The Lausanne Project

This project takes its name from the last of the post-WW1 peace treaties that was signed on 24 July 1923. Its centenary in 2023 is much more than a convenient hook. Within Turkey Erdogan's authoritarian regime has fuelled speculation that 24 July 2023 will mark the formal end of fictional "secret clauses" to the treaty.

In this looking-glass world a treaty has become part of a narrative of victimization. Meanwhile the treaty's population exchanges, viewed for decades as a successful exercise and model worthy of emulation (notably in India and Serbia/Kosovo today) have also been radically re-evaluated, and are now recognized (following the intervention of sociologist Michael Mann) as ethnic cleansing. Finally political scientists and others interested in EU/Turkey relations in the era of the Syrian migrant crisis have begun to appreciate that events in the Aegean and on the Syrian Turkish border both have their roots, not in events since 1989, but in the Lausanne settlement.

The Lausanne Project aims to bridge the divide separating diplomatic and economic historians from social anthropologists and scholars of international law/political science, and run interdisciplinary joint projects (raising funds, museum exhibitions, workshops, conferences, blog/podcast series) on how a new world order was formed in 1923, and how its history has been weaponised in global and regional governance.

More information about the Lausanne Project.

Project Members