Research Project “Development of Czech Society in the European Union: Challenges and Risks” (2005-2010)
The fundamental objective of this research project is to utilize (empirical and theoretical) interdisciplinary research in order to offer new findings, ascertained within the scope and potential of social and humanities sciences and pointing towards the Czech society’s prospects in the European Union (the researchers being at the same time aware of the equivocal assessment of such prospects across the public and political sphere). Here, the merit of social scientific research is seen not only in serious description and analysis (theoretical explanation) but also in forecasting and outlining possible “unintended”, i.e. unforeseeable effects, planned and intentional activities within the framework of concentrated research of future development options. Without a deep knowledge of this dimension, any decision-making process will be prone to the intolerable risk of practical falsification.
This research project pursues the following four basic objectives:
1. Offer solid description of selected substantive dimensions of the Czech society’s interactions with the European Union and propose some theoretical generalizations,
2. Make contributions to the innovation of theoretical and empirical knowledge about the contemporary (post-) modern societies and their transformation processes (not only in the “post-communist countries” but also in traditional democracies),
3. Deepen the tradition of interdisciplinary studies at coordinated university research centres, and thereby improve their research efficiency while at the same time boost the efficiency of intra-university collaborations in science and research,
4. Wherever permitted by the general and specific possibilities of social sciences (in Czech conditions), offer state, public and civic institutions and organizations with descriptive materials and forecasts but also ideas and tools enabling more effective decision-making and social behaviour.