Calender of Events       Tagungen       Vorträge       Ausstellungen       Filmreihen       Kolloquium   

Workshop: Human Rights in the Twentieth Century: Concepts and Conflicts

Human Rights in the Twentieth Century: Concepts and Conflicts

Workshop at the Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB), sponsored by the Fritz-Thyssen-Stiftung, the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung and the WZB,

June 19-21, 2008

This international workshop brings together scholars and researchers working on the history of human rights in the twentieth century. Our intention is to showcase ongoing research on human rights that traverses national histories and moral narratives. While all disciplines are invited to participate in the discussion, a special emphasis is placed on analyzing human rights as history.

The workshop is less concerned with the normative intentions than the actual workings of human rights regimes and rhetorics since the 1940s. The goal is to place the emergence of transnational moral and legal concepts within the context of the contingent and violently conflictual history of the past century. In particular, we would like to ask when, how and why human rights became the global currency of political claim-making and counter claim-making.

Pre-registration is preferred so that we can have a sense for numbers, and required for the reception on Thursday and/or for lunch on Friday and Saturday. Please contact if you like to attend or for any questions about the workshop.

Organizers: Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (ZZF), in conjunction with Dieter Gosewinkel (WZB)

Draft Program
[Download in PDF]

Thursday, 19 June

5:00 pm Registration

6.00 pm Public Keynote Lecture: Mark Mazower (Columbia University), Humanity, Rights and Civilization: The Mid-20th Century Disjuncture

•Hans Joas (Max Weber-Kolleg Erfurt/University of Chicago), Comment

•Ralf Dahrendorf (WZB), Comment

8.00 pm Reception

Friday, 20 June

9:15 am Introduction: Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam), Human Rights in the Twentieth Century: Concepts and Conflicts

9:30-11:00 am Panel 1: Postwar Humanism and Legal Diplomacy

• Samuel Moyn (Columbia University), Jacques Maritain, Christian New Order, and the Birth of Human Rights

• Glenda Sluga (University of Sydney), World Citizens and Human Rights 1945-1966

• Mikael Rask Madsen (University of Copenhagen), ‘Legal Diplomacy’: Law, Politics, and the Genesis of Postwar European Human Rights

• Stefan-Ludwig Hoffmann (ZZF Potsdam), Comment

11:00 am Coffee Break

11:30-1:00 pm Panel 2: The Emergence of Human Rights Regimes

• G. Daniel Cohen (Rice University), A Laboratory for Human Rights: Displaced Persons in Post-War Europe

• Regula Ludi (Universität Bern), Human Rights and Postwar Victim Reparations – a Paradox?

• Lora Wildenthal (Rice University), , Rudolf Laun and the Human Rights of Germans in Occupied and Early West Germany

• Daniel Maul (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen), The International Labour Organization (ILO) and Human Rights

• Dieter Gosewinkel (Social Sciene Research Center Berlin), Comment

1:00 pm Lunch

2:30-4:15 pm Panel 3: Human Rights, State Socialism, and Dissent

• Jennifer Amos (University of Chicago), Embracing & Contesting: The Soviet Union and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948-1958

• Benjamin Nathans (University of Pennsylvania), Soviet Rights-Talk in the Post-Stalin Era

• Katharina Kunter (Ruhr-Universität Bochum), Human Rights – a Controversial Concept among German and Czech Protestants in the 1970s and 80s

• Celia Donert (European University Institute Florence), A Threatened People? Human Rights and the Roma from Czechoslovakia to Chandigarh

• Mark Mazower (Columbia University), Comment

4:15 pm Coffee Break

4:45-6:30 pm Panel 4: Human Rights, Sovereignty, and the Global Condition

• Fabian Klose (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Human Rights, Colonial State of Emergency, and the Radicalization of Violence

• Andreas Eckert (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), African Nationalists and Human Rights, 1940s to 1970s

• Jan Eckel (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg), ‘Under a Magnifying Glass’. The International Human Rights Campaign against Chile in the Seventies

• Margrit Pernau (Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin), Comment

Saturday, 21 June

9:15-10:45 am

Panel 5: Genocide, Human Rights Norms and the Limits of Law

• Elizabeth Borgwardt (Washington University), The Nuremberg Trial as a New Deal Institution: Reflections on the Limits of Law in Generating Human Rights Norms

• Devin O. Pendas (Boston College), Human Rights, Genocide and the Limits of Law: The Legalist Paradigm of War, 1945-2000

• A. Dirk Moses (University of Sydney/ZZF Potsdam), The Disappearence of Genocide as a Concept in International Law and Politics after 1948

• Michael Geyer (University of Chicago/ZZF Potsdam), Comment

10:45 am Coffee Break

11:15-1:00 pm Panel 6: Human Rights As History

• Eric D. Weitz (University of Minnesota), From the Vienna to the Paris System: International Politics and the Entangled Histories of Human Rights, Forced Deportations, and Civilizing Missions

• Jörg Lange (Max Weber Kolleg Erfurt), References to Human Rights at the Buchenwald Memorial: 1945 to the Present

• Michael Geyer (University of Chicago/ZZF Potsdam), The Disappearance of Human Rights post 1800 with an Eye on the Situation post 2000

• Hans Joas (Max Weber-Kolleg Erfurt/University of Chicago), Comment

1:00 pm Lunch

2:30-4:00 pm Final Discussion

Alle Rechte an Texten, Bildern und sonstigen Inhalten liegen beim ZZF (2011).