The Axis Alliance in Global Perspective

The Axis Alliance in Global Perspective

Lehrstuhl für Zeitgeschichte, Universität Konstanz; European Institute, Columbia University, New York
Kloster Hegne – Hotel St. Elisabeth, Konradistraße 12, 78476 Allensbach-Hegne
Vom - Bis
07.06.2017 - 10.06.2017
Nikolai Wehrs (Universität Konstanz)

The conference’s scope is to internationalize the history of the Axis Alliance. To this end we aim to bring the methods of recent international history to bear to a history that has up to now largely been considered from national perspectives and a western vantage point. We intend to frame the alliances arising out of the fascist experience within the wider geo-political shifts consequent upon the mercantilist reactions to the Great Depression, antagonism toward Soviet ascendancy, and fear of rising U.S. hegemony. By which economic, cultural and military projects did the coalition of the three countries try to overturn the Western led international system in the name of a new Eurasian world order? How did they seek to establish their leadership in arenas as different as economic development, race theory and racist cleansing practices, settler colonialism, social engineering, laboratories of total war, and agriculture and ecology? What was the impact of war with its inner dynamics upon these projects? And what impact had fascist warfare on fascist militancy, its soldiers and on civilian populations? Finally, how to grasp the longer-term effects of the alliance on the international system coming out of World War II?
The four day’s conference at Konstanz will focus mainly on two dimensions: one is theoretical, to bring geopolitical, IR, and other concepts of the international system to bear to the history of the Axis, specifically to understand the relations of these states with their respective regions, with transnational movements and religious communities, and with respect to the Western-ordained post-Versailles Settlement and the global economic crisis. The other is to build empirical case studies of cross-regional, cross-Axis projects related to the formation of shared paradigms and interests on the cusp of and in the course of the alliance.

The conference was organized thanks to the generous support of the “Gastwissenschaftlerprogramm” of the Federal State Baden-Württemberg (Germany) and the Excellence Cluster “Cultural Foundations of Integration and Disintegration” at Konstanz University


Wednesday, June 7

14.30-15 Welcome

15-15.30 Opening remarks
Victoria de Grazia (Columbia University, New York)
Sven Reichardt (Universität Konstanz)

15.30-18.30 Panel I: The Axis Alliance and Geopolitics

Ben Martin (Uppsala Universitet)
Interpreting the Axis through the History of International Cultural Relations: Centers and Peripheries in the Global Geo-Politics of Culture

Constantin Iordachi (Central European University, Budapest)
From Public Diplomacy to Geopolitics: The Nazi “Neuordnung Europas” and the Romanian-Bulgarian conflict

Daniel Hedinger (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
Why we need a Global History of the Axis

Commentator: Bianca Gaudenzi (Universität Konstanz)

19 Dinner (Hotel St. Elisabeth)

Thursday, June 8

9-12 Panel II: The Axis Alliance - Europe and Asia

Ken Ishida (Chiba University)
The Foreign Policy Decision-Making in Comparison: Ultranationalist Japan and Fascist Italy

Kai Hin Brian Tsui (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Political Conversion in Anticipation of Global War: Reforming Former Communists in Nationalist China, 1927-1937

Arnab Dutta (Universität Göttingen)
In search of an orderly Europe: Germanism and the Bengali travellers in the continental Europe, 1925-45

Commentator: Jürgen Osterhammel (Universität Konstanz)

12-13 Lunch Break (Hotel St. Elisabeth)

13-15 Panel III: Eurafrika

Gian Luca Podestà (Bocconi Università, Milano)
Eurafrica. Vital Space, Demographic Planning and the Division of Labor in the Italian Empire

Robert Corban (Columbia University, New York)
A Monroe-Doctrin for Mussolini: Geopolitics and “Eurafrica” in Fascist Italy, 1930-45.

Commentator: Martin Rempe (Universität Konstanz)

16-17 A guided walking tour in Konstanz with historical sites (in English). Start: Historische Hafenuhr

18-19.30 (at Universität Konstanz, Senatssaal) Keynote lecture

Geoff Eley (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
What and When was the Second World War?

20 Dinner (Restaurant Wessenberg, Konstanz)

Friday, June 9

9-11 Panel IV: The Axis Alliance - Spain and Latin America

Javier Rodrigo Sanchez (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Where Everything Started: the International Fascists Alliance in the Spanish Civil War

João Fabio Bertonha (Universidade Estadual de Maringá)
Between the Axis and the Allies. Cultural, geopolitical and ideological constraints in the Brazilian international relations during the 1930s

Commentator: Kirsten Mahlke (Universität Konstanz)

12-13 Lunch (Hotel St. Elisabeth)

13.30-15.30 Panel V: The Axis Alliance and Economics

Janis Mimura (Stony Brook University, New York)
Axis Autarchy: The Economics and Geopolitics of Axis Trade

Jonas Scherner (NTNU, Trondheim)
The Industria Axis? Expectations and Realities of Economic Cooperation

Commentator: Alexander Nützenadel (Humboldt Universität, Berlin)

15.30-16 Coffee break

16-19 Panel VI: Occupation Policy and Annihilation

Paolo Fonzi (Seconda Università di Napoli)
German and Italian Occupation Policies in Greece: Competition and Collaboration, 1941-44

Amedeo Osti Guerazzi (Istituto Storico Germanico di Roma)
Cultures of Total Annihilation: German, Italian and Japanese Counterinsurgency Strategies

Aristotle Kallis (Keele University)
The unlikely internationalists: the Axis, the fascists, and the pursuit of genocide

Commentator: Wolfgang Seibel (Universität Konstanz)

19 Dinner (Hotel St. Elisabeth)

Saturday, June 10

9-12 Panel VII: Axis Alliance and the Muslim World

David Motadel (London School of Economics)
Anticolonial Nationalists and Germany’s War for a New World Order, 1939-45

Dilek Barlas (Koç University, Istanbul)
Italian Challenge in the Mediterranean to the International World Order in the 1930s: the Case of Turkey

Kelly Anne Hammond (University of Arkansas, Fayetteville)
Connections and Convergences: Sino-Muslims and the Axis Powers beyond occupied China

Commentator: Peter Wien (University of Maryland, College Park)

12-13 Roundtable

Victoria De Grazia (Columbia University, New York), Sven Reichardt (Universität Konstan), Geoff Eley (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

Moderator: Franz Fillafer (Universität Konstanz)

13.30 Snacks and end of conference


Nikolai Wehrs

Universität Konstanz, FB Geschichte und Soziologie, Fach 1
Universitätsstraße 10, 78457 Konstanz
07531 88-2539

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