Unorthodox and Austro-Marxism in Eastern Europe and Beyond



transform! europe
Gusshausstrasse 14/3
1040 Vienna

The aim of the conference is to present current research, to deepen knowledge of Austro-Marxist and unorthodox Marxist thought in Eastern Europe from the early 1900s to the beginning of the Second World War, and to encourage further research on the subject.


Eastern Europe is regarded in a broader sense, comprising also wider influences Austromarxism and its eastern and south-eastern variants exercised on other regions of Europe.

The main idea behind the conference is to show the variety of unorthodox Marxist thought in broader Eastern Europe in the historical context of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as well as between the two World Wars when unorthodox Marxism and Austromarxist influences took their diverse national shapes in connection to different political, economic and social developments in different Eastern and South-Eastern European countries.

Unorthodox Marxism, as well as Austro-Marxism, developed as a reaction to both orthodox Marxism of the Second Internationale and later the ideological leadership from the USSR on the one hand and the dominant bourgeois political economy on the other. It was a necessary and creative reaction to issues to which both orthodox Marxism and the bourgeois political economy failed to produce viable solutions.

The unorthodox and Austro–Marxism in Eastern Europe in the first half of the XX Century is far less researched than the unorthodox Marxism in Eastern Europe after WW2. On the other hand, the unorthodox Marxist schools of that period attract increasing attention among scholars, as the case in Eastern Europe Marxist Critical Theory Studies. This is partly because the unorthodox Marxist thought of the post-war period is much more coherent and systematic than the unorthodox Marxist theory in Eastern Europe in the first half of the XX Century. The latter is often connected to narrow circles of thinkers or extraordinary individuals.

The conference covers the broadest spectre of unorthodox Marxist and Austro-Marxist theories and thinkers. The panels are not organised around the countries-centred model, nor on the strict thematical units model, but as the collaborative platform whose aim is to gather broader information about possible links for further research.

The conference will be held «In-Person» and will be recorded (YouTube).

Registration is required – to register contact Dunja.Larise[at]

Organised by:  transform europe!  in cooperation with the Masaryk Democratic Academy in Prague.

Interpretation: English


Sunday, 4 December

10:00—10:45 (CET): Austromarxism between the two world wars: the invention of a new kind of internationalism


  • Jean-Numa Ducange, Professor for Contemporary History at the Rouen-Normandie University, France

10:50—11:35 (CET): Worker control, industrial democracy and the transition to socialism in the Central European post-war debate: the specificity of Austromarxism


  • Mattia Gambilonghi, Researcher at the Fondazione Di Vittorio, Rome, Italy

11:40—12:25 (CET): Austromarxists and Social Democrats in West Balkans from fin-de-siecle until 1918


  • Dunja Larise, philosopher and political scientist, Vienna, Austria

14:00—16:30 (CET): From the freest country in the world. The Prague Spring as a joint Czech-Austrian phenomenon


  • Ondřej Holub, historian working at the Institute for Contemporary History of the CAS, Prague
  • Jiří Málek, Chairman of the Board of the Society for European Dialogue / Společnost pro evropský dialog (SPED), Prague; member of the transform! europe board
  • Patrick Eichler, political analyst at the Masaryk Democratic Academy, Prague