Affluent Poles Looking at Ukraine – Too much Lecturing, not enough Support

Poland_Solidarnosc_Slider

25.02.2014

Poland has become a part of Western Europe – for better or for worse. In the face of the escalating Ukrainian conflict it definitely seems for worse. The Poles have become wealthy enough to forget where they were 25 years ago. The memories of our own poor condition are so faded that we can no longer empathize with the Ukrainians’ violent struggle. And yet it seems so easy to keep convincing everyone in Brussels that Poland will teach its European partners to think in terms of solidarity.

Only some days ago, Prime Minister Donald Tusk condemned both sides of the conflict in Ukraine. One of the coalition MPs, Stefan Niesiołowski, stated: “it’s merely an internal conflict; I do not see the possibilities for a Polish reaction.” Only a day later policymakers across the European Union had a new mantra: sanctions – whilst the Polish foreign minister Radek Sikorski went to Kyiv, together with his German and French counterparts. Their mediation was applauded as putting an end to barbaric bloodshed. Mr. Sikorski threatened the opposition leaders that if they do not sign they “will all be dead” – a serious claim at that moment, which seemed a great exaggeration only the next morning. However, the actual impact of official EU diplomacy on the end of violence is as debatable as the actual cause of that tragedy. Boasting about how Poland should play the role of Ukraine’s EU ambassador can well be seen as worn out. So what then should Poland’s and the EU’s policy towards Ukraine be now?

The three fallacies of our thinking about Ukraine

The idea of setting up a “Round Table” in Ukraine, emulating the Polish negotiated transition to democracy in 1989, echoed time and again. This proposition was underlined with good intentions and often comes from people who wish the Ukrainians well. It is, however, a largely subconscious symptom of three intellectual sins. These are: a peculiar amnesia, a postcolonial approach to the place of our Eastern neighbor in the geopolitical order and ignorance about the local realities.

Let’s start with the amnesia. We like to stress how important is the unique Central European experience for Polish political thinking. The two totalitarian regimes which left their gruesome traces here have supposedly made us both more aware of ideological blindness and sensitive to human rights breaches in the case of those who struggle for freedom. Our political elites grew largely out of the anti-authoritarian, democratic opposition – the “dissident” movements. Their representatives like to emphasize that.

Unfortunately, in the face of the current developments in Ukraine it turns out that parts of those same elites, when it comes to concrete action in the name of „exporting” the democratic revolution further East, are curiously passive or lack any vision. This was visible in the aftermath of the Orange Revolution and can well be repeated again, when things are calming down in Kyiv. Recent weeks and days in Ukraine clearly show that though we had the Workers’ Defense Committee and we are proud of the Solidarity trade union, the communist regime fell because Gorbachev allowed it to. This is a bitter pill, a truth less known to the politicians, although widely acknowledged by historians (a Polish historian Andrzej Paczkowski called our back-yard “the playground of superpowers”).

Moving on to postcolonial thinking (according to which Ukraine is our younger sibling), perhaps the country does have, on the societal level, some democratic ambitions. But when push comes to shove, it does not really know what democracy is about. It is a corrupt and half-baked country where the chances for maintaining the rule of law and enhancing civility are bleak even in the long run. Along the same lines, if the Ukrainians will not prove mature enough to settle their issues with Yanukovych on their own, it is surely not up to us to help them democratize their own country. This turns out to be a rather attractive excuse for the first sin, because it protects from accusations of passiveness and betraying one’s own (dissident) values.

Furthermore, the argument is raised that the Ukrainian economy will not survive if it becomes detached from the Russian Federation. We fail to recognize that this is the same type of rhetoric that hurt us so much in relation to our own country before the 1989 breakthrough and shortly after it. The Poles have become so well-off, and got their brains so deeply fixated on EU financial support, that they have completely forgotten where they themselves were 25 years ago. We are satiated, and the memories of our own poor condition are so faded that we can no longer empathize with the Ukrainians’ violent struggle. And yet it seems so easy to keep convincing everyone in Brussels that Poland will teach its European partners to think in terms of solidarity.

And then there is the third aspect – vast ignorance regarding Ukraine. It was very hard to imagine a dialogue in the tragic situation, with civilian body count reaching several dozen, although if one wants to find a justification for setting up a “Round Table” in a (nominally) democratic country, the need for dialogue and putting an end to the mindless bloodshed is the key point. That was indeed the rationale behind the negotiated agreement between the authorities and the opposition leaders – at least before the Ukrainian Parliament took over, and Yanukovych disappeared.

