Introduction "Much was accomplished in those first years in Romania. I'm
pleased to see that some of the institutional relationships that we worked hard to develop
remain productive today. Several of the students our lecturers taught in 1992-94 have gone
on to become Eastern Scholars, perhaps the single most gratifying aspect of our
work." Phillip Henderson, Visiting Lecturer
"Much was accomplished in those first years in Romania. I'm pleased to see that some of the institutional relationships that we worked hard to develop remain productive today. Several of the students our lecturers taught in 1992-94 have gone on to become Eastern Scholars, perhaps the single most gratifying aspect of our work."
Phillip Henderson, Visiting Lecturer
One of the Civic Education Project's oldest programs, CEP Romania was launched in the 1992-93 academic year. Concentrating its efforts in twenty-five departments at universities in Bucharest, Cluj, and Timisoara, the program hosted fifteen Visiting Lecturers (now called Visiting Faculty Fellows) and reached a combined total of well over four hundred students per semester. Over the years, these numbers have continued to grow and, with the addition of Local Faculty Fellows (formerly Eastern Scholars) and Teaching Development Program participants, CEP Romania's success is not only far-reaching but has been a critical factor in the reform efforts in Romanian higher education.
"Being a CEP student opened new horizons for me. Without this organization I would probably not have been able to study abroad and return here to teach. It has given me a whole new vision regarding the system of education. I am now trying to do the same for my students."
Otto Sestak, former CEP student and
During the 2000-01 academic year Civic Education Project supported thirteen Local Fellows, six Visiting Fellows and seven Teaching Development Program Fellows at six Universities in Romania. They taught courses in law, political science, international relations, anthropology, ethnology, history, gender studies, sociology, public policy, and economics. Many Local Faculty Fellows were former CEP students who received advanced degrees from western universities and then returned to Romanian academic life. This represents a significant shift in emphasis toward the Local Faculty Fellow Program and reflects the increasing number of talented local scholars who have been able to stay in academia because of CEP's support.
CEP initiated the Teaching Development Program in 1996 to help Romanian university teachers improve their teaching skills. The project consists of a series of workshops focusing on practical issues, methods and teaching strategies, and of pairing TDP Fellows with Visiting and Local Faculty Fellows as mentors. TDP participants are included in nearly all CEP events and work actively with CEP Fellows in teaching workshops and mentoring programs. The TDP has proven to be a cost-effective way to expand the country team and the impact of CEP's activities in Romania. It also serves as a mechanism for identifying prospective Local Faculty Fellow candidates and for encouraging their applicants to CEP's programs.
"I feel the moral need to underline that CEP has the outstanding merit in shaping and activating the return trend of young intellectuals to the home academic environment through its managerial policies and programs of educational support."
Dr. Tiberiu Alexa, Eastern Scholar Alumnus
CEP Romania publishes its newsletter twice a year. This publication highlights the activities of CEP in Romania, is distributed across the country and internationally, and has helped raise CEP's profile in Romania and the region.
"CEP is not only giving good academics to Eastern Europe, it is returning them [to their home countries] with a broader appreciation of the world, to say nothing of a new language and sharpened teaching skills..."
Dr. Nicholas Sellers, Visiting Lecturer
Conference of the Romanian Society of Political Science (SRSP), organized by CEP Romania (which was a driving force in the establishment of SRSP), New Europe College and SRSP, was held in Bucharest on 26-28 September. More than just a conference, the first national event of the newly established society presented an opportunity for its members to find out about colleagues' research interests. All areas of political studies were represented, from political philosophy to nationalism, to international relations and political institutions. During the course of the conference, it became clear that the Romanian political science community is not isolated, and that it is in the process of integrating into the wider international political science community. This came as no surprise, given the fact that, besides being educated in the best universities in Western Europe and the USA, the young generation of Romanian political scientists maintains close relationships with their former professors and colleagues there and elsewhere in the world.
The first CEP Romania National Student Conference was held in Iasi in November 1993 and included students from the Moldova Program (now part of the CEP Belarus-Ukraine-Moldova Program). Since its inception, the National Student Conference has become an annual event in CEP Romania and one of the highlights of the program. CEP Romania Fellows have also inaugurated a variety of innovative and on-going outreach projects, many of which have become core projects of the program.
From March 9-11, 2001, CEP Romania hosted the 9th Annual Student Conference in Bucharest. Legacies and Challenges in Europe attracted students from Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania, as well as students from Romania, making it for the first time an international event. While examining the economic, political, social, cultural and historical aspects influencing the future of Romania and the region, students from diverse backgrounds and regions had the opportunity to find challenging solutions and common sense ideas relating to troublesome questions in Southeastern Europe.
