The Romanian Academy’s Institute for South-East European Studies, re-established in 1963 under the direction of Mihai Berza, is the rightful successor of the Institute for South-East European Studies (founded by N. Iorga in 1913) and of the Institute for Balkan Studies and Researches (founded by Victor Papacostea in 1937), both abolished by the Communist regime in 1948. From the very beginning, the Institute for South-East European Studies has remained faithful to the general objective set by the founders of the institutes it inherited: comparative and interdisciplinary research (history, literature, linguistics, art, folklore, social anthropology) on South-East Europe. The aim is to gain an in-depth knowledge of the political, cultural, social and economic relations between the peoples of this region, from Antiquity until modern times.


Currently the reasearch activity of the Institute for South-East European Studies is organized into 11 research programmes. The main areas are the comparative history of the peoples of South-East Europe, the comparative history of South-East European literature and arts, Balkan linguistics, and the comparative anthropology of South-East Europe. In the Institute’s research programmes, the geographical concept of South-East Europe is interpreted broadly and embraces the region’s links with the Eastern Mediterranean and the Caucasus in the east and with Italy in the west.

The research activity of the Institute for South-East European Studies aims at publishing collections of sources, monographs, synthesis papers, and a journal with wide international circulation, as well as establishing research partnerships with relevant institutions in Europe and beyond. Its mission is facilitated by the existence of a valuable team of researchers with appropriate scientific and linguistic skills. The Institute has a library of over 45,000 volumes. The Institute for South-East European Studies has been running weekly courses in Balkan and Oriental languages since 2017.

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In recent years, steps have been taken to increase the national and international visibility of the Institute for South-East European Studies: indexing of the Revue des Études Sud-Est Européennes in international databases (ERIH); organisation of an annual colloquium (with guests from abroad); publication of a collection of monographs in major languages. In September 2019, the Institute for South-East European Studies organized in Bucharest the 12th International Congress of South-East European Studies, attended by over 400 specialists from more than 30 countries.

As of 2021, the Institute for South-East European Studies is the host institution of the ERC Advanced Grant TYPARABIC European research project, Early Arabic Printing for the Arab Christians. Cultural Transfers between Eastern Europe and the Ottoman Near-East in the 18th Century (2021-2026), coordinated by dr. habil. Ioana Feodorov. The TYPARABIC project involves a team of 16 researchers from Romania, Bulgaria, Israel, Lebanon, France, USA, Turkey, and Ukraine.