Colloque « Warfare, Welfare, and Transformation of European Society in the 20th Century » – octobre 2021

Le workshop « Warfare, Welfare, and Transformation of European Society in the 20th Century » aura lieu les 15 et 16 octobre 2021 à Berlin, Centre Marc Bloch, Friedrichstraße 191.

Inscriptions obligatoires : Michele Mioni (UniBremen) Michele.mioni[at] ou Fabien Théofilakis (Paris 1/CHS_CMB) fabien.theofilakis[at]

Voir le programme PDF

The workshop studies the transformative impact of 20th century wars on European societies. It pursues two main research avenues: emphasing a perspective “from below”, by focusing on the relations between society and State policy; deconstructing the traditional view centred on the Nation-State, by analysing the phenomena of mobilisation, demobilisation and transformation according to infra-state (at micro and meso levels) as well as supra-state scales.

The existing interdisciplinary scientific literature on the topic scrutinised the causal mechanisms that linked total war with social reforms, the impact of modern warfare on State structures and policies, the consequences of wartime mobilisation on labour movement as well as on constituent bodies. This workshop purposes to shift focus on social actors and “sectional interests” (e.g., unions, employers’ organisations, voluntary sector). It discusses the impact of the war from a transnational and entangled point of view, through the prism of three main phenomena:

  • the role of the transfers, mutual learning, and competition among the warring parties;
  • the action of international and humanitarian organisations in the reconsideration of social policy during and after wartimes;
  • the links between war and social reform in Europe as well as in the colonial territories of European powers.

The workshop uses interpretations and methodologies from different disciplines, to have a comprehensive view that integrates the current scientific literature. It also analyses the entangled features of the many links between war and social change by emphasising connections along two binomials: “State-society” and “national-supranational”. As it calls into question the natural primacy of the scale of analysis of the nation-state, it questions the caesura between wartimes and post-war times to consider the processes of war exit (sortie de guerre) and those of social translation beyond the end of the fighting.