Tradition and Solidarity in the Visegrád Countries in the Pandemic Moment

   2022. április 27. 9:00 - 2022. április 30. 18:00

Tradition and Solidarity in the Visegrád Countries in the Pandemic Moment. International Conference of the Visegrád Anthropology Network


Organized by

the Institute of Social Anthropology, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University in Bratislava (FSES CU) and the Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest. With the support of the Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale (MPISA)

and the project Do We Recover from COVID-19 Pandemics? Social, Economic, and Law Perspectives on the Pandemic Crisis (Slovak Research and Development Agency project PP-COVID-20-0026)


Date: 27/4/2022 – 30/4/2022


Venue: Hotel Vinársky dom


Holubyho 27, Pezinok, Slovakia


MS Teams: Dot-BhQ1%40thread.tacv2/V%25C5%25A1eobecn%25C3%25A9?groupId=4171a0b1-b5e0- 49f3-89f5-162a68e7f3a1&tenantId=ce31478d-6e7a-4ce7-8670-a5b9d51884f9

Arrival of participants on 27/4/2022 Accommodation in Hotel Vinársky dom and Hotel Tília

Informal gathering in Pezinok (venue TBC)




Presentation 20min, followed by a concluding discussion 25 min


Day One, 28/4/2022

Welcome by the Organizers Panel 1

9:00 – 10:45: The state, its institutions, and social movements under COVID-19


Chair: Martin Kanovský (FSES, Comenius University, Bratislava)

Discussant: Kristóf Szombati (Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest - TBC)


Nicolette Makovicky (REES/OSGA, University of Oxford)

Solidarity and Speculation: Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 in Slovakia

Across Europe, governments are beginning to deploy different combinations of benefits, restrictions, and incentives to encourage citizens to get two vaccinations against COVID-19, including COVID-passes, testing and quarantine regimes, and vaccine mandates. In some countries and regions, authorities have set up vaccine lotteries to combat sluggish vaccination rates. In Slovakia, a high-profile vaccine lottery was run between August and October 2021, alongside a number of other campaigns designed to give citizens an incentive to get vaccinated. Based in analysis of quantitative date, there already exists a lively debate about whether vaccine lotteries work, and whether they deliver a credible, ethically sound alternative to mandates or passports. Based on online and in-person interviews with Slovak citizens and officials, I want instead to reflect on how Slovaks perceived and experienced the lottery, and how it reflected ideas of power and geo-politics, responsibility and solidarity.


Dušan Fischer (FSES, Comenius University, Bratislava)

Basic Training During COVID-19: Un Uninvited Help

The Slovak Armed Forces were employed in unprecedented numbers to maintain order and assist during the statewide testing for COVID-19 in October and November 2000. The pandemic affected also the process of training of new recruits. With implied restrictions on personnel, mask-wearing, and continuing push for higher vaccination rate, the Slovak Armed Forces had to adapt to the new situation. Moreover, the number of the candidates in one cycle was the highest in modern history. One reason for this is the postponement of the previous course due to the pandemic restrictions. The other reason has to do with the financial stability the candidates seek during the unpredictable job circumstances. The paper argues that while the COVID-19 pandemic presented a burden for the Slovak Armed Forces with deployment, resulting in close exposure to the virus, we can also acknowledge the raising of resilience and readiness of the force. Improvising and adjusting to new circumstances are two of the most important principles of the armed forces. Additionally, the military training personnel is able to achieve higher solidarity. The paper will present material gathered during fieldwork at the Military Training Base in Martin, Slovakia.


Yazid Ben Hounet (CNRS Paris/Comenius University, Bratislava)

Inequalities, demands and social defiance in post-socialist Algeria: the pandemic period

The covid 19 pandemic, in addition to its health consequences, exacerbated inequalities and societal problems in different places. In Algeria, it coincided with and followed a large social protest movement, called hirak (movement). Started in February 2019, this historical sequence has seen several developments and was stopped with the arrival of the pandemic, in March 2020. While Algeria has many batches of vaccines and has been producing them locally since September 2021 ("CoronaVac", in collaboration with the Chinese company Sinovac), the Algerian population remains quite reluctant to be vaccinated (nearly 15% in mid-January 2022). The situation may seem paradoxical, even though the summer of 2021 was deadly (oxygen crisis and forest fire) and the finger was pointed at the failures of the state, and in particular the social state in taking care of the first needs of the population, especially the need for protection, including health. How can we understand this contradiction? How do social distrusts manifest themselves? And what do they tell us about the relationship to the State, and in particular about the contradictions between socialist and capitalist ethics?


