Александр Пелин

Список публикаций: Combined research methods

Combined research methods of social problems in Carpathian region

  In the beginning of the 90-s a new political-economic situation has dictated the necessity in new approaches in the international relations and has actualized them to interregional and cross-border corporation. There were a few euroregions created on the border of Ukraine, some of which were created only after years of intensive cross-border relations. In 14th of February 1993 was created Carpathian region, which consolidates 19 boundary administrative-territorial units, which are inhabited by more than 16 million people of different nationalities. This requires a complex approach in research of social-economic and ethnonational problems of cross-border corporation. Namely the absence of systematic approach for organization and research of euroregional collaboration is one of the main obstacle, which prevents effective cross-border corporation.

   In the late 80ies collaborators of department in Institute of World Economy and International Relations, and department of regional problems of complex social-economic development in Lviv branch of Institute of Economics (Uzhgorod) had begun to engage the research of social-economic problems on the boundary territories in Ukraine, and in the early 90ies the department of social problems in Carpathian Institute of Sociology of NAS of Ukraine (Uzhgorod) and Institute of Social Sciences of Slovak Academy of Sciences (Kosice) have begun to analyze these problems, too.

   The researchers have laid methodological foundations of integration of economic and statistical methods with the methods of applied social research. For the fi rst time results of expert analysis were reduced to a combination with quantitative assessment, which was used as a regional employment concentration factor (ECF) [2].

   The further researches of cross-border market in CarpathianEuroregion have lead to the necessity to develop and application of combined methods, which, in contrast to formalized and heuristic methods, refl ect better the “contradictory nature of conjuncture of cross-border market”. That determines the simultaneous existence of differently directed tends in its development [3, p.133].

   It means that the researches of conjuncture of cross-border market combine polling methods of intentions of consumers, marketing agents, expert evaluation methods, testing the market with economic-mathematical methods of calculations of economic indicators, correlation and regression analysis, index method, time series and extrapolation.

    The purpose of the report is to substantiate the expediency of application the combined research methods of cross-border cooperation at the regional level. The purpose includes the following objectives: to determine the substance and peculiarities of using combined methods, prove the possibility of using combined methods in the research of social problems in Carpathian Euroregion.

    In the fi rst instance, the necessity of using combined research methods of cross-border cooperation is conditioning by multicharacter cross-border relationships and limited level of information about partners. The cross-border interactions occur both at the level of national regulation and interregional cooperation. There are some aspects of cross-border relations, which are differently perceived at national and regional level. At the national level the cooperation is based on international agreements, and the regional cooperation develops quite spontaneous. Its driving force is personal contacts with neighbors, which are caused by economic needs, as well as cooperation in the fi eld of culture [4].

   In the very general terms, the combined methods are a combination of descriptive principles and quantitative parameters. They are intermediate between factual (formalized) and expert (intuitive).

   The combined methods often appertain to collective expert estimation and various types of simulation, during which factual and expert information is used as input. The more complicated combined methods of research are: management by objects (MBO- management by objects), testing, expert estimation “360 ° method”, simulation exercise, comprehensive assessment of work and others [5, p.237-238]. In Lviv researchers’ opinion, the estimate cross-border cooperation can not be determined by direct methods. Indicators of cross-border trade, mutual external trade and investment activity, amount of fi nancial support from international funds and institutions, social effects of measures implementation and cross-border projects, etc. can be used as indirect methods of performance evaluation. [6, p. 210-211]. Indirect methods of assessment can not be solely based on statistical data because of insuffi cient information.

   The indirect estimations are not only possible, using the combined methods, but also can improve the quality and representativeness of the research, which is lacking in the research using only methods of expert poll.

   Commodity Flow Survey (or CFS) is factual. The object of logistical research is the intensity of physical, information, financial and other flows. However, an extrapolation of CFS onto the results on a scale of measuring social distance of Bogardus E.S , provides to researchers the opportunity to follow up the limits of interregional cooperation and perspectives of cross-border cooperation. In some instances CFS can be supplemented by Human Development Index (HDI). It’s an integral estimation of three components, which characterize longevity, educational attainment and incomes of the population in the world.

   Combined analysis method of social-economic and ethnic indicators gives ground for determination of the factors that form the regions. According to the local contradictions of regional interests, the combined methods reveal the hidden unresolved global geopolitical issues, which are shown up in interregional confl icts. For example, some contradictions of Ukrainian-Romanian-Moldovan relations can be the result of unbalanced development of Northern and Southern Europe, which threatens the integrality and security of the whole EU. The presence of empiric indicators of global geopolitical processes provides an opportunity for more informed estimates of traditional cross-border relations and preliminary predictions for the future [7, p.173-174].

   The researches at the national-level adjustment and interregional cooperation, which are solely held on the basis of factual methods, are impossible and complicated by the methods of expert interviews. Consequently, the adjustment process of international relations is easier to study through the use combined methods.

   Hungary was the fi rst country, from which bilateral diplomacy of Ukraine has begun. Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation between Ukraine and Hungary was signed on 6th of December in 1991 and entered into force on 16th of June in 1993. The solution to practical issues about providing such assistance was on Joint Committee [8, 9, and 10]. For this time, a signifi cant number of intergovernmental commissions’ protocols were accumulated. According to the results of content analysis, the reports of Joint government commissions indicate a signifi cant increase of governments’ attention to spread of the Hungarian language, question of education of Hungarian minorities and language issues in general. Along with the increase of decisions on promotion of initiatives for minorities, impact of joint government commissions is reducing on their legislative environment. The law matters, responsibility and religious discriminations, and safety of states, that were declared in the Declaration on Principles of Cooperation between the Ukrainian SSR and Hungary, were practically ignored by the Commission [11, p.183-184].

   At the same time, interviews with experts revealed that the main problems of cross-border cooperation in Transcarpathian region are not concerned the crisis of linguistic and educational issues of ethnic groups, and are more practical: visa issues, border crossings and asymmetry of regional development [12, p.332 ]. So, multilevel nature of crossborder relations complicates use only of quantitative or qualitative research methods. Due to the fact, that cross-border cooperation takes place simultaneously at the national-level adjustment and at the level of interregional cooperation, the most expedient research methods of the whole complex of social-economic and ethnic problems are combined methods. Content analysis of intergovernmental treaties and agreements is the most optimal method analysis of cross-border cooperation at the national level. It combines qualitative sources information originally, with statistical means of its processing.

   Use of combined methods opens new perspectives penetration of latent level of cross-border cooperation: latent xenophobia, illegal migration, contraband property and other forms of organized crime in the areas of cross-border cooperation.


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