Now in Open Access: “Humanity. A History of European Concepts in Practice From the Sixteenth Century to the Present”

Fabian Klose/Mirjam Thulin (ed.), Humanity. A History of European Concepts in Practice From the Sixteenth Century to the Present, Göttingen 2016.  

This edited volume investigates the development of the concepts and practices of “humanity” from the sixteenth century to the present. By choosing a longue-durée approach the book analyzes how shifting concepts of humanity shaped various practices and at the same time how ideas themselves were informed by these practices in the course of four hundred years. As humanity is evoked in a remarkable array of themes, the contributors deliberately focus on issues such as humanism, colonial expansion and imperialism, missions, abolitionism, international humanitarian law, humanitarianism, human rights, charity and philanthropy. In their understanding, these are crucial arenas, in which concepts and practices of humanity were sustainably shaped, defined, questioned and reconfigured. While there are a huge number of individual studies on each theme, the book seeks to connect these various fields and analyze their entanglements under the overarching theme of the idea of humanity.

The volume is now available in open access and you can now download the complete book at: http://oapen.org/search?identifier=1004710 or
https://www.doabooks.org/doab?func=search&uiLanguage=en&template=&query=32757 

Conference: “Putting Human Rights to the Test Claims, Interventions, and Contestations since 1990”

International Conference in Cologne, May 16-17, 2019 at the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung in Cologne

Cross-posted from https://www.hsozkult.de/event/id/termine-39458

The concept of human rights has profoundly shaped national and international policies after the end of the Cold War and during the worldwide wave of democratization at the end of the 20th Century. However, this development does not necessarily denote an upward trend in human rights. Although states, NGOs and International Organizations enacted important political projects, formulated symbolic demands or implemented instruments of transnational regulation under the label of human rights, the principle of human rights was also heavily contested and strongly rejected. Emphatic hopes of a New World Order of global justice, that had been sparked by human rights in the early 90s, soon faded. Mass killings could not be stopped, authoritarian regimes remained in power, and humanitarian interventions presented drastic and problematic side effects.

Historical research on this complex development has only just begun, with empirical studies and overarching interpretations still lacking. Nevertheless, critical reflection on the history of human rights over the last quarter century is essential for a better understanding of our political presence. This observation provides the starting point for our conference, which brings together experts from different disciplines and world regions to advance research and analysis on the recent history of human rights. The conference neither wants to reproduce the triumphalism of the 1990s nor the narrative of decline which has become dominant over the past years. Instead, it aims to sharpen perspectives on the contradictory developments by including diverse groups of actors in its analysis: states, International Organizations, NGOs, politicians, scholars and experts.

Human rights did not have a breakthrough in the 1990s – they were already a well-established instrument of national and international policies. However, International Organizations, NGOs, politicians, scholars and experts attributed more and more significance to human rights. By doing so – this is the assumption underlying the conference – they tested the limits of human rights policies. A growing number of actors began framing their concerns as human rights issues. The universal claim of human rights received unprecedented support and was adopted in interventionist practices, crossing national borders. At the same time – and in many cases as a direct consequence – the idea of universally valid individual rights was met with heavy opposition and alternative concepts. Different academic disciplines made human rights a subject of their research, thereby impacting the practice of human rights activism and policies. Accordingly, the conference is split into four panels focusing on these developments.

Registration: https://fts.veranstaltungs-anmeldung.de/

Programme:

Thursday, May 16, 2019

10.00 a.m. –5.30 p.m.

Welcome: Norbert Frei
Keynote
: Jan Eckel

Panel I: Expansion
Knud Andresen
(Hamburg): Multinational Corporations after Apartheid in South Africa
Celia Donert (Liverpool): Women’s Rights as Human Rights after 1990
Paul van Trigt (Leiden): The Fall of Utopia and the Integration of Disability in International Law

Panel II: Intervention
Stephen Wertheim
(New York): Transformative Interventions: The Militarization of Humanitarianism in the United States
Markus Eikel (Den Haag): International Criminal Law and the Prosecution of Human Rights Violations
Barbara Keys (Melbourne): The Convention against Torture as a Tool of Intervention


7.00 p.m.