"As a foreign student I found the opportunity to participate in this conference a great challenge. ... It was really stimulating and beneficial for me, because the interaction with students from another environment was an exciting process. So I greatly appreciate your decision to invite students from abroad to participate in the conference."
Student participant at the 9th Annual National Student Conference
By the end of the conference, students had proposed paths for medium and long-range national development, such as improving minority rights, democratizing various sectors of Romanian life, regional economic cooperation, a change of perspective for Romania's internal and foreign policy, and the role of the media. Proceedings of this conference have been published and donated to university libraries throughout Romania.
"[The conference] was an extremely pleasant surprise [with] high quality papers and good presentations, together with a great organizational effort... The exchange between students, lecturers and guests proved that civic education is working efficiently and, given the proper attention and education, representatives of societies allegedly too different to cooperate can form a team in which academic debate and discussion can successfully replace ideological rhetoric."
Otto Sestak, former CEP student and
CEP Romania is a member of the organizing team of the Balkan Debate Forum, a highlight of the academic year for CEP Romania students, fellows and staff. The goal of the Forum is to help eliminate many of the stereotypes in this region and to encourage students to resolve their differences through dialogue and objective analysis.
From May 14-19, 2001, fifty students from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey convened at the Academy of Economic Studies in Timisoara, Romania for the 6th Annual Debate Forum. Also, about twelve CEP Fellows and staff from Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania actively participated in the forum by guiding the students in developing a bibliography, researching, and improving debating techniques. The students debated on common economic, social and cultural issues facing the region and engaged in constructive discussions aimed at fostering tolerance, mutual understanding and respect for differing opinions.
"I, a Romanian, had to be a coach for an Albanian young woman, a Kosovar young man and a Serbian young man. For three days they worked together as a team, helped each other and shared experiences concerning Balkan history and historians. Their conclusion, at the ethnic evening was 'See, it is possible for us to stay together and not fight.'"
Silvana Rachieru, Local Faculty Fellow,
For more on The Balkan Debate Forum, see the CEP Southeast Europe (Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia) Pages.
Established in October 2000 as an international forum to draw together theorists from different fields of Social Sciences interested in Romania, the RJPS is edited by CEP Romania Fellows and Country Director, Liliana Popescu. The RJPS is a continuation of The Romanian Journal of Liberal Arts, which last year changed its name and profile. The journal now provides Romanian and international scholars with the inter-disciplinary space necessary to develop a critical perspective on, and provide radical responses to, contemporary problems faced by Romanian society.
This internationally refereed publication is the only Romanian journal focusing on inter-disciplinary national and international perspectives. Each issue focuses on a theme including a broad range of topics from international relations and economics, to public policies and human rights, and contains scholarly articles, short essays and book reviews written by prominent scholars.
The RJPS welcomes papers that address theoretical, empirical or methodological issues as long as they are relevant to contemporary Romanian politics, society or culture.
The autumn 2001 issue of the RJPS will address the theme, "Romania and the European Union," including all aspects of Romanian-EU relations, the progress or effects of integration, as well as the social, political, and economic problems and challenges associated with Romania's policies vis-ŕ-vis the European Union, along with possible policy solutions.
The spring 2002 issue will explore "Corruption and Development." The Editors welcome submission of manuscripts dealing with causes and types of corruption, broadly conceived from a variety of perspectives, such as history, political science, law, international relations, economy, sociology, and anthropology. Analyses of the mechanisms of corruption, of the impact of various forms of corruption on social and political life, the interference of corruption in development processes, the legal aspects of corruption, and of the national, regional, and international mechanisms of fighting corruption are encouraged. Empirical research with specific reference to Romania is particularly welcome.
Manuscripts are accepted on the understanding that their content is original. Reviews of relevant books, review articles, and discussion pieces are also considered for publication. For further information please visit the CEP Romania website or contact The Editors.
Between September 23-28, 2000, CEP Romania, in conjunction with the Tranzit Foundation (Cluj), the Institute for Cultural Anthropology at the Faculty of European Studies (Cluj), the Institute of European Ethnology at Humbolt University (Berlin) and the Cultural Anthropology Program at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest), organized a conference and workshop at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj. Anthropology and Representations of Eastern Europe: Topics, Debates and Disciplinary Boundaries centered on the emergence of cultural and social anthropology in Eastern Europe after 1989. The conference united graduate students and scholars from West and East whose research and academic interests pertain to this region. CEP Fellow Viorel Anastasoaie (University of Babes-Bolyai, Anthropology) was instrumental in bringing this event to fruition.
