19. November 2010, 16.30 Uhr

Panel III: Lessons from History? Designs of Post-War World Orders

Introduction:

Andreas Fahrmeir

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From a historical perspective, determining what the title of the conference should be seems fairly easy. One only has to call to mind the concept of a ‘just war’ to conclude that peace does not follow naturally if justice is considered the key value, particularly if the place where justice is ultimately meted out is held to be out of this naturally unjust world. This panel therefore explores two cases where the relationship between justice and peace appeared and appears particularly fraught. One concerns disputes between religions in the early modern era, where a degree of peace ultimately emerged in spite of each side’s claim to fight for absolute truth and of both calls not to shrink from sacrificing lives and livelihoods in the name of the one cause which could provide eternal happiness. The other takes us to the present, and discusses why the attempt to install a US-European order which was both (reasonably) just and (reasonably) peaceful after the Cold War order appears to have met neither of its goals.

Lecture 1:

Religious Peace as a Political Problem in Early Modern Europe (16th to 17th Centuries)

Luise Schorn-Schütte

Video:

Audio:

Accepting a peaceful coexistence among the various Christian denominations was widely considered impossible in early modern Europe, since all groups asserted exclusive claims to religious truth. Successful pacifications were thus generally preceded by a long series of abortive attempts at religious settlement. Long is the list of unsuccessful colloquies, councils, and meetings. When agreements concerning mutual coexistence were finally made, they were often the result of exhaustion and breathed the air of resignation since they meant abandoning the idea of a unified Christendom. Nevertheless, the warring parties did make attempts to end strife and sought to break free of defamation and destruction. A major means to achieve this was to reformulate religious issues in the language of law. This strategy allowed all participants to use ‘neutral’ categories for discussing relevant issues. Questions of religious truth were excluded from public debate.

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Prof. Dr. Luise Schorn-Schütte received her PhD in 1981 from the University of Munster and her Habilitation in 1992 from the University of Giessen. She held appointments as Professor for Early Modern History in Basel, Berlin and Potsdam before joining the Department of History at Frankfurt in 1998. She has published widely on the history of historiography in the 19th century and on many aspects of early modern European History. Her current research is especially focused on early modern Lutheranism and its relationship to the concepts and practices of politics in the 16th and 17th centuries.

 

Lecture 2:

New Order of Confluence of Crises?

Brendan Simms

Video:

Audio:

My lecture will examine, first, the rise and falls of post-war models of order in the 1990s and early 2000s, and the neo-conservative response to them. It will then, secondly, look at the antineoconservative critique which developed in reaction. In November 2008, many greeted the election of Barak Obama as President of the USA
as the dawn of a new cooperative era in world order, and the end of the unilateralist doctrines of the ‘Bush doctrine’. This was accompanied by an expectation that the EU was much better placed to meet the world economic crisis. Now, two years later, these hopes have evaporated under the pressure of events. The third and
main part of my lecture will therefore look at the confluence of crises in 2010 which, much more than the spectacular eruption of 2008, have put the whole idea of an US-European order in
doubt: the Greek and Spanish crises, the crisis of integration in Germany, the Gaza crisis and the crisis of the US mission in Afghanistan.

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Brendan Simms is Professor in the History of European International Relations, Centre of International Studies, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Peterhouse. His publications include Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia (Allen Lane, London, 2001) and Three Victories and a Defeat: the Rise and Fall of the First British Empire (Allen Lane, London, 2007). He is a member of Academic Advisory Council, Military-historical Research Institute, Potsdam, Germany and of the Strategic Advisory Panel, Chief of the (British) Defence Staff.


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