Dan Diner (Jerusalem): Public Lecture

Dinner

Friday, May 17, 2019

9.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.


Panel III: Contestations and Alternatives

Katrin Kinzelbach (Berlin): Asian Values versus Western Values – a False Dichotomy
Gudrun Krämer (Berlin): On Difference and Hierarchy: Islamic Debates about Equity and Equality
Averell Schmidt (Boston): Torture during the War on Terror: A Story of Contestation
Robert Horvath (Melbourne): Nationalising Human Rights in Russia

Panel IV: Human Rights and Scholarship
Annette Weinke
(Jena): History und Transitional Justice – A Troubled Relationship
Matthias Koenig (Göttingen): Between Distance and Engagement – Human Rights in the Social Sciences
Heike Krieger (Berlin): From Euphoria to Skepticism: Human Rights Discourses in International Law

Observer statements

Michael Stolleis (Frankfurt a.M.)

Klaus Dicke (Jena)

Carola Sachse (Wien)


Research Fellowships in Global History, Summer Term 2020

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, one of the leading research universities in Europe, with a more than 500-year-long tradition, is advertising up to five research fellowships for scholars active in global history. The university is committed to the highest international standards of excellence in research and teaching. Fellows will be based at the interdisciplinary Munich Centre for Global History.

During their stay, they will work on a research project in global history or its neighbouring fields. Fellows have no teaching obligation. They are expected to work on their research projects and actively engage with the scholarly community at the university and particularly at the centre. The fellowships are open to postdoctoral researchers from all disciplines. Scholars who are already advanced in their academic careers and have a strong international track record are explicitly encouraged to apply. Depending on the situation of the applicant and the character of the project, the duration of the fellowship will be between one and three months.

Fellowships for the summer term 2020 should be taken up between mid-April and the end of July 2020. The fellowship entails economy travel to and from Munich, a monthly living allowance, free housing in a furnished studio apartment in Munich as well as office space at the Munich Centre for Global History. Health insurance or other social benefits are not part of the fellowship and the responsibility of the fellow. Applications will include a letter of motivation, a short outline of the research to be done during the fellowship (1-2 pages) and a CV. Please also include information as to the preferred time and duration of the fellowship.

All application material should be send electronically as one PDF-file to Dr Susanne Hohler (susanne.hohler@lmu.de) until 31 May 2019. Enquiries should also be directed to Dr Hohler or to the centre’s founding director Professor Roland Wenzlhuemer (roland.wenzlhuemer@lmu.de). More information on the Munich Centre for Global History can be found at www.globalhist.geschichte.uni-muenchen.de.

“Ware Mensch – Der transatlantische Sklavenhandel”

Radio Feature von Michael Zametzer

Vom 16. bis ins 19. Jahrhundert verschleppten Europäer rund 12 Millionen Afrikaner über den Atlantik in die Kolonien nach Amerika, wo sie als Sklaven auf den europäischen Plantagen und Minen Zwangsarbeit leisten mussten. Über diesen jahrhundertelangen Handel mit der “Ware Mensch” zwischen Europa, Afrika und Amerika hat BR-Journalist Michael Zametzer einen sehr hörenswerter Radiobeitrag auf Bayern 2 Radiowissen gemacht.

Slave Trade Memorial in Stone Town, Sansibar, Foto: Fabian Klose

Für alle Interessierten, hier geht es zum Podcast:

https://www.br.de/mediathek/podcast/radiowissen/ware-mensch-der-transatlantische-sklavenhandel/1504049

 

CfP: The Aftermath of the First World War – Humanitarianism in the Mediterranean

Convenors: Silvia Salvatici (University of Milan) and Johannes Paulmann (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz) in  co-operation with the German Historical Institute Rome and the Villa Vigoni – German Italian Centre for European Excellence

Date: 3 – 4 December 2019

Venue: University of Milan, Italy

Download CFP Humanitarianism_postwar_mediterranean_def

In the memory of 1919, the signing of the peace treaties and the foundation of the League of Nations figure prominently. The year also saw the birth of the Third International and ushered in a turbulent post-war period of revolutions and counter-revolutions, which drastically changed the international balance of power and incubated the fascist movements that in 1922 subverted the fragile democracy in Italy. As a result, the attention of scholarly and public debate focus on post-war political, diplomatic and institutional history and on Central and Eastern Europe. The conference proposes a dual shift of perspective: thematic and geographical.

