Cover Osteuropa 1-2/2017

In Osteuropa 1-2/2017

Expert Cultures in Transition
Eastern Europe Experts and Politics in the 20th Century

Jan Kusber

Deutsche Fassung


To understand other countries and regions, it is necessary to know languages, history, and culture. Those who carry this knowledge are experts. It is not self-perception, but outside perception that makes an expert. In the 20th century, those who possessed special knowledge because they had grown up in Eastern Europe were for a long time dominant among experts for Eastern Europe. Only with functional differentiation, specialisation, and professionalization of politics and the sciences did their profile change. But the criteria and mechanisms for deciding who was considered an expert and who was recruited also changed. The study of experts makes a contribution to the history of knowledge and science, political and cultural history. It is well suited to reconstructing life environments (Lebenswelten), ways of thinking, and networks.

(Osteuropa 1-2/2017, pp. 59–66)