C – Mobilities, migrations, and transnational actors
Setting the boundaries of transnational action
Saturday, 27 June - 8:30–10:30
- ThemeC – Mobilities, migrations, and transnational actors
- Katja Naumann (Wissenschafts Campus EEGA)
- Antje Dietze (Leipzig University)
- Daniel Laqua (Northumbria University)
- Katharina Kreuder-Sonnen (University of Vienna)
- Kasper Braskén (Åbo Akademi University)
- Saila Heinikoski (Finnish Institute of International Affairs)
The historiographic challenges of history writing without borders – the case of Modern ‘Polish’ history in a transnational perspective
The historiographic challenges of history writing without borders – the case of Modern ‘Polish’ history in a transnational perspectiveIf a historian looks for good examples of transnational interconnection she will certainly find one in modern Polish history. The Polish society of the 19th and 20th centuries was part of multi-ethnic empires, it was multi-lingual, multi-religious and its members were on the move within and beyond Europe. The impressive transnational biographies, international networks and patterns of global exchange which resulted from these interconnections receive increasing scholarly attention. The proposed paper will analyse the historiographic challenges of transnational history writing discussing the example of global scientific travel and exchange of Polish ‘experts’ during the 20th century. On the one hand it will show how the transnational perspective achieves to write Polish actors into European and global histories of science. On the other hand it will discuss how cross-border interconnections in the scholarly field were limited in time and restricted to specific segments of society only, how they were regulated by political structures on the national and international level and how they were contested by local, regional and national frames of thought. The question resulting is thus: Is Polish history (of science) transnational history? The paper will propose approaches from global microhistory and Actor-Network-Theory in order to tackle this question and show how multi-layered and malleable loyalties and identities of actors can be taken into account.
“Unreliable and Thoroughly Undesirable”: Transnational Anti-Fascist Activism and the Problem of Police and Governmental Interference
“Unreliable and Thoroughly Undesirable”: Transnational Anti-Fascist Activism and the Problem of Police and Governmental InterferenceThe characterisation above originates from a report by the British border patrol agents in Bristol when the Hungarian born anti-fascist and anti-stalinist Arthur Koestler tried to enter the UK in 1940. Despite his impressive credentials as a transnational anti-fascist activist he was initially refused entry and placed in a British internment camp. Using Koestler and other examples from the world of transnational anti-fascism this paper addresses the many obstacles and problems standing in the way of cross-border activism during the interwar period. It will focus on the active measures taken against these “undesirables” by governmental and intergovernmental agencies to hinder travels and networking in Europe and colonial territories. Rather than looking at these problems as a one-sided effort by governmental agencies, I argue that the active measures to hinder transnational activism in fact helped to renew and invigorate the means and methods of transnational activism. The paper thus offers a way to re-think the history of transnational activism as an active learning process where transnational activists, on the one hand, and police and surveillance agencies on the other, pushed each other to develop new ways to both enable and (again) restrict transnational activism. As some avenues of activism were blocked, other perhaps unforeseen spaces and passages of activism were opened up in the process, while in many other instances transnational activism was altogether inhibited. The paper is based on new archival findings from the British National Archives, the German Foreign Office Archives, and the archives of the Communist International in Moscow.
Politics of exclusion within the European Union: from Schengen to the European Border and Coast Guard
Politics of exclusion within the European Union: from Schengen to the European Border and Coast GuardThe paper will address the politics of the European Union that have increasingly sought to exclude third-country nationals from the European Union. Starting from the development of the Schengen area in the 1980s, European states have aimed at enabling the free movement of Europeans, which arguably requires enforced control at the external borders. From the perspective of European integration theory, the paper seeks to trace historical and contemporary arguments for how the creation of the area without internal border control has even come to justify the creation of the European Border and Coast Guard with its own corps of 10,000 officials.