Europeanization, What Else?! Ideas and Practices Since the 18th Century

Florian Greiner's picture
Call for Papers
July 31, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, European History / Studies, Intellectual History, Modern European History / Studies, Political History / Studies

Location: Graz

Organizer: Department of Legal History and the Development of European Law (University of Graz); Research Network on the History of the Idea of Europe (University of East Anglia)

Application Deadline: 31.05.2018


Prof. Dr. Anita Ziegerhofer (University of Graz), Dr. Peter Pichler (Graz), Dr. Florian Greiner (University of Augsburg), Dr. Jan Vermeiren (University of East Anglia)


At present there is certainly no dearth of conferences, anthologies and overviews dedicated to the topic of Europeanization. On the contrary, we see a level of research intensity that appears to be keeping pace with the present EU crisis. In the search to find explanations for the Brexit, for neo-nationalism, for the structural weaknesses and democratic deficiencies of supra-national governance in Europe historiography, too, did recognize Europeanization as a core process of recent European history. Nevertheless, there is still a striking paucity not only of case studies, but also of conceptual clarity in regard to the research paradigm of “Europeanization”.

The tenth annual conference of the Research Network on the History of the Idea of Europe, hosted by the Institut für Rechtswissenschaftliche Grundlagen (Institute of the Foundations of Law) in the Fachbereich Rechtsgeschichte und Europäische Rechtsentwicklung (Department of Legal History and the Development of European Law) at University of Graz, plans to compile a list of empirical building blocks of the history of Europeanization and to work on improving definitional clarity as well. Specifically, the conference will explore how ideas of Europe and processes of integration in the sense of Europeanization from the 18th century until the recent past were intertwined – always keeping in mind that such processes can be accompanied, slowed down or displaced by counter-processes of disentanglement and disintegration. By focusing on the practices and agents of Europeanization, the conference will strive to join those aspects of European studies concerned respectively with the history of ideas and the history of praxeology/integration, fields that had previously stood apart from one another in too many cases.

The themes listed below are the most relevant, but not necessarily to the exclusion of others:

1.) Theory/ies of Europeanization: We are interested in receiving programmatic contributions that outline the phenomenon of Europeanization as a historiographical object of research. It would be particularly productive to question the relationship between historiographical European research and other disciplines within the humanities, legal and social sciences.

2.) On the empirical level, agents, places and arenas of Europeanization must be highlighted: In addition to papers dealing with aspects of the supranational, political unification of Europe, proposals touching other fields would be especially welcome, e.g.: How can one chronicle a history of Europeanization within economics, law, civil society, sports, infrastructure, the media as well as gender relations from the 18th century onward? How do actors in these fields react to respective processes of change? Which alternate European spaces beyond the EU were created by moments of Europeanization? Which internal borders have been drawn by Europeanization, for example with regard to the unequal development of Western and Eastern Europe after 1945 as a consequence of the Cold War?

3.) Especially relevant for the conference are analyses of the collaboration and interrelation between ideas and practices of Europeanization. Hitherto scholars concerned with the history of European ideas have often failed to research the connection between growing structural consolidation in Europe and Europe-related interpretations adequately. Have European thinkers actively advanced European integration, and if so, how, when and why? Conversely, has the increasing structural consolidation of Europe supported pan-European thought structures and greater European consciousness, or has it sometimes triggered the exact opposite? How does Europeanization relate to other spatial concepts like “region” and “nation” and to other transformational, society-impacting processes like internationalization and globalization?

4.) A fourth set of themes shall address the experiential sphere of Europeanization. How have aspects of Europeanization influenced the circumstances and daily life of Europeans since the 18th century? Did they help to form a common realm of experience within the regions and nations of Europe, and if so, what did it look like? Have facets of Europeanization facilitated the creation of a collective European identity, and what are its reference points and limits?

Please send your proposals (max. 300 words, with a title and a short biography) to before 31st May 2018. Applicants will be notified if their contribution has been accepted by 31st July 2018. Please note that interdisciplinary contributions are welcome in principle, but the focus of the conference will be on historical approaches and perspectives across a broad methodological spectrum (e.g. cultural and social history; the histories of ideas, law, economics, technology and sports). Depending on conference funding, the organizers aim to (partly) cover costs for accommodation and travel for invited speakers without institutional resources. Those concerned will be informed as soon as possible.

Contact Info: 

Florian Greiner, University of Augsburg