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What if history were written by the losers of war?

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The constitutional scholar and political theorist Carl Schmitt published a controversial pamphlet in 1950, where he claimed, that the losers of wars where the better historians. On the one hand, Schmitt was clearly apologetic. On the other hand, he brought forward intriguing examples. For instance Alexis de Tocqueville, who came from the nobility of the French Ancien regime, gave one of the sharpest analyses of the French revolution. Reinhart Koselleck later added the examples of St. Augustine after the plundering of Rome in 410 AC or the German historians Barthold Georg Niebuhr and Wilhelm von Humboldt after the Prussia defeat in 1806. This event starts with a critical evaluation of Call Schmitt’s idea of “losers as the better historians” by Professor Siegfried Weichlein, and then evolves into a discussion on the topic from Dr Gilad Ben Nun and Achim Wennman, including on some of the contemporary challenges of the assertion that “losers as the better historians” in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

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In partnership with the Geneva Peace Building Platform for Geneva Peace Week (Simultaneous interpretation)

Dr. Achim Wennmann, Executive Coordinator, Geneva Peacebuilding Platform and Senior Research, Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies ; Gilad Ben Nun, Senior Researcher, Centre for Area Studies, Leipzig University, Germany et Prof. Siegfried Weichlein, Université de Fribourg.

 

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01 January 1970