New Issue – European Review of History

A new Issue of European Review of History: Revue europeenne d’histoire Volume 19, Issue 2, 2012 has been published and contains the following articles:




‘In carcere; ad dupplicium’: Jesuit encounters in prison and in places of execution. Reflections on the early-modern period. Paul John Shore

Jesuits of the early-modern period had, as a major aspect of their missions and ministry, encounters with prisoners and with those condemned to execution. The Jesuit experience of these encounters was profoundly influenced by the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, undertaken by every Jesuit. In these exercises the retreatant is required to visualise the physical sufferings of Christ. During the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, Jesuits were closely connected, from several perspectives, with the imprisonment and execution of scores of individuals. While many of the leading Jesuit theoreticians of the time, such as Roberto Bellarmino, supported the right of the secular state to exercise capital punishment, a tension persisted between the idea of common humanity expounded in the Spiritual Exercises and the role of the Jesuits as supporters of the Habsburg dynasty that conducted these public executions. This essay explores the Jesuit encounter along the eastern and northern Habsburg peripheries and on the ‘frontiers of faith’ with prisoners and the condemned, utilising archival materials, as a contribution to the intellectual history of the Jesuits and to the cultural history of the region.


Transurban interconnectivities: an essay on the interpretation
of the revolutions of 1848.
Claus Møller Jørgensen

This essay discusses the interpretation of the revolutionary situations of 1848 in light of recent debates on interconnectivity in history. The concept of transurban interconnectivities is proposed as the most precise concept to capture the nature of interconnectivity in 1848. It is argued that political models circulating on a European scale at the time provided the ‘knowledge resources’ that were appropriated by urban political activists across Europe. These circulating resources were appropriated by political activists as means of political mobilisation in their particular local urban context. It is argued that circulating political communication accounts for similarities with respect to political agenda, organisational form and political repertoire evident in urban settings across Europe. This argument is supported by a series of examples of local organisation and local appropriations of liberalism, radicalism and nationalism in 1848. In the concluding paragraph, the limitations of the notion of urban–rural interconnectivity are discussed in order to clarify the nature of transurban interconnectivity.


Artur Hazelius and the ethnographic display of the Scandinavian peasantry: a study in context and appropriation. Daniel Alan De Groff

Artur Hazelius (1833–1901), founder of the Nordiska Museet and the Skansen Open-Air Museum, was a pioneering figure in the practice of ethnographic display in Europe. Hazelius achieved Europe-wide recognition following his presentation of Swedish and Scandinavian peasant ethnography at the Paris Universal Exposition of 1878, where his displays were reviewed positively in the international press. This paper argues that the significance of the Hazelian ethnographic project was embedded in overlapping contextual frames with centres in Stockholm and Paris. If the displays most readily spoke to a general concern with the decline of traditional life as rooted in the countryside, they arguably took on other, different and occasionally conflicting meanings as they were moved from one exhibitionary context to another. Whereas in Stockholm the ethnographic displays were inscribed in the conciliatory rhetoric of Scandinavism, the exhibitionary setting of the exposition universelle imposed an interpretative frame defined by the logic of a competitive nationalism. For Nordic audiences, the scenes reflected the positive historical significance of the peasantry in the unfolding narrative of Scandinavian political modernity; for the French audience, however, those same scenes were either applauded for their life-likeness or seen as reflective of the ethnographic richness of the ‘kingdom of Sweden’.


French antimilitarism before World War I: Gustave Hervé and L’Affiche Rouge of 1905. Michael Burt Loughlin

Gustave Hervé’s political emergence occurred amidst the Dreyfus Affair. This accelerated his radicalisation. By 1901 he attained notoriety for an apparent image of the tricolour on a dungpile. Soon, his antimilitarist movement called Hervéism attempted to unite the revolutionary Left. After socialist unification, Hervé led the most extreme faction and created a weekly newspaper, La Guerre sociale. In 1905 he joined the Association Internationale Antimilitariste (AIA) which issued a poster based on his ideas. His experience with the AIA presaged several transformations on the French Left. Before 1914 Hervé was a strident voice within European socialism, advocating revolutionary means to prevent war. Years of incendiary campaigns failed to implement his ideas. Despite his dedication, the quixotic Hervé grew frustrated with leftist divisions. His disillusionment arose from a naive reading of an anachronistic revolutionary tradition. Hervé’s sincere, yet romantic and eclectic, socialism exhibited atavistic features. Before the war Hervé rallied to ’la patrie en danger’; in 1919 he created a French national socialist party. Such shifts have been tied to Fascism. Though some recent scholars have stressed the dangers posed by antimilitarism, this article documents a more ambiguous picture of Hervé’s experience with the AIA and his later antimilitarist activities.

Science as propaganda: Swedish scientists and the co-production of American hegemony in Sweden during the cold war, 1953–68. Michael Nilsson

This article takes a close look at how the United States used the funding of scientific research in Sweden as a hegemonic and propaganda tool in the 1950s and 1960s. It shows that non-aligned Sweden functioned just as much as a node in the international science network set up by the Americans after the Second World War as did the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries. These funds were awarded mainly to an elite network of prominent Swedish scientists. The article sheds interesting light on the controversies of such funding in Sweden during the cold war and adds important knowledge about Swedish–American relations during the cold war. The article argues that this Swedish scientific elite co-produced US hegemony in Sweden by actively seeking out American military funding and by making use of it. It also argues that US funding was intended to portray the United States as an altruistic patron of science in the world and thus serve American propagandistic purposes as well.


