History of Modern Political Thought in East-Central Europe

Centre for Advances Study (CAS), Sofia
European Research Council (ERC)
The Principal aim of the Project is a synthetic volume on the history of modern political thought in East Central Europe

16th Core Group Meeting & Workshop on the History of Political Thought in the Baltic States

Oct 11

In addition to the meeting, we also organized a workshop “Writing the history of political thought in a transnational framework: The Baltics  and East Central Europe.” (see below)

In the meeting, we agreed on the following:

·         We need external experts to fill specific gaps in the chapters: both thematically and geographically. Each one should identify the missing geographical contexts and themes that are missing in his/her chapters. A list should be compiled by January the latest.

·         Zsofia Lorand and Ostap Stepaniuk were invited as new associate researchers of the project

·         Individual tasks (as we did it for the Drežnica meeting) should become a regularity: in individual interaction, those who are writing the chapters should ask others to write short paragraphs into the text (especially for textual analysis).

·         Until January, however, the priority is drafting the chapters; cross-writing should be limited to specific questions (the tasks delegated but not completed in Drežnica should however be finished by the Budapest meeting the latest).

·         We started organizing the copying of books, with the help of contracted assistants, from Serbia and Croatia, Poland, Romania.

·         In the coming months we will work on the integration of Estonian, Latvian and Ukrainian material provided by the research associates

·         When writing the text, the most important thinkers should be written in bold when first mentioned (not en passé, but as part of the analysis). Whenever a new name is introduced, dates of birth & death should be mentioned, except when there’s a list of names.

·         We should keep to the sub-chapter titles established as it makes reading the text more transparent 

·         The participants are asked to identify first translations into local languages of paradigmatic texts that had a role in shaping East Central European political thinking.

·         Montesquieu, De l'esprit des lois  1743

·         Rousseau, Du Contrat social 1762

·         Herder, Essay on the Origin of Languages 1772

·         Smith, Wealth of Nations 1776

·         Tocqueville, De la Democratie en Amerique 1835-1840

·         Marx –Engels, Communist manifesto 1848

·         Spencer, Social statics 1851

·         JS Mill, On Liberty 1859

·         Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution 1902

·         Spengler, Untergang des Abendlandes 1918-20

·         Benda, Trahison des clercs 1927

·         Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism 1951

·         Rawls, Theory of Justice 1971

·         Foucault, Surveiller et punir 1975


·         By January, all sub-chapters should be drafted; by March, the whole Enlightenment and Interwar chapters should be ready to be shown to potential publishers.


Next meetings:


·         Budapest, January 13th – 16th (with a  special focus on Russian Empire context and Soviet/post-Soviet cases)

·         Sarajevo, March 29th – April 1st, 2012

·         Tirana, May 31st – June 4th/5th

·         Lviv, early September 2012

·         Florence - Fiesole, late November 2012 

·         Budapest/or Bratislava January 2013

·         Sofia, March 2013;

·         Kiev, May 2013

·         Warsaw Autumn 2013


Writing the history of political thought in a transnational framework:

The Baltics  and East Central Europe.

A workshop organized by the Negotiating Modernity and the Nordic Spaces: Formation of States, Societies and Regions, Cultural Encounters and Idea- and Identity Production in Northern Europe after 1800 projects.


7-8 October, Tartu

7 October

12.00-12.50 Welcome, short introduction of the participants, presentation of the Negotiating Modernity and Baltic regionalism projects

Lunch Break

14.10 -14.30 Kaspars Kļaviņš (Daugavpils), The Role of G. F. Parrot’s Ideas in the Genesis of Stereotypes of Baltic History.

14.30-15.10 Discussion; discussant and moderator Monika Baar (Groningen)

15.10-15.30 Mart Kuldkepp (Tartu) The Activist Construction of the Baltic Sea Region During WW I

15.30-16.10 Discussion; discussant and moderator Partel Piirimae (Tartu)

Coffee Break

16.25-16.45 Juris Prikulis (Riga) Social and Liberal tendencies of Latvian Political Thought of the Late 19th/Early 20th Century

16.45-17.25 Discussion; discussant and moderator Maciej Janowski (Warsaw/Budapest)

17.25-17.45 Ivars Ijabs, The Nation of Socialist Intelligentsia: the National Issue in the Political Thought of Early Latvian Socialism

17.45-18.25 Discussion; discussant and moderator Michal Kopecek (Prague)

18.25-18.45 Kaarel Piirimae (Tartu), Estonian interpretations of sovereignty and self-determination, 1900-1945

18.45-19.25 Discussion; discussant and moderator Maria Falina (Budapest)



8 October

9.30-9.50 Margo Roasto (Tartu) The reception of Western authors by Konstantin Päts from 1900 to 1917

9.50-10.30 Discussion; discussant and moderator Kaarel Piirimae (Tartu)

10.30-10.50 Vytautas Petronis (Marburg) Origins and Dynamics of Right-Wing Radicalism in Interwar Lithuania

10.50-11.30 Discussion; discussant and moderator Balazs Trencsenyi (Budapest)

Coffee Break

11.50-12.10 Eero Medijainen (Tartu), Baltic identity: Reality or a Phantom?

12.10-12.50 Discussion; discussant and moderator Monika Baar (Groningen)

12.50-13.10 Aija Priedite-Kleinhofa (Riga), Edvart Virza's civil religion project within the context of Latvian nationalism  

13.10-13.50 Discussion; discussant and moderator Maria Falina (CEU Budapest)

Lunch Break

15.00-15.20 Aurimas Svedas (Vilnius), Historical Memory in Soviet and Post-Soviet Lithuania. Alternatives in the Politics of History and Transformations of Lithuanian Identity.

15.20-16.00 Discussion; discussant and moderator Luka Lisjak Gabrijelcic (Budapest)

16.00-16.20 Justinas Dementavicus (Vilnius), Honeycombs of Political Thought in Post-Soviet Lithuania

16.20-17.00 Discussion; discussant and moderator Michal Kopecek (Prague)

17.00-17.45 Final discussion, closing words

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