On the one hand, it focuses on international relief and rehabilitation programs during and in the aftermath of war. This will direct attention to international projects for political and social stabilization and the transformation processes that took place in post-war societies. It will allow us to examine the effects the war had on international relations in peacetime from a different perspective than the better-known diplomatic history. On the other hand, the conference specifically concerns the Mediterranean area thereby shifting our attention away from the well-studied Northern European and Transatlantic region. It investigates the post-war rise of humanitarianism in the countries of Southern Europe, in the colonial territories of North Africa, in the Balkans and in the Middle East. The Mediterranean saw the redrawing of the geopolitical map after the disintegration of the old empires, while at the same time a challenge to European colonialism began to rise in several places. Humanitarian projects took different forms and meanings in these contexts, but they were usually conceived as instruments that would have an impact on the long term, not simply as an immediate response to temporary crises.

Research has begun to show the relevance that humanitarian affairs had for the League of Nations, which also operated in the Balkans and the Middle East. However, the League programs are only one chapter in the history of post-war relief, which saw the mobilization of national states, large and small private agencies, religious groups, societies founded on a common political ideology, experts in sectors such as medicine, public health, or education. The purpose of the conference is to study the way in which these different actors cooperated, interacted, and came into conflict, both in designing aid programs at the headquarters and in implementing them on the spot and within local communities. Specific case studies have shown that the historical development of humanitarianism came about through extensive transnational networks based on religious affiliation, on institutional relations among states, and on professional skills. With reference to the specific post-war context, the conference intends above all to highlight the way in which these networks, usually studied separately, came intersected and how the configuration in the Mediterranean area, including responses from within the societies concerned, shaped the development of humanitarianism at large.

We invite proposals for papers on any of the themes, topics and areas mentioned above. The time period covered may reach from the First World War into the 1930s discussing the aftermath and effects of continued or renewed war in the regions studied. The proposal should highlight the colonial and national contexts, the contemporary ideas on political and social stabilisation and the effects of the measures taken.

Please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short CV by April 8, 2019 to

Silvia Salvatici (silvia.salvatici@unimi.it) & Johannes Paulmann (paulmann@ieg-mainz.de)

The conference will take place from 3 – 4 December 2019, at the University of Milan, Italy. Travel and accommodation will be covered.  

Download CFP Humanitarianism_postwar_mediterranean_def

New Book “Wo liegt die ‘humanitäre Schweiz’?”

Miriam Baumeister/Thomas Brückner/Patrick Sonnack (eds.), Wo liegt die “humanitäre Schweiz?”. Eine Spurensuche in 10 Episoden, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt/New York 2018

Switzerland prides itself on its “humanitarian tradition”. But this master narrative is often tied to well-known testimonies: they tell of the aid provided in the world wars and the generous attitude of Swiss donors, they refer to the long-standing activities of Swiss humanitarian institutions. This book seeks new critical perspectives on Swiss humanitarian action in transnational contexts. Divided into five epochs from the 19th century to the present day, it traces the genesis of Switzerland’s humanitarian aid. The volume includes contributions by Christian Rohr, Michael Höppner, Irène Herrmann, Gaby Sutter, Daniel Högger, Thomas Brückner, Lillian Brise, Daniel Speich Chassé, Muriel Weyermann, Damir Skenderovic, Robert Dempfer, and Jakob Tanner.

For more information visit: https://www.campus.de/buecher-campus-verlag/wissenschaft/geschichte/wo_liegt_die_humanitaere_schweiz-15124.html


Humanitarianism & Media – Read the introduction and use discount

The publishers offers limited time 50% discount on orders placed directly via Berghahn book webpage. Use code PAU615, valid through February 28th, 2019. You can also read the Introduction.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is PaulmannHumanitarianism-333x500.jpg

The volume Humanitarianism & Media: 1900 to the Present, ed. by Johannes Paulmann, traces the emergence of humanitarian imagery in the West and investigates how the meanings of suffering and aid have been constructed in a period of evolving mass communication, demonstrating the extent to which many seemingly new phenomena in fact have long historical legacies.

“This volume consists of timely, useful, original contributions by historians, media scholars and anthropologists that will be essential reading for students”. • Davide Rodogno, Graduate Institute of Geneva

“Based on substantial archival research and informed by relevant theoretical debates, this thought-provoking volume engages the reader in an interdisciplinary exploration of the central role the media have played for humanitarian initiatives, contributing significantly to recent scholarship on the subject”. • Nina Berman, Arizona State University

CfP: Humanitarianism and the ‘Greater War’, 1912-1923

University College Dublin, 6-7 September 2019

This 2-day conference provides an opportunity to debate the ideas, developments and legacy of humanitarianism in the era of the Great War, 1912-1923. The conference sits at the intersection of two burgeoning fields of historical inquiry, the history of humanitarianism and the history of the Great War. Recent years have seen an outpouring of innovative research on humanitarian individuals and organizations, fields of action, and the construction and use of ‘humanitarian narratives.’ A rapidly growing number of scholars, too, have highlighted the unique role the First World War played in fostering a ‘humanitarian awakening’ (Irwin), shaping humanitarian norms, discourses and practices. At the same time, recent scholarship on the First World War has led us to understand that conflict as a geographically and temporally much ‘Greater War’, whose critical events extended far beyond the fighting on the Western front, and 1914-18.

The conference aims to bring together scholars working on a wide variety of topics and employing different methodological approaches to showcase and debate current research trends. It will discuss absences and contradictions in existing scholarship, and identify areas of particular interest for future research. Last not least, the conference seeks to encourage a dialogue between the all too often isolated historiographies on humanitarianism and the ‘Greater War’: for example, how does the study of that period’s unprecedented suffering complicate the war’s accepted chronologies and geographies? And how might new notions of the global nature of the First World War inform our approach to the history of humanitarianism? In all, the conference hopes to interrogate the significance of the era of the Great War for the emergence of modern humanitarianism, while also underlining the importance of humanitarian engagement to understanding the war and its aftermath. It is envisaged that a selection of conference papers will be published in an edited volume.

Topics for presentations might include but are not limited to:

  • the role of individuals and organizations in humanitarian work in the era of the Great War
  • the global dimension of suffering and efforts to ameliorate it
  • the emergence of humanitarian norms, organizational forms, and practices at the time, and (where applicable) their long-term impact
  • the place of humanitarian concerns in (home front) mobilizations and demobilizations
  • the actions and agency of relief beneficiaries
  • ruptures and continuities between the war and the post-war period
  • the relationship between humanitarianism and international politics

Scholars interested in presenting a paper at the conference are invited to send a brief abstract of 300 words and a one-page CV by 15 February 2019 to humanitarianwarconference@gmail.com

The conference will be able to provide hotel accommodation to presenters.

Scientific Committee:

Peter Gatrell, University of Manchester

Robert Gerwarth, University College Dublin

Rebecca Gill, University of Huddersfield

Heather Jones, University College London

Davide Rodogno, The Graduate Institute, Geneva

Organizing Committee: 

Elisabeth Piller, University College Dublin

New Volume: “Humanitarianism & Media. 1900 to the Present” edited by Johannes Paulmann

Cross-posted from https://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/PaulmannHumanitarianism

From Christian missionary publications to the media strategies employed by today’s NGOs, this new interdisciplinary volume edited by Johannes Paulmann explores the entangled histories of humanitarianism and media. The book traces the emergence of humanitarian imagery in the West and investigates how the meanings of suffering and aid have been constructed in a period of evolving mass communication, demonstrating the extent to which many seemingly new phenomena in fact have long historical legacies. Ultimately, the critical histories collected here help to challenge existing asymmetries and help those who advocate a new cosmopolitan consciousness recognizing the dignity and rights of others.

