Partitions and the Sisyphean Making of Peoples


Noël Le Mire, Allegory of the 1st Partition of Poland


The closer one looks, the more it appears that “partition” is one of the geopolitical keywords of the last 200 years, indeed perhaps since the three partitions of Poland in 1772, 1793, and 1795 respectively. Too many dimensions of global governance are laid bare by its various modalities, and too many of the world’s conflicts today have their roots in one partition or another for it be derivative of, say, secession and self-determination. Consider the fraught negotiations and/or relations in Ireland, Bosnia, Cyprus, North and South Korea, the continuing effects of the de facto partitions of Palestine and Western Sahara, the simmering tension within Pakistan and between it and India, and the partition of Sudan into two states in 2011. Kosovo and Serbia wrangle over their unofficial border as the nationalists on both sides decry a possible partition of Serbia and/or Kosovo. Germany is still dealing with the consequences of its postwar partition, just as one might suggest that Africa is suffering the consequence of its partition by European powers in the 1880s; partition was the term used at the time for the infamous “scramble.”

These are the obvious cases but many others submerged from view also offer key insights into current affairs. China just avoided partition by the great powers around 1900, and Persia between Britain and Russia a few years later, a fate not averted by Yemeni lands when the British wrested control of the southern part from the Ottoman Empire in 1886. Their experience or close brush with dismemberment needs to be borne in mind when assessing allergic reactions to western criticisms: the fear of renewed partition. The same applies to Turkey, whose nascent military forces successfully resisted—in fact reversed—the partition of the core Ottoman land, smashing the 1920 Sèvres settlement at the expense of Kurdish and Armenian national aspirations, with well-known effects: “Kurdistan” is now divided between Turkey and the neighboring states of Iraq, Syria, and Iran, and efforts to “liberate” the Kurds have led to violent insurgencies and genocidal counter-insurgencies in two of these countries. For its part, the cradle of Armenia lies in eastern Anatolia—that is, eastern Turkey—with its rump surviving in a small southern Caucasian state; at least that is how nationalists see matters.

Syrian Arab elites were not so lucky, unable to withstand the French occupation of Damascus in 1919; their dream of Greater Syria was also strangled at birth when Palestine, Transjordan and later Lebanon were carved out of their expected territory, an outcome of the notorious British-French (and Russian) Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1916 that planned the partition of the Ottoman Empire. Showing how long the fear of dismemberment by greater powers has haunted so-called non-historical peoples, in 1920 these elites invoked the Partition of Poland as a terrible precedent and called for a US rather than French mandate over the region. That year, Hungarians also decried the partition of their country in the Treaty of Trianon; it likewise continues to vex nationalists there to this day. More recently, in the 1970s, the South Africa Apartheid regime’s “bantustan” policy was referred to as partition, while earlier the French had considered partitioning Algeria to protect the European enclave in Algiers and along the coast. Until 1997, Samoa was called Western Samoa because its eastern part remained in American hands, partitioned with the Germans in 1899. A few years later, at the same moment of European expansion, Imperial Germany was also involved in subdividing Cameroon with the French, and also conceding France’s partition of Morocco, to which the British had assented already in 1904.

The urge to partition is not confined to the distant days of pre-WWI colonialism. Not long ago, in 2007, some US commentators and politicians thought that Iraq would be better off if partitioned into three regions, and there is even talk of partitioning Ukraine to appease its Russian population: to effect the equivalent of the Transnistrian secession from Moldova, the creation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia out of Georgia, or the extraction of Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan after the Cold War. How many have asked why there are two Mongolias: one an independent republic, the other, known as “Inner Mongolia,” an Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China? As I write, commentators are openly debating the partition of Syria and the end of the Sykes-Picot order as a solution to or inevitable outcome of its murderous civil war. These are some cases but there are surely more, casting doubt on Charles S. Maier’s contention that the age of globalization replaced the age of territoriality, which commenced roughly around 1860, at the end in the 1970s. Secessions, the striving for self-determination—and the impulse to partition—are as current as ever.

