Anatomy of European Society, History, Tradition, Culture, Identity

Project type
Strategie AV21
Year of start
Year of completion
Archeologický ústav AV ČR
Archeologický ústav AV ČR, Brno; Etnologický ústav AV ČR; Filosofický ústav AV ČR; Historický ústav AV ČR; Masarykův ústav a Archiv AV ČR; Orientální ústav AV ČR; Slovanský ústav AV ČR; Ústav pro jazyk český AV ČR; Ústav dějin umění AV ČR; Ústav pro soudobé dějiny AV ČR; Ústav pro českou literaturu AV ČR; Botanický ústav AV ČR; Ústav teoretické a aplikované mechaniky AV ČR

The research programme reflects two basic descriptions of the AV21 Strategy. It is phrased with regard to the basic assumption of ‘top-level research for the public benefit’, while the results of the research itself not only have to be demonstrably new and effective but should also offer sets of information that convey these results in a comprehensible way to the public. The second assumption the researchers are stressing is that AV21 Strategy as a whole is constructed in a Toynbee way of research, corresponding to the need of society (challenge) based on answers (response). As one of the key challenges of our time, we consider the research of constructs and functions of Europe and European society.

The present development shows in a constantly changing way that individual states and their political representations understand these entities only on the level of declarative political slogans without real content. Meaningless phrases about the need for European unity easily collapse under the pressure of events, such as a pandemic, immigration and economic crises. The proposed programme is based on the fact that all sciences – whether natural or social – were created for the sake of orienting ourselves in ourselves and in the world, which surrounds us, and thus the research results represent one of the most important areas, from which answers to existential questions can come. In this respect, the anatomy of European society is a classical subject. At first glance, everything has been said on the subject. The long-term proclamations of purposive truths about the European cultural sphere or about European culture having grown in the fertile soil of ancient civilization, Christianity and Judaism were misused in the social discourse. However, it does not at all mean that they are not derived from values that are part of the European long-term perspective. Strong eurosceptical tendencies make very often use of this trivialization of the subject and create disorientation in the turmoil of the social dialogue, which can lead to accidents of the Brexit type.

The study of the anatomy of European society appears in this perspective as a fundamental subject of our time. We have structured the programme in seven research areas and one discussion platform.


  • Interdisciplinary research on European cultural identity in all its aspects.
  • Deeper interconnection of disciplines and institutions of the 3rd research area.
  • Support of the social debate on the position of the Czech Republic inthe past, present and future Europe.
  • Support of joint interdisciplinary institutions of the Academy of Sciences and Charles University.