The Transformative Blog provides informative insights for a global intellectual audience. Read about social, economic, and cultural transformations in the region with a global perspective and wide scope of interest: from current affairs to historical analysis on Central and Eastern Europe, East Asia and the co-transformation of Western countries.

We invite contributions in history, sociology, economics, cultural and social anthropology, political science as well as from all interdisciplinary approaches. Expected length: 1200-1400 words. If you would like to become an author, please contact Jannis Panagiotidis at jannis.panagiotidis(at)univie.ac.at.

Forerunners of the Free Market

01.04.2024

Private enterprises founded by diaspora Poles with seed capital from the West produced a range of consumer goods for the domestic market in the late Polish People’s Republic, blowing a ‘wind of change’ into the planned economy over a decade before the transformation.

Legally Sanctioned Homophobia in the EU

12.03.2024

Despite Lithuania’s Europeanism, its policies on LGBTQ rights are sometimes closer to Russia’s. At the end of 2023, the Lithuanian parliament voted against amending the country’s notorious ‘gay propaganda’ law, in defiance of the European Court of Human Rights.

Bleaching Blue Collars

15.02.2024

Socialist reform and modernization in post-WWII Poland opened the higher-education gate to underprivileged students. But early streaming to vocational school and societal expectations remained as barriers. What became of the working-class freshers who made it to the lofty heights of academia?

A Walking Tour through Vienna’s Forgotten History as a Transit Hub During the Cold War

13.02.2024

Vienna has many stories to tell. Take for instance the city’s long and rich history of immigration – Join our Daniel Jerke on his walk through the Austrian capital!

Sudden Entrepreneurs

02.02.2024

Business as usual was no longer an option in the former GDR post-1989. Liberation opened up previously state-controlled technological production to globalized markets. Uncompetitive operations soon led to closures. But some workers took the crisis into their own hands, combatting exponential unemployment by regrouping and taking a resourceful lead.

Women under the Banner of Friendship

26.01.2024

The euphoria of anti-fascists from WWII-occupied countries, meeting at international events, was a short-lived reprieve from oppression. Hungarian socialist groups, bringing women from all social classes together, went from publishing starstruck articles to testifying in Stalinist show trials, their solidarity forced into betrayal.

The Way Home

11.12.2023

When a neighbourhood collapses into a warzone, from one day to the next, citizens become refugees. Securing safety and caring for those who remain creates a dual burden. Ukrainians, turning to their diaspora, have experienced both support and tension. Returning or remaining has become a political and deeply personal dilemma.

Children of the Twenty-First Century

01.12.2023

Youth, culturally associated with the future, seems increasingly afflicted by uncertainty and crises. Can looking ahead be informed by past moments of transition? In 1960s Poland young people’s ‘futurological’ outlooks uncovered the microsocial ambivalences of technological progress, revealing cracks in mass communist ideology.

Wording of Trauma, Recording Memory

16.11.2023

Writing is a known tool for healing trauma. And poetry lends itself to rapid responses under pressure. Forced into migrating to flee war, many Ukrainian women turn to the short form as a call of solidarity, a weapon and solace.

Choosing Ukrainian, Then and Now

08.05.2023

Reintegrating Russian-speaking Ukrainians into the ‘Motherland’ – one of Putin’s central pretexts for war – has impacted a sharp counter reaction: many are abandoning their mother tongue, reaffirming their Ukrainian identity. Could Ukraine be headed for monolingualism after centuries of multi-language cultural exchange?