European University Institute, Florence
Department of History
Professor in the History of East-Central and Southeastern Europe
Free University, Amsterdam
Faculty of Humanities
Part-time Research Fellow
6/2017 - 5/2022
Institute for History
Professor by Special Appointment of Central European Studies
9/2015 - 5/2017
Institute for History
University of Groningen
Department of History
Rosalind Franklin Fellow
9/2008 - 8/2009
Free University Berlin
Institute of Southeastern Europe
Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow
9/2007 - 8/2009
Centro Incontri Umani, Ascona (Switzerland)
9/2005 - 8/2007
University of Essex
Department of History
9/2003 - 8/2005
Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
Department II (Lorraine Daston)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
9/1997 - 6/2002
Faculty of History
DPhil candidate (doctorate earned in 2002)
- NWO (Netherlands Scientific Organization) Grant: Disability and Self-Governance: a Global Microhistory of Het Dorp Community and its Cultural Heritage from the 1960s, 2022-2027
- European Research Council Consolidator Grant: Rethinking Disability: the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981) in Historical Perspective, 2015-2022
Seminars and Conferences
Workshop co-organizer, Consumer Rights Versus Human Rights, December 2019, International Institute for Social History Amsterdam
Conference organizer, Criptic Identities: Historicizing the Identity Formation of Persons with Disabilities, March 2019, Leiden University
Conference organizer, Interdisciplinary Approaches to Disability in the MENA Region (Middle East and North Africa), November, 2018, Netherlands-Flemish Institute and Italian Cultural Institute, Cairo
Workshop co-organizer, Historians Without Borders: Writing Histories of International Organizations, Leiden, 2018, event for early-career scholars
Conference organizer, Calendar Propaganda of Human Rights? The United Nations’ Global Observances in Historical Perspective, The Hague, 2017
Workshop co-organizer, Whose Welfare? Fresh Perspectives on the History of the Post-war Welfare State and its Global Entanglements, Leiden, January, 2017
Workshop co-organizer, Colonialism and Disability, EHESS, Paris, 2016
Workshop co-organizer: Perspectives on Diversity: The Cultural History of Absence, Lorentz Center, Leiden, 2016
Research Project at the Centre
Disabled Refugees and Disabling Displacement: International Norms and Local Realities
People with disabilities comprise the world’s largest minority. Yet, in international legislation and humanitarian action their needs have for a long time remained (nearly) invisible. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), of the one billion people living with disabilities around the world, about 20 million are affected by conflict or disaster, and an estimated 6.7 million have been forcibly displaced from their homes. The experience of displacement and dispossession often have a disproportionate effect on the most vulnerable segments of society– the very young, the very old and the disabled, who are more likely to suffer injuries or get killed. Disabled people are also more likely to sustain serious injury as a result of insufficient protection mechanisms and they may even be used as human shields in conflict. Moreover, the lack or limited access to food, water, shelters and sanitary conditions may exercise a detrimental impact on their health They are more likely to suffer from isolation and have higher exposure to the risk of emotional, physical and sexual violence. Considering these fundamental concerns, it may appear surprising that the issue of disability-inclusive practices has only relatively recently appeared on the agenda of the UN and its affiliated agencies, of humanitarian organizations, governments and NGOs. This happened in parallel with the integration of disability within the framework of human rights, a process in which the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) represented a milestone, because it allowed for the intersection of refugee law and disability law. At the same time, the implementation of this legal framework is something that has yet to happen.
The project entails a historical analysis of the processes which have aimed at the formation of disability-inclusive refugee regimes by legal scholars, policy makers and international organizations. The research will explore how this transformation came about, what concrete results it has brought with itself and how future policies can improve the remit of existing regulations. It will focus on two crucial periods in the evolution of policies and legal frameworks that address the situation of disabled displaced persons. The first period crystallized around the late 1970s-early1980s and the second one around the first decade of second millennium. The research revolves around the following questions:
- How was the inclusion of disability facilitated through the re-framing of the concept and practices of disaster relief?