But this discloses another dimension of ignorance. The composition of Ukraine’s opposition is too complex for many Polish observers, so they fall back onto mental shortcuts and generalizations – from a Euro-enthusiastic generalization about civil society and freedom-fighters on the one side, to a simplification about fascists and hooligans on the other extreme. It is a fact, though, that the key to the Polish “Round Table” was the consensus between the reformist wing of the regime with the moderate core of the opposition – and the societal mandate that the latter possessed. The growing radicalization of parts of the Ukrainian society – often mainly misinterpreted as the radicalization of political groups – so far has not lead to similar outcomes in Ukraine. The agreement of the moderates was challenged not only by the far right radicals, but also by the disillusionement of the Maidan’s mainstream. The lukewarm reception of the liberated oligarch-martyr Yulia Tymoshenko only shows that elite agreements and reshufflings will simply no longer do.

Learning form past mistakes

What should the Polish politicians do in such circumstances? As liberals, bearing the idea of civic liberty close to our hearts, we are convinced that Poland’s diplomatic activities of the last decade — although resembling the political practice of the EU—will not suffice. As thirty-year-olds, who lived over two thirds of our lives in a free Poland, we would like to believe that the assurances of values, which according to the older generation were the foundations of a new Poland, were not just empty lip-service. We want to keep thinking that those values are not more important to us than to those who introduced them.

We are not naive. We understand that politics and diplomacy are often the craft of slow and patient actions. We wish, however, that things will not boil down to Sikorski’s mission to Kyiv. There are two domains and two approaches were more activity is needed.

The first one is the top-down, EU-centered diplomatic effort, which should result in drawing Ukraine closer to the EU. Not because this realizes our ill-defined raison d’etat, but because the EU is still the closest thing to a democratic community of peaceful international cooperation that we were able to achieve, and the Ukrainians have the right to, if they so choose, to be part of it. Poland then faces the challenge of changing the politics of Brussels (and other European capitals) towards Ukraine and our other neighbors, such as Belarus. The weakness of the EU in the East is rooted in the overwhelming formalization of the way Brussels functions, where democracy is defeated daily by bureaucracy and technocracy, as well as a faulty system of incentives for the Eastern countries to undertake democratic reforms.

Most importantly, there is a visible lack of a country, which would take onto itself the responsibility for a permanent advocacy in the name of the Eastern nations. There is no reason why the program pompously dubbed the Eastern Partnership should not become a truly European project. There is no reason why Poland should not play for Ukraine a similar role that Germany played for us, when it came to accepting Warsaw into the circle of EU capitals. This is not – to make it clear – another example of postcolonial thinking, but a stubborn pursuance of partnership.

We cannot, however, project historical schemes onto the present. There will not be another 1989, nor another 2004. The second domain is one of a bottom-up inter-societal partnership which can of course be enhanced by governmental support and incentives. Let us cease treating the Ukrainians as silly schoolchildren whom we, the self-proclaimed professors of democracy, will tell lengthy stories of how we used to do things, while our own backyard is far from ideal even today. Let’s think hard how we can strengthen the Ukrainian democracy from the bottom-up, drawing lessons from the imperfections of our quarter-century-long transformation. We cannot repeat the mistakes made after the Orange Revolution. After an initial wave of high-minded enthusiasm, when we all (yes, us too!) got carried away with revolutionary romance, we failed to keep that fire burning. Visiting the Maidan, from that perspective, resembled revolutionary tourism of places well known from the TV. Ukrainians, who perhaps still remembered the Polish president and politicians speaking from the stage at Liberty Square, were soon confronted with a much more mundane and brutal reality. Trying to cross the Ukrainian-Polish border many of them would be reminded, that the Polish state sees in them either potential bandits, smugglers or at best – cheap labor.

To build a functioning societal partnership we need to make it possible and affordable for Ukrainians to travel. Again, following the footsteps of our Western neighbor, the Polish government should consider a wide scholarship scheme for Ukrainian students. Such initiatives build lasting links, create a mutual exchange of ideas, and support the emergence of new, internationalized elites – on both sides. They thus address all the three fallacies we mentioned – at one go. Capacity building for the Ukrainian non-governmental sector through experienced Polish NGOs is another important element of that bottom-up approach. Again though – less lecturing, more support. We need to first ask the Ukrainians about their needs, understand their goals and hopes, and only then offer our focused assistance. This sensitivity is crucial. It also necessitates a greater attention directed at eastern and southern Ukraine. Our mainstream media easily dismiss that part of Ukraine as either a post-Soviet terra incognita or a land inhabited by people who are simply wrong and should be overruled and outvoted. Without a better understanding of these internal specificities, without adopting a perspective focused on individual freedom and dignity, we risk deepening the divisions in our neighbor’s society – the last thing we want.

