HINT – Humanity internationalized: cases, dynamics and comparisons (1945-1980)

Humanity internationalized: cases, dynamics, and comparisons (1945-1980) (HINT) is an international project that will scrutinize the ways in which humanitarian and human rights arguments, norms and policies became an institutionalized topic of international affairs, connected to decolonization. This will be done in different chronologies and in relation to distinct colonial and post-colonial geographies and trajectories, considering diverse international institutions (governmental and non-governmental). HINT is based on multiple archives, and is comparative in nature. It will encourage international scientific cooperation, while enhancing the knowledge and competencies of the national scientific system. HINT engages with two of the most important ongoing scholarly debates in international historiography. First, the one about the historical connections between imperial and colonial dynamics, and their markers of coercion, discrimination and inequality, and the internationalization and institutionalization of humanitarian and human rights regimes. Second, the one about the interdependence between the histories of international organizations and of European late colonialism and decolonization.

HINT will do so by assessing, in a comparative way, the various dynamics of internationalization of particular events and processes taking place in colonial contexts that shaped the emergence and historical evolution of humanitarian and human rights regimes – distinct but entangled phenomena –, and evaluating as well some related post-colonial manifestations. These processes of internationalization were frequently anticolonial in nature, but they also entailed projects of imperial resilience, both sides being duly analyzed by the project. HINT will be empirically and analytically anchored in specific cases that became the object of systematic interest in international organizations.

Responsible Researcher: José Pedro Monteiro

Team: Alanna O’Malley, Ana Guardião, Beatriz Valverde Contreras, Boyd van Dijk, Bradley Simpson, Damiano Matasci, Fabian Klose, Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps, Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo, Nicole Bourbonnais e Steven Jensen