FWF doc.funds Doctoral Program “The Dynamics of Change and the Logics of Transformation: State, Society, and Economy at Critical Junctures”

How do societies change as a result of historical ruptures? Researchers have increasingly been dealing with this question since the end of socialism in 1989 was not followed by the “end of history,” but by a series of crises and even a “populist revolt.” Following Karl Polanyi’s seminal work The Great Transformation, we assume in this project that transformation is a dialectical process of movement and countermovement that needs to be examined at different levels and in different areas – state, society and economy.

A total of 7 doctoral students from as many countries will examine the dynamics of change and logics of transformation from an interdisciplinary perspective in case studies from the 20th and 21st centuries. The topics cover a wide geographical and temporal range: migration in the late Soviet Union and in interwar Austria, the timber industry in the Romanian Bukovina, social work in post-socialist Bulgaria, the transformation of family policy in European welfare states, women's rights in Slovenia before and after independence and shipyards in the People's Republic of China since the 1970s.

All of these topics offer insights into the transformation of state and society, labor and mobility, rights and gender relations in times of historical upheaval. They will enable us to critically develop Polanyi’s theory further in order to arrive at a new understanding of past and present transformation processes – and at the same time set new standards in the field of doctoral education.

This doc.funds program is a cooperation of the following institutions:

The doc.funds team consists of the following people:

For more information on our doc.funds program please get in touch with the program director Jannis Panagiotidis (jannis.panagiotidis(at)univie.ac.at).

Supported by FWF Austrian Science Fund, the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies and the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Vienna.