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International History

Departmental Seminar

Organised by Prof Federico RomeroProf Corinna Unger, Dr Elizabeth Banks and Dr Lola Wilhelm (Max Weber Fellows)

Registration code: HEC-DS-INTL-19
Thursdays 11:00-12:50  Sala del Torrino (except on 17 October in Sala dei Levrieri)

Starts on 10 October 2019
Admin. Assistant: Serena Belligoli

Seminar description

This departmental seminar explores some of the most innovative as well as established themes of twentieth-century international history with the aim of familiarizing researchers with the field’s varieties of focus, methods, and analytical scope. We consider how advances in the related fields of transnational, global, and world history are influencing the ways in which international history is conceptualized and written. Empirical case studies rather than programmatic statements are studied along with non-Western and Western perspectives and texts. We concentrate on a few central, exemplary topical areas, whose interpretations and methodological approaches have redefined the discipline in recent times.

Seminar preparation and participation 

Preparation: Everyone is expected to thoroughly read the set texts each week. Thorough reading means attending to different dimensions of the texts: 

  1. identifying the author’s central arguments and how they relate to larger historical concerns and debates: how is the author responding to others in the field?
  2. analyzing how the author constructs her/his argument.
  3. attending to sources and evidence: how does the author correlate his/her argument to the sources? What claims do you think can be made with the adduced evidence?
  4. asking yourself how the author is trying to change the way you think about the topic at hand.

Participation: Everyone is expected to contribute to the discussion each week by expressing a viewpoint about the texts and salient issues, especially in relation to points 1–4 above.Each participant will be asked to make a brief introductory presentation on the readings each week.

Please note that there is reading for the first meeting


Background Texts

  • Patricia Clavin, “Defining Transnationalism”, Contemporary European History 14.4 (2005): 421-439.
  • Patrick Finney, “Introduction: What is International History?,” in idem, ed., International History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), 1-35.Karen Garner, Women and Gender in International History: Theory and Practice (London: Bloomsbury, 2018)
  • Daniel Gorman, International Cooperation in the Early Twentieth Century (London: Bloomsbury, 2017).
  • Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann, “Human Rights and History,” Past and Present 232 (2016): 279-310.
  • Joseph Anthony Maiolo, “Systems and Boundaries in International History,” International History Review 40.3 (2018): 576-591.
  • Kiran Klaus Patel, “An Emperor without Clothes? The Debate about Transnational History Twenty-five Years On,” [email protected] 26 (2015): www.histoire-politique.fr

10 October: Colonialism – Europe in the World

Presentation by Prof Daniel Maul (University of Oslo) on the International Labour Organization (ILO)

  • Radhika Viyas Mongia, Indian Migration and Empire: A Colonial Genealogy of the
  • Modern State (Durham: Duke University Press, 2018), chapter 2.
  • Joseph Morgan Hodge, “Beyond Dependency: North-South Relationships in the Age of Development”, in The Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire, Edited by Martin Thomas and Andrew S. Thompson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), DOI:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198713197.013.34
  • Christopher J. Lee “Anti-Colonialism: Origins, Practices, and Historical Legacies”, in The Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire, Edited by Martin Thomas and Andrew S. Thompson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198713197.013.24

17 October: Imperialism and Internationalism (Sala dei Levrieri)

  • Michele Louro, Comrades against Imperialism: Nehru, India, and Interwar Internationalism (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2018), chapter 1.
  • Torsten Weber, “From Versailles to Shanghai: Pan-Asianist Legacies of the Paris Peace Conference and the Failure of Asianism from Below,” in Urs Matthias Zachmann, ed., Asia after Versailles: Asian Perspectives on the Paris Peace Conference and the Interwar Order, 1919-33 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), 77-97.  
  • Andrew Arsan, “‘He tampers with the source of life itself who tampers with freedom’: Personhood, the state, and the international community in the thought of Charles Malik,” in Simon Jackson and Alanna O’Malley, eds.,The Institution of International Order: From the League of Nations to the United Nations (London: Routledge, 2018), 22-42.