Break 10:45 – 11:15


Panel 2

11:15 – 13:00: Community Relations in the Pandemic Moment


Chair: Agnieszka Halemba (IAE PAN, Warsaw)

Discussant: Jaroslava Panáková (Institute of Ethnology SAS/FSES Comenius University)


Barbora Spalová, Adam Gajdoš (Charles University in Prague)

Church life/live in pandemic times: traditional and emergent boundaries of membership in Czech and Slovak Christian communities

The unprecedented halt of social gatherings imposed by the pandemic of Covid-19 since the spring of 2020 has had a profound impact on what it means to be practicing Christian. The necessity to continuously adapt to the ever-changing epidemic measures highlighted the centrality of ritual to participation to the Christian sense of belonging. Sustaining community life in parishes and congregations became a more general challenge as restrictions of movement, varied degrees of cautiousness and differentiated access to technologies obstructed traditional techniques of community and pastoral work. At the same time, the deep social crisis posed a challenge related to central Christian calling: How should Christians serve the world now? Based on pre-pandemic in-person observations, online ethnography and interviews, our paper maps the changing dynamics of boundary work regarding membership, belonging and involvement in the life of several Roman Catholic and mainline Protestant church communities in the Czech and Slovak republics. While it is still early to assess the lasting impact the on-going pandemic will have on church life in these countries, we outline and interpret some of the important tendencies called forth or amplified by the impact of epidemic restrictions.


Oren Segal (FSES, Comenius University, Bratislava)

When the White Mask Is Worn, Slovak Fashion, Glamour, and the Corona Crisis

The connection between fashion and glamour is well established. Many fashion designers perceive fashion as an extension of the body. Body and clothing combined to create the perfect haute couture. However, there is little theoretical research on what glamour means, especially during the Corona crisis. During the current Covid crisis, the connection between body and fashion has been challenged. On the one hand, people tend to neglect their body not to caring about the clothes they wear. On the other hand, protective clothing such as masks are becoming a common accessory. During the Corona crisis, the role of fashion designer is to depict the connection between body, glamour and Covid disease. My ongoing field research during the Corona crisis in Slovakia illustrates the cultural boundaries that are constantly negotiated. I show the attempts of fashion designers to domesticate Covid. Finally, I suggest that there is nothing glamourous in current authentic Slovak fashion. Fashion designers, for the most part, choose to illustrate Covid as non-domesticated, untouched wild.


Juraj Podoba (FSES, Comenius University, Bratislava)

Out of the cottage, but still within. The role of tradition and solidarity in building boom of the Slovak countryside

In times of global pandemic, the Visegrád countries are facing problems that are threatening them by its consequences. Individuals, families and small social groups have been trying to adapt to this sudden situation, unprecedented in living memory. But the pandemic moment connected with lockdown, limitation of human mobility and economic and social crisis seemed to restore social and cultural patterns of behavior and social relations from the past. We do observe reappearance of initiatives and older forms of solidarity. Such forms have been based on the sociocultural models rooted in the peasant social environment of the agrarian and semi- agrarian periods. The cornerstone of such models is solidarity rooted in the family and kin ties, and mutual neighbor reciprocity. The paper is aiming to examine the forms of solidarity and reciprocity, which have supported the building boom in the Slovak countryside during the second half of the 20th century. And to analyse the peasantist models of tradition and solidarity connected with the social patterns of housing in the post-peasant rural communities. The analysis is based on the long-term field research conducted by the author in the model rural settlements. Consequently, the paper is aiming to reflect the current way in adapting to the pandemic situation, using traditional models of solidarity and adaptability as well.


