CFP: Liberal-Illiberal-Internationalisms (Vienna, 8-9 December 2016)

Philippa Hetherington's picture


New Paradigms for the History of the Twentieth Century


December 8-9, 2016
Vienna, Austria

Organizers: Dr. Philippa Hetherington (UCL); Prof. Peter Becker (Vienna); Prof. Glenda Sluga (Sydney); Dr. Natasha Wheatley (Sydney).

In 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. We are interested in a variety of approaches to the conference theme, including intellectual, social, cultural and institutional methodologies. We are inviting papers that focus on the political content of internationalisms, the intersecting histories of liberal, socialist and other non-liberal internationalisms, and the connections between the institutions and ideologies of twentieth century internationalisms. Papers that cover geographical areas beyond Europe, as well as the diversity of experiences within East and West Europe are particularly welcome. 

If you are interested in presenting or participating in our workshop, with an edited volume in view, please forward an abstract of 300-600 words and a brief cv/bio to Birgit Aubrunner ( and Martin King ( by Thursday 31 March, 2016.

Co-organized with Institute for Austrian History, University of Vienna, Laureate Research Program in International History, University of Sydney; and School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL.

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Categories: CFP