The Cross-border Committee (Прекуграничен комитет) is an initiative by young researchers of Macedonian origin who are currently either in the process of completing or have already completed their PhD in the field of social sciences at universities abroad. This is an attempt to give voice to the young people that are typically considered to be part of the “brain drain” process so that they can apply their knowledge, skills and experience, actively participate and contribute to the Macedonian public discourse.
The Cross-border Committee was born out of the dissatisfaction with the quality of the Macedonian public discussion and with what we see as a culture of parallel existence and thinking, as well as mutual exclusion based on ethnic, political and clan-clientelist ties.
At the same time, the Cross-border Committee is a response to the societal situation in Macedonia, which is characterized by a crisis of legitimacy, institutionalization of authoritarian tendencies, corruption and clientelism, dramatic violation of media freedoms, prolonged economic decline and international isolation. We are convinced that these processes are detrimental and as individuals with interest in and knowledge of the social sciences, it is our duty to respond.
Our primary goal is to create an inclusive and socially engaged platform for discussion of topics of interest for the country and the region, and thereby engage new topics, introduce new arguments and promote new paradigms in the public discussion in Macedonia. At the same time, as our name suggests, we aim to include researchers from and in Macedonia, as well as foreign researchers interested in the region. We further aim to connect the regional expertise on Macedonia and the region with insights from the broader field of social sciences. Our name is also an attempt at reclaiming different aspects of the past through discussion and by deconstructing the dominant public narratives.
The forms that we will use, besides short analyses and commentaries, are so-called “virtual assemblies”, i.e. virtual panel discussions, whereby particular topics will be discussed by several panelists.