Tag Archives: 2018

International PhD Conference | 2019 | Call for Papers

Graduate Student Call for Papers | 5-7th June 2019, London, UK

‘History in Light of Brexit’

The Association of Political History, King’s Contemporary British History, The Strand Group, The History of Parliament Trust

Keynote Speaker: Rt. Hon. Ed Balls

There have been, and will be, numerous conferences about the causes and consequences of Britain’s departure from the European Union. This conference is not one of them. Rather, we want to think about history in light of Brexit. Indeed, to ask what does Brexit mean for the recent political history of Europe and Britain?

We are seeking abstracts from graduate students. Some participants may choose to address the issue by directly talking about the relationship between Britain and the European Union, others may adopt more tangential approaches. We welcome all takes on the question.

Some may want, for example, to talk about British notions of exceptionality and how far back those notions can be traced. Is British history best understood as an ‘island story’ set apart from that of other nations?

Perhaps even more importantly, participants who specialize in the history of continental Europe are invited to ask whether there is a specifically European political identity. One odd feature of recent discussion of British exceptionalism has been the absence of attention to any European model from which Britain is held to diverge and the lack of recognition that European countries might have their own senses of national peculiarity.


We should stress that there is no expectation that all papers will be about purely British or European history. Historians of other parts of the world may well see links between their works have with Brexit. To take two obvious examples, scholars of Chinese history may have things to say about notions of national peculiarity; scholars of India may well feel that there are things to say about notions of federations and indeed that such notions may have had a considerable influence of how the British conceive their role in international bodies.

What does Brexit mean for the relationship between academic history and the outside world? Does our historical research need to speak more clearly to present-day political concerns?

Another approach might be to review classic works on national identity and nationalism, asking how we might revisit the arguments of, say, Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, Linda Colley’s Britons, Eugene Weber’s Peasants into Frenchman or Alan Milward’s The European Rescue of the Nation State considering Britain’s departure from the European Union and rise of populism across the continent.

None of these ideas are more than suggestions. It should be stressed, though, that we are looking for something slightly different from a typical conference paper. Participants are not to be required to address particular themes but rather invited to talk about their own research in the light of broader reflections about the political history of Britain and Europe. This is, of course, quite daunting, but the conference should be seen as an opportunity for graduate students to be intellectually ambitious and as way for them to get to grips with the broader historiographical significance of their research. If any graduate students have any questions about submitting an abstract, please contact Tom Kelsey (historyinlightofbrexit@gmail.com).


We will be using pre-circulated papers. At the conference itself, presentations will be limited to 10 minutes. The purpose of these talks is to summarise the big arguments being put forward. After these presentations, panels of three speakers will receive in depth feedback on their pre-circulated up to 6,000-word papers from an academic in the Association of Political History Network. This will be followed by a broader conversation with the conference audience.


It should be stressed that only PhD candidates from universities participating in the Association of Political History can apply. Proposals should be no longer than 250 words for individual papers, and 1,000 words for three-person panels. They should be sent to historyinlightofbrexit@gmail.com by 15 February 2019. The abstract should be submitted as a Word document and include: 1) the title of the presentation; 2) institutional affiliation; 3) your email address. Applicants will be informed of the outcome the week beginning 4 March 2019.

An accepted paper of no more than 6,000 words must then be submitted to the conference organizers by 13 May 2019 at the latest. The paper will be made available to the other participants during the following week on a closed website.


There will be no registration fee for this conference and we will at least partially subsidise accommodation and travel for participating doctoral students.

Political History PhD Network | Workshop 2018 Programme

The Pursuit of Legitimacy. Power and its Manifestations in Political History

25-26 October 2018, Leiden University, the Netherlands

Thursday, Oct. 25  2018
location: Huizinga building, Doelensteeg 16, Leiden

13:15 – 13:45              Registration (room 026)
13:45 – 14:00              Words of welcome

14:00 – 16:00              Parallel session I

Panel 1. The crafts of power. Observing, stratifying and condemning populations
room 023C
Chair: Remzi Çağatay Çakırlar (Leiden)

Joonas Tammela (Jyväskylä): Legitimation of Heavenly and Earthly Power: Local Sermons as a Mediator of the Societal Values in Swedish Realm, 1790–1820

Cristiana Plamadeala (Paris): On Dossierveillance and Collaboration with the Securitate, Romania’s Secret Police in the Communist Period (1945-89)

Sandrine Maulini (Geneva): The demands of former administrative inmates and children in out-of-home care: a crisis of legitimacy in Switzerland?

