This is an attempt to start activities in this group. A problem for the communication in our group is perhaps that we do not know each other, i.e. on which topics we are working on in SEE. I propose that the group members may - if they want - present themselves shortly in this discussion forum. These presentations may include your past research and future projects.
From 1999 on I did research on the North Albanian traditional law “Kanun”. From 2000 until 2003 I was around 9 months in Albania. My research focused mainly on the contemporary relevance of Kanun, why it could persist until today and also the role of mediators in conflict mediation. I worked on NGOs for conflict resolution and their impact on the local legal tradition. I am currently a research fellow (“wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter”) at the Philipps-University in Marburg/Germany. For my ongoing research project I left the SEE-region for some time to study (again) traditional law, but this time in the Republic of Georgia.
I haven't yet done research in SEE but I just started developing my PhD project at LSE looking at development projects in Serbia funded and part-implemented by other postsocialist countries, especially those in fields such as 'democratisation', 'civil society building', 'European integration' and the like. I will be interested in the place of international and local NGOs, identity processes and informal practices and networks in all this. I expect to start my fieldwork in the fall of 2010.
I'm about to begin looking for anthropologists/ethnologists in Serbian academic institutions to which I could be formally affiliated as a visiting scholar whilst I'm doing fieldwork there. This should serve two purposes: 1) consultation of my developing work with Serbian scholars, 2) application for an out-going scholarship from the International Visegrad Fund. If anyone knows reading this is a Serbian anthropologist interested in similar issues or knows one, I'll appreciate any recommendations. I know that, from the formal point of view, I'll need an institution (university/academic institute) to host me, but I'd like to start to negotiate this with a colleague sharing my interests and willing to provide advice so that it's all actually meaningful.