Political and cultural Loyalties in modern East Central Europe

Relations based on loyalty can be seen as a structural social requirement for domination. They play an important role in the historical investigation of communities in poly-ethnic and multi-confessional societies.

Political science examines loyalties in the modern liberal state, and in jurisprudence, the term is also used institutionally, e.g. when the interstate principle of reciprocal loyalty is invoked as a basis for the future European Union Constitution. This diversity of perspectives also presents a methodological problem. Until now there has been no systematic attempt to classify the various approaches to questions of loyalty. Such an attempt would be rewarding: indeed, there is hardly any other concept that is more useful to understand the stability and transformation of political systems from a broad analytical perspective than the question of loyalties. Therefore, this research focus on "loyalties" intends to create an interdisciplinary discussion framework for this conceptual systematisation. As a first step, the various perspectives on the loyalty concept will be applied to the East Central European region, before being transferred to other regions.

The research focus "Political and cultural loyalties in modern East Central Europe" aims to explore political and cultural classifications, communal relationships, and relations in interdisciplinary perspective from the angle of "loyalties". The group primarily focuses on history while including political, legal and cultural perspectives. Thus, a more precise definition of the "loyalty" concept should contribute to a more appropriate and understandable analysis of current political cultures.


Working Group

Visiting Fellows

Prof. Rogers Brubaker, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Dr. Jiří Hanuš, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Paul Werth, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow


  • Workshop – "Loyalitäten" in geschichts- und rechtswissenschaftlicher Perspektive
    (Winter Semester 2010/11)
  • International Conference – "Semantiken und Praktiken der Loyalität"
    (Winter Semester 2012/13)