30 Entries of the Online Atlas on the History of Humanitarianism and Human Rights

The Online Atlas on the History of Humanitarianism and Human Rights is jointly published by the Leibniz Institute of European History and the Centre for Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter as part of the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA). It is hosted by the Leibniz Institute of European History.
The Online Atlas provides readers with concise analytical information on key concepts, events, and people which shaped the development of modern humanitarianism and human rights.

The entries of the Online Atlas are written by the successive generations of fellows of the GHRA and other experts connected to the Research Academy. The entries describe particular historical moment as well as its consequences and wider meanings. Additional materials include a review of scholarly debates, further reading, and visual representations. The Online Atlas addresses a broader public. It is a valuable resource for those engaged in the field of humanitarian action and human rights as well as students and academics. It provides a reliable source of information and access to essential issues of the entangled world of humanitarianism across borders and historical epochs.

The project started in December 2015 with 10 entries written by the first participants of the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy and now reaches the number of 30 enties. Enjoy discovering the Online Atlas @ http://hhr-atlas.ieg-mainz.de/

Table of Contents

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New Book: “Brutality in an Age of Human Rights” by Brian Drohan

Former GHRA fellow Brian Drohan has published his Dissertation:

Brutality in an Age of Human Rights
Activism and Counterinsurgency at the End of the British Empire, Cornell University Press 2018.

Brief book description by Cornell University Press:

“In Brutality in an Age of Human Rights, Brian Drohan demonstrates that British officials’ choices concerning counterinsurgency methods have long been deeply influenced or even redirected by the work of human rights activists. To reveal how that influence was manifested by military policies and practices, Drohan examines three British counterinsurgency campaigns—Cyprus (1955–1959), Aden (1963–1967), and the peak of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland (1969–1976). This book is enriched by Drohan’s use of a newly available collection of 1.2 million colonial-era files, International Committee of the Red Cross files, the extensive Troubles collection at Linen Hall Library in Belfast, and many other sources.

Drohan argues that when faced with human rights activism, British officials sought to evade, discredit, and deflect public criticism of their actions to avoid drawing attention to brutal counterinsurgency practices such as the use of torture during interrogation. Some of the topics discussed in the book, such as the use of violence against civilians, the desire to uphold human rights values while simultaneously employing brutal methods, and the dynamic of wars waged in the glare of the media, are of critical interest to scholars, lawyers, and government officials dealing with the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those to come in the future.”

Congratulations Brian!

New book: “(s’)Aider pour survivre. Action humanitaire et neutralité suisse pendant la Première Guerre mondiale” by Cédric Cotter

Former GHRA fellow Cédric Cotter has just published his dissertation:

(s’)Aider pour survivre. Action humanitaire et neutralité suisse pendant la Première Guerre mondiale / Helping (oneself) to survive. Humanitarian action and Swiss neutrality during the First World War by Cédric Cotter

Neutrality and humanitarian action are two key-concepts of both Swiss identity and foreign policy. Their anchoring as typically Swiss characteristics is the result of a long maturation in which the First World War constitutes a pivotal moment. By mixing political and cultural history, this book aims at analyzing the interactions between neutrality and humanitarian action at three specific levels: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Switzerland and its domestic policy and identity, Switzerland in a transnational approach. It shows how, during the First World War, charitable works moved from the status of a consequence of neutrality to that of an essential corollary to it.

The first part of the Book is devoted to the ICRC. Chapter 1 highlights the main challenges that the institution faced during the Great War and shows how this conflict is important for the history of humanitarianism on important topics: detention, reestablishment of family links, humanitarian diplomacy, promotion of law, coordination with Red Cross national societies, etc. The ICRC’s response to these challenges is addressed in chapter 2, where the meaning and use of the concept of “neutrality” are studied and put into perspective with the real attitude of the ICRC. Was the ICRC really neutral and impartial? Or did the sympathies of its committee with the Entente influence its policy?

The second part proposes a broader view on Switzerland. Chapter 3 first synthetizes the main actions accomplished by Switzerland during the First World War: initiatives from the Confederation, the Swiss Red Cross and private organizations as well as the interactions between all these humanitarian actors, including the ICRC. This chapter also analyzes the specific relation between the ICRC and the Confederation, with a special focus on Gustave Ador, ICRC president and, as on 1917, member of the Swiss Federal Council. Chapter 4 is one the most important parts of the book as it examines the reasons behind such a huge humanitarian commitment. It proposes to analyze this commitment through the spectrum of a “culture of neutrality” in which humanitarian action would give sense to the Swiss neutrality. Humanitarian commitment was not only motivated by compassion and many factors contributed to this trend: necessity to morally justify the neutrality, aims at mitigating the internal tensions between the various linguistics regions, contribution to the mobilization of minds, diversion from one’s own fear.