24 October: End of Empire and Postwar Europe

  • Martin Thomas and Andrew S. Thompson, “Rethinking Decolonization: A New Research Agenda for the Twenty-First Century,” in Martin Thomas and Andrew S. Thompson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the End of Empires (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198713197.013.20.
  • James Mark and Quinn Slobodian, “Eastern Europe in the Global History of Decolonization,” in Martin Thomas and Andrew S. Thompson, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the End of Empires (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198713197.013.20.
  • Elisabetta Bini, “Fueling Modernization from the Atlantic to the Third World: Oil and Economic Development in ENI’s International Policies, 1950s-1960s,” in Alain Beltran, Éric Bussière, and Giuliano Garavini, eds., L’Europe et la question énergétique: Les années 1960/80 (Bruxelles: Peter Lang, 2016), 43-61.

31 October: European Integration in international/global context

  • Muriam Haleh Davis, “The Sahara as the ‘Cornerstone’ of Eurafrica: European Integration and Technical Sovereignty seen from the Desert,” Journal of European Integration History 23.1 (2017): 97-112.
  • Wolfram Kaiser and Kiran Klaus Patel, “Multiple connections in European co-operation: international organizations, policy ideas, practices and transfers, 1967-92,” European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire 24.3 (2017): 337-357.
  • Víctor Fernández Soriano, “Facing the Greek junta: the European Community, the Council of Europe and the rise of human-rights politics in Europe,” European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire 24.3 (2017): 358-376.

7 November: International Regimes in the Postwar Period

Introduction by Lola Wilhelm

  • Silvia Salvatici, A history of humanitarianism, 1755-1989: In the name of others (Manchester: Manchester University Press 2019), chapter 5.
  • Iris Borowy, “Science and Technology for Development in a Postcolonial World: Negotiations at the United Nations, 1960-1980,” NTM: Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin 26.1 (2018): 31-62.

14 November: Challenging the Postwar Order

Introduction by Elizabeth Banks

  • Giuliano Garavini, “From Boumedienomics to Reaganomics: Algeria, OPEC and the Struggle for Economic Equality,” Humanity 6.1 (2015): 79-92.
  • James Mark and Tobias Rupprecht, “The Socialist World in Global History: From Absentee to Victim to Co-Producer,” in Matthias Middell, ed., The Practice of Global History: European Perspectives (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 81-114.

21 November: The Age of Fracture, 1970s and 1980s

  • Daniel Rodgers, Age of Fracture (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011), chapter 2.
  • Aurélie Andry, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Haakon A. Ikonomou and Quentin Jouan, “Rethinking European integration history in light of capitalism: the case of the long 1970s,” European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire 26.4 (2019): 553-572, DOI: 10.1080/13507486.2019.1610361
  • Vanni Pettina and Artemy M. Kalinovsky, “From Countryside to Factory: Industrialisation, Social Mobility, and Neoliberalism in Soviet Central Asia and Mexico,” Journal für Entwicklungspolitik 33.3 (2017): 91-118.

28 November: The End of the Cold War and 1989

Introduction by Federico Romero

  • Fritz Bartel, “The power of omission: The IMF and the democratic transitions in Poland and Hungary,” in Bernhard Blumenau, Jussi M. Hanhimäki, and Barbara Zanchetta, eds., New Perspectives on the End of the Cold War: Unexpected Transformations? (New York: Routledge, 2018), 200-220.
  • Charles S. Maier, “Thirty Years After: The End of European Communism in Historical Perspective,” in Juliane Fürst, Silvio Pons, and Mark Selden, eds., The Cambridge History of Communism, vol. III (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017). 

5 December: The World since the 1990s

  • Iván T. Berend, From the Soviet Bloc to the European Union: The Economic and Social Transformation of Central and Eastern Europe Since 1973 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009), chapter 6.
  • Eleni Braat and Pepijn Corduwener, “Introduction. 1989 and the West: Revisiting the Cold War victory narrative”, in Eleni Braat and Pepijn Corduwener (eds.), 1989 and the West (New York; London: Routledge, 2019).
  • Odd Arne Westad, The cold war: a world history (New York: Basic Books, 2017), Epilogue.

12 December: General discussion





Page last updated on 16 October 2019