Eighth History of European Integration Research Society (HEIRS) Conference: Communicating European Integration

Humboldt University Berlin
History of European Integration Research Society (HEIRS); Manuel Müller, Humboldt University Berlin; Tobias Reckling, University of Portsmouth; Andreas Weiß, Humboldt University Berlin
30.03.2012 - 31.03.2012
Tobias Reckling

The History of European Integration Research Society (HEIRS) is happy to announce the call for papers for its eighth annual conference: “Communicating European Integration”. This conference will take place at the Humboldt University Berlin from 30-31 March 2012 and seeks to bring together PhD students and young researchers from all over Europe as well as renowned specialists from both social sciences and history. Our confirmed keynote speakers are: Juan Díez Medrano (Madrid), Hagen Schulz-Forberg (Aarhus), and Hans-Jörg Trenz (Copenhagen).

Since the 1990s and in direct connection with the low turnouts of the European elections the so-called “democratic deficit” of the EU became an increasingly discussed topic in both academic and political circles. In this context, the (apparently insufficient) communication of European politics to its citizens and the lack of identification with European institutions have been of especially great importance. Academic research has invested considerable efforts in trying to analyse and explain these problematic relationships. However, because this still growing area of research is still dominated by social scientists, historical approaches seem to be somewhat underrepresented.

Against this background, the conference aims to foster interdisciplinary exchange in historical research on this crucial aspect of the history of European integration. Contributions by PhD students and young scholars from various academic disciplines are welcome, but there should be a clear historical perspective. By taking a very broad understanding of “communication” as a starting point, the conference focuses – although not exclusively – on three different dimensions of the history of communicating European integration - from its origins until the 1990s - which may be addressed in the contributions.

First, attention will be drawn to historical research on actors, who were involved in the communication of the process of European integration. While these actors of communication of course include national governments and EU institutions, papers on political parties, NGOs, European movements, and other non-state actors are especially encouraged.

Secondly, the conference will focus on different means of communicating and representing the process of European integration. These could include – among others – symbols, movies, mass media and school books, but also museums and theatres.

Thirdly, papers may address the contents of the communication of European integration. By asking the central question of how the process of European integration was communicated, this could take into account, for instance, historical changes in the representation of the EEC/EC/EU both inside and outside of Europe, the communication of the EEC/EC/EU in candidate countries before and during enlargements, or even representations and processes of communication against the project of an integrated Europe.

The conference will be conducted in English. All contributions should be based on original archival research, interviews etc. Abstracts of 250 words max. with a proposed title should be submitted with a short (1 page max.) academic CV by 31 July 2011 to all three organizers: Manuel Müller (manuel.mueller@rewi.hu-berlin.de), Tobias Reckling (tobias.reckling@port.ac.uk) and Andreas Weiß (weissand@staff.hu-berlin.de). Selected candidates will be contacted by 15 September 2011. The organizers will provide a limited number of bursaries for travel and accommodation on a competitive basis. It should be stated in the e-mails if applicants also wish to apply for a travel bursary. There will be no extra conference fee.

The History of European Integration Research Society (HEIRS – http://www.heirs-eu.org) is a postgraduate research network which was founded in the summer of 2004 by a group of doctoral students. HEIRS aims at fostering the collaboration and interaction of postgraduate researchers across Europe with an interest in European integration history. As part of our activities, we collaborate with a broad range of partners. We work closely with the Paris-based RICHIE network and are represented at meetings of the EU Liaison Committee of Historians.


Tobias Reckling

University of Portsmouth
Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR)
University of Portsmouth
Park Building, Room 4.20
King Henry I Street
Portsmouth PO1 2DZ, United Kingdom


Eighth History of European Integration Research Society (HEIRS) Conference: Communicating European Integration, 30.03.2012 – 31.03.2012 Berlin, in: H-Soz-Kult, 14.06.2011, <www.hsozkult.de/event/id/termine-16686>.