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14.12.2021 - 14.12.2021 | Leipzig

Post-Imperial and Post-Socialist Legacies in today’s populisms in Eastern Europe

Exploratory Workshop

The exploratory workshop „Post-Imperial and Post-Socialist Legacies in today’s populisms in Eastern Europe“ is intended to analyse today’s populisms in an interdisciplinary perspective by focusing on two guiding questions: 1. Do the post-imperial and post-socialist legacies play a role in contemporary populisms? And 2. Can the differences between country-specific populisms be traced back to the (different) experiences of the imperial and socialist times and the subsequent transformation phases? Or do the imperial and socialist past no longer play a role in today’s populist discourse?


In line with the GWZO Leitthema, "Cultural change and social order", the workshop examines the changes in political cultures and structures in East Central Europe against the background of transregional upheavals and developments in politics and society. The workshop focuses on populism as a global phenomenon with strongly context-bound features. The topic of the workshop is also closely linked to the research area of the GWZO department “Entanglements and Globalization” and the GWZO junior research group “Contrasting Eastern Europe”.

Populism has become a supra-regional phenomenon leading researchers to re-evaluate the positioning of national societies and regions in globalization processes. The variety of populisms that can be observed in East Central Europe tend to re-establish national societies with an emphasis on isolation against immigration and to reconstruct a criticism against a globalization that is perceived as neoliberal.

The re-interpretation of national and regional socio-historical processes of the post-imperial and post-socialist times combines with criticism to the response of West to global crisis, resulting in a geopolitical repositioning of East Central Europe as a historical region between Russia and the West, and with regard to other regions of the world.

With a comparative and contextualizing approach, the workshop aims at examining the ways in which historical legacies combine with the witnessed rise of populist movements and parties in the Visegrad societies, Croatia and Ukraine. In some cases (i.e. PiS in Poland, Fidesz in Hungary) populism links with Eurosceptic and “anti-imperialist” themes. The event is developed with an intraregional orientation that compares case studies, offering an approach to establish a transregional comparison with case studies from other parts of the world, so to contribute to the understanding of populism as global phenomenon.



Welcome and Introduction
Prof. Dr. Frank Hadler (GWZO), Paolo Zucconi (FGZ), Hana Rydza (GWZO)


Populism, Euroscepticism and Foreign Policy in Eastern Europe

Chair: Paolo Zucconi (FGZ)

Zsuzsanna Végh (European University Viadrina, Frankfurt, Oder)
Radical Right Impact on EU Foreign Policy: towards an Analytical Model

Edit Zgut (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw)
Eurosceptic populism in Hungary and Poland

Daniel Hegedüs (German Marshall Fund of the
United States, Berlin)
Populist Foreign Policy: Critical Review of a Concept

Comment: Dr. Juraj Marušiak (Slovak Academy
of Sciences, Bratislava)

Lunch Break 12.00–13.00


Historical specifics of populism in Eastern Europe
Chair: Hana Rydza (GWZO)

Kostiantyn Yanchenko (University of Hamburg)
Post-Soviet Legacies in the Modern Populism in Ukraine

Artur Lipiński (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań)
»This old system holds tight«. Anticommunist logic of mediated populism in contemporary Poland

Comment: Dr. Alexander Yendell (FGZ, Leipzig)

Break: 14.15–14.30

Concluding Discussion
Prof. Dr. Frank Hadler (GWZO), Hana Rydza (GWZO),
Paolo Zucconi (FGZ)


The research work of The Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) focuses on the region between the Baltic Sea, Black Sea and Adriatic Sea from the Early Middle Ages to the present. Research scholars from different humanities disciplines investigate peculiarities, changes and interrelationships in an increasingly global world and make past and current developments in Eastern Europe easier to understand. The wide geographical range of the GWZO research programme requires a specific research approach linking comparative studies, interdisciplinarity and transnationality as well as including the complete historical profundity of the region from the passage of the ancient to the medieval world up to the present time.


Concept and Coordination

Hana Rydza (GWZO Junior Research Group “Contrasting East-Central Europe”)

Paolo Zucconi (Research Institute for Social Cohesion - FGZ, Leipzig)



Ines Rößler (GWZO, Department “Knowledge Transfer and Networking“)

Hinweise zur Teilnahme:

This is an online event. To participate in the event "Post-Imperial and Post-Socialist Legacies in today’s populisms in Eastern Europe" on December 14, 2021, please register at the following link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information about attending the meeting.


14.12.2021 10:00 - 15:15


Specks Hof (Eingang A), Reichsstraße 4-6, 4. Etage,
04109 Leipzig


Studierende, Wissenschaftler




Geowissenschaften, Geschichte / Archäologie, Gesellschaft, Kulturwissenschaften, Politik


Seminar / Workshop / Diskussion




Virginie Michaels


Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Veranstaltung ist kostenlos:




URL dieser Veranstaltung:

attachment icon Veranstaltungsprogramm


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