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Theme Group 1 – Tourism in Socialist Countries

1939

Historians have often presented the development of socialist countries in monolithic terms, in the process neglecting national and individual variations. Tourism history in particular enables us to challenge this construction and to compare the experience of differing socialist states.  In such nations, tourism was always a domain not only regulated and controlled by the state, but also depending on partly autonomous socio-cultural and psychological conditions.

Future research on the subject will hopefully embrace some of the following questions:  To what extent does development appear standardized due to the imposition of Soviet guidelines?  How was central control of tourism organized at the institutional level? Of what relevance is looking at administrative structures in tourism policy?  How significant were travel operators such as trade unions and companies?  Was social tourism an important legitimizing factor in individual or in all countries? How far did social tourism negate western-style tourism with its emphasis on consumption?  What was the role of the free market, travel barriers and the experience of traveling abroad?  And how did these vary and change across national boundaries?

A major theme throughout this topic is the notion that freedom to travel is a base right that was central for transformation processes in 1989 and proved the explosive force of the “secret geographies of the caged“.  Yet to understand the importance of this point we need to project backward from the collapse of communism not just forward.

 

Members of this theme group

Heike Wolter, Technische Universität Dresden, wolter_heike@yahoo.de
Jan Oliva, jan.oliva1@libertysurf.fr
Karin Taylor, Karl Franzens Universität Graz, karin.taylor@uni-graz.at
Kate Pedrotty, University of Illinois, ksmeehan@uiuc.edu
Duncan Light, Liverpool Hope University, lightd@hope.ac.uk This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Barry Worthington, Abertay University, shrbw@abertay.ac.uk This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Igor Tchoukarine, EHESS Paris, igortchoukarine@yahoo.ca This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Stefan Albrecht, Johannes Gutenberg Universität, salbrech@uni-mainz.de This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Dragan Popovic, Karl Franzens Universität Graz, draganmpopovic@yahoo.com This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Sergei I. Zhuk, Ball State University, sizhuk@bsu.edu This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Christopher Görlich, Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung, goerlich@zzf-pdm.de This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Ivan Chorvát, Univerzita Mateja Bela, Ivan.Chorvat@umb.sk This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

Breda Luthar, Univerza v Ljubljani, Breda.Luthar@fdv.uni-lj.si