Europe is still a powerful symbol, and a reality

We should also not forget that the European Union that we used to dream of is today neck-deep in crises – an economic crisis and also a crisis of its values. Before we start dragging anyone in, let’s consider what – in each individual case – the Union can offer. Because, in spite of all the problems, it can still offer quite a lot. In the grayness of our democracy we cannot allow anyone to convince us – as some Western intellectual circles once did – that there is no fundamental qualitative difference between democracy and authoritarianism. We cannot watch numbly if once again Ukraine slides towards authoritarianism, and keep telling ourselves that its none of our business, and by the way, it’s not that rosy here either.

To paraphrase the words that the then dissident, now journalist, Konstanty Gebert, once directed to Western activists: our point of departure is for many Ukrainians the point of arrival that they dream of. It is easy not to value freedom and to forget about it, but ask in Belarus, in Russia and now also in Ukraine – how difficult it is to live without it?

 

Łukasz Jasina is a historian teaching at the Catholic University of Lublin and a columnist at „Kultura Liberalna” specializing in the post-Soviet sphere.

Kacper Szulecki is a political scientist, until recently a Dahrendorf Fellow at the Hertie School of Goveranance, and editor at “Kultura Liberalna”, writing on international affairs.

Karolina Wigura is a sociologist and assistant professor at the Warsaw University. She also leads the political section of the “Kultura Liberalna” weekly.

First published in Kultura Liberalna, February 25, 2014.

© Authors / Kultura Liberalna

Tags:

Related Content

  • Die Idee des Intermariums: Ein mittelosteuropäischer Pakt gegen russischen Neoimperialismus

    Die Sicherheitsinteressen Zwischeneuropas und vor allem der Ukraine verlangen nach einem Intermarium-Block – einer Koalition der Staaten zwischen Ostsee und Schwarzem Meer.
    Read more

  • The Warsaw NATO Summit and beyond

    Obama’s criticism and the embarrassing act of censorship of his speech notwithstanding, the NATO Warsaw Summit proved on balance to be successful for Poland’s foreign policy goals, as well as those of NATO’s other Eastern Allies, as they have managed to secure NATO’s increased presence on the Eastern flanks as part of a defence against, and a deterrent to, Putin’s Russia. Nevertheless, with the UK gradually losing its influence following the Brexit referendum and most likely leaving the EU within a few years, Poland and NATO’s Eastern Allies are losing an important ally that provided significant political support for these countries in the EU and NATO. Law and Justice may also face growing isolation on the European level, especially if it does not find an acceptable solution for the constitutional crisis and continues questionable practices in the media sphere.
    Read more

  • Between ‘the Russian World’ and ‘the Ukrainian Nation’: Kyiv Pride before and after Euromaidan

    Ukrainian LGBT movement is the logical product of the Ukrainian social, economical, and political context. For queer politics to appear in Ukraine, different conditions and possibilities have to be created. It will take years for currently isolated queer activists to rearticulate the existing heteronormative order through many scattered tactical interventions into the public sphere.
    Read more

  • Self-Reflection Through the Visual: Notes on Some Maidan Documentaries

    On a formal level, the images win a subjectivity of their own, in a similar way to the people -- the main protagonist of all the abovementioned films -- who gain their political subjectivity during the course of revolutionary struggle. If there is any universal truth about Maidan, then it can be articulated like this: people with their own hands, their own efforts and will ousted the oppressive political regime from power.
    Read more

  • Student Protest as the Trigger for the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine

    By now it has been nearly forgotten how the events started that led to Yanukovych relinquishing power. Nevertheless, it was exactly on the grassroots level that some of the most interesting developments took place such as the appearance of a student protests movement which became crucial for the Euromaidan movement and whose fate paradoxically directly triggered the Revolution.
    Read more

  • Declaration of the School of Kyiv – Kyiv Biennial 2015

    The School of Kyiv is a newly invented biennial subject that chose the model of forum as its method of functioning and interacting. The Kyiv biennial has a clear political intention reflected in its social and artistic structure and channeled through its educational form. This is what binds biennial, school, and Kyiv to the intersecting triad of art, knowledge, and politics.
    Read more

  • When Empires Collapse – Reflections on the Crisis in Ukraine

    Despite the many obvious differences, the current turmoil in the Middle East and the Ukrainian crisis have something in common: both reflect the problematic legacies left behind when centuries-old empires collapse and the successor states appear less stable and viable than originally imagined.
    Read more

