Dr. Lukas Schemper


  • since 2021 Research Fellow with the project Archipelagic Imperatives. Shipwreck and Lifesaving in European Societies since 1800
  • 2018–2019 Teaching Fellow in History, Sciences Po Paris (Europe-Asia Undergraduate Programme)
  • 2018 Consultant for the UNESCO-International Bureau of Education (IBE) in Geneva
  • 2018–2020 Teaching Fellow for the Europaeum Scholars Programme (PhD Level)
  • Fall Sem. 2017 Lecturer, Humanitarian Conflict and Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester 
  • 2016 PhD in International History, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva
  • 2013–2015 Teaching Assistant at the Department of International History, The Graduate Institute Geneva
  • 2011–2012 Research Assistant at the Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Geneva, for the SNSF project Unjust and Just Peace
  • 2006–2011 Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and MA in History of International Relations, both from Sciences Po Paris


  • 2019–2021 SNSF Postdoc Mobility Fellow, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, University of Munich LMU
  • 2017 Graduate Institute Junior Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna
  • Summer 2016 SNSF Visiting scholar, Centre d’Histoire, Sciences Po Paris
  • Hilary Term 2016 SNSF Plumer Visiting Fellow, St. Anne’s College, Oxford University
  • Fall Term 2015 SNSF Visiting Scholar at the Department of History, Columbia University, New York

Research Interests

  • European and Global History
  • Disaster, Accidents, and the Environment
  • Humanitarianism and Development
  • Internationalism and International Organizations


Peer-reviewed articles

  • Lifesaving in Nazi imaginary – for a special issue of the journal Histoire sociale/Social history on »Social Imaginaries of Emergency Situations at Sea since 1800« ed. by Henning Trüper, Aurélien Portelli, Nebiha Guiga (in preparation for 2025)
  • Lifesaving, Sovereignty, and the Place of the Ottoman Empire in the European International Order (under review, 2024)
  • The International Moral Economy of Saving Lives at Sea in the Late Ottoman Empire (under review, 2023)
  • Science Diplomacy and the Making of the United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, in: Diplomatica: A Journal of Diplomacy and Society 1.2 (2019), 243–267
  • La prévention des catastrophes naturelles et les organisations internationales du temps de la sdn au lendemain de la guerre froide. Quelle place pour l’environnement?, in: Revue études internationales XLVII.1 (2016), 29–80
  • Diasporas and American Debates on German Unification, in: Journal of Transatlantic Studies 15.1 (2016), 41–60.

Articles in edited volumes

  • International Organizations and the issue of natural disaster during the Cold War, in: Sandrine Kott, Eva-Maria Muschik, Elisabeth Röhrlich (eds.): International Organizations and the Cold War: Competition, Cooperation, Convergence. London: Bloomsbury Academic 2024 (accepted, forthcoming)
  • The League of Nations and the New Uses of Sovereignty, in: Thomas Bottelier, Jan Stöckmann (Hg.): Instruments of International Order: Internationalism and Diplomacy from 1900 to 1950. Manchester: University Press, 2024 (in press)
  • Transnational Expertise on Natural Disaster and International Organization: historical perspectives from the inter-war period, in: Christian Heinrich-Franke, Robert Kaiser, Christian Lahusen, Andrea Schneiker (eds.): Transnational Expertise. Baden-Baden: Nomos 2018, 29–54
  • Der Hohe Flüchtlingskommissar der Vereinten Nationen, Österreich und die Repatriierung sowjetischer Flüchtlinge, in: Maximilian Graf, Agnes Meisinger (eds.): Österreich im Kalten Krieg. Neue Forschungen im internationalen Kontext. Wien: Vienna University Press 2016, 49–72

Book reviews

  • Crossland, J. (2014). Britain and the International Committee of the Red Cross, 1939–1945, in: Diplomacy & Statecraft 27.1 (2016), 191–92

