Dr. Christina Reimann | Assoziierte Forscherin

Mobilität, Migration und räumliche Neuordnung
Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191, D-10117 Berlin
E-Mail: reimann  ( at )  cmb.hu-berlin.de Tel: +49(0) 30 / 20 93 70700 or 70707

Mutterinstitut : University of Gothenburg | Position : Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin (Postdoc) | Fachbereich : Geschichte |

Lebenslauf als Datei

Scholarship from German Research Foundation (DFG); 09/2009 - 09/2012, Member in Graduate School "Multilevel Constitutionalism" Humboldt-University Berlin

Scholarship from FAZIT-Foundation, 10/2012 - 09/2013

Scholarship from Centre Marc Bloch, 10/2013 - 03/2014, and 02 - 03/2015

Visiting Fellowship at SFB/TRR 138 "Dynamics of Security", Phillipps-University Marburg, 09/2015-02/2016

Postdoc-Fellowship at Leibniz Institute for European History, Mainz, 03/2016 - 08/2016

Research Funding: Centrum för Hav och Samhällle, 09 - 10/2018



Transnational History, Europe in the 19th and 20th Century

Social and Cultural History of Law and Constitutions

History of Social Security and Welfare States

History of Migration and Port Cities

Titel der Dissertation

Schule für Verfassungsbürger? Die Bildungsligen und der Verfassungswandel des späten 19. Jahrhunderts in Belgien, England und Frankreich.

Zusammenfassung der Dissertation

Die Bildungsreformdebatten waren Teil des Verfassungswandels im späten 19. Jahrhundert: Mit diesen Debatten reagierten die bürgerlichen Gesellschaften auf den Legitimations- und Veränderungsdruck, die auf den Verfassungen lasteten, und trugen damit zugleich zur Dynamik des Verfassungswandels bei. Auf welche Weise dies geschah und welche Rolle organisierte gesellschaftliche Gruppen wie die Bildungsligen dabei spielten, ist Gegenstand dieses Bandes. Die Autorin analysiert den Verfassungswandel für den Zeitraum zwischen 1865 und 1904 als einen sozio-kulturellen Prozess und zeigt, wie sich der Wandel der bürgerlich-liberalen Verfassung als ein Wechselspiel zwischen emanzipatorischen und beharrenden Kräften entfaltete. Dazu untersucht sie die Bildungsdebatten in Belgien, England und Frankreich als Verfassungsdebatten und aus „verfassungskultureller“ Perspektive. In den Blick genommen werden die belgische und französische Ligue de l’enseignement, die englische National Education League sowie die National Education Association, die die Debatten ihres jeweiligen Landes maßgeblich prägten. Inwiefern trugen die Bildungsligen mit ihren Beiträgen zur Bildungsdebatte zum Verfassungswandel bei? Inwiefern waren sie an dem Legitimitätsverlust und der Beharrungskraft der Verfassungen beteiligt? Wie verfestigten sie die Ausschlussmechanismen der bürgerlich-liberalen Verfassung, und inwiefern trugen sie auch zu ihrer Überwindung bei?


Prof. Dr. Gabriele Metzler; Prof. Dr. Susanne Baer, LL. M.


Migrants and the Making of the Urban-Maritime World

This collection explores the closely intertwined histories of port cities and migration. Throughout the ages of sail and steam, port cities served as nodes of long-distance transmissions and exchanges. Commercial goods and news dispatches; people, animals, seeds, bacteria and viruses; technological and scientific knowledge; as well as new ideas, fashions and other cultural trends all arrived in, transformed and moved through these microcosms of the global. Gateways of change, places like Manila, New York City, Smyrna, Naples, Matadi, Antwerp and Barcelona functioned as focal points and catalysts for colonial projects, wars, mercantile ventures or mass migrations. To be sure, port cities do not conform to any ideal type. In fact, the more we learn about port cities—always in flux and crucial in driving societal change—the more unwieldy, the more difficult to pin down, these places seem to become. Whether we approach these spaces as links or ‘contact zones’ between the local and the global (Amenda/Fuhrmann 2007; Jarvis 2008); as ‘Port Cityscapes’—that is, built environments interconnected through far-ranging networks of trade and communications (Hein 2011)—or as ‘liminal spaces’, whose peculiar position between sea and surrounding hinterland gave rise to a distinctive waterfront culture transcending national boundaries (Beaven/Bell/James 2016), the port city remains an elusive and ambiguous, however appealing, analytical construct (Heerten 2017). Scholars from a number of fields and disciplines have identified these junctures of the urban and the maritime as sites of particular interest for social and historical research (Osterhammel 2010).  

