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Wars and political violence in modern European and American societies (19th-21st century)

When George Mosse put forward the notions of the ‘trivialisation of violence’ and the ‘brutalisation of politics’ in his now-famous work Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars in 1990, he was trying, among other things, to explain why European societies were faced with a considerable increase in political violence up until the Second World War, with a rise in extremism that ended in an unparalleled material and human catastrophe. In his analysis, Mosse claimed that the 1914-18 conflict provided the principal mould for this violence, that is to say it was an indispensable element in the triggering of a process that hinged on a number of significant ideas running through European societies at the time. The use of violence is, first and foremost, thought to be the best means of defeating the ideological enemy and putting an end to the rot in society. As a consequence, war is seen as a salutary option and one that is necessary for the redemption of the men and women corrupted by the system that is in place. From this perspective, young people, who are considered to be the healthy element in a nation, would have to become the driving force of political life and the guarantor of its revival. As we know, Mosse’s analysis has given rise to many debates and has largely been called into question. However, despite the disagreements he has engendered among historians, the historian raises a number of particularly interesting questions, which extend well beyond the First World War’s impact on European societies. These questions can be formulated as follows :

-To what extent do wars generate or not cultures and practices that legitimise the use of violence against a political opponent? In what way do they serve to magnify political violence in peacetime ?

-How does war subsequently change the perception of political violence and its place in society ?

-Do wars allow us to better understand the origins and purposes of political violence as well as the practices that underpin it ?

These questions are at the heart of this call for papers from the journal Amnis. It seeks to open up reflection on the synergies that exist between war and political violence – both real and symbolic – and to ascertain to what extent the two phenomena are interlinked as well as how far they can be regarded as an essential area of research for gaining an understanding of the historical processes at work during a given period. To this end, Amnis proposes a long-term study focused on the contemporary period in order to analyse not only the impact of conflicts, such as the two world wars that left their mark on the 20th century, but also the consequences of the many civil wars, colonisation wars and the various other types of confrontations that have punctuated the history of European and American societies from the 19th century to the present. Beyond that, this call seeks to analyse how war violence guides certain political practices and cultures in peacetime. Papers are welcome on a variety of subjects relating to this theme, for example testimonies, artistic output, imaginations, stories, militant and institutional practices and the rituals, behaviour and discourses among populations or certain groups, such as veterans or intellectuals. The project is multidisciplinary by nature and is aimed at specialists in social, political and cultural history as well as art historians and sociologists, ethnologists and even specialists in some areas of literature.

Abstracts (a presentation of the article in 30 lines) can be written in French, Spanish or English. They are to be sent to the following address before October 15th, 2017 : amnis@revues.org.

The author, whose proposal has been accepted, has to submit their entry by May 10th, 2018. The articles, after being checked by the Scientific Committee and two external reviewers, will be published on the journal's website, (http://amnis.revues.org) in 2018.

Severiano Rojo Hernandez

Editor in chief of Amnis review

Aix-Marseille Université

TELEMME

CNRS

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