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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Post-Imperial Transitions and Transformations from a Local Perspective: Slovene Borderlands Between the Dual Monarchy and Nation States (1918–1923)

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.01.00  Humanities  Historiography   

Code Science Field
H250  Humanities  Contemporary history (since 1914) 

Code Science Field
6.01  Humanities  History and Archaeology 
Keywords
1918, transition, transformation, borderlands, Austria-Hungary, Yugoslavia, nationalism, ethnicity, nation states, violence, interwar period, WWI
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  38892  Neja Blaj Hribar  Historiography  Technical associate  2019 - 2023  54 
2.  24282  PhD Filip Čuček  Historiography  Researcher  2019 - 2023  176 
3.  52721  PhD Laszlo Goncz  Historiography  Researcher  2021 - 2023  510 
4.  28155  PhD Petra Kavrečič  Historiography  Researcher  2019 - 2023  158 
5.  24476  PhD Katarina Keber  Humanities  Researcher  2019 - 2023  194 
6.  28529  PhD Jernej Kosi  Historiography  Head  2019 - 2023  184 
7.  18129  PhD Attila Kovacs  Historiography  Researcher  2019 - 2023  568 
8.  38266  PhD Daša Ličen  Anthropology  Junior researcher  2019 - 2021  141 
9.  31243  PhD Peter Mikša  Historiography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  709 
10.  19632  PhD Andrej Rahten  Historiography  Researcher  2020 - 2023  567 
11.  21848  PhD Rok Stergar  Historiography  Researcher  2019 - 2023  336 
12.  10673  PhD Andrej Studen  Historiography  Researcher  2019 - 2021  472 
13.  11698  PhD Petra Svoljšak  Humanities  Researcher  2019 - 2023  581 
14.  21670  PhD Marko Zajc  Historiography  Researcher  2019 - 2023  347 
15.  33080  PhD Žiga Zwitter  Humanities  Researcher  2020 - 2021  186 
16.  24920  PhD Tanja Žigon  Humanities  Researcher  2019 - 2023  445 
Organisations (5)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  98,332 
2.  0501  Institute for Contemporary History  Ljubljana  5057116000  5,295 
3.  0507  Institute for Ethnic Studies  Ljubljana  5051517000  4,525 
4.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  63,120 
5.  1822  University of Primorska, Faculty of Humanities  Koper  1810014001  9,894 
Abstract
When researching the collapse of Austria-Hungary and the emergence of the new, post-imperial political and institutional order in present-day Slovene territory, historians have to date predominantly focused either on diplomatic history or on the political transition of power that occurred in the major administrative centres. For decades, events such as the proclamation of the State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs; the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes; and the subsequent emergence of autonomous Slovene political administration remained the central reference points of historical narration. In this context, the supposed “struggle for national liberation” and the establishment of “Slovene rule” in the borderlands also received a certain degree of attention. Both the supposedly unjust loss of “Slovene national territory” in Carinthia (to Austria) and the Austrian Littoral and western parts of Carniola (to the Kingdom of Italy), on the one hand, and the post-1918 diplomatic and military successes in the dispute over Lower Styria and Prekmurje, on the other, were researched and included in the foundational story of the Slovene nation escaping from the Austro-Hungarian “prison of nations.” By focusing on political and military events, however, historians could provide only very narrow accounts of the post-imperial political transition and societal transformation that occurred in Slovene borderlands. Entirely missing from the scholarly literature are the everyday experiences of ordinary people living in the contested linguistically diverse borderland societies in the three regions of present-day Slovenia: Prekmurje, Štajerska and Primorska. The main objective of this project is to research how ordinary people living in borderland communities experienced the imposed political transition and societal transformation. The central task that our project aims to pursue is to research the effects that the changed international political system had on daily life in local societies in the Slovene borderlands after the collapse of the imperial regime. In the first stage, we aim to produce thoroughly researched case studies of selected individuals or local communities. Along these lines, project members will investigate a locality or a subject according to their broader interests and specific specialization. In the second stage, the findings and gathered material will be analysed in a comparative manner in order to provide insight into common features of the transition and transformation in various institutional, social and cultural settings. The project will bring together experienced scholars with those of the next generation, in a collaborative effort to overcome the lacunae in existing scholarship – both national and international – that tend to disregard the complexity of local contexts by ascribing the role of victims to the presumably passive local population. The proposed research thus gives a voice to the ordinary people who had to cope with the post-war social instability and weakness of state institutions at the local level. In addition, project members will also seek to reveal the role of “the agency from below”, focusing on the ways in which local societies themselves shaped or at least tried to control the outcome of post-imperial transitions and transformations. The goal of this research is thus to contribute to a more detailed and nuanced understanding of the historical phenomena that not only had an enormous influence on 20th century Central European history but that still present a serious point of disagreement between conflicting national memories in the region.