Surprisingly, historians have contributed little to the study of partitions as a geopolitical practice involving great powers and local actors. That has been the preserve of political scientists and political geographers who perforce tend to rely on the monographic work of historians. Although this picture is slowly changing as transnational and comparative historical perspectives gain traction, we are still talking about a handful of comparative historians at most. Ever cautious, they tend not to posit general theories about historical process or events, including partitions. Often, the differences between various cases are more important than the similarities, even with temporally adjacent events like the India and Palestine partitions. On the whole, historians work idiographically rather than nomothetically. The Rankean preoccupation with the particular over the general, however, can amount to intellectual defeatism when broader patterns, recurring themes, and the influences of historical and current learning processes are rendered invisible, if only because it abandons the field to the political scientists, geographers and their search for law-like regularities and decisive independent variables. What is more, the academic study of partitions is now dominated by political scientists who are often close to government and policy development: they are part of the “official mind,” like historians in the first half of the twentieth century. For that reason alone, it is necessary to address these official assumptions. Laying bare their limitations is a necessary precursor to a reflexive historical treatment of the subject. Those assumptions posit the nation-state as the endpoint of human political history—but is it?

Paradigms and Imaginaries

Summed up most briefly, the contemporary political science literature, which emerged in the late 1990s after the Yugoslav war of succession, presupposes the existence of ethnic or national groups with hardened identities that live in compacted zones of comingled settlement, vulnerable to internecine conflicts due to the fatal logic of what are called “security dilemmas,” the cycle of violence unleashed when the maintenance of security for one group is interpreted as aggression by the other. “Realists” like John Mearsheimer and Chaim Kaufman call for new borders and compulsory population transfers in seemingly intractable ethnic conflicts as the “least worst” option for global governors, much like British policy makers when they entreated partition and transfer in the Peel Commission report about Palestine in 1937. Opposing them are other political scientists like Radha Kumar and Don Horowitz who doubt whether partitions and compulsory population transfers achieve the claimed social and inter-state peace; in fact, Kumar argues, creating new borders can provoke the very violence that partition is designed to prevent. Moreover, they then lead to the paranoid political cultures witnessed in the Middle East and South Asia. Showing the policy proximity of this literature, she even has a website sponsored by the Council of Foreign Relations, the UN, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and National Geographic, setting out the arguments for and against ethnic partitions and presenting information for those who need a quick briefing on the subject.

To the historian’s ear, this literature, whether for or against partitions, takes too much for granted. Ethnic and national groups are invested with ontological status as the primary, even sole, significant political actors, and as the primary and even sole source of individual identification in parts of the world where political subjectivities were far more layered and certainly not determined by religion alone. Like Lord Curzon, they presume that peoples are “mixed” and that they need to be “unmixed” or, if not, then properly supervised. Yet we know that Greek nationality as such in Turkey was a chimera, and those people expelled from the latter to the former in 1922 and 1923 were Christians who spoke many local languages and possessed many identities; they were turned into Greeks by their experiences during and after the population exchange. All too often, these authors proceed as if thirty years of constructivist sociology and historiography about nations and nationalism was never written. What is more, the policy discourse is indentured to a managerial gaze of “solving” the problems of non-Western peoples, a subject position that smacks of neo-imperialism that in many cases led to the problems in the first place.

A striking feature of the literature is that it presumes the ethnic conflicts it seeks to solve rather than explaining how they came about, a question that would entail some reflexivity about the observational and interventionist subject position. For the creation of the seemingly irreconcilable tensions were often products of imperial strategies of imperial governance to begin with; how did those Indians end up in Fiji, Tamils in Sri Lanka, Zionists in Palestine and, much earlier, the Protestants in Ireland, to name a few cases? Finally, the “for or against” discussion—whether to separate groups or enjoin con-social arrangements of cantonization, federalism, and so forth—presupposes a right answer, a conclusive solution to a nationality problem, above all when a given nation is safely housed in a state. Switzerland, sometimes Belgium, is noted as the exception that prove the rule that is set by the so-called artificial states of Africa or, say, Sri Lanka, a fertile example for partitionists who argue that it would have been better off partitioned than suffer the brutal civil war with its outrageous civilian deaths.

