Dec 1, 2016

The founding principle of all the activities of Zdenek and Michaela Bakala is, truly, the courage, which must, according to their belief, always go hand in hand with responsibility.
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Caspar Pfrunder

Casper Pfunder

I graduated from the University of Zurich with a Bachelor’s in history and law. Over the course of different internships in the media industry I then familiarized myself with the intriguing work of a journalist. Yet the desire to deepen my historical studies never left me, for which reason I decided to apply for a promising Master’s course abroad at the University of Oxford. The generous support of the Fondation Zdenek et Michaela Bakala has put me in a very privileged position, thus I feel indebted to the foundation. Thanks to the awarded scholarship I am able to take up my offer and perpetuate my research interests without financial worries.

My selected course is going to prepare me thoroughly for the completion of a longer thesis and I will undoubtedly find a very stimulating academic environment in Oxford. My research focuses on the 19th Century and one of the major phenomena of modernity: the rise of the nation-state. In my project I strive to examine processes of democratization – particularly the Swiss democratic movement of the 1860s – in various facets and in transnational context.

History constitutes an endlessly rich laboratory of human experience and its study is essential to individuals and to society. I am deeply convinced that research into the past may help to sharpen the grasp of current problems and supports informed citizenship. If my research can contribute to these processes in any way, I shall be very contented.


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