Universiteit Leiden

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Research programme

History and International Studies 1900-Present

The research programme History and International Studies 1900-Present addresses the interconnections and interdependence of contemporary global political, economic and cultural affairs from a multidisciplinary perspective rooted in the humanities.

Alanna O'Malley

Our research is grounded in historical and regional contexts, taking a wide perspective towards a broad range of theories and concepts. Our time frame is flexible, but we mostly focus on the contemporary, post-World War II era. We value regional and linguistic expertise. Our researchers investigate issues and topics by synthesising contributions from different disciplines, particularly history, area studies, and international studies broadly defined. By doing so, we both emphasise the international dimension to historical and area studies research and develop variously a comparative, transnational and global dimension to our individual and collective research.

Three main realms

The group's interests cover three specific themes. Firstly, researchers investigate the process and history of European integration. We study this topic from a variety of disciplinary approaches (history, law, politics, and international relations) and at various administrative levels (the national state, the European polity, and the wider regional and global perspective). Secondly, researchers are particularly interested in the ideational aspects of global political and international relations. We study ideas and conceptual beliefs (agency, equality, internationalism, legitimacy, nationalism, sovereignty) and how they influence international relations and global politics. Thirdly, researchers study specific aspects of international history and relations such as diplomacy, security, culture, and political economy. Our research is marked by a focus on a variety of regions and actors, particularly non-state actors and international organisations. Even when researching the European arena, we are conscious of non-Western actors, institutions and perspectives and use this to inform the innovative approaches and methods used in the research of this section.

Beyond traditional borders

Researchers in this programme are aware of the diverging traditions and paradigms of history and international studies and strive to cross boundaries so that these disciplines may be connected to one another. Global politics is shaped by an often unpredictable, contingent combination of actors and circumstances that need to be understood in their wider historical context. Our researchers study historical epistemologies, challenge dominant historiographies, and identify and interrogate hypotheses that shape understandings of the past and inform how to harness historical experiences to inform today’s global political developments.

Within the Leiden University Institute for History

The research programme History and International Studies 1900-present can be distinguished from other programmes in the Institute for History by its multi-disciplinary nature, its focus on international studies and global politics rather than on the connection between domestic politics and culture, and its focus on the contemporary world.

Related research

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