Demonstration Marches in a Comparative Historical Perspective
Conference of the German Historical Institute London
Friday, 25 February and Saturday, 26 February 2005 .
Organized demonstrations have for a long time now been part of the established repertoire of political debate and the expression of will. As the case of the socialist regimes of Eastern Europe has shown, demonstrations can still have a crucial impact on the political development of a country. In parliamentary democracies, too, organized protest marches, for example, against the war in Iraq or globalization, continue to bring tens of thousands of people out on to the street.
Recognizing the significance of demonstrations, historians have increasingly looked at this form of political protest in recent years. The planned conference will build on this work and attempt an international comparison of organized, large-scale demonstrations over a longer period of time.
It will ask what similarities and differences can be found between demonstrations in the same country, or between marches in different countries. To what extent did cultural, ethnic, religious, social, and political traditions determined the form of demonstrations and the course they took? Are there any elements that are common to all marches? How did the symbols chosen and the rituals enacted change? What role did the location of the demonstration, or the route of the march play? To what extent did demonstrations change over time, for example, in reaction to developments in the media, the police, or the franchise? Did peaceful demonstrations achieve their goals more quickly than violent ones? And how can the success of a march be measured at all?
Papers should deal with a number of demonstrations and compare marches in one or more states. The conference will be held in London, and the conference language is English.
Proposals for papers (no longer than one page in length) should reach Dr Matthias Reiss, German Historical Institute London, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NJ, UK (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than 1 August 2004<.
Dr Matthias Reiss
German Historical Institute London
17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A 2NJ
Phone: 020 7309 2015
Fax: 020 7404 5573 Email: email@example.com Visit the website at http://www.ghil.ac.uk
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