-Soviet area and in the V4 countries, to support important cultural personalities and ideals of freedom of literary creation.
Within the project, a database of authors, literary reviews, publishing houses and literary awards, festivals, competitions and events of the literary life scene in the countries of the Eastern Partnership is being created.

Web: http://www.veapla.eu

2013–2016: Implementation and Development of Korean Studies at the Comenius University in Bratislava

Project Director: Assoc. Prof. Martin Slobodník, Ph.D., Department of East Asian Studies

Donor: Academy of Korean Studies, Overseas Korean Studies Incubation Program

Project abstract: The aim of the proposed project is to implement, develop and further strengthen the Korean Studies

Program at the Department of East Asian Studies, Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. The Korean Studies B.A. program have been established only recently (September 2012) and the project will make a significant impact on its enhancement in the initial phase. The research team includes the Project Director (Assoc. Prof. Martin Slobodník, Ph.D.), three Collaborative Researchers (Visiting Prof. Sang Myungsik, M.A., Ms. Zuzana Vavrincová, M.A., MIS., Mr. Miloš Procházka, M.A.), and one Research Assistant (B.A. student), all of them are affiliated with the Department of East Asian Studies.

The project consist of interrelated modules which will together help to further enhance Korean Studies Program in order to become a competitive centre of Korean Studies research and teaching in Central Europe. Module 1: Development of the Curriculum – the main focus of the research proposal is the development of the curriculum through the invitation of the visiting experts (namely Assoc. Prof. Park Tae Gyun, Ph.D.; Assoc. Prof. Eun Kisoo, Ph.D.; Assoc. Prof. Miriam Löwensteinová, Ph.D.; Ms. Codruța Sîntionean, Ph.D.; Ms. Diana Yuksel, Ph.D.; Mr. Marek Zemánek, M.A.) who will deliver courses on selected subjects and the preparation of the teaching materials (two textbooks: Korean Language Textbook for Beginners; Dictionary of everyday vocabulary of the Korean language for foreigners). Module 2: Improvement of the Academic Infrastructure – the project will enable us to acquire technical equipment (notebooks, data projector) and this will append the current technical equipment of the Korean Studies Section of the Department of East Asian Studies. Acquisition of Academic Publications: The Korean Studies have no academic tradition in Slovakia, therefore it is inevitable to improve the Korean Studies reference library through acquisition of academic literature in Korean and Western languages.

The project will provide an important synergic effect and comprehensively improve both the “hardware” (technical equipment, library) as well as the “software” (visiting lecturers, two textbooks) of the Korean Studies at the Comenius University in their incubation phase. Meanwhile the staff will prepare – in consultations with visiting experts – a detailed and thought-out M.A. Korean Studies program (two years, to be launched in September 2016) thus establishing a full-fledged Korean Studies academic program at Comenius University. The project will also result in the development of scholarly networks and considerable strengthening of the ties of our Department with other academic institutions from the field of Korean Studies.