In the first event of the series showcasing its projects and activities, the Democracy in History Workgroup presented some of its thematic orientations.
The Workgroup currently consists of 10 scholars; a research assistant; and a post-doctoral fellow to start in the AY 2021/22. It actively pursues cooperation with the other Workgroups and with doctoral students at CEU.
In the event Laszlo Kontler talked about "History as Democracy", a project to be operated under the auspices of the DI by PhD students, focusing on the relation between democracy and the practice of history both as a body of specialized disciplinary knowledge and as a public discourse. He also presented a recently launched book series co-edited by him on "History of European Political and Constitutional Thought", whose endeavours are generally relevant to the pursuits of the Democracy Institute. He particularly focused on a forthcoming volume on Crisis and Renewal in the History of European Political Thought (eds. Cesare Cuttica and Laszlo Kontler, with Clara Maier).
Balazs Trencsenyi, together with a group of doctoral students from the History Department (Isidora Grubački, Lucija Balikic and Una Blagojevic) talked about the intellectual and institutional design of a larger research agenda seeking to contribute to the rethinking of modern European intellectual history from the vantage point of crisis-discourses. Combining the methodology of conceptual history with a contextualist history of political thought and with a transnational perspective, it focuses on a number of key controversies that shaped modern East Central European history and politics, seeking to assess continuities and discontinuities. Its three main temporal axes to be analyzed are the interwar era, the socialist period (especially its postwar years and the 1980s), and the period following 2008.