CeSeR Annual Conference 2019

CeSeR Annual Conference 2019: Peace among the Ruins
Hosted by: Dr Mathias Thaler # University of Edinburgh; Hosted by: Prof Juliet Kaarbo # University of Edinburgh; Hosted by: Dr Fabian Hilfrch # University of Edinburgh; Hosted by: Louis Fletcher # University of Edinburgh
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
30th May 2019 09:00 - 1st Jun 2019 17:00
Project Room, George Square 50 / Dunfermline


The Legacy of Andrew Carnegie’s Internationalism and the World Crisis of 1919

Invited Speakers

Full Programe

The full conference programme can be downloaded here: https://goo.gl/agcrsz


Please note that the trip to Dunfermline has to be paid extra. In case you wish to just attend the sessions in Edinburgh, there is no need to add the excursion: https://bit.ly/2GYH5Bg

Conference Venue

A map to the conference can be found here: https://goo.gl/maps/aWUFCi1yN8gtLYDR8


The 11th of August 2019 will mark the hundredth anniversary of the death of Andrew Carnegie. While best known in the popular imagination for his ‘rags to riches’ story, rising from an early life of penury in Dunfermline to become America’s leading steel tycoon, Carnegie was also a committed and influential internationalist. By the age of forty, Carnegie spent the majority of his time not on his considerable business ventures, but on becoming a scholar and public intellectual. He dreamed of the reunion of Britain and America, became a fervent acolyte of Herbert Spencer, publicly chastised the United States’ turn to imperialism following the Spanish-American War, and called for a world order founded on international law. Carnegie also devoted his largesse to these causes. Most notably as the patron of the Peace Palace in The Hague, which today houses the International Court of Justice, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, still widely considered to be one of the most influential think-tanks in the world.

2019 will also witness the hundredth anniversary of several epochal events in the history of internationalism – the Versailles Treaty, the signing of the covenant of the League of Nations, and the foundation of the Communist International. These anniversaries present an opportune moment to return to Andrew Carnegie’s thought and philanthropy, and to examine his contribution to the history, development and contemporary practice of internationalism. The retrenchment of internationalism in recent years endows these topics with a new and urgent significance, while also raising a number of interesting parallels with the fate of the internationalism of Carnegie’s own day – mired as it was by war, protectionism, crumbling empires, economic depression, and the stillborn birth of the League of Nations. It was this period of crisis that gave way both to the Second World War, and to a recrudescent internationalism that paved the way for the United Nations and the post-war international order. Its legacies are manifold for today.

Drawing on these anniversaries, the University of Edinburgh – an apposite location since Carnegie’s birthplace, Dunfermline, lies just across the River Forth – is hosting a conference focusing on some of the themes of Carnegie’s life and the year 1919. The conference will consist of a number of panels, grouped around five keynote addresses by the invited speakers.

Excursion and Reception at Dunfermline

  • Students: £20
  • Staff: £30

Conference Organisers


The conference is sponsored by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, the School of Social and Political Science, the Centre for Security Research (CeSeR), the Global Justice Academy, and the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Edinburgh.