CfP: 18th annual HEIRS conference. A means to what end: the interrelation between visions of Europe and economic policies

Call for papers, deadline 3 April 2022

The aim of the 18th annual conference of the History of European Integration Research Society (HEIRS) is to analyse the interrelation between different motivations and visions of Europe and the European Community /European Union’s economic policies during the second half of the 20th century.

The historiography of European integration has witnessed multiple different approaches to studying the purpose, motivation and driving forces behind ongoing European economic cooperation integration. Historians have focussed not only on state actors and national governments but also on European actors, social movements, businesses, banks, intellectuals, and public opinion. Through these approaches historians have come up with a plethora of explanations for ongoing economic cooperation and integration such as: a project to achieve a durable peace on the European continent, expanding markets for large businesses, and innumerable other explanations or visions of Europe. 

This conference proposes to bundle and further develop all such approaches by looking for histories that study European economic policies and their theoretical/ideological underpinnings, as well as the ways in which these economic policies themselves influenced visions and ideas for Europe. We take inspiration here from the framework of ‘new histories of capitalism’, that reintroduced the concept of capitalism as a frame to understand historical and contemporary political economies with particular attention for social conflict (Andry et al, 2019). The development of the concept of capitalism in recent historical scholarship worldwide has been a useful tool to uncover the economic, political and ideological doctrines and models that shape global capitalism and its regional variants.

The conference thus proposes to further analyse the interrelation between visions of Europe and European economic policies by increasing the connections between European integration history and various disciplines that study the history of economics, be they the new histories of capitalism, histories of economics as a science and the history of economic thought. Moreover, it encourages participation of histories that study non-state actors involved with European economic integration, one can think of businesses, banks, labour unions or social movements.

We are particularly interested in contributions that look at:

- The different ideologies that informed or shaped economic integration
- Case studies on the economic views of state and non-state actors and how they related to ideas of Europe.
- The influence of business and banks on European economic integration
- The views of the social and societal actors on economic integration
- Whether and how expert groups and think tanks shaped economic integration

- The view of non-member state organizations towards economic integration.
- National, political, geopolitical, or social goals that shaped agendas for European economic integration.
- The influence of bureaucrats/technocrats

PhD students in any stage of their research and early postdoctoral researchers are invited to submit a 250 word abstract and CV by the 3rd of April, Referencing HEIRS_Conference in the subject line. Please send applications and further questions to

The conference will use a hybrid online and in person format and will take place from the 31st of May to the 1st of June. Notices of acceptance will be sent by mid-April.

Please note that should your institution be unable to do so, there are limited funds available to support your accommodation and travel expenses.

The History of European Integration Research Society (HEIRS) is a postgraduate student network. HEIRS aims at fostering the collaboration and interaction of postgraduate researchers across Europe with an interest in European integration history.

The conference is financially supported by the ERC funded research project EURECON: The Making of a Lopsided Union: Economic Integration in the European Economic Community, 1957-1992 (grant agreement No 716849), the Centre for Business History in Scotland, and the School of Social and Political Science of the University of Glasgow.

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