Two levels of analysis, then, must be simultaneously distinguished and related. On the one hand, we have the language of partition invoked by nationalists who cry out when they fear their country will be dismembered by neighbors and/or great powers. Take Yemenis who in 2009 and 2010 were alarmed by rumors of a supposed new “Sykes-Picot Agreement and partition of Yemen.” by the British and Americans. On the other hand, we have the language of academic analysis that buys into the assumptions on which this fear is based. The term “partition” presumes a natural whole that is dismembered by an outside power: as in the partition of Poland or of Africa or of Turkey, to name some of the book titles published over the past 140 years. The sophisticated version is Brendan O’Leary’s influential theory whereby partition is distinguished from other phenomena by its violation of a supposedly natural unit: “A fresh border, cut through at least one community’s national homeland, creating at least two separate political units under different sovereigns or authorities,” by which he means the breaking up of sovereign (rather than multinational) entities with new borders rather than along traditional, internal boundaries. The latter applies to secession and self-determination. The conventional literature is indentured to the national political imaginary thereby limiting its analysis of these issues.

As noted at the outset of this chapter, the term is part and parcel of a modern geopolitical vocabulary, like self-determination and secession that, again, presume the existence of peoples and nations as given entities and as the chief actors in history. Likewise, the notion of a stable and identifiable “national homeland” is for granted—like “a people” and its imagined community. But what is natural about it? Why were the German borders of 1937 taken as the “natural” unit that was in part annexed (by Russia and Poland) and then divided into four zones of occupation? Likewise with Palestine. Revisionist Zionists considered it partitioned already in 1922-23 when the British lopped off its large eastern wing across the Jordan River and called it Transjordan, while Arabs regarded Sykes-Picot as the first partition and they had expected to be incorporated into a great Syrian-Arab homeland. It was the struggle with Zionist colonization that fixated their cartographic gaze onto the British-drawn borders as the “natural” homeland. The so-called two-state solution discussion today—the attempt to effect the territory’s partition—reshuffles the deck yet again as Palestinians are invited, or rather induced, to accept the West Bank and Gaza as Palestine. At the same time, for many Israelis this would represent yet another partition of the “historic” Jewish homeland, Eretz Israel, and is therefore unacceptable. Some entreat still more “transfers” of Palestinians to Jordan.

Not for nothing are secession and partition often linked and even used for the same event depending on perspective. For many Moldavians, the secession of Transnistria is in fact a partition orchestrated by the wicked Russians while the Russian Transnistrians regard their statelet as the legitimate manifestation of their right to self-determination. In Yemen, talk of secession and partition are used synonymously. For this reason, it is impossible for someone affectively committed to “nation-ness,” still less for nationalists, to write sensibly about partition—or for partition to be neatly distinguished from secession and self-determination. If it is a geopolitical keyword, then only in an age of nationalism that conceals as much as it reveals.

What this vocabulary occludes is the fact that, far from solving identity dilemmas, partitions represent another episode in the endless process of their reconfiguration and adaption. Rather than engaging in the separation of homogenous peoples, partitions are a modality of their making, however fraught and incomplete, indeed impossible; hence the title of this chapter. For while nationalists imagine that partition led to the territorialization of their people and its return to “history”—collective agency in time—the last sixty years has revealed the Sisyphean nature of realizing this national fantasy in practice. The partitions of the 1940s, for example, were not only temporally limited events but founded enduring structures that inserted a “repetition compulsion” in the architecture of these state’s foundations. By presuming fantasized homelands for declared nations, the terms of the discussion—whether for or against partition—loaded the state dice in favor of cultural homogeneity, with or without “minorities,” rather than as spaces of plural political subjectivities typical of imperial and local spaces. Partition entails violence, not only at the foundation moment, but in the process of nation-building and the formation of the national subject. As we will see, this violence produces its own negation.

In partitions, then, the identity dilemmas brushed over by the conventional approaches are deferred with founding violence and then metastasize during nation-building. The conflagration of India’s partition cannot be contained by the narrative of communal violence; instead, it is ascribable to the logics of the nation and its quest for a state, a quest that constructs majority and minorities from pluralism, and a permanent sense of insecurity for the former and the notion of authoritarian modernization for the latter’s leaders. Not only is the resulting state populated by the “paranoid suspicion of other group and/or communitarian unity,” it makes promises it cannot fulfil: as an imaginary homeland for violence’s refugees in the face of indigenous subjects who resist the transformation of their own homeland. The “nationalist search for clarity, uniformity, and ‘purity’ in the midst of manifest uncertainty, fluidity and inequality,” notes Gyanendra Pandey,” contains an “unrealizable quality” that leads to constant disappointment. Other subjectivities, whether of indigenous people, peasants, women, or religious minorities, are silenced in the name of the new homeland and its geopolitical self. Because the Pakistani and Indian senses of home have not been assuaged, political entrepreneurs can appeal to the fears and insecurities mobilized by partition’s leaders for electoral gain—and for which there are no non-violent solutions. These states are thus based on a horizon of nationalist political expectation that, as one scholar put it, “in a path-determinant manner, produces and reproduces, ethnicised behaviour patterns.”

