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Benoît Challand received his first degree in Contemporary, Modern History and Greek Philology from the University of Fribourg (CH) under the guidance of Prof. Francis Python and Prof. Volker Reinhardt. He worked in particular on  Couverture livre Benoit Challand Book Cover European contemporary history, Swiss history, the history of the welfare state and federalist theories (Contemporary history), and on  15th century Florence political system, the links between arts and power in Italian Renaissance, and the reception of Polybius's work in 15 and 16th century historiography (Modern History). He also successfully followed courses about the History of European Integration in the Europa Institut in Basel (course of G. Kreis and S. Kux).

His first book was published in 2000. It deals with the history of a small Trotskzyite party in Switerland (La Ligue Marxiste Révolutionnaire en Suisse Romande. 1969-1980) and was published in the collection "Aux Sources du Temps Présent ", a series led by Francis Python and Claude Hauser. The research is based on original archivial work from party members, oral history with 15 former militants, and the analsis of the party's official newspaper (La Brèche)

 In his doctoral dissertation, he offers innovative insights about the history of development and of the transformation of Palestinian civil society in a longue durée perspective. He confronts in-depth interviews with archives of donor organisations as well as Palestinian NGOs and comes up with nuanced conclusions about the mixed blessing that the promotion of civil soceity and good governance might have had for the structuration of an autonomous Palestinian civil society.

In his research on European Identity ('Sickle and Crescent') he combines historical research with methodological tools from the field of sociology to analyse the transformation of a common political identity in Europe and the impact that two significant others (communism and Islam) have (had) on European construction. For the historical research, Benoit Challand worked on archives of the first European Communities (European Coal and Steel Community, and European Economic Community, deposited at the European University Institute), on the archives of the Congress for Cultural Freedom (Regenstein Library, University of Chicago) and on US Presidential archives from the 1950s (in particular the Dwight Eisenhower Library, in Abilene KS). He has also researched the representation of European construction and of Islam in French, German and Italian history textbooks published between the late 1940s and nowadays.

In a final project in partnership with Marcella Simoni (Uni. Venzia Ca' Foscari) deals with the theme of civil soceity in historical and comparative perspective in Israel and Palestine. This new research tries to analyze the contribution that civil society actors might play in the re-elaboration of collective traumas and in post-conflict situation. A conference on this topic took place in September 2007.

 In the Fall 2008, he was guest lecturer at the University of Fribourg (CH) where he taught a course on Communisms and Anti-Communism in Europe (1945-1980). 


See also the Conference & Current Research Sections

Last Updated ( Saturday, 25 August 2012 )
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