The third day was planed and realized by the team Danube Area Research Centre (DAReC) that was initiated after the Danube Summer Schiool 2014 in Novi Sad to organise among other projects also a Danube Winter School/Danube International Seminar in Serbia. DAReC „is a non-profit organization, established to achieve the objectives in the field of scientific research, inter-regional cooperation and education of young people from countries in the Danube region.“ (for more information please visit DAReC’s Website).

The team that organised and realised Tuesday’s agenda in the framework of the Danube Summer School 2015 is:

  • Aleksandar M. Gajić
  • Sladjana Stojanović
  • Delia Bosiok
  • Sonja Leković

DAReCWe thank them for the interesting inputs and discussions.

the opening session was held by Aleksandar M. Gajić, Director of the Danube Area Research Center, Novi Sad, who expained the operational structure, the goal as well as the current project of the organisation to the participants. He stressed the importance of future networking and cooperation with other players in the region and invited the participants to also take part in next years Danube Winter School that DAReC is currently strating to prepare.

The second session was given by Prof. Dr. Stojkovski, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of History, University of Novi Sad on Nobility in Southern Hungary during the Middle Ages

The region of southern Hungary comprises a vast part of the modern-day Croatia, Serbia and Romania. A part of this region is on the Danube River which has presented in those times one of the key traffic lines in the area.

The presentation will give the brief overview of the genesis of the nobility in the medieval southern Hungary. The key aspects will be connected to the two most important parts of the noble society-church noblemen and lay noblemen. The most important church nobility in southern Hungary were the bishops, and the most significant one, the archbishop of Bač and Kalocsa. Some of them, like Peter Varadi in the 15th century had even resided often in Bač, and in that time, this southern Hungarian city had become one of the key milestones of the Hungarian renaissance. Abbots of many prominent monasteries in this part of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary were also an important part of the nobility.

Southern Hungary was, as other parts of medieval Hungary, divided into different counties. Many prominent Hungarian noblemen were the heads of different counties and other administrative regions on the south of the state. It is notable to mention and worthy to know that many of the important noblemen, either church or lay, were of different origin. Most of them were not Hungarian even, especially in the period from 1301 and the arrival of Anjou dynasty, and then Sigismund of Luxembourg in 1387, and Matthias Corvinus in 1459. During the reign of the latter, renaissance has flourished in the whole Hungary, as well as its’ southern parts respectively.

In the presentation some of the key biographies of specific persons will be stressed, especially of foreigners that were important noblemen, since it most clearly show the intercultural mosaic of the region even in medieval period. The rise of the noble families and kindred will also be briefly presented, as well as some general processes in the state, especially in its noble class. The presentation will also tend to show that medieval southern Hungary was, without a doubt, the part of the wider contemporary European cultural and political streams.

The third module of the day was held by Sonja Leković, PhD candidate and teaching assistant at the Faculty of Economics in Subotica, University of Novi Sad

Her presentation on THE STATE OF ELECTRONIC COMMERCE DEVELOPMENT IN DANUBE REGION COUNTRIES raised a vivid discussion among the participants about the importance of e-commerce.

Electronic commerce has a different level of development in Danube region countries. In that way, the Danube region is interesting for analysis of implementation of electronic commerce. The reason of these differences is variation in technological, infrastructural, institutional and other conditions for its implementation. While in some countries there are institutional conditions for the development of electronic commerce, on the other hand, it does not necessarily mean a high level of acceptance and implementation of the technology. For the development of e-commerce is crucial acceptance of this type of trading by all relevant stakeholders: suppliers, retailers, government institutions (which should provide support and promote the use), as well as Internet service providers, financial institutions and equally important – the end users. The question is on which level of technological development of a country could be expected the development of electronic commerce, or whether the same development model could be accommodated in all countries. The overall effect of the development of e-commerce in a particular market should ensure open market, transparency of the supply and on that basis more competition, all in all benefits that are provided to end users – consumers. The fact is that a growing number of young people use the Internet on daily basis for various purposes, and it is reasonable to expect that further expansion of electronic commerce will be in the following period, in countries where there has been high level of electronic commerce development will come to stagnation, while the high growth rates are to be expected in the countries where the development of infrastructure of electronic commerce and Internet use is currently unsatisfactory.