  • Ein Historiker im “Information-War”: Karl Schlögel im Interview

    Die russische Annexion der Krim und der "unerklärte Krieg" in der Ukraine haben selbst Experten überrascht. So auch den Historiker und Russland-Kenner Karl Schlögel. Der russische Präsident Wladimir Putin verfolge heute eine völkische Politik, die an das "Dritte Reich" erinnert, sagte er in einem Interview.
    Read more

  • The Ukrainian School of War

    The ongoing turmoil in Ukraine has frequently been compared to the Yugoslav crisis of the early 1990s – and, indeed, there are many similarities. But, when it comes to understanding why the conflict between Ukraine's government and Russian-backed separatists has persisted – and why, after a year of increasingly brutal fighting, a resolution seems so remote – the differences are far more important.
    Read more

  • A Deadly Game of Hide-and-Seek: Why a Diplomatic Solution in Russia/Ukraine War is Nowhere in Sight

    When Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emerged after negotiations in Berlin on January 21, he had a simple message for the media: there may be thousands of people killed in the ongoing war in Ukraine, but you have no proof that it is done by Russian troops or Russian weapons.
    Read more

Tr@nsit Online Authors

  • Bradley F. Abrams

    History, Stanford University
    Read more

  • Thomas Ahbe

    Thomas Ahbe studierte Philosophie, Ökonomie und Soziologie. Seit 1998 wirkt er freischaffend als Sozialwissenschaftler und Publizist. Seine Arbeitsschwerpunkte sind Diskurs- und Kulturgeschichte der deutschen Zweistaatlichkeit und der ostdeutschen Transformation sowie die Generationengeschichte der DDR und Ostdeutschlands.   Print

  • Karl Aiginger

    Karl Aiginger is Director of WIFO (Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung), Professor of Economics and Coordinator of the project A new growth path for Europe within the 7th European Framework Program.   Print

  • Huercan Asli Aksoy

    Ph.D. candidate in Political Science, University of Tübingen
    Read more

  • Sorin Antohi

    Sorin Antohi is Professor of History at Central European University, Budapest.   Print

  • Timothy Garton Ash

    History, Oxford
    Read more

  • Roumen Avramov

    Program director for economic research at the Center for Liberal Strategies, Sofia
    Read more

  • Adam Baczko

    PhD Candidate in Political Science, EHESS, Paris
    Read more

  • Pavel Barsa

    Associate Professor of Political Science, Charles University Prague
    Read more

  • Rainer Bauböck

    Rainer Bauböck is professor of social and political theory at the European University Institute in Florence. In 2006 he was awarded the Latsis Prize of the European Science Foundation for his work on immigration and social cohesion in modern societies. Among his many publications are Immigration and Boundaries of Citizenship (1992), Transnational Citizenship: Membership and …
    Read more

  • Steven Beller

    Geschichte, Cambridge
    Read more

  • Naja Bentzen

    Freelance journalist, Wien
    Read more

  • Luiza Bialasiewicz

    Jean Monnet Professor of EU External Relations, University of Amsterdam
    Read more

  • Muriel Blaive

    Muriel Blaive ist seit 2012 Institutskoordinatorin des Ludwig Boltzmann Instituts für Europäische Geschichte und Öffentlichkeit.   Print

  • Andras Bozoki

    Sociology, Budapest
    Read more

  • José Casanova

    Professor für Soziologie, New School for Social Research, New York
    Read more

  • Daniel Chirot

    Soziologie, Seattle
    Read more

  • Robert Cooper

    Robert Cooper ist britischer Diplomat und derzeit als Sonderberater des Europäischen Auswärtigen Dienstes (European External Action Service, EEAS) tätig. Er ist zudem Gründungsmitglied des European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).   Print

  • Peter Demetz

    Sterling Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature, Yale University; Korrespondierendes Mitglied des IWM
    Read more

  • James Dodd

    Associate Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research, New York

    Guest
    (Septermber – October 2016)
    Read more

  • Martin Endreß

    Martin Endreß ist Professor für Soziologie an der Universität Trier.   Print

  • Mischa Gabowitsch

    Mischa Gabowitsch (gabowitsch.net) is a research fellow at the Einstein Forum in Potsdam. He is the author of Putin kaputt!? (Suhrkamp, 2013), a study of the 2011-13 Russian protests for fair elections, and maintains protestrussia.net, which collects academic resources for the study of protest in Russia.   Print

  • Charles Gati

    Charles Gati is Senior Acting Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies and Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C.     Print

  • Dessy Gavrilova

    Dessy Gavrilova is the founding Director of The Red House – Center for Culture and Debate in Sofia, Bulgaria.     Print

