First of all, we would like to thank Diana Mishkova who supported the project from the beginning and has helped us far beyond the scope commonly expected from the director of a hosting institution to bring these volumes to completion. We are also extremely grateful to the entire staff of the Center for Advanced Study Sofia who facilitated our work immensely during our numerous meetings and provided a pleasant working atmosphere in all regards. We would like to thank especially Denitza Lozanova-Hinkova, who provided invaluable technical assistance to the project.
No collaborative project of this sort is viable without substantial financial help making it possible for the participants to meet regularly. We are grateful to the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation (The Netherlands) for providing generous funding which made it possible for the editors to meet on six occasions over the period of three years. When the first phase of the project was finished, the Foundation also offered a further grant to prepare the texts for publication. Without this generosity, it would have been impossible to share our findings with the broader public. Our special thanks goes to Wouter Hugenholtz (NIAS), who took upon himself the role of introducing the project to the Foundation and who followed with immense trust and sympathy our work throughout these years.
A natural focus of any comparative research in the region, the Central European University, also gave us generous help to accomplish our venture. Most of all, we would like to thank László Kontler and Sorin Antohi who have been with us from the very beginning of the project, offering logistic help, sharing their advice with us and also contributing to the volumes with their insightful introductions. We are grateful to Halil Berktay (Sabancı University, Istanbul) for his intellectual support throughout these years and also for hosting us for a workshop in 2001 where the project was first presented to a broader academic public.