That is why partition states come up with schemes to dilute alien population concentrations—such as the “Judaization of the Galilee”—and why the architectural legacies of Jewish culture are being erased in Ukraine, just as Hindu civilization is effaced in Pakistan, and parts of India are doing their best to forget their Muslim past. At the same time, these residual subjectivities resist partition with their own “molecular” logic, as Ranabir Samaddar puts it: the tendency to break identity down into molar units, whether neighborhoods, villages, cities, communities, families, gender, and parties. Partition unleashes contrapuntal and dialectal processes of state homogenization in the name of the national partition ideal on the one hand, and resistance and fragmentation on the other. What we find “is the non-fixity, instability, and general contingency of the national categories concerned.” I briefly elaborate on these processes in South Asia below.

 Inventing Peoples in South Asia


As might seem obvious in retrospect, realizing the national dream was complicated by the messy reality of imposing order on the region’s demographic complexity. Take the case of one of the princely states that covered about a third of the India landmass at the time of partition. Hyderabad was ruled a Muslim Nizam who decided against accession to India in 1947 despite his territory’s majority Hindu population. The Congress Party predictably campaigned for union, though not the main Dalit parties, which did not relish domination by higher caste Hindus. A Muslim party, supported by Razakar paramilitaries, advocated Pakistan’s cause, suppressing dissent. On the pretext of imposing order, India invaded in September 1948, and then had to decide upon the citizenship of the polyglot population, which included thousands of Muslims of Arab and Afghan descent who had lived there for generations. Seventeen thousand civilians were promptly interned for supposedly supporting the Razakars, which in practice meant Muslims in general. Because they were in legal limbo—no longer British Protected Persons, nor Indian citizens—Indian military authorities applied culturally determined criteria. The Afghan and Arab communities as a whole were categorized asnon-Indian and culturally dangerous; they were to be deported, like Germans in Eastern Europe.

This seemingly straightforward operation was complicated by the presence of Indians in other countries. The implicit hostage theory applied to them as well, it seemed. The Hindus and Sikhs who had sought refuge in Afghanistan during Partition would be imperilled if the locals there learned of the Indian’s shabby treatment of Afghanis in Hyderabad. More well known in the West was the situation of Indians in South Africa; the last thing the Indian government wanted was their repatriation to India, because the country has sufficient trouble coping with the Partition refugees. Then there was the problem that the deported Afghans may fight on Pakistan’s side in the unfolding Kashmir conflict. In the end, only a handful was compelled to leave. Making a people was not a straightforward proposition when nationality questions could not be contained in the bounded space of the state.

As might be expected, the immediate aftermath of partition and the assumptions of the two nations theory imperilled the status of the millions of Muslims who remained as 10% of India’s population. Hindu politicians and journalists constantly challenged their loyalty, despite the country’s ostensible commitment to secular democracy, because the dominant assumption was that the natural or core Indian subject was a Hindu. Yet, despite the fact that Muslims were “communities on trial” (Pandey), the official secularism was and is experienced by Hindu nationalists as an intolerable concession to Muslims, indeed as an obstacle to the realization of an authentic Hindu civilization, thereby mirroring the Muslim League’s “two nations” rhetoric that postulated fundamental civilizational differences between the two religious formations. Time and again, middle class Hindus complain that the secular state goes too far to appease minorities: Sikhs and Muslims. Sundered by partition, it cannot be lose any more territory to separatists in Kashmir.