People on the move brought on the hustle and bustle of encounters, the cultural fluidity, and the competing impulses that rendered port cities particularly dynamic and exhilarating places. Continual movements helped forge common interests and rivalries among far-away corners of the earth. On closer examination, however, port cities also present a long history of efforts to restrict, interrupt or rearrange (long-distance) entanglements—through legislation and regulations, codes of practice, opinion making or some other means. Scholars have long taken an interest in the growth of cities, urban culture, and migrations, but these areas of research have typically remained separate. By focusing on migrants—their actions and how they were acted upon—the authors seek to capture the contradictions and complexities that characterized port cities: mobility and immobility, excitement and anxiety, acceptance and rejection, nationalism and cosmopolitanism, diversity and homogeneity, segregation and interaction.

This volume consists of original and previously unpublished research, and offers a wide geographical perspective, covering port cities on four continents – Tunis and Matadi; Manila and Izmir; New York City, Honolulu and San Juan; Gothenburg, Antwerp, London, Barcelona and Naples. The several contributions deal with agency in a widened sense, considering the activities of individuals and collectives as well as non-human actants in the sense of Bruno Latour (Latour 2000, 2002). This approach allows for taking into account, for instance, the important agency of sailing and steam boats, train connections, the built environment, goods or microbes in shaping urban-maritime spaces. Bringing non-human actants into the constellation of actors helps highlight the unique as well as generic features of port cities around the globe. An actor-centred approach provides cohesion while at the same time capturing the diversity and volatile character of different ‘migrant groups’. To be sure, prospects, experiences and expectations differed markedly depending on what locality, what group of people and what time period we choose to examine. But circumstances also varied within seemingly uniform groups, e. g. Chinese business people in Manila, Gothenburg seafarers or foreign prostitutes in Antwerp. One way to approach the elusive ‘migrant’ is to examine the heterogeneity of different groups of mobile actors—sailors and other seafarers, domestic servants, emigrants, business people, colonial agents, seasonal labourers, diplomats et cetera—to understand how they lived through, understood and responded to the uncertainties, risks and opportunities that were present in port city milieus. In this respect, it is important to acknowledge and to empirically underscore that non-human actants like microbes, technical devices or even bureaucratic arrangements not only accompanied human activities but took an active part in them. While avoiding grand narratives of permanent circulation, the focus on agency grounded in Latour’s actants-perspective has the advantage of providing a down-to-earth yet finely knitted interpretation of port cities’ place in-between the local and the global.

How Insurances Shaped Social Norms and Individual Behaviour:

A Cultural History of Social Insurances in Belgium and the Netherlands (1890-1939)

Since the 19th century, insuring one’s life and health has been an important facet of modern life for both individuals and socio-political communities all over Western Europe. While the post-1945 welfare state is subject to substantial transformation, we still know very little about the social and cultural implications ofinsurance’s transition into a mass phenomenon in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This project offers a missing cultural history of the emergence of social insurance as a major ordering principle of modern society between ca 1890 and 1939. In this period preceding the introduction of the modern welfare state, the Netherlands and Belgium saw the nation-state starting to act as an insurer. Insurance against the risks of social and economic life developed from a bourgeois habit and privilege into an encompassing socio-cultural practice. At the same time, thanks to the growing port cities of Rotterdam and Antwerp, human mobility increased across Dutch and Belgian society. This mobility affected the way in which social insurance schemes were framed and how people perceived them.

Historical knowledge about how social insurances contributed to shaping modern societies and individual life-styles is topical in a context of disintegrating welfare states, as social insurance is transformed back into a private enterprise, if not into a privilege. My project to write a cultural history of social insurance allows for grasping the implications of social insurances for both, society and the individual. It has two interlinked purposes: first, to identify changes in the social order and behavioural norms, and in representations of these norms and behaviours brought about by social insurance as a mass phenomenon; and second, to situate the individual within the expansion of insurance practices.

