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Prof. Dr. Johannes Paulmann

Director (executive), Department "Universalgeschichte"
Room: 208
Phone: +49 6131 39 39362
Fax: +49 6131 39 30154


Personal Details:

Born in 1960; undergraduate studies in History in Munich and Leicester (England); PhD in 1991 and Habilitation in 1999 (Munich), 2000–2002: assistant professorship in Munich; 2002–2006: Professor of History at the International University in Bremen (now Jacobs University) and first holder of the Helmut Schmidt Professorship for International History; 2006–2011: Professor of Modern and Recent History in Mannheim, guest professorships at the Emory University in Atlanta, London School of Economics and Magdalen College in Oxford; since 2011: Director of the IEG, Section for Universal History.

Committee memberships

Historical Commission of the Bayrische Akademie der Wissenschaften
Senior member of the Gutenberg-Akademie für den wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs
Secretary and board member of the Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands
Member of the Advisory Council at the DHI Moskau

Research focuses

European history
Transnational and international history
German history in a transnational perspective


Editor (together with Markus Friedrich and Nick Stargardt) of the Jahrbuch für Europäische Geschichte / European History Yearbook (De Gruyter).
Joint editor of the Studien zur Internationalen Geschichte (Oldenbourg Verlag).
Main editor (with Fabian Klose) of the blog “Humanitarianism & Human Rights” (http://hhr.hypotheses.org).
Main editor of the Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Europäische Geschichte (VIEG), Abt. Universalgeschichte (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht)
Editor (with Gudrun Gersmann) of recensio.net, a review platform for European historical science (http://www.recensio.net).
Main editor (with Irene Dingel) of the website European History Online (EGO) of the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz (http://www.ieg-ego.de).

Selected publications

Pomp und Politik: Monarchenbegegnungen in Europa zwischen Ancien Régime und Erstem Weltkrieg, Paderborn et al.: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2000, 482 pages. (Habilitation dissertation; winner of the prize for special achievements by young academics of the Association of Historians of Germany and chosen by H-Soz-u-Kult as the "Historical Book of 2001" in the modern history category).
(editor with Martin H. Geyer) The Mechanics of Internationalism: Culture, Society and Politics from the 1840s to the First World War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, 471 pages.
Regionen und Welten: Arenen und Akteure regionaler Weltbeziehungen seit dem 19. Jahrhundert, in: Historische Zeitschrift 296 (2013), pp. 660-699.
The Straits of Europe: History at the Margins of a Continent, in: Bulletin of the German Historical Institute Washington, 52 (Spring 2013), pp. 7-28.
Conjunctures in the History of International Humanitarian Aid during the Twentieth Century, in: Humanity 4/2 (2013), pp. 215-238.

Current research projects:

EGO | European History Online

EGO | European History Online is an transcultural history of Europe published Open Access.

Engaging Europe in the Arab World – European missionaries and humanitarianism in the Middle East (1850-1970)

This project seeks to explore the points of contact between European ‘humanitarian diplomacy’ (praxis and law) and the missionaries.

Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy


The international Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy (GHRA) offers research training to advanced PhD candidates and early postdocs. It combines academic sessions at the Imperial and Global History Centre at the University of Exeter and the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz with archival sessions at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The Research Academy addresses early career researchers who are working in the related fields of humanitarianism, international humanitarian law, peace and conflict studies as well as human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th century. It supports scholarship on the ideas and practices of humanitarianism in the context of international, imperial and global history thus advancing our understanding of global governance in humanitarian crises of the present.

Graduate Workshop: European History across Boundaries from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century

Writing European history calls for the crossing of boundaries and borders. The Leibniz Institute of European History holds annual workshops on early modern and modern European history for international PhD students. We encourage researchers working in this field to present central aspects of their dissertation projects and to discuss the transcultural and transnational scope of their findings in a stimulating environment. The next workshop will be held in January 2018.

Research Training Group: "The Christian Churches and the Challenge of 'Europe'"

The research training group examines reactions in the process of European unification, as well as the repercussions and activities that the process gave rise to in the area of the churches. The project also focuses on the efforts of the churches to insert religious concepts of values into the political processes.

The History of Humanitarian Assistance in the 19th and 20th Centuries

This research project aims to produce a comprehensive account of the history of humanitarian assistance. It is based on an understanding of humanitarian assistance which takes into account how this field of activity has changed over time.