Attempts to homogenize the country, like the imposition of Hindi as a national language in the early 1950s, foundered on the opposition of the regions, especially in Tamil Nadu whose language is unrelated to Hindi. Ultimately, the state had to reorganise the country’s federal system along linguistic lines in 1956. That Nehru’s vision of a centralized and modernizing state was unrealizable has been shown by repeated regional independence insurgencies, like in Kashmir, Sikhs in Punjab, and in Assam and Nagaland in the far east, which have resulted in over 80,000 casualties and the de facto partitions in the formed of new boundaries for borderland states and establishment of tribal zones and special territories. In the Sikh case, accommodation with local autonomy had to be conceded, but not after considerable violence in the 1980s, which included revenge attacks on Sikhs for the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by two Sikh bodyguards in 1984 after she had ordered the storming of Golden Temple. Of course, this protracted conflict made nonse of the invalidated the Non-Muslim category that determined population divisions in 1947. The yearning for national realization or revenge also informs the communal violence that erupts periodically, like the demolition of Ayodhya Mosque by Hindu nationalists 1992 because it supposedly concealed a Hindu temple, an act that triggered the demolition of Hindu shrines in Pakistan. The Gujarat massacres of Muslims in 2002 is a notorious case in point.

Not that conflicts are always organised along ethnic lines; Maoist resistance—known as Naxalites—to modernization’s encroachment on peasant villages and economies continues to tie down state military forces across large parts of eastern India. The issue of class is also a forgotten dimension during 1947 and 1948 when, at the local level, Hindu villagers discriminated between Muslim landowners who they were happy to see go, on the one hand, and Muslim artisans vital to their economy, on the other. The modernist project of making an Indian people is consistently frustrated by the country’s demographic heterogeneity and the non-conformist agency of local actors, just as Hindu nationalism provokes the minorities it would like to wish away.


Similar dynamics were discernible on the Pakistan side of the border, though here the articulation of national identity confronted the challenge of defining the relationship between Islam and the new state. The Muslim League’s “two-nations” theory of South Asian Muslim nation-ness was, as Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar put it, a “constructed category of community and political mobilization.” Such was the diversity of Muslim cultures, religious practices, locations of residence and spoken languages that a unity was impossible to imagine except in purely political, indeed non-territorial terms, divorced from historical continuities. Consequently, the question of the country’s national belonging became the question: who is a true Muslim?—which entails an intrinsic tension between its secular constitution and religious foundation, and instability of national symbols, like Urdu, which led to the loss of its majority province, East Pakistan, in 1971 (see below).

Such fictions shape reality in the form of the notorious “hostage theory” of minority protection, whereby the security of the Muslim remnant in India—and Hindu and Sikh minority in Pakistan—would be guaranteed by a pact of mutual deterrence: any violence or persecution visited upon their minority here would be reciprocated on ours there. The idiocy of this strategy was soon recognized by prominent Indian Muslims who wrote to the United Nations in 1951, saying “Our misguided brothers in Pakistan do not realize that if Muslims in Pakistan can wage a war against Hindus in Pakistan, why should not Hindus, sooner or later, retaliate against Muslims in India.” And there would be nothing Pakistan could do to protect them. Their justified fears could be generalized. As noted above, Hindu temples in Pakistan were destroyed in retaliation for the demolition of the Ayodhya mosque in 1992.

Problems of national belonging confronted the authorities from the outset. During partition, Muslim elites of Sindh urged the Hindu middle class, also vital to the local economy, to stay, and Karachi was relatively peaceful until early 1948 when the Muslim refugees from the Punjab arrived. Likewise, the Dalit classes were also urged to remain, as the menial work they performed was deemed an essential service. The Muslim/non-Muslim categorization also forced itself on groups with syncretic devotional practices, like the Meos of Mewat who were known as “half-Muslims” because of their affiliation with neighbouring Hindus. Although now officially Muslim, they sometimes did not know where to go because they verged on the heretical for orthodox Muslims. In other areas, the decision was easy to make after attacks by Hindus. More complex still were the Punjabi Jat tribal group which comprised Sikh, Hindu, and Muslim members.

It has not been lost on commentators that the two-nations theory was most popular in those states where Muslims were a minority (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Bombay) and not in northwest and eastern India, the putative Muslim homeland(s). There the imposition of Urdu as the national language by the refugees from India—known as Muhajirs—has always provoked resistance from the intensively regional cultures of Baloch (or Baluch) and Sindh. In the latter, the flooding of the capital, Karachi, by Muhajirs has triggered a nativist Sindh reaction and then Muhajir counter-mobilization, resulting in various forms of violence in the 1990s and 2000s. An insurgency in Baluchistan has been ongoing for decades, and secessionist or at least autonomy movements endure in the North West Province as well. No sooner had they become Pakistanis than the indigenous peoples of Pakistan asserted their regional identity against the Muhajir Pakistan ideal.

