ESSHC 2018, Elites and Forerunners network, session proposal: Walking the line between great opportunities and broken careers: the administrative and political elite in Central and Eastern Europe in the years 1918-1921

Vlad Popovici's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
April 15, 2017
Location: 
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Eastern Europe History / Studies, Government and Public Service, Modern European History / Studies, Russian or Soviet History / Studies, Social History / Studies

Call for Papers

for the session

 

Walking the line between great opportunities and broken careers: the administrative and political elite in Central and Eastern Europe in the years 1918-1921

 

European Social Sciences and History Conference 2018, Belfast

Elites and Forerunners network

 

Changes that occurred at the end of World War I in Central and Eastern Europe were, from many points of view, as unexpected, for the greater mass of the population – including some elite strata –, as the sudden outburst and the especially long duration of the conflagration. The armed conflicts continued in this region long after the official end of hostilities on the Western front, and redefining the political borders manifested under the form of a rapid succession of events. The outcome of these events, from the Baltic Sea to the Balkans, was still difficult to foresee in November 1918. Social unrest followed, in its turn, the tumultuous course of political events, as the entire region was haunted by more or less violent popular movements, radicalized through communist and nationalist ideological infusions. The precarious economic situation and the epidemics, with their entire spectrum of fatal effects, complete the picture of that time.

The challenges to which the former political and administrative elite (pillars of the old order) were subjected to were profound. The creation of the new national states contributed to imposing / assuming political systems and customs different from those of Austria-Hungary and the Russian Empire, but in many cases old laws and customs survived during a transition period that lasted several years. The franchise enlargement in the majority of successor states, and the modification of the structure of the electorate also had a decisive influence, favoring the rapid emergence of a new political class. At administration and public services level, the first victims of the transition towards the new regimes were part of the old civil servants. Some of them had resigned or were retired, partially due to the mistrust they inspired to the new political authorities, and partially on the grounds of the necessity to offer positions within the administration to co-nationals or comrades who shared the same ideological perspective. However, neither in politics, nor in administration, either due to personal abilities, or due to the necessity of maintaining some experienced persons in these positions, did it occur to completely dismiss all the members of the old elite, apart from exceptional cases.

Starting from these premises, we launch the invitation to contribute with papers to the session Walking the line between great opportunities and broken careers: the administrative and political elite in Central and Eastern Europe in the years 1918-1921, within ESSHC 2018, Belfast, April 4th – 7th 2018, Queen’s University. Our interest aims at both conducting comparative analyses based on the classical dichotomy between ‘elite’ and ‘counter-elite’ in the given historical context, as well as individual or group examples which would highlight the way of perceiving and adapting to events of the members of one or the other previously mentioned categories. We welcome both local and national case studies, as well as transnational comparisons. Our purpose is to obtain an image as clearly shaped as possible regarding the reaction of the old political and administrative elite in Central and Eastern Europe to the challenges brought on by the end of World War I, completed by a similarly well-shaped image of the new elite and of its members’ path to power.   

Please send your titles, together with a short abstract (100-500 words), to one of the following email addresses: paljudit@gmail.com or vladutpopovici@yahoo.com, by 15 April 2017.

 

Judit Pál, Professor, Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca

Vlad Popovici, Lecturer, Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca

 

 

Contact Info: 

Judit Pál, Professor, Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca

Vlad Popovici, Lecturer, Babeș-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca

 

Contact Email: