What does it mean to belong to the human race? Does this belonging bring with it particular rights as well as responsibilities? What does it mean to act with humanity? These are some of the big questions lying at the heart of a new edited collection from Fabian Klose and Mirjam Thulin, Humanity: A History of European Concepts in Practice From the Sixteenth Century to the Present (2016). Based on a 2015 conference at the Leibniz Institute in Mainz, the book, as the title suggests, is not a purely conceptual history of the term ‘humanity’. Rather it looks to discover ‘the concrete implications of theoretical discourses on the concept of humanity’ [page 18]. In other words, how did ideas of ‘humanity’ guide European practices in areas like humanism, imperialism, international law, humanitarianism, and human rights? The editors argue that despite the implied timeless, universal nature of the term, humanity is both a changing, dynamic concept, and has been prone to create divisions as much as it promotes commonality. Although the volume is a study of European conceptions of humanity, the contributions are transnational, displaying how conceptions of humanity were practiced in Europe and in the continent’s interactions with the wider world over the course of five-hundred years.
The Leibniz Institute of European History invites international PhD students to a workshop on European history across boundaries from the sixteenth to the twentieth century, including Europe’s relations with the world. We encourage researchers working in this field to present their dissertation projects and to discuss the transcultural and transnational scope of their findings in a stimulating environment. Topics that aim to cross and reflect boundaries and borders are of particular interest. Projects can employ a variety of methodical approaches such as comparative studies, the study of transfer processes and entanglements, or the histoire croisée.
The Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG), an independent research institution in Mainz (Germany), contributes to this new approach from an interdisciplinary perspective. It fosters research on the religious, social, and political dynamics in Europe from the early modern period into the twentieth century and focusses on processes of establishing, coping with and enabling difference. The Graduate Workshop 2017/18 takes place in cooperation with Lyndal Roper, Regius Chair of History at the University of Oxford.
At the workshop, we will discuss pre-circulated papers based on archival research (max. 8,000 words, written in English, submitted by 7 January 2018). The institute will provide accommodation for the duration of the workshop and contribute to travel expenses within Europe.
Proposals should include an abstract of the overall project and its archival sources (500 words) plus a brief biographical note (including institutional affiliation, thesis supervisors, and contact details). These documents should be sent in one pdf-file to Gregor Feindt – email@example.com – by no later than 16 July 2017. For any questions, please contact the organisers.
On April 13th, 1598 in the city of Nantes, King Henry IV of France signed a document ending a series of religious wars that had devastated the country and brought the French monarchy to the point of ruin. In the form of Calvinism, Protestantism had been attracting increasing numbers of followers in France by the mid-16th century. These Huguenots, as they were called, were persecuted by the Catholic Church and the French Crown. Intensified by a dynastic crisis after the death of King Henry II (1559) the conflict escalated to a veritable civil war. One of the bloody climaxes of this more than 30-year struggle was the so-called St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre (1572), in which between 3,000 and 4,000 Protestants died in Paris alone.
The Edict of Nantes
When Henry of Navarre, the Huguenot military leader, succeeded the murdered Henry III to the throne, the conflict appeared again to worsen. Only after the new king converted to Catholicism in 1593 and was accepted by the Catholics was the path open to a peaceful solution to the conflict. Five years later, Henry IV guaranteed his erstwhile fellow Protestants a series of privileges that henceforth would ensure a non-violent coexistence for the two Christian confessions under the protection of the Crown.
Confessional Division and Political Unity (differences)
With the Edict of Nantes, which in large part resembled earlier so-called pacification edicts, France’s confessional division was reinforced. The ideal of religious unity in the commonwealth was sacrificed in the name of political unity. Although the document was in fact the result of negotiations between the warring parties, it took the form of a royal amnesty. Thus the Edict’s legal form made it in principle revocable, even though its text called it “perpetual” and “irrevocable”. On this basis, it was possible to pacify the violent conflict for nearly 100 years and establish rules for the coexistence of Catholics and Protestants that were accepted by both sides.
Historically, how were difference and inequality negotiated in Europe? What were the parts played by religion, society and politics? “On site, in time” takes a look at events that took place in European locations and that exemplify Europe¹s historical development since 1500. The c. 60 articles illustrate the various and conflict-ridden ways of negotiating differences and inequality. They depict strategies that were developed to promote, present, preserve, mitigate or abolish difference. Such strategies may include discussions, peaceful solutions and aid as well migration, mission and protest or even exclusion, war and destruction.
Negotiating differences in Europe, ed. for the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) by Joachim Berger, Irene Dingel and Johannes Paulmann, Mainz 2016.
