From Technocratic Socialism to Neoliberal Rule: Expert Cultures, Technocracy and Governance in East Central Europe in the Time of the Long Systemic Change 1960s-1990s.


International workshop, Prague, 3-5 November 2016, Institute for Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Science/

Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague


The workshop will focus on twin topics of the so-called expert cultures and technocratic governance during Late Socialism and early Post-Socialism. The aim is to historicize today’s academic as well as political discussions concerning the alleged neo-liberal hegemony which was supposed to replace the State Socialist regimes after their collapse. It is based on a presumption that the system known as the “neo-liberal governance” was made possible not only by imported Western political and cultural patterns, but also by a number of intellectual, mental and socio-cultural continuities with the Late Socialist period. Combining perspectives of intellectual history, research of expert cultures, social history, STS, new institutionalist studies etc., the workshop will focus on creation of expert knowledge, its political applications, and its influence on the legitimacy of the State Socialism as well as liberal democratic regime after 1989. It concentrates on the concepts of society management and control formulated by scientists and experts, political applications of expert knowledge/expertise, and interactions between the technocratic and expert elites, political rule and the society in dynamically changing social contexts. The workshop will be organized into several panels dealing with distinctive expert fields and areas such as social management and sociotechnics of governance, political economy and management studies, environmental protectionism, psy-sciences, or urban planning.


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Workshop papers