Strengthening scholarly research and dialogue at the intersection of history and international law is particularly important in light of current conflicts and wars, such as Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine and Hamas' war against Israel. Two new programs at the University of Cologne have been made possible through funding from the Alfred Landecker Foundation: the Colleg Konrad Adenauer and the Hans Kelsen Visiting Professorship for the History and Theory of International Law. Both are linked to the Cologne Center for Advanced Studies in International History and Law (CHL), a new central academic institution of the university, recently founded by Professors Angelika Nußberger, Fabian Klose and Claus Kreß.
The Colleg Konrad Adenauer is the central pillar of the Cologne Center for Advanced Studies in International History and Law, as a place of international scholarly exchange and knowledge transfer at the intersection of international law and history. Renowned international historians and international lawyers will be invited to the Center to conduct research on topics including human rights, humanitarianism, international humanitarian law, and international criminal justice, as well as on foundational questions of war and peace. In addition, the Colleg Konrad Adenauer focuses on the promotion of young scholars within the framework of an international fellowship program.
The visiting professorship is dedicated to research in the history and theory of international law. Issues relating to the protection of minorities, collective rights in international law, the prevention and prosecution of crimes under international law, as well as the protection of cultural assets and restitution will be addressed. The professorship is named after Hans Kelsen, in memory of the eminent legal theorist and constitutional and international lawyer, who was forcibly dismissed from the service of the University of Cologne in 1933 due to his Jewish origin and democratic convictions.