“The borderlandness of Central-European countries has rarely been considered in the context of the influences of the Ottoman Turkey and the Great Steppe. And yet they have left an indelible mark on this region. Taking this cultural impact into account allows us to take a fresh look at the history and cultural identity of the four nations of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Hungarians, Croats, Romanians, and Albanians.”
Resigning from the traditional approach to the history of Central Europe regarded along the East-West axis may enhance our understanding of the deep differentiation and intertwining of the great civilisational and cultural processes in this part of the continent. Adam Balcer argues that the influence of the Ottoman Empire is particularly underestimated today, and there is even less awareness of the role of Central Europe as a bridge between the Baltic and Scandinavian countries in the north and the Middle East and Central Asia in the south-east.
The eleventh volume in the series THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN LIBRARY
Adam Balcer – Lecturer at the Centre for East European Studies, University of Warsaw. He is a regular contributor to journals such as “Nowa Europa Wschodnia” / “New Eastern Europe”, “Herito” and “Aspen Review Central Europe”. Author of the TOK FM radio podcast Lechistan devoted to Poland’s historical relations with the Islamic world and the Great Steppe. Head of the EU project on Central Asia at the WiseEuropa think tank. He also works as a national expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Former Expert in the Balkan section (2001–2009) and Project Leader of the Turkish project at the Centre for Eastern Studies (2005–2009). From 2009 to 2013, Director of the European Union Enlargement and Neighbourhood Programme at demosEUROPA – Centre for European Strategy. In 2015, director of the annual “Poland’s Eastern Policy” conference, the region’s largest conference on Eastern Europe. Author of numerous papers, expert opinions, national and international reports, co-author of the books Polska na globalnej szachownicy (Poland on the Global Chessboard) and Orzeł i półksiężyc. 600 lat polskiej publicystyki poświęconej Turcji (The Eagle and the Crescent. 600 Years of Polish Publications on Turkey).