After Empire. The League of Nations and the Former Habsburg Lands

After Empire. The League of Nations and the Former Habsburg Lands

Peter Becker, Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung, Wien; Natasha Wheatley, Laureate Research Program in International History, Sydney
Campus Altes AKH, Aula im Hof 1, Universität Wien
Vom - Bis
10.12.2015 - 12.12.2015
Peter Becker, Universität Wien

If the Austro-Hungarian empire gave way to a new order of nation-states at the end of the First World War, the birth of that order coincided with a broader new international settlement with the League of Nations at its heart. In light of new literature on the relationship between empire and international order, as well as on the relationship between regional and international orders, this workshop will examine the interaction of the League of Nations and its sister organizations, like the ILO, with the former Habsburg lands.

Across a range of economic, social, political, and legal domains, international institutions shaped and guaranteed the new order in Central Europe. At the same time, statesmen, bureaucrats and experts from the successor states embarked on influential careers in the new organizations.

Considering the passive involvement of the monarchy with the new internationalism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, as well as the empire’s own legacies of supranational organization, we intend to explore the networks of influence that bound the successor states to the institutions of the interwar order.

To what extent were those interactions inflected by imperial pasts? Were some successor states more active participants in those institutions than others? In which ways and on which occasions did the League and the successor states offer each other political opportunities?


Day One: Thursday, 10 December

Registration: 08:30 a.m.
Welcome: 09:00 a.m.

Morning Session PANEL ONE
Empires and States: Public Campaigns, New Claims, and Political Legacies

Michael Dean (California): The Imperial Internationalism of Small States: Czechoslovakia and the League of Nations, 1918-1938

Zoltan Peterecz (Eger, HU): Hungary and the League of Nations: A Forced Marriage

10:45-11:15 Coffee break

Reinhard Blänkner (Frankfurt Oder): Peaceful Change? The Austrian Memoranda-Group at the League of Nations’ General Study Conference on Peaceful Change, Paris, June 28 – July 3, 1937
12:00-14:00 Lunch break

Afternoon Session PANEL TWO
Minorities and Nationalities between Empire and Internationalization

Stefan Dyroff (Bern): The Minority Protection System of the League of Nations and the Legacy of the Habsburg Empire

Nathan Markus (St. Petersberg): The League of Nations and National Minorities: The Case of South Tyrol

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

Börries Kuzmany (Vienna): National-Personal Autonomy. A Habsburg Concept Transferred to Interwar Minority Protection Organizations

Jana Osterkamp (Munich): Promoting Jews as a Nationality: The Perspective of Viennese Chief Rabbi Chajes

Evening: Keynote Lecture
Glenda Sluga (Sydney): 'Global Austria' and the League of Nations: Reframing the history of empire and internationalism

Day Two: Friday, 11 December

Morning Session PANEL THREE
National Delegates and International Work: Refashioning the League

Jíra Janáč (Prague): Making Czechoslovakia a European Crossroad: Czechoslovak Experts in the Advisory and Technical Committee on Communications and Transit of the League of Nations

Madeleine Dungy (Cambridge, US): Defending the Rights of Austrian “Foreigners” in the League Economic Committee

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

Katja Naumann (Leipzig): Empowering the League of Nations: Polish, Hungarian and Czechoslovakian Officers and Experts

Madeleine Herren (Basel): International Civil Servants

12:30-14:00 Lunch break

Afternoon Session PANEL FOUR
Epistemic Communities and Networks of Experts: Refashioning the Region

Sara Silverstein (New Haven): Healthcare and Humanism: Imperial Legacies in the League’s Social Programs

14:45-15:30: David Petruccelli (Vienna)
Fighting the Scourge of International Crime: Illiberal Internationalism and the League of Nations

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

Michael Burri (Philadelphia): Clemens von Pirquet and Children as Object of International Concern at the League of Nations

Johannes Feichtinger (Wien): Expectations, Visions, and Frustrations: Alfons Dopsch and the League Intellectual Cooperation Program

Day Three: Saturday, 12 December

Morning Session PANEL FIVE
Economic Reconstruction and Legacies of International Governance

Patricia Clavin and Mary Cox (Oxford): A Global Node, a Global Order: Austria and the invention of ‘Positive Security’

Jürgen Nautz (Warburg): “… insoweit es möglich und sobald es möglich ist...” Agency and Perception of economic experts - the Schüller case

11:00-11:30 Coffee break

Antonie Doležalová (Prague): Financing the New Czechoslovakia

12:15-14:30 Lunch break

Final Debate
General Comments and Moderation by Natasha Wheatley and Peter Becker


Peter Becker

Institut für Geschichte, Universität Wien