Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Lecture | Global Questions Seminar

The New Atlantic Order - and the Transformation of Global Politics in the "Long" 20th Century

Thursday 23 May 2024
Global Questions Seminar 2023-2024
Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden


Building on my recent book The New Atlantic Order, and challenging long dominant conceptions of a “short” 20th century, this talk seeks to cast fresh light on how the modern global order actually came to be recast so radically. To this end, it will present a new conceptual framework and trace fundamental transformation processes that occurred in what I call the “long” 20th century century (ca. 1860–2022). This will be done by focusing on one particular, seminally transformative process that had manifold global consequences: the struggle to create, for the first time, a modern Atlantic order.

My talk will thus offer a new interpretation both of the First World War and the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, arguing that it should be seen as the original attempt to supersede the still Eurocentric “world order” of the “long” 19th century and found a more legitimate peace system that could not yet be global but had to be built around a transatlantic nucleus. Yet it will also explore why, despite remarkable learning-processes, it ultimately proved impossible to forge a durable Atlantic or global peace after the Great War. Finally, it will throw into relief how regional orders and world order came to the reshaped thereafter. And it will reflect on why the “long” 20th century became not only a crucible for modern conceptions of peace, collective security, democratic self-determination and a rule-based international system but also, time and again, an “age of disorder excess” that brought forth aspirations and ideologies fundamentally at odds with such ideas.

About the speaker

Patrick O. Cohrs is Professor of International History at the University of Florence. He specialises in the history of modern international politics, focusing on war and peace and the transformation of the transatlantic and global order in the long twentieth century.

Before coming to Florence, Patrick O. Cohrs was Associate Professor of History and International Relations at Yale University where he also was one of the co-founders of the Yale International History Workshop. Professor Cohrs received his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 2002 and was subsequently Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford, in 20067. Earlier, he was a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government and the Center for European Studies at Harvard UniversityHe has also held fellowships in London, Paris, Tokyo and Budapest. Having taught at Humboldt University Berlin, he was a visiting professor at the Free International University of Social Studies in Rome (2016), Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg (201718), the Sciences Po in Paris (2022) and the University of Oxford (2023).

Professor Cohrs is the author of The New Atlantic Order. The Transformation of International Politics
. 18601933 (Cambridge University Press, 2022), which won the 2023 Prose Award in World History, and The Unfinished Peace after World War I (Cambridge University Press, 2006). He is now working on the third and final volume of his trilogy on the transformation of the modern Atlantic and global order, which will cover the second half of the long twentieth century (1933–2022). For further information please visit: www.patrickocohrs.com.

Global Questions Seminar

The motto of the Institute for History’s research programme is ‘Global Questions, Local Sources’. Across all areas and time periods, researchers of the Institute focus on important processes such as migration, colonialism, urbanization, and identity formation.

The ‘Global Questions Seminar’, for which we invite distinguished international colleagues to discuss the interplay between global and local issues from the past, brings all staff members of the Institute for History together.

This website uses cookies.  More information.