The Black Sea Area Studies Program is the result of an initiative institutionalized by the Social Sciences Division of the Institute for Advanced Research of the University of Bucharest (ICUB). Its goal is to create a research and public outreach platform dedicated to interdisciplinary research and policy-relevant analysis of the Black Sea area developments, by combining a strategic perspective with an analytical focus on the economic, political, cultural, demographic, military, environmental, and social developments in the region.
The main objective is to create a regionally unique, university-based resource of public interest which builds on the solid interdisciplinary capabilities offered by the University of Bucharest with its specialists in geography, history, natural sciences, information sciences, foreign languages, economics, administrative and policy sciences, sociology, environmental sciences, military and strategic studies etc.
Using as a core the academic competence offered by the University of Bucharest, the Center aims to mobilize experts, resources, specialists, stakeholders and capabilities from the civil society, from the business sector, from other relevant governmental organization and from other universities or research centers in the world and in the region.
The program portfolio of the initiative includes research, workshops, public conferences, informal colloquia, public outreach and networking, summer schools, training for the international organizations and the private sector, consultation forums, and publications.
The desired result is an academic and public policy forum and a hub of a network of organizations and individuals who are directly or indirectly interested in the developments in the Black Sea area. The initiative has a strong international dimension, creating a regional hub able to extend communication and coordination lines both in the region and into larger European, Transatlantic and Global settings.
The Black Sea Area Studies Program is organized under four subsections:
- Governance and Economy
- Security and Strategy
- Environment and Natural Resources
- Culture and Civilizations
Currently the Program is coordinated by an initiative committee consisting of:
Professor Marian Zulean, coordinator of the organizational development portfolio of the Program, is the Director of the social science division of the Institute for Advanced Research at the University of Bucharest (ICUB), and a Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Business, whose vice-dean for research he was between 2012-2016.
Dr. Arnold C. Dupuy, coordinator of the international portfolio of the Program, is affiliated to Booz Allen Hamilton and the U.S. Department of Defense in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy (ODASD(E) and teaches political science and international relations at Virginia Tech and George Mason University.
Professor Paul Dragos Aligica, coordinator of the research portfolio of the Program, is a Professor Administrative Sciences in the Department of Public Administration and Business at the University of Bucharest and a Senior Research Fellow at Mercatus Center at George Mason University.