Theme of the conference

Bulgarian Sociological Association (BSA) as the leading partner in collaboration with the national sociological associations of Romania, Serbia and Northern Macedonia initiate a regional conference on the topic of Trust and Well-Being in the Balkans, aiming to provide forum for comparative analysis, based on the data and findings of the European Social Survey.

The European Social Survey (ESS) is an academically initiated, cross-national study, conducted every two years since 2001 with the support of the European Commission and the European Science Foundation. The BSA initiative for such a conference is supported by the ESS consortium.

The Balkans region presents a complex picture of similarities and differences, intertwining histories and projects for the future, that challenge us to use the resources of comparative data and findings to outline new research approaches and sociological understandings of the region. This is why the main goal of the conference is to provide a forum for comparative analysis, based on the data and findings of the European Social Survey (ESS) across the Balkan countries and beyond. As an academically initiated, cross-national study, which is conducted every two years since 2001, the ESS offers rich and reliable data to fulfill this goal. ESS data show that there is a connection between trust in institutions, the legitimacy of democracy and a personal sense of well-being. It is in this perspective that the analysis of problems with comparative data from the Balkans and other European regions could open possibilities for the development of important theoretical accounts; for better understanding of the processes of democracy building in this region (each country faces specific challenges); for the formulation of more effective public policies. In this sense, the conference aims to hold a high-level academic and research forum, but at the same time to retain the aim of public sociology, i.e. to participate in the formulation of public policies. The issue of the relationship between trust and well-being is interesting not only in the Balkans perspective. Contemporary societies – which we often describe as „individualized”, “fragmented”and “accelerated” appear to be at risk of losing the secret of social bonding. That is why we would like the conference to put in focus not only regional, but also global problems in order to propose theoretical interpretations and new approaches through which social trust and well-being can be examined. Beyond its academic and research goals, the conference will also contribute to strengthening the regional research network that has been collaborating at different intensity over the last decade and expand and orient it towards joint sociological research in order to guarantee its sustainability through collaboration.


We are looking forward to your abstracts under the following broad themes:

(1) Comparative research on well-being, based on European Social Survey data

(2) Trust, fairness and inequalities

(3) Young people in the Balkans