German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
United Kingdom

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



History of Politics and the Political

Research Cluster


The history of politics is an important field of interest at the GHIL. Inspired by methodological debates of the past 20 years and particularly a cultural understanding of politics, research at the GHIL is committed to a broad and dynamic notion of politics and the political. In this view, politics is not a given, but is constantly created, renegotiated, and performed. In analysing such processes, therefore, projects in this research area are both thematically and methodologically open. By applying concepts, theories and methods from cultural studies and cultural history, they focus on themes such as gender, class, knowledge, medialization, emotions and time.

Hannes Ziegler

‘The Vigilant and the Negligent’
British Coastal Administrations in the 18th Century

Etching and mezzotint image of Martello Towers near Bexhill, with a  small group of people in the foreground, and two soldiers on horseback riding up the road in the centre of the image

The project explores the history of 18th-century British coastal administration from the angle of administrative and political history in a cultural perspective. It focuses on the various administrative units that were charged with guarding and watching the coasts and aims to integrate the findings with the historiography of state-formation in 18th-century Britain.

Markus Mößlang

British Envoys to Germany

Engraving of a portrait of Sir Edward Malet in his study at the British embassy, Berlin, 1893

The editorial project presents a comprehensive selection of diplomatic reports written for the Foreign Office by British envoys to the German States in the 19th century, covering the period from the Vienna Congress in 1815 to the dissolution of the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund) in 1866, the North German Confederation (1867–1870) and from the foundation of the German Kaiserreich in 1871 to 1897.

Michael Schaich

Webs of Information
Scribal News and News Cultures around 1700

A trompe l'oeil painting of newspapers, letters, writing implements (a quill, knife and sealing wax) and a comb, attached to a wooden board with tacked down strips of red leather

Why would a well-educated man or woman subscribe, at great cost, to a hand-written newsletter, when cheaper newspapers were already easily available? This project investigates the so far largely hidden sphere of scribal news in a world dominated by the printing press, and follows the flows of information that ran between Britain and the Continent in the years around 1700.

Sina Steglich

Nomadism as a Discursive Figure of (Post)Modernity

A Tibetan nomad in front of his tent

Modernity and mobility are ambivalently intertwined, whereby nomadism can be understood as a focal point of modernity’s self-conception as modernity. Nomadism was excluded from the European/Western concept of modernity, until it was rediscovered by postmodern thinkers and intellectuals. Against this backdrop, it is proposed that nomadism be identified as a prominent discursive figure of (post)modernity that calls for a continued reflection on sociality. 


History as a Political Category
ICAS: 'Metamorphosis of the Political'

M.S. Merian – R. Tagore International Centre of Advanced Studies

Past and completed Projects

  • Homesick for Yesterday: A History of the Nostalgia Wave (Tobias Becker)
  • Staging Britain in a Changing World: Knowledge and Practices of British State Visits, 1910–1980 (Falko Schnicke)
  • Making Space for Sporting Bodies: Sociability, Body Politics, Commerce, and Lifestyle in Early Modern English Sports Culture (Angela Schattner)
  • Cultures of Intelligence (Philipp Gassert, Andreas Gestrich, and Sönke Neitzel)
  • Theatrum Ceremoniale: Monarchy, Parliament, and Ritual in England, 1688/89–c. 1800 (Michael Schaich)
  • ‘People Count’: A History of British Self-Observations in Survey Research and Censuses in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Kerstin Brückweh)
  • "Conservatism Lost – Conservatism Regained": Political Languages of Conservatism in the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1960s and 1970s (Martina Steber)