(copyright) 2022. All Rights Reserved.While there is extensive literature that discusses the historical and institutional background of the relative underdevelopment of Central and Eastern European (CEE) academia in social sciences, we have a limited knowledge on how academics of the region perceive the culture of their scholarly fields. Building upon survey data from 481 social scientists from 16 CEE countries, this paper analyses the perceived meritocracy of the academic system. We found significant positive associations between meritocracy, publication requirements for promotions and international publication records. Moreover, results show that academic capital is typically accumulated though informal networks and even from the family, while the role of formal education is less important. Our findings suggest that raising the level of meritocracy in promotion and recruitment processes might help increase the international visibility of CEE social sciences through a growth in international publications, but also indicated that research institutions should motivate CEE scholars with both financial rewards and a reduction in teaching duties.
career development; central and eastern europe; internationalization; meritocracy; tertial education