POPULATION ENGINEERING AND DEMOCRACY AFTER WW1
WITH SHANNON MONAGHAN
Why did some interwar politicians think that population engineering could serve the interests of democracy? Shannon Monaghan explains why many in France were convinced after 1918 that the removal of the recently reannexed Alsace-Lorraine's German population was necessary to solidify democracy. Shannon talks about her new comparative history of post-1918 transitions, Protecting Democracy from Dissent: Population Engineering in Western Europe, 1918-1926.
THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION: KARL POLANYI IN 2018
WITH STEVEN KLEIN
Political theorist Steven Klein makes a powerful case as to why Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation has to be read today. Polanyi provides an alternative for both pro-market globalism and nationalist populism and prefigures current concerns with environmentalism as well. Does he provide a hopeful scenario for the future of capitalism? Is Polanyi merely Marx 2.0? Klein explains both The Great Transformation's key ideas and history or reception since WWII.
HOW TO WRITE THE HISTORY OF MODERN GERMANY AND THE HOLOCAUST? WITH FERENC LACZO
What is German about German history? At the centennial of 1918, Ferenc Laczo reflects on ruptures and continuities in modern German history including major debates around the origins and memory of the holocaust in Western and East-Central Europe. What have historians who have studied twentieth-century German history accomplished and what remains to be done? What are the most interesting and innovative recent books on the holocaust and WWII?
WHAT IS POPULISM? ORIGINS, NARRATIVES, COUNTER-NARRATIVES WITH PHILIP GORSKI
What are the origins of the current rise of populism? Is there a connection among Luther, Savanarola, Mussolini, and the populist politicians of our day? Yale professor of sociology Philip Gorski discusses what makes populist politics that has emerged in the past decade distinct from its antecedents and why populist leaders are distinct from each other as well. How can populist narratives on political community and economics be countered?
URBAN PLANNING IN SOCIALIST ROMANIA: FROM DESTRUCTION TO RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
WITH LILIANA IUGA
Even though the first image that comes to mind about Ceaușescu’s Romania is the sweeping destruction of traditional city centers, Liliana Iuga talks about the socialist impetus to save urban resources and a mure nuanced approach to demolitions in communist Romania. What was the role of historical preservation within socialist urbanism? How did interwar technocrats become recycled in the 1950s and 1960s? How did urban property rights inhibit the planners of a socialist state?
PROSTITUTION, CAPITALISM, AND WAR
WITH NANCY WINGFIELD
Was prostitution a means of social mobility for women in fin-de-siècle Habsburg Central Europe? How widespread was prostitution in Cisleithanian Austria during the First World War? How were women recruited into prostitution, what were their working conditions and how do we get from Austria to Argentina? Nancy Wingfield has revisited some of these issues in her new book, The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria (Oxford University Press, 2017).
SLOW CONVERGENCE? EASTERN EUROPEAN ECONOMIES AFTER 1989
WITH TAMÁS RÉTI
Why are Austrian wages still more than double as compared to those in neighboring Slovakia and Hungary, 28 years after 1989? Why qualitative catching up with the West is lagging behind quantitative progress? Will East-Central European capitalism remain different from that of Western? With Budapest-based economist, Tamás Réti, we talk about János Kornai, the IMF, and the (lack of) alternatives for economic development after the collapse of state socialism, among other themes.
MAKING SENSE OF MODERNITY: CONSPIRACY THEORIES IN MODERN RUSSIA
WITH ILYA YABLOKOV
Why did anti-Western conspiracy theories emerge as mainstream discourses that attempted to explain Russian politics? How do 19th Russian interpretations of the Crimean War relate to current discussions on the 2014 annexation of Crimea and Russia’s relationship with “the West”? Do contemporary American and Russian conspiracy theories share family resemblances?
ROMA CAPITALISM AT THE MARGINS: MIXED ECONOMY AND LIFE IN A FORMER WORKING CLASS NEIGHBORHOOD IN BUCHAREST
WITH GERGŐ PULAY
What are the options of livelihood available for Bucharest Romas in the 2010s? Anthropologist Gergo Pulay touches on “miraculous” scrap metal trade, drug abuse, the transformation of a former working-class neighborhood as well as emigration. He closes with sharing his favorite manele song “Mahala și țiganie.”
TRADE AS AN AGENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS? THE CASE OF THE EUROPEAN CAR INDUSTRY 1970s-1980s
WITH GARY WINSLETT
During the 1970s, the European car industry became increasingly international and more frustrated by intra-European trade barriers. After Ford began profitably selling on the continent, other automakers followed suit; this served to create a continental vehicle market and made intra-regional regulatory barriers more important. While this was occurring, the European Community began to regulate automobiles
with an eye toward liberalizing the continental market in vehicles. Gary Winslett explores some of the tensions between trade liberalization and a quest for a pan-European environmental regulation in the 1970s and 1980s.
In 2016 and 2017, a group of freshly-minted PhDs gathered regularly in a small studio apartment in the narrow Florentine alleyway, Via dell’Alloro. While the nearby European University Institute that hosted us seemed like an island of peace and calm, we were all aware and somewhat disturbed by the profound insecurities and problems that surrounded us: in Florence, Italy, Europe, and beyond. Armed with bottles of cheap but quality Chianti, we decided to wage war against our ignorance and take the historical dimensions of our current economic problems seriously. The Evolution of Capitalism Podcast grew out of these informal gatherings and it hopes to enable conversations and debates that may otherwise not take place. The podcast is also an attempt to recreate the spirit of some of the conversations at Via dell’Alloro.