New models, new questions: historiographical approaches to the Romanian Holocaust. Roland Clark

This essay surveys the historiography on the Romanian Holocaust, focusing in particular on four monographs published by Western historians within the past five years. Earlier research was limited both empirically and theoretically, and these works suggest new research paradigms and raise new questions about the genocide in Romania during the Second World War. Dennis Deletant assesses the rule of General Ion Antonescu in light of his responsibility for the Holocaust and attempts to explain why the General began and ended the Holocaust when he did. Vladimir Solonari argues that the Holocaust should be read in the context of plans for ethnic homogenisation which were implemented when the opportunity presented itself in 1941. Jean Ancel examines the expropriation of Jewish property and shows that, among other things, the Romanian perpetrators were motivated by a desire to enrich themselves at the expense of the Jews. Finally, Armin Heinen reads the Holocaust by looking at how different groups of perpetrators used violence and attempts to recreate the logic that shaped their actions. In addition, the essay discusses Holocaust denial, survivor memoirs and the state of primary-source collections on the Romanian Holocaust.

New Issue – European Review of Economic History- February 2012

European Review of Economic HistoryA new issue of European Review of Economic History has been published.


 Small is beautiful: the efficiency of credit markets in the late medieval Holland, Jan Luiten van Zanden, Jaco Zuijderduijn, Tine De Moor.


In this paper, we analyse the functioning of private capital markets in Holland in the late medieval period. We argue that in the absence of banks and state agencies involved in the supply of credit, entrepreneurs’ access to credit was determined by two interrelated factors. The first was the quality of property rights protection and the extent to which properties could be used as collateral. The second was the level of interest in borrowing money at the time as well as such borrowing compared with the interest rates on risk-free investments. For our case study, the small town of Edam and its hinterland, De Zeevang, in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, we demonstrate that properties were used as collateral on a large scale and that interest rates on both small and large loans were relatively low (about 6 percent). As a result, many households (whether headed by men or women) owned financial assets and/or debts, and the degree of financial sophistication was relatively high.

Extending broadcast technology in the British Colonies during the 1950s, Sue Bowden, David Clayton, Alvaro Pereira.


Using a rich and under-exploited set of primary sources, differential rates of take up of radio broadcast technologies across the British Empire are described and explained. The research adds a developing economy perspective to the literature on the diffusion of consumer durables. The effects of prices and incomes (captured via an “affordability index”) are qualified. The strategic concerns of suppliers and path-dependent processes are shown to have been significant. The complex effects of ethnic fragmentation on rates of diffusion within colonial territories are revealed. Debates regarding technological change in the developing world and about the diffusion of consumer durables are advanced.

The origins of foreign exchange policy: the National Bank of Belgium and the quest for monetary independence in the 1850s, Stefano Ugolini.


The monetary policy trilemma maintains that financial openness, fixed exchange rates, and monetary independence cannot coexist. Yet, in the 1850s, Belgium violated this prediction. Through a study of nineteenth-century monetary policy implementation, this article investigates the reasons for such success. This was mainly built on the stabilisation of central bank liquidity, not of exchange rates as assumed by the target-zone literature. Other ingredients included: the role of circulating bullion as a buffer for central bank reserves, the banking system’s structural liquidity deficit towards the central bank, and the central bank’s size relative to the money market.


Land markets and agrarian backwardness (Spain, 1904–1934), Juan Camona, Juan R. Rosés.


To what extent were land markets the cause of Spanish agrarian backwardness? To address this unresolved issue, this paper uses new provincial data on average real land prices, together with a province-level variation in land productivity, to analyze the efficiency of land markets. Specifically, we test, first, whether land markets were spatially integrated and, secondly, whether land prices can be explained with the present value model. Our results suggest that land prices converged across provinces and that their variations were driven by market fundamentals. In consequence, we conclude that the institutional failure in land markets was not the cause of the relatively poor productivity performance of Spanish agriculture.


The bombing of Germany: the economic geography of war-induced dislocation in West German industry, Tamäs Vonyó.


This paper reveals the impact of wartime destruction in urban housing on regional economic growth in West Germany between 1939 and 1950. I demonstrate econometrically that the German economy remained severely dislocated as long as the urban housing stock had not been rebuilt. The recovery of urban industry was constrained by a war-induced labour shortage and, therefore, industrial capacities remained underutilized. In contrast, the growth of the rural economy was facilitated by labour expansion, which depressed industrial labour productivity. I apply instrumental variables to account for endogeneity and robust regressions to adjust for the impact of outliers.

New Issue – Cahiers d’histoire

A new issue of Cahiers d’histoire has been published

This issue is dedicated to the history and images for critical education and contains the following articles:


Introduction: Aux sources de l’histoire syndicale française, retour sur les Bourses du travail

David Hamelin To get the text click here


Pour la liberté du travail : retour sur les origines des Bourses du travail

Nicolas Gallois

Les Bourses du travail, fondées à la fin du xixe siècle, relèvent de la volonté des syndicats de pouvoir se réunir pour établir des liens forts entre les ouvriers et peser dans la lutte des classes. Ces institutions évoluent à contre-courant de ce qu’avait espéré leur fondateur, Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912). Cet économiste de l’école libérale française voit dans la télégraphie électrique et les chemins de fer le moyen de faire circuler librement et rapidement les ouvriers grâce à l’instauration de Bourses du travail fonctionnant à l’image des Bourses de valeurs. C’est à travers le développement de cette liberté tant recherchée (et non à travers le droit de coalition) que les différents maux de la société (la question sociale) pourraient enfin disparaître.

