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Du local au global

2. séminaire spécialisé | The Left and the International Arena

2. séminaire spécialisé | The Left and the International Arena


Since the birth of the European labour movement, the international dimension has been crucial to the definition of the political and economic outlook of left-wing organizations. To the tendency of capitalism to extend its influence and field of action beyond state borders, socialist theorists and leaders responded with the prospect of an international alliance of workers. Throughout the 20th century, the Left’s perspective on these problems has constantly evolved. The international organization of politics, society and the economy has represented a key variable in the ideological developments of left-wing parties and movements, whether in government or in opposition, in phases of development or crisis, in times of peace or war. It influenced their splits as well as their search for alliances, partnerships or models across national borders.

This seminar proposes to explore the history of the socialist, social-democratic and communist political families by looking at their international and transnational relations. Combining different focuses and approaches, the seminar will try to analyse political history in a larger international perspective, and to emphasize the importance of international and transnational relations in shaping national and regional political cultures. This framework can help us understand crucial aspects of the history of socialism and communism, and clarify present-day political developments. In spite of diverging attitudes vis-à-vis the globalization process, the tension between the national dimension of politics and the global dimension of the economy is in fact a major component of the current ‘structural’ crisis of the Left, both in Europe and worldwide.

The seminar will focus on three main fields of research:
a) The formation of networks and the circulation of information, actors, experiences and expertise within and between the socialist and communist movements, on different scales and with different approaches and geographical focuses (European and Transatlantic as well as East-West, North-South and South-South). This includes the alternative projects of various political currents in their struggles for ideological hegemony.
b) The Left and foreign policy: the elaboration of foreign policy programmes by left-wing parties and organizations; the foreign policy initiatives of socialist and communist governments; the development of a ‘parallel foreign policy’ by left-wing forces in opposition.
c) The relations that the Left developed with international, supranational and intergovernmental organizations, both those that aimed at reforming capitalism and/or the international order (as, for instance, the League of Nations, the International Labour Organization, the United Nations or the European Union) and those that aimed at challenging them and structuring a global alternative (as in the case of the Comintern or of other organizations born in the Communist world during the postwar years).

 

Le séminaire s’articulera autour de trois axes principaux :
a) L’internationalisme et le transnationalisme des gauches : il s’agira d’analyser la création de convergences et d’alliances, la formation de réseaux et la circulation d’informations, acteurs, expériences et expertises dans les mouvements socialistes et communistes, soit au sein de la même famille politique soit entre ces familles, à différentes échelles et en variant au maximum les angles d’approche et les espaces géographiques (européens et atlantiques, mais aussi Est-Ouest, Nord-Sud et Sud-Sud). Il s’agira également de prendre en compte les projets alternatifs portés par les différents courants dans leurs luttes pour l’hégémonie idéologique sur la gauche.

b) La prise en charge par les gauches de gouvernement (sous un régime démocratique ou communiste) d’une véritable politique étrangère, ainsi que le processus de fabrication d’un programme de politique étrangère, ou bien encore la mise en œuvre d’une « politique étrangère parallèle » par les partis et les mouvements socialistes et communistes lorsqu’ils se situent dans l’opposition.

c) Les relations développées par les gauches avec les organisations internationales, supranationales et intergouvernementales, que celles-ci visent à réformer le capitalisme et/ou l’ordre international (la Société des Nations, le Bureau International du Travail, l’ONU et l’Union Européenne en constituent des exemples probants) ou qu’elles leur lancent un défi global (c’est le cas notamment du Komintern ainsi que d’autres organisations créées dans l’après-guerre au sein des mondes communistes).

2. Séminaire spécialisé | Mondes communistes/mondes soviétiques : vers une histoire globale

2. Séminaire spécialisé | Mondes communistes/mondes soviétiques : vers une histoire globale


L’histoire mondiale du XXe siècle aurait été différente sans l’expérience soviétique qui naît de la déstabilisation de l’Empire russe dans la guerre et la révolution durant les années 1905-1918. A l’inverse, l’histoire de la Russie au XXe siècle ne peut s’écrire sans l’idée communiste, produit du mouvement ouvrier européen. Si les mondes soviétiques et communistes, qui ont pu dominer l’histoire politique, sociale et culturelle à certains moments du XXe siècle, notamment après 1945, ont depuis disparu, discrédités et vaincus, véritable impasse de notre histoire contemporaine, notre séminaire a le projet de faire l’histoire de cette alternative à la fois géopolitique, idéologique et spatiale et de ses impacts internes et externes.

