Romanian Lands and International Crises: The Dynamics of the Military Occupations (1769-1918) - Theoretical Frameworks, Regional, Comparative, and International Perspectives

Mihuţ Cosmin's picture
December 2, 2021 to December 3, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Borderlands, Diplomacy and International Relations, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Military History, Modern European History / Studies

This online workshop will be organized in the framework of the research project entitled Romanian Lands and International Crises: The Dynamics of the Military Occupations (1769-1918)/ Spațiul românesc și crizele internaționale: Dinamica ocupațiilor militare (1769-1918), web site: . It is funded by a grant of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitization, CNCS/CCCDI – UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P4-ID-PCE-2020-1868, within PNCDI III, Romania. It aims at analysing the place of Moldavia and Wallachia (independent Romania from 1878) in the international system in the context of several regional and full-scale international crises. It privileges the perspective of the military occupations in dissecting the Romanian past. It focuses furthermore on the centre-periphery relations in order to understand the evolutions of Central-Eastern Europe in imperial and national context for the time framework chosen for this exploration. Military occupations have usually been regarded as consequences of war. However, there is a great variety of military occupations and there is a lack of consensus among scholars on defining them. Distinguishing clear features of such civilian-military interactions is not always an easy task. The 1907 Hague Regulations still offer a down-to-earth description of what military occupations are: ‘territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army’ (article 42). Most of the military occupations fall into two major categories: firstly, wartime and post-war military occupations and secondly, peacetime occupations. The case of all military occupations of Moldavia and Wallachia (independent Romania after 1878) makes no exception from this minimalist conceptualisation. The two principalities have been occupied seven times by Russian, Austrian or Ottoman forces simultaneously, separately or in combined actions (1769-1774; 1787-1792; 1806-1812; 1821; 1828-1834; 1848-1851; 1853-1857). A large proportion of Romania’s territory has been occupied by a German led coalition from 1916 to 1918. The justifications given by each of the international actors involved were mixed and depended on a variety of factors. All these military occupations were related to the rivalry among great powers (more specifically, to the so-called Eastern Question and to the geopolitics of the First World War). This opening workshop invites contributions unveiling the complexity of the topic and looks towards a more comparative understanding of it on various different layers such as, for instance, regional, international, as well as theoretical.

Communications can focus on the following subjects, but they are not limited to:

East-Central Europe in the theories of peace and war in modern times; the rivalry among great powers and the ’Eastern Question’; empires and modernity in peripheral societies during conflict; political and social relations between occupiers and occupants; perceptions of occupations in press and political milieus; empire builders and civilising missions; comparative approaches on different military occupations in Ottoman context; intermediary regions and the emergence of South-Eastern Europe as a subsystem of international relations; resistance to imperial legal and political practices; study cases relevant to the topic, local or regional; national ambitions and military occupations.

Practical information:

This is an exploratory online workshop that aims at putting forward a preliminary perspective on the subject. It focusses on integrating the Romanian past into a broader regional and international context. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. Paper proposals should be accompanied by a short CV and will have to be sent until 24th of November 2021. The workshop will be held virtually on the 2nd and 3rd of December 2021. The languages used for this meeting will be English, French, and Romanian (in exceptional cases).

Contact Info: 

Paper proposals should be accompanied by a short CV and will have to be sent to Gabriel Leanca, PhD, Associate Professor and Project Director (; or to Cosmin Mihuț, PhD, Researcher ( until 24th of November 2021.

Contact Email: