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Lukas Schemper

Dr. Lukas Schemper

Visiting Scholar


Rachel Carson Center
Leopoldstr. 11a, 4. OG
80802 Munich

Lukas Schemper is a historian of international relations with a particular interest in international forms of governance, humanitarianism, and responses to disaster. He received his MA from Sciences Po Paris in 2011 and his PhD from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva 2017. His doctoral thesis dealt with the history of attempts to govern “natural” disaster through international mechanisms from the time of the League of Nations to the end of the Cold War. Before joining the Rachel Carson Center as SNSF-funded fellow, he was, amongst other things, teaching fellow for the Europe-Asia programme of Sciences Po Paris (2018/19), lecturer for the Humanitarian Conflict and Response Institute at the University of Manchester (2017), and visiting fellow at the Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen in Vienna (2017). At the Rachel Carson Center, he will work on a new project that investigates how development and progress-oriented international organizations have taken into consideration in their agendas and activities the idea of a transformation of people's relationship with science, technological progress, and risk in the 1970s and 1980s. Concretely, the project takes the example of the UNIDO (UN Industrial Development Organisation) and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to explore to what extent and in what way these organizations have changed their mandates, policies, and discourses in the face of man-made humanitarian and environmental disasters.

RCC Research Project: International organizations and development in the age of the “risk society” paradigm (1970s-1980s): IAEA and UNIDO

Selected Publications:

  • “Science diplomacy and the Making of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.” Diplomatica: A Journal of Diplomacy and Society 1, no. 2 (2019) (forthcoming).
  • "Transnational Expertise on Natural Disasters and International Organizations: Historical Perspectives from the Interwar Period." In Transnational Expertise: Internal cohesion and external recognition of expert groups, edited by Robert Kaiser, Christian Henrich-Franke, and Andrea Schneiker, 29–54. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2018.
  • ‘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 (March 2016): 29–80.
  • "Der Hohe Flüchtlingskommissar der Vereinten Nationen, Österreich und die Repatriierung sowjetischer Flüchtlinge." In Österreich im Kalten Krieg. Neue Forschungen im internationalen Kontext, edited by Maximilian Graf and Agnes Meisinger, 49–71. Vienna: Vienna University Press at V&R Unipress, 2016.