Home

Democracy in the EU: the European ideal as a straitjacket? #phdthesis

In this blog post, Koen van Zon tells us more about his PhD thesis Assembly Required. Institutionalising Representation in the European Communities (Radboud University Nijmegen, February 2020).

It is commonplace in politics, media and academia to portray the European Union (EU) as a technocracy, run by a faceless elite of rule-obsessed busybodies. Scholars and journalists have shown time and again that this image does not account for the member states, for no European laws get passed without them. Yet, the image of the EU as an undemocratic organisation persists, which also raises the question where this leaves the EU’s ‘democratic’ institutions, such as the European Parliament. Why have the institutions which represent popular interests at the European level not been able to fundamentally challenge the technocratic nature of the EU?

Piracy, Security and the Remaking of the Mediterranean #phdthesis

In this blog post, Erik de Lange tells us more about his PhD thesis Menacing tides (Utrecht University, February 2020).

“Our present predicament of omnipresent uncertainty, sudden twists of fate and the sense that a serious menace looms somewhere beyond our reach make it all the more understandable what seafaring people and coastal communities fear most about piracy – both in the present and the past.”

Call for Papers | PhD Workshop 2020

Internationalism in the (long) Twentieth Century

Organized by PhD students from Humboldt University and Free University Berlin, this interdisciplinary PhD workshop explores the histories of internationalisms in the long 20th century. Due to the current situation the deadline for abstracts is extended to 30 april 2020. The workshop takes place 21-23 October 2020 in Berlin.

The international history of the twentieth century was long viewed primarily through the lens of nation-states, their foreign policies, and international institutions. In recent years, however, this focus has shifted. Exciting new scholarship now moves beyond the ‘national’, centering for instance on internationalisms in world socialist theory and practice or anti-colonial internationalisms of the Bandung era. Historians have also turned to transnational and transimperial women’s and anarchist networks, global peace movements, and trans-state intercultural structures of the ‘world religions’, to name but a few. As such, they started to unearth a plethora of political imaginaries of the international sphere that flourished both alongside and in competition with nationalism and imperialism.

Call for Papers | International APH Conference 2020

Layers and Connections of the Political

This conference has been cancelled due to the circumstances regarding Covid-19.

Politics has changed a lot, in the last half-century – and so has political history. The boundaries of the political have been redrawn. The large social and political bodies of the mid-twentieth century have grown weaker or have dissolved. Public institutions have become both less insulated from society and less effective in controlling and guiding it. Therefore, defining what is political has become more difficult. Political historians have confronted this challenge, and in the process have gained a deeper understanding of their object of study, have enlarged their scope and refined their methodologies, and have entered into closer dialogue with the “other” histories and the social sciences.

The Ideal of Parliament in Europa #newbook

Remieg Aerts, Carla van Baalen, Henk te Velde, Margit van der Steen and Marie-Luise Recker (eds.), The Ideal of Parliament in Europe since 1800 (2019)

This edited collection explores the perceptions and memories of parliamentarianism across Europe, examining the complex ideal of parliament since 1800. Parliament has become the key institution in modern democracy, and the chapters present the evolution of the ideal of parliament as an institution. It is considered both as a guiding concept, a Leitidee, as well as an ideal, an Idealtypus. The volume is split into three sections. The establishment of parliament in the nineteenth century and the transfer of parliamentary ideals, models and practices are described in the first section, based on the British and French models. The second part explores how the high expectations of parliamentary democracy in newly-established states after the First World War gradually started to subside into dissatisfaction. Finally, the last section attests to the ideal of parliament and its power to incorporate criticism. Examining the history of parliament through concepts and ideals, this book traces a transnational, European exchange of models, routines and discourse.

Entering diplomacy through the archive: Changing from academia to the Foreign Office #career

The entrance of the Auswärtiges Amt, Berlin

In this blog post, dr. Daniel Stinsky tells us more about his shift from a PhD in Political History to a career in the Foreign Office in Berlin.