Universalism and Particularism in European Contemporary History

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The Economy

Economic ties are thought to be able to reduce the risk of interstate conflicts. However, economic activity is always space- and time-dependent, and markets only arise in certain social orders. In the history of Europe since the 1970s, the universal and the particular in economic activity often overlap. In Western Europe, economic integration developed as a balancing act between the opening of internal borders and greater closure to third states. In Eastern Europe, economic integration projects extending beyond the EU, some of which are based on pre-1989 market structures, are also developing. The validity of the idea of a liberal, open economic order is severely limited by both internal developments in the EU and external challenges. The research focus also examines the interaction of economic discourses with economic practices, with a special emphasis on academic discourses.

Research Projects

  • Universalizing European Trade: The EU in the World, 1980s-2000s (Kiran Klaus Patel, director of the KFG)
  • Unworlding the Second World: Pro-Market Liberalism and the Story of ‘Civilisational Incompetence’ (Viacheslav Morozov, senior fellow, winter term 2023-2024)
  • Towards a Global Business and Labor History: The Transformation of Shipyards since the Late 1970s (Philipp Ther, senior fellow, winter term 2023-2024)
  • Economic Concepts for a New Country? The Struggle for Ukraine’s Economic Future between Perestroika and the Orange Revolution (1985-2004) (Max Trecker, junior fellow, winter term 2023-2024)
  • Risk Management: European governance between Crises (EURISK) (Grace Ballor, junior fellow, winter term 2023-2024)
  • Encounters with the Transnational Ideological Family: articulating particularism and universalism in the European centre-right (Benjamin Thomas, junior fellow, winter term 2023-2024)
  • Universalising the Rules of Investment Protection: Making the Eastern Bloc 'Safe' for Western European Investment (1976-1999) (Filip Batselé, junior fellow, summer term 2024)
  • European debates on Multinational corporations. Global capitalism and local resistance (1960-1980) (Sandrine Kott, senior fellow, summer term 2024)

Further projects are following.