The third part integrates Switzerland into a more global framework. While chapter 5 analyzes the utility of humanitarian aid in the Swiss foreign policy, chapter 6 attempts to propose a comparative and transnational history of the interactions between neutrality and humanitarian action at that time. This approach uses evidence from the USA, Denmark, Sweden, Spain or the Netherlands. It tries to show whether Switzerland was a unique case or, on the contrary, typical. Chapter 7 eventually examines the interactions and circulations between these various stakeholders and highlights them with three case studies of humanitarian competition: Switzerland v.s. the Vatican, the ICRC as arbitrator of the Scandinavian competition and, last but not least, the ICRC v.s. the American Red Cross.

Congratulations Cédric!

Why Historians can be valuable Members of the Humanitarian Family

Cédric Cotter,
Law and Policy researcher, ICRC

When I was a young student in history and philosophy at the University of Geneva, I had never thought that one day I may work for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Yet it happened. While I was preparing my Master thesis, the protection division at the ICRC was looking for a young historian to carry out a research in their archives. I got hired for a one-year traineeship contract, which was extended by two shorter terms within the relations with arms carriers unit and at the archives division. This experience was a turning point in my career. As a consequence, I decided to write my PhD dissertation on the history of the ICRC, which was part of a research project dedicated to Switzerland during the First World War. I analyzed the interactions between humanitarian action and neutrality at that time.

In July 2015, during my research, I got the chance to participate in the very first Global Humanitarian Research Academy. This academy played a very positive role for me, as it was an occasion to meet other researchers working on the history of humanitarian action. Our various talks and debates made me think about other practices and ways of studying the past of humanitarian organizations. We shared different perspectives, some close and some more distant from mine; however all of them very interesting and challenging. It also gave me the opportunity to question my hypotheses and research results to more advanced scholars. They gave good advices that I then used during the writing process of my dissertation. Meeting others PhD students was useful in terms of networking of course. Beyond that, the excellent atmosphere created during the academy allowed us to maintain amical contacts as well. Still today, I regularly exchange with my fellows. At the end, this experience was really rewarding.

First GHRA 2015

Now, I am Law and Policy researcher for the Law and Policy Forum (obviously…) at the ICRC. One might wonder why a researcher with a background in history carries out research on issues related to International humanitarian law (IHL). My training as a historian helps me a lot in my work for several reasons.

I first use concrete skills developed during my dissertation and at the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy. On a daily basis, I need to find references on specific topics and read plenty of publications. Mountains of data are stored at the ICRC archives and my role is to exploit them by finding facts, evidences, eloquent examples, by synthetizing them and by enhancing our more than 150 years of experience, successes and failures. Being a PhD student is not only an intellectual adventure; it is also a full professional experience. While researching and writing my dissertation, I gained many soft skills too: project management, responsibility, flexibility, creativity, persistence, communication, teamwork ability, etc. Historians sometimes tend to forget that we have these skills sought in the private sector.

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Reminder: Call for Application GHRA 2018 open until December 31, 2017

Drs Fabian Klose, Johannes Paulmann, and Andrew Thompson are pleased to announce that the Call for Applications for the fourth Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) 2018 is now open, with a deadline of 31 December 2017.

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)
and with support by the German Historical Institute London
Venues: University of Exeter & Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva
Dates: 9-20 July 2018
Deadline: 31 December 2017
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 as well as human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th century. 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.

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Natalie Klein-Kelly, DOT TO DOT: Exploring humanitarian activities in the early Nineteenth Century

Natalie Klein-Kelly, Fellow of the GHRA 2017

DOT TO DOT: Exploring humanitarian activities in the early Nineteenth Century through tracing prehistories of the Red Cross Movement in Geneva

Histories of humanitarianism often cite two specific examples of nineteenth century humanitarianism: the latter parts of slave abolition movements and the founding of the Red Cross in Geneva in 1863. Besides these, particularly for the early part of the century, specific examples of humanitarian activities remain rare, with general references to philanthropic as well as social and religious reform movements prevailing. I would like to argue here that this is because humanitarian endeavours in the early Nineteenth Century in Europe and North America developed in local contexts, making it difficult and cumbersome to join the various ʿdotsʾ of humanitarian activities that existed. By linking such ʿdotsʾ – like doing children’s ʿdot to dotʾ drawing, hence the title of this blog post – a more precise picture of early humanitarianism might emerge. This blog post will demonstrate the benefits of such an approach though two concrete examples: the connections between the founding of the Red Cross Movement and an early foreign aid movement 40 years earlier, both in the locality of Geneva.