  • Keith Gessen

    Keith Gessen is a freelance writer living in Cambridge, MA.   Print

  • Gerhard Gnauck

    Warsaw correspondent for Die Welt
    Read more

  • Katya Gorchinskaya

    Managing Editor for Investigative Programming, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (REF/RL), Kyiv
    Read more

  • John Gray

    John Gray is Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics.   Print

  • Rainer Gries

    Rainer Gries lehrt und forscht als Universitätsprofessor am Historischen Institut der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, am Institut für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft der Universität Wien sowie an der Sigmund Freud PrivatUniversität Wien. Zu seinen Forschungsschwerpuntken zählen u.a. die Gesellschaftsgeschichte Deutschlands und Österreichs im 20. Jahrhundert und die Geschichte des Konsums in Europa.   Print

  • Eva Hahn

    Geschichte
    Read more

  • Gábor Halmai

    Professor of Law, Department of European Studies; Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
    Read more

  • Elemer Hankiss

    Professor für Politikwissenschaft, Eötvös Lorand Universität, Budapest; Korrespondierendes Mitglied des IWM
    Read more

  • Miklós Haraszti

    Miklós Haraszti is a writer, journalist, human rights advocate and university professor. He served the maximum of two terms as the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media from 2004 to 2010. Currently he is Adjunct Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia Law School, New York. Haraszti studied philosophy and …
    Read more

  • Sabine Hark

    Sabine Hark forscht an der Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Potsdam, Professur für Frauenforschung.   Print

  • Annemieke Hendriks

    Freelance journalist, Berlin
    Read more

  • Charles Hirschman

    Charles Hirschman is Boeing International Professor at the Department of Sociology and the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, Washington University.     Print

  • Jennifer L. Hochschild

    Jennifer L. Hochschild is Professor of Government at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Professor of African and African-American Studies at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University.   Print

  • Yaroslav Hrytsak

    History, Central European University Budapest
    Read more

  • Richard Hyman

    Richard Hyman ist Professor für Politikwissenschaft an der London School of Economics.   Print

  • Vladislav Inozemtsev

    Professor of Economics at Higher School of Economics; Director, Centre for Post-Industrial Studies, Moscow
    Read more

  • Bruce P. Jackson

    Bruce P. Jackson is the founder and President of the Project on Transitional Democracies. The Project is a multi-year endeavour aimed at accelerating the pace of reform in post-1989 democracies and advancing the date for the integration of these democracies into the institutions of the Euro-Atlantic. Jackson has written extensively about the engagement of Russia …
    Read more

  • Tom Junes

    Visiting Researcher, Warsaw University, and Visiting Lecturer in Polish history, KULeuven, Belgium
    Read more

  • Alex J. Kay

    Alex J. Kay holds a PhD in History from the Humboldt University Berlin.   Print

  • Anatoly M. Khazanov

    Anatoly M. Khazanov ist Professor für Anthropologie an der University of Wisconsin, Madison.   Print

  • Cornelia Klinger

    Professor of Philosophy, University of Tübingen
    Read more

  • Gudrun-Axeli Knapp

    Professor of Social Sciences and Social Psychology, University of Hannover
    Read more

  • Jacek Kochanowicz

    Jacek Kochanowicz is Professor for Economic History at Warsaw University.       Print

  • Michal Kopecek

    International Relations, Charles University Prague
    Read more

  • János Kornai

    János Kornai is Prof. em. for Economics  at Harvard University and Permanent Fellow at the Collegium Budapest – Institute for Advanced Study. He is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europeae, and Foreign Member of the American, British, Bulgarian, Finnish, Russian and Swedish Academies. He has served as President of …
    Read more

  • Pavel Kouba

    Professor für Philosophie an der Karlsuniversität, Prag; Leiter des Zentrums für Phänomenologische Forschung an der Tschechischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
    Read more

  • János Mátyás Kovács

    IWM Permanent Fellow
    Lecturer, Department of Economics, Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest
    Read more

  • Ivan Krastev

    IWM Permanent Fellow
    Chair of the Board, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia
    Read more

  • Yustyna Kravchuk

    PhD candidate in Film and Media Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv
    Read more

  • Jacek Kucharczyk

    Jacek Kucharczyk ist Head of Programs am Institute of Public Affairs in Warschau.   Print

  • Aleksander Kwasniewski

    Aleksander Kwasniewski war Präsident Polens. Seine Amtszeit verlief von 1995 bis 2005 über zwei Legislaturperioden.   Print

  • Mladen Lazic

    Professor of Sociology, University of Belgrade
    Read more

  • Claus Leggewie

    Professor für Politikwissenschaft, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen
    Read more

