Bozoki on Research at CEU

Hungarian Sunday paper Vasarnapi Hirek writes about research at Hungarian universities. Universities and colleges have fallen victim to numerous austerity measures in the past couple of years, and most institutions were forced to economize on research and development. Moreover, natural sciences have been recently more favored in the domain of major research projects, while certain areas of social sciences have come under political attacks. At least this is what professor of CEU’s Political Science Department and Chairman of the Political Science Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) Andras Bozoki claims. Bozoki was the Minister of National Cultural Heritage from 2005 to 2006. As he explains, social sciences have been pushed into the background because they conduct experimental research, and their research results cannot be tested in a laboratory environment, thus they seem less scientific. “For example, in the case of analyzing voting results, you cannot replicate the elections. One-off events have to be examined, in which the impacts of the environment cannot be eliminated by experimental means.” At the same time, the institutions within the academy have been reformed, social science institutions are operating under a new name as centers, and areas that used to be researched in different institutions are now brought together in one. The latter usually employ young colleagues with a 1-2 year contract, whose job is partly to find funding for their research from tenders. As described by Bozoki, the prevailing mentality is “if you want to do research, find the money for it.” On the other hand, the research carried out at CEU, due to the international character of education there, focuses not so much on Hungary, but rather, on the region and European and global issues: the relationship of sectoral policies and political decision-making, the impacts of globalization, the role of women in politics, the changes of political ideas, the advance of Islam and its impact on Western powers. There is a strong focus on the post-Soviet region and the examination of countries hinged between dictatorship and democracy and hybrid regimes. CEU can support these research topics only with a limited amount, so funding can be obtained mostly from international and EU calls. Researchers often have to work in an international cooperation with co-financing. “One of my colleagues who teaches in Scotland is doing research on the advance of Islam in Turkey with the help of an American sponsor,” says Bozoki.

Due to copyright regulations the article is available in the print version of Vasarnapi Hirek, 2014.09.21. (pp.15-16, Aki tudos akar lenni...)