Contents

Introduction: Humanitarianism and Media: Introduction to an Entangled History
Johannes Paulmann

PART I: HUMANITARIAN IMAGERY

Chapter 1. Promoting Distant Children in Need: Christian Imagery in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
Katharina Stornig

Chapter 2. “Make the situation real to us without stressing the horrors”: Children, Photography and Humanitarianism in the Spanish Civil War
Rose Holmes

Chapter 3. Humanitarianism on the Screen: The ICRC Films, 1921–1965
Daniel Palmieri

Chapter 4. “People who once were human beings like you and me”: Why Allied Atrocity Films of Liberated Nazi Concentration Camps in 1944–46 Maximized the Horror and Universalized the Victims
Ulrike Weckel

Chapter 5. The Polemics of Pity: British Photographs of Berlin, 1945–1947
Paul Betts

Chapter 6. The Human Gaze: Photography after 1945
Tobias Weidner

PART II: HUMANITARIAN MEDIA REGIMES

Chapter 7. On Fishing in Other Peoples Ponds: The Freedom from Hunger Campaign, International Fundraising, and the Ethics of NGO Publicity
Heike Wieters

Chapter 8. Advocacy Strategies of Western Humanitarian NGOs from the 1960s to the 1990s
Valérie Gorin

Chapter 9. Humanitarianism and Revolution: Samed, the Palestine Red Crescent Society, and the Work of Liberation
Ilana Feldman

Chapter 10. Mediatisation of Disasters and Humanitarian Aid in the Federal Republic of Germany
Patrick Merziger

Chapter 11. NGOs, Celebrity Humanitarianism, and the Media: Negotiating Conflicting Perceptions of Aid and Development during the “Ethiopian Famine”
Matthias Kuhnert

Chapter 12. The Audience of Distant Suffering and the Question of (In)Action
Maria Kyriakidou

Reviews:


“This volume consists of timely, useful, original contributions by historians, media scholars and anthropologists that will be essential reading for students”. • Davide Rodogno, Graduate Institute of Geneva


“Based on substantial archival research and informed by relevant theoretical debates, this thought-provoking volume engages the reader in an interdisciplinary exploration of the central role the media have played for humanitarian initiatives, contributing significantly to recent scholarship on the subject”. • Nina Berman, Arizona State University

“The Emergence of Humanitarian Intervention” republished as paperback

Fabian Klose (ed.), The Emergence of Humanitarian Intervention. Ideas and Practice from the Nineteenth Century to the Present, Cambridge 2018.

How should the international community react when a government transgresses humanitarian norms and violates the human rights of its own nationals? And where does the responsibility lie to protect people from such acts of violation? In this new volume scholars from various disciplines investigate some of the most complex and controversial debates regarding the legitimacy of protecting humanitarian norms and universal human rights by non-violent and violent means. Charting the development of humanitarian intervention from its origins in the nineteenth century through to the present day, the book surveys the philosophical and legal rationales of enforcing humanitarian norms by military means, and how attitudes to military intervention on humanitarian grounds have changed over the course of three centuries. Drawing from a wide range of disciplines, the authors lend a fresh perspective to contemporary dilemmas using case studies from Europe, the United States, Africa and Asia.

Table of Contents

1. The emergence of humanitarian intervention: three centuries of ‘enforcing humanity’ Fabian Klose


Part I. Theoretical Approach and Legal Discourse on the Concept of Humanitarian Intervention:
2. Humanitarianism and human rights: a troubled rapport Michael Geyer
3. Humanitarian intervention and the issue of state sovereignty in the discourse of legal experts between the 1830s and the First World War Daniel Marc Segesser
4. The legal justification of international intervention: theories of community and admissibility Stefan Kroll


