PROFESSOR ZDZIS?AW MACH is Professor of Sociology, Social Anthropology and European Studies, holding the post of Director of the Centre for European Studies since 1993. From 1993-99 he served as Dean of the Facult y of Philosophy, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, and Head of Social Anthropology Section of the Institute of Sociology since 1997. He is a Permanent Visiting Professor at the Central European University, Warsaw, having held visiting professorships and fellowships at many academic institutions including: University of Oxford; University Paul Valery, Montpellier III; University College Dublin; European University Institute, Florence; University of Chicago; Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies; and the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh.
It is not very easy for me to make comments on the paper, which I liked very much. There are several points on which I would like to be polemical. Let me first say that my own experience comes from Poland, to some extent also Hungary, and the Czech Republic, but I have very little experience in the former Soviet Union, and this makes my situation here rather difficult because I have a feeling that a lot of what you have said would be more relevant to Russia and the former Soviet Union than to other countries, although I may be mistaken. You have said yourself that you would not like to consider the whole region of Eastern Europe as homogenous. On the other hand I don’t want just to say that Poland is different, because it is not very helpful to say such things.
I am pleased to address such a distinguished audience. I would like to share with you a few thoughts on the current situation in the region east of Berlin. Let me first say that the Universities of Eastern and Central Europe are in search of new identities in their societies, a new role for universities to play in Europe and in the global context. They want not only to fulfil the role of Research and Education centres, but also something which has not been done for generations: cooperation with industries and non-academic public institutions.