Lunch 13:00 – 14:00




Panel 3

14:00 – 15:45: Social unrest and anti-systemic movements as a reaction to COVID-19


Chair: Gergely Pulay (Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest)

Discussant: Tatjana Thelen (Vienna University)


Florin Poenaru (University of Bucharest)

COVID‑19 in Romania—the militarization of social life and the banality of death

Pandemic in Romania crystalized and magnified previously existing social circumstances, which also delineated the possibilities and limits of state intervention. The cheap and disposable work of the Romanian migrants proved essential to save the food chains of Western Europe from collapsing, but it exacted the painful price upon workers, making them vulnerable to the rapidly spread virus. After years of neoliberal divestment, the local healthcare system barely survived, and the mounting death toll illustrates that the Romanian public health system merely manages death rather than safeguard health. Class privileges prove to be crucial if one is to navigate this system as well as all other social institutions. The petite bourgeoisie was the most vocal against restrictions, sensing correctly that the corporate middle class is better shielded against the worst effects of the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, their agitation did not seek improvements in public institutions. Instead, they used the sense of crisis to mobilize support that contributed to the success of a post-fascist party enter Parliament, in keeping with a similar resurgence of such forces elsewhere. Faced with deep levels of societal distrust and lacking the proper means to act, the state resorted to militarism and authoritarianism to fight the virus, which, as expected, only increased public resistance to state measures. Coordinated by the military, the local vaccination campaign stagnates as the country heads towards wave four. The failure of the state to act decisively, and productively mobilize citizens, provided the conditions for conspiracy theories about the vaccine to flourish. More a symptom of distrust rather than stupidity, conspiracy theories reflect the citizens’ low level of confidence in public authorities. There is no vaccine for this malaise.


Elisa J Sobo (San Diego State University) and Elżbieta Drążkiewicz (Institute of Sociology, Slovak Academy of Sciences – on-line)

Rights, Responsibilities, and Revelations: Covid-19 Conspiracy Theories and the State – on-line

The COVID-19 pandemic pulls back the curtain on many sociopolitical ills. Simultaneously, it reveals extant tensions between governance and freedom, solidarism and individualism as individual rights are pitted against state-defined visions of the public good, to be achieved though lockdowns, testing, tracking, mask wearing and – potentially – vaccination. In this paper we approach so-called conspiracy theories as a powerful tool for expressing and addressing such tensions. We examine how COVID-19 has been leveraged as additional evidence for these theories’ claims. We focus on discourses circulated via platforms like Twitter and Facebook within Ireland, Poland, and the USA to ask how the 2020 pandemic is loaded onto and used by those with vested interests to amplify, in the Global North, structure-agency, responsibilities- rights, solidarism-individualism frictions. To gain insight, we aim our investigation toward so- called conspiracy theories questioning state-sponsored health interventions including but not limited to vaccination. In our paper we question the universalizing treatment of apparently similar conspiracy theories. We demonstrate how those who propagate conspiracy theories layer well-worn tropes onto diverse, context-specific ideologies, fears, and desires regarding the state. Our enquiry sheds light on the ways that novel health threats are deployed to substantiate, further fuel, and sometimes refocus existing critiques of the sociopolitical and economic order; and show how apparently incongruous groups may join forces to peddle what looks outwardly like the same conspiracy theory. We demonstrate too, how what in one context may be termed a conspiracy theory in another is simply critical thinking, particularly when it serves to protect the ideal of democratic self-governance.


Attila Papp Z & Zsigmond Csilla (Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest)

Unvaccinated - types, fault lines, challenges – on-line

In this presentation, we will try to capture the different types of ‘vaccine-hesistant’ and anti- vaccine people, and explore their motivations and reasoning in more depth, drawing on the results of a pilot qualitative study targeting the unvaccinated. The research was conducted at Institute of Minority Studies Centre of Social Sciences in November-December 2021, using focus group discussions and interviews to explore opinions and behavioural patterns related to vaccination. In addition to views and opinions on vaccination and the epidemic, the main themes were media use and information; subjective health status/health situation (self and family); personal experiences, trust in the health system (GP, health system, information); views on vaccination in the immediate environment (family, close friends) and in the wider community (distant friends, colleagues, colleagues, etc.). Previous quantitative research carried out internationally and in Hungary has identified a number of demographic characteristics (e.g. age, gender, education, etc.), perceptions related to Covid (e.g. personal exposure, risk perception, etc.), and explicitly vaccine-related factors (e.g. trust in institutions, trust in government, confidence in vaccine, etc.) that influence vaccination willingness/hesitation. Our main objective is to identify the main characteristics of vaccination refusal and hesitancy, which could (in theory) help public policymakers (which groups to target with which types of messages, etc.). At the same time, it also provides a picture of opinions on pandemics, disease management and vaccination campaigns, which could also support the effectiveness of communication and vaccination uptake (more generally, not only in the context of Covid). Our results can reveal the underlying motivations and arguments - distrust (of state institutions, of science, of the health system, etc.), the question of social responsibility, the role of social relationships, etc. - that can bring us closer to understanding the phenomenon of anti- vaccination.


