Political and Cultural Loyalties in Modern East Central Europe

Project term: 2010−2012
Project leader: Martin Schulze Wessel, Peter Bugge and Jana Osterkamp



As of 2010, the Center for Advanced Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University (CAS) offers a new forum for international and inter-disciplinary scientific exchange: the CAS-Schwerpunkte (CAS Focal Points). A scientific focal point of this type dedicated to the topic 'Political and Cultural Loyalties in modern East Central Europe' was installed by Martin Schulze Wessel, Peter Bugge and Jana Osterkamp (i.e. two members and one staff member of the Collegium Carolinum). The goal is to enhance the historical focus on loyalties with political, jurisprudential and cultural-scientific perspectives through workshops and meetings. The focus is on bringing together a highly qualified field of researchers from within and outside of the Ludwig-Maximilian-University in order to intensify the cooperation between the Collegium Carolinum and the university.

Loyalties are viewed as a structural social prerequisite for governance; the concept of loyalty therefore plays a very special role in the historical analysis of communities in poly-ethnic and multi-confessional societies. While political science additionally researches loyalties in modern liberal states, jurisprudence also uses the term in an institutional sense, e.g. when discussing the cross-national principle of reciprocal loyalty in the European Union. Despite this multitude of perspectives, the various approaches have not yet been methodically systematised. Such a systematisation is rewarding since, unlike most other scientific concepts, the question concerning loyalty allows capturing the stability and the change of political systems in an analytical overview. A first one-day workshop, bringing together questions of historical background with jurisprudential perspectives, took place on November 16, 2010.