History of International Organizations, Decolonization, Development and Humanitarianism
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Eva-Maria Muschik is a scholar of international organizations, decolonization, development and humanitarianism. In broadest terms, her research and teaching explore how institutions of global governance have evolved and shaped the world.
Eva received her PhD in European history from New York University, after spending the academic year 2015-16 as a predoctoral fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University. In 2016-17 she was a postdoctoral fellow in the interdisciplinary Max Weber program of the European University Institute in Florence.
Her research has been supported by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Harvard and Cambridge Universities’ History Project for New Economic Thinking, and the National History Center of the American Historical Association.
Fall Semester 2017/2018:
Spring Semester 2017:
(At the EUI): Graduate Seminar “Decolonization and Development.” Co-taught with Prof. Corinna Unger.
Fall Semester 2016:
(At the EUI): Graduate Seminar “International History.” Co-taught with Prof. Federico Romero and Prof. Corinna Unger.
Fall Semester 2013:
(At NYU): Undergraduate Seminar “History 101: Theories and Practice – The History of International Development.” Together with Professor Thomas Bender.
Eva is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Building States: The United Nations, Decolonization and the Strange Triumph of State Sovereignty after 1945, which examines formative UN development initiatives carried out by its Secretariat between 1945 and 1965: in UN Trust Territories, in the former Italian colonies of Libya and Somaliland, in Bolivia, at the New York headquarters, and in newly-independent Congo. While postwar multilateral cooperation is often viewed as an attempt to overcome the limitations of the nation-state system, Building States examines how, since 1945, UN employees in fact supported the strange triumph of the nation-state, contributing to its proliferation on a global scale at a time when state sovereignty became an increasingly less meaningful barrier to outside intervention, especially in developing countries. As multilateral interventions to resolve violent conflicts or rescue “failed states” are increasing, the book manuscript examines the record of past UN statebuilding exercises that sought to develop the conditions deemed necessary for sovereign membership in the world community.
Alongside this investigation of UN statebuilding efforts, Eva is interested in exploring how microhistories, or zooming in on individuals, can illuminate transnational phenomena such as the history of development and decolonization. “The Art of Chameleon Politics,” to be published in Humanity: An International Journal for Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development in 2018, explores the continuities between imperial and international development efforts through the career trajectory of a colonial forester turned UN development expert. “A Pretty Kettle of Fish: United Nations Assistance in the Mass Dismissal of Labor in the Iranian Oil Industry, 1959-1960,” forthcoming in Labor History in 2018, examines the limits of the prominent notion of a “rule of experts,” according to which development practitioners gained unprecedented powers after World War II.
“Managing the World: The United Nations, Decolonisation and the Strange Triumph of State Sovereignty in the 1950s and 1960s.” Journal of Global History 12, no.1 (March 2018).
“The Art of Chameleon Politics: From Colonial Servant to International Development Expert.” Humanity: An International Journal for Human Rights, Humanitarianism and Development 9, no. 2 (Summer 2018).
“‘A Pretty Kettle of Fish’: United Nations Assistance in the Mass Dismissal of Labor in the Iranian Oil Industry, 1959-1960.” Forthcoming 2018, in Labor History as part of a special issue on “Labor Politics in the Oil Industry: New Historical Perspectives.”
"Review of Alessandro Iandolo, “Beyond the Shoe: Rethinking Khruschev at the Fifteenth Session of the United Nations General Assembly." Diplomatic History 41, no.1 (January 2017) in: H-Diplo, H-Net Review, October 6, 2017, http://tiny.cc/AR718.
Review of Amy Sayward: The United Nations in International History. London 2017, in: H-Soz-Kult, 19.09.2017, <www.hsozkult.de/publicationreview/id/rezbuecher-27429>.
“Selbstötungen in Neustrelitz gegen Ende des Zweiten Weltkriegs.” [“Suicide in Neustrelitz at the End of World War II.”] Zeitgeschichte regional. Mitteilungen aus Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 14 (2010), 22-31.