Securing the World: Global Perspectives on Security History in the Nineteenth Century

Trippenhuis, Kloveniersburgwal 29, Amsterdam (Niederlande)
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences; Utrecht University; Beatrice de Graaf; Ozan Ozavci;
25.09.2017 - 27.09.2017
Utrecht University

In this colloquium, we aim to historicise security in the nineteenth century with a select group of invited speakers from around the world,
explicitly considering the notion of security not only from a Western perspective, but also setting Middle Eastern, African and Asian histories of insecurity centre stage.
The main empirical question is how the genealogy of emerging global and/or regional security vocabularies, practices and cultures from the Napoleonic era onwards should be described, analysed and mapped:

- Who spoke authoritatively of security, who operated the securitisation processes and which groups wielded sufficient power to persuade and perform their securitising moves?
- What new methods of security governance and risk assessment techniques were invoked, legitimised and deployed by the embracement of threats on the agenda?

We will also consider the common or differing practices and approaches across the globe on securing geographical domains such as seas, rivers and forests. And, as importantly, which voices were silenced in the wake of these ongoing processes of securitization?
Which lines of in- and exclusion were drawn, and how did security in the 19th century develop into a driving force in the history both of empire and of the modern nation state?

The event will be followed by a masterclass for PhD students in the afternoon of 27 September 2017.

Should you be interested in joining us please contact Ozan Ozavci ( and Susanne Keesman ( no later than 15 September 2017.
Registration will be on a first-come first-served basis.



9:30 Registration and Coffee

9:50 Welcome (Beatrice De Graaf and Ozan Ozavci)

10:00 Repertoires of Security

Chair: Rachel Gillett

Ozan Ozavci (Utrecht): The Imperialism of ‘Security’: Conflict in Nineteenth Century Ottoman Syria

Cornel Zwierlein (Bochum): Mediterranean Transformations: From the security of mercantilist trading empires to a modern security regime

Shogo Suzuki (Manchester): Securitising ‘Civilised’ Identity in Asia: the case of Japanese imperialism in the nineteenth century

Discussant: Susan Legène

12:00 Lunch

13:00 Trajectories of Security: What’s in a word – all over the world

Chair: Seo-­‐Hyun Park

Rudolph Ng (London): The Concepts of Security in Modern China Melle Lyklema (Utrecht): Security in the ‘Wider’ Middle East
Davide Rodogno (Geneva): Nineteenth Century Discourses d’Humanite and the Question of Responsibility

Discussant: Beatrice De Graaf

15:00 Coffee break

15:30 Imperial Encounters

Chair: Liesbeth van de Grift

David Anderson (Warwick): Imperial Security in Africa during the Nineteenth Century: British Military Expeditions, c. 1864-­‐1884

David Silbey (Cornell): Creating Empire, Resisting Empire: The Boxer Rebellion in China, 1899-­‐1901

Miquel De La Rosa (Science Po / EUI): ‘Pour la sécurité des nos nationaux’: European Powers and Inter-­‐Imperial Competition in Mexico (1862–67)

Discussant: Remco Raben

19:00 Dinner


10:00 In/securities in Europe and Beyond

Chair: Susan Legène

Beatrice De Graaf (Utrecht): An allied, imperial machine: Inter-­‐imperial cooperation in Europe and beyond

Glenda Sluga (Sydney): The Economic History of a Culture of European Security after the Napoleonic Wars

Eckart Conze (Marburg): The Long Nineteenth Century. The Ideas of Global (In)security at the Paris Peace Conference 1919

Discussant: David Anderson

12:00 Lunch

13:00 Securing Open Waters

Chair: Ozan Ozavci

Alexandra Ganser (Vienna): American Discourses of Piracy in the Nineteenth Century

Amedeo Policante (Warwick): International law and Imperial Discourses on Piracy in the Nineteenth Century

Erik de Lange (Utrecht): Ending or Extending Piracy? Security Practices and Imperial Interventions in the Barbary Regencies, 1816-­‐1819

Discussant: Cornel Zwierlein

15:00 Coffee break

15:30 Securing the Environment, Forests and Rivers

Chair: Glenda Sluga

Peter Hough (Middlesex): Environmental Security in the Nineteenth Century

Selcuk Dursun (METU): Forest Security in the Balkans in the Nineteenth Century

Constantin Ardeleanu (Utrecht / Galati): Imperial Cooperation at the Lower Danube: The European Commission of the Danube and the Financial Dimension of a Security Regime

Joep Schenk (Utrecht): From the Rhine to the Congo: The Principle of Freedom of Navigation as an Imperial Tool in the Nineteenth Century

Discussant: Liesbeth van de Grift

17:45 Reception


9:30 Policing the World

Chair: Beatrice De Graaf

Seo-­‐Hyun Park (Lafayette): Modernization of Police Organizations in Japan and Korea

Ilkay Yilmaz (Istanbul): The Fight against Anarchism in the Ottoman Empire

Wouter Klem (Utrecht): Between National Politics and Transnational Action: Joint Police Efforts against the Anarchist Conspiracy, 1881-­‐1914

Discussant: Eckart Conze

11:30 Closing Remarks

13:00 Master Class for Doctoral Candidates
16:00 Reception for the Master Class


Susanne Keesman
Drift 6, 3512BS, Utrecht
+31 (0)30 253 8470

Securing the World: Global Perspectives on Security History in the Nineteenth Century, 25.09.2017 – 27.09.2017 Amsterdam, in: H-Soz-Kult, 13.09.2017, <>.
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