Focus 4: Europe, Europeans and the World

View of Compagnie des Indes warehouses in Pondichéry (Engraving, 18th century).
Source: Musée de la Compagnie des Indes, Lorient

European identity is defined by its relation to the rest of the world, both near and far, through its relations, exchanges, and “return effects.” Research Area 4 will focus on all aspects of circulations from and toward Europe, as well as the transfers they entail and their impact of European identity/identities. The actors and vectors for these relations will serve as an analytical key: individual actors, networks, private organizations, international organizations.

For the second phase of the project, research will be organized around three subjects area, each managed by a director:

  • Subject 1: Exchanges, circulations, migrations (Françoise Lejeune, Bruno Marnot)
  • Subject 2: International relations, strategies (Michel Catala, Eric Schnakenbourg, Stanislas Jeannesson)
  • Subject 3: Representations and Alterity (Yann Lignereux, Clément Thibaud, Virginie Chaillou-Atrous).


Research Area Director: 

  • Michel CATALA, member of CRHIA (Université de Nantes) and Professor of Modern History. He studies international relations within the Atlantic Mediterranean during the 20th century (France/Spain/Morocco) and in connection with the construction of Europe, along with questions of identity and citizenship since the 1970s.

Postdoctoral fellow in charge of research: 

  • Virginie CHAILLOU-ATROUS, in charge of organization and scientific coordination for research area 4. The holder of a doctorate in modern history, she specializes in colonial migrations, particularly Indian and African indentured labor in the Western Indian Ocean.

Steering Committee:

  • Eric SCHNAKENBOURG, Director of CRHIA (Université de Nantes) and Professor of Early Modern History. His research subjects include international relations, Scandinavia during the early modern period, neutrality (17th – 18th centuries), the culture of war and peace during the 18th century, perceptions and representations of Scandinavia in France (16th – 18th centuries).
  • Stanislas JEANNESSON, Professor of Modern History at CRHIA (Université de Nantes). His research explores the evolution of actors, knowledge, and diplomatic practices from the 19th century to the present (Europe, Americas), as well as the international system during World War One and the interwar period.
  • Thomas BUREL, CRHIA development and communication coordinator (Université de Nantes).

The activities of Research Area 4 were launched in Nantes on October 12, 2012 during the steering committee’s first meeting.


Michel Catala, Virginie Chaillou-Atrous, Yann Lignereux et Stanislas Jeannesson présentent le projet EHNE dont l’axe 4 est porté par le CRHIA.


Contact : Labexehne4[at]


Research notebook