History of Modern Political Thought in East-Central Europe

Centre for Advances Study (CAS), Sofia
European Research Council (ERC)

The Project

The Research Team

The Core Group

The Principal Investigator is supposed to conceptualize, streamline and coordinate the project, shape and moderate the dialogue of the team members, and eventually guarantee the final coherence of the chapters. He is responsible for the whole venture both in intellectual and in administrative terms. Nevertheless, in order to accomplish such an ambitious project of a synthetic reference volume, covering more than a dozen of languages and national cultures, there is a need of involving the expertise of other scholars.

Such a cooperation is neither a consortium nor a network, it is an target-oriented research team, with the aim of accomplishing the research objectives. In addition to the Principal Investigator, the “Core Group” of the project consists of 4 permanent members collaborating throughout the five-year period: Dr. Mónika Baár (University of Groningen, specializing in comparative historiography of Central and Eastern Europe), Dr. Maciej Janowski (Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences, specializing in the history of liberalism and conservatism in Central Europe), Dr. Michal Kopeček (Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Sciences, specializing in the history of left-wing political ideologies in the region), and Maria Falina (Central European University, specializing in “political religions” in the Balkans). In addition, the permanent research team also comprises a Research Assistant, Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič , a Ph.D. candidate at Central European University, for whom participation in the project yields, in addition to a stipend, also the invaluable experience of socialization in an international research environment.

Due to the specific composition (especially the multiple linguistic and research competence of the members) of the Core Group, practically all territorial entities would be covered by more than one participant. The overlapping expertise of the core group members would make it possible to create a multi-dimensional negotiation process, where different regional and cross-national perspectives would converge into a synthetic but nevertheless very context-sensitive narrative. In order to cover those countries of the region which are out of the competence of the Core Group members (Greece, Estonia, Albania, Ukraine) and also to extend the framework of negotiation, another level of participation is envisaged, namely a broader circle of “external experts.” Scholars working on various aspects of the intellectual history of the region will be invited for thematic “expert workshops,” contributing on specific issues which would go into the interim project proceedings, a special issue on modern political thought in East Central Europe published by the journal East Central Europe/L’Europe du Centre-Est (www.ece.ceu.hu) and eventually would also assist the Core Group members to extend their analysis to intellectual traditions they are less familiar with.

This would also make it possible to involve some “Western European” guest-scholars and initiate a discussion among various research traditions dealing with modern political ideas. In addition to developing a cutting-edge interpretative framework, we also consider it vital to “disseminate” our findings and to perpetuate the ethos of transnational history in the East-Central European region and also beyond it.