The first ʿgroup of dotsʾ concerns the philhellenic activities undertaken by private Geneva citizens in the course of the 1820s in support of the Greeks in their War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. To be precise, two different Geneva Greek Committees were set up, the first active in 1822-1823, and a second founded in 1825 and active until the Battle of Navarino in October 1827. The leading force in the latter Committee was the wealthy Geneva citizen, Jean-Gabriel Eynard (1772-1863), who had been to the Vienna Congress a few years earlier. He was joined by 26 others, including the writers and politicians J.C.L. Simonde de Sismondi (1773-1842) and Etienne Dumont (1759-1829). This second Committee used the donations collected in Geneva and elsewhere to send shiploads of food and ammunition to support the fighting Greeks. These shipments were accompanied by representatives of the Committee, including the doctor, Louis-André Gosse (1801-1873). To stress, the label ‘humanitarian’ only partly fits these foreign aid undertakings, particularly given the military support and the parallel developmental focus that can be found.

The second ʿdotsʾ is better known: the 1863 founding of the Red Cross Movement initiated by five Geneva citizens including Henri Dunant (1828-1910), Gustav Moynier (1826-1910), General Guillaume-Henri Dufour (1787-1875), and Dr Louis Appia (1818-1889). Having witnessed the suffering of wounded soldiers in the battle of Solferino in 1859, the Geneva businessman Dunant published a pamphlet calling for international action to ensure care and protection of wounded soldiers and their helpers. The young Geneva lawyer Moynier, an acquaintance of Dunant, took this idea to the Geneva Society for Public Utility, whose president at this time was Dufour. Here, a sub-committee to implement Dunant’s ideas was formed, leading to the first international conference held in Geneva in 1863.

While nearly 40 years apart, these two ʿgroups of dotsʾ have specific links. An early type of photograph exists of the two key protagonists, Eynard and Dunant, dating from the early 1850s.

Jean-Gabriel Eynard in the middle and Henry Dunant at the left, Bibliotheque de Geneve.

Eynard was an early enthusiast of daguerreotypes, taking a few hundred in the 1840s and 1850s, generally of his extended family. Dunant was a friend of Ernest de Traz (1830-1900), also on this daguerreotype, a great-nephew of Eynard. De Traz and Dunant commenced religious meetings of young men in the late 1840s, leading to the formation of the “Union Chrétienne des Jeunes Gens de Geneva” in the early 1850s. In addition, occasional correspondence between Dunant and Eynard’s wife, Anna Eynard Lullin (1793-1868) has survived, for example regarding her support for the 1863 Red Cross conference (BPU Ms 2109 f. 57, 179). Eynard’s son-in-law and nephew, Charles Eynard-Eynard (1808-1876) also corresponded with Dunant throughout the 1860s (ibid., f. 6, 288, 296 etc.). Charles Eynard appears to have been close to Dunant through their joint religious affiliation to the ‘Reveil’, the Geneva evangelist movement of the mid-century (BPU Ms fr 2115 H).

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Call for Applications: Global Humanitarianism Research Academy 2018

Drs Fabian Klose, Johannes Paulmann, and Andrew Thompson are pleased to announce that the Call for Applications for the fourth Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) 2018 is now open, with a deadline of 31 December 2017.

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)
and with support by the German Historical Institute London

Venues: University of Exeter & Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva
Dates: 9-20 July 2018
Deadline: 31 December 2017

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 as well as human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th century. 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.

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Report Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) 2017

The 3nd Global Humanitarianism Research Academy at the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz, and the Archives of International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva

GHRA 2017 at the Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz

The GHRA 2017 took place from July 10 to 21, 2017 at the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz and the Archives of International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. It 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 GHRA 2017 had thirteen fellows (nine PhD candidates, four Postdocs) selected in a highly competitive application process. They came from Armenia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Germany, Ireland, Morocco, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the USA.  They represented a range of disciplinary approaches from International History, Politics, International Relations, and International Law. The Research Academy was joined by ESTHER MÖLLER (Leibniz Institute of European History) as well as JEAN-LUC BLONDEL (formerly of the ICRC) and MARC-WILLIAM PALEN (University of Exeter).

First Week: On Day One, recent research and fundamental concepts of global humanitarianism and human rights were critically reviewed. Participants discussed crucial texts on the historiography of humanitarianism and human rights. Themes included the historical emergence of humanitarianism since the eighteenth century and the troubled relationship between humanitarianism, human rights, and humanitarian intervention. Further, twentieth century conjunctures of humanitarian aid and the colonial entanglements of human rights were discussed. Finally, recent scholarship on the genealogies of the politics of humanitarian protection and human rights since the 1970s was assessed, also with a view on the challenges for the 21st century.

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Guest Lectures of the GHRA 2017

Our third Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) has started with one week of academic training at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) Mainz before continuing with archival research at the ICRC Archives in Geneva. On this occasion the GHRA is very pleased to welcome Dr. Jean-Luc Blondel and Prof. Madeleine Herren-Oesch as two distinguished guest lecturers on Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

In the morning session Dr. Jean-Luc Blondel, the former Head of the ICRC Archives and former special advisor to the previous ICRC president, will speak on ICRC work and policies during the period 1966 to 1975.