  • André Liebich

    Honorary Professor of International History and Politics, Graduate Institute, Geneva
    Read more

  • Burkhard Liebsch

    Burkhard Liebsch ist Professor für Philosophie an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum.   Print

  • Michal Luczewski

    Ph.D. candidate in Sociology, Warsaw University
    Read more

  • Charles S. Maier

    Charles S. Maier ist Direktor des Center for European Studies, Harvard University.   Print

  • Andrey Makarychev

    Andrey Makarychev ist Professor und Research Fellow am Institut Osteuropäische Studien an der Freien Universität Berlin.   Print

  • Michał Maciej Matlak

    Ph.D. candidate, Department of Political and Social Sciences, European University Institute, Florence
    Read more

  • Erik Meyer

    Erik Meyer ist seit 2000 wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Sonderforschungsbereich ‘Erinnerungskulturen’ an der Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen.   Print

  • Krzysztof Michalski

    IWM Founding Rector
    Read more

  • Hans J. Misselwitz

    Hans-Jürgen Misselwitz ist ein deutscher SPD-Politiker und Gründungsmitglied des Instituts Solidarische Moderne.   Print

  • Alessandro Monsutti

    Alessandro Monsutti is an associate professor of anthropology and development sociology at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, as well as research associate at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. He worked as a consultant for several nongovernmental and international organizations, icnluding UNHCR. His book War and Migration: Social Networks …
    Read more

  • Jan-Werner Müller

    Professor of Politics, Princeton University

    Visiting Fellow
    (September 2016 – June 2017)
    Read more

  • Rainer Münz

    Professor für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Korrespondierendes Mitglied des IWM
    Read more

  • Sighard Neckel

    Professor of Sociology, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main
    Read more

  • Katherine Newman

    Katherine S. Newman is the James B. Knapp Dean of The Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. She is a widely published expert on poverty and the working poor who led major interdisciplinary initiatives at Princeton and Harvard universities.     Print

  • Pierre Nora

    Pierre Nora lehrt Geschichte an der École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris.   Print

  • Tereza Novotna

    Political Science, Boston University
    Read more

  • Ewald Nowotny

    Ewald Nowotny is Governor of the Austrian National Bank.   Print

  • Thomas Nowotny

    Thomas Nowotny teaches Political Science at the University of Vienna. He has been Austrian diplomat, private secretary to Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, senior political counselor to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and consultant to the OECD.   Print

  • Vlad Odobescu

    Freelance journalist, Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism, Bucharest
    Read more

  • Andrzej Paczkowski

    Professor für Geschichte, Institut für Politische Studien, Polnische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Warschau
    Read more

  • Emilia Palonen

    Politics, University of Essex
    Read more

  • Irina Papkova

    Irina Papkova is a Research Fellow of Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. She spent five years teaching at the Department of International Relations and European Studies at Central European University, Budapest.   Print

  • Agnieszka Pasieka

    Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the Martin Luther University, Halle/Saale
    Read more

  • Gleb Pavlovsky

    President, Center of Effective Policies; Member, Public Chamber of the Russian Federation; Editor-in-Chief, The Russian Journal (Moscow)
    Read more

  • György Péteri

    Professor of Contemporary European History, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim
    Read more

  • Tanja Petrovic

    Tanja Petrovic works at the Scientific Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana.   Print

  • David Petruccelli

    PhD candidate in History, Yale University
    Read more

  • Alexander von Plato

    Alexander von Plato ist ein deutscher Philosoph und Historiker. Er gründete das Instituts für Geschichte und Biographie an der Fernuniversität Hagen, das er bis 2007 leitete. Von 1996 bis 2000 war er Sekretär der International Oral History Association, von 2006 bis 2008 deren Vizepräsident. Er ist Mitherausgeber und Redakteur von BIOS – Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung, Oral …
    Read more

  • Andrei Plesu

    Andrei Plesu ist Rektor des New Europe College, Bukarest. 1989- 1991 war er rumänischer Kulturminister und 1997- 1999 rumänischer Außenminister.   Print

  • Martin Pollack

    Martin Pollack, geb. 1944 in OÖ, studierte Slawistik und osteuropäische Geschichte. Er war von 1987 bis 1998 Redakteur des “Spiegel” in Warschau und Wien und lebt heute als Schriftsteller und literarischer Übersetzer in Wien und Bocksdorf im Südburgenland. 2011 erhielt er den Leipziger Buchpreis zur Europäischen Verständigung und 2012 den Stanislaw-Vincenz-Preis. Zuletzt erschien von ihm …
    Read more

