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The Mediterranean and Slovenia

ARIS CodeP6-0272

Period: 1. 1. 2015 – 31. 12. 2025

Head of research programmeEgon Pelikan, PhD

The research programme The Mediterranean and Slovenia draws its scientific potential from a specifically structured milieu that emerged at the intersection between the Adriatic and Central Europe, and which from a historiographic viewpoint highlights the contiguity, and the borderland and interactive character of the Slovenian Mediterranean region. To encompass the complexity, heterogeneity and specificity of the policies, structures, practices and relations in this area, the research will focus on four analytical tasks which, through transnational and comparative histories, open a perspective on this area as a research lab for studying political and social phenomena in the global context of the 19th and 20th centuries. The gender-mixed group of senior, experienced and young researchers will address: 1) political, economic and cultural exchanges; 2) religious policies and practices in the multi-ethnic area of contact; 3)the agency of the individual in processes of social modernisation; and 4) the ideological language of the cultural landscape.

The ambitious, yet carefully scheduled studies will draw from a wide range of sources, largely unavailable until recently, from state, regional and private archives in Slovenia, Italy, the Vatican, Serbia, Croatia, and Austria, including updated databases of vital records and collections of oral testimonies. The transitional nature of the area and the various “regimes of historicity” (régimes d’historicité) suggest the choice of a basic methodological toolkit comprising transnational, comparative and various relational approaches, in particular entangled, shared and connected histories. The transfer of established concepts, such as the spatial and cultural turns, sites of memory or microhistory, from the static national framework onto the multinational border area of the northern Adriatic will enable a qualified level of analysis with interpretational value for other similarly structured regions, granting our research significant international relevance.

The research programme envisages a detailed dissemination strategy with innovative results that will continue the practice of publishing with renowned international journals and editors, while serving as an evidence base available to a wide circle of stakeholders in planning policies for (cross)border area development; for example, through pilot projects making use of cultural heritage in designing innovative products.

The basic aim of the programme is to provide original historical insight into cases of cross-border regional integration from the area between the Alps and the Adriatic as paradigms for bridging ideological, political, economic and cultural divides. Employing this historical viewpoint, we present the possibilities for integration in the area of the northern Adriatic as a meeting point of dominant and alternative globalisations.