German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

Phone: Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050





Beyond the Progressive Story

Reframing Resistance to European Integration


27–31 March 2023

Organizers: Antonio Carbone (DHI Rome), Olga Gontarska (DHI Warsaw), Alexander Hobe (HIS Hamburg), Beata Jurkowicz (DHI Warschau), William King (GHI London), David Lawton (GHI London), Andrea Carlo Martinez (DHI Rome), Philipp Müller (HIS Hamburg), Katharina Troll (HIS Hamburg)
Institutions involved: Hamburg Institute for Social Research (HIS Hamburg), German Historical Institute in London (GHI London), German Historical Institute in Rome (DHI Rome), German Historical Institute in Warsaw (DHI Warsaw)
Venue: German Historical Institute in Rome


In view of the recurrent crises that have hit the European Union over the last two decades, dominant assumptions about its historical development are under revision. Whereas important theories of integration mainly elaborated explanations of European integration as a linear progressive teleological process, recent criticism casts doubt on their capacity to capture the twists and turns both of current and past developments of the European Communities and Union. Particularly, the picture of the European Union as a political entity inexorably on its way to ever-deepening supranational unity has been called into question.

The conference at the German Historical Institute in Rome, 27-31 March 2023, is organized by the participants of the research project “(De)Constructing Europe”, a cooperation between the Max Weber Foundation and the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). The conference will contribute to a reconceptualization of the history of Europeanization by starting from the observation that resistance and opposition to the EEC and the EU should not be conceived as mere obstacles that had to be overcome on the way to integration. Rather, they have often been important factors in shaping the institutions and policies of European cooperation that have emerged since the end of the Second World War. Multiple conceptions of Europe have intertwined and clashed, constantly redefining the scope and character of European integration, which consequently has not proceeded in a linear fashion and has not been consistently underpinned by a single vision.

By focusing on concrete historical trajectories and changes of direction, the conference aims to develop perspectives other than that of the conventional “teleological view” of European integration. The following topics are meant as suggestions of possible discussion points that will be explored in more depth in various sections of the conference. Proposals for papers related to these topics will receive close attention.

  1. Alternative visions: The emergence of competing forms of European integration.
  2. Networks of Resistance: The formation of European networks opposing EEC and EU integration policies.
  3. Conversions: The transformation of supporters of the EEC/EU into opponents – and vice versa.
  4. Conflicted space: The enlargements of the European Communities/European Union and their contestation.

Please send an abstract (400 words), a title and a short biography (100 words) by September 5, 2022, to the following email address: The conference will take place in Rome during the week of 27–31 March, 2023. Reimbursement opportunities for travel and accommodation will be available.

For any queries, please contact:

Call for Papers (PDF file)