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Chair of International History and Historical Peace and Conflict Research

In research and teaching, the Chair of International History and Historical Peace and Conflict Research focuses on international and transnational history in a broad sense from the beginning of the 19th century to the present day. Our expertise ranges from the history of human rights, humanitarianism and international humanitarian law to questions of war and peace in international relations more generally. For the 20th century, our main research concentrates on (but is not limited to) the history of the world wars, the history of decolonization and the history of the Cold War.



The protection of human rights has always been a justification for the use of military force in the course of humanitarian interventions. However, the justifications and legal foundations are anything but binding and clear. What is the situation regarding a global responsibility for humanitarian intervention in the past and present as well as the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)? The international symposium on "Responsibility to Protect and Humanitarian Interventions - Military Force in the Name of Human Rights?" from 6 to 8 November 2023 in Hanover, jointly organised by the Philipps University of Marburg (ICWC, Dr Henning de Vries, Prof. Dr Stefanie Bock, Prof. Dr Eckart Conze) and the University of Cologne (Prof. Dr Fabian Klose) and funded by the Volkswagen Foundation, is dedicated to this question. Going beyond traditional lecture formats, Prof. Fabian Klose will speak and discuss the topic "Practice of Humanitarian Intervention in the 19th Century". The full programme is available here.


The new Cologne Center for Advanced Studies in International History and Law (CHL) will benefit from the cooperation between the University of Cologne and the Alfred Landecker Foundation. Within the framework of the centre, the Colleg Konrad Adenauer will be established, in which renowned international historians and international lawyers will conduct research on topics such as human rights, humanitarianism, international humanitarian law, international criminal justice and fundamental questions of war and peace. The Hans Kelsen Visiting Professorship for the History and Theory of International Law at the Institute for International Peace and Security Law will enable research on the protection of minorities, collective rights in international law, the prevention and prosecution of international crimes as well as the protection of cultural property and restitution. The funding will strengthen the interdisciplinary cooperation between international law and international history, which is already being intensively pursued by Professor Angelika Nußberger, Professor Claus Kreß and Professor Fabian Klose, Managing Director of the CHL. For further information, see the press releases of the University of Cologne and the Alfred Landecker Foundation.


The Peace of Westphalia will be celebrated for the 375th time in 2023. The city of Münster is accompanying the anniversary with a series of events, including "Den Frieden gewinnen von 1648 bis heute. Historische Perspektiven auf den Westfälischen Frieden und unsere Gegenwart" on 16 October 2023. Prof. Fabian Klose,  together with Prof. Philipp Gassert and Prof. Marcus Payk, will be part of the panel "Making Peace in the Modern Age" chaired by Dr. Claudia Kemper.


For more than a year the Cologne/Bonn Academy in Exile supports academics from Ukraine, Belarus and Russia and enables them to conduct their research in a safe environment. More...


"A new field of research with an old pedigree": Prof. Fabian Klose and Dr. Arvid Schors discussed their new book "How to Write International History?" [„Wie schreibt man Internationale Geschichte?”] with the research forum of the Gerda Henkel Foundation, L.I.S.A.

In the winter term 2023/24 the Cologne Lecture Series on Modern History is titled "Key to the Present? The International History of the 1990s" [„Schlüssel zur Gegenwart? Die internationale Geschichte der 1990er Jahre“].

Prof. Fabian Klose and Dr. Arvid Schors kick off the lecture series by discussing their new book "How to Write International History?" [„Wie schreibt man Internationale Geschichte?“] with Prof.' Angelika Nussberger (University of Cologne) and Prof.' Isabella Löhr (ZZF Potsdam/FU Berlin) on 17th October.

The Chair of International History and Historical Peace and Conflict Research is actively involved in the recently founded Cologne/Bonn Academy in Exile.

The Academy in Exile aims to support the work of researchers who had to flee their home countries in light of the Russian war on Ukraine and invites researchers from Ukraine to continue their projects in Cologne and Bonn. Furthermore, the Academy provides assistance to researchers from other countries affected by this war, e.g. from Belarus or Russia, who face prosecution due to their opposition to the Russian attack.

Professor Klose is part of the international research project HINT: Humanity internationalized: cases, dynamics and comparisons (1945-1980).


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