Modernization in 19th century Central Europe

A seminar hosted by CEFRES young researcher Mátyás Erdélyi

Department of Historical Sociology of the Faculty of Humanities (HISO FHS UK). Open to BA and MA students.

Where and when: Tuesdays, from 3:30 to 4:50 PM, Jinonice, room  Y2083.

See the Syllabus and bibliography here

Full description

The aim of the course is to familiarize students with the main topics and problem areas in the history of Central Europe in the long nineteenth century. The course follows a topical arrangement focusing on central themes at the intersection of social history and historical sociology; it is neither chronological, nor comprehensive. Each section starts with the presentation of basic theoretical concepts, followed by the discussion of selected readings. The course focuses on problem areas in connection with the social and economic changes that took place in Central Europe during the long nineteenth century. The key concept of our discussion is ‘modernization theory’ and the different facets of modernization understood as a process of social and economic change in the period under scrutiny. Here, instead of interpreting ‘modernization’ as a normative developmental model, the course demonstrates how modernization could be analyzed as a heterogeneous and non-linear process, which always infers the possibility of fallbacks, as the history of Central Europe demonstrates it, and contains a mixture of ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ elements.


Active class participation, one in-class presentation on a chosen topic (ca. 10-15 minutes), a position paper based on the presentation (ca. 1500 words) at the end of the term.