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  • Transnationale Geschichte der Amerikas mit Fokussen auf Kolumbien, Uruguay und den USA
  • Geschichte der Entwicklungs-, Sozial- und Bevölkerungspolitik
  • Globalgeschichte, Wissensgeschichte und Geschlechtergeschichte


The Creation of Exceptionalism: How Uruguayan Reformers Imagined and Promoted a “Model Country” in International Arenas and Transnational Networks (1876-1942) (Arbeitstitel)

Long-lasting and influential images of Uruguay as an exceptional model country were created in the late 19th and early 20th century, and especially under the liberal batllista governments between 1903 and 1933. This habilitation project analyzes the processes and actors behind the creation of these images.

The idea of Uruguay as a vanguard welfare state was a key element of how its politicians and reformers portrayed the small country’s exceptionalism. The project thus looks at the interrelated policy fields of public health, labor, and education in order to analyze the transnational and international dimensions of Uruguayan nation building and state consolidation. Informed by global history approaches, the project identifies and traces the actors who shaped these policy fields. It follows them in their continental and transatlantic travels, publications and exchanges, and analyzes the tangible and imaginary spaces in which these activities unfolded. The project is especially interested in how these reformers showcased Uruguayan successes elsewhere, and in what they presented as lessons learned at home. It argues that their trans- and international activities shaped ideas of Uruguay abroad, but also influenced domestic political processes and self-perceptions.


Feodor Lynen-Forschungsstipendium der Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung (2023-2024)

The Uruguayan delegation demonstrated the benevolence and advanced character of its legislation”: A global history of labor policies in Uruguay (1903–1942)

The project analyzes Uruguayan labor policies in the first four decades of the twentieth century from a global history perspective. It thus proceeds from the fundamental assumption that these policies cannot be understood without considering the inter- and transnational arenas of social policy formation. By critically engaging with methodological debates within the field of global history, it addresses questions such as: How did Uruguayan reformers present their country’s “successes” to the world? How did their trans- and international actions influence domestic events? Where can we trace knowledge transfer between the Uruguayan government and other global actors, and when and how did government officials use international references primarily as a means to strengthen arguments within domestic debates?

In terms of national policy specifically, the project’s main argument is that health and labor policies were interconnected during those decades, and that the idea of healthy citizens informed much of what officials discussed under the term “labor”. Therefore, the project will focus on the legislation that reflects these entanglements most clearly: the general prevention of labor accidents and unhealthy work environments, the specific protective measures for groups perceived as vulnerable (most notably women and children), and the different forms of help and compensation offered to workers whose health suffered at their workplace.