The artificiality of the national imagining endures in the struggle between the Muhajirs’ sense of representing the pan-Muslim Pakistan ideal and the regional nationalisms that regard it as a virtually alien imposition from Indian Muslims who do not really belong. As in India, the national ideal has had to accommodate indigenous resistance. Its incoherence is further evidenced by the tendentious myths of origin in Pakistani school books, as Ayesha Jalal has shown; the disjuncture between a national projects struggle for an unattainable ideal in the face of a obstreperous historical record.

East Pakistan

The issue of origin and language bedevilled the West Pakistan’s relationship with the Eastern wing, today’s Bangladesh, whose population has always exceeded that of the west. To be sure, the Bengali Muslim League had campaigned successfully for East Bengal’s inclusion in Pakistan, but the subsequent history of their relations with the west revealed markedly divergent understandings of the country’s nature. For East Bengalis, Pakistan meant self-rule by Muslims and freedom from Hindu economic domination; not for nothing did Hindus leave the province in increasing numbers over the years, although it was spared the extensive violence of the Punjab. Bengali Muslims did not share Jinnah’s redemptive view of Pakistan by which Urdu, which he insisted be imposed as the state language in all provinces, represented the essence of Muslim culture because of its proximity to Arabic and Persian. Bengali, on this view, was a Hindu language and thereby represented oppression and psychological dependence. West Pakistanis therefore considered Bengalis’ resistance to Urdu as obtuse, smacking of the dangerous regionalism that would prefer a united but religiously mixed Bengal over Pakistan.

As a consequence, East Pakistan was not imagined as part of the core Pakistani identity; much in the way that Muslims were not regarded as real Indians. Similarly, the West Pakistan elites could not tolerate a loose federation with the west wing—that is, East Bengali regional autonomy—in the same way as the Indian Congress could not accept the Muslim League’s demand for such arrangements. So when the Bengalis strove for such autonomy in 1971, the army attempted to suppress it with genocidal violence, eventually losing the province after Indian military intervention. With the establishment of Bangladesh, most South Asian Muslims now live outside Pakistan, making the “two-nations” theory even more tenuous; a problem that many in Pakistan have faced by seeking to Islamise the state. Since 1971, Indian Muslims have barely looked to Pakistan as a desirable place to migrate. Partition’s molecular logic was unfolding.

Perhaps the most telling case of this impossible logic is that of the Muslims from Bihar in India. Fleeing Hindu violence, they migrated to East Pakistan in 1947 and 1948 where they expected membership in the new Muslim homeland. But as they were Urdu speakers, the local Muslim Bengalis often regarded them as representatives of the West Pakistani project they increasingly rejected. Indeed, Biharis, as they were called, did support the pan-Muslim ideal—they had little choice—and at their own expense. Thousands were killed by Bengali nationalists during the autonomy movement in early 1971; some of their number then aided the Pakistani military forces and were subsequently murdered as collaborators. Those who survived and can be identified are being legally prosecuted in Bangladesh as I write. Tens of thousands still languish in camps awaiting “repatriation” to West Pakistan, their putative homeland, where they have never been and where they are not particularly welcome—Pakistan ceased accepting them in 1981—to avoid further tipping the demographic balance further in favour of the Muhajirs and against the Sindhs. All the while, the emigration of Hindus into west Bengal in India continues, as it was made clear to them that they are not so welcome in the east either.


While irreducibly particular in scale and violence, the patterns and logics discernable in South Asia can be detected in the other partitions of the 1940s: of Germany and Palestine. I conclude by briefly highlighting them.

First, the issue of lost women and children during wartime and partition violence bears in important ways on the “making of peoples.” A religious-nationalist logic was at work  in the Indian partition during which up to 50,000 women were thought to have been abducted or gone missing, often euphemisms for terrible sexual violence. Both governments co-operated for a decade to locate and repatriate the women, who were often adopted into the families of their abductor, having borne children by the time the investigation teams came knocking at the door. Many resisted the state’s claim on their body, which was so symbolically freighted with notions of national honor and purity; for they knew that despite their claiming and appropriation by the new postcolonial nation they would be banished by their original families because they were now dishonored and contaminated by intimate contact with the other. Likewise, in Europe, as Tara Zahra has shown, non-German children abducted by the Nazis became the object of intense policy and welfare activism by children’s advocacy groups. Almost without fail, they decided to repatriate the children even if they were happily living with a German family. Their putative nationality trumped their new familial contexts.

