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Research field: Transformation Research

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Transformations in internationally comparative perspective

This research field is tasked with the comparative and interdisciplinary study of transformation processes in Germany and Central Eastern Europe, taking into account simultaneous transformation processes in Western Europe ("co-transformation"). Besides the upheaval of 1989/90, transformation processes in Europe during all of the 20th century are explored. In the context of contemporary historical and social science transformation research with its current focus on the upheaval of 1989/1991, the aim is to contribute to an interdisciplinary, transnational as well as diachronic perspective on political turning points and profound social change from 1918 to the present and their impact on the affected societies and people.

As to content, the research field ties into previous works of the HAIT in politological transformation research and includes a broad set of conceptual and methodological approaches, reaching from international comparisons on the macro level to historical anthropology and qualitative social science. In the coming years, the research field will develop three focal points: 1. "Work in upheaval: property regulations, work and social protest": For this, "transformation regimes" will be examined along the nationalisation and privatisation of economic and industrial businesses in rural, East German and Central Eastern European societies; 2. "Age, care and aid in times of Crisis": At the centre of attention is the impact of the respective turning points on discourses and practices of care and the everyday experiences of the affected persons, the children, the elderly and sick; 3. "Self-governance, honorary offices and volunteering": Its topics are possibilities and limitations of volunteering in a time of accelerated upheaval of social, political and economic systems. These projects and the resulting conference and publication undertakings aim to contribute to the diachronic and comparative research of political turning points and their long-term social consequences. In addition to a methodically innovative study of the transformations in the 20th and 21st century, the research field especially targets transnationally comparative projects with a particular focus on Central Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

Researchers: Dr. Maren Hachmeister, PD Dr. Bettina Hitzer, PD Dr. Steffen Kailitz, PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács, Teresa Lindenauer, Prof. Dr. Thomas Lindenberger, Dr. Klará Pinerová, Josephine Starke, Dr. Agnes Anna Arndt

Current projects

To their own good? Children's rights and democratic education in Saxony and East Central Europe since 1924

coordination: Dr. Agnes Anna Arndt

The Best Interests of the Child. A Social and Cultural History of the Political Economy of Care since 1946

coordination: Dr. Agnes Anna Arndteditor: Dr. Agnes Anna Arndt

Arbeitskreis Kindheitsgeschichte(n)

coordination: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács

Ageing and digital change. Experiences of older people with volunteering, ageing and digitalization from post-unification to the covid-19-pandemic (1980-2023)

coordination: Dr. Maren Hachmeistereditor: Teresa Lindenauer

COST Action CA22159, National, International and Transnational Histories of Healthcare, 1850-2000

coordination: PD Dr. habil. Friederike Kind-Kovács

Politisches Handeln in der Transformationsgesellschaft. Eine rekonstruktive Analyse der politischen Biografien sächsischer Stadtratsmitglieder

coordination: Josephine Starke

Political Polarisation and Communist Past: Czech and German Case (POPOLACOP)

coordination: Dr. Klára Pinerová

"PENTACON PROJECT" - Long-exposure. Work and experiences in Dresden's camera industry in the transformation years of 1980 to 2000

coordination: Roland Schwarzeditor: PD Dr. habil. Friederike Kind-Kovács, Dr. Maren Hachmeister

Belonging. The History of Child Adoption in Germany (1945/9-2000)

coordination: PD Dr. Bettina Hitzereditor: PD Dr. Bettina Hitzer; Anne Rinke

The "Wende" of the Children: Childhood in the East German Transformation

coordination: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovácseditor: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács

Why do democracies collapse?

coordination: PD Dr. Steffen Kailitz

More than a Footnote in History? Asta Nielsson and the Swedish Rescue of Budapests (Jewish) Children

coordination: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács

Out of the Camps: The Rehabilitation of Hungarian Jewish Child Victims in postwar Sweden

coordination: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács

Completed projects

Ukrainian Childhood facing War and Displacement : A Life Story Project

Multiple Transformations. Societal Experience and Cultural Change in East Germany and Central Eastern Europe before and after 1989

coordination: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovácseditor: Dr. Maren Hachmeister; PD Dr. Friederike

Voluntariness and Care in Transformation: Local Involvement in the Tri-Border Region

coordination: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovácseditor: Dr. Maren HachmeisterJoint project

Setting out for democracy and nationhood in the border triangle of Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia after the Great War (1918-1923)

coordination: PD Dr. Steffen Kailitzeditor: Sebastian Paul, Matthäus Wehowski

Volunteer work in local communities between state socialism and liberal capitalism. The history of the volunteer fire brigades in Germany and Eastern Central Europe 1980-2000

coordination: Prof. Dr. Thomas Lindenberger, Univ. Prof. Dr. Philipp Thereditor: Steffi Unger, Mojmír Stránský

Budapest's Children: Humanitarian Relief in the Aftermath of the Great War

coordination: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovácseditor: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács