Dr. Lukas Schemper


  • 2018-2019: Teaching Fellow in History, Sciences Po Paris (Europe-Asia Undergraduate Programme)
  • 2018: History Consultant for the UNESCO-International Bureau of Education (IBE)
  • Fall Sem. 2017: Lecturer, Humanitarian Conflict and Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester 
  • 2011-2016: PhD in International History – Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies
  • 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
  • 2009-2011: MA in History of International Relations - Sciences Po Paris
  • 2006-2009: Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences - French-German Undergraduate Programme of 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 Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM, Institute for Human Sciences)
  • 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

Research Interests

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


Peer-reviewed articles

  • “Science Diplomacy and the Making of the United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.” Diplomatica: A Journal of Diplomacy and Society 1, no. 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?” Revue études internationales XLVII, no. 1 (2016): 29–80.
  • “Diasporas and American Debates on German Unification.” Journal of Transatlantic Studies 15, no. 1 (2016): 41-60.

Articles in edited volumes

  • “Transnational Expertise on Natural Disaster and International Organization: historical perspectives from the inter-war period” in Transnational Expertise ed. Christian Heinrich-Franke, Robert Kaiser, Christian Lahusen, Andrea Schneiker (Baden-Baden: Nomos: 2018)
  • “Der Hohe Flüchtlingskommissar der Vereinten Nationen, Österreich und die Repatriierung sowjetischer Flüchtlinge” in Österreich im Kalten Krieg. Neue Forschungen im internationalen Kontext ed. Maximilian Graf, Agnes Meisinger (Wien: Vienna University Press: 2016)

Book reviews

  •  ‘Crossland, J. (2014). Britain and the International Committee of the Red Cross, 1939–1945’. Diplomacy & Statecraft 27, no. 1 (2 January 2016): 191–92.

Academic Essays

  • Schemper, Lukas. “Schiffbruch der Zivilisation. Überlegungen zu einer Metapher.” ZfL Blog, February 16, 2022. https://doi.org/10.13151/ZFL-BLOG/20220216-01.
  • “Risks of Improvidence: COVID-19 Exemplifies the Problems in International Governance of Disaster Risk,” LSE International History Blog, June 2020. https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lseih/2020/06/10/risks-of-improvidence-covid-19-exemplifies-the-problems-in-international-governance-of-disaster-risk/
  • “Years of the Locust. What history can tell us about international locust control,” Current Affairs in Perspective (Fondation Pierre Dubois pour l’histoire du temps présent), March 2020. http://www.fondation-pierredubois.ch/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020-no3-Schemper.pdf
  • “Writing the History of ‘Natural’ Disasters. The case of Messina,” Books and Ideas, 30 December 2019. http://www.booksandideas.net/Writing-the-History-of-Natural-Disasters.html

In the Press

  • “Als Malaria ein österreichisches Problem war.” Der Standard, March 12, 2021. https://www.derstandard.at/story/2000131565661/als-malaria-ein-oesterreichisches-problem-war.
  • “Hilfe seit 140 Jahren,” Wiener Zeitung, March 29 2020. https://www.wienerzeitung.at/nachrichten/chronik/oesterreich/2055925-Hilfe-seit-140-Jahren.html


