Past Webinars

Webinar Languages of Populism 

EUI (in cooperation with UU, RSPH and Arhus University)

Contact: Lucy Riall

Webinar The permanent crisis of democracy

23 April 2021, 4.30PM-7PM (CEST) / 10.30AM-1PM (EDT), online

Utrecht University  (in cooperation with Columbia University, NYC and Dutch Research School Political History)

Contact: Ido de Haan, i.dehaan@uu.nl

An online webinar with Jens Hacke (Universität der Bundeswehr München), Martin Conway (Oxford University) and Nadia Urbinati (Columbia University) and junior researchers.

The Association for Political History, in collaboration with the European Institute and the Queen Wilhelmina Chair for Dutch Studies (Columbia University, NYC), the Netherlands Research School for Political History and the Department of History of Utrecht University, organize a webinar on the permanent crisis of democracy.

Considering the large number of books and articles with ‘Crisis’ and ‘Democracy’ in its title, published since the end of the nineteenth century until the present day, it is clear that after democracy became unavoidable, it nevertheless remained contested. In this seminar we aim to reflect on this apparent permanence of the crisis of democracy. How to explain the constant consternation? Were there moments democracy was not in crisis?  Is it always and everywhere the same crisis? Are there patterns or regularities in its (re)emergence? What are characteristics of the current crisis (crises?) of democracy?

The seminar consists of two parts. In the first section, these general questions are discussed with a panel of three prominent scholars in the history and theory of democracy. In the second part, junior researchers will present their research related to the central topic of the crisis of democracy. In each section, there is room for other participants to join the discussion.


4.30 PM Introduction: the permanent crisis of democracy 

Introduced and chaired by Ido de Haan, professor of Political History at Utrecht University, academic director of the RSPH and 2019 Visiting Professor on the Queen Wilhelmina Chair for Dutch Studies at the European Institute (Columbia University, NYC).

4.40 PM The permanent crisis of democracy, from the interwar crisis to contemporary post-democracy

The main questions of this seminar will be discussed in three short presentations, followed by a general discussion. The panel consists of

  • Jens Hacke, professor of Comparative Studies of Political Culture of the Universität der Bundeswehr München. Among his publications are Existenzkrise der Demokratie. Zur politischen Theorie des Liberalismus in der Zwischenkriegszeit (Berlin: Suhrkamp, 2018) and ‘Liberal Alternatives during the Crisis of Democracy. The Political Economist Moritz Julius Bonn as a Political Thinker in the Era of the Two World Wars’, in: New German Critique 42 (2015), Heft 3, pp. 145-168.
  • Martin Conway, professor of Contemporary European History at the University of Oxford and Fellow and Tutor in History at Balliol College. He recently published Western Europe’s Democratic Age 1945-1968 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020). Among his many publications is also the recent article ‘On fragile democracy: Contemporary and historical’, which is an introduction to the special issue on Fragile Democracy he edited together with Johanna Rainio-Niemi for the Journal of Modern European History 17 (2019) 4, 422-538.
  • Nadia Urbinati, Kyriakos Tsakopoulos Professor of Political Theory at Columbia University in the City of New York. Among her many books are Me The People: How Populism Transforms Democracy (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2019) and Democracy Disfigured: Opinion, Truth and the People (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2014). She also wrote ‘Reflections on the Meaning of “Crisis of Democracy”’, Democratic Theory 3 (2016) 1, 6-31.

5.45 PM Break

6.00 PM Case studies in the history of the crisis of democracy

In this second part, junior scholars will present their research, related to the crisis of democracy. After their short statements, the members of the panel will comment, followed by a discussion with the other participants in the seminar. Presenters are:

  • Elisabeth Dieterman, PhD at Leiden University, working on the project Political Legitimacy under Debate: Democracy and Authority in the Netherlands in the 1880s, 1930s and 1960s. Previously, she published ‘Demokratische Perspektiven in den Niederlanden der 1930er Jahre’, in: Tim. B. Müller and Adam Tooze (Eds.), Normalität und Fragilität. Demokratie nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2015), 421-435.
  • Karen Lauwers, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, working on the project Vocal Articulations of Parliamentary Identity and Empire. In 2019, she defended her dissertation at Antwerp University, titled Negotiating the Republic. Direct interactions between unorganized citizens and MPs in France, ca. 1900-1930. 
  • Joris Gijsenbergh, postdoctoral researcher at the Departments of Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law of the Radboud University, working on Political parties between freedom and restriction. Previously, he co-edited the volume Creative Crises of Democracy (Brussel : Peter Lang, 2012). Among his publications is also ‘Contrasting Complaints about Parliamentarism in Western-Europe (1918-1939)’, in: Kari Palonen & José María Rosales (Eds.), Parliamentarism and Democratic Theory. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Leverkusen: Barbara Budrich, 2015), 117-139.
  • Ermes Antonucci, Ph.D. Candidate in “Politics: History, Theory, Science” at Luiss University (Rome). His research interests focus on the history of the Italian judiciary and on the analysis of judicial policies and institutions. At the moment, he is conducting his Ph.D. research on the history of the Italian judiciary in the republican period.