Significance for science
The research will look beyond Slovene historiography’s traditional narrative of the break-up of Austria-Hungary in autumn 1918 as an essential emancipatory event in the Slovene nation’s long road to final independence in 1991. Instead of taking for granted foundational myths or political tropes invented in the post-imperial context and consequently applying the top-down perspective which often reconstructs the viewpoint of elites and gives the impression of passiveness on the part of the broader population, the transition and transformation will be researched from the bottom up, that is, from the perspective of individuals and communities actually living in the Slovene borderlands. In this sense, the research will demonstrate that ordinary people retained agency in the tumultuous years following the collapse of the Dual Monarchy. The research will be grounded in a comprehensive survey of various historical sources that so far have not been examined while researching post-imperial continuities and changes in the Slovene borderlands: school chronicles, parish chronicles, minutes of municipalities, reports of local gendarmerie posts, various autobiographical sources, court documents, postcards. By using microhistorical methods and approaches while collecting and examining available sources on a local scale, we will contribute to methodological improvement of the sub-field and provide studies whose implications could transcend the local and prompt us to revisit established notions about the break-up of Austria-Hungary and the establishment of successor states. The project will have an impact at two different levels and with two different audiences. In terms of the benefits for the field, the research project proposes a new, nuanced, and complex approach and challenges established historical narratives. It is designed to contribute a significantly refined understanding of how transition and transformation ensued in various local contexts in the Slovene borderlands. The project will be conducted in a time of considerable interest in the international scholarly community for the phenomena of post-imperial continuity and paths of post-1918 transition and transformation in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, the project also aims to raise public awareness and to address segments of the public sphere. The ethnographical miniatures we seek to shed light on and interpret therefore seem to be remarkably convenient for an attempt to bring a more nuanced picture of the contested regional and local history closer to the public eye.
Significance for the country
The research will look beyond Slovene historiography’s traditional narrative of the break-up of Austria-Hungary in autumn 1918 as an essential emancipatory event in the Slovene nation’s long road to final independence in 1991. Instead of taking for granted foundational myths or political tropes invented in the post-imperial context and consequently applying the top-down perspective which often reconstructs the viewpoint of elites and gives the impression of passiveness on the part of the broader population, the transition and transformation will be researched from the bottom up, that is, from the perspective of individuals and communities actually living in the Slovene borderlands. In this sense, the research will demonstrate that ordinary people retained agency in the tumultuous years following the collapse of the Dual Monarchy. The research will be grounded in a comprehensive survey of various historical sources that so far have not been examined while researching post-imperial continuities and changes in the Slovene borderlands: school chronicles, parish chronicles, minutes of municipalities, reports of local gendarmerie posts, various autobiographical sources, court documents, postcards. By using microhistorical methods and approaches while collecting and examining available sources on a local scale, we will contribute to methodological improvement of the sub-field and provide studies whose implications could transcend the local and prompt us to revisit established notions about the break-up of Austria-Hungary and the establishment of successor states. The project will have an impact at two different levels and with two different audiences. In terms of the benefits for the field, the research project proposes a new, nuanced, and complex approach and challenges established historical narratives. It is designed to contribute a significantly refined understanding of how transition and transformation ensued in various local contexts in the Slovene borderlands. The project will be conducted in a time of considerable interest in the international scholarly community for the phenomena of post-imperial continuity and paths of post-1918 transition and transformation in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition, the project also aims to raise public awareness and to address segments of the public sphere. The ethnographical miniatures we seek to shed light on and interpret therefore seem to be remarkably convenient for an attempt to bring a more nuanced picture of the contested regional and local history closer to the public eye.
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