The Research Center for the History of Transformations (RECET) uses the post-1989 transformations in Central and Eastern Europe as a starting point for the comparative study of social, economic, and cultural transformations in the wake of deep historical caesuras at different times and in different parts of the world.
Our concept of transformation is inspired by Karl Polanyi and looks beyond the hegemonic post-1989 teleologies of marketization and democratization. This approach also allows us to take a long-durée perspective on transformations, with emphasis on the interdisciplinary connections to sociology, economics, and cultural and social anthropology.
RECET follows the concept of Comparative Area Studies. Our focus on Central and Eastern Europe is enlarged by comparisons and the study of entanglements with other world regions, such as East Asia, and the co-transformation of Western countries.
A further aim of the Research Center is the revival of social history, in close connection with the Polish tradition of historical sociology and social and cultural anthropology. Here the focus is especially on the connection between macro- and micro-level research and action-oriented social historiography and social analysis (drawing inter alia on Georg Simmel).