David Rappe

Durant près de 30 ans, les Bourses du travail ont été un élément constitutif et incontournable du syndicalisme français. Au moment où, de la fin du xixe siècle à la Première Guerre mondiale, celui-ci se développe, s’affirme et se structure, les Bourses du travail et leur fédération jouent un rôle central, déterminent et marquent profondément la nature du syndicalisme et, particulièrement, de la Confédération générale du travail (CGT). Elles donnent naissance à un modèle complet et autonome de syndicalisme basé sur une tactique, une stratégie et un projet de société. Le modèle dominant de syndicalisme qui se développe au sein des Bourses du travail propose en effet une tactique de lutte au travers de l’action directe, une stratégie de transformation sociale par la grève générale et des structures d’organisation immédiates et futures, les Bourses du travail et les syndicats ouvriers, appelés à remplacer l’État et le patronat.

Benjamin Jung

L’installation en France de Bourses du travail à partir de la seconde moitié des années 1880 lie dans une communauté de destin – à Paris en particulier – la revendication en faveur de l’abolition des bureaux de placement payants, objets de la colère des ouvriers contraints d’y avoir recours, et l’aménagement local d’espaces de substitution investis par les syndicats. Dans le cadre de la Fédération nationale des Bourses du travail née en 1892, la logique de substitution impose sa primauté sur l’option abolitionniste. Il faut y voir l’empreinte de Fernand Pelloutier, décidé à faire du service de mutualité des Bourses l’outil central de l’émancipation du prolétariat.Mais au début du xxe siècle, alors que les résultats enregistrés sont très en deçà des attentes, la victoire paradoxale de la revendication par la loi de 1904, qui programme la fin des placeurs et encourage les offices municipaux, compromet le rôle des Bourses en matière de placement.

Les Bourses du travail en France et les Labour Exchanges britanniques: une comparaison impossible ?

Malcolm Mansfield

En tant que systèmes de placement, les Bourses du travail françaises et les Labour Exchanges britanniques sont difficiles à comparer. Non seulement leurs fonctions sociales mais aussi leurs modes de fonctionnement se distinguaient nettement. L’article explore ces différences selon un axe politique : les Bourses facilitaient la participation active des ouvriers dans la politique locale et avaient des ramifications nationales. Les Labour Exchanges, par contre, se positionnaient uniquement sur le plan économique, leur gestion se déterminait au niveau national et était inaccessible aux ouvriers. En filigrane, l’article se fonde sur le rapprochement entre le système de travelling benefits et le viatique géré par les Bourses, base d’une comparaison intéressante.

Jean-Michel Steiner

Si le mouvement de construction de Bourses du travail dans les villes industrielles françaises s’inscrit dans le contexte national de la reconnaissance officielle du mouvement syndical des années 1880-1900, il n’en reste pas moins que les paramètres locaux ont pesé pour donner à chaque cas des aspects particuliers. Ainsi la Bourse de Saint-Étienne occupe-t-elle un bâtiment qui ressemble plus à un musée ou à un théâtre sur le fronton duquel on n’a pas jugé utile de graver les mots « Bourse du travail ». Ces caractéristiques singulières, parmi d’autres, résultent d’une histoire complexe, pleine de rebondissements, révélatrice des enjeux politiques et idéologiques qui ont agité les « élites » municipales1 préoccupées des demandes croissantes d’une population ouvrière parfois remuante.

Sylvain Leteux.

Rolande Trempé affirme que « les Bourses du travail sont l’une des institutions qui ont le plus profondément et le plus durablement marqué le mouvement ouvrier français1 ». En partant de l’exploitation d’un dossier de suivi policier, l’auteur tente de vérifier si cette affirmation se justifie dans le cas d’une branche artisanale de l’alimentation, la chambre syndicale ouvrière de la boucherie de Paris, fondée en août 18862. Le cadre chronologique correspond à celui imposé par la source : les rapports de police du dossier prennent fin en 1904. Mais il couvre aussi une période spécifique du mouvement ouvrier français : l’étude s’étend en effet entre deux dates clefs au niveau national, la légalisation des syndicats professionnels en 1884 et le vote de la loi sur les bureaux de placement en 1904, et deux dates majeures au niveau local, l’ouverture de la Bourse du travail de Paris en 1887 et l’expulsion de la CGT en 1905. Dans cette période d’émergence et de structuration des organisations syndicales ouvrières, en quoi la mise en place d’une Bourse du travail va-t-elle répondre ou non aux attentes des ouvriers bouchers parisiens ? Le propos s’articule autour de trois thèmes : le problème des locaux pour les réunions syndicales, le problème du placement des ouvriers (la lutte contre les bureaux de placement privés étant la principale revendication syndicale des ouvriers de l’alimentation jusqu’au vote de la loi de 1904) et le problème du positionnement par rapport au syndicalisme révolutionnaire.

Alain Prigent et François Prigent

Les fonds d’archives inexploités permettent de revisiter la configuration locale des filières syndicales et leurs implications politiques durant l’éphémère expérience de la Bourse du travail de Saint-Brieuc (1904-1909). La naissance de la Bourse survient dans un moment de séparation politique entre le pouvoir des élites républicaines et les ramifications de la jeune organisation socialiste, avant de s’achever dans la foulée de la crise municipale de 1908, qui voit un militant socialiste de la Bourse accéder temporairement à la mairie. L’objectif est ici de confronter le portrait collectif des militants de la Bourse avec l’œuvre littéraire de Louis Guilloux, La Maison du Peuple, où s’entremêlent histoire(s) et représentations. La micro-histoire de la Bourse briochine est ainsi l’occasion de réfléchir à la nature des rapports complexes entre les forces du mouvement ouvrier et les réseaux politiques. Traversée par des courants, des identités et des stratégies contradictoires, la Bourse s’avère la matrice d’une pluralité de milieux militants dans les Côtes-du-Nord.

