Expertíza v autoritářských společnostech. Vědy o člověku v socialistických zemích středovýchodní Evropy
Expertise shapes modern forms of governance. Yet, we know significantly more about the postwar Western expertise than we know about the other side of the Iron Curtain. I will put expertise center stage and analyze socialist countries. Focusing on health and normalcy as discussed by the human sciences, I will study the negotiation of knowledge, analyzing how experts communicated with: other experts, the state and ordinary people in four neighboring countries: Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and East Germany. While these countries shared the socialist path, they diverged in expertise institutionalization.
My research stems from a post-totalitarian paradigm that refuses to perceive the state-socialist past as a monolith. Further, in contrast to prevailing views that communist ideology commanded human scientists and tainted their findings, my hypothesis is that it was expertise that shaped the ideas of health and normalcy that socialist governments subsequently implemented. Making this “expert turn” will bring a novel understanding of governance in modern, yet authoritarian societies.