Different disciplines in the social sciences are, in the Central European academic sphere, either embedded in a national vision, or at other times open to certain aspects of the western approach. After 1989 and the collapse of the authoritarian regimes dividing Europe into two separate entities, Central Europe turned outwards towards the West. Consequently, though, many academics from Central Europe are better acquainted with France, England or Germany than with their own region.
Specialists on Central Europe are to be found in many diverse countries, universities, faculties and disciplines. In order to have general information on the region as a whole, though, they are often compelled to use articles and books from the Anglophone academic world, often written by a specialist in one or two countries of the region. As a consequence, the information is irrelevant, and the generalisations are often wrong.
In order to grant an advantage to serious research concerning the region, and to increase its quality, it is important to support the creation of networks of young researchers, a step that will facilitate an increase in the quality of knowledge of each country in the context of all of Central Europe.
The Central European Seminar is a joint PhD seminar held by major Central European universities, from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, bringing together their best students during an intensive work-meeting every year. A number of the leading specialists of the region in social sciences (e.g. history, sociology, political science, demography etc...) present lectures and offer guidance to the PhD candidates of the region. The PhD candidates thus share common learning and experiences at a decisive moment of their formation. The Central European Seminar consequently not only favours international dialogue and multidisciplinary debate, but is equally an occasion to create a network of cutting-edge young researchers, meeting formally as well as informally, and capable of exchanging information and reflections in relation to their academic life.