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.

21th Core Group Meeting & Workshop on New Perspectives on the History of Modern Political Thought. East Central Europe in a Global Context

Nov 12

Memo of the 21st ERC Negotiating Modernity Project Meeting

Florence, European University Institute 9-12 November 2012


Participants: Monika Baár, Maria Falina, Maciej Janowski, Michal Kopeček, Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič, Balázs Trencsényi

The meeting focused on problems of organizing the narrative of the book and on those chapters which still need further expansion. Along these lines we discussed the presentation of cultural transfers in the Enlightenment part, rethinking the structure of the nationality question subchapters of the turn of the century, the integration of feminist political thought in the different parts, World War I war aims, Church and politics after 1945, and the evolution of political groups and ideologies after 1989.

On 9-10 November 2012, we held an international workshop, hosted and co-organized by the History Department of European University Institute Florence


New Perspectives on the History of Modern Political Thought.

East Central Europe in a Global Context


The workshop aimed at bringing Eastern and Western European scholars together, using the chapters of our book as a starting point to create a more synthetic view of the internal and transnational dynamism of political thought in Europe. We discussed the possibility of generic and “regional” interpretative schemes (e.g. can we speak of Eastern and Western European liberalisms?). It also sought to contribute to the rethinking of the European canon of intellectuals and influential ideas on the basis of looking at the reception process of “central“ paradigms on the peripheries and semi-peripheries.

The key topics of the workshop were organized around clusters of chapters of the book manuscript stemming from the project. Key issues to be discussed are a) the continuity of Enlightenment and romantic political and historical discourses, b) the transformations of liberalism, c) dealing with the national question: imperialism, nation-statehood and federalism, d) the politics of regionalist discourses, e), the political aspects of cultural modernism, f) nationalism and socialism, g) revisionist Marxism and the political ideas of East European dissidents, h) memory politics after 1989. The debates focused on particular Eastern European ideological configurations in relationship / comparison to the all-European context and on the other hand on the recurrent problems and ideological agendas in a  diachronic framework, looking at the longue durée impact of Enlightened, romantic, positivist and anti-modernist discourses.



9 November

13.30 Welcome and introduction by Pavel Kolář and Balázs Trencsényi

Chair: Michal Kopeček

13.40‑14.00 Maciej Janowski (Polish Academy of Sciences / CEU) - Introductory remarks to the Enlightenment chapter

14.00‑14.20 Laszlo Kontler (CEU) - Position paper and comments on Enlightenment political thought in Eastern and Western Europe

14.20‑14.30 Short comment by Brian Kjær Olesen (PhD researcher, EUI)

14.30-15.10 Debate

15.10‑15.30 Monika Baár (Groningen) - Introductory remarks to the Romanticism chapter

15.30‑15.50 Axel Körner (UCL London) - Position paper and comments on the 1848 subchapter

15.50‑16.30 Debate

16.30‑16.50 Coffee Break

Chair: Pavel Kolář

16.50‑17.10 Maria Falina (CEU) Introductory remarks to the Fin‑de‑siècle chapter

17.10‑17.30 Pieter Judson (Swarthmore College) - Position paper and comments on positivist antiliberalism and fin‑de‑siècle national question subchapters

17.30‑17.50 Michael Freeden, (Oxford) Position paper and comments on varieties of liberalism in positivist, find‑de‑siècle, and interwar periods

17.50‑18.00 Short comment by Tommaso Giordani (PhD researcher, EUI)

18.00‑18.40 Debate



10 November

Chair: Maciej Janowski

9.30‑9.50 Balázs Trencsényi (CEU) - Introductory remarks to the interwar chapter

9.50‑10.10 Diana Mishkova (CAS Sofia / Sofia University) - Position paper and comments on the debates on transnational arrangements

10.10‑10.30 Dirk Moses (EUI) - Position paper and comments on Conservative revolution, Corporatism and Fascism subchapters

10.30‑10.40 Short comment by Vedran Duančić (PhD researcher, EUI)

10.40‑11.20 Debate

11.20‑11.50 Coffee Break

11.50‑12.10 Michal Kopeček (Czech Academy of Sciences / Charles University) -Introductory remarks to the 1945‑1989 chapter

12.10‑12.30 Pavel Kolář (EUI) - Position paper and comments on Stalinism, Authoritarian Rule and national communism

12.30‑13.10 Debate

13.10‑14.50 Lunch

Chair: Diana Mishkova

14.50‑15.10 Galin Tihanov (Queen Mary, University of London) - Position paper and comments on fin‑de siècle modernism, interwar modernism and anti‑modernism, cultural upsurge of the 1960s

15.10‑15.30 Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič (CEU) - Introductory remarks to the post‑1989 chapter

15.30‑15.50 Jacques Rupnik (CERI, Sciences‑Po, Paris) - Position paper and comments on opposition and mapping national cultures in the 1970‑80s and coming to terms with communist past

15.50‑16.30 Debate

16.30‑16.50 Coffee Break

16.50‑18.30 General Discussion



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