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.

23rd Core Group Meeting & Closing Conference

Mar 13

Memo of the 23rd ERC Negotiating Modernity Project Meeting
CAS Sofia, 14-18 March 2013

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

During the meeting we revisited the chapters of the manuscript and discussed the agenda of the remaining time from the research period. The most important issue discussed was the better integration of non-nation-building communities and political entities (such as the regions that finally did not become national frameworks, e.g. Silesia, as well as the Jewish, Roma, Aromanian, etc., cultural-political traditions).

On 15-16 March 2013, we held our closing conference at CAS Sofia: 

Negotiating Modernity - Rethinking the History of Modern
East Central European Political Thought


Bringing together a number of prominent specialists of European political thought as well as of Central and Southeast European culture and history, the conference sought to assess the results of our research conducted for five years. The key topics of the conference were organized around clusters of chapters of the book manuscript stemming from the project. The conference aimed at creating a more synthetic view of the internal and transnational dynamism of political thought inEurope. Participants discussed the possibility of generic and „regional" interpretative schemes (e.g. can we speak of Eastern and Western European liberalisms, populisms, feminisms?). The conference also sought to contribute to the rethinking of the European canon of thinkers and influential ideas on the basis of looking at the reception process of "central" paradigms on the peripheries and semi-peripheries. In turn, rejecting the one-directional models of cultural transfer, we looked at examples of the trans-national impact of Eastern European cultural paradigms, such as the case of exile communities in the 19th century, or in the interwar and postwar periods, influencing the Western discussions.


Conference Program:

15 March 2013

10.00 Welcome and Introduction by Diana Mishkova (CAS Sofia) and Balázs Trencsényi (Principal Investigator of the Project)

10.20-10.40 Monika Baár (University of Groningen), Introductory remarks to the Enlightenment and Romanticism parts

10.40-11.10  Nikolay Aretov (Sofia University), Position paper and comments on the Enlightenment political thought part

11.10-11.40 Joep Leerssen (Free University Amsterdam), Position paper and comments on the Romanticism part

11.40-12.40 Debate

12.40-14.10 Lunch

14.10-14.30 Maria Falina (CEU) and Balázs Trencsényi (CEU), Introductory remarks to the fin-de-siècle and interwar parts

14.30-15.00 Mark Biondich (Carleton University), Position paper and comments on political thought at the turn of the 20th century

15.00-15.30 Zoran Milutinović (UCL SEES London), Position paper and comments on the chapters focusing on the relationship of cultural and political discourses

15.30-16.00  Brian Porter-Szucs (Michigan University), Position paper and comments on the chapters related to church, religion and political thought in the region (20th century)

16.00-16.20 Coffe Break

16.50-18.15 Debate

16 March 2013

9.45-10.05 Maciej Janowski (PAN Warsaw/CEU), Introductory remarks to the chapters on nationalism, populism and anti-Semitism

10.05-10.35  Tomasz Kamusella (University of St. Andrews), Position paper and comments on chapters dealing with nationalism and ethnic conflict 1848-1945

10.35-11.05 Roumen Daskalov (New Bulgarian University Sofia/CEU), Position paper and comments on chapters dealing with populism and the left, 1870-1945

11.05-11.35 Ferenc L. Laczó (Kertész Imre Kolleg Jena), Position paper and comments on chapters dealing with the “Jewish question” and anti-Semitism

11.35-12.50 Debate

12.50-14.20 Lunch

14.20-14.40 Michal Kopeček (Czech Academy of Sciences / Charles University Prague), Introductory remarks to the 1945-1989 part

14.40-15.20 Nick Miller (Boise State University), Position paper and comments on opposition and mapping national cultures in the 1970-80s

15.20-16.10 Debate

16.10-16.20 Coffee break

16.20-16.50 Luka Lisjak-Gabrijelčič (CEU), Introductory remarks to the post-1989 part

16.50-17.20 Ivaylo Ditchev (Sofia University), Position paper and comments on the chapters dealing with the disputes on liberalism, populism and the Kulturkampf after 1989 

17.20-18.30 Debate

18.30-19.15 General Discussion 

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