Patrick Milton

Milton profile


Lansstraße 7-9
Room 213
14195 Berlin

Degrees and positions

2016 – present: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cluster Initiative "Western Script", Freie Universität Berlin

2015 – 2016: DRS Postdoctoral Fellow (POINT), Freie Universität Berlin

2008 – 2013: PhD in History, University of Cambridge

2010: Visiting research scholar, Leibniz-Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz

2006 – 2007: MA in International Relations, with distinction, University of Warwick

2003 – 2006: BA in History, University of Cambridge

Awards, Scholarships and Grants

August 2013: German History Society/Royal Historical Society Essay Prize

March 2009 and July 2011: Storrs Fund Award, Peterhouse, Cambridge

August 2011: Bursary of the German History Society, London

January-June 2010: DAAD Research scholarship

Conferences, workshops and seminars:

25 May 2016: Research colloquium for Early Modern History, Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut, FU Berlin: ‘“Responsibility to Protect”? Intervention in Central Europe, 1648–1780’.

11 May 2016: A Westphalia for the Middle East Seminar Four, Dept. of War Studies, King’s College London: ‘The guarantee of the Peace of Westphalia, 1644–1780’.

9 Feb. 2016: Center for Area Studies, FU Berlin, research colloquium: ‘The history of humanitarian intervention in Early Modern Europe, c.1625—1775’.

4 Sept. 2015: Sixth Annual Conference of the German History Society, Queen Mary University of London: ‘“daß ohne Schweden undt Franckreich die Religion undt Freyheit Teutschlandes nicht erhalten wäre” – the role and perception of the external guarantee of the Peace of Westphalia in the Holy Roman Empire’.

8 May 2015: 12th workshop on Early Modern German History organised by the German History Society / German Historical Institute, London: ‘Confessional crises in early eighteenth-century central Europe: responses to religious persecution in the Holy Roman Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth’.

13 January 2011: German Historical Institute, London. 15th annual PhD student conference: ‘Tyrannical rule and intervention in the territorial states of the Old Reich during the early eighteenth century’.

11 November 2010: Early Modern History Workshop, University of Cambridge: ‘The crises in Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1719) and Nassau-Siegen (1707) as examples of central interference for the protection of persecuted mediate subjects of the Holy Roman Empire’.

29 June 2010: Forschungskolloquium, Institut für Europäische Geschichte, Mainz: ‘Innerterritoriale Interventionen in Mitteleuropa zu Beginn des 18. Jahrhunderts’.

Other Activities

  • Co-convened, together with Brendan Simms and Michael Axworthy, a four-part seminar series entitled 'A Westphalia for the Middle East' which constitutes a 'Laboratory for World Construction' at the Forum on Geopolitics, Dept. of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge, between March and May 2016.

My research has largely been concerned with the political and constitutional history of the Holy Roman Empire in the Early Modern period, as well as the nature of the seventeenth and eighteenth century European states system. Particular points of interest include the management of confessional conflicts and the dispensation of justice at the supreme judicial tribunals of the Empire, specifically with regard to the protection of persecuted subjects and imperilled princely states. I have sought to investigate the relationship between law and politics in the old Reich, and to uncover aspects of the normative underpinning of its system of rule.

My latest research broadens the scope of analysis, to investigate the history of the concept and practice of what would today be termed ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Early Modern central Europe. In this context I am researching such topics as the role and perception of the external guarantee of the Peace of Westphalia in Imperial politics. Operating at the interface between history, international law and political science, I seek to highlight some of the historical foundations of the enforcement of common norms of governance in European international society.

  • "A Westpahlian Peace for the Middle East", with Michael Axworthy, Foreign Affairs, 10 October 2016,

  • ‘The early eighteenth-century German confessional crisis: the juridification of religious conflict in the re-confessionalised politics of the Holy Roman Empire’forthcoming in Central European History, vol. 49, no. 1 (March, 2016).

  • ‘Ending the new Thirty Years War’, New Statesman, 21 January 2016, pp. 22-26. Co-authored with Brendan Simms and Michael Axworthy.

  • ‘Imperial law versus geopolitical interest: the Reichshofrat and the protection of smaller states in the Holy Roman Empire under Charles VI (1711-40)’, The English Historical Review, vol. 130, no. 545 (August, 2015), pp. 831-864. 

  • ‘Intervening against tyrannical rule in the Holy Roman Empire during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’, German History, vol. 33, no. 1 (2015), pp. 1-29.