Part II. Fighting the Slave Trade and Protecting Religious Minorities: Major Impulses for Humanitarian Intervention in the Nineteenth Century:
5. Enforcing abolition: the entanglement of civil society action, humanitarian norm-setting, and military intervention Fabian Klose
6. Lord Vivian’s tears: the moral hazards of humanitarian intervention Mairi S. Macdonald
7. From protection to humanitarian intervention? Enforcing Jewish rights in Romania and Morocco around 1880 Abigail Green


Part III. Transferring a Concept to the Twentieth Century:
8. Prudence or outrage? Public opinion and humanitarian intervention in historical and comparative perspective Jon Western
9. Non-state actors’ humanitarian operations in the aftermath of the First World War: the case of the Near East relief Davide Rodogno
10. Humanitarian intervention as legitimation of violence – the German case 1937–9 Jost Dülffer


Part IV. Limited Options or Further Development? Humanitarian Intervention during the Cold War:
11. Cold War peacekeeping versus humanitarian intervention: beyond the Hammarskjoldian model Norrie Macqueen
12. From the protection of sovereignty to humanitarian intervention? Traditions and developments of United Nations peacekeeping in the twentieth century Jan Erik Schulte


Part V. A New Century of Humanitarian Intervention?:
13. A not so humanitarian intervention Bradley Simpson
14. The responsibility to protect: foundation, transformation, and application of an emerging norm Manuel Fröhlich
15. Humanitarian interventions, past and present Andrew Thompson


IEG Fellowships for Doctoral Students

Application deadline: February 15, 2019
For IEG Fellowships beginning in September 2019 or later

The Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) awards 8–10 fellowships for international doctoral students in European history, the history of religion, historical theology, or other historical disciplines.

The IEG funds PhD projects on European history from the early modern period until 1989/90. We are particularly interested in projects

  • with a comparative or cross-border approach,
  • on European history in its relation to the wider world, or
  • on topics of intellectual and religious history.

What we offer

The IEG Fellowships provide a unique opportunity to pursue your individual PhD project while living and working for 6–12 months at the Institute in Mainz. The monthly stipend is € 1,350.

Requirements

During the fellowship you are required to reside at the Institute in Mainz. You actively participate in the IEG’s research community, the weekly colloquia and scholarly activities. We expect you to present your work at least once during your fellowship. The IEG preferably supports the writing up of dissertations; it will not provide funding for preliminary research, language courses or the revision of book manuscripts. PhD theses continue to be supervised under the auspices of the fellows’home universities. We expect proficiency in English and a sufficient command of German to participate indiscussions at the Institute.

Application


Please combine all of your application materials except for the application form in to a single PDF and send your application to application@ieg-mainz.de.
Letters of recommendation should be submitted directly by the referees. You may write in either English or German; we recommend that you use the language in which you are most proficient.

You can download the application form under the following: http://bit.ly/IEG_2019

The IEG has two deadlines each year for the IEG Fellowships: February 15 and August 15.
The next deadline for applications is February 15, 2019.

Please direct your questions about the IEG Fellowship Programme to Barbara Müller (fellowship@ieg-mainz.de) or visit our website

http://www.ieg-mainz.de/en/fellowships

Reminder: CfA for GHRA 2019 is still open until 31 December 2018

Academy Leaders:   

Fabian Klose (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz)

Johannes Paulmann (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz)

Andrew Thompson (University of Exeter)         

in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (Geneva)

Venues:                     

Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz & Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva

Dates:                         8-19 July 2019

Deadline:                    31 December 2018

Information at:         http://ghra.ieg-mainz.de/, http://hhr.hypotheses.org/ and http://imperialglobalexeter.com/

The international Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy (GHRA) offers research training to PhD candidates and early postdocs. It combines academic sessions at the Imperial and Global History Centre at the University of Exeter and the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz with archival sessions at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The Research Academy is for early career researchers who are working in the related fields of humanitarianism, international humanitarian law, peace and conflict studies, human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th century as well as the institutional history of the ICRC and the development of its fundamental principles. It supports scholarship on the ideas and practices of humanitarianism in the context of international, imperial and global history thus advancing our understanding of global governance in humanitarian crises of the present.

