Department of Political Studies

Department of Political Studies
Department of Political Studies

Dr. Zsuzsa Csergő Receives Prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowship

Dr. Zsuzsa CsergoThe Department of Political Studies is pleased to announce that Dr. Zsuzsa Csergő, Associate Professor and Department Head, has been awarded the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual research fellowship for her project entitled “Minority Civil Society, Interethnic Peace and Sustainable Democracy.”

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to hold a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellowship,” says Dr. Csergő. “This award will enable me to expand existing comparative research about the sources of democratic resilience in multiethnic societies in an exciting direction.  I am enthusiastic about the possibility of creating a comparative index of minority civil society institutions.  An open-access online version of this index will be hosted by the Centre for the Study of Democracy and Diversity at Queen’s, and my longer-term goal is gradually to broaden its comparative scope through future collaborative projects.”

Dr. Csergő’s research takes a comparative approach in exploring the relationship between state-driven majoritarian nationalism and the global increase in ethnic diversity. This research begins by creating a comparative index of minority civil society institutions that minority populations use for ethnic boundary-making, based on the patterns observable among ten minority populations in post-communist Europe. The research will also identify those combinations of minority civil society institutions that are most likely to provide resources for democratic (vs. violent) forms of minority contestation and sustainable inter-ethnic peace, and it will assess the impact of external support on the development of minority civil society. The research will involve extensive data collection on intra-ethnic “bonding” and inter-ethnic “bridging” institutions maintained by ten minority communities in three sub-regions of post-communist Europe.

This fellowship is part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) program, a set of “mobility research grants” created in 1996 by the EU/European Commission to promote exceptional interdisciplinary research and international collaboration.  The program honors the legacy of Marie Skłodowska-Curie, the Polish-French scientist who was the first female Nobel Prize winner and the first (and only woman) to receive a Nobel Price twice. Currently, the MSCA is financed through the EU’s largest research and innovation program called “Horizon 2020” (as part of the first pillar, “Excellent Science”). The fellowships are among Europe’s most competitive and prestigious research awards.

Dr. Csergő’s host institution is the Centre for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz (Austria), which includes leading scholars in this field and provides an excellent research environment. The two-year research project will begin on September 15, 2019.