Social engineering. Projects of the nation-state building and their representation in historiography and historical memory: Croatia, Germany, Poland and Ukraine in twentieth century

  • Language: English
  • Participants: 15 young scholars (Polish Academy of Sciences), 6-8 others
  • Contact: Piotr Andrzejewski,
  • The general framework of the workshop is constituted by a broad perspective of the nation-building processes in the Central Europe in nineteenth and twentieth century. We will discuss the place occupied by the social engineering projects of modernization. We will ask, according to Lutz Raphael, about the different techniques of the human and social sciences, the role of experts, the clients and users of the social sciences, the history of institutions, but above all about their connection with national movements. The second main question are the roles played by the memories about the national movements and conflicts in the second half of the twentieth century and nowadays in the processes of building the national states in our part of Europe.
  • The goal of the workshop is to elaborate and to compare selected aspects of the social engineering policies pursued in the 20th century by the movements or states ideologically nationalist, fascist or communist and structurally totalitarian in Croatia, Germany, Poland and Ukraine. It is a broad spectrum of issues related to the emerging modern states, demography, eugenics, racial hygiene, statistics, geography but also with the real policy – from supporting birth rate of preferred groups up to genocide. Our discussion will concern the shaping of modern societies and the question of nationalism, racial ideology, historical memory and politics
  • By organizing this new form of inter-institutional cooperation, the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Leibniz-Association intend to offer their doctoral students possibility of international and interdisciplinary exchange and to extend their collegial networks by organizing this workshop for young scholars working in institutes of both organizations. Each institute can delegate up 3 young scholars.Costs for travelling and accommodation will be paid by each institute itself.
  • 1st day 14.00 – 18.00
  • A description of the processes which took place in all these countries as well as pointing out specific circumstances in each of them will be conducted. Why did the fascist and totalitarian movements develop in Germany and Croatia with such dynamism, whereas in Poland they did not achieve comparable popularity (similarly to the propositions to pursue eugenic policy)? To what extent did these movements occur in Ukraine and what was the influence of external patterns on them – the fascist Italy, III Reich and USSR? What was the influence of social engineering concepts on the form and the course of the national conflicts?
  • In second part we will discuss a problem of war crimes and genocide, on example of relation between Poland, Germany, and Ukraine. This topic were very important in the international relations, and between this three nations. The international discussion was about the meaning of this terms (war crimes and genocide) and about their adequacy to describe some historical events, for example in Polish-German or Polish-Ukrainian history.
  • a.14.00-14.10 Short introduction to the workshop
  • b.14.10-16.10
  • Social engineering and national movements in east-central Europe
  • Introduction: – Social engineering and national movements in east-central Europe - first half of 20th century
  • professor Peter Haslinger (Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe – –Institute of the Leibniz Association);
  • professor Piotr Madajczyk (Institute for Political Studies Polish Academy of Sciences)
  • 16.10-16.30 Coffee break
  • c.16.30-18.30
  • Genocide and war crimes in international relation
  • Introduction: Discussion about genocide and war crimes in Polish-German-Ukrainian interrelations since 1945
  • professor Wanda Jarząbek (Institute for Political Studies Polish Academy of Sciences);
  • professor Michael Schwartz (Institute of Contemporary History – Institute of the Leibniz Association)),
  • 20.00 - Supper

  • 2nd day 9.00 – 14.00
  • The second goal for the workshop is to investigate and to compare the national movements in Ukraine, Poland and Croatia, and the ways of consolidating and preserving collective memories about the events and policies in regard to social engineering which took place in the period of 1939-1991 in these countries. The roles played by these memories in relations between Central Europe countries, both under the communist rule and nowadays – also in the context of their membership or their aspiration to access to the EU – will also be examined.
  • d.9.00 – 11.00
  • Armed conflicts through the prism of mass crimes typology
  • Introduction: Polish-Ukrainian and Croatian-Serbian armed conflicts 1941-1945 through the prism of mass crimes typology
  • professor Ihor Iliushin (Kiev State Taras Shevchenko University);
  • professor Grzegorz Motyka (Institute for Political Studies Polish Academy of Sciences)
  • 11.00 – 11.20 Coffee break
  • e.11.20 – 13.30
  • Politics of memory
  • Introduction: Ukrainian and Croatian politics of memory towards nationalistic and communist social engineering since 1991
  • professor Magdalena Najbar-Agičić (Zagreb);
  • professor Tomasz Stryjek (Institute for Political Studies Polish Academy of Sciences)

13.30 – 14.00 Discussion. Statements. Conclusion


Piotr Andrzejewski