Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena

Professor Bogdan Murgescu

Fellow Bogdan Murgescu

June - August 2015
Mail bmurgescu(at)gmail(dot)com

Bogdan Murgescu is professor of economic history and director of the Council for Doctoral Studies, University of Bucharest. He participated in various international research and civic projects, and has been visiting professor at the Central European University, Budapest (2004) and the University of Pittsburgh (2002), as well as Roman Herzog Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Berlin (1998-2000; recurring 2006). He has published numerous articles and several books, including a history of the Romanian economy (from the early modern era to 2010) in comparison with other European countries (circa 1500) that were similarly underdeveloped. His earlier work focused on the early modern history of the Romanian Principalities and of Southeastern Europe, with a particular focus on historiography, history education, and post-communist transformation.

Research project at the Kolleg

During my fellowship in Jena, I will work, together with Dr Jerzy Lazor, on the chapter entitled, “Economic Development” for the volume “Challenges of Modernity”, which will appear in the Kolleg’s four-volume history of Central and Eastern Europe in the twentieth century.
Using statistical data and insights from existing literature, the goal of our chapter is to assess the economic performance of CEE countries and the region as a whole in the long twentieth century. Our point of departure lies in the real and the perceived economic backwardness of CEE countries, and the way in which the backwardness and the attempts to catch-up have shaped the region’s economies and societies.
The chapter will include a chronological survey of the region’s performance, in which we will discuss the specificities of economic development in six subsequent periods. Additionally, we will provide an analysis of some of the most important factors which have determined the economic patterns of Central and Eastern Europe: endowment with natural resources, development of human capital, the role of the state and its policies, institutions and path dependencies, and the region’s interactions with the world economy.

Main areas of research

  • economic and social history, with a special focus on the long-term development of human capital and on the impact of higher education
  • the history of communism and of the post-communist transformation
  • the methodological and sociological aspects of historical studies

Positions and memberships

  • president, Romanian Society for Historical Sciences; editor of the journal "Studii și articole de istorie"
  • vice-president, National Council for the Financing of Higher Education
  • member, Romanian Commission for Economic History and the History of Economic Ideas
  • member, Scientific Board of the Imre Kertesz Kolleg "Europas Osten im 20. Jahrhundert. Historische Erfahrungen im Vergleich", Friedrich Schiller University, Jena
  • member, Scientific Board of the Institute for East- and Southeast-European Research, Regensburg
  • member, History Education Committee of the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe
  • member, Executive Committee of EUSTORY. The History Network of Young Europeans (2001-2012)


Murgescu, Bogdan. Istorie românească - istorie universală (600-1800). [Romanian History – World History (600-1800)]. Bucureşti: Erasmus, 1994; second revised edition, Bucureşti: Teora, 1999.

Murgescu, Bogdan. Circulaţia monetară în Ţările Române în secolul al XVI-lea. [The Money Circulation in the Romanian Lands during the 16th Century]. Bucureşti: Editura Enciclopedică, 1996. (Book awarded the "Nicolae Iorga" Prize of the Romanian Academy)

Murgescu, Bogdan. A fi istoric în anul 2000. [Being a Historian in the Year 2000]. Bucureşti: Allfa, 2000.

Murgescu, Bogdan. România şi Europa. Acumularea decalajelor economice (1500-2010) [Romania and Europe. The accumulation of development lags (1500-2010)]. Iaşi: Polirom, 2010. (Book awarded: the “Historia Magistra Vitae” prize of “Jurnalul Naţional”; the “CriticAtac Prize for 2010” for the most important book on a social, political or ideological topic relevant for the current Romanian Society, by the online platform CriticAtac; the “Gheorghe Brătianu” prize of the Cultural Foundation “Magazin Istoric”; and the “Eugeniu Carada” prize for Economics, by the National Grand Lodge of Romania in partnership with the Romanian Academy)

Murgescu, Bogdan. Marius Cazan, and Valentin Maier, Istoria energiei în România. [History of energy in Romania]. București: Noi Media Print, 2012.

Murgescu, Bogdan. The History of the Romanian Court of Accounts 1864-2014. Synthesis. Bucharest: The Romanian Court of Accounts, 2014.

Collected Studies

Murgescu, Bogdan. Țările Române între Imperiul Otoman și Europa creștină. [The Romanian Principalities between the Ottoman Empire and Christian Europe]. Iaşi: Polirom, 2012.