Marjorie Gaudemer

Les pratiques artistiques au sein du mouvement syndical, en France avant 1914, sont méconnues. Cet article, issu d’une recherche doctorale, porte sur l’activité théâtrale dans les Bourses du travail. Il fait notamment découvrir une troupe au dynamisme et à la longévité exceptionnels : le théâtre du Peuple d’Amiens.


Pierre Bertoncini

L’article prend appui sur l’analyse de quatre temps forts de l’historiographie corse des trente dernières années : Le Mémorial des Corses, L’Encyclopaedia corsicae, L’Atlas ethnohistorique de la Corse et Le Dictionnaire historique de la Corse. Il apparaît que le terme « Bourse du travail » n’apparaît qu’exceptionnellement dans leurs pages. Plus généralement, la place attribuée à l’histoire du syndicalisme dans chacune de ces sommes a été identifiée en elle-même puis comparée. L’article montre ensuite comment des mémoires diverses liées au syndicalisme cohabitent aujourd’hui dans l’île. Il présente le résultat d’une série d’entretiens réalisés auprès de militants des principaux syndicats de salariés de l’île, ainsi que de partis politiques liés historiquement au mouvement ouvrier. L’article cherche à évaluer dans quelle mesure la Bourse du travail, intégrée à une histoire sociale française qui oublie cette institution, dans une île où l’historiographie et la vie politique sont marquées par la lutte entre légitimistes français et nationalistes corses, est un objet qui peut être qualifié de « non-lieu de mémoire ».

New Issue – European Review of History

A new Issue of European Review of History: Revue europeenne d’histoire Volume 19 Issue 1, 2012 has been published and contains the following articles.

A Colonial Sea: the Mediterranean, 1798–1956

Manuel Borutta & Sakis Gekas


The Mediterranean has been a colonial sea since ancient times. While historians of the pre- and early modern world still tend to describe this region with the Braudelian paradigms of unity and continuity, the historiography of the modern Mediterranean suffers from the widespread fragmentation of national and regional studies, including important contributions on the colonial history of North Africa and the Middle East. In this context, the editors invited scholars to re-think the Mediterranean of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century as a colonial and, most importantly, a colonised sea. Therefore the special issue brings together historians and geographers from North Africa, Europe and North America in order to reconstruct colonial interactions, relationships, entanglements and shared experiences between Europe, the Maghreb and the Middle East from late eighteenth century, when the European colonisation of the Mediterranean began, until the erosion of the imperial order in the 1950s.



The general belief of the world’: Barbary as genre and discourse in Mediterranean history

Lotfi Ben Rejeb


Europe re-invented North Africa as Barbary – at once a toponym and a trope – when this region became an extension of Ottoman imperial power following the Spanish Reconquista. Barbary emerged in modern Mediterranean history as a key genre and discourse which, in the record of Western perceptions of the Islamic world, constituted a link between the crusading mentality of the Middle Ages and the Orientalism and imperialism of the modern era. Barbary informed a Eurocentric view of relations between Europe and North Africa from the late fifteenth century until the nineteenth, consistently equating the Ottoman borderlands (the Regencies of Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli) and the Kingdom of Morocco, with barbarism, denying the history and indeed the very idea of Islamic civilisation, and furnishing the essential ideological argument for the colonisation of that region. Using Barbary as a contrasting foil to their emergent national identities, Europeans fixed the region as an unparalleled seat of piracy and slavery, and the unrelenting source of hostility towards Christendom and civilisation. The Barbary discourse conveyed a mental map of the Mediterranean sharply divided between civilisation and barbarism, between Good and Evil. Powerful in its sheer reductionism, it prevailed and persisted despite the more nuanced and complex realities of Mediterranean life and politics. Although concern with piracy and slavery became minor by the end of the seventeenth century, the discourse steadily intensified as a locus of imperial advocacy and rationalisation. When the central part of North Africa was carved out in 1830 to become an extension of France overseas, Barbary as a homogenising toponym no longer had a raison d’être, but the discourse lingered on as a trope in the new colonial context.


The Mediterranean, a territory between France and Colonial Algeria: imperial constructions

Hélène Blais & Florence Deprest


The geographical concept of the Mediterranean, born during the nineteenth century, has often been the object of scholarly attention. Many works have highlighted the progressive adjustments in the learned representations of this maritime space. From the Classical concept of a dividing border, which prevailed until the end of the eighteenth century, arose the idea of a junction sea, in the late nineteenth century. Though these studies all set the rise of the concept of a Mediterranean territory within the imperial context of the nineteenth century, such as the scientific and military explorations of Morea and Algeria, they do not explore the hypothesis that the Mediterranean was invented because it had become a colonial sea. Was the emergence of the Western Mediterranean, as an area of practices and representations, directly linked to the context of Algerian colonisation, to the chronology of its appropriation and to the evolution of French settlement on the banks of the Maghreb? This paper explores how, within the Franco-Algerian colonial situation, the Mediterranean was initially fashioned as a bridge between Europe and Africa, as a suture between the Orient and the Occident. The Mediterranean became a structuring feature of the French Empire.


