Research projects

The Many Roads in Modernity aims to study the relationship between the modern history of South-East Europe and the long imperial past of the region. The focus is on the changes of identity, self-representation and affiliation in the light of the political, social and cultural transformations  triggered by the interaction between external influences and local and regional practice from the latter part of the nineteenth century to the present day.

What the seven studies have in common is their empirical approach based on extensive fieldwork and archival study. The starting point is the regional perspective and local reactions to cultural and political changes in the rest of Europe, during what has been called the long nineteenth century. The methodological approach is deliberately transnational and trans-epochal in order to investigate the changing conditions of modernity and different political modernization projects in South-East Europe from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.

The results of the project require, in addition, close interdisciplinary cooperation in the group with its participants’ differing but complementary academic backgrounds. The studies in the project have been developed so that they examine a theme, a region, or a historical period from different angles. The formal forum for the joint activities will be residential seminars, where an internationally acknowledged scholar will be invited at least once each term. In addition, leading specialists on the three periods covered by the project are invited to to the seminars arranged by the project. 

The participants and their studies

Catharina Raudvere’s study
Interpretation, Tradition and Conflict: Muslim Cultural Heritage and Generation Change in Bosnia-Herzegovina 1940 to the Present Day

Mogens Pelt’s study 
“Greek” Young Turks and Visions of an Orthodox-Ottoman Empire 1876–1950 

Abdullah Simsek’s study
Elite with a Mission: Elite Formations and the Ottoman Public Sphere 1876–1918

Zlatko Jovanovic’s study 
Yugoslavian, Bosnian, Muslim, Sarajevan? Competing Forms of Identity in Sarajevo 1949–1984

Christoffer Størup’s study 
The Margins of European Identity Politics: The Republic of Moldova in Orthodox Geopolitics

Niels Reeh’s study 
Theories of Nationalism Applied to Modernization Processes in South-East Europe

Adrian Velicu's study
Identity and Christian Orthodoxy in post-89 Romania

Eric Sjöberg's study
(Inter-)nationalism and the new Turkey: the rise and fall of international education at Istanbul’s Robert College, c. 1913-1933