Conference “Paths of Transition / Transformation. Local Societies in Southeastern Europe in Transition from Empires to Nation States after World War I”

U Münchenu se 23. i 24. XI. 2017. održava međunarodna konferencija o tranziciji/transformaciji carstava u nacionalne države u Jugoistočnoj Europi nakon Prvog svjetskog rata.






Paths of Transition / Transformation.
Local Societies in Southeastern Europe in Transition from Empires to Nation States after World War I



23.–24.11.2017, Graduiertenschule für Ost- und Südosteuropastudien, München



The dominant understanding of the end of WWI in Southeastern Europe is still marked by the emergence of nation states, rashly nationalizing institutions, space and people at the ruins of empires. The fall of empires certainly meant the end of a specific experience of state building and configuration, one based on the dominance of a metropolitan centre over peripheries that were ruled in a differentiated way. Although the empires turned to nationalizing themselves under the pressure of and challenge by the nation-state model, they still left a legacy that new nation states, also imperialising entities, could not easily dispose of.

With the new idea and legitimacy of statehood and the new, uniform and “homogeneous” states in the making, local societies had to face a period of transition, a systemic change that aimed at the profound reconfiguration of state and social relations. However, what seemed as a straightforward development at the general level did not necessarily mean a similar transformation (comprehensive and sustainable social change) for local and regional societies.

Uneven transition can be explained with a broad range of factors. Revealing how and why these were effective in certain cases and failed to have an effect on other ones is a key issue for understanding the transition process. Comparison of such disparate (or even similar) stories across space would allow for revealing these factors behind different local outcomes and paths of transition. The types of change in local societies, the potential to gain agency, the significance of the changes for individuals with varying social backgrounds are just a few of the many themes that can be brought to the fore when the focus rests on local cases and they are analysed through a comparative lens. Therefore, the conference attempts to bring together a wide range of case studies that present material for further comparisons and the comparative study of certain problems.



Abstracts (PDF):



Program (PDF):






Thursday, 23 November


10:00–10:30 Welcome and Introduction

Florian Kührer-Wielach, Director of the IKGS, Munich

Martin Zückert, Managing Director of the Collegium Carolinum, Munich

Gábor Egry, Director of the Institute of Political History, Budapest


10:30–13:45 Nations and New Orders

Florian Kührer-Wielach: Transfer, Transition, Transformation? Transylvania and beyond

Johannes Gleixner (Munich): From the Countryside into the Center: Czech Progressives and the Notion of »Czech Socialism« as Republican Ideology

Călin Cotoi (Bucharest): Social Modernity and International Hygiene Conferences: Nation Building and Public Hygiene in 19th Century Romania


12:15–12:30 Coffee break


Ota Konrád (Prague): Violence, Nation and the New Order: The Bohemian Lands and Austria during the Transition Period, 1917-1923

Thomas Varkonyi (Vienna): »Galicia« as an Anti-Semitic Code in Hungary (and Austria) during and after The Great War

Chair: Martin Zückert


13:45–15:00 Lunch break


15:00–17:00 Post-imperial Biographies

Rok Stergar (Ljubljana): »We will make fools of ourselves if nothing comes of Yugoslavia« Transition from the Habsburg Empire to Yugoslavia from a Native Perspective

Svetlana Suveica (Regensburg/Chișinău): (Post-imperial) Identities on the Russian-Romanian Borderland: The Biography Twists of Panteleimon V. Sinadino

János Fodor (Cluj-Napoca): György Bernády: A Case Study of a Post-imperial Biography

Chair: Enikő Dácz (Munich)


Friday, 24 November


9:00–11:00 Transforming Local Societies

Attila Simon (Komárno): Alternativen des Machtübergangs. Kaschau 1918−1919

Jernej Kosi (Ljubljana/Graz): Transforming Local Identities: Prekmurje after the Dissolution of Austria-Hungary

Enikő Dácz: Local Societies in Transition: Braşov and Sibiu

Chair: Eric Weaver (Debrecen)


11:00–11:15 Coffee break


11:15–12:45 Comparative Local Transitions

Gábor Egry: Shoulder to Shoulder? Local Professional Networks and Institutions, Local and Regional Solidarity in the Emerging Romanian Nation State 1918-1925

Ivan Jeličić (Trieste): Political Elites and Counter-Elites in a City Searching for a Place in the Post-Habsburg Era

Chair: Rok Stergar


12:45–14:00 Lunch break


14:00–16:00 Peculiar Regions, Peculiar People

Julia Richers (Bern): Identifications in Transition: Interwar Biographies in Carpatho-Ukraine

Eric Weaver: The Nation that Was Not to Be. Reactions of Bunjevci and other South Slavs in Hungary to Revolution and State Change at the End of the First World War

Ségoléne Plyer (Strasbourg): The Goodness of the Monarchy, the Gains of 1918. German and Czech Change Experiences on Regional Scale in Bohemia, 1914-1924

Chair: Svetlana Suveica


16:00–16:15 Coffee break


16:15–17:15 Round Table Discussion: Perspectives for Further Research

Gábor Egry, Ota Konrád, Ségoléne Plyer, Julia Richers