Alessandro Milani: Research & CV

Management of ethno-ritual minorities by two newly (re)born states having opposed religious policies: a comparative analysis of Poland and Czechoslovakia (1919-1929)

Research Area 1: Displacements, “Dépaysements” and Discrepancies

Post-doctoral fellow qualified as a tenure track assistant professor «Maître de Conférences » CNU section 22 ‘History and Civilization / Contemporary History’ Post doc affiliated to the École Pratique des Hautes Études Groupe, Sociétés, religions, Laïcités, CNRS, Paris.

The project draws up the basis of an academic work on the condition of Western Ukrainian Greek-Catholics in interwar Poland and Czechoslovakia between 1919 and 1929. By “Western Ukrainians” are meant Eastern Slavic populations living in both Polish Galicia and Czechoslovakian Transcarpathia even though the latter are generally referred as Rusyns. Belonging to two separate Byzantine Churches in communion with Rome, Ukrainian Galicians and Transcarpathians were never able to merge into a unitary entity from the collapse of Kiev onward. They represented the demographic majority of two multicultured and multireligious regions ruled by two dominant minorities. Indeed, they respectively fell under Polish and Hungarian dominations (until the late 18th century) and then into two separate entities of the Austro-Hungarian empire until 1918, i.e. Cis- and Transleithania. Habsburg domination enabled Ukrainian Galicians to gradually emancipate from Polish influence whilst Rusyns remained subordinate to the Hungarians. This was particularly evident in church affairs. Galicia eparchies formed an autonomous ecclesiastical province sui juris even though byzantine top clerics belonging to Polish or Polonized aristocracy had still a say in the matter. On the contrary, Transcarpathian eparchies of Muchacevo and Presov were totally subject to the metropolitan authority of the primate of Hungary and eparchs were preferentially selected among Hungarian or Magiarized clerics, especially between 1866 and 1912. Henceforth, the short-lived Western Ukrainian People’s Republic (1918-1919) was the only exception until 1945. However, the research will mainly focus on the relations between the Holy See, Polish and Czechoslovakian episcopates, the secular governments then in power in Warsaw and Prague, the Greek Catholic hierarchies, Roman Curia and their efforts to preserve Eastern traditions. More precisely, it concerns claims that the governments meddled in Greek Catholic church affairs,  i.e. the appointment of bishops and the control of their pastoral activities before and after the 1925 Polish Concordat and the 1927 Modus vivendi between Prague and the Holy See. These two countries enacted two opposed ethno-religious  policies. Warsaw sought to assimilate its minorities through Latin Catholicism whilst Prague was more tolerant and secularized. Though opposed, the above policies were both meant to counter centrifugal claims that came not infrequently from catholic leaders themselves.


Current position

2018/19: Mihaychuk Fellow in Ukrainian Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (US)

2014-: post-doctoral fellow in Religious Scences at the EPHE Ecole pratique des hautes études,Paris, associated researcher to the GRSL Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités/CNRS


2011:  PhD in Social History. Thesis titled « La Galizia orientale polacca 1918-1927. Aspetti politici e religiosi delle problematiche interrituali nelle relazioni tra la Santa Sede e la Polonia dall’indipendenza all’inizio della Sanacja”

2009: Postgraduate diploma (equivalent to a M.Phil.) in Librarianship and documentation, Scuola Vaticana di Biblioteconomia (SCV)

2008: Postgraduate certificate in Geopolitics, SIOI/Società Italiana Organizzazione Internazionale, Rome (I) . Postgraduate certificate in International Relations, SIOI/Società Italiana Organizzazione Internazionale, Naples (I). Postgraduate certificate in europrojecting , SIOI/Società Italiana Organizzazione Internazionale, Naples, (I)

2007: MPhil. In Parliamentary Studies, LUISS Libera Università Studi Sociali “Guido Carli”, Rome (I)

2006: Postgraduate diploma (equivalent to a M.Phil.) in Archival Studies, Scuola Vaticana di Paleografia,  Diplomatica Archivistica

2005 :  Religious history, Università “L’Orientale”, Naples (I)

2003:  Post graduate degree in International and Diplomatic Sciences, Università degli Studi di Trieste (I)


  • 2017: post-doctoral fellow Marc Bloch Centre for the Social Sciences, Berlin (D)
  • 2017: post-doctoral fellow of the CEFRES Centre français Recherche sociale, Prague (CZ)
  • 2015: post-doctoral Fellow at the Muzeum Historii Polski, Varsovie (PL)
  • 2013: Senior research associate at the MEHRC Modern European History Research Centre, Oxford (UK)
  • 2012: post-doctoral Fellow at the Instytut Historyczny of the University of Warsaw (PL)
  • 2008: post-graduate fellow at the Istituto Italiano Studi Storici “Benedetto Croce” de Naples (I)


  • La Galizia orientale(1772- 1923). Dalla dominazione asburgica all’annessione polacca. Aspetti politici e religiosi delle problematiche interrituali, Ed. Aracne, Roma, 2017. ISBN 978-88-255-0945-8 (250 pp.)
  • Il ruolo del cardinale Slipyj nella chiesa del silenzio ucraina, Ed. La Sapienza, Roma, 2009. ISBN 978-88-8700-7 (203 pp.)

Most recent articles

  • L’occupazione asburgica della Galizia e la questione etno-religiosa (1772-1918) , “Slavia”, ed. Slavia, Roma, n.3/2017, pp.79-91.
  • Tra Mosca e la Mitteleuropa: il nazionalismo ucraino nella sua dimensione storica, “Geopolitica”, n. II luglio-dicembre, Roma, 2016, pp.50-56