Etre algérien en situation impériale, fin XIXème siècle – début XXème siècle: L’usage de la catégorie «nationalité algérienne» par les consulats français dans leur relation avec les Algériens fixes au Maroc et dans l’Empire Ottoman

Noureddine Amara

Among the many problems posed by colonial citizenship laws regulating Algerians was the special case of people born within the confines of Algeria and their descendants who had emigrated outside of the country. Algerians in Algeria already inhabited an imprecise place of incomplete French citizenship. And those living abroad, the ‘Originaires d’Algérie’, had to contend with the decisions of French consular authorities, who laboured to interpret and implement the rules established by the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Justice to define the legal status of Algerians living abroad. The French state claimed this category of people as « French » according to the legal theory of State succession. Then, the Indigenat served as an Algerian nationality. This paper argues that this Algerian nationality was an imperial nationality for internal use.


Colonial migrants and the making of a British Mediterranean

Sakis Gekas


This article examines the concept and colonial reality of the British Mediterranean through the imperial network of trade and migration from and to areas under British political and/or economic control. The hybrid identities of many citizens in the colonial Mediterranean can best be seen in the perception and reality of the ports of the Eastern Mediterranean as cosmopolitan. The article also argues that the role and experience of these migrants as intermediate groups was determined by the form of rule British colonial authorities imposed in each dominion.


Making a living in pre-colonial Tunisia: the sea, contraband and other illicit activities, c. 1830–81

Julia Clancy-Smith


Employing pre-colonial Tunisia as a site, this article investigates ways of ‘making a living’ in an age of migrations. It studies occupations linked to the sea, such as fishing or coastal trading, that integrated North Africa and the nearby islands into trans-Mediterranean and larger exchange systems. It argues that subsistence migration increased the volume of extra-legal transactions whose nodal points were the Tunis region, the Cap Bon, Bizerte, Algeria and nearby islands. Estimates of the trade’s volume or value, impossible to determine given the sources, are less important than charting dense flows of labour, goods, services and capital under-girding the political economy of contraband in relationship to labour migration. That the actors involved hailed from different religions, ethnic groups and classes renders this a perfect vantage point for probing inter-communal and intra-confessional relationships as well as the declining political fortunes of the Tunisian state.


Entangled communities: interethnic relationships among urban salesclerks and domestic workers in Egypt, 1927–61

Nancy Y. Reynolds


This paper examines the relationships among salesclerks and other lower-level commercial and domestic employees in inter-war and post-Second World War urban Egypt, especially Cairo. It argues that the Italians, Greeks, local Jews, Armenians, Syrian Christians, Maltese, Coptic Christians and Muslims who often worked side by side on the floors of department stores and private homes participated in multiethnic occupational subgroups, formal unions and leisure cultures that created a series of networks linking lower-middle-class people in workplaces, public and neighbourhood space as well as commerce. These networks spanned ethnic, religious and linguistic boundaries, and they reveal a complex shared Mediterranean culture, underpinned by a juridical system shaped by European colonialism. Although historians have documented the vertical relations within ethnic groups and the horizontal relationships among the business elite of different communities, horizontal relationships among the lower and lower-middle classes of locally resident foreigners or Egyptians, who made up the bulk of the different communities, evidence both deep entanglement and regular conflict. The history of lived Mediterranean or cosmopolitan experiences thus challenges contemporary uses of both terms.


Connecting colonial seas: the ‘international colonisation’ of Port Said and the Suez Canal during and after the First World War

Valeska Huber


The Suez Canal played an essential role in transforming the Mediterranean into a colonial sea by changing its geopolitical features from a lake to a lane connecting faraway possessions of European empires more closely (at least geographically speaking) to the metropoles. At the same time the Suez Canal region itself was colonised in a very specific way, under British occupation on the one hand, yet carrying features of a ‘global locality’ on the other. Besides shedding light on the larger connections of the Suez Canal with the colonial world, this article attempts to understand the colonial situation of Port Said and the Canal, a place built from scratch in an effort to colonise (in the primary sense of the word) a part of the desert. Tracing Port Said and the Suez Canal Zone through different time periods – particularly during the First World War and the inter-war era – this paper tries to pin down the shifting meanings of ‘international’ and ‘colonial’ by highlighting the specificities of this ‘international colonisation’, regulated by agreements and treaties and marked by the influence of competing colonial powers


Italians in Tunisia: between regional organisation, cultural adaptation and political division, 1860s–1940

Leila El Houssi


This article analyses the case of the Italian community in Tunisia during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Italian presence in Tunisia dates back to the age of the so-called Repubbliche marinare (Maritime Republics), when Italy was still not a unitary entity, but rather a collection of states that had their own relationships with the Ottoman Empire. The Italian community in Tunisia is an example of a diaspora resulting from migrations in the Mediterranean region. The case study of the Italians in Tunisia is a sort of ‘diaspora from inside’. Indeed it is reductive to see Italians in Tunisia just as nationals, because they had different regional, religious, class and cultural backgrounds to native Tunisians. Local identities characterised their community. This perspective is also apparent in the multitude of mutual-aid associations and ethnic organisations. A heterogeneous group, including political refugees, emerged. Nonetheless, during the twentieth century the ‘defence of italianità’ reinforced the cohesion of the community itself. This paper places this group into the framework of Mediterranean Studies. It aims to understand the interaction between the Italian community in Tunisia and the native population. It follows philosopher Albert Memmi’s perspective on the unrelated relationship between the coloniser and the colonised. This relationship represented an interesting example of unusual tolerance thanks to a steady relationship between Italians and the Tunisian population, characterised by openness and profitable coexistence, even in the sphere of religion, which was not the case in other areas of Mediterranean sea.