In the afternoon session Prof. Madeleine Herren-Oesch, Director of the Institute for European Global Studies at the University of Basel will give the guest lecture “Exchange ships: enemy aliens, repatriation and forced migration during World War II”.

We are all very much looking forward to these two presentations and the following discussion!

 

Third GHRA, 10-21 July 2017

 

In about a week the third Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) will meet for one week of academic training at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) in Mainz before continuing with archival research at the ICRC Archives in Geneva. The Research Academy addresses early career researchers who are working in the related fields of humanitarianism, international humanitarian law, peace and conflict studies as well as human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th century. 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.

The GHRA received a huge amount of applications from an extremely talented group of scholars from more than nineteen different countries around the world. The selection committee considered each proposal carefully and has selected these participants for the GHRA 2017:

Luís Paulo Bogliolo is a doctoral candidate with the Laureate Program in International Law at the University of Melbourne (Australia). He holds an LLM in Public International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA Law from the University of Brasília. He has been a lecturer at the University of Brasília, Coordinator of Regulation in the Department of Intellectual Rights at the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, and Law Clerk at the High Court of Brazil. His thesis is entitled Bombing Civilians: Aerial Warfare and Distinction in the History of International Law.

Jenny Chapman completed a BA (Hons) in Historical studies and Religious studies with Comparative religion, and an MA in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response at the University of Manchester. She was awarded an ESRC- funded Case Studentship with the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) at the University of Manchester in 2015. Her PhD project investigates the British Medical Humanitarian sector between the years of 1988- 2014 and is co-supervised by HCRI and the Humanitarian Affairs Team in Save the Children UK. Jenny is particularly interested in role that history can play in offering a reflective and analytical insight into the humanitarian System.

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CfA Rethinking the World Order: International Law and International Relations at the End of the First World War

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:

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Reminder: Call for Application GHRA 2017 open until December 31, 2016

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.

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Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy

International Research Academy on the History of Global Humanitarianism

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)

and with support by the German Historical Institute London

Venues:                     

Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz &

Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross Geneva

Dates:                         10-21 July 2017

Deadline:                    31 December 2016

Information at:          http://ghra.ieg-mainz.de/

ExeterIEGICRCghil

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New ICRC Publication: From Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City

Jean Luc Blondel, From Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City. The ICRC’s Work and Transformation from 1966 to 1975.

From 1966 to 1975, the ICRC criss-crossed the globe to provide humanitarian assistance during many of the major events of the decade, including the Viet Nam War, the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East, the military coups in Greece and Chile, the Portuguese withdrawal from its colonies in southern Africa, and the first visits by ICRC delegates to Nelson Mandela on Robben Island.

Drawing on archives recently opened to the public, this study provides a broad chronological and geographic overview of the ICRC’s activities during this period, and traces the development of its policy on visits to political.

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It also provides an account of the ICRC’s work aimed at further developing international law – leading to the adoption of the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions – and helps the reader to understand how the ICRC, whose work had initially been limited to providing ad hoc relief in emergency situations, became an increasingly professional organization, capable of managing major operations at any given moment, anywhere in the world.

This book provides an ideal springboard for more in-depth research in the ICRC archives, and encourages readers to reflect on a key period in world history.

Call for Applications: Global Humanitarianism Research Academy 2017

Drs Fabian Klose, Johannes Paulmann, and Andrew Thompson are pleased to announce that the Call for Applications for the third Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) 2017 is now open, with a deadline of 31 December 2016.

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Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy

International Research Academy on the History of Global Humanitarianism

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)

and with support by the German Historical Institute London

Venues:                     

Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz &

Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross Geneva

Dates:                         10-21 July 2017

Deadline:                    31 December 2016

Information at:          http://ghra.ieg-mainz.de/

ExeterIEGICRCghil

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Report Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) 2016

The 2nd Global Humanitarianism Research Academy at the Centre for Imperial and Global History, University of Exeter, and the Archives of International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva

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GHRA 2016 at Reed Hall, University of Exeter, 13 July 2016

The GHRA 2016, 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, took place from July 11 to 22, 2016 at the University of Exeter and the Archives of International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The 2016 GHRA had eleven fellows (ten PhD candidates, one Postdoc) who were selected in a highly competitive application process. They came from Austria, Canada, Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They represented a range of disciplinary approaches from History, International History, Politics, International Relations, and Area Studies. The Research Academy was joined by STACEY HYND (University of Exeter) and KATHARINA STORNIG (Leibniz Institute of European History) as well as JEAN-LUC BLONDEL (formerly of the ICRC) and MARC-WILLIAM PALEN (University of Exeter).

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