The Centre aims at a multi- and inter-disciplinary study of socialism, and hence invites cooperation from other researchers, both from and outside of Pula, from Croatia and from abroad. At the moment there are around 200 scholars and PhD students in the international CKPIS network. The goal is to develop connections with similar institutions based on common research interests. Cooperation agreements have been signed with the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS Regensburg), Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research (IEF Zagreb), Croatian Institute of History (HIP Zagreb), Department of Cultural Studies of the Faculty of Humanities, University of Rijeka (FFRI), Department for Interdisciplinary Research of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU Ljubljana) and Centre for the Study of Popular Culture (CSPK Prague). Project cooperation includes partners such as the Centre for Southeast European Studies (CSEES Graz) and Humboldt University of Berlin. The CKPIS’s activities also include publishing, organization of conferences, archival work, development of University curricula, including students in research, and working with PhD candidates.
The Centre’s research interest focuses primarily on the period between 1945 and 1990 in Croatia and Yugoslavia, but also on the nineteenth and early twentieth century socialist and communist ideas. Moreover, we are interested in post-socialism and transition, as these witnessed the dissolution of the fifty year-long tradition of socialist self-management and the disappearance of the utopian idea of creating a communist society. Socialism – as a historical, political, social, and cultural formation – is still a relatively unresearched topic in Croatia, although there have been some advances in that regard recently. Croatian researchers are not doing enough to catch up with the rich explorations of socialism taking place abroad. We consider it necessary to establish channels for international exchange of knowledge in order to avoid Croatia being reduced to a mere object within this field of study.
A number of historical circumstances make Pula an ideal location for research in socialism. The labour movement in Pula has been organizing around socialist and communist ideas starting from the early twentieth century. These ideas become politically dominant after the Second World War, when Pula’s identity, together with its population and culture experience significant changes. Pula is now for the first time part of Croatia and Yugoslavia, and emerges as a city with an unusually important place in the Yugoslav socialist imaginary, mostly thanks to its vicinity to the presidential residence of Brijuni, its film festival, and its military function. The citiy’s long experience of socialism, as well as its liminal position on the map of the Cold War make Pula an excellent starting point for investigations of socialism, the Cold War, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the various influences of these formations on politics, culture, and everyday life.