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

International workshop & 7th Core Group Meeting

Nov 09

The first two days of the meeting were dedicated to the workshop on late Enlightenment and 19th century Liberalism, Romanticism and Nationalism, co-organized with the Study Platform on Interlocking Nationalisms (SPIN). Besides the members of the Negotiating Modernity core group researchers, the workshop was attended by Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam), Miroslav Hroch (Charles University Prague), Michael Wintle (University of Amsterdam), Annie Jourdan (University of Amsterdam), Tom Verschaffel (Catholic University of Leuven), Marleen Rensen (University of Amsterdam), Iván Zoltán Dénes (University of Debrecen), Edoardo Tortarolo (University of Eastern Piedmont, Vercelli), Pachalis Kitromilides (Institute of Neohellenic Research, Athens), Franz Leander Fillafer (University of Constance), Lea Ypi (Nuffield College, Oxford) and John Breuilly (London School of Economics). The workshop was subdivided into three panels. In the first panel, the participants addressed some general open issues in the conceptualization of nationalism in the “long 19th century”, with a special emphasis on the issue of early 19th century transnational and trans-regional scholarly networks and their role in the early phases of national mobilization. The second panel was organized around the problem of continuities and discontinuities between Enlightenment and Romanticism. The third panel was dedicated to Romantic historiographical narratives and the legacy of the Romantic discourses of national peculiarities. For details, see below.

The last day was dedicated to the internal working meeting of the Negotiating Modernity core group, which was joined by Lea Ypi and Franz L. Fillafer. In the meeting, the first preliminary drafts of the subchapters were discussed. In the meeting we agreed on the following:

  • We shall proceed in the further elaboration of the already written subchapters, and start writing new ones according to the agreed division of tasks;
  • The primary bibliography will continue to circulate among the core group members and the associate researchers, with an increased individual communication between the concerned members of the group, clarifying missing references and gaps in the given chronological entities. Progress in individual research should be reported by the core group members;
  • The next meeting will take place in Sofia in connection to the workshop on “Regimes of historicity” organized by the Center for Advanced Research. The meeting will focus mostly on the second half of the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. The following meeting will be held in Bucharest in mid June 2010, coordinated with a workshop on interwar anti-modernist discourses in the Balkans (with a focus on Romania) In late October 2010, we shall meet in Warsaw. Suggestions for the next meetings are: Tirana (January 2011), Athens (June 2011), Lviv - Chernivtsi (Autumn 2011);
  • Each of us should continue writing a narrative sketch of the history of political thought in our 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. We will discuss it in the Bucharest meeting. We should also continue compiling the list of influential foreign thinkers for our context;
  • The next reader of paramount/characteristic texts from each national context will be compiled by the next meeting of the core group.

In the meeting, we also specified the involvement of associate researchers Lea Ypi, dealing with Albania, and Franz L. Fillafer, working on 19th century intellectual history in the Habsburg Empire. The involvement of further experts covering fields out of our circle of competence was also discussed, including the engagement of a specialist dealing with Jewish political thought in the region. Experts on Belarus and Ukraine are to be contacted, while expertise can be sought for specific topics which have so far been left out of the focus of research (pacifism, post-1989 debates, interwar political though in the Baltic states, etc.).



International workshop, Amsterdam November 26-27 2009:

Liberalism, Nationalism, Romanticism - Towards a Comparative Vision of Nineteenth-Century European Cultural-Political Thought



Thursday 26 November 


14.00-16.30 hrs.

Welcome by Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam) and Balázs Trencsényi (CEU) 

Panel I. Studying Cultural Nationalism in the Long 19th C.: Networks, Transnational Discourses and Local Contexts 


- Joep Leerssen (University of Amsterdam): position paper* on rethinking the history of European cultural nationalism in the long 19th c.

- rejoinder by Miroslav Hroch (Czech Academy of Sciences)

- rejoinder by Michael Wintle (University of Amsterdam)

15.15-16.30       Open discussion 

Late Afternoon  

17.00                SPIN Lecture 2009 by John Breuilly: A Global Approach to the History of   Nationalism

Agnietenkapel, University of Amsterdam 

Friday 27 November  


10.00-12.30   Panel II. Enlightenment and Romanticism.  Continuities and Discontinuities


- Maciej Janowski (Polish Academy of Sciences/CEU): position paper on Late Enlightenment political discourses in Central Europe

- rejoinder by Paschalis Kitromilides (Institute for Neohellenic Research)

- rejoinder by Lea Ypi (Oxford University)  

- rejoinder by Iván Zoltán Dénes (University of Debrecen)

- rejoinder by Franz Leander Fillafer (University of Cambridge) 

11.20-12.30      Open discussion  


14.00-17.00  Panel III. Romantic Historiographical Narratives and the Legacy of the Romantic Discourse of National Peculiarity 


- Mónika Baár (University of Groningen) position paper on comparing European romantic historiographical canons

- rejoinder by Edoardo Tortarolo (Università del Piemonte Orientale)

-  rejoinder by Tom Verschaffel (Catholic University Leuven)

-  rejoinder by Marleen Rensen (University of Amsterdam) 

15.15-17.00   Open Discussion 


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