The Lausanne Moment 100 Years On

Date / time: 15 April, 12:00 am

Deadline for Paper Submissions: 15 April 2023

A century after the signing of the Lausanne Treaty and the forced population exchanges it endorsed, the Lausanne moment continues to shape international politics and debates surrounding sovereignty, migration, security, and identity. A question posed by one American journalist covering the conference (Ernest Hemingway) continues to rankle: “What is peace?”.

While the Lausanne Treaty is one of the few treaties of the interwar period that have withstood the passage of time, perceptions of the Treaty have been less stable and less univocal. The “unmixing” of communities, considered a valid peace-making tool in 1923 has come to be seen as mutual “ethnic cleansing” Meanwhile in Turkey, fierce debate swirls around whether Lausanne should be considered a Turkish ‘victory’ or a ‘defeat’. In Greece aspects of the treaty, such as the jurisdiction of the mufti to apply Sharia law in Western Thrace have faced solid legal criticism. Even as regional stability appears to be under threat, many insist that the treaty is a bastion of peace not to be touched. Discussion of the revisability (or not) of the treaty was enough to create a Greek-Turkish diplomatic incident.

The Lausanne Project in collaboration with the Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies at the University of Macedonia are organizing an international conference to be held in Thessaloniki, Salonica, Selanik, a city that inspired and then endured the coming of this new historical era characterized by a shift from cosmopolitanism to competing nationalisms.

We invite scholars working across humanities and social sciences (anthropologists, international law and international relations scholars, political scientists, historians, sociologists, architects) to consider the peace and the world Lausanne made. The conference aims to bridge the divide isolating the disciplines that have addressed the Lausanne Treaty.

The Lausanne Project also collaborates with artists, curators and high school teachers to bring the latest research to diverse audiences. We invite such practitioners to propose interventions that reflect on how they have engaged with the Lausanne moment.

To submit a paper and for further information, visit: