Since March 2014, Susanne Keesman is appointed at Utrecht University project manager for the ERC funded project ‘Securing Europe, Fighting its Enemies. The making of a security culture in Europe and beyond, 1815-1914’ (since March 2014), and for the NWO funded project “Blueprints of Hope: Designing Post-War Europe. Ideas, Emotions, Networks and Negotiations, 1930-1963 (since April 2016). Furthermore, she functions as coordinator for the section History of International Relations (since January 2016).

Additionally, Susanne assists prof. Beatrice de Graaf with her research activities. She was involved in the organisation of various conferences, seminars and book presentations, as well as the editing process of three edited volumes. Together with Prof. Beatrice de Graaf, she studies the Egyptian Capitulations and Mixed Courts System for one of the sub-projects of ERC SECURE.  

Before joining Utrecht University, Susanne was enrolled in the Research Master History at Leiden University, from which she graduated in 2014 with a thesis on the Egyptian Mixed Courts system. In January 2013 an adapted version of her bachelor's thesis was published in the peer reviewed journal Historical Social Research and is titled “The communist menace in Finsterwolde: conspiring against local authorities? A case study on the Dutch battle against communism, 1945-1951."

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All publications
  2013 - Scholarly publications
Keesman, Susanne (2013). The Communist Menace in Finsterwolde: Conspiring against Local Authorities? A Case Study on the Dutch Battle against Communism, 1945-1951. Historical Social Research, 38 (1), (pp. 211-231).
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Securing Europe, Fighting its Enemies. The Making of a Security Culture in Europe and Beyond,  1815-1914
European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant (2014-2019)

In this ERC-funded project, Professor Beatrice de Graaf (Principal Investigator) and an international team of historians examine the formation of a European security culture as the sum of mutually shared visions on ‘enemies of the states’, ‘vital interests’, and corresponding practices between 1815 and 1914. The project compares seven different security regimes in which Europe engaged globally, stretching across the political and commercial domain, affecting urban and maritime environments, and reaching around the world to the Ottoman Empire and China. These highly dynamic regimes were dictated both by threats (anarchists, pirates, smugglers, colonial rebels) and interests (political, moral, economic, maritime, colonial). Mobilising increasing numbers of professional 'agents' from various quarters – including police, judicial authorities and armed forces – they evolved from military interventions into police and judicial regimes and ultimately contributed to the creation of a veritable European security culture. Uncovering and introducing new historical sources, the project thus pioneers a new multidisciplinary approach to the combined history of international relations and internal policy, aiming to ‘historicise security’.


Team members:


Project website:

Blueprints of Hope: Designing Post-War Europe. Ideas, Emotions, Networks and Negotiations (1930-1963)
01.09.2016 to 01.09.2020
General project description 

Since its inception the European integration project has been contested. This interdisciplinary research project analyzes the different blueprints for Europe that were present in the period 1930-1963, thereby aiming to show why some blueprints put their stamp on the institutional start-up of European integration, while other blueprints were rejected. To this end, going beyond a state-centric analysis, the research project focuses on transnational political, clerical and economic networks. Including a wider range of actors, the project expands the existing historiography of the EU’s “early” integration. Moreover, such a new understanding of the diversity of ideas of “what is Europe” in these early years of European integration may help to elucidate the driving forces and institutional dynamics in today’s EU.

Role Researcher Funding
NWO grant: NWO Free Competition Grant
Project members UU
External project members:
  • Mathieu Segers

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Full name
S.J. Keesman MA Contact details
Drift 6

Drift 6
Room 1.08A
The Netherlands

Phone number (direct) +31 30 253 8470
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Last updated 11.09.2017