Springe direkt zu Inhalt

Call for Papers: "From Empires to Empire? European Integration in Global Context, 1950s to 1990s."

Dec 03, 2015

Call for Papers

Call for Papers

KFG Senior Fellows Wolfram Kaiser and Kiran Patel are organizing an international conference to take place in Berlin in April 2016. This conference will explore continuities in European Empire traditions in the internal operations and external relations of the present-day European Union in historical perspective focusing on the period up to the early 1990s. It will inter alia address the EU’s global promotion of regional integration.

Call for Papers


From Empires to Empire?

European Integration in Global Context, 1950s to 1990s


Organized by the Research College (KFG) “The Transformative Power of Europe”, Free University of Berlin, and the universities of Portsmouth and Maastricht


7-9 April, 2016

Deadline: 20 December, 2015



Prof. Wolfram Kaiser, University of Portsmouth/FU Berlin, Wolfram.Kaiser@port.ac.uk;

Prof. Kiran Klaus Patel, University of Maastricht/FU Berlin, K.Patel@maastrichtuniversity.nl


Historical research on European integration in the present-day EU since 1945 has largely focused on Western European actors, domestic motives, and policies. It has only begun to explore connections between Empire, decolonization, and European integration, and continuities from national Empires into the EC as in its development aid policy. At the same time, as Jan Zielonka has recently argued, the EC/EU itself has displayed some traits of Empire, for example in the use of human rights conditionality in its foreign and trade policy or the relations with its ‘near abroad’ in the European Neighbourhood Policy.

This conference aims to explore the connections between national Empires and European integration in post-war Western Europe, and to what extent the EC adopted practices of quasi-imperial rule in its external relations, with a main focus on the period between the 1950 Schuman Plan and the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to, Empire and the end of Empire as a motivation for (forms of) European integration or opposition to membership (as in the case of the UK); their impact on ‘core Europe’ organizations, in the form of policies (e.g. investment fund), people (elites engaged in European policy-making at the national level or in new EC institutions) and practices (e.g. aid projects); and quasi-imperial traits of the EC’s own developing external relations, in the form of ideas about Europe’s place the world economy and global politics, the policies and practices of the EC and its member-states in and towards other international organizations (e.g. GATT, IMF, OECD, EFTA); the EC’s enlargement and association policies and processes, and its relations with ACP (Youndé/Lomé) and other developing countries. Contributions to this conference should take a historical perspective on the period from 1950 through to the 1990s, or part thereof, and must be based on fresh research. Where relevant, they can and should of course bring out continuities and discontinuities until the present day. We particularly welcome papers that bring in non-European perspectives.

This conference is part of the activities of the KFG ‘The Transformative Power of Europe’, directed by Prof. Dr. Thomas Risse and Prof. Dr. Tanja A. Börzel. The KFG examines the role of the EU and of European international organizations more broadly as promoters and recipients of ideas and practices, analyzing the mechanisms and effects of multiple connections and exchange processes. For further information on the KFG click here.

Following upon a series of conferences on continuities in European cooperation across the Second World War and the present-day EU’s conflictual and cooperative relations with other international organizations since 1945, this conference aims to explore the connections between Empire, decolonization, and European integration, enquiring whether and in what ways the present-day EU developed imperial traits in its own external relations. It is organized by Professor Wolfram Kaiser (KFG/University of Portsmouth) and Professor Kiran Klaus Patel (KFG/Maastricht University) and will take place in Berlin, Germany. The KFG will cover accommodation for two nights (three for participants from outside Europe) in the conference hotel and reasonable travel costs.

The deadline for paper proposals is 20 December 2015. Please send your proposal (abstract in English of no more than 300 words and short CV) simultaneously to Wolfram Kaiser at Wolfram.Kaiser@port.ac.uk and Kiran Patel at k.patel@maastrichtuniversity.nl. Successful applicants will be informed by 10 January 2016 or shortly thereafter. The conference language will be English.