Second, the ethnic cleansing in each of the 1940s partitions and the 1971 East Pakistan secession struggle requires comparative treatment. On first blush, the semi-militarized pre-emptive “cleansings” of East Punjabi Muslims by Sikhs in 1947 bear comparison with the Zionist forces’ Plan Dalet in March 1948. The creation of the Palestinian refugees also needs to be linked with the subsequent expunging of a similar number of Jews from Arab countries. For the evidence suggests a “hostage theory” reaction by Arab governments to the Palestinian’s plight, even though Israel was happy to welcome them. The national fantasies of these Arab societies now excluded the Jews who had been part of those society’s fabric for millennia.

 Third, partition’s molecular logic needs to be tracked systemically in the citizenship laws of these countries and in their treatment of refugees, especially their property rights and the right to return. Zarmindar’s work on the Pakistan-India border provides material for comparison with German and Israeli cases.

Fourth, the role of refugee elites of the first generation in driving the secular national project in Pakistan and Israel against the religious nationalism of the indigenous Muslims and Jews respectively can be systematically considered. Such an investigation might ask why in these countries and India religious nationalism has begun to erode the founding ideal of secularism. Partition’s molecular logic leads by inexorably to peeling of the national onion to its religious core.

Fifth, just as important are the “stranded” non-elite refugees created by partition’s molecular logic, namely the Palestinians in refugee camps in Lebanon, for instance, who are definitely not considered assimilable to the Lebanese body politic for the same reasons Biharis remain stranded in Bangladeshi camps until recently. They would tip the ethnic balance in a country, which should welcome them according to its nationalist ideology,whether Pan-Arabism or Pan-Islam.

These kinds of questions are as topical as ever in the view of the partitions that press upon the international community’s attention today, as in Syria. Not that our answers will provide the United Nations with tidy solutions to the civil wars that rage in such places. Historians need not be policy makers or government advisors. We are interested in the deep structure of these conflicts: how the presumption of a national self that experiences and drives self-determination and striving for homogeneous and sovereign nation-states produces them in the first place. The geopolitical imaginary continues to posit nation-states as empire’s natural successor, indeed as history’s telos. Given the inability of this imaginary to produce stable and enduring forms of sovereignty and compatible sense of home, we are entitled to pose Jane Burbank and Fred Cooper’s question: “Can we imagine forms of sovereignty that are better able than either empires or nation-states to address both the inequality and diversity of the world’s people?”

A. Dirk Moses is a professor of modern history at the University of Sydney. Among many  publications he authored or edited are German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past (2007), Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation and Subaltern Resistance in World History (Berghahn 2008/pbk 2009), Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies (2010 with Donald Bloxam), and Colonial Counterinsurgency and Mass Violence: The Dutch Empire in Indonesia (2014 with  Bart Luttikhuis).

A referenced version of this article was originally published in Refugee Watch 46 (2015).


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    Europe's proximity to Syria means it now has to deal with the refugees. This could have been anticipated in 2013, yet European countries choose to ignore it time and time again. More gravely, by taking a marginal role in the crisis, Europe has let Turkey, the Gulf states, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia determine Syria’s future. It has allowed the most liberal and moderate-minded rebels to be excluded from Syrian politics.
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  • The Refugee Crisis that Europe Solved

    The refugee crisis in Europe after the Second World War was far worse than the EU faces today, but a successful structure arose in 1945 because the world assumed it could solve the refugee problem. Today, we accept refugees as a permanent consequence of modern global affairs and respond to each individual crisis without looking for long-term solutions.
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  • Hungary’s Response to the Refugee Crisis: An Orchestrated Panic

    Why is Hungary, the first communist country to dismantle the Iron Curtain, now busy building a fence in order to keep refugees out? The answer is: domestic politics.
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Tr@nsit Online Authors

  • Bradley F. Abrams

    History, Stanford University
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  • 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
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  • Sorin Antohi

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

  • Timothy Garton Ash

    History, Oxford
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  • Roumen Avramov

    Program director for economic research at the Center for Liberal Strategies, Sofia
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  • Adam Baczko

    PhD Candidate in Political Science, EHESS, Paris
    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 …
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  • Steven Beller

    Geschichte, Cambridge
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  • Naja Bentzen

    Freelance journalist, Wien
    Read more

  • Luiza Bialasiewicz

    Professor of European Governance, University of Amsterdam
    Read more

  • Muriel Blaive

    Advisor to the Director, in Charge of Research and Methodology, Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Prague
    Read more

  • András Bozóki

    Professor of Political Science, Central European University, Budapest
    Read more

  • José Casanova

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

  • Daniel Chirot

    Soziologie, Seattle
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  • 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
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  • James Dodd

    Associate Professor of Philosophy, Special Advisor to the Dean on Faculty Affairs, New School for Social Research
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  • Martin Endreß

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

  • Mischa Gabowitsch

    Mischa Gabowitsch ( 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, 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
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  • Katya Gorchinskaya

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

    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 …
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  • Sabine Hark

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

  • Annemieke Hendriks

    Freelance journalist, Berlin
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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 …
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  • Tom Junes

    Visiting Researcher, Warsaw University, and Visiting Lecturer in Polish history, KULeuven, Belgium
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  • 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
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  • Gudrun-Axeli Knapp

    Professor of Social Sciences and Social Psychology, University of Hannover
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  • Jacek Kochanowicz

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

  • Michal Kopecek

    International Relations, Charles University Prague
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  • 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 …
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  • Bilyana Kourtasheva

    Post-Doc in Theory and History of Literature, New Bulgarian University, Sofia
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  • János Mátyás Kovács

    IWM Permanent Fellow
    Senior member of RECET, Institute of East European History, Vienna University; Professor of Economic History, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
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  • Ivan Krastev

    IWM Permanent Fellow
    Chair of the Board, Centre for Liberal Strategies, Sofia
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  • Yustyna Kravchuk

    PhD candidate in Film and Media Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv
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  • 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
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  • Claus Leggewie

    Professor für Politikwissenschaft, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen
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  • Mark Leonard

    Co-founder and Director, European Council on Foreign Relations
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  • André Liebich

    Honorary Professor of International History and Politics, Graduate Institute, Geneva
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  • Burkhard Liebsch

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

  • Michal Luczewski

    Ph.D. candidate in Sociology, Warsaw University
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  • 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
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  • Erik Meyer

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

  • Krzysztof Michalski

    IWM Founding Rector
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  • 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 …
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  • Jan-Werner Müller

    Professor of Politics, Princeton University

    Visiting Fellow
    (September 2016 – August 2017)
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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 …
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  • Andrei Pleșu

    Andrei Pleșu 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 …
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  • 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
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  • Mykola Riabchuk

    Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Political and Nationalities’ Studies, Academy of Sciences, Kyiv
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  • 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 …
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  • 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
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  • Claudia Šabic

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

  • Ranabir Samaddar

    Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, Calcutta Research Group
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  • 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
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  • Michel Serres

    Michel Serres ist Philosoph und Mitglied der Académie Française.   Print

  • Anton Shekhovtsov

    PhD in Political Science
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  • Marci Shore

    Associate Professor of History, Yale University

    Visiting Fellow
    (July 2020 – June 2021)
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  • 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

  • Ondřej Slačálek

    Assistant Professor of Political Science, Charles University, Prague
    Read more

  • Aleksander Smolar

    Political Science, Paris
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  • Timothy Snyder

    IWM Permanent Fellow
    Richard C. Levin Professor of History, Yale University
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  • 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).   …
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  • 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
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  • 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. …
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  • 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)
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  • Kristina Stoeckl

    Research Director
    APART Fellow, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Department of Political Sciences, University of Vienna
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  • 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
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  • Maria Teteriuk

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

    Junior Professor of Polish and Ukrainian Studies, Europa-Universität Frankfurt / Oder
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  • Maria Todorova

    Professor of History, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
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  • 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 …
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  • Stefan Troebst

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  • Marius Turda

    Lecturer in the Education Abroad Program, Eötvös Lorand University, Faculty of Humanities, Budapest
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • 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
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  • Tatiana Zhurzhenko

    IWM Research Director, Russia in Global Dialogue and Ukraine in European Dialogue
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