Representing revolutionary terrorists as heroes and martyrs was a typical feature of the mythology of the Russian revolutionary underground at the beginning of the 20th century. This mythology described Underground Russia, the world of the revolutionaries, as an ideal country inhabited by ideal people. The purpose of that epos was to represent the revolutionary struggle, and individual revolutionaries in such a way that they would gain sympathy from the wider public and become role models for other revolutionary fighters. Sympathetic representations of women who committed political violence seem to be especially shocking in the context of Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, since female violent behavior contradicted the existing gender order.Continue reading
When more than 150 years ago the Dutch newspaper Het Nieuws van de Dag (News of the Day) described the future of politics as “in darkness”, it warned its readers that “the bloody feuds of yore are coming again”. What sounds like a line from a post-apocalyptic movie bears an interesting analogy on current discussions about the future of Western politics. Recently, scholars have painted an equally dark picture warning about the “hollowing of Western democracy” and identified a future of “post-democracy”. In the center of these concerns is the ability of political parties to fulfill their function as a core institution of democracy. Scholars fear that decreasing membership numbers are a symptom of democratic decay. Parties will lose their ability to connect political elites and civil society, and, thereby, inevitably extend the void between rulers and the ruled.Continue reading
Securing Europe after Napoleon. 1815 and the New European Security Culture, edited by Beatrice de Graaf, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands , Ido de Haan, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands , Brian Vick, Emory University, Atlanta (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2019), 325 pages, ISBN-13: 978-1108428224.Continue reading
Henk te Velde has been installed as the new President of the APH. At the 6th international PhD conference in Paris, 20-22 June he made a short statement on the future of the Association:Continue reading
University of California Press launches a new journal called Global Perspectives. It is interdisciplinary and at the same time endorses disciplinary roots and routes to tackle larger global questions. For political historians the journal is an opportunity to publish with a leading press, to reach a large, global readership and to make their voices heard by colleagues not only from other countries, but other disciplines as well. Yet interdisciplinary academic writing and thinking, for Global Perspectives, is not a dogma to be realised in each article or contribution, but rather defined by mutual respect and interest, seen as various ways of addressing shared questions.Continue reading
In June 2018 Prof. Marc Lazar (SciencesPo Paris) steps down as President of the Association for Political History. We asked him to reflect on the first 4 years of the APH and the future of political history in general.Continue reading
“The Dark Side of the Belle Époque. Political Violence and Armed Associations in Europe before the First World War” is a comparative historical project at the University of Padova and funded by the European Research Council (ERC-Starting Grant Scheme 2015).
The project investigates the role played by militias, paramilitary movements, armed organisations, and vigilante groups before the First World War (from the late 19th century to 1914). It takes into consideration the role, impact, features of armed associations in France, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the German Reich in order to understand to what extent organised political violence permeated European societies and represented a mass transnational experience in an era – the so-called Belle Époque – which is generally seen as characterised by peace and progress. Actually, the Europe of the so-called Belle Époque was already a continent in which the practice of violence was a daily experience for thousands of civilians.Continue reading