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Call for Papers - Multiple Connections in Postwar European Cooperation: International Organizations, Policy Ideas, Practices and Transfers

Organized by the Research College (KFG) “The Transformative Power of Europe”, Freie Universität Berlin and University of Portsmouth (January 29-31, 2015)

News from Mar 25, 2014

Deadline: April 27, 2014

Professor Wolfram Kaiser
University of Portsmouth/FU Berlin

Historical research on European integration (narrowly conceived) since 1945 has largely concentrated on the trajectory of the present-day European Union. Its ‘progress’ has frequently been interpreted in a teleological manner. But multiple existing and new transnational voluntary and international organizations have shaped cross-border cooperation since 1945: from those focused on one sector and regulating technical standards to global organizations with broader scope such as the UNECE, the OEEC and the Council of Europe. They had different spatial scope including pan-European organizations like the UNECE. Some focused more on policy deliberation and agenda-setting while others set norms and standards or developed common policies with redistributive implications. Multiple connections developed among such organizations, which were sometimes formalized and more often informal, managed by individual policy entrepreneurs and networks of government officials and industry experts, for example. These organizations’ relations, including the ECSC and the EEC, were characterized by sometimes intense competition as well as collaboration involving policy learning and the transfer of ideas and practices.

Contributions to this conference should take a historical perspective on the period from 1945 through to the 1990s, or part thereof, and must be based on fresh research. They should focus on the multiple connections, competition and collaboration among different organizations fostering European cooperation. Within such a larger perspective, they should ideally address the particular role of the present-day European Union and its predecessors, their institutional links and activities in receiving, transforming and promoting policy ideas and practices. Papers can focus on different sets of organizations and actors (e.g. networks of experts or advocacy coalitions initiated and managed by international NGOs), policy fields and time-periods. They can also cover cooperation in Eastern as well as Western Europe, although they need to be attentive to any connections with the EU and its predecessors. In general, we focus on questions of governance, and not on intellectuals or general economic and political trends. We particularly welcome papers informed by theoretical/methodological discussions in related disciplines, e.g. political science.

This conference is part of the activities of the KFG ‘The Transformative Power of Europe’, directed by professors Thomas Risse and Tanja Börzel. The KFG examines the role of the EU and of European international organizations more broadly as promoters and recipients of ideas, analyzing the mechanisms and effects of multiple connections and exchange processes. For the KFG, see http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/en/v/transformeurope/.

Following upon another conference focused on hidden continuities in European cooperation across the Second World War, this conference aims to rethink the KFG’s agenda by de-centering the role of the EU in European cooperation since 1945 and by considering it as a site for receiving, transforming as well as promoting ideas and practices from and to other international organizations, states and international NGOs. It is organized by Professor Wolfram Kaiser (KFG/University of Portsmouth) in cooperation with Professor Kiran Klaus Patel (KFG/Maastricht University). It will take place in Berlin. The KFG will cover accommodation for two nights in the conference hotel and reasonable travel costs.

The deadline for paper proposals is 27 April 2014. Please send your proposal (abstract in English of no more than 300 words and short CV) to Wolfram Kaiser at Wolfram.Kaiser@port.ac.uk. Successful applicants will be informed by 15 May or shortly thereafter.