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An Important Scientific Conference in Serbia

BNRU participated in the 6th International Conference on 'Culture, Policy, and Understanding', which was hosted by the Institute for Political Studies in Belgrade. This year's theme was 'Culture, Nation, State Problems with Identity in the Context of Modern Politics'.

Dr Vladislav Kuchmisty, Vice-Rector for International Cooperation, Dr Marina Polenova, Dean of the Faculty of Sociology, and Dr Alla Krivets, Head of the Political Science and Culture Department, met with Dr Živojin Đurić, the Director of the Institute, on the eve of the Conference.

During the meeting, the main issues on the agenda were aimed at strengthening the ties between the Institute and the University. To this end, it was proposed that we apply for grants together, and that Institute teachers come to Belgorod as guest lecturers, and our students be afforded the opportunity of internships in Belgrade. Particular attention was paid during the talks to the creation of 'Public Policy and Administration' a journal, jointly produced, which will be available in Serbian and Russian. They also discussed the possibility of developing a 'student network' that would bring our students of Political Science closer together. At the end of the meeting, Dr Đurić gifted a rare edition of 'The History of Serbia' to BNRU.

The Conference itself was organised this year for the first time by BNRU's Political Science and Culture Department, together with the Institute for Political Studies, at the Centre for Russian Studies at the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Political Science, with the assistance of its Director Dr Siniša Atlagić. The University has a long-standing partnership with BNRU.

In his opening address, Dr Kuchmisty sent greeting from Professor Oleg Polukhin, Rector of BNRU. Participants in the Conference included representatives from universities and institutes in Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Poland, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Belarus, and Bulgaria.

Papers on various aspects of the identity phenomenon were presented at the Conference. Dr Krivets spoke on the formation of a distinct society, Dr Eva Kurek talked about the role of the Orthodox Church in the process of political transformation, Dr Alexander Korochensky told the Conference about civil media criticism and the political process, and Dr Zoran Milošević revealed problems with the assimilation of Slavic peoples. Dr Andrei Patkul did a philosophical reconstruction of Heidegger's concept of peace, while Dr Polenova spoke on the formation of socio-cultural tolerance, and Dr Ziynara Mukhina looked at the cultural aspects of everyday life. The reports represented a fresh look at the problem of identity in the context of modern globalisation.

After the Conference, Dr Kuchmisty met with the leadership of the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Political Science, and talked about the prospects for further cooperation in scientific research and academic exchange between our universities. He secured an agreement to hold the 7th International Conference on 'Culture, Policy, and Understanding' at BNRU.

 Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Language and Academic Writing

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