Sie sind hier: FRIAS School of History Fellows Prof. Dr. Jakob Tanner

Prof. Dr. Jakob Tanner

Universität Zürich, CH

Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
School of History
D-79104 Freiburg im Breisgau

Born 1950; 1979 Diploma in History at University of Zurich; 1982-1992 Research Assistant, University of Basle; 1986 Dr. phil. at University of Zurich, 1987-1995 Teaching Assistant, Universities of Basle, Berne and Fribourg i.Ü.; 1989-present Member of the Wirtschaftshistorischer Ausschuss des Vereins für Socialpolitik; 1990-present Member of the Arbeitskreis für moderne Sozialgeschichte; 1991 and 2004 Visiting Fellow at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris; 1992 Associate Research Director at the EHESS Paris; 1992 Associate Research Director at the  EHESS, Paris; 1994 Academic Visitor at the Business History Unit of the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, London; 1995 Habilitation at University of Zurich; 1995-present Member of the Board of Swiss Society for Economic and Social History; 1996-2001 Member of the Independent Commission of Experts Switzerland-Second World War; 1996/97 Professor of History, University of Bielefeld; 1997-present Full Professor in Modern History, University of Zurich; 1997-present Co-Editor of „Historische Anthropologie“; 1999-2009 Co-Editor of “Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte”; 2001/02 Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin; 2002 Visiting Fellow at the Max Planck-Institute for the History of Science, Berlin; 2004-2009 Fellow at the Collegium Helveticum (Technical University of Zurich and University of Zurich); 2004 Founding member of the Centre for the History of Knowledge (Technical University of Zurich and University of Zurich); 2004-present Co-Editor of “Gesnerus. Swiss Journal of the History of Medicine and Sciences"; 01/2011-12/2011 FRIAS fellowship


PUBLICATIONS (10 selected)

-    A Random Walk Down Wall Street? Industriemoderne und Finanzmarktkapitalismus, in: Martin Sabrow (Hg.), ZeitRäume. Potsdamer Almanach des Zentrums für Zeithistorische Forschung 2009, Göttingen 2010, S. 169-184.

-    Standards and Modernity, in: Christian Bonah u.a. (Hg.), Harmonizing Drugs. Standards In 20th-Century Pharmaceutical History, Paris (Editions Glyphe) 2009, S. 45-60.

- "Doors of perception" versus "Mind control". Experimente mit Drogen zwischen kaltem Krieg und 968, in: Birgit Griesecke u.a. (Hg.), Kulturgeschichte des Menschenversuchs im 20. Jahrhundert, Frankfurt a.M. (Suhrkamp) 2009, S. 340-372.

-    Kurze Geschichte und Kritik der Drogenprohibition im 20. Jahrhundert, in: Sammelband Annerose Menninger/ Katharina Niemeyer (Hg.), "Drogen: Aspekte einer globalen Konsumgeschichte", in: online-Journal "zeitenblicke" Ausgabe Nr. 3, Jg. 8, 2009.

-    (Hg. mit Valentin Groebner, Sebastien Guex), Kriegswirtschaft und Wirtschaftskriege, Zürich (Chronos) 2008

-    (Hg. mit Angelika Linke), Attraktion und Abwehr. Die Amerikanisierung der Alltagskultur in Europa, Köln/Weimar (Böhlau) 2006.

-    Historische Anthropologie zur Einführung. Hamburg (Junius Verlag) 2004. [chinesische Übersetzung: Peking University Press 2008].

-    (mit verfasst als Mitglied der ”Unabhängigen Expertenkommission Schweiz-Zweiter Weltkrieg”), Die Schweiz, der Nationalsozialismus und der Zweite Weltkrieg, Zürich 2002.

-    Fabrikmahlzeit. Ernährungswissenschaft. Industriearbeit und Volksernährung in der Schweiz 1890-1950, Zürich (Chronos Verlag) 1999.

-    (Hg. mit Philipp Sarasin), Physiologie und industrielle Gesellschaft. Studien zur Verwissenschaftlichung des  Körpers im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (Suhrkamp-Taschenbuch Wissenschaft, 1343), Frankfurt am Main 1998.


FRIAS research project

“History of Switzerland in the 20th century”

The project fits into a larger series of studies outlining the evolution of national societies in 20th century Europe. In order to avoid a methodological nationalism, the history of the nation state is put in a global context, thereby combining perspectives from political, social, economic and cultural history. The dissonances, crises, and the innovative momentum of modernity are in the centre of the theoretical reflexion. During the “long twentieth century”, Switzerland as a small, neutral state with an open, globally oriented economy of considerable scope has produced a significant tension between national sovereignty and economic (inter-)dependence. Compared to the great powers of Europe, the Swiss Confederation appears as a peaceful, blessed country, exempted from the wars and catastrophes of the 20th century, enjoying prosperity and a considerable quality of life. At the same time, the Swiss nation itself developed a collective feeling of being endangered by outer enemies, thereby mentally transforming the country in a “Reduit” (the mountainous stronghold). This state of consciousness, that became more and more fictional during the Cold war, was then again instrumentalized to avert external pressures against the Swiss tax haven and the banking secrecy. In sum an in the long run, the combination of a national “Sonderfall”- ideology with a flexible integration in global markets worked well and produced positive synergies between historical myths („Arkadien of free and pious peasants“), landscapes (yearning for the alps), political system (republican democracy) as well as social stability. The volume aims at analyzing these entanglements and configurations, proposing a new historical interpretation of Switzerland’s path dependent history throughout the 20th century.