Prof. Dr. Josette Baer Hill
I have specialized in political theory, particularly the contract theories (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Rawls), 20th century Western political thinkers (Arendt, Berlin, Aron, Paglia) and Slavic thinkers of the 19 and 20 centuries (Danilevskii, Havel, Masaryk, Dubček, Clementis, Misirkov, Stambolov). My main research subject area is political thought (Nationalism, Liberalism, Socialism) in Slavic Central Europe, with a focus on the 19th century Czech lands and Slovakia and 20th century Czechoslovakia. I have also published on Belarusian, Russian, Bulgarian and Macedonian politics and intellectual history. Currently, I focus on Slovak anti-Communist dissent in the second half of the 20th century.
I am a Swiss citizen, born in 1966. In 1996, I graduated from Zurich University (UZH) with a PhD dissertation entitled Politik als praktizierte Sittlichkeit. Zum Demokratiebegriff bei Thomas G. Masaryk und Václav Havel (Politics as Pragmatic Morality. The Notion of Democracy in the Political Thought of Thomas G. Masaryk and Václav Havel). From 1988 to 1993, I studied Slavonic philology (Russian, Czech and Bulgarian), political science with a focus on political philosophy and international relations and the history of Eastern Europe. In my post-doc years from 1996 to 2001, I specialized in the 19th century intellectual history of the Slavic-speaking countries of Central and Eastern Europe. My research projects, which were a preparation for my habilitation thesis, were supported by various stipends, which resulted in research stays in Budapest (Hungary), Bratislava (Slovakia) and Leeds (UK). In 2001, I received a three-year stipend from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and moved to Seattle, USA, where I taught and researched at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington UW. The philosophical faculty of UZH approved my habilitation thesis Slavic Thinkers. Intellectual History and Political Thought in Central Europe and the Balkans, 19th Century in the summer of 2006. As fellow of the Open Society Institute (OSI), I taught from 2004 to 2006 in Minsk (Belarus) and St. Petersburg (Russia). Since the autumn term of 2006 I have taught at UZH. The Faculty of Philosophy of UZH appointed me adjunct professor (Titularprofessor) in June 2012. I have assessed scientific projects for the Czech and Slovak National Science Foundations and the DFG Bonn. On 23 September 2019, the scientific board of the Department of History at the Slovak Academy of Sciences (HÚ SAV, Bratislava) elected me member of the international editorial board of the Historical Journal (Historický časopis).
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