End of Day One




The evening trip to Ľudovít Štúr Museum in Modra (6km by public transport; meeting point under the statue of Štúr, main square, Modra, 16:45), Dinner (Restaurant Ludvik, 18:30), return to Pezinok (22:00 by taxi booked by the organisers)



Presentation 20min, followed by a concluding discussion 25 min


Day Two, 29/4/2022


Panel 4

9:00 – 10:45: Sacralising politics, politicizing religion: state-church relations and populist politics


Chair: Sandra Guinand (Vienna University/FSES Comenius University)

Discussant: László Fosztó (ISPMN – Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities)


Nicholas Lackenby (University College London)

Not a cause, but a cure: Serbian Orthodox practice as an ethical response to the pandemic

This paper considers responses to the Coronavirus pandemic in Serbia, especially from more conservative segments of the population. These people are often assertively Orthodox, sceptical of mass vaccination and (what they see as) draconian public health measures, and readily call on national history as a template for action. I argue that – in a time of crisis – some sections of the (disenfranchised) public find solace in the very actions which scientists claim are aggravating that same crisis. Receiving Divine Communion on a shared spoon, venerating the dead, and participating in collective funerary rituals become the means with which to resist the unpredictable pandemic. The paper suggests that – to understand such appeals to Serbian Orthodox Tradition – we should consider how the pandemic forces people to ask themselves: What is it to be a good ethical subject? What is it to be an upstanding member of a societal whole? The predominant secular/medicalised discourse surrounding COVID-19 suggests that such ends are achieved through social distancing. However, for many people, it is by engaging in historically-rooted, collective, and embodied acts which defines them as virtuous members of society, and which gives them the orientation to navigate uncertain times.


Zora Hesova (Charles University in Prague – on-line)

Catholic Church and Christianism in Czech Culture wars of the 2010s – on-line

Religion has returned to public debates all over the Visegrad countries in the past decade in various forms and has become one of the references of the "culture wars" of the 2010s. Even in the least religious country in V4, in Czech Republic, Church represenatives, religiously framed issues and religious symbols have been increasingly visible and at time they have become subjects of public controversy. This contribution takes the perspective of changes in public representation and political presence of religious discourse with the aim to analyse the role of the religion in the "culture wars" in the Czech Republic. The contribution will reconstruct the "return" of religion (Church leader's closeness to politics, their interventions in public life, reaction to internal divisions, influence on public discourse, religious references in public debates, larger context) in 2010s, and ask what form the presence of "religion" took and identify main factors. By differentiating between established churches, religious civil society and national-conservative discourses the paper will first point to tendency towards "Christianianism" - culturalised public religion - that the Czech Republic shares with the rest of V4 and secondly point to internal factors (the process of separation of state and Church that paradoxically made churches closer to politics) and to external factors that played out in all Central Europe (transnational right wing activism with a Christianist content; a silent counter- revolution, populist ouvertures etc.)


Judit Keller, Alexa Szőke, Tünde Virág (Centre for Regional Studies Budapest)

Church-based poverty governance as a consequence of outsourcing

The paper will focus on the processes and consequences of an increasingly relevant phenomenon in Hungary: the outsourcing of welfare provision governance to religious organisations. We will focus on those cases, when various faith-based   organisations (FBO) started to appear in the poorest and most segregated settlements, taking over provisions from local governments. Moreover, based on an intensive presence and personalised social work involvement, they not only run public institutions, such as schools, kindergartens, but also complex social support programmes, such as Sure Start houses, educational schemes, along with continuous caritative assistance. The paper will analyse this process in the context of broader state restructuring and its specific trajectories of selective decentralisation and the outsourcing of public service provision to churches. More specifically, it will examine how it transforms social service provision, what are its consequences for the remaining state-run services in the affected settlements, and what it means in terms of the governance of poverty.


Eszter Neumann (Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest)

Enacting the Christian mission: church discourses on segregation, integration and inclusion in the Hungarian education system

Since 2010, the Hungarian education government has explicitly abandoned earlier state policies targeting the ethnic and social desegregation of the education system. Consequently, the number of Roma ghetto schools have been steadily rising over the last decade. The churches, supported by generous preferential state regulations, have taken a twofold role in this process. On the one hand, church-run schools are widely known for their selective practices which ensures a low intake of Roma students and thus they have become key agents in the social polarization of the education sector in disadvantaged regions. At the same time some churches and FBOs have become invested in “saving” and operating segregated ghetto schools. The presentation analyses how church education policy makers narrate (the lack of) social and ethnic diversity within church-run schools and the mission of the church in disadvantaged regions, and position themselves in the debate on educational segregation and integration.