Doctoral and research seminar / Histoire de l'Europe : un devoir d'inventaire

Doctoral and research seminar / Histoire de l'Europe : un devoir d'inventaire


Ces vingt dernières années, l’historiographie sur l’Europe du XIXe et XXe siècles s’est profondément transformée. Grâce au développement des approches comparées, de l’étude des transferts culturels et de l’histoire transnationale, se sont multipliées des recherches qui transcendent le cadre classique d’une histoire européenne vue à travers le seul prisme des sociétés nationales. De plus, l’intégration des perspectives « post-coloniales » a contribué à « provincialiser » l’histoire du continent dans le cadre d’une « histoire monde ». En outre, avec la réunification du continent après 1989 et le débat sur l’appartenance de la Turquie et de la Russie à l’espace culturel et politique européen ou encore avec les actuelles discussions sur l’union monétaire, le cadre politique et social dans lequel s’écrit l’histoire de l’Europe a considérablement changé et laisse place à de nouvelles approches et de nouvelles interrogations complétant (et parfois mettant en cause) ainsi les approches plus classiques de l’histoire de l’intégration européenne.


Devant cette situation, un « devoir d’inventaire » semble s’imposer pour l’histoire européenne afin de chercher à esquisser les contours d’une nouvelle histoire de l’Europe contemporaine et de débattre des rapports que cette nouvelle histoire de l’Europe pourrait encore entretenir avec les projets d’intégrations politiques.

Ce séminaire de recherche cherchera à réunir des chercheurs et des doctorants, du Département et du Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po et de l’extérieur, autour de ces questions historiographiques et à discuter leurs implications empiriques et méthodologiques pour une nouvelle histoire de l’Europe.

Séminaire de recherche Centre d'histoire de Sciences Po/Département d'histoire

PhD students seminar / Identities, States and Societies : Iberian Peninsula and Latin America (XIXth-XXth Centuries)

PhD students seminar / Identities, States and Societies : Iberian Peninsula and Latin America (XIXth-XXth Centuries)


Ph Students Workshop

Research seminar / Re-Staging Modernity: Imperial Encounters as Sites of Knowledge

Research seminar / Re-Staging Modernity: Imperial Encounters as Sites of Knowledge


Over the past decade, the interpretative frameworks that governed the approach of the knowledge situation of modern age “imperial encounters” have changed dramatically, taking advantage of a range of new historiographical proposals. Stemming from the cradle of cultural history and dedicated to the comparison of geographically diverse historical situations, the current of “comparative history” flourished by the early 1990s. The theory of the “middle ground” (Richard White) also enabled us to conceptualize the plurality and complexity of social interactions produced by “first contact” situations. Approaches in terms of “cultural transfer” (Michael Werner, Michel Espagne) have similarly evolved, since their first publication in 2004, to craft a “crossed history” attentive to the details of the sociability and materiality of transnational scholarly exchanges. Other historians have even sought to renew or reopen a critical dialogue with the tradition embodied by the Annales School under the leadership of Fernand Braudel, who himself advocated a world history compartmentalized into “civilizations”. In this wake, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Serge Gruzinski and Kapil Raj, to quote juste a few, have developed an approach of “connected history” very critical of the Eurocentric premises of world history and global history. More recently, Lissa Roberts and Simon Schaffer questioned the narrative possibilities induced by the passage from a diffusionist approach to a circulatory approach of imperial knowledge. The latter highlights the social and cultural “intermediaries (go-betweens)” and takes a horizon survey which underlines the peculiarities of the historical situation of the “contact zones” under scrutiny.

