European Rust Belts. West-East Comparisons – and Beyond
International Conference, Regensburg, 7-8 May 2020
Call for Papers
Deadline for submissions: 15 August 2019
Objectives and Principles
The Institute of East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) is one of the largest and longest-established research institutions of its kind in Germany. It has been built on a history of more than 80 years of research into East and Southeast Europe by its predecessor institutes – the Osteuropa-Institut (est. 1952) and the Südost-Institut (est. 1930) – and pursues the goal of developing itself into one of the leading research institutions in this field, both domestically and internationally. Therefore, an important goal of the IOS is its admission into the Leibniz Association. With its network and its research associations the latter offers countless points of contact for the IOS and its further development – which will be to the mutual advantage of both institutions.
The Institute combines historical and economic expertise in interdisciplinary research and seeks to make significant contributions to the development of new perspectives for research into the region of East and Southeast Europe. The Institute conducts both fundamental research and applied research with the goal not only of making important research contributions towards relevant areas of discussion but also of initiating new debates. The research of the IOS positions itself in debates connected on the one hand with regional studies and on the other with the disciplinary areas in general. The continuous further development of its research areas is one of the essential endeavors of the Institute, which, thereby, aims at gaining further expertise in the humanities and social sciences. In doing so, it strengthens its unique features with regard to non-university research into East and Southeast Europe.
Knowledge Transfer and Research Support
A key objective of the IOS is to feed its newly acquired knowledge into societal discourses in the conviction that the area of East and Southeast Europe is an extremely important region for European politics. The Institute therefore makes substantial contributions – both for academia and politics, as well as for the interested general public – to a profound understanding of processes of change in East and Southeast Europe. This knowledge transfer is supported by the IOS Service Division which, as the Institute's second main area of focus (besides research), covers the publication of leading academic journals, book series and standard works, as well as the provision of e-services and a specialist library with more than 320,000 media items. These services are highly research-based and contribute greatly to research into East and Southeast Europe as a whole.
Of central importance to the IOS's profile is its international orientation, which is already grounded in the topics of its research, but is also visible to a high degree in the composition of its staff. The Institute promotes internationalization through its own program for guest scholars and by supervising the work of international scholarship holders from other organizations. It maintains numerous institutionalized cooperative ventures with leading research institutions for East and Southeast European studies and systematically advances this global network in the interest of both its own visibility and research performance. In addition, the IOS library engages in active exchange with more than 250 partner libraries worldwide, thus ensuring the constant updating of its internationally renowned collections. Through the organization of many scholarly events in Germany and abroad, as well as the publication of international journals, the IOS advances scholarly debate internationally and supports the exchange between academic communities in the East and West.
Equal opportunities and equality are part of the Institute's self-image. This pertains both to the Institute's function as employer and to its external activities. The Institute regards equality in a broad sense as the absence of discrimination based on gender, age, sexual orientation, political conviction, nationality, and ethnic and denominational affiliation. To the IOS, non-discrimination applies not only to the Institute's staff, but also to all groups with which the IOS has dealings in its various functions and tasks. The IOS also supports the reconciliation of work and family life. Having an above-average percentage of female employees, the Institute aims particularly at increasing the proportion of women in management positions.
Support of Young Scholars
Promoting young scholars is a further important goal of the IOS. It recognizes the crucial role that non-university institutions play in the support of young scholars and has developed appropriate mechanisms for this purpose. Of major concern to the IOS is the dynamic further development of research into East and Southeast Europe and its embedment in international research discourses. What is needed for this purpose is young scholars who develop original questions and approaches and question conventional paradigms. Being a non-university institution, the IOS offers special opportunities to support young scholars – both at the doctoral and post-doctoral levels (for example, as part of the Graduate School of East and Southeast European Studies). Furthermore, the IOS itself approaches students on relevant courses in this subject area to get them interested at an early stage of their careers in the academic study of East and Southeast Europe. An important goal is the integration of young scholars into international networks. Measures such as these aim at developing the individual academic profiles of young scholars at the earliest possible stage in order to enhance their career opportunities.
The IOS profits from the East and Southeast European expertise that has been built up over the years in Regensburg and constantly develops it further through its special profile and its clear goals for its future development. Being the largest non-university institute of the Regensburg East and Southeast Europe Cluster, it cooperates with complementary, local research institutions such as the Institute of East European Law, the Hungarian Institute and the Research Center for German in Central, East and Southeast Europe. The connection to the University of Regensburg and its widely recognized focus on East and Southeast Europe enables a close cooperation in the structuring of courses of study related to (South) East Europe and in doctoral studies. In this way the IOS offers interested students not only interesting insights into the study of (South) East Europe, but also long-term prospects for developing their individual academic careers. Together with the University of Regensburg the IOS plans to initiate further joint projects (such as a so-called "Academic Campus").
A city with nearly 2,000 years of history and a strong economic dynamic, Regensburg is also an extremely attractive place to live and work. It has one of the largest surviving interconnected medieval old towns, large parts of which are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Many local companies benefit from Regensburg's status as an academic center and create attractive jobs. Through the Danube the city is closely connected to East and Southeast Europe – for the IOS an ideal environment that promotes a creative dynamic.