Break 10:45 – 11:15


Panel 5

11:15 – 12:30: Ethnic Minorities in the Visegrád Countries in the Pandemic Moment


Chair: Margit Feischmidt (Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest)

Discussant: Tatiana Podolinská (Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology, SAS, Bratislava)

Stefánia Toma – László Fosztó

(ISPMN – Romanian Institute for Research on National Minorities / Babeș-Bolyai University)

Post-COVID19 rural renaissance? Return migration, social remittances, and reconfigurations of cultural diversity in the Eastern-European countryside

Our empirical material is coming from case studies of Transylvanian villages, a region where traditional local ethno-cultural divisions persisted for long, but we also witness the creation of new socio-cultural forms. In Romania, an increasing number of young or middle-aged urbanites are withdrawing from urban centres and decide to make home in these villages. The migration process has speeded up in the aftermath of COVID19 pandemics. A large part of new villagers has international migration experience spending some time abroad, working in diverse fields and decide to return in order to recreate their life by investing their earning ‘at home’. We intend to show that this return to ‘the rural’ is far from a return of ‘the tradition’ rather contrary, returnees should be seen as pioneers of social practices in the countryside which are here to stay for the near future. Part of the new villagers, in special in the metropolitan areas, do not renounce to their urban social embeddedness. Their relocation is motivated mainly by the desire of improving their living home and environment. Yet another category of returnees can be seen as ‘amenity migrants’ who seek leisure and recreation in the countryside. While both of these categories remain closely related to their urban lifestyle their presence nevertheless revitalises some part of the local services. We can interpret these migrants as the ‘consumers of rurality’.


Tomáš Hrustič (Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology, Slovak Academy of Sciences)

Early response of the Roma in Slovakia to pandemic of Covid-19: civic engagement as a form of resilience

The contribution offers a somewhat broader, non-Roma ethnographer’s overview of Roma proactivity and self-organisation related to COVID-19 by mapping in detail examples of early civic engagement among Roma that emerged in Slovakia in the wake of the pandemic in spring 2020. Focusing on the development of self-help groups aimed at raising awareness and at the distribution of protective equipment, the paper discusses how the Roma response contradicted hegemonic stereotypical expectations of them as a group requiring repressive control, for instance during distribution of social welfare benefits under the pandemic. In this way, the paper adds another layer to various accounts of spontaneous engagement and resistance of the Roma. It shows how, at times of uncertainty and shortage, segregated Roma did not wait for state or municipal help but were capable to temporarily self-organise to address its failures in emergency supply.


Andrej Belák (Institute of Ethnology and Social Anthropology, Slovak Academy of Sciences)

The limits   of   nationalist   Roma   emancipation   vis-à-vis   COVID-19   in   Slovakia:   A collaborator’s diary of hopes and frustrations

In Slovakia, the state and the municipal authorities’ controversially harsh approaches to the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic were significantly co-shaped by a well- established EU-funded national project focusing on health promotion across the country’s marginalized Roma communities. In the role of the project’s chief public health expert, throughout the pandemic I have been able to closely witness the efforts of the unprecedentedly powerful Slovak Roma political representatives to control and manage the state and municipal crisis responses regarding marginalized Roma following (or mimicking?) the logic of the nationalist ethnic emancipation tradition. In my contribution, I will first review the personal hopes and disappointments I have experienced upon respecting and collaborating within this Roma take on the crisis. Next, I will discuss – from the perspective of a critically applied medical anthropologist – what might this experience be showing us regarding the limits of nationalist Roma emancipation as practiced in Slovakia today with respect to the deeply untrivial needs of the marginalized Roma in Central and Eastern Europe in the domain of health and beyond.