The open access publication “On site, in time” is a product of the current research programme “Negotiating differences in Modern Europe” of the Leibnitz Institute of European History (IEG). Its aim is, on the one hand, to provide basic information on how differences were negotiated in Modern Europe, and on the other hand to make the research carried out at the IEG understandable and available to a wider audience. “On site, in time” is therefore meant for everyone with a distinct interest in history, religion, politics, and societal questions.
In the next couple of weeks I will present some examples of these articles directly related to the history of humanitarianism and human rights here on hhr!
Her current projects include a book on anti-torture campaigns since the end of the Second World War and their effects on global human rights movements. Accordingly, she will give a lecture on the topic of “Anti-Torture Campaigns since 1945” on May 30, 2017 at the IEG.
Wissenschaftliches Netzwerk der DFG organisiert von Dr. Marcus Payk (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Das wissenschaftliche Netzwerk bringt Nachwuchswissenschaftlerinnen und Nachwuchswissenschaftler aus der Geschichts- und Rechtswissenschaft zusammen, um über Juristen als Akteure in der internationalen Politik zu debattieren. Dazu werden aktuelle Trends der historischen Erforschung des Völkerrechts zusammengetragen, konzeptionell reflektiert und methodisch weitergeführt. In einem strukturierten Rahmen sollen aufeinander bezogene Fallstudien entstehen, welche die Rolle einzelner Juristen oder institutionalisierter Juristengruppen in den internationalen Beziehungen exemplarisch erschließen. Ziel ist ein Beitrag, der die Bedeutung des internationalen Rechts, seiner politischen Indienstnahme wie seiner Eigenlogik, auf einer individuellen Handlungs- und Entscheidungsebene historisch greifbar macht. Das Netzwerk führt eine Reihe von Arbeitstreffen durch, die in einen Workshop und eine Publikation einmünden.
Teilnehmerinnen und Teilnehmer
Prof. Dr. Jochen v. Bernstorff (Universität Tübingen)
Dr. Julia Eichenberg (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Dr. Gabriela Frei (Jesus College, Oxford)
PD Dr. Michael Jonas (Universität der Bundeswehr, Hamburg)
Alexandra Kemmerer, LL.M. Eur. (Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, Heidelberg)
PD Dr. Fabian Klose (Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz)
Dr. Isabella Löhr (Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa, Leipzig)
Dr. Dietmar Müller (Leibniz-Institut für Geschichte und Kultur des östlichen Europa Leipzig)
Dr. Marcus Payk (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Prof. Dr. Kim Christian Priemel (University of Oslo)
Im Jahre 2016 waren nach Angaben des UNHCR weltweit über 65 Millionen Menschen auf der Flucht, die meisten von ihnen als Binnenvertriebene im eigenen Land (“internally displaced persons”) aufgrund anhaltender bewaffneter Konflikte – eine historische Rekordhöhe. Hinzu kommen Millionen von Arbeitsmigranten, die sich aus wirtschaftlicher Not und in der Hoffnung auf bessere Lebensbedingungen auf den Weg machen. Diese aktuellen politischen Entwicklungen waren Ausgangspunkt der interdisziplinär angelegten Konferenz, die vom Institut für Zeitgeschichte in Zusammenarbeit mit der Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, organisiert und vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung gefördert wurde.
Drei Leitfragen strukturierten die Tagung, wie IfZ-Direktor Andreas Wirsching eingangs hervorhob: Welche politischen, rechtlichen und wissenschaftlichen Konzepte von Migration, Flucht und Asyl waren seit dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs erkennbar? Welche Motive, Normen und Prinzipien prägten den Diskurs um humanitäre Hilfe, Migrations- und Asylpolitik? Welche Akteure agierten im globalen Migrationsregime und welche Praktiken politischer Steuerung entwickelten sie? Ausgehend davon zog das erste Panel eine Bilanz der aktuellen Forschungstrends in verschiedenen Disziplinen.
Historical and historical-sociological research on the history of human rights discourse and law has abounded in recent years. However, it has neglected one of the key issues that informed early thinking about human rights: the family as a protected category. This conference addresses this issue by approaching it from the perspective of global historical sociology. In this way, the conference also sheds important light on the historical diffusion of cultural and legal norms on the family and sexuality. It reflects on various religious and other imaginaries of the family and considers how they emerged and spread across the globe. How have human rights law and discourse intersected with the family and sexuality? How has this connection taken shape in different historical contexts? And, how has it evolved since the nineteenth century?