  • Krzysztof Pomian

    Krzysztof Pomian is Professor of History at the Nicolaus Copernicus University (Toruń) and Academic Director of the Museum of Europe in Brussels.   Print

  • Romano Prodi

    Romano Prodi war von September 1999 bis November 2004 Präsident der Europäischen Kommission.   Print

  • Lipin Ram

    PhD candidate and teaching assistant in Anthropology and Sociology of Development, Graduate Institute, Geneva
    Read more

  • Mykola Riabchuk

    Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Political and Nationalities’ Studies, Academy of Sciences, Kyiv
    Read more

  • Edelbert Richter

    Edelbert Richter ist deutscher Theologe, Politiker und war Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages.   Print

  • Paul Ricoeur

    Paul Ricoeur ist Philosoph und war Professor Emeritus an der University of Chicago und an der Sorbonne. Er war Mitglied der Académie Francaise und Mitglied des Wissenschaftlichen Beirats des IWM. Er starb 2005.   Print

  • Michel Rocard

    Michel Rocard, former First Secretary of the French Socialist Party and a member of the European Parliament for 15 years, was Prime Minister of France from 1988 to 1991.   Print

  • Akos Rona-Tas

    Akos Rona-Tas is professor at the Sociology Department of the University of California, San Diego and a research associate at Met@risk, INRA, Paris. He is the author of the books Plastic Money: Constructing Markets for Credit Cards in Eight Postcommunist Countries (with Alya Guseva, 2014) and Surprise of the Small Transformation: Demise of Communism and …
    Read more

  • Lew Rubinstein

    Lew Rubinstein lebt als Poet und Essayist in Moskau. Nach dem Studium der Philologie war er als Bibliothekar tätig. Seit Ende der 1960er-Jahre verfasst er poetische Arbeiten, seit 1974 serielle Textzyklen als so genannte Kartotheken. Zusammen mit Andrej Monastyrskij, Dimitrij A. Prigov und Vladimir Sorokin gilt er als wichtigster Vertreter des Moskauer Konzeptualismus. Print

  • Jacques Rupnik

    Geschichte und Politikwissenschaft, Paris
    Read more

  • Claudia Šabi?

    Claudia Šabi? ist Politikwissenschaftlerin und Ethnologin. Seit 1998 ist sie Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin an der Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main. Print

  • Ranabir Samaddar

    Ranabir Samaddar is the Director of the Calcutta Research Group. His research focuses on migration and refugee studies, the theory and practices of dialogue, nationalism and post-colonial statehood in South Asia, and new regimes of technological restructuring and labour control. Among his many publications are Marginal Nation: Trans-border Migration from Bangladesh to India (1999), Politics of Dialogue: Living under …
    Read more

  • Paul Sanders

    Paul Sanders is a historian and management scholar. He is a full-time professor at Reims Management School in Reims, France. He has published across the disciplines of history, international relations and leadership.   Print

  • Karl Schlögel

    Karl Schlögel war Professor für Osteuropäische Geschichte zuerst an der Universität Konstanz, dann an der Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt/Oder. Nach seiner Emeritierung arbeitet er an einer Archäologie des Kommunismus und einer Geschichte des Wolgaraumes. Zurzeit ist er City of Vienna/IFK Fellow am IFK in Wien.     Print

  • Thomas Schmid

    Thomas Schmid is the publisher of the WELT Group, Berlin. He worked for various newspapers, among them as editor of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. From 2006 to 2010 he was Editor-in-Chief of Die Welt.   Print

  • Margit Schratzenstaller

    Margit Schratzenstaller is senior researcher at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO) and is currently coordinating (together with Karl Aiginger and Stefan Ederer) ‘WWW for Europe’, a 4-year research project within the 7th Framework Program funded by the European Commission.   Print

  • Dieter Segert

    Dieter Segert ist Professor für Transformationsprozesse in Mittel-, Südost- und Osteuropa am Institut für Politikwissenschaft der Universität Wien. Seit September 2007 ist er Mitglied des Vorstandes des IDM Wien, seit Juni 2008 Mitglied der Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften zu Berlin.   Print

  • Victoriya Sereda

    Sociologie, Ivan-Franko-Universität, Lviv
    Read more

  • Michel Serres

    Michel Serres ist Philosoph und Mitglied der Académie Française.   Print

  • Marci Shore

    Associate Professor of History, Yale University
    Read more

  • Sławomir Sierakowski

    Director, Institute for Advanced Study, Warsaw; Founder, "Krytyka Polityczna" movement
    Read more