Edited Volumes

Murgescu, Bogdan, ed. Istoria lumii în texte. De la începuturi până în zilele noastre [World History in Texts: From the Beginnings till Nowadays]. Bucureşti: Teora, 1999.

Murgescu, Bogdan, ed. Romania and Europe. Modernisation as Temptation, Modernisation as Threat. Bucureşti: Allfa, 2000.

Murgescu, Bogdan, Șarolta Solcan, and Tudor Teoteoi, eds. Faţetele istoriei: existenţe, identităţi, dinamici. Omagiu Ştefan Ştefănescu [The Facets of History: Existences, Identities, Dynamics. Homage to Ştefan Ştefănescu]. Bucureşti: Editura Universității din București, 2000.

Murgescu, Bogdan, ed. Istoria României în texte [Romanian History in Texts]. Bucureşti: Editura Corint, 2001.

Murgescu, Bogdan, Mirela-Luminița Murgescu, Ion Bucur, and Andrei Florin Sora, eds. Curtea de Conturi a României 1864-2004. Culegere de documente [The Account Court of Romania 1864-2004. Documents]. Bucureşti, 2004.

Murgescu, Bogdan, ed. Istoria Curţii de Conturi a României 1864-2004 (Bucureşti, 2005); Eng. trans. as History of the Romanian Court of Accounts 1864-2004 (Bucharest, 2005).

Berktay, Halil, and Bogdan Murgescu, eds. Teaching Modern Southeast European History. Alternative Educational Materials. Workbook I. The Ottoman Empire (Thessaloniki, 2005; second edition 2009; also Serbian (2005), Greek (2006), Croat (2007), Bosnian (2007), Albanian (2008), Macedonian (2008), Montenegrine (2012), Bulgarian (2012) and Japanese (2013) editions.

Murgescu, Bogdan, ed. Revoluţia română din decembrie 1989: istorie şi memorie. [The Romanian Revolution of December 1989: history and memory]. Iaşi: Polirom, 2007.

Murgescu, Bogdan, and Marius Cazan, eds. Documente privind reglementările referitoare la admiterea în învățământul superior din România (1948-1968). [Documents regarding the rules of admission to higher education in Romania (1948-1968)]. București: Editura Universităţii din București, 2013.

Bozgan, Ovidiu, and Bogdan Murgescu, eds. Universitatea din București 1864-2014. [The University of Bucharest 1864-2014]. București: Editura Universității din București, 2014.

Murgescu, Bogdan, and Jan Sadlak, eds. Higher Education in Centrally-Planned Socialist Systems. Special issue of International Review of Social Research 4, issue 2 (June, 2014).


Murgescu, Bogdan. ‘The Romanian Historiography in the 1990’s.’ Romanian Journal of Political Science 3, no.1 (2003): 30-59.

Murgescu, Bogdan. ‘Anything but simple: the case of the Romanian oil industry,’ in History and Culture of Economic Nationalism in East Central Europe, edited by Helga Schultz and Eduard Kubů (Berlin: Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, 2006), 231-250.

Murgescu, Bogdan. ‘The social fabric of agrarian political success in early 20th century East-Central Europe. A structured comparison of Stjepan Radić, Antonin Švehla, Alexander Stamboliski and Ion Mihalache,’ in Bauerngesellschaften auf dem Weg in die Modene. Agrarismus in Ostmitteleuropa, edited by Helga Schultz and Angela Harre (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2010), 121-134.

Murgescu, Bogdan, and Mirela-Luminiţa Murgescu. ‘Transition, Transitions: The Conceptualization of Change in Romanian Culture,’ in Key Concepts of Romanian History. Alternative Approaches to Socio-Political Languages, edited by Victor Neumann and Armin Heinen (Budapest and New York: CEU Press, 2013), 423-452.

Murgescu, Bogdan. ‘Rumänien,’ in Vom Ostblock zur EU. Systemtransformationen 1990-2012 im Vergleich, edited by Günther Heydemann and Karel Vodička (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013), 263-288.

Murgescu, Bogdan, and Daniel Dăianu. ‘Which Way Goes Romanian Capitalism? Making a Case for Reforms, Inclusive Institutions and a Better Functioning European Union.’ Romanian Journal of European Affairs 13, no.4 (December 2013): 5-34.

Murgescu, Bogdan. ‘Agriculture and Landownership in the Economic History of Twentieth-Century Romania,’ in Property in East Central Europe. Notions, Institutions and Practices of Landownership in Twentieth Century, edited by Hannes Siegrist and Dietmar Müller (New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015), 48-61.