The conference brings together historians and historical sociologists interested in the global development of norms and practices related to the family through international law, international institutions, migration and empires. Papers are invited that focus on these issues from a historical perspective for the nineteenth and twentieth century. They can consider various mechanisms through which norms on the family intersected with ideas about human rights, for example, through empires and their collapse; intellectuals; war; and, migration, amongst others. Papers on regions around the globe are welcome, as are contributions on relevant international bodies and individuals who have been influential in this regard.
Keynote lectures will be provided by Professor Samuel Moyn (Harvard) and Professor Sally Engle Merry (NYU).
The conference will take place at the University of Göttingen, and reasonable travel costs and accommodation will be provided for accepted presenters.
Dr Julia Moses, Dept. of History, Univ. of Sheffield / Institute of Sociology, Univ. of Göttingen
Prof Matthias Koenig, Institute of Sociology, University of Göttingen
To apply to participate, please send a short abstract (ca. 150-300 words) to Dr Julia Moses (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 31 March 2017.
This event is sponsored by the EU-funded MARDIV project at the University of Göttingen.
The horrors of the Great War and the desire for peace shaped scholarship in International Law and International Relations (IR) during the late 1910s—a stimulating time for both disciplines. Scholars observed and analysed political events as they unfolded but also took an active part, as governmental advisors or diplomatic officials, in devising the new international order. The Paris Peace Conference and the subsequent birth of the League of Nations as well as the Permanent Court of International Justice served as testing grounds for new legal and political concepts. The end of the First World War was in many ways a milestone for both disciplines, prompting scholars to reflect on the consequences of the war on society, politics, and the world economy. How could another world war be avoided in the future? How could states be held accountable for violations of international law? What were the preconditions for peaceful international governance? These questions led to pioneering research on issues such as arbitration, sanctions, revision of treaties, supra-national governance, disarmament, self-determination, migration, and the protection of minorities. At the same time, the study of International Law and IR also advanced in terms of methodology and teaching, including new professorships, journals, conferences and research centres.
A century later, it is a good moment to reflect upon disciplinary histories and revisit some of the theoretical and practical debates that shaped the period from 1914 to 1945. The workshop conveners are particularly (but not exclusively) interested in the following research questions:
The blog Europe Across Bordersis a forum for historical research on Europe across borders from around 1500 to the present. It advances historical knowledge in present scholarly and public debates.
The blog posts cross and reflect boundaries not merely between nation states or cultures but also between social, economic, religious, ethnic, gender, and other entities. The blog thus fosters research on the dynamics in Europe from the early modern period into the twentieth century and the immediate past. The blog is open to a broad variety of topics, both with regard to methodological approaches and fields of research. Methodologically, it brings together approaches such as comparative studies, the study of transfer processes and entanglements, the histoire croisée, or international, imperial and global history. Beyond that, the blog takes up all fields of cultural, political, social, economic, environmental and intellectual history throughout Europe in the modern period. It is especially interested in providing a fresh picture on Europe’s place in a globalising world.
Antonio Donini is Research Associate at the Geneva Graduate Institute’s Programme for the Study of Global Migration and also senior researcher at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University. He has worked for 26 years in the United Nations in research, evaluation, and humanitarian capacities. His last post was as Director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan (1999-2002).
The Call for Applications for the GHRA 2017 at the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz and the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva was closed a couple of days ago. We received a great number of applications of promising young scholars from all over the world emphasizing indeed the global character of our project and research. In the next couple of weeks the Steering Committee will decide on the submitted applications and we are very much looking forward to the GHRA 2017!
Looking back to the wonderful GHRA 2016 at the University of Exeter here are some impressions of last year’s academy on the IEG YouTube channel. Enjoy watching!
Fabian Klose, Johannes Paulmann, and Andrew Thompson would like to remind that the Call for Applications for the third Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) 2017 is still open, with a deadline of 31 December 2016.
Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy
International Research Academy on the History of Global Humanitarianism
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)
and with support by the German Historical Institute London
Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz &
Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross Geneva
Migration, Refugees and Asylum are crucial issues in
current debates in Germany and Europe. This conference
analyses concepts, actors and practices of global
migration in a historical perspective since the Second
World War up to the present day.
Starting with flight and expulsion of the post-war period
in Europe and the political refugees of the Cold War,
this conference shall focus on the global movements of
refugees in the Third World since the 1970s. Due to the
decline of the Soviet Union and the war in Yugoslavia
in the 1990s as well as the current Syrian civil war,
migration became once again an important challenge
for Europe and the European Union.
The interdisciplinary conference examines three key
questions from a global perspective: Which political,
legal and scientific concepts of migration, refugees and
asylum can be identified? Which motives, norms and
principles have characterised the discourse until today?
Which actors and policies have been shaping the global
The conference will be held in German and English.
Simultaneous translation will be provided.