  • Sara Silverstein

    Ph.D. Candidate in Modern European and International History, Yale University
    Read more

  • Aleksander Smolar

    Political Science, Paris
    Read more

  • Timothy Snyder

    IWM Permanent Fellow
    Bird White Housum Professor of History, Yale University
    Read more

  • George Soros

    George Soros is a pioneer of the hedge-fund industry, investor and philanthropist, he is the author of many books, including Financial Turmoil in Europe and the United States: Essays (2012), The Soros Lectures: At the Central European University (2010), The Crash of 2008 and What it Means: The New Paradigm for Finance Markets (2009).   …
    Read more

  • Robert Spaemann

    Robert Spaemann ist Professor em. für Philosophie an der Universität München.   Print

  • Pawel Spiewak

    Associate Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Philosophy, Warsaw University
    Read more

  • Wilfried Stadler

    Wilfried Stadler ist Unternehmensberater, Wirtschaftspublizist und Honorarprofessor an der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien. Bis 2009 war er Vorstandsvorsitzender einer österreichischen Spezialbank für Unternehmensfinanzierung.   Print

  • Rudolf Stamm

    Rudolf Stamm war von 1975 bis 1988 Korrespondent der Neuen Zürcher Zeitung für Osteuropa und Österreich, anschließend bis 1999 für Italien, dann bis zu seiner Pensionierung 2002 für die USA mit Sitz in Washington D.C. Er starb 2010 in der Schweiz. 1985 erscheinen seine NZZ-Reportagen aus Osteuropa in dem Band Alltag und Tradition in Osteuropa. …
    Read more

  • Paul Starr

    Paul Starr ist Professor für Soziologie an der Princeton University und Mitherausgeber von The American Prospect. Er ist Pulitzer-Preisträger.   Print

  • Martina Steer

    ÖAW APART Fellow (History)
    Read more

  • Kristina Stoeckl

    Research Director
    APART Fellow, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Department of Political Sciences, University of Vienna
    Read more

  • Roman Szporluk

    Roman Szporluk is Professor em. of Ukrainian History at Harvard and Professor em. of History at the University of Michigan. He is a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences in Kiev, Ukraine. His research focuses on modern Ukrainian, Russian, and Polish history, and on Marxism and nationalism in Eastern Europe.   Print

  • Charles Taylor

    IWM Permanent Fellow
    Professor em. of Philosophy, McGill University, Montréal
    Read more

  • Maria Teteriuk

    PhD candidate in Mass Communications and senior lecturer in Media Studies, National University of 'Kyiv-Mohyla Academy', Ukraine
    Read more

  • Philipp Ther

    Junior Professor of Polish and Ukrainian Studies, Europa-Universität Frankfurt / Oder
    Read more

  • Maria Todorova

    Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
    Read more

  • Balázs Trencsényi

    Balázs Trencsényi, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at the Department of History, CEU. His research focuses on the comparative history of political thought in East Central Europe and the history of historiography. He is co-director of Pasts, Inc., Center for Historical Studies at CEU and Associate Editor of the periodical East Central Europe (Brill). He was …
    Read more

  • Stefan Troebst

    .
    Read more

  • Marius Turda

    Lecturer in the Education Abroad Program, Eötvös Lorand University, Faculty of Humanities, Budapest
    Read more

  • Andreas Umland

    Andreas Umland ist Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter am Institut für Euro-Atlantische Kooperation Kiew sowie Herausgeber der Buchreihe Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, ibidem-Verlag Stuttgart. Print

  • Victoria Vasilenko

    Assistant Professor of Contemporary History and International Relations, Belgorod National Research University
    Read more

  • David G. Victor

    David G. Victor is a Professor at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego, where he directs the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation.   Print

  • Harald Welzer

    Harald Welzer ist Forschungsprofessor für Sozialpsychologie an der Universität Witten/Herdecke und Direktor des Center for Interdisciplinary Memory Research am Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts Essen.   Print

  • Karolina Wigura

    Adjunct of the History of Ideas, University of Warsaw; Co-Editor of Kultura Liberalna
    Read more

  • Volodymyr Yermolenko

    Volodymyr Yermolenko is a Ukrainian philosopher and essayist. He has a degree in Political Science from the EHESS, Paris, and teaches at Kyiv Mohyla Academy in Kyiv. He is the author of the book Narrator and Philosopher: Walter Benjamin and his time (2011, in Ukrainian). Print

  • Oksana Zabuzhko

    Free-lance writer, Kiev
    Read more

  • Tatiana Zhurzhenko

    Research Director, Russia in Global Dialogue / Ukraine in European Dialogue
    Read more