Research Assistant for the Project “Socialism in Central and Eastern Europe – Austro-Marxism”

transform! europe and the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung are looking for a research assistant for a long-term research project on the historical roots of socialism in Central and Eastern Europe.

The socialist tradition in this special cultural context is intimately connected with the history of the multinational Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Austria (SDWP; in German Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei Österreichs, SDAPÖ) whose associated body of theory is commonly known as Austro-Marxism. 

For further reading: Walter Baier, Austro-Marxism beyond Left Wing Melancholy

Study description

The research will develop over time along four axes

a)       Central European Marxism. Due to its international character, the SDWP united within it national branches which even before the break-up of the repressive Austro-Hungarian Empire became independent parties and subsequently played important roles in their respective national states. We will examine the culture and ideology of the SDWP not as an Austrian phenomenon, as the term ‘Austro-Marxism’ suggests, but rather as Socialism in Central Europe which developed a distinct Marxist culture.

b)      The Small International. Founded in 1889 the Social Democratic Workers’ Party considered itself an international party. The debates occurring in its framework began with the outstanding works by Otto Bauer and Karl Renner and around the terms ‘national-cultural autonomy’ and ‘personality principle’. We will ´discuss whether and to what extent these debates might become points of reference for left politics in the midst of the European Union’s crisis of integration and the related rampant nationalism.

c)       ‘Home to great daughters’. While the names of Otto Bauer, Friedrich Adler, Bohumír Šmeral, Ignacy Daszyński   and others are famous in European socialist history, the works of Käthe Leichter, Therese Schlesinger, Adelheid Popp, Marie Jahoda, Hélène Bauer and others are hardly known outside, and even  too little known within, German-speaking countries. We intend to examine their works with an eye to laying the foundations of the research project ‘History of Women’s Work Under Capitalism’

d)      Concepts of Socialism and transformative strategies.  After the First World War the then SDAP, whose programme was inspired by Austro-Marxism, represented 90% of the Austrian working class. Its theoretical work, due to this enormous mass base, raised nearly all possible questions concerning a transformation to socialism (socialisation, the role of the state, democracy, economic democracy, and more). This wealth of theory and practical experience – whose symbol was ‘Red Vienna’ –  deserves to be critically analysed and made available through translations of key works into English. 

Working schedule 2020/2021

a)       Publication of Bauer’s book ’The Austrian Revolution‘, (ed. by Baier und Canepa), to be released in November 2020 in the US

b)      A meeting of experts in Vienna in the first half of 2021 to specify the further research strategy

c)        The establishing of a network of interested researchers and institutions in Central Europe

d)      The study of sources

e)      The preparation of a forthcoming book on the theory of the state (translation work in 2021) to be released in 2022

f)        The publication of a book with VSA-Verlag based on a conference to be held in autumn 2021


o   Young scholars or researchers from CEE, including Austria, with solid professional skills in identifying relevant sources and, analysis 

o   Work experience in the fields of history of the labour movement and/or political science.

o   Capacity for teamwork and skills in organising events

o   Sound German and/or English language skills; knowledge of a Slavic language (Czech or Polish) is desirable.

o   Identification with the values and objectives of transform! europe and Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung

Timelines and deadline for tender submissions: 19 October 2020. 

o   Deadline for tender submissions: 19 October 2020. 

o   Notification of acceptance of the tender: 28 October 2020. 

o   The work is to be carried out between 1 November 2020 and 31 December 2021.


Euro 14.000 .The assistant shall be responsible for any taxation of the honorarium. The honorarium is to be paid in three instalments over the contract period. 


Candidates should send their application, including a short CV and a letter explaining their motivation for applying, by email to Walter Baier at  

The email’s subject line should include ‘APPLICATION: ”Socialism/Marxism in CEE”. Any questions can be sent by email to the same address.

About us

transform! europe is a network of 35 European organisations from 22 countries, active in the field of political education and critical scientific analysis, and is the recognised political foundation of the Party of the European Left (EL). This cooperative project of independent non-profit organisations, institutes, foundations and individuals intends to use its work to contribute to peaceful relations among peoples and a transformation of the contemporary world.

Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung is an internationally operating non-profit organisation for civic education affiliated with Germany’s Left Party. It is a discussion forum for progressive political alternatives and a centre for critical thinking and research, both in Germany and throughout the world. The Brussels Office operates as a think tank dealing with European and international issues affecting contemporary society.