Conference: Liberal-(Il)liberal-Internationalisms. New Paradigms for the History of the Twentieth Century (7. – 9. 12. 2016)

Internationalisms_BildIn the first decades of the twenty-first century, scholars of internationalisms are opening up new areas of historical research, probing older stories of imperial and national pasts, reconnecting state and non-state actors and institutions, and moving historical narratives past the simple identification of internationalism as communist or socialist. At the same time, new histories of ‘liberal’ internationalisms are often cordoned off from socialist and other non-liberal internationalisms, occluding the overlapping and interconnected nature of political approaches to the international in the twentieth century.

This workshop will probe the ideological complexities at the core of these twentieth-century histories. It will decentre the specifically liberal and illiberal ascriptions of internationalisms, in order to ask:

Where do the boundaries between these internationalisms lie? How do we engage the normativity of these fields? What can comparisons between different internationalisms tell us about ‘the international’ as a field of political action that defied traditional political boundaries in the twentieth century? How have historians mobilised terms such as liberal and illiberal in relation to internationalism and is it possible (or necessary) to move beyond them? Ultimately we anticipate the workshop will encourage the problematization and even breaking down of the binaries that currently frame the study of internationalisms.

The workshop begins with a keynote lecture by Alison Frank Johnson on Wednesday, December 7, at 18.00 in the Aula in Court 1 of the Campus of the University of Vienna (Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna). The panel sessions on December 8 and 9 will take place at the Vorwärts-Haus, the seat of the Society for the History of the Workers’ Movement (Verein für Geschichte der ArbeiterInnenbewegung), at Rechte Wienzeile 97, 1050 Vienna. The event is organized jointly by Philippa Hetherington of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at University College London, Peter Becker of the Institute of Austrian Historical Research, and Glenda Sluga and Natasha Wheatley of the Laureate Research Program in International History at the University of Sydney.

The full programme in PDF format is available here.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016


Public Keynote Lecture

Alison Frank Johnson (Harvard University): German Chemists, Austrian Sailors, and the Cocaine Epidemic in India, 1908–1914


Thursday, 8 December 2016






Philippa Hetherington (UCL): Introduction


Panel One: Social Policy

Chair: Madeleine Dungy  / Discussant: Glenda Sluga

Dora Vargha (University of Exeter): Out of the World Health Organization: Eastern European International Health in the 1950s

Phillip Wagner (Bielefeld University): Intersections of the Political and the Professional. Languages of Expert Internationalism in Interwar Europe and America

Susan Zimmermann (Central European University): Equality of Women’s Economic Status? A Weighty Bone of Contention in Global Gender Governance Emerging in the Interwar Period

Coffee break


Panel Two: Cold War

Chair: James Mark  / Discussant: Wolfgang Mueller

Timothy Nunan (Harvard University): Shi’a Islamist Internationalisms in a Cold War World

Ljubica Spaskovska (University of Exeter): ‘The moment when everything seemed possible’ – the 1963 Skopje Earthquake and the Role of the UN in Co-producing Visions of Development and International Solidarity

Joshua Sanborn (Lafayette College): Cold War Internationalism: Ethereal and Corporeal

Lunch break


Panel Three: Decolonization

Chair: Alessandro Iandolo  / Discussant: Natasha Wheatley

Paul Betts (University of Oxford): Socialist Internationalism, Africa, and Rights: Reconsidering Second-Third World Relations in the Wake of Decolonization

Alanna O’Malley (Leiden University): Shifting Internationalisms: The Impact of the Global South and Changing Visions of the International Order at the United Nations from 1958–1970

Coffee break

Carolien Stolte (Leiden University): The People’s Bandung. Re-reading Anti-imperialist Mobilization across 1950s Afro-Asia

Anne-Isabelle Richard (Leiden University): Taking Liberal Europeanism Literally. African Politicians Using European Cooperation to Secure African Rights


Conference dinner


Friday, 9 December 2016


Panel Four: Boundary Questions

Chair: Peter Becker  / Discussant: Philippa Hetherington

Abigail Green (University of Oxford): Liberals, Socialists, Internationalists, Jews

Dave Petruccelli (Diplomatic Academy, Vienna): Was the League of Nations Liberal Internationalist?

Coffee break

Sandrine Kott (Geneva University): Liberal and Illiberal Social Internationalisms

Madeleine Herren-Oesch (University of Basel): Crossing the Lines: Repatriation of Internationalists during World War II

Lunch break


Closing Panel


Sites of Memory Discussion: the book; abstracts; writing workshop

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Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung (2016, 18. November). Conference: Liberal-(Il)liberal-Internationalisms. New Paradigms for the History of the Twentieth Century (7. – 9. 12. 2016). BIÖG. Abgerufen am 23. Februar 2024, von

Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung

Das Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung mit Sitz in Wien ist eine international anerkannte Forschungs- und Ausbildungsstätte für Methodenlehre und Pflege der historischen Hilfswissenschaften (Paläographie, Urkundenlehre, Aktenkunde, Quellenkunde etc.) in ihrem kulturgeschichtlichen Kontext. – Die Blogbeiträge dieses Accounts werden, soweit nicht anders ausgewiesen, von Stephanie Rainer erstellt.

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  1. 06/12/2016

    […] Zusammenhang mit der internationalen Tagung „Liberal-(Il)liberal-Internationalisms. New Paradigms for the History of the Twentieth Century“ findet am 7. Dezember 2016 der Archivworkshop „Quellen zur Geschichte des […]

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