  • August 7 2021: Communicating risk: the International Atomic Energy Agency’s communication strategies in the aftermath of nuclear incidents at the STREAMS Conference hosted by Environmental Humanities Laboratory at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
  • June 11 2021: IAEA in the age of the “risk society paradigm”: strategies, policies and discourse at the conference Energy Transitions and International Cooperation in the 20th Century hosted by the Leibniz-Center for Contemporary History Potsdam (ZZF)
  • April 22 2021: International Organisations and the Communication of Risk: the example of the International Atomic Energy Agency in the 1970s-1980s at the conference Communication history of International Organizations and NGOs hosted by the annual conference of the ZeMKI, the division for the history of communication in the DGPuK and the Institute for Newspaper Research, Bremen
  • 13 June 2019: The International Committee of the Red Cross and intellectual aid during the Second World War at the Conference Histories of the Red Cross Movement since 1919 hosted by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva
  • 6 May 2019: Protecting humanity from disaster: an entangled history of thought, laws, and institutions at the Conference Culture & International History VI: Visions of Humanity, FU Berlin
  • 25 October 2018: The United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction and Science Diplomacy in the 1980s/1990s. At the 3rd Congress of the New Diplomatic History Network, Roosevelt Institute for American Studies, Middelburg
  • 12 December 2017: Revisiting the International Relief Union. Perspectives on disaster management from the inter-war period. At the weekly seminar of the Humanitarian Conflict and Response Institute, University of Manchester
  • 29 November  2017: International Organisations and disaster: a global and transnational history. On the occasion of the awarding of the Markov Prize, colloquium of the Collaborative Research Centre Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition, University of Leipzig
  • 29-30 June 2017: Utopia and international organization history: preliminary observations with a particular focus on disaster relief. At the workshop Bureaucratization of Utopia: International Governance, Audit Culture and Administrative Subjectivities in the 21st century, Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • 15 June 2017: The United Nations International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. At the Conference 'Calendar Propaganda' of Human Rights? Historical Perspectives on the United Nations’ Global Observances, Leiden University
  • 7 June 2017: Writing the History of ‘Failed’ International Organizations. At the workshop ‘Comment les organisations internationales parlent aux historiens? Un point de vue suisse organized by the History of International Organizations Network (HION), Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • 29 March 2017: Natural disaster: historical perspectives on the development of international law and norms. At the Fellows’ Seminar, Institute of Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna
  • 16 March 2017: Britain and Natural Disaster: Between bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. At the conference Citizens of the World: The Place of the International in Britain since 1918, Queen Mary University, London
  • 11 September 2016: The international Red Cross movement and natural disaster in the inter-war period. At the conference Histories of the Red Cross Movement: Continuity and Change, Flinders University Adelaide
  • 9 June 2015: La gouvernance des secours humanitaires en cas de catastrophes naturelles: perspective historique. workshop on Environnement et Organisations Internationales, Sciences Po Paris
  • 21 November 2014: Institutionalizing an Epistemic Community: Disaster Studies in the Inter-war Period. At the workshop Epistemic Communities in Europe, University of Siegen
  • 27 September 2013: The International Relief Union reconsidered: plans for the coordination of disaster relief and the creation of an epistemic community, Doctoral conference organized by the International History Department of the Graduate Institute, Geneva
  • 21 June 2013: La Suisse et l’Union Internationale de Secours dans l’Entre deux-guerres at the Historiales 2013 Doctoral conference in Morges organized by the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale
  • 9 November 2012: Plans for Global Humanitarian Coordination in the First Third of the 20th Century. At the conference Humanitarianism: Past, Present, Future by the Humanitarian & Conflict Response Institute, Manchester University
  • 21 September 2012: Österreich und die Repatriierung Sowjetischer Flüchtlinge in den 1950er Jahren. Eine Analyse basierend auf Dokumenten des Hohen Flüchtlingskommissars der Vereinten Nationen. At the workshop Austria: A player in the Cold War? Analysis and perceptions within the international context from 1955 to 1991, University of Vienna


  • International History and Politics of Epidemics (fall 2020, graduate seminar, University of Vienna)
  • History of the Modern World 20th-21st century (spring 2019, undergraduate seminar, Sciences Po Paris)
  • Research in History: Disaster in Historical Documents (fall 2018, undergraduate seminar, Sciences Po Paris)
  • The 19th Century in Europe and Asia: Revolution, Empires and Nations (fall 2018, undergraduate lecture and seminar, Sciences Po Paris)
  • International History and Politics of Disaster  (spring 2018, graduate seminar, University of Vienna)
  • Humanitarianism in an Unequal World (fall 2017, undergraduate lecture, convener, University of Manchester)
  • Humanitarianism and Conflict Response: Inquiries (fall 2017, graduate lecture, convener, University of Manchester)
  • Historical perspectives on disaster management and risk prevention (spring 2017, graduate seminar, University of Vienna)
  • Europe in the 19th Century (fall 2014, undergraduate seminar, Sciences Po Paris)
  • 2018-2021: Teaching fellow (tutor) for the  Europeaum Scholars Programme for PhD students