The Black Sea has always been an area of vivid economic and cultural exchange, located at the intersection of different political systems and local cultures. Depending on the historical moment, the economic and cultural exchange varied, leading to the development of national cultures in the area, having their own individuality and bearing at the same time the touch of the common history. Thus, this is the place where the Byzantine Empire, followed by the Ottoman Empire, met with Russia and with the influences of West European culture in the Middle Ages. Later on, during the Cold War, this is the place where the Soviet Union and its satellite countries from Southeast Europe met with modern Turkey, which was at the time a member of NATO. After 1991, the area witnessed the political changes that occurred after the former USSR dissolved, which came together with the development of new national states and with significant changes of political and economic systems, as well as with new international alliances. All these cultural encounters, together with the clash of various political systems may led to the development of a unique cultural space, fostering political identities and social values.
This topic aims at studying the culture and identity in the Black Sea area, inquiring the existence of a common political identity relying on a similar cultural background. The research project builds on the revised modernization theory, combining several perspectives rooted in The end of history and the last men of Francis Fukuyama, Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations and Inglehart’s Cultural Evolution to shed light on how the struggle for survival combined with the clash of various political and religious cultures lead to the development of a common cultural and political identity with significant impact on the path to social development of the region.
The topic proposes an interdisciplinary approach by bringing together contributions from political science, sociology, international relations and security studies to analyze what is the common background of cultural and social identity in the Black Sea area and what are the roots of this background. In defining the Black Sea region we suggest going beyond the geographical and historical perspectives and also consider trade, geopolitics, existing international and regional policy initiatives and international relations/organizations operating in the region. We encourage submissions approaching the topic from a holistic perspective, looking at the cultural space, not limited to the geographical one, inquiring to what extent the historical path contributed to the creation of a common cultural space and what is the contribution of economics, politics, and international relations to its development. Can we talk about a single cultural frontier relying on the common heritage or about several frontiers delineating distinctive sub-regional cultural patterns? Submissions using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods and employing an interdisciplinary perspective are equally welcome.
Keywords: Black Sea area; Social values; political identities; path dependency; modernization theory.
31 August 2022 - Abstract
31 October 2022 - Manuscript