- When and under which circumstances did the need for rehabilitation and ongoing medical treatment appear on the agenda in addition to the emphasis of basic material needs?
- How were different categories of disability formed and how was the medical triage in medical emergency situations affected by the realization that delay in the treatment may lead to permanent disability? Did this make an impact in the training principles and practices?
- How did the shift of perceptions in mental health from dominant biomedical to the so-called psychosocial model impact international discourses, legal frameworks and medical care?
- European Research Council Consolidator Grant: Rethinking Disability: the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981) in Historical Perspective
- NWO (Netherlands Scientific Organization) Grant: Disability and Self-Governance: a Global Microhistory of Het Dorp Community and its Cultural Heritage from the 1960s
- Leiden University Teaching Innovation Award 2017
- 3rd European Teaching Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences, awarded by the Central European University, 2014
Expertise and Consulting Work
- February, 2018 contribution to the United Nations Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Working Group, Palace of Nations, Geneva
- November, 2017 selected participant of the European Parliament’s Member of Parliament (MEP)-Scientist pairing scheme, visit and lecture in the European Parliament, Brussels
- September 2017, contributor to the Multi-stakeholder Workshop, Palace of Nations, Geneva, IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action
Baár, Monika (2010). Historians and Nationalism: East-Central Europe in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford Historical Monographs, Oxford University Press, paperback edition 2013.
Baár, Monika with B. Trencsényi, M. Janowski, M. Falina, M. Kopeček (2016). A History of Political Thought in East-Central Europe, Oxford University Press Volume I.: ‘Negotiating Modernity in the Long Nineteenth Century’, Oxford University Press, , paperback version 2018.
Baár, Monika with B. Trencsényi, M. Kopeček, M. Falina, L. Lisjak, M. Janowski (2018). Negotiating Modernity in the Short Twentieth Century and Beyond, Oxford University Press, Part I., '1918-68'.
Baár, Monika with B. Trencsényi, M. Kopeček, M. Falina, L. Lisjak, M. Janowski (2018). Negotiating Modernity in the Short Twentieth Century and Beyond, Oxford University Press, Part II, ‘1968 and Beyond’.
Monika Baár and Paul van Trigt (eds.) (2019). Marginalized Groups and the post-War Welfare State in Historical Perspective: Whose Welfare? (Routledge).
Monika Baár and Paul van Trigt (2019). 'Script for a New Stage: The United Nations’ Global Observances', special issue of Diplomatica. A Journal of Diplomacy and Society, vol. 2.
Monika Baár (forthcoming). ‘Vegetables of the World Unite!: Grassroots Internationalization of Disabled Citizens in the Post-War Period’, forthcoming in Jessica Reinisch and David Brydan (eds.), Europe’s Internationalists: Rethinking the History of Internationalism (Bloomsbury).
Monika Baár (2019). ‘International Days at the United Nations: Expanding the Scope of Diplomatic Histories’, Diplomatica. A Journal of Diplomacy and Society special issue on UN Observances, 2, 268-290.
Monika Baár (2019). 'Disabled Citizens and the Neoliberal Turn in Britain: Whose Rights and Whose Responsibilities?‘. In Monika Baár and Paul van Trigt (eds.), Marginalized Groups and the post-War Welfare State in Historical Perspective: Whose Welfare? (Routledge), 119-136.
Monika Baár (2018). ‘Singing and Painting Global Awareness: International Years and Human Rights at the United Nations’, in Heidi Tworek, Jonas Bredenbach, Martin Herzer (eds.), Communicating International Organizations in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Routledge), 182-203.
Monika Baár (2016). ‘The European Disability ‘Revolts’ of 1980/81: How Were They Related to the Youth Revolts?’, in Knud Andersen and Bart van der Steen (eds.), A European Youth Revolt in 1980/81? (Palgrave Macmillan), 159-171.
Monika Baár (2015). ‘Disability and Civil Courage under State Socialism: the Scandal about the Hungarian Guide Dog School’, Past and Present in 227:1 (May), 179-203.