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"Democratization and nationalism in Europe, 1870-1920"

CAS 03/07/2015

Call for papers

From 14 - 16 January 2016 the research group Political Cultures and National Identities of Leiden University Institute for History will organize the conference

"Reconsidering Democracy and the Nation State in a Global Perspective".

Deadline submission of abstracts: 1 September 2015

Panel 2. Democratization and nationalism in Europe, 1870-1920
Coordinators: Eric Storm & Maarten van Ginderachter

From the last quarter of the 19th century, European societies gradually democratized and were thoroughly transformed by mass politics. Nationalism was deeply involved in this process and the subsequent nationalization of the masses has generally been presented as an almost linear process that was intimately connected to the widening of the suffrage and the general modernization process. As a result, it has been studied primarily as a top-down process in which the new voters had to be educated to become good and patriotic citizens. Consequently, the nation-building process began to target wider strata of the population. This became visible in education, in celebrating national holidays, erecting statues, organizing large scale commemorations, in a new interest in folklore, but also in more concrete efforts to include the lower classes into the nation, such as the founding of choirs and excursionist associations, initiatives to revive traditional arts and crafts, public housing initiatives and the construction of garden cities, which all received a rather pronounced nationalist veneer.

The relationship between nationalism and democratization in the period 1870-1920 is thus largely taken for granted and has hardly been problematized or analyzed explicitly. However, it is clear from many recent case-studies that the relationship between democratization and nationalism/nation-building was far from unidirectional, while it is also doubtful whether the nationalization of the masses merely was a top-down process.

Some of the questions this workshop wants to tackle are:

- to what extent has democratization impacted on nationalist movements?
- how was nationalism imbricated in the extension of suffrage or of social legislation?
- does democratization necessarily imply a larger role of nationalism as a means of involving more citizens?
- do state and sub-state nationalisms have similar relationships to democratization?
- to what extent was the political emancipation of workers, farmers and women accompanied by a growing national awareness?

Applications should include:

• Title of proposed paper
• Title of the abovementioned theme of your choice
• Abstract (maximum 500 words)
• Biographical information (short CV)
• Contact information (email, telephone and postal address)

Conference website: www.hum.leiden.edu/history/conference-democracy-nation-state
Email: [email protected]

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