3rd Online discussion: «Weber and Ukraine»

3rd Online discussion: «Weber and Ukraine»


The network coordinators are shaken and saddened by the Russian aggression on the Ukraine, which we starkly condemn. As an expression of our solidarity with the Ukrainian people suffering the consequences of the war and in particular with its academics, our next online session will be held on May 27th featuring two scholars that have engaged with Weber’s work in recent years in the Ukrainian context: Prof. Pavlo Fedorchenko-Kutuev (Chair of Sociology, Technical University of Kyiv) and Dr. Mykola (Nikolaj) Kuschnir, translator of the Ukrainian edition of Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, which appeared in 2012.

We have chosen a very significant picture for our banner. Max Weber listens to Ida Dehmel, who lost her son in World War I.

In his commentary on the Russian Revolution of February 1917, Max Weber wrote:

«[Even the left-liberals of the Union of Liberation] disputed the existence of a Ukrainian nationality […] and they proclaimed the ‘liberation’ of every imaginable nation as the task of Greater Russia, whilst at home everything remained to be done towards the achievement of ‘liberation’.»

Source: «Russia’s Transition to Pseudo-democracy«, in Max Weber, The Russian Revolutions. (Translated and edited by Gordon C. Wells and Peter Baehr, Cambridge: Polity Press 1995, p. 243 [ also available in MWG 1/15: 241])

During the event, we will discuss the current situation in the Ukraine, the challenges of practicing ‘science as vocation’ in wartime, and the Weber-reception in Ukraine, with a special focus on Economy and Society. Max Weber also wrote extensively on Russia and, as the quote above indicates, occasionally referred explicitly to Ukraine. With the help of our guests, we will approach these writings considering the present crisis.

Dr. Mykola (Nikolaj) Kuschnir is a specialist translator of German and English. The translation of Max Weber’s Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft into Ukrainian was one of his longest translations so far, but he also translated other books, both into Ukrainian and into Russian, such as Robert Schneider’s Sleep’s Brother, Martin Buber’s The Problem of Man, Hermann Broch’s The Sleepwalkers, and Patrick Süskind’s The Dove, among other authors (Hans-Georg Gadamer, Barbara Erlacher-Farkas and Christian Jorda, etc).

Prof. Pavlo Fedorchenko-Kutuev is a sociologist and political scientist based in Kyiv with over twenty years of teaching and research experience in Ukraine and overseas. Pavlo is a Professor of sociology and Sociology Department chair at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Currently, he is working in the area of sociology of modernization and development, social theory of modernity, historical sociology of the developmental state, and comparative politics of the post-communist transformations. He has also published three books and numerous articles in sociology, comparative politics, and history of the social thought. During his career, he has held numerous fellowships at the leading academic centers in the USA, the UK, Austria and Japan, including the Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship and Chevening Scholarship. Pavlo has been relying heavily on Weber’s ideas in his analysis of the post-Leninist societal transformation and state-building, he’s been making use of the concept of neo-patrimonialism as applied to explain post-Soviet political dynamics.  Finally, he has also done research on bureaucracy and its ethos as well as the prospect of rationalization/modernization of the Ukrainian society. 

The event will be held online (via Zoom) on May 27th afternoon with Edith Hanke and Victor Strazzeri as mediators, and it’s open to all those interested.

We’ll share the link to the meeting and details a few days in advance but stay tuned to our Facebook Fanpage for any updates on the event and network.

WSN would like to thank the Goethe-Institut in Kiev for helping make this online session possible.