New Issue- History and Memory- Spring/Summer2012

The new issue of “History and Memory” of Spring/Summer 2012 is now available and includes the following articles:

The Paradox of Regret: Remembering and Forgetting the History of Slavery in George W. Bush’s Gorée Island Address by Bradford Vivian

Ceremonial statements of regret from state actors may appear to lack discernible gains compared to historic procedures of reconciliation or political reunification; yet the ceremonial language of these statements influences public perceptions of historical justice, moral wisdom and democratic virtue. This essay analyzes President George W. Bush’s historic address on the transatlantic slave trade as an excellent case study in the rhetoric of regret (distinct from that of official apology and the like). Such occasions warrant scrutiny because a critical paradox–the inherent divide between dutiful remembrance of past wrongs and practical political duties that would set them aright–shapes state officials’ increasingly prevalent use of ceremonial lamentations in pursuit of geopolitical legitimacy.


Reinscribing Schlesien as Slask: Memory and Mythology in a Postwar German-Polish Borderland by Andrew Demshuk

The waves of ethnic cleansing in the 1930s and 1940s uprooted millions of East-Central Europeans and forced them to make sense of new surroundings. The Polish settlers who replaced over three million Germans in the borderland of Silesia created a layered palimpsest of new, generally nationalized meanings on an unfamiliar territory. After exploring how and why Polish leaders and settlers reinscribed formerly German and Jewish sites of memory with Polish meanings, this article investigates how, when former residents returned to visit their lost homeland, both populations confronted the palimpsest’s conflicting layers and unwittingly engaged in a transnational exchange of meanings.


Occupation Heritage, Commemoration and Memory in Guernsey and Jersey by Gilly Carr

In the British Channel Islands today, the German Occupation of World War II and its heritage have an important place in the history, identity and psyche of islanders. This is reflected in the number of restored bunkers and Occupation museums, the popularity of Liberation Day, and the growing number of Occupation memorials in the islands. This article examines the history of the treatment of Occupation heritage in the Channel Islands over the last 65 years, focusing on sites of memory and counter-memory, victims of Nazi persecution, and the changing commemorative master narratives.


Fused Together and Torn Apart: Stories and Violence in Contemporary Algeria by Malika Rahal

This article explores the constraints of contemporary history writing about Algeria. It analyzes the historiographical blocks and blind spots to show the centrality of the question of unity/plurality within Algerianness. Borrowing from anthropologist Franççoise Hééritier, it uses the notion of entre-soi to elaborate a new chronological framework, a continual sequence of war between 1945 and 2002. It also examines the impact of the rapid succession of these episodes of political violence on individual memories, and how moments of paroxysmal violence are reactivated during interviews, and considers the emotional cost for historians when they become the last recipient of narratives of forms of violence intended to terrorize.


France and the Memories of “Others”: The Case of the Harkis by Géraldine Enjelvin and Nada Korac-Kakabadse

Historical narratives help construct social identities, which are maintained through differentiation between in-groups and ”others.” In this article, we contend that Fatima Besnaci-Lancou’s texts, as well as her reconciliation work–in which she enjoins Beurs and Harkis’ offspring to write a new, inclusive, polyphonic narrative of the Algerian War–are an example of the positive use of textually mediated identity (re)construction. Her work suggests the possibility of implementing a moderate politics of empathetic recognition of the (often migration-related) memories of ”others” so as to reinforce French national belongingness.



New Issue – European History Quarterly- January 2012

The new issue of “European History Quarterly” of January 2012 is now available online and includes the following articles:

Rhetoric and the Writing of History in Early Modern Europe: Melo’s Guerra de Cataluña and Mascardi’s Ars historica


“In 1645 the Portuguese historian Francisco Manuel de Melo published the Historia de los movimientos, separación y guerra de Cataluña, an account of the so-called ‘Rebellion of Catalonia’ against the Spanish monarch Philip IV. Although the accuracy of the book has been the subject of controversy, very little has been said about its discursive strategies, in spite of its having been considered ‘an exceptional work’ (Menéndez y Pelayo 1893) and ‘full of perfections’ (Rosell 1852) in terms of its elocutio. The aim of this paper is to analyze the historiographical strategies that govern the construction of the Historia, in an attempt to place the early modern writing of history within a tradition that goes back to the ancient rhetoricians. In the particular case of Melo, the most immediate reference is that of the Dell’arte istorica (1639), a treatise by the Italian Jesuit Agostino Mascardi, specifically mentioned and praised by Melo.”


The Early Reception of Operetta in Russia, 1860s–1870s


“This article explores the popular and critical reception of operetta in Russia during its European heyday, which broadly coincided with the transformative reign of Tsar Alexander II (1855–1881). It argues that the genre consistently drew audiences from most social strata and should not be considered, as some historians have suggested, a uniquely ‘bourgeois’ form of entertainment closely associated with the rise of the middle classes. It also argues that operetta crystallized a range of wider concerns about Russian culture and politics during the era of the Great Reforms. Many critics attacked operetta’s frivolity and eroticism (held to be inconsistent with the aims of art), while radicals and conservatives regarded it as symptomatic of a new climate of political uncertainty (the former with hope, the latter with trepidation). The critical responses to operetta thus testified to its popularity and to the rapidity of change in Russia during the 1860s and 1870s.”


