Research Cluster for the Study of East Central Europe and the History of Transformations (RECET)

The research cluster specializes in interdisciplinary research about late state socialism and the post-1989 transformation from a historical perspective. The term transformation is broadly defined as profound, accelerated and synchronic structural changes on a political, social, economic, and cultural level caused by major upheavals such as the revolutions of 1989–91. RECET also takes into account earlier caesuras such as the territorial and systemic changes in Europe after 1945, the breakdown of the continental empires in 1918 and the subsequent phase of nation state formation, and the period following the European and transatlantic revolutions in the late 18th century. We are particularly interested how various types of state administrations were actively involved or subjected to transformations and changed their modes of governance. Moreover, the research cluster is guided by the concept of comparative area studies, which places macro-regions such as East Central Europe in a broader global perspective. RECET operates in close cooperation with the Institute for East European history (IOG), but its methods and empirical work are inspired by close interdisciplinary cooperation with sociology, economy, cultural anthropology, musicology and crossovers such as Oral History.

The individual projects at RECET are financed by various national and European research funds (FWF, DFG, EU Commission). The cluster can provide office space for external scholars for short- or mid-term research stays and supports additional funding applications through the Research Service of the University of Vienna (

If you would like to get in touch with RECET, please write to, the secretary at the IOG. Events such as conferences and talks will be announced on a regular basis on the webpage of the IOG by The office address is: RECET, Spitalgasse 2-4, Hof 1.1., A-1090 Vienna, it is located on the first courtyard of the campus of the University of Vienna.  

People and Projects