Historical knowledge is key for anyone who wishes to understand the modern world and recognise the direction it is likely to take. I consider history as the great upheavals that affected human societies. The study of these past transformations and conflicts teaches us the deepest lessons about human societies. Moreover, our existence largely remains the product of these ancient changes, in spite of numerous recent innovations and transitions. The rise and fall of the Roman Empire, the development of the modern state, the industrial revolutions, the rise of the West, the two world wars, and European Integration shaped languages that we speak in Europe and beyond, the cities and countries in which we live, our social and political orders, the economic inequalities that organise our existence, along with the material forms of our daily life.
I devoted my first historical works to the study of European Integration. First because this evolution has deeply transformed the European continent and the global international order. Second because it is still an on-going change. It is therefore a field of research in which historians can the most contribute to explaining the modern world. My works have been located at the intersection between the questions of European Integration and of migration movements. The latter have become such a contentious issue in Europe because they touch on fundamental interests that need to be better understood. I have published one book on these questions: The History of the European Migration Regime, in which I explain how a relatively open migration regime was able to occur within Europe in the last decades. The book is available here. I have also published articles that have explored questions more or less directly connected to this same matter.
Currently I am working on new papers to better understand various aspects of the transformation of the European migration regime in the last decades. I am also working on a second book project, in which I will investigate the nexus between immigration to Europe and labour conflicts in Europe over the post-war decades. Fundamental factors explaining why immigration has become such a contentious issue in Europe lie there. Also, this nexus has shaped in still underestimated ways European societies and politics.
Dr Emmanuel Comte
Vienna School of International Studies
Department of History
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