Economic thinking is far from the preserve of central bankers and policy wonks. In dozens of interviews in the Czech Republic and the former East Germany, sociologist Till Hilmar asked healthcare workers and engineers about their experiences of the transformation period to understand how economic shifts are remembered, and what memories can tell us about processes of economic change. As a result, he gained a picture of transformation “from below.” In this episode of the Transformative Podcast, Hilmar tells Rosamund Johnston why people’s views of the 1990s still matter now. He explains how his work sheds light on how people respond to crisis, both in the short and long term.
Till Hilmar is a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Vienna’s Department of Sociology. He is the author of Deserved. Economic Memories after the Fall of the Iron Curtain, which was recently published by Columbia University Press. He received his PhD from Yale University in 2019. His research has been published in numerous outlets, including the European Journal of Sociology, East European Politics and Societies, and the Journal of Contemporary European Studies.