The Collectivization of Agriculture in Communist Eastern Europe: Comparison and Entanglements from the 1930s to the 1980s
Building on previous research on the collectivization of agriculture in communist dictatorship, this comparative project deals with the collectivization of agriculture in Eastern Europe between the 1930s and 1980s. On the basis of a re-examination of the collectivization enforced in the USSR in the late 1920s and early 1930s, empirical work will concentrate on the transfer and (selective) appropriation of the Soviet model in East European states (GDR, Czechoslovakia Hungary, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Albania). In addition, participants will pay particular attention to the impact of collectivization on the establishment and consolidation of communist dictatorships, the implementation of economic planning, and the formation of new social relations and property rights. In order to investigate these processes and assess national and regional similarities and differences, we will combine broad structural investigations with exemplary micro-historical in-depth studies of collectivization. Beyond empirical research, the project aims at a close exchange among experts on collectivization, who will be asked to relate the findings of their research to a set of comparative issues and questions. The project started with an initial workshop that took place at the Central European University, Budapest, 22–23 June 2007. It will continue with a conference at the Berliner Kolleg für Vergleichende Geschichte Europas, Berlin, 4-5 July 2008.