In July 2019, the Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy will first meet for one week in Mainz for academic sessions of lectures, class meetings and discussions, including study time (the academic meetings rotate annually between Mainz and Exeter; in the previous year this meeting took place in Exeter). PhD students will have the chance to sharpen the methodological and theoretical focus of their thesis through an intense exchange with peers, postdocs, and established scholars working in the same or related field of humanitarianism. The postdocs will benefit from discussing their research design and publication strategy with established scholars.

The academic session at Exeter or Mainz is each year followed by a one week archival session at Geneva. Here the archives of the ICRC offer a unique insight into humanitarian action during the past 150 years. The holdings provide rich material, including visual material, for the history of international affairs in the ages of nation states, empires and global governance, particularly the study of humanitarianism, humanitarian law, conflicts studies as well as related issues such as human rights. Under the guidance of experienced archive staff, the members of the Research Academy will study primary sources related to the previous discussions at Exeter as well as to their own research projects if applicable.  Opportunities may also be provided for intensive discussions with active members of the ICRC staff and other Geneva based humanitarian organisations.

Each selected academy fellow receives the cost of travel to Mainz and accommodation in Mainz and Geneva. Academy fellows will be asked to purchase their travel to Geneva as proof of their commitment to attending the Academy.

The Research Academy invites applications for the 2019 Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy (GHRA) from PhD students and early postdocs. The Steering Committee will select up to 12 participants. Applicants must be able to certify that they are fluent in both written and spoken English, the Academy’s working language. Participants of the international Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy will be chosen by the Steering Committee on the basis of

  1. a cover letter (maximum 350 words) setting out the applicant’s motivation for participating in the academy and indicating the anticipated outcome of their research;
  2. a statement (maximum 1,000 words) summarizing their research project;
  3. a brief curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages);
  4. two supporting letters from appropriate referees.

This application should be compiled by the applicant and the whole set of papers including reference letters should be submitted as a single PDF, with the file saved as ‘LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.PDF’. To apply, please send your application consisting of one pdf-document with the Subject “Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy” to the organisers at ghra@ieg-mainz.de by December 31, 2018.

Workshop: The Past in the Present: The European Convention on Human Rights, its Historical Roots and Current Challenges

Cross-posted from: http://www.jura.fu-berlin.de/fachbereich/einrichtungen/oeffentliches-recht/lehrende/austh/informationen/Workshop-_The-Past-in-the-Present_.html

Workshop Convenors:

Professor Dr. Helmut Aust and Dr. Esra Demir-Gürsel, Freie Universität Berlin


The workshop looks at the role of history and historical events for the protection of human rights in contemporary Europe that is facing an authoritarian and populist backslide. It brings together three important debates: firstly, the current challenges for the protection of human rights in Europe; secondly, the historical roots of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) which was intended to provide an early warning mechanism against a fallback into authoritarianism and totalitarianism and thirdly, the way the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has dealt so far in its case law with historical injustices, i.e. the type of situations it was meant to prevent from arising again. The current rise of authoritarian and populist tendencies poses the risk of turning into a severe threat for a European public order based on the ideals of human rights, the rule of lawand democracy – all of which are essential to securing peace and stability in Europe. The workshop will mapthe strengths and weaknesses of the ECHR system to keep its initial promise in the face of this current challenge. It connects three strands of discussion which have so far been leading separate lives yet need to be seen together. When thinking about the current challenges for the ECHR system it is worthwhile to reflect upon the conditions under which the Convention and its Court were set up. What was the role that the Court should play in upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law when the Convention was drafted? How have these expectations shifted over time? How has the ECHR defined its role when dealing with cases which concerned large scale historical injustices? The workshop will provide a forum for reflection on these issues which are of great importance for the maintenance of peace and stability in Europeand beyond. The way that the European system of human rights protection will deal with these situations is likely to have repercussions on a global scale.