Academic Essays

In the Press


  • Noblesse et patronage: le cas du sauvetage en mer, at the conference »Mer et noblesses en Europe, XVIe-XXe siècle« organized at Bordeaux-Montaigne University, October 17 2024
  • Maritime safety, sovereignty, and the international order in the nineteenth century, at the conference »The Rescuing Sovereign at Sea: Historical Perspectives on Maritime Law, Morals, and Politics« co-organized by Henning Trüper and Lukas Schemper at the ZfL in Berlin, June 14 2024
  • Sovereignty, International Organization, and the Moral Economy of Saving Lives at Sea in the Ottoman Empire, in the panel »Tensions of Humanitarianism« at the Seventh European Congress on World and Global History at the University of Leiden, July 1 2023
  • Organizing Lifesaving at the 19th Century Bosporus, in the panel »Diplomacy and the International Governance of Waterways in the 19th Century« at the Fifth Congress of the New Diplomatic History Network at the University of Turku, May 27 2023
  • Moral Shipwreck: Emergency Situations at Sea during Naval Confrontations of the Second World War at the conference »Social Imaginaries of Emergency Situations at Sea« organized by ZfL Berlin and Mines Paris – PSL, Nice, March 31 2023
  • Saving Lives at Sea in the Late Ottoman Empire, Seminar of the History Department, University of Warwick, November 19 2022
  • Disaster and the United Nations during the Cold War, Conference »Divided Together? International Organizations and the Cold War«, Universität Wien, June 2 2022
  • Communicating risk: the International Atomic Energy Agency’s communication strategies in the aftermath of nuclear incidents, Conference »STREAMS«, Environmental Humanities Laboratory KTH Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm, August 7 2021
  • The IAEA in the age of the »risk society paradigm«: strategies, policies and discourse, Conference »Energy Transitions and International Cooperation in the 20th Century«, Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam (ZZF), June 11 2021
  • International Organisations and the Communication of Risk: the example of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the 1970s-1980s, Conference »Communication history of International Organizations and NGOs«, Zentrum für Medien-, Kommunikations- und Informationsforschung Universität Bremen, Zentrum für Medien-, Kommunikations- und Informationsforschung, April 22 2022
  • The International Committee of the Red Cross and intellectual aid during the Second World War, Conference »Histories of the Red Cross Movement since 1919«, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Geneva, June 13 2019
  • Protecting humanity from disaster: an entangled history of thought, laws, and institutions, Conference »Conference Culture & International History VI: Visions of Humanity«, FU Berlin, May 6 2019
  • The United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction and Science Diplomacy in the 1980s/1990s, Third Congress of the »New Diplomatic History Network«, Roosevelt Institute for American Studies Middelburg, October 25 2018
  • Revisiting the International Relief Union. Perspectives on disaster management from the inter-war period, Seminar of the Humanitarian Conflict and Response Institute, University of Manchester, December 12 2017
  • International Organisations and disaster: a global and transnational history, Colloquium of the Collaborative Research Center Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition (Markov Price Ceremony), University of Leipzig, November 12 2017
  • Utopia and international organization history: preliminary observations with a particular focus on disaster relief, Workshop »Bureaucratization of Utopia: International Governance, Audit Culture and Administrative Subjectivities in the 21st century«, Graduate Institute Geneva, June 29 2017
  • The United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, Conference »Calendar Propaganda' of Human Rights? Historical Perspectives on the United Nations’ Global Observances«, Leiden University, June 15 2017
  • Writing the History of 'Failed' International Organizations, Workshop »Comment les organisations internationales parlent aux historiens? Un point de vue suisse«, History of International Organizations Network (HION), Graduate Institute Geneva, June 7 2017
  • Natural disaster: historical perspectives on the development of international law and norms, Fellows’ Seminar, IWM Vienna, March 29 2017
  • Britain and Natural Disaster: Between bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, Conference »Citizens of the World: The Place of the International in Britain since 1918«, Queen Mary University London, March 16 2017
  • The international Red Cross movement and natural disaster in the inter-war period. Conference »Histories of the Red Cross Movement: Continuity and Change«, Flinders University Adelaide, September 11 2016


Sciences Po

  • Summer Semester 2019: History of the Modern World 20th-21st century (undergraduate seminar)
  • Winter Semester 2018: Research in History: Disaster in Historical Documents (undergraduate seminar)
  • Winter Semester 2018: The 19th Century in Europe and Asia: Revolution, Empires and Nations (undergraduate lecture and seminar)
  • Winter Semester 2014: Europe in the 19th Century (undergraduate seminar)

University of Vienna

  • Winter Semester 2020: International History and Politics of Epidemics (graduate seminar)
  • Summer Semester 2018: International History and Politics of Disaster (graduate seminar)
  • Summer Semester 2017: Historical perspectives on disaster management and risk prevention (graduate seminar)

University of Manchester

  • Winter Semester 2017: Humanitarianism in an Unequal World (undergraduate lecture)
  • Winter Semester 2017: Humanitarianism and Conflict Response: Inquiries (graduate lecture)