The Emergence of New States in Eastern Europe after the First World War: Lessons for all of Europe
Debate and Exhibition
16 September 2019
SOC-308, Akadeemia tee 3, Tallinn, Estonia
Department of Law, School of Business and Governance, TalTech
In the context of 1918, which was undeniably a crucial point in the world’s history, many still treat the emergence of new states on the rumbles of the Russian Empire in a relatively simplified academic manner. Indeed, the process was correlated with the outcome of the WWI, and, simultaneously, influenced by the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, originating from a structural crisis of Russia. At the same time, the vast majority of those new states, at times, cooperated closely between themselves against a range of common enemies (mostly, the Bolsheviks), and, occasionally, fought fiercely against each other. The legacy of nation-building processes, taking place in the period of 1917-21 in the European part of the Tsarist Russia, – even when some of the states did not manage to survive, – occupies a key role in historical memories of those countries, while directly impacting plenty of developments on the global scale. The importance of this legacy originates from the fact that those states often constituted the most progressive nation-building efforts in the world, and our project aims at underscoring this argument.
Contextualising this particular academic enquiry with the events of 1917-21 and benefiting from methodological advantages of process tracing, this project represents an attempt to restore (or, if necessary, build from scratch) a communicational system for sending a historical message to a wider Europe. A century after, while having celebrated the Finnish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, Georgian, and other truly big anniversaries in 2017-2018, Europeans forgot how interconnected and interlinked the 1918-bound events had been and by how much those events had affected the entire European continent as well as the international system.
In the academic framework of the project, the consortium have already arranged debates on how the 1917-1921 events are remembered today (in Warsaw), national minorities-related issues during the new states’ formation (in Kaunas), the process of internal and international recognition of the emerged states (in Riga). During the Tallinn-hosted event, the debate will try to respond to the question on “How much of 1917-1921 is in contemporary local politics?” We are looking forward to see you on the day!
Introduction: Lecturer Vlad Vernygora, Department of Law, School of Business and Governance, TalTech
Official welcome: Professor Tanel Kerikmäe, Director, Department of Law, School of Business and Governance, TalTech
Keynote: His Excellency Dr. Grzegorz Kozłowski, Ambassador of Poland to Estonia
Panel discussion followed by a Q&A session
Professor Maciej Górny, Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences/German Historical Institute Warsaw, Poland
Dr. Tomasz Błaszczak, Senior Research Fellow, Czesław Miłosz Centre, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania
Ms. Vineta Kleinberga, Research Fellow, Latvian Institute of International Affairs, Latvia
Dr. Ivo Juurvee, Head of Security & Resilience Programme/Research Fellow, International Centre for Defence and Security, Estonia
D.Phil. Pertti Grönholm, University Lecturer, Cultural History and European and World History, the University of Turku, Finland
Opening of the Exhibition (the passage between the SOC bulding and the TalTech Library)
* The project “The Emergence of New States in Eastern Europe after the WWI: Lessons for all of Europe” is conducted under the European Commussion’s framework of ‘Europe for Citizens Programme 2014-2020’ (strand 1: European Rememberance). The initiative is managed by Adam Balcer (WiseEuropa, Poland), and the project-bound international consortium involves Tallinn University of Technology, Vytautas Magnus University, the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, the City of Pori.