Miroslav Pavlović, MA, University of Novi Sad gave a lecture on the Danube Defence Line and the 18th Century Ottoman Periphery Between the Civil Society and Increasing Militarization. The Danube river was a natural border between Ottoman and Habsburg empires for centuries, contributing to the implementation of various strategies of containment and defence. The main line on the Ottoman side was in the territory of the two provinces (sancak): Vidin and Semendire (serb. Smederevo). The paper deals with the organisation, legal framework and functioning of the Danube defence line in the Province of Semendire (Semendire Sancağı), as well as with the changing strategies in organisation of Ottoman military forces, and the institution of the Belgrade Fortress Commander (muhafiz). Concerning theoretical approaches, the transitional period of Ottoman history (17th-18th century), deals with the changing models of classical institutions. The theory of empires, implies the process of negotiation between core and its periphery as an extremely important point in dealing with 18th century Ottoman periphery. Political initiatives, as Suraiya Faroqhi pointed out years ago, are steel the elementary basis for understanding political strategies and conflicts in early modern societies. Structural changes caused permanent presence of army groups (asker) in the countryside. Military fortifications (palanka) were original foundations for pre-modern towns. Social tensions and political conflicts between the members of the ruling class and their opponents were oriented toward political initiatives to central authorities. According to the defence strategy, a local military system was based on locally paid forces (yerlu neferatı, yerliyan) dependent only on the Sancak authorities, commander and its bureaucracy, and also local sources of funding (mukata’a, malikane) and customs (gümrük). The social basis for military conscription among the Muslim inhabitants was extremely limited, causing an exceptional degree of public sphere militarization in town districts (mahale). There are some evidences suggesting the direct connection of civil and military space in towns, and a formation of the „warrior districts.“ The shared role phenomenon is well known in Ottoman history, where the military status was fictional, as spahis and janissaries behaved for decades, even centuries. The involvement of yerliyan in the tax farming (iltizam system) and as property owners in the same time, while obtaining the military functions in the name of the commander, represented a new challenge for the local society. Funding for the Ancien Régime, spahis and janissaries was the government’s attempt to strike a balance of power and an ideal shelter for opposition activities of opponents to the regime. The Grievance administration testify to a remarkable increase of complaints, challenging the state authority and representing proto-civil society struggles, assuming Jürgen Kocka’s definition of civil society as a “specific tipe of social action.“

Slađana Stojanović and Delia Bosiok, both founding memebrs of the Danube Area Research Center gave an brief overview of the current state of the potential Danube Master program and the general possibility of education about Danube region development at the University of Novi Sad. They also presented insights from a survey that was carried out in the last Danube Summer School.

After the University of Novi Sad was founded, researchers from this institution conducted and implemented a large number of studies, projects and exchange programs. Nowadays, despite the ideal location, the studies of the Danube region still do not exist. This paper seeks to highlight the importance and possibilities of education in the sphere of management, which offers students the opportunity to acquire basic knowledge in the field of policies, management and soft skills, which are important for the development of the Danube region, and then the practical use of acquired knowledge in the institutions of the Danube region countries. The main purpose of this is the improvement of knowledge of the future generations, that would enable the modernization and establishment of better cooperation between countries in the Danube region, hence we should consider students‘ interest in the implementation of specific programs. In order to obtain the views of young professionals who are interested in this topic, a study was carried during the first Danube summer school, whose participants were the ideal target group for completing the aforementioned research and insight into possible changes in the Master of Danube studies program. The data obtained during the first edition of the Danube Summer School, provided us specific results which were an excellent baseline for further research. The second edition of the Danube Summer School will be an opportunity to conduct this research again and to compare the new results to the ones obtained last year. Some of the students will be familiar with the concept of the study program before the exploration.

Afterwards participants were asked to design the optimal Danube Master Program „Your ideal Danube Master Program“. This was closesly followed by Ms Stepan of the University of Krems that has been working on the realisation of a potential Master Program on the Danube Region.

At the end of Tuesday’s program, the participants were asked to present their home culture with short presentations to the others. This session was once again a outstanding display of the vast and divers cultural landscape of the Danube Region and the incredible untapped cultural wealth.