Contemporary History Podium

There are many questions in the air – and many will stay there if they do not become the subject of discussion. Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte has sought to change this with its “Podium Zeitgeschichte.” Generally once a year, underlying problems in the field and current debates in contemporary history are discussed in a dialogical, international, and cross-media format, and are taken to the podium both figuratively and literally. Essays written by renowned historians introduce each edition; the authors then meet for discussion at a public event held at the Leibniz Institute for Contemporary History in Munich; the discussion is documented as a transcript with film excerpts on the VfZ website; and readers have the opportunity to take part in the discussion in the forum there as well.

Contemporary History Podium 2022: "Islam and International Politics. New Perspectives on the Contemporary History of the Near and Middle East between the Cold War and Decolonialisation"


The history of Islam – its role as a factor in international politics and transnational interdependence – so far only plays a marginal role in German and European contemporary historiography. The Contemporary History Podium attempts a “de-provincialisation” of Islam and lets it enter into a dialogue with universalisms and traditions from the history of ideas, which so far have mostly been connoted as Western-European by research. These include debates on Islam and nationhood in decolonisation processes (Matthieu Rey) as well as competing notions of the compatibility of Islam and secular socialism (Manfred Sing). Hatem Elliesie deals with Islamic understandings of human rights and their relationship with Western patterns of interpretation. The concluding contribution by Esther Möller covers concepts and practices of humanitarian help by organisations characterised as Islamic in the interplay between Arab nationalism, decolonialisation and the Cold War.