Beginning on the 17th of November 2000, the Department of Political Science at Babes-Bolyai University hosted the Fifth National Student Colloquium in Political Science and International Relations. Initiated by the Political Science Students Association from Babes-Bolyai University, the two-day event enjoyed active participation from its two CEP Fellows in the Political Science Department, Olivia Rusu-Toderean and Romana Careja.
In October 1998, CEP Fellow Enikö Demeny, with the support of the Open Society Institute's Gender Studies Small Grant Program, founded the Information and Documentation Center on Gender Studies and Feminism. Established within the framework of the Institute of Anthropology at Cluj, the Center strives to institutionalize Gender Studies in Romanian universities and to encourage interdisciplinary research on gender related issues. The Cultural Construction of Gender, a course for MA Students in European Cultural Anthropology in the Faculty of European Studies at the University Babes-Bolyai in Cluj, introduced gender perspectives to students from different fields of social sciences. The Center has since established an MA program in Gender Studies at the Faculty of European Studies. Since September 1999 the Center has been involved in the Desire Foundation for Social Reflection Program.
In 1998-99, at the initiative of Dr. Tiberiu Alexa, CEP Fellow Alumnus in Baia Mare, CEP Romania inaugurated The Guest Lecture Series. Under this program, CEP Fellows at various universities host a Guest Lecture event to which Fellows from other universities in the country or region are invited to present public lectures on thematic topics. The first event took place in October 1998 at Baia Mare and the second was held at A. I. Cuza University in Iasi in February 1999. The press reviews of the first event in Baia Mare evaluated the impact of CEP, stressing that "events like this add vitality to academic life in Romania."
A Roundtable Discussion on the Governmental Discrimination Ordinance, organized in the framework of the German Marshall Fund project, focused on gender discrimination. CEP Fellow Romanita Iordache (University of Bucharest), in collaboration with Country Director Liliana Popescu, initiated the event, which was held at the American Center. Participants included members of NGOs working in the field of domestic violence.
CEP Fellow Laszlo Foszto, (Babes-Bolyai University) is part of a joint regional research project to evaluate economic, environmental and social conditions in some carefully selected communities in several countries (Hungary, USA, Romania, and Ukraine). The project was initiated during the CEP Eastern Scholar roundtable held in Gödöllo, Hungary. The inaugural research team consisted of CEP Hungary Fellows, György Pataki and Kinga Milánkovics, Wynne Wright (CEP Hungary alumna and sociologist from University of Minnesota), Yuriy Vergeles (ecologist from Kharkiv State Academy of Municipal Economy), and László Fosztó.
"The first pilot study will be carried out in a settlement in Hungary, where I was invited to do ethnographic fieldwork during this summer. The experiences of this research could enhance the perspective of my teaching in the next years. I would like to recruit talented students in an advanced stage of their studies in order to include them in the Romanian team. As a major element of the reform of the higher education, I would like to bring social research and teaching closer. This means not only the use of results of recent researches in the education process, but also to encourage students to participate in all stages of social scientific research."
Veronica Junjan (University of Bucharest) taught a course in Research Methodology in Social Sciences (Certificate Degree in Public Administration) offered by the Faculty of Management, Gdansk University between 19-24 February.
In addition to his work at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Stephen Blackwell taught a short course on "European Diplomacy" to students at the Anglo-American College in Prague during the second semester, at the invitation of CEP Alumna Anne Boris. It was an intensive course lasting three and half weeks, in which the students had to submit a short document analysis and take an exam.
In April 2001, Romanita Iordache coached a team of law students for participation in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition in Washington, D.C. Romanita also helped set up a Refugee Clinic in cooperation with the Romanian National Council for Refugees and the University of Bucharest Law School, and wrote an article, "Behind the Velvet Curtain: On the Anti-Discrimination Law in Romania" for the Public Interest Law Initiative (Columbia Law School). Click here to read Romanita's article.
This year the selection for the CEP International Student Conference took place in Cluj. CEP Fellows from Cluj and Oradea -- Veronica Junjan, Laszlo Foszto, Viorel Anastasoaie, Gavril Olar, Steven Blackwell and Romana Careja -- sat on the committee that evaluated over 70 proposals from Bucharest, Iasi, Satu-Mare, Timisoara and Cluj.
CEP Romania Website
The Romanian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
Romanian Society of Political Science (SRSP)
Romanian Links Page
UK Travel Advice
US Consular Information Sheet
Universities Hosting CEP Fellows
Al. I. Cuza University
University Babes-Bolyai, Cluj
National School for Political Studies and Public Administration
University of Oradea
University of the West