Emmanuel Comte is a historian of European integration and migration in Europe since 1945. He is a senior researcher at CIDOB, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, and a professorial lecturer at the Vienna School of International Studies. He has also held academic positions at the European University Institute in Florence and the University of California, Berkeley. Emmanuel was admitted to the École normale supérieure in Paris, where he earned the French agrégation in History in 2007 and a graduate degree in History and International Relations in 2009. He received a European PhD summa cum laude in the History of Europe and International Relations from Sorbonne University in 2014, with a prize-winning thesis titled 'The Formation of the European Migration Regime, 1947–1992.'
He believes that the possibility to leave the country in which one happened to be born and benefit from opportunities in other countries is an indispensable condition for human progress, freedom, and global fairness in the twenty-first century. To contribute to this objective through his research, he investigates when free migration between countries could occur in the past and why migration restrictions did happen. To construct causalities, he resorts to the classical research method of historians. He looks for and criticises qualitative documents to evaluate social actors’ motivations and the interplay of social forces.
Emmanuel's book, The History of the European Migration Regime: Germany's Strategic Hegemony (Routledge, 2018), explores the origins of the migration rules that have prevailed within the European Union since the 1990s. With the free movement of people, European citizenship, and the Schengen agreements, the European migration regime has been in the global governance of migration a peculiar case, characterised by a high degree of internal openness and a high degree of external closure. Based on detailed archival inquiry, this book explains the opportunity to migrate within the European Union through German strategies. The German economy has stabilised migration flows in Europe during most decades in the past half-century. By doing so, it has secured the rules of internal free movement within the Union, which the German government has championed since the 1950s to promote its regional interests.
Emmanuel has published scholarly articles in English or French in Cold War History, Labor History, Le Mouvement social, Relations Internationales, and the Journal of European Integration History. He has also produced chapters in books published by Palgrave Macmillan and Peter Lang. Those studies have investigated how migration concerns featured in the beginnings of the Cold War and European integration, the external relations of the European Union, and the conflicts between immigrants and local workers.
Emmanuel speaks five languages, including French, English, Italian, German, and Spanish, and has some grasp of Greek and Dutch.
Dr Emmanuel Comte
CIDOB, Barcelona Centre for International Affairs
Carrer d'Elisabets, 12