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.

9th Core Group Meeting & International Conference

Jun 10

The 9th core group meeting of the Negotiating Modernity project was organized in Bucharest. The meeting took place on June 15th and 16th at the Faculty for Political Sciences in Bucharest, followed by the international conference “Writing Intellectual History in East Central Europe. Interwar Romania in Regional and European Contexts”, organized by the New Europe College.                

At the meeting, we agreed on the following:

·    Communication within the core group should be more individualized, so that the authors of the chapter drafts can get more fine-tuned suggestions and information.

·   Procedure of finishing chapters: the deadline for finalizing the chapters prepared by June 2010 is 1st  September. These are: the chapter on Enlightenment state and nation (by Maciej Janowski), the chapter on the crisis of turn-of-century liberalism (by Maciej Janowski), the chapter on Romantic emancipation (by Monika Baar), the chapter on interwar political religions and fin-de-siècle left (by Maria Falina), the chapter on interwar Agrarianism third way (by Balazs Trencsenyi), the chapter on post-1848 liberalism and nationalism (by Balazs Trencsenyi), the chapter on interwar Conservative Revolution (by Balazs Trencsenyi), the chapter on Marxist Revisionism (by Michal Kopeček), the chapter about the coming to terms with the Communist past after 1989 (by Michal Kopeček), the chapter on post-1989 liberalism (by Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič), and the chapter on post-1956 national communism (by Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič).

·    In addition, the tasks for the associate members, apart from working on their research topic and writing the country overviews, have been defined.

·  In the meeting, we discussed the main suggestions concerning the existing subchapter drafts, and have provided a detailed list of improvements and additions for the single chapters.

· New drafts of chapters, which should be finalized by early October, are the following: Mónika Baar will write the draft on the Enlightenment thematizations of language, and will make the first sketch of the chapters on Romantic visions of national culture; Maciej Janowski will write draft of the subchapter on the repercussions of the French Revolution, and will sketch the subchapter on the Dynamics of Ethnic Conflict and attempts at solution  at the turn of the century; Maria falina will write the subchapters 1-2 on the Interwar state-building subchapters, and will sketch the chapter on fin-de-siècle Church and politics; Luka Lisjak will write the chapter on Church and Politics after 1989, and sketch the chapter on post-1945 relations between Church and Politics; Michal Kopeček: will write the chapter on the Political thought of dissidents between 1956-89; Balázs Trencsenyi will write on the Theoretization of nationalism in the interwar period, on National liberalisms and projects of “neo-liberalism”   in the interwar period, and will also start sketching the chapter on Aesthetic-Political Modernism.

· Each core group member should continue writing a narrative sketch of the history of political thought in his/her own national (or regional) context. In doing so, we should be particularly careful to include the texts which were framing the contemporary discourse (economic, legal texts, etc.), but which have fallen out of the canon. In January we will present and discuss the post-1945 part of the general narrative, with a special emphasis on the post-1989, so that we stimulate more thinking on this. We should also continue compiling the list of influential foreign thinkers for our context.

·A particular emphasis should be put in collecting the references for the post-1989 period. By September 2010, a top list of primary and secondary literature on the post-1989 period should be composed.

·The following meeting will be held between 7th and 10th October 2010, in Warsaw, with a special focus on the long 19th century; with a workshop at the Institute of History on October 8th. We will also have a discussion with local scholars dealing with the Interwar period and the post-1989 contexts. The following meeting will be between January 14th-16th in Budapest. The next meeting will be held in Tirana, preferably on the first week of April, followed by Berlin in early July 2011. We also envisaged a longer retreat for the core-group in late August 2011 for the purpose of focused writing and in depth discussions on the chapters. The planned venue for Autumn 2011 would be either Tartu or Sarajevo. Further plans: Athens, Lviv – Chernivtsi, Vilnius, Bratislava. We also agreed to hold a special meeting / workshop for the post-1989 contexts, with external guests,  which should partially rely on external funding.

· We agreed on bringing an assistant researcher from Greece who be assisting Augusta Dimou with finding relevant sources for our project. Potential external experts for Belarus and Ukraine will be invited to the Warsaw meeting.


International Workshop: „Writing Intellectual History in East Central Europe. Interwar Romania in Regional and European Contexts”

Bucharest, New Europe College

June 17-19, 2010

Conveners: Balázs Trencsényi, Sorin Antohi

Organizer: Valentin Săndulescu


Thursday, June 17

19:00 Welcoming remarks by the conveners.

Friday, June 18

9:00-11:30 Panel One: The European Context and the Romanian Scene

                Chair and Discussant: Sorin Antohi

Zeev Sternhell, The Anti-Enlightenment Legacy in Interwar Europe

Sorin Alexandrescu, Rethinking the interwar Romanian political and cultural sub-cultures

12:00-14:00 Panel Two: The Regional Context

                Chair and Discussant: Michal Kopeček 

Balázs Trencsényi, Discourses of crisis, generational ideologies and national essentialisms       

Maciej Janowski, Geistesgeschichte in East Central Europe

Sorin Antohi, Ideas, Figures, Forms: The Public Spirit in Interwar Romania

16:00-18:00 Panel Three: The Romanian Mainstream

                Chair and Discussant: Sorin Alexandrescu

Călin Cotoi, Romanian Interwar Social Sciences Between Rural monographs and Geopolitics 

Ionuţ-Florin Biliuţă “The Church of the Nation and its Rights.” The Romanian Orthodox Church during the Interwar Period

Răzvan Pârâianu, Biopolitics in intewar Romania

Saturday, June 19

9:00-11:00 Panel Four: Challenging the Mainstream (I)

Chair and Discussant: Gábor Egry

Ștefan-Ionuț Bosomitu, Adhesion and Commitment to Communism in Interwar Romania (case-study: Miron Constantinescu)

Steliu Lambru, Socialism in a Backward Country: The Interwar Romanian Case   

Valentin Săndulescu, Radical politics and political messianism on the right

Chris Davis, Theories and practices of minority politics

11:30-13:30 Panel Five: Challenging the Mainstream (II)

                Chair and Discussant: Balázs Trencsényi

Moshe Idel, Interbellic Jews in Romania: A Dis/Oritented Community

Leon Volovici, Ideological options among Jewish Romanian intellectuals: between “heresy” and messianic Zionism

15:00-16:30 Panel Six: Challenging the Mainstream (III)

                Chair and Discussant: Valentin Săndulescu

Petru Negură Les écrivains bessarabiens de l’entre-deux-guerres, entre nationalisme et régionalisme 

Gábor Egry A generation outside history – populism, anti-liberalism and the young Hungarian intellectuals in Romania


17:00-18:00 Concluding Session and General Discussion

                Chairs: Balázs Trencsényi, Sorin Antohi

back to all activities »