Wishing to clarify the scope and limitations of such historiographical proposals, our research seminar, to be held at Sciences Po in Paris, aims at discussing current research on case studies as detailed as possible. This seminar will scrutinize anew the study of situations of “imperial encounters” of the modern age by taking as an object of analysis the actors’ ordinary practices of comparison, and thereby by describing and specifying practices of commensurability shaped not by contemporary historians but by the actors of these encounters. This historical and symmetrical anthropology of knowledge will go beyond the traditional divide between European and extra-European contexts as well as take seriously into account the interplay between “scales” (“global”, “regional” or “local”) which made the encounters legible on site and at a distance. This framework turns therefore primarily into a reflection on the practical construction of standards and devices that allowed people either to set up or to cross “cultural borders” (metrology, languages, diplomatic issues, etc.).

More specifically, under this heading, we would like to address not only the different types of tests (“epreuves”) developed by scientists to assess and to classify the stages of European imperial progress, but also to account for the embarrassment and fears that aroused in the little world of humanist scholars and cabinets of “curiosities” when they had to deal with the influx of words, things and creatures from the West and East Indies. The far away confines of the Pacific islands, the Indian archipelago or North America actually played a crucial role in the creative criticism of Ancient authorities in various fields of knowledge such as cosmography, botany, astronomy or the law of nations. The conditions of the collection, preservation and interpretation of those artefacts have moreover contributed significantly to dictate new terms of experimental knowledge in Europe. The resulting conflicts of interpretation opened harsh debates on the “fair” measure of legitimate values, on the “good” criteria to be used to estimate and index the imperial encounter in a grand narrative reconstructing the origin of Nations or the fate of Europe.

The detour through modern empires therefore is not a way of fetishizing “cultural areas”, but to argue for a productive use of analytical sites of comparison. By reinvesting social science methods, the cultural history of the imperial dimension of “first modernity” forces us to think critically about the grand asymmetries (between Myth and History, between Nature and Culture, between orality and writing, etc.) that it produced and that still are the foundational elements of the Great Divide between “the West and the rest.”

Research seminar / GRIC - Research Group on Contemporary Italy

Research seminar / GRIC - Research Group on Contemporary Italy


During the year 2010-2011, GRIC will expand upon its recent reflections on political violence to study contemporary Italy's singularity in Europe within a larger perspective. From Italy to Europe and from Europe to Italy, by widening the lens and by varying the levels, the seminar adopts a multidisciplinary perspective built around the approaches of comparative history, geography and geopolitics, and history of international relations. We shall revisit previous debates about the violence: specificities of the national, regional, and local construction in Italy, the thesis of the "Italian abnormality" or Italy as "the laboratory", the peculiarity of political practices in Italy (from fascism to the construction of a republican democracy, between "europeism" and "eurocommunism").

Research project / Germany's Commercial History since the 19th Century

Research project / Germany's Commercial History since the 19th Century


This research is based on data progressively collected by Beatrice Dedinger on Germany's exterior commerce. Data of trade by products (exportations, imports, annual data since 1880, except the years of war and hyperinflation, about 130 products identified); data of trade by country (exportations and imports, annual data since 1880, except the years of war and hyperinflation, 50 to 150 partner countries depending on the periods). The analyses are based on quantified facts thanks to statistical indicators calculated on the long term. The econometric method can also be used when the statistical method reaches its limits.
This research project fits naturally into the idea of a "changing world" because of its historic approach to an economic phenomenon applied to a major country in the world.
There is currently no history, descriptive or analytical, about one of the biggest trading powers of the last hundred years. Most of the research done, historical and contemporary, explores Germany's external trade, but offers no analysis of the long-term German commercial phenomenon. This approach, in a large and multidimensional perspective, can show phenomena unknown or unfamiliar (ex: consequences of the 1870 war on Franco-German commercial relations), help to put so-called historical "facts" into perspective (ex: Germany was very protectionist during the end of the nineteenth century), and help to better understand ongoing processes (ex: consequences of European commercial integration on the exchanges between Germany and its trade partners).
The objective of this research is to make a coherent synthesis of Germany's commercial history with a multidisciplinary approach. From a historical perspective, this study aims to allow a much more objective approach than that of former French historians (influenced by Franco-German relations as they were); from an economic perspective, the study intends to use the German example to better understand the "keys" of commercial success which was always restored in spite of crises; from a political perspective, the study aims to understand the impact of the loss of sovereignty in trade granted in 1958 and consider lessons it can provide to the current process of commercial globalization.