Institutionalizing Indoctrination: Insights from the Romanian Case under Communism

Lecture format: on site + online.
Room: 2R-EG-07 (lecture hall of the Institute for Eastern European History).
Street address: Spitalgasse 2,  Campus of the University of Vienna, Hof 3.

How should we think methodically—in theoretically and historically informed ways—about the institutionalization of indoctrination and propaganda? How should we conceptualize and theorize the social organization of ideology? The talk is an attempt to contribute to the answer of these and related questions. Concentrating on the case study of Communist Romania, and using it as a vehicle, the talk balances the exploratory theoretical approach with a historical investigation, and charts various facets of the institutionalization of indoctrination and propaganda with a special focus on the education system. The two dimensions of the talk offer, in conjunction, a contribution to our more general historical and conceptual understanding of the institutional arrangements of political indoctrination and their associated social monitoring and control practices. The talk uses as a starting point the recently published The Institutionalization of Indoctrination: An Exploratory Investigation based on the Romanian Case Study [Paul Aligica and Simona Preda, Lexington Books – Rowman & Littlefield 2022] and further elaborates some of its key themes and arguments.

Paul Dragoș Aligică is a Professor at the University of Bucharest and a Senior Research Fellow in theF. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the Mercatus Center, George Mason University. He is the author and co-author of ten books and of numerous academic articles on political theory, institutional analysis, Eastern European political economy and post-Socialist transition. Aligica has written for a wide variety of academic journals, including American Political Science Review Revue française d'economie Society, East European Economics, and Communist and Post-Communist Studies. His publications include The Neoliberal Revolution in Eastern Europe: Economic Ideas in the Transition from Communism, with Anthony Evans (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2008), Institutional Diversity and Political Economy (Oxford University Press, 2014) and Public Entrepreneurship, Citizenship, and Self-Governance (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

Registration is requested only from those guests who would like to be connected via Zoom. Please feel free to visit the seminar without registration if you plan to take part live.