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IRSR 2014 : Higher Education in Socialist East-Central Europe - Economic Planning, Fields of Study, Human Capital Formation


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Submission Deadline Mar 15, 2014

Call For Papers

Call for papers: ‘Higher Education in Socialist East-Central Europe - Economic Planning, Fields of Study, Human Capital Formation’, special issue of International Review of Social Research, Volume 4, Issue 2, June, 2014.

Guest editors: Bogdan Murgescu (University of Bucharest, Faculty of History) and Jan Sadlak (IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence, Paris)

International Review of Social Research ( is inviting submission of papers for a special issue dedicated to Higher Education in Socialist East-Central Europe, with a special focus, but not limited to, on economic planning, fields of study and human capital formation.

The second half of the 20th century was a period of remarkable economic growth, when the needs of the economy demanded the swift upgrading of the skills and competences of the labor force. It was also a period of significant expansion of secondary and tertiary education. In many countries, higher education was considered increasingly relevant for the social and economic development. This was particularly true also in the countries of Socialist East-Central Europe, where education was subject to centralized planning and shaped to fit the requirements of the economy. As the massive development of industry was considered crucial for economic success, the main task of education became to supply the qualified labor force for the expanding industrial sector, and therefore technical education became central at the level of secondary and higher education. Nevertheless, the attitudes of the communist decision-makers towards tertiary education graduates were ambivalent, and the socialist countries lagged behind Western Europe in the overall expansion of higher education.

Within this special issue, we are particularly interested in research papers exploring topics that aim at giving perspectives and possible answers to questions such as:
- How close was the relationship between economic planning and the allocation of higher education study places in the various socialist countries? What were the main parameters considered by communist decision-makers and/or planners?
- Did the system allow also some agency from below? Which social groups and/or institutions were able to express a voice in the decision-making process? To what degree were the institutions of higher education able to influence the allocation of resources inside the socialist system?
- How do we measure the human capital formation inside the socialist societies? How did the stock of higher education graduates evolve in different communist countries? How did the socialist system integrate the graduates of tertiary education? How big was the wage differential between employees with secondary education and graduates of tertiary education? How did this wage differential vary in time?

Papers can be submitted by e-mail at: Please include “Submission for Higher Education in Socialist East-Central Europe” in the subject field of your e-mail. Authors are kindly asked to consult and adhere to the full author guidelines for submission available at: The deadline for submissions is March 15th, 2014. This special issue is scheduled to be published in June 2014. International Review of Social Research is indexed in multiple databases, including EBSCO and CEEOL (more details available at

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