The French Veterans and the Republic: The Union nationale des combattants and the Union fédérale, 1934–1938


“Since Antoine Prost’s Les anciens combattants et la société française, 1914 1939 (1977), subsequent histories of the period have largely accepted the benign role of French Great War veterans during the interwar period. In focusing on the period between the riots of 6 February 1934 and the Daladier government in 1938, this article re-examines the history of the veterans from the perspective of their movement for state reform. The two largest associations, the Union nationale des combattants (UNC) and the Union fédérale (UF) undertook a campaign for an authoritarian reform of the Republic. Though united in their belief in reform, the associations’ motives differed starkly. Furthermore, activists and moderates fought for the meaning of their groups’ policies and for the meaning of their very associations. Circumstances dictated the strength of each faction. With a focus on the UNC and the UF, this article argues that neither their alleged Republicanism, nor their shift to authoritarianism were governed by an inherent nature. The article demonstrates that the political culture of the late Third Republic was complex and dynamic, with the politics of groups subject to internal and external influences and fluctuations.”


Nationalism, Myth and Reinterpretation of History: The Neglected Case of Interwar Yugoslavia


“This article discusses and challenges some popular myths and perceptions about interwar Yugoslavia in post-socialist (and post-Yugoslav) Serbia. These include discourses that blame ‘others’ – ‘treacherous’ Croats and other non-Serbs, the ‘perfidious’ west, especially Britain – and that are also self-critical, of Serbs’ ‘naivety’ as exemplified in their choosing to create Yugoslavia at the end of the First World War, and of, later, embracing communism. The article also offers a reassessment of the interwar period, often neglected by scholars of former Yugoslavia.”

New Issue – Histoire@politique

The new issue of Histoire@politique is now available online and includes the following articles:

Alexandre Ribot, des principes libéraux au pragmatisme de guerre by Jean Garrigues

 “Alexandre Ribot, qui fut plusieurs fois ministre dans les années 1890, est revenu au pouvoir pendant la Grande Guerre, à la présidence du Conseil et au ministère des Finances, une charge qu’il a exercée de 1914 à 1917. Comment ce septuagénaire libéral s’est-il confronté aux impératifs de l’interventionnisme suscité par l’économie de guerre ? Qui sont les conseillers, les experts, qui vont l’ont orienté dans ses arbitrages financiers ? Quel regard a-t-il porté sur sa propre activité au ministère des Finances ? Peut-on trouver une cohérence entre son héritage, sa culture économique et les options pragmatiques qu’il a été amené à prendre face à la guerre ? Ces questions constituent le fil conducteur de cette étude sur un personnage méconnu de notre histoire politique.”

Le ministre à l’école du boutiquier : Charles de Lasteyrie by Albert Kéchichian

“Lors de son passage au ministère des Finances de 1922 à 1924, Charles de Lasteyrie ne parvint pas à enrayer la spéculation contre le franc, fomentée par des opérateurs financiers méfiants envers la dette publique se montant à 168 % du produit intérieur brut, creusé par le coût vertigineux des armements et de la logistique pendant la Grande Guerre de 1914-1918 ainsi que par la nécessité de reconstruire l’infrastructure des territoires dévastés par les combats. Les gouvernements successifs avaient eu davantage recours aux emprunts qu’aux impôts, dans l’espoir de tout rembourser grâce aux réparations de guerre imposées à l’Allemagne par le traité de Versailles. Lasteyrie récusa catégoriquement toute consolidation forcée de la dette publique, par crainte de spolier l’épargne des rentiers. Sous la IIIe République, un très large consensus valorisait l’épargne comme gage d’une méritocratie fondée sur le labeur et la prévoyance. Élus et citoyens, dans leur grande majorité, redoutaient qu’une banqueroute ou une dévaluation ne sape les fondements des compromis républicains entre progrès social pour les humbles et préservation du patrimoine pour les nantis. Charles de Lasteyrie était persuadé que sa connivence professionnelle d’ancien banquier avec les manieurs d’argent suffirait à assurer le renouvellement de la dette flottante à des taux d’intérêt avantageux pour le Trésor public, sans avoir à décaisser des fortunes à chaque échéance ni dépasser le plafond de la circulation fiduciaire, imposé par la convention de 1920 avec la Banque de France. Lors de l’occupation de la Ruhr en 1923 pour contraindre l’Allemagne à payer les réparations, Lasteyrie priva Poincaré des moyens financiers de gérer l’économie rhénane, au nom du refus de toute mesure d’exception attentatoire aux règles de gestion comptable.”


De la pensée à l’action économique : Étienne Clémentel (1864-1936), un ministre visionnaire by Clotilde Druelle-Korn

“La découverte dans les archives Clémentel de deux manuscrits initialement mal datés, révèle que dès 1900, ce notable radical d’Auvergne avait, à partir de lectures dans lesquelles le rôle de Charles Gide apparaît essentiel, analysé avec finesse l’histoire et les ressorts de l’économie politique de son temps. Influencé par le Solidarisme et pourvu d’une doctrine économique, Clémentel la met en pratique dans le cadre de l’économie de guerre à partir de 1915. Jusqu’au milieu des années 1930 il est un acteur majeur de la modernisation économique au sens le plus moderne du terme. Il est à l’origine de nombreuses institutions économiques, parmi lesquelles la Chambre de Commerce Internationale.”

Aristide Briand: defending the Republic through economic appeasement by Robert Boyce

“Aristide Briand, for thirty years a leading politician in the Third Republic, had little direct interest in economics, but he was prepared to advocate economic innovation, including radical changes in domestic and international policy, where this seemed necessary to safeguard the Republic.”


