Skip to Content

Search: {{$root.lsaSearchQuery.q}}, Page {{$}}

Annual Distinguished Lecture on Europe. Mass Flight from and in Ukraine: A Game Changer in International Refugee and Migration History?

Philipp Ther, professor of central European history, University of Vienna
Monday, December 4, 2023
4:00-5:30 PM
1010 Weiser Hall Map
The mass flight from and in Ukraine indeed deserves to be labeled as a major "refugee crisis” for Europe. The talk will take this case as a point of departure, but then zoom back a century into the aftermath of World War I, when refugees from Ukraine and Russia were formative for international refugee politics and international law. The lecture will then analyze who was accepted as a refugee over time and who was not, and why Ukrainian refugees have been received surprisingly positively since the beginning of the second Russian-Ukrainian War.

The open door policy in Europe since February 2022 is based on the reaction to mass flights from the former Yugoslavia. The history of Croatia and Bosnia from 1991 to 1995 are also important points of reference to understand Ukraine's predicaments in its struggle against Russian neo-imperialism and fascism. Another recurring topic of the lecture will be the dialectic between humanitarian and utilitarian refugee politics and how they might be combined. The countries of origin are usually set aside once the mass flight has occurred and play only a minor role in migration history. This must change in the case of Ukraine, where the return of refugees and other ways to strengthen human capital should be a major consideration.

Philipp Ther is Professor of Central European History at the University of Vienna, where he also founded the Research Center for the History of Transformations (RECET). Five of his monographs have been published in English: Europe since 1989: A History (Princeton UP); The Dark Side of Nation States: Ethnic Cleansing in Modern Europe (Berghahn Press); Center Stage: Operatic Culture and Nation Building in 19th Century Central Europe (Purdue UP); The Outsiders: Refugees in Europe since 1492 (Princeton UP); and How the West Lost the Peace. The Great Transformation since 1989 (Polity Press). In 2019 he was awarded the Wittgenstein Prize by the Austrian Research Fund, the highest recognition for scientists in Austria.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us at Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: European, History, International, Politics
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for European Studies, International Institute, Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, Modern Greek Program