Bayerischer Forschungsverbund “Zukunft der Demokratie” (ForDemocracy)

Project 01
The Taming of the Shrew? Political Development in Central and Eastern Europe since 1989 as a laboratory and a lesson for future challenges of Democracy


The project explores the representation of Central and Eastern European positions in Church and politics. This is conducted through a critical examination of the political transformation processes since 1989. The results are supposed to provide stimulations for a module on citizenship education.

Project Description

The project is not meant – as is usually the case – to assume that the difficulties lie in the belated democratization of the former Warsaw Pact member states. We would rather reverse the perspective and represent and verify the following hypothesis: In the Central and Eastern European countries, we are not confronted with the past, but with the future. This is where future challenges such as radicalized individualization, economic deregulation, forced secularization, the thus resulting minority role of the Churches and ethnicizing religious identity formation can be studied. Although the origin of these phenomena may be different, the resulting challenges are similar.

The objective of the project is divided into three areas. First, we are going to analyze, with a historical and religion-sociological interest, the imprinting forces of the opposition role of Christian Churches in the Central and Eastern European states (1). On this basis, we are going to reflect on existing representation in ecclesiastical and European political structures (2). This leads to our practical research goal: We want to develop a module for citizenship education that will increase participation and representation of young people in democratic processes in these regions (3).

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Project 01 - Prof. Dr. Reiner Anselm and Lukas David Meyer

Prof. Dr. Reiner Anselm (left)
Lukas David Meyer, MA in Theology (right)
Nazli Cihan (not in picture)