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Constructing the Danish Colonial State in Global Contexts

Project description

A new way of looking at Denmark’s colonial past

Global intellectual history attempts to understand the reasons behind historical events from a historical perspective. It strives to account for the different thoughts, beliefs and attitudes of those actually making history at the time. The MSCA-funded CoDaCo project is the first to combine the history of knowledge with global intellectual history to scrutinise Denmark as a colonial state between 1784 and 1807. Using sources of colonial knowledge, it will reconstruct history by analysing how intrinsic values governing reasoning and behaviour, as well as statistics shaped Denmark as an empire. In addition to offering new insights into Denmark’s role in global history, results are expected to benefit global intellectual history, the history of accumulated knowledge, and a wider understanding of Scandinavian colonialism.


This project provides the first global intellectual history of Denmark as a colonial state. Utilising an innovative methodology combining global intellectual history and the history of knowledge, the project will show how a series of reforms in Denmark and the Danish colonies 1784-1807 aimed at (re)constructing Denmark as a coherent colonial state, an empire in global contexts. It will show how the discourses of natural law and statistics were a key intellectual resource in this endeavour, drawing on networks circulating and producing colonial knowledge. Thus, the project will make an innovative contribution to global intellectual history, the history of Scandinavian colonialism, and the history of knowledge, as well as a path-breaking re-inscription of Denmark into its early modern global history. It will be carried out at a university that is the most thriving research environment on Scandinavian colonial and global history, and history of knowledge. Finally, it is specifically designed to provide the scholarly output and training needed to advance my career onto the next, crucial step.


Net EU contribution
€ 206 887,68
Paradisgatan 5c
22100 Lund

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Södra Sverige Sydsverige Skåne län
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
No data