States of Emergency in Transnational Perspective. Politics, Ideas, and Mentalities in Europe and its Colonies, c. 1800–1960

Dr. Amerigo Caruso

Images of the Milan riots of 1898 in the German newspapers (Illustrierte Zeitung 12.5.1898, p. 673).

The multiple crises of the twenty-first century have brought into sharper focus emergency politics and the surrounding debates. However, this field remains a domain of political science, philosophy, and jurisprudence, whereas the practice and theory of emergency politics has not received the same degree of scholarly attention among historians. Most of the existing research focuses on national experiences, especially on the use and abuse of emergency legislation in Weimar and Nazi Germany. Furthermore, traditional approaches to the history of states of emergency explore primarily political and legal developments. A comprehensive approach that also considers social and cultural historical paradigms is still missing. The goal of my project is to provide a systematic historical study of emergency politics and the "mentality" underlying them. It follows a twofold approach: first, to displace the focus on the nation-state using a combination of the methods of comparative, transnational, and entangled history. Second, the project examines states of emergency not only within the framework of political and legal history but also as more complex social and cultural phenomena. This project investigates transfers and entanglements between France, Italy, Germany and their colonies, which were particularly intense from the late eighteenth until the mid-twentieth century.

Dr. Amerigo Caruso
Ludwig und Margarete Quidde Fellow
April – September 2023