The Launch of the Research Alliance

The Launch of the Research Alliance "War and Society"

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On March 21, 2024, two years after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and ten years after the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the war in Donbas, the Research Alliance "War and Society in Central and Eastern Europe (XX - XXI Centuries)" will be officially presented and launched in Paris.

The Research Alliance aims to bring together historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and geographers from different academic traditions to study the experience of war in Eastern Europe. This applies to both the memory and experience of the wars of extermination in the 20th century and the current full-scale war of Russia against Ukraine, which is profoundly transforming the very conditions of research in these regions and territories. Such research, no matter how challenging it may be at the moment, is necessary if we intend to understand the importance of Central and Eastern Europe in modern European history. 

The three scientific partners of the Research Alliance are the CERCEC (EHESS) in Paris, the Institute of International Studies at Charles University in Prague, and the Center for Urban History in Lviv. The aim is to conduct collective research into war as a process of movement – of bodies, bonds, institutions, goods, ideas, legacies and possible futures. Founded on the interdisciplinary tradition of area studies, the laboratory also seeks to overcome the spatial compartmentalization effects induced by the division of Europe into "cultural areas", by bringing together researchers from the east and west of the continent.

The launch of the War and Society Research Alliance consists of a series of public and academic events that will take place in March 2024 at EHESS in Paris. These include an exhibition, an immersive virtual reality experience, a book launch, and a research conference.  These events, which are open to the public, will focus on the phenomenon of war in Eastern Europe, particularly in Ukraine, and the political, social, and economic upheavals that have taken place in Europe. Social science researchers, journalists, and representatives from Ukraine, Germany, the Czech Republic and France will share their research and personal experiences in this unique program. 


Participants: Thomas Serrier (translator of the book into French), Sofia Dyak (Center for Urban History), Catherine Gousseff (CNRS, CERCEC) and Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau (EHESS, CESPRA).

  • March 21, 2024 – Scientific workshop "After Annexation. Temporalities of Wars, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, 1938-2024". 

How can we think about the specific nature of these wars of annexation and imperial expansion? How did local actors mobilise and respond to these situations of brutal domination? How do Czechs and Ukrainians understand contemporary Europe in light of their experiences?

Participants: Irina Sklokina (CUH), Ota Konrád (Charles University, Prague), Ioulia Shukan (ISP – Université de Nanterre, CERCEC) and Masha Cerovic (EHESS, CERCEC).

The Donbas is one of Europe's oldest and largest mining and steel-producing regions. This exhibition shows how industry there has shaped state policies, the environment, daily life and identities. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by the Ukrainian Institute's virtual reality immersion entitled "We are Crimea", in which Akhtem Seitablaiev, Jamala, Mustafa Jemilev, and Oleg Sentsov talk about their Crimea.

For further information, visit the EHESS website.

These events are organised by the three member institutions of the "War and Society" Research Alliance, in partnership with the French Embassy in Kyiv, the Ukrainian Institute, the Centre des savoirs sur le politique. Recherches et analyses (CESPRA – EHESS, CNRS), the German Historical Institute in Paris (IHA) and the ANR-DFG LimSpaces project.

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