In 2020, the Vatican has opened its archives for the pontificate of Pius XII (1939-1958), which has been accompanied by strong media coverage. While a lot of scholarly attention has been given to the actions of the Catholic Church during the Second World War and the Holocaust, the research group “The Global Pontificate of Pius XII: Catholicism in a Divided World, 1945-1958” is the first attempt to focus on the post-war period and tries to address new questions about the Vatican’s role in the phase of reconstruction after 1945, the emerging conflicts between the capitalist West and the communist East, and the processes of decolonization in the global South. Simon Unger and Julian Sandhagen in conversation with Alex Favalli.
What are current issues, ideas, themes or concerns that merrit transregional debate and exchange, and why? Issues offers an opportunity to introduce, report, explain and contextualize academic events, new and ongoing projects. For more information see Contributions.
By Ferenc Laczó, András Vadas, and Bálint Varga. As a recent project on the global history of Hungary aims to demonstrate, studying Central and Eastern Europe through the systematic application of transnational methods and from a truly global perspective can offer original and valuable insights. In this essay, the authors of Magyarország globális története (A Global History of Hungary) would like to outline their agenda of applying transnational methods to the long-term reinterpretation of a country’s history and reflect on the ambition to embed Hungarian history comprehensively in global frameworks.
By David Malitz. Following its first public conceptualization in 2007, the “Indo-Pacific” has been adopted as the geopolitical framework for strategic policies by numerous governments. This global adoption of the “Indo-Pacific”, with differing geographic definitions, has led to the emergence of a sizable literature on the region and the different strategies, visions, and outlooks formulated for it. In this literature, it is customary to refer to the German scholar Karl Haushofer (1869–1946) as first geopolitical thinker to use the term “Indo-Pacific” in the 1920s and therefore to claim or imply an influence of Haushofer’s thought on 21st century policy.
Fighting Impunity Through Intermediaries: The European Union, International Criminal Justice, and the Rule of Law
By Raphael Oidtmann. What legal principle – that may also be derived from its treaty framework – determined and guided EU support towards Ukraine? This contribution argues that at least certain streams of EU assistance for Ukraine in countering the Russian Federation’s aggression – namely those aimed at ending impunity for international crimes – have been organized within a distinct rule of law context.
In this article, Loaay Wattad focuses on the evolution of hope and morality in dystopian narratives. Through the case study of ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy, he explores how dystopian literature manifests and reverberates in our daily lives and emphasizes its development into a tangible political statement—one that challenges Hobbesian philosophy and its expression in contemporary politics. This analysis takes on added poignancy in light of current events, such as the ongoing war on Gaza, highlighting the timeliness and relevance of dystopian reflections in the face of contemporary conflicts and wars.
The Anticolonial Solidarity Campaign of 1962 in the Hungarian Countryside: An Attempt to Make Global Connections
By Réka Krizmanics. This article discusses a case study of an anticolonial solidarity campaign in the Hungarian countryside based on the archival records of the Hungarian Women’s National Council (HWNC), focusing on spaces and protagonists that are rarely centered in similar investigations. By expanding on this example, it seeks to demonstrate some of the difficulties that arose for women in their practical work that underpinned an important anticolonial initiative.
By Julius Dihstelhoff & Tomaz Amorim. Global academic collaboration is a dynamic field, where it is important to deal with inequalities and build connections between institutions from different regions. Recent discussions have shed light on these pivotal issues.
The Russian “Civilizing Mission” and the Russian War against Ukraine: the 19th-Century Colonial Origins
By Elżbieta Kwiecińska. This article examines the colonial concept of the civilizing mission as a cultural transfer in East-Central Europe during the nineteenth century. The author outlines the nineteenth century colonial origins of the contemporary Russian justification of the war against Ukraine as a Russian “civilizing mission”.
By Aleksandra Ancite-Jepifánova. Recent years have seen an increase in the violation of asylum-seeker rights in the EU, including through so-called pushbacks. These practices have typically not been authorised by domestic legislation and have been denied or concealed by the relevant Member States. However, this changed with the crisis at the EU-Belarus border that has unfolded since summer 2021.
Resilience and Connection. A field report on the international congress “Rethinking Ukraine and Europe: New Challenges for Historians”
By Denys Shatalov. In September, 2023, the international congress titled “Rethinking Ukraine and Europe: New Challenges for Historians” took place in Vilnius. This event was organized by the Lithuanian Institute of History, in collaboration with partner organizations from Germany, Ukraine, Poland, and Ukraine. Among these partners was Prisma Ukraïna. Vilnius University hosted the congress. A report.