Lunch 12:30 – 13:30


Panel 6

13:30 – 15:00: Rural populisms in Central Europe


Chair: Kristóf Szombati (Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest)

Discussant: Joe Grimm Feinberg (Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic)


Annika Lems (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle) – on-line

Everyday Politics of Place and the Pandemic Moment in an Austrian Mountain Village

In this presentation I will focus on the everyday placemaking practices people in an Austrian mountain community engaged in amidst the Corona pandemic. By zooming in on grassroot projects aimed at food sovereignty mushrooming in the area throughout these crisis years, I will show the important social role environmental future imaginaries can take on as a means of creating a sense of belonging and solidarity in “forgotten”, rural places that are marked by decades of unemployment, defunding and out-migration. However, I will suggest that anthropological analysis needs to inquire into the agency attached to such projects, laying bare the ambiguous nature of supposedly “green” and progressive placemaking practices. By looking into the everyday engagements with history fueling local struggles for social and environmental viability in my Austrian fieldsite, I attempt to make visible the contours of a troubling politics of place. This politics of place, I will argue, does not just act against extractive forms of capitalism. Based on historically engrained notions of otherness, it has the side-effect of reproducing reactionary and exclusionary ideas of belonging to place.


Natalia Mamonova (Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm)

Dying Villages and Right-Wing Populism in Central Eastern Europe

What is the common point between neo-Nazi settlers in eastern Germany, populist mobilisation against land reform in Ukraine, and conservative demographic policies of Poland and Hungary? The answer is ‘dying villages’. Since the collapse of communism, many rural settlements across the postsocialist space are being abandoned by capital, the state, and people. The ‘dying ’(but not ‘dead’) villages have become fertile ground for nationalist, socially conservative, illiberal populist movements and politics. Yet, the role of abandoned rural spaces and lives in the right- wing populist surge in Central and Eastern Europe remains largely overlooked. This paper is the first attempt to identify and explain the complex relations between right-wing populism and postsocialist emptiness. By analysing examples from different countries of Eastern and Central Europe, this paper will explain how, to what extent, and with what consequences the socio-economic vacuum of rural spaces influences the illiberal turn in postsocialist Europe. It will be largely based on my previous ethnographic research in the region, expert interviews, and secondary data.


Tatiana Safonova (Central European University, Vienna)

Tacit Propaganda through Beautification: Flowers, Villagers and the Populist State in Hungary

In this presentation, I will follow a lifecycle of flowers and show how the care for them is embedded in the local economy and political regime. The idea of a blossoming national state is conveyed through the floral decoration of public spaces in the frame of a centrally financed but locally run public work programme. Public flower beddings constitute a tacit form of propaganda. They exude the feeling of wellbeing and public wealth, creating an atmosphere of development, while at the same time masking such structural problems as the depopulation of the village and the decay of public services. In the article I address villagers' relationship to public flower bedding and how this relationship subtly shapes people's relationship to the state. The article thus contributes to our understanding of the everyday life of the populist state in Hungary.


Juraj Buzalka (FSES, Comenius University in Bratislava)

The Post-peasant Populism of East Central Europe

This paper conceptualizes an East European pattern of populism that I define as post-peasant. My hypothesis is that this populism can be approached in particular via the ethnographic description of the interplay of religious and economic transformations. In my earlier work I argued that the post-peasant condition is not about the peasantry; rather, it can be defined as a type of modern social organization and symbolism based on a non-urban social structure and imagined rurality. It is opposed to capitalist, cosmopolitan and secular worldviews and lifestyles, and offers an alternative ‘moral’ model for development. I believed that social critique of post-peasant populism was offered by Catholicism as an alternative ideology to the dominant discourses of capitalist modernity and the secular individualist civil society of the time. Recently I proposed to look at the cultural economy of protest as emerging from the dialectical interplay of popular model of economy since the end and as a result of socialism and market transformation widely spread among the bulk of citizens who are connected to the country and feel that real power in society has become defined and based there. I wish to avoid straightforward explanations referring to peripheral global neoliberalism, uneven development, a lack of civil virtues or institutional incapacity of postsocialist societies and propose to approach the post-peasant populism as East European politics sui generis.


15:30 – 17:00 Panel discussion

Legacies of Transformations in Visegrád Countries in the Pandemic Moment


Chair: Margit Feischmidt (Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest); Participants: Chris Hann (MPI Halle/Corpus Christi College, Cambridge), Kristóf Szombati (Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest), Joseph Grim Feinberg (Academy of Sciences of Czech Republic), Tatjana Thelen (University of Vienna), Agnieszka Halemba (IAE PAN, Warsaw), Attila Papp Z. (Institute for Minority Studies, Centre for Social Sciences, Budapest, on-line), Petr Skalník (University of Pardubice, on-line)


18:00 – Farewell dinner accompanied by the Program on Cultural Heritage and Taste of Small Carpathians