Adela Hincu holds a PhD in Comparative History from Central European University. She is an intellectual historian and historian of knowledge who researched social thought, Marxist humanism, and sociological knowledge in Socialist Romania. Co-editor (with Victor Karady) of Social Sciences in the “Other Europe” since 1945 (Budapest: Pasts Inc., 2018). Former Visiting Professor at Ilia State University, Tbilisi (2019-20), she is currently a New Europe College Fellow (2020-21) in Bucharest.
Period of affiliation:
2020 - 2021
New Europe College, Bucharest
The project is an intersectional study of poverty knowledge in Romania from the 1980s through to the EU accession. It is concerned with the withering away of class as a category of analysis for social inequality together with its moral, political, and social policy implications, and the consequent reshuffling of the social imaginary of transition to accommodate the semi-peripheral adaptation of neoliberalism in Romania. It asks how different actors - social scientists, policy makers, social activists, welfare recipients - carried out, contributed to, and resisted this process; inquires into the consequences of this epistemic change for the way in which gender and race were represented as well as marginalized in public discourse and social policy; and follows the interplay between national and international institutions, especially the state and global development agencies in which Romanian actors were involved. To these ends, I reconstruct the genealogy of poverty knowledge in late socialist Romania, its institutionalization after 1989 with a focus on the Institute for Quality of Life Research, and the use and contestation of poverty knowledge in the successive reforms of the Romanian social welfare system up to the EU accession.