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call for paper for the conference Peace Movements and Democratic Culture in Southern Europe during the 1970s and 1980s, organised by the German Historical Institute Rome in collaboration with the Centre for Peace History at the Department of History, University of Sheffield.

German Historical Institute Rome/Istituto Storico Germanico di Roma, 14-16 February 2018

The mobilization against the deployment of US Pershing and Cruise Missile atomic warheads in the wake of the NATO Dual Track Solution in 1979 was a watershed moment in the recent political history of Western Europe. The anti-nuclear protests of the late 1970s and 1980s activated civil society, renegotiated the parameters of political participation and redefined the understanding of (international and domestic) security. The contours and implications of the 1980s anti-nuclear protests have been fairly well researched for key western European countries over the past decade. Developments in Southern Europe, however, have not yet been substantially studied.
The key objective of this conference is to bring together historians, political scientists, sociologists and academics from cultural and media studies who are conducting empirical research on anti-nuclear and anti-militarist peace protests in southern European countries during the late 1970s and 1980s. The focus will be on Greece, Spain and Italy, three countries that were involved in the 1980s mobilisation cycle in different ways. Italy had been selected for the deployment of Pershing missiles and was thus a key battleground of conflicts over the Dual Track Decision. But the country had also seen a wave of left and right-wing terrorism during the 1970s and a concomitant crisis of parliamentary democracy. Spain and Greece had just returned to parliamentary democracy from military dictatorship in 1975 and 1974, respectively. They were not directly involved in the conflict over the Dual Track Decision, but experienced intensive protests against the presence of US military bases or against NATO membership more generally. Thus, all three countries were involved in conflicts over security that entailed a complex renegotiation of democratic practices in the widest sense. The conference will investigate these developments through the lens of peace movement mobilisation. In addition to papers on Italy, Spain and Greece, suggestions for papers on peace movements in Portugal are also welcome.
The conference will be opened with a keynote lecture by Professor Federico Romero (European University Institute Florence). The conference proceedings will be held in English. In each panel, a commentator will point out conceptual implications and connections between the papers. Selected papers from the conference will be subsequently published in a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary History, subject to the peer-review procedures of this journal. Five panels will be organized:

  • Panel I: Forging Coalitions: Movements, Parties and Institutional Actors
  • Panel II: Practices and Cultures of Participation
  • Panel III: The Spatial Politics of Peace Movements
  • Panel IV: The Transnational Circulation of Ideas, Actors and Practices
  • Panel V: Framing Peace: Symbols, Rituals and Narratives

15 September 2017. Submit a single English-language PDF-document with the title of your proposed paper, an abstract of no more than 300 words and a one-page CV, including your current position or academic affiliation and a list of key publications, to Benjamin Ziemann at The organisers aim to cover travel costs and accommodation for all speakers. A decision will be made upon acceptance of your paper.

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