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Post-Imperial and Post-Socialist Legacies in Today's Populisms in Central and Eastern Europe | Call for Papers

Ausschreibende Einrichtung

Leibniz Institute for History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO), Leipzig; Research Institute Social Cohesion (FGZ), Leipzig


Anthropologie Kulturwissenschaft Ethnologie Gender Studies Geschichtswissenschaft Internationale Beziehungen Literaturwissenschaft Medienwissenschaft Sonstige Politikwissenschaft Slawistik Soziologie


Leipzig , June 15th to 17th, 2022

Populism has become a supranational phenomenon, leading researchers to re-evaluate the positioning of national societies and regions today. The varieties of populism that can be observed in Central and Eastern Europe tend to re-establish societies with a strong emphasis on national identity and sovereignty. References to historical predecessors from the post-imperial era – who opposed foreign infiltration into their respective nations – are made by political leaders to reconstruct the national myths and identities that emerged in the interwar period. This conference addresses to what extent populist parties and movements reinterpret historical peculiarities to restore national pride and give a new sense of direction. What influence have different experiences of the imperial age, the collapse of empires, or the legacies of socialism and transformations after 1989 had on the various forms of populism which exist today?

Through this call for papers, we invite scholars to submit contributions against the background of historical upheavals and developments in politics and society – with our particular interest being in post-imperial legacies and their relevance for countries in Central and Eastern Europe:

  • Are there post-imperial legacies which play a role in contemporary populism in the region?
  • Can the differences among national populisms be traced back to experiences of the (post-)imperial era and transition phase? Or does the imperial past no longer play a role?

We are also particularly interested in comparative approaches that examine different forms of populism within Eastern and Central Europe (intraregional comparison) as well as in comparison with other world regions (interregional comparison).

Areas of interest

Topics for this call for papers can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Post-imperial transition and nation-building
  • Actualization of political leaders and figures of the imperial and post-imperial eras
  • Return to a politics of “pride and glory”
  • Historical events in current populist discourse
  • Influence of post-socialist political structures and cultures on populism today

Please send your abstract of no more than 300 words with a short biographical note to Paolo Zucconi at by March 13th, 2022.

In the run-up to the conference, we will circulate the manuscripts of the presentations and papers among the commentators.

For any enquiries regarding the conference, please contact Hana Rydza at

About us

Located in ten different German federal states, The Research Institute Social Cohesion (FGZ) is an institute funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research which focuses on the regional diversity of social cohesion in Germany and beyond. The institute’s nearly 200 scientists from a variety of disciplines use empirical studies and large-scale comparisons to develop practical suggestions to help meet today's societal challenges. The researchers cover aspects such as identities, inequalities and solidarity, media and conflict culture, political polarization and populism, and anti-Semitism and hate crimes.

The Leibniz Institute for History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) focuses on the region between the Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Adriatic Sea from the Early Middle Ages to the present day in a comparative perspective. The institute seeks to contribute to a deeper understanding of the current political, economic and social developments in the countries, societies and cultures of Eastern Europe, especially the countries of East Central Europe.




Weitere Angaben

Paolo Zucconi


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