You find the full programme here: http://www.jura.fu-berlin.de/fachbereich/einrichtungen/oeffentliches-recht/lehrende/austh/Dokumente/Past-in-the-Present-Programme-2018_10_31-final-public.pdf




Reflections on two weeks of humanitarianism, historiography, research, and collaboration… and the creation of lasting friendships

Cross-posted from: http://careforthefuture.exeter.ac.uk/2018/09/reflections-on-two-weeks-of-humanitarianism-historiography-research-and-collaboration-and-the-creation-of-lasting-friendships/

Ryan W. Heyden

As historians have engaged in a widespread and heated discussion about the history of human rights and its relationship to contemporary political and social developments around the world, many have also turned to humanitarianism. With new and protracted conflicts raging in the Middle East and other parts of the world, and with the growing number of natural disasters caused by a rapidly changing climate, humanitarian workers and organizations are busier than ever before. And yet, the scholarly literature on humanitarianism and the labours of humanitarian workers since the 1700s was, until the last decade or so, focussed mainly on humanitarian aid delivered to various sites of conflict after the end of the Cold War. Political scientists were the primary researchers pushing this field of humanitarian studies. Thankfully, historians have joined this scholarly discussion, adding a much-needed historical perspective. Historians at all levels are trying to understand the origins and development of humanitarianism, asking many vital questions:  what has mobilized empathy for those suffering during war; how has humanitarianism been used and abused by the West in its effort to colonize the Global South; how can we understand the often-fraught gender and power dynamics involved in humanitarian campaigns and in the administration of aid; and, what is the relationship between humanitarianism and human rights? Scholars are also historicizing humanitarian institutions – like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Oxfam, Médecins Sans Frontières, CARE, and older institutions that tried foster “humanitarian sensibilities” like religious groups (missionaries) and the abolitionist movement – and asking how they fit into this budding historical narrative?

This rather brief outline of the field and its vital questions are merely a sampling of the work being done by historians around the world. It is also a snap shot of some of the themes I took away from this year’s iteration of the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy. In July 2018, I had the privilege of travelling to the University of Exeter in the UK and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Public Archive and Library in Geneva, Switzerland with the generous support of Care for the Future, the Leibniz Institute for European History, the German Historical Institute in London, and the ICRC. During my two-week intensive workshop and archival work, I had the pleasure of meeting and exchanging views with established scholars, newly-minted PhDs, and fellow PhD Candidates. I learned a lot during what can only be called a two-week academic adventure! While I could probably write ad nauseum about what I learned, my archival finds, and the people I met, I want to draw attention to a few lessons.

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Report of the GHRA 2018

The fourth Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) took place from July 09 to 20, 2018 at the University of Exeter and the Archives of International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The GHRA was organized by FABIAN KLOSE (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz), JOHANNES PAULMANN (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz), and ANDREW THOMPSON (University of Exeter) in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross and with support by the German Historical Institute London. The Steering Committee received a huge amount of applications for the GHRA 2018 from around the world and selected twelve fellows (nine PhD candidates, three Postdocs). The participants came from Canada, China, France, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States and represented a range of disciplinary approaches from History, International Relations, and Political Science. Additionally, the GHRA was joined by GUY THOMAS (ICRC Geneva), IRÈNE HERRMANN (University of Geneva), STACEY HYND (University of Exeter), MARC-WILLIAM PALEN (University of Exeter), and ANDREAS GESTRICH (German Historical Institute London).

First Week:

On Day One, the participants started with discussing crucial texts on the historiography of humanitarianism and human rights. The common reading list included texts regarding the historical emergence of humanitarianism since the eighteenth century and the troubled relationship between humanitarianism, human rights, and international humanitarian law. Furthermore, the participants reflected on twentieth century conjunctures of humanitarian aid and the colonial entanglements of human rights as well as recent scholarship on the genealogies of the politics of humanitarian protection and human rights since the 1970s. In the evening, MARCUS GEISSER (ICRC, United Kingdom) gave a stimulating public guest lecture “The ‘present’ is never present – it is already past. Humanitarian action in an age of reorder” at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum Exeter, in which he reflected on his personal experiences as an ICRC delegate for twenty years in various conflicts around the world.

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