7 PM End of the seminar

Registration, participation and credits

Registration via https://forms.gle/Dc9cLYfLUh5rCgFYA. After registration you will receive a link to the webinar.

The webinar is open to all researchers connected to the APH, RSPH, Dutch universities and the European Institute at Columbia. Other interested researchers can participate upon request.

Research Master students, Graduate students, and PhD candidates who want to earn 1 ECTS for participating in the webinar have to submit a reflection of 1000 words on the debate within 14 days after the meeting, to be sent to Ido de Haan (Utrecht University).

For information about the webinar, requests to participate, and information about receiving credits for participation in the webinar, contact Ido de Haan (i.dehaan@uu.nl)

Webinar Making Political History Global. Political history from the perspective of scholars of non-European history.

25 March 2021, 14.00-16.00 h CET

Power in History, the Research Group Political History of the University of Antwerp

Contact & registration: Prof. dr. Marnix Beyen marnix.beyen@uantwerpen.be

Do we speak the same language? Political history from the perspective of scholars of non-European history– A roundtable with Malika Dekkiche (University of Antwerp), Christopher Markiewicz (University of Birmingham) and Henk de Smaele (University of Antwerp)

Arguably even more than other subdisciplines of history, political history has been forged in Europe and has therefore taken Western political modernity as its starting point. New paradigms like postcolonialism and subaltern studies have not been able fundamentally to alter this situation. Scholars of non-Western history experience nearly insurmountable thresholds to engage in fruitful discussions with traditional political historians-  thresholds situated at the level of concepts, languages, sources and methods. In this webinar, these obstacles an the ways to overcome them will be tackled respectively by a Mamlukist (Malika Dekkiche), an Early Modern Ottomanist (Christopher Markiewicz), and an expert in modern European political and cultural history (Henk de Smaele). Their short pitches will serve as a starting point for a discussion to which both Europeanists and non-Europeanists are invited. The discussion will be moderated by Marnix Beyen (University of Antwerp).

The participation to the roundtable is free, but if you register in advance, you get access to a google docs-form in which some inspiring texts will be posted, and in which you can share your thoughts or questions in advance.

PhD Nordic Webinar

12 February 2021 9.00-12.45 CET | 10.00-13.45 EET

Universities of Aarhus, Jyväskylä and Södertörn

This webinar provides PhD students from the members institutions with comments from experts and peers representing fellow universities. In the meeting, the presenters, commentators and audience take up central points of the paper for joint discussion.

Registration and more information: aph@associationforpoliticalhistory.org
After you have registered, you will receive the link to the meeting and access codes.

The seminar papers can be found in Google Docs and the links with commenting rights below.

No registration is required from researchers of the APH member institutions but the participants are advised to make their comments in Google Docs before the meeting. Commenting without attendance in the Zoom meeting is also possible.

Moderator: Pasi Ihalainen (Jyväskylä)

  • 9.00-9.45 CET Troels Solgaard Andersen (Aarhus), The Reality of a Fiction: A History of Cultural Censorship during the German Occupation of Denmark 1940-1945, first commentator Simo Mikkonen (Jyväskylä)
  • 9.45-10.30 CET Martin Englund (Södertörn), Facing Sweden: The Experience of arriving in Sweden after the forced migration from Poland during the Antisemitic Campaign 1967-1972, first commentator Pertti Ahonen (Jyväskylä)
  • 10.30-11.00 CET Break
  • 11.00-11.45 CET Risto-Matti Matero (Jyväskylä), From companionship with nature to consumer rights: Changing perception of human nature in German, Swedish and Finnish green parties, 1980-2010, first commentator Norbert Götz (Södertörn)
  • 11.45-12.30 CET Emilia Lakka (Jyväskylä), Labor immigration and the enlarged European Union: a comparison of the policy preferences of Finnish, Danish and Swedish parliamentary parties 2000-2018, first commentator Niels Wium Olesen (Aarhus)
  • 12.30-12.45 CET Final discussion on future webinar cooperation