Proposal preview


Since Keynes’ famous pamphlet it is a commonplace in the economic history that the Great War of 1914-18 constituted a major rupture for the economies of Europe and even more for East Central Europe. It marked the end of a long period of peaceful economic development and set in motion a painful process of de-globalisation. The legacy of the war included the new political borders, animosity between successor states, highly politicised international economic relations, foreign indebtedness and fiscal imbalances. The interwar Great Depression had also its origins in those international dislocations that were caused by the war and remained largely unresolved until the end of the interwar period.
However, in the last decades, a new revisionist approach emerged that questioned the negative effects of World War I and of the new borders drawn during the Paris Peace Conference. According to them the economic development of East Central Europe showed a striking continuity between 1890 and 1938; per capita income continued to follow its pre-war trend, and the pattern of trade flows changed also little. Redrawing the map of Central Europe after the First World War was far less damaging economically than supposed earlier because the new borders followed a pattern of economic fragmentation that had emerged already during the late nineteenth century.
The session aims at exploring these ambiguities based on the historic experiences of the successor states. The session members will examine the long-term effects of war and peace on the region’s economy; the consequences of de-globalisation; the changes of the capital and money markets; the position of firms and banks in the region. The long-term perspective (from the late 19th century to World War II) will enable us to disclose new interconnections unknown until now.

The following scholars have already committed to the session:
Antonie Dolezalova (Robinson College, University of Cambridge & Charles University, Prague)
Irresistible Smell of Money: The Corruption and Lobbying on the Way of the New Economic Elites to Political Power. The Case of Czechoslovakia (1918-1938)

Mária Hidvégi (University of Konstanz)
Industry and High Tech in Hungary? New Strategies after World War One

Dagmara Jajesniak-Quast (Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder)
“Does the partition of Poland economical still matter?”

Judit Klement (Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest)
The new era after the Great War: the operation of the Siemens in Hungary and in the region

Zarko Lazarevich (Institute of Contemporary History, Ljubljana)
Interwar Period in Slovenia (Transformations and Reorientations)

Uwe Müller (University of Leipzig)
Equal partners, useful vassals and necessary evils? The German foreign economic policy towards its south-eastern neighbour states 1890-1938.

Ágnes Pogány (Corvinus University Budapest)
De-globalization and the Capital Market; the Management of the Foreign Debt Crisis in Interwar East Central Europe


  • Ágnes Pogány, Corvinus University Budapest, , Hungary

Session members

  • Antonie Dolezalova, Robinson College, University of Cambridge & Charles University, Prague,
  • Mária Hidvégi, University of Konstanz,
  • Dagmara Jajesniak-Quast, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder) ,
  • Judit Klement, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest,
  • Zarko Lazarevich, Institute of Contemporary History, Ljubljana,
  • Uwe Müller, University of Leipzig,

Proposed discussant(s)

  • Peter Eigner, University of Vienna,