Panel 2. Signs of the times. Questions of legitimacy in periods of change
Room 025
Chair: Iva Vukusic (Utrecht)

Raisa Blommestijn (Leiden): The step-in-the-back myth. Reconceiving Weimar’s legitimacy

Maja Lukanc (Ljubljana): The legitimation of communist power: Comparative cases of post-war Poland and Yugoslavia (1944-1948)

Pierre Botcherby (Warwick): Seeking continuity in a period of change: resisting industrial decline and postindustrial regeneration in St. Helens, Merseyside

16:00 – 16:30             Coffee break  (room 026)

16:30 – 18:00             Key note panel: The question of legitimacy
Room 025

Maartje Janse, Anne Petterson & Elisabeth Dieterman (Leiden)

19:00                           Dinner (Malle Jan)
app. 21:00                  Social programme

Friday, Oct. 26 2018

09:30 – 10:00             Coffee  (room 026)
10:00 – 12:00             Parallel session II

Panel 3. Thinking (il)legitimately. Contrarian, demonical and provocative ideas
room 023C
Chair: Dirk Alkemade (Leiden)

Thomas Ashby (Florence/Leiden): Resisting Satan: Algernon Sidney contra the House of Stuart, the invasion plot of 1664-1666

Catherine Hulse (London): Legitimising representative popular power: the ‘paradox’ of Sieyès and Roederer?

Arthur Ghins (Cambridge): A liberal view on democracy: Benjamin Constant on sovereignty, representative government and political liberty

Shane Little (Loughborough): The anarchism of Josiah Warren: Sovereignty of the individual and experiments in utopian living

Panel 4. The imaginary dominium. Identity constructs and aesthetic representations as sources of legitimacy 
room 025
Chair: Wouter Linmans (Leiden)

Fons Meijer (Nijmegen): Establishing a Dutch consensus culture: Representations of Dutch monarchs in times of disaster, c.1807-1861

Nathalia Schomerus (Potsdam): Viewpoints of National Liberals on legitimacy in 19th century Germany

Rohit Dutta Roy (Cambridge): Right to govern and the construction of epistemic authority: History as a source of Political Legitimacy in late-nineteenth and twentieth-century India

Marvin Menniken (Berlin): War veteran morality and the nation: The American Legion in twentieth-century U.S. politics

12:00 – 13:00             Lunch

13:00 – 15:00             Parallel session III

Panel 5. Reading revolts against the grain. The legitimation of dissent
room 023C
Chair: Larissa Schulte Nordholt (Leiden)

Ivan Gracia (Barcelona): Legitimacy and popular violence in a catholic city: Barcelona during the Reapers’ Revolt (1640)

Oscar Broughton (Berlin): Redefining construction: Legitimacy and the National Guilds League

Juho Saksholm (Jyväskylä): The Nordic 1968: Transnational discourses on the legitimacy of dissent

Panel 6. Communicative challenges. Or how to mediate legitimacy
room 025
Chair: Alp Yenen

Jonas Stephan (Münster): Security, authority and legitimacy. The art of doing politics in the Holy Roman Empire after the Peace of Westphalia

Zachris Haaparinne (Jyväskylä): The virtues and ideals of parliamentary representation and political participation

Chris Monnox (Australia): Legitimising party: Public meetings and party politics in Australia, 1910-1929

Sara Mirahmadi (Leiden): Ideological usage of poetry in the Jāmi’ al-Tavārīkh

15:00 – 16:00              Plenary closing (room 025)

The Dark Side of the Belle Époque #researchproject #padova

“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

Writing politics at Aarhus University #scholarship

“Big news! It is confirmed: We’re on strike in April!” The lovely peace and quietness of the 6th floor’s left wing is abruptly disturbed. For a few weeks now, rumors about Aarhus University being included in the nation-wide strike of the public service workers have been a daily occurrence. With talks between the government and the union(s) deadlocked, the country is now preparing for a major historical event. Apparently, Denmark is not only famous for its ‘hygge’ and its gender-friendly policies: striking turns out to be serious business, too. The stop to work should last not one day or two, but an entire MONTH. In response, the Agency for the Modernisation of Public Administration has issued a lockout notice which applies to the majority of Aarhus University’s employees. In the event of a strike/lockout, my supervising professor here in Aarhus, Hagen Schulz-Forberg, will no longer be allowed to enter the building. But more surprisingly, it could be that even Teresa and I, visiting PhD scholars with no strings attached to Denmark for this matter, will not be able to reach the office. Will what started as dream scholarship turn into a nightmare?

Continue reading

From national and comparative to transnational histories of reform processes #newbook

Research in the political history of the First World War has mainly focused on the course of events at national levels. It has shown how conflicts between the people’s sacrifices and their political participation led to crises of parliamentary legitimacy. Yet these crises were entangled through the comparative nature of constitutional debates, transnational networks typical of all ideologies, the press and shared war experiences.

Continue reading