International Organizations, Non-Governmental Actors and the Rise of Global Governance, 1945-1990

Shifting Visions of Development: International Organizations, Non-Governmental Actors and the Rise of Global Governance, 1945-1990

Brême, 29-30 septembre 2011

Date limite de réponse : 15 mars 2011

Conveners: Marc Frey, Soenke Kunkel, and Corinna R. Unger (all Jacobs University Bremen)

Sponsored by the German Historical Institute Washington, DC, the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, and the Research Group TEAMS at Jacobs University Bremen

International Organizations and INGOs have played a leading role in the making of global development policies during the last fifty years.  Powerful engines of globalization as much as global transmitters of ideas and knowledge, specifically organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations and private foundations have left their footprints in fields like health, human rights, agriculture, labor, development aid, gender, demography, and ecology. Today, they manage and regulate large sectors of social activity across the globe, functioning as influential clearing houses of global governance.

Historians have only recently rediscovered the history of those organizations. While most of them agree with social scientists that the postwar era marked the high point of international and non-state organizations in a global setting, much research remains to be done to better understand the role of those institutions with regard to policy-making and politics not only in the metropoles but also on the “periphery”. How did they shape relations between North and South, East and West? What kinds of practices did they establish on the ground?  Which difference did they make?

The time seems ripe to take a more systematic look at the various fields of development and to bring together leading scholars to assess where we stand and what remains to be done. To that end, the conference will combine case studies with conceptual debates. We are particularly looking for contributions that deal with either one of the following aspects in relation to one or different international organizations and/or non-state actors:

  • Development policies of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund: Concepts, projects, people, and problems
  • Environmental concerns and development: Norms, North-South conflicts and cooperation, institutional arrangements, specific policies
  • Gender and development: Discourses and normative concepts, local policies, global conferences, and activists
  • Human rights: history of organizations or particular activists, campaigns, policies, specific cases
  • Local perspectives: Histories covering experiences with development aid from the recipients’ perspective

The conference will take place on the campus of Jacobs University Bremen, Germany. Participants will be reimbursed for travel expenses and accommodation. We are planning to publish select conference proceedings with a well-established university press.

Scholars interested in participating in the conference are asked to send an abstract (200 to 400 words, in English) and a short curriculum vitae to before March 15, 2011.

In order to facilitate scholarly interchange, participants will circulate their papers before the conference, and will give only very brief oral summaries. Final papers (7000 to 8000 words, fully footnoted) are due September 1 and will be available to conference participants only.

Inquiries can be made to the conveners via the conference e-mail address:

Emilia Robin

Chercheuse associée à l'UMR SIRICE. Violons d'Ingres : guerre froide, médiation scientifique, logiciels libres

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