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Statelessness: A Modern History

Two world wars left millions stranded in Europe. The collapse of empires and the rise of independent states in the twentieth century produced an unprecedented number of people without national belonging and with nowhere to go. Following a generation of theorists and practitioners who took up the problem of mass statelessness, Siegelberg weaves together a history of ideas of law and politics, rights and citizenship, with the intimate plight of stateless persons. Drawing on extensive archival research and an innovative approach to the history of international order, Siegelberg explores how and why the rise and fall of statelessness in modern thought compels a new understanding of the historical relationship between states and citizens, empires and states, and of the legitimation of the territorial state against alternative forms of political organization in the twentieth century.

Date & Time

Monday
Dec. 7, 2020
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

Zoom Webinar

Statelessness: A Modern History

Two world wars left millions stranded in Europe. The collapse of empires and the rise of independent states in the twentieth century produced an unprecedented number of people without national belonging and with nowhere to go. Following a generation of theorists and practitioners who took up the problem of mass statelessness, Siegelberg weaves together a history of ideas of law and politics, rights and citizenship, with the intimate plight of stateless persons. Drawing on extensive archival research and an innovative approach to the history of international order, Siegelberg explores how and why the rise and fall of statelessness in modern thought compels a new understanding of the historical relationship between states and citizens, empires and states, and of the legitimation of the territorial state against alternative forms of political organization in the twentieth century.

Mira L. Siegelberg is University Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in The History of International Political Thought at Cambridge University. She received a PhD in History at Harvard University in 2014, after which she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Princeton Society of Fellows, and a permanent lectureship in History and Law at Queen Mary, University of London. Her research focuses on the intellectual and legal history of international order and the history of modern legal thought. Her first book, Statelessness: A Modern History was published by Harvard University Press in October 2020.

The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University and the National History Center) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partners (the George Washington University History Department and the Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest) for their continued support.


Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program strives to make public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, to facilitate scholarship based on those records, and to use these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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