(1) I will identify how social insurance’s expansion changed social behaviour and norms and contemporaries’ representations of these norms and behaviours. Within this broader research question, I will scrutinize two interrelated aspects and ask: Which changes can we detect in representations of law as a foundation of insurance and of social order? How did the prevalence of social insurance affect representations of gender relations in the Belle Epoque and the inter-war-period respectively? Did social insurance generate new gender norms? This project will investigate how changing insurance practices brought about sharper legal and socio-cultural boundaries between the sexes.

(2) The study will bring the individual back into the history of insurance. This new perspective allows for greater nuance in interpreting the emancipating and integrating effects of (statutory) social insurance argued for by political and social historian. Which impact did the expansion of the insurance principle – or exclusion from it – have on individual life paths? How was individual behaviour disciplined by risk-reducing measures introduced by insurances?

Individual life, especially in the Netherlands and Belgium became increasingly characterised by mobility and the development of insurances and of mobility affected each other. But how did insurance create or undermine group belonging (local, national, ethnic, professional etc.), especially in cosmopolitan places like the port cities of Rotterdam and Antwerp?  

Organisation von Veranstaltungen

1.-2/10/2015: Workshop „Junges Forum“ at the Centre Marc Bloch: "Migration und Grenzen: Grenzkonstruktion als soziale und administrative Praxis von 1880 bis heute" / "Migration et Frontières: La construction de frontières comme praitique sociale et administrative de 1880 à nos jours"

22-23/11/2017: Conference "Port Cities and Migration" at the Centre for European Research/University of Gothenburg

Versicherung und die Prägung sozialer Normen und individuellen Verhaltens: Eine Kulturgeschichte von den Anfängen der Sozialversicherung in Belgien und den Niederlanden (1890-1939)

Seit dem späten 19. Jahrhundert gehört die Versicherung von Leben und Gesundheit zum individuellen Lebensstil innerhalb moderner westeuropäischer Gesellschaften. Dennoch wissen wir, während sich der nach 1945 entstandene Sozialstaat substantiell verändert, wenig über die sozialen und kulturellen Auswirkungen der Entwicklung von Versicherung zu einem Massenphänomen. Diese sozio-kulturellen Folgen möchte dieses Forschungsprojekt aufdecken und deuten, um zu verstehen, wie das Prinzip Versicherung soziales Verhalten und gesellschaftliche Normen veränderte und wie Zeitgenossen diese Veränderungen wahrnahmen. Die Untersuchung konzentriert sich auf vier Aspekte: Sie soll erstens zeigen, wie die wachsende Bedeutung von Versicherung Vorstellungen von Recht als Säule gesellschaftlicher Ordnung und Normen-Produzent beeinflusste. Zweitens, wie Geschlechtergrenzen durch das Aufkommen von Sozialversicherung verschärft wurden. Drittens lenkt es den Blick von den Institutionen und gesamtgesellschaftlichen Implikationen von Sozialversicherung auf das „versicherte Individuum“. Dabei werden viertens transnationale Biographie, die sich in den Hafenstädten Rotterdam und Antwerpen konzentrierten, auf ihr Verhältnis zu Versicherung untersucht. Das Projekt ist innerhalb der Neuen Kulturgeschichte verortet. Es macht methodische Anleihen bei den cultural legal studies und stützt sich auf Theorien der Ikonologie und den Genderstudies zur Analyse (visueller) Repräsentationen von Sozialversicherung. Zur Interpretation von Versicherung als Disziplinierungsinstrument werden Ansätze aus der Sozialtheorie verwendet. Eine weitere methodische Neuerung besteht in der Umkehrung der bislang üblichen Nationen-fokussierten Perspektive auf Sozialversicherung in eine transnationale.


© Centre Marc Bloch 2018 - Deutsch-Französisches Forschungszentrum für Sozialwissenschaften, Berlin

© Centre Marc Bloch 2018 - Deutsch-Französisches Forschungszentrum für Sozialwissenschaften, Berlin