Helsinki 1975: Détente and Human Rights in the CSCE Process

New IEG open access publication “On site, in time”Bernhard Gißibl’s entry on the CSCE process.

“On site, in time” takes a look at events that took place in European locations and that exemplify how difference and inequality were negotiated in Europe.The 60 articles depict strategies that were developed to promote, present, preserve, mitigate or abolish difference. Such strategies may include discussions, peaceful solutions and aid as well migration, mission and protest or even exclusion, war and destruction.

Cross-posted from: http://en.ieg-differences.eu/on-site-in-time/bernhard-gissibl-helsinki/

Conference diplomacy and the CSCE process (constellations)

In the history of international conference diplomacy, Helsinki symbolizes détente, cooperation, and human rights during the Cold War. The reason for this is the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), whose Final Act was signed in Helsinki’s Finlandia Hall on August 1st, 1975 by the leaders of 33 European states, the USA, and Canada.

Helmut Schmidt, Erich Honecker, Gerald Ford and Bruno Kreisky at the CSCE Summit in 1975 in Helsinki, Finland.

This initiated a dialogue and negotiation process on confidence-building measures and principles between the blocs of the Cold War, which was designated the CSCE or “Helsinki process”. At the same time, the conference location signifies the role that neutral and non-aligned countries played as catalysts, facilitators and – in the case of Finland – as intermediaries of the security conference.

Cold War and détente in Europe (differences)

The CSCE conference had its roots in the superpowers’ efforts to ease tensions in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. By the early 1970s, conditions had changed: NATO had adopted a new strategy of easing tensions (“détente”), while the Federal Republic of Germany had concluded the Eastern treaties and recognized the GDR. In July 1973, the foreign ministers of all 33 European countries (with the exception Albania), as well as the USA and Canada, were able to begin with preliminary negotiations on security and cooperation in Europe. Continue reading

Political Mobilisation in the Early-Twentieth Century

Special issue of Immigrants & Minorities on “Homelands and Hostlands: The Spatial Dynamics of Political Mobilisation”

This special issue edited by Eveline G. Bouwers (Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz) and Niall Whelehan (University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) considers the categories of ‘homeland’ and ‘hostland’ as a means to approach questions of identity, loyalty and estrangement that both inspired and shaped political mobilisation in the early twentieth century world. During these years the advance of the global went hand in hand with a renaissance of the particular. Within this context of both high mobility and increasing localism, the articles in this special issue consider the importance of spatial perspectives in understanding how people and communities are moved to action by grievances, frustrations and loyalties.

Drawing on rich archival detail, each article considers different case studies that highlight diverse forms of politicisation and provide new insights into how communities negotiated questions of boundaries and space, and how the juxtaposition of homeland and hostland shaped their thinking. They show that, in an era of high mobility and increasing localism, political mobilisation was intimately connected with questions of space, making both use of it yet also depending on it.

Table of contents:

Eveline G. Bouwers & Niall Whelehan, Introduction: The Importance of Space for Understanding Political Mobilisation.

Eveline G. Bouwers, Challenging de Republic from the Provinces: An Analysis of Crowd Action after the Separation Law (1905).

Pietro Di Paola, ‘Capturing Anarchists Across Borders’: The Transnational Dimensions of Italian Antimilitarist Campaigns, 1911-14.

Elisabeth Marie Piller, To Aid the Fatherland. German-Americans, Transatlantic Relief Work and American Neutrality, 1914-17.

John Cunningham, Tom Glynn and ‘Pickhandle Mary’ Fitzgerald: Two Irish Syndicalists in Pre-World War One South Africa.

Rebecca Ayako Bennette, Remapping the German Homeland: Germania and Catholic Efforts to Mobilise Continued Support during the First World War.

CROSS-files: New Blog of ICRC Archives

Cross-posted from https://hhr.hypotheses.org/

The Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva has created the new blog CROSS-files! This blog aims at promoting the contents of the rich audiovisual archives, library collections, general archives and what the ICRC calls the “Agency Archives”. This great collection of books, sound recordings, films, videos and photos illustrate and document the activities of the ICRC from the end of the 19th century up to the present day. These archives and library have been continually expanded over more than 150 years and today represent a significant heritage in the field of humanitarian law and action. It is a fantastic resource for all researchers working in the entangled fields of the history of humanitarianism and peace and conflict studies!

Furthermore, there is also the new ICRC Archives facebook account, where you can find additional material regarding the archives.

Enjoy exploring the rich history of the International Committee of the Red Cross and its archives!

Europe Across Borders

The blog Europe Across Borders is a forum for historical research on Europe across borders from around 1500 to the present. It advances historical knowledge in present scholarly and public debates.

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The blog posts cross and reflect boundaries not merely between nation states or cultures but also between social, economic, religious, ethnic, gender, and other entities. The blog thus fosters research on the dynamics in Europe from the early modern period into the twentieth century and the immediate past. The blog is open to a broad variety of topics, both with regard to methodological approaches and fields of research. Methodologically, it brings together approaches such as comparative studies, the study of transfer processes and entanglements, the histoire croisée, or international, imperial and global history. Beyond that, the blog takes up all fields of cultural, political, social, economic, environmental and intellectual history throughout Europe in the modern period. It is especially interested in providing a fresh picture on Europe’s place in a globalising world. Continue reading