Apart from my unconditional passion for the Balkans, this blog takes its vital energy from a more substantive issue I am about to describe.
In Jan. 2011 I had the luck to be selected for a thesis research scholarship aimed at sending students abroad to collect findings for their thesis. Being an international relations student, the scholarship was a rare blessing, which granted me the chance to discover even more the rocky and harsh Montenegro. Pairing that intense research with my previous experiences in Crna Gora, I managed get closer to a decent comprehension of value schemes guiding the various social groups politically active on the independent Montenegrin soil.
Given this unique chance, I decided to use it in the best way I knew, i.e. requesting the support of my supervisors, “forcing” them to follow each and every step of my academic experience.
To cut it short, the pious supervisors of my BA thesis had to suffer a certain amount of emails, in which I carefully described them the then ongoing process of researching, screening texts, interviewing. Every email’s object was: “Dal vostro inviato a Podgorica”, From your own correspondent in Podgorica.
Two years after, the correspondent moved from Podgorica to Bruxelles (some might say it is an evolution. I seriously doubt it). My new field of research will include “control rooms” filled with Eurocrats, posh conferences, spirited aperitivi with political figures.
Two years after, I had to understand that the path towards Orient imperatively passes through Bruxelles. My bridge to the Balkans had to take a detour from the usual path, heading to the European Capital, building a metaphysical (or ephemeral?) branch of my new bridge to Orient.
To put it less philosophical, I am currently researching on my MA thesis, which will investigate upon the possible effects of the superimposition of the acquis communautaire over former Jugoslavian republics’ internal legal systems. I will focus on the consequences for Serbians and Montenegrins, for their values systems, for their traditional institutions and culture.
In order to have a complete picture of the situation, I would not restrict my research in Bruxelles, but I will have the chance to entertain a research period in Serbia, so to corroborate my findings (or destroy them…) directly on the effective field of application of the aforementioned acquis communautaire.
And I will keep you posted.
Your own correspondent in [Bruxelles/ Novi Sad/ Belgrade/ wherever my research will lead me] is once more on the go.