André Tardieu, les Modérés and the Politics of Prosperity: 1929-1932 by Gareth Davies

“Cet essai historique a pour but d’examiner les idées économiques d’André Tardieu, l’un des dirigeants des modérés, président du Conseil de 1929 à 1932. Tardieu développe une critique et lance un défi au modèle républicain en place que beaucoup jugeaient inadéquat et en grand besoin de réformes. Le développement d’un certain type d’économie expansionniste est au centre de la critique qui, elle-même, fait partie d’un débat plus large lié à la réforme de l’État. Rejeté de son vivant, l’essentiel de la critique de Tardieu s’intégrera au programme des nouveaux républicains développé à la fin du XXsiècle, prouvant ainsi sa propre contribution et celle du libéralisme à la France contemporaine.”


La culture économique de Léon Blum : entre libéralisme juridique et socialisme by Nicolas Roussellier

“Si Léon Blum semble être éloigné du concept de « culture économique », son itinéraire politique l’amène à s’en rapprocher petit à petit. Par sa formation juridique et par son activité au Conseil d’État, il valorise la notion de « service public ». Dans sa pratique des joutes parlementaires au cours des années 1920 et au début des années 1930, il est amené à multiplier au nom du groupe socialiste les propositions et contre-projets en matière de politique financière et fiscale. Aussi, quand il aborde la crise des années 1930, on peut considérer qu’il a finalement constitué une véritable « culture économique ». Cette culture reste cependant marquée par un certain attachement au libéralisme à la fois politique et juridique. Blum occupe ainsi une position ambiguë et critique à l’égard du concept nouveau de politique économique, synonyme d’une emprise de l’État sur la marche de l’économie et qui séduit pourtant la nouvelle génération socialiste.”

New Issue – European Integration online Papers (EloP)

The new issue ofEuropean Integration online Papers (EloP) is now available online.

Multidimensionality of EU attitudes in France

To be submitted soon as part of the special mini-issue, ‘Beyond Euro-skepticism: Understanding attitudes towards the EU’ in European Integration online Papers. Please check back in Mid-March.

Trust in the institutions of the European Union: A cross-country examination

Trust in political institutions is one of the key elements which make representative democracies work. Trust creates a connection between citizens and representative political institutions. Democratic governments which enjoy a large degree of trust also tend to have higher degrees of legitimacy and policy efficacy. In Europe’s multi-level governance structure, it is imperative to understand the determinants of trust in the institutions of the European Union. With the increasing salience of the European Union, are domestic proxies still a key determinant of evaluating its institutions? Are there differences across the institutions and across the member states? We demonstrate that country-level corruption levels are what drives the relationship between domestic and European institutional trust. The majority of the variation in trust in the institutions of the European Union is, however, driven by individual-level predictors. We also find that individuals across Europe evaluate the institutions of the European Union through a single attitude dimension of political trust rather than through separate evaluations.

Support for Europe: Assessing the complexity of individual attitudes

Recent scholarly work has underlined the importance of being cautious about the notion of Euro-skepticism by putting stress on alternative concepts and measures. This theoretical and empirical contribution has enriched the debate on support for Europe and its potential multidimensionality. However, the fit between theoretical conceptualization and measured attitudes is still under-investigated. Do European citizens actually express different types of support? To what extent are these attitudes structured as we think? This paper investigates the different dimensions that individuals associate with “support for Europe” and whether it varies across national context. We test the empirical validity of three conceptualizations of support for Europe: (a) diffuse versus specific support, (b) identity versus diffuse support, (c) static versus dynamic perception of the European Union. To investigate these patterns, we relied on survey data from Eurobarometer. Methodologically, we use item-response theory modelling. This paper demonstrates that attitudes towards Europe are structured but in a less fine-grained manner than hypothesized in the literature. The distinction between diffuse and specific support is robust at the European scale as well as within each national context. Consequently, we provide an empirical tool to comparatively measure support in all member states. However it is not the case for the other dimensions of support, especially identity, and we advocate caution in using this variable as an explanatory variable.

New Issue – Contemporary European History

new issue of  the Journal of Contemporary History (N°21) is now available and contains the following articles:

In Search of Meaning: Foreign Volunteers in the Croatian Armed Forces, 1991–95 by NIir Arielli

Foreign war volunteers are a recurring phenomenon in modern warfare. The Yugoslav Wars (1991–95) saw the participation of foreign fighters on all sides. The article focuses on foreigners who joined the Croatian armed forces (excluding returning Croatian émigrés). It examines where the volunteers came from, what brought them to the Balkans and how they represent and commemorate their wartime experiences. It argues that their participation in the conflict can be understood as part of an individual search for meaning, comradeship and empowerment.

Selling Germany in South-Eastern Europe: Economic Uncertainty, Commercial Information and the Leipzig Trade Fair 1920-40 by Stephen Gross

On the eve of the Second World War Germany dominated the exports and imports of south-eastern Europe. Yet the institutions that supported Germany’s trade in the 1930s were formed during the previous decade. This article shows how one institution, the Leipzig trade fair, helped overcome many of the problems that had disrupted German commerce with Yugoslavia after the First World War. During a decade when German firms were only slowly returning to the region, the fair built an extensive trading network in south-eastern Europe that relayed economic news, found agents for German firms, and advertised for German products. By the 1930s the fair’s representatives had become the backbone of Germany’s trade network in south-eastern Europe.

Surviving in the Global Market: ‘Americanisation’ and the Relaunch of Italy’s Car Industry after the Second World War by Francesca Fauri

This contribution sheds light on the successful recovery strategies developed by the Italian car industry after the Second World War and in particular the ‘innovation through creative imitation policy’ that characterised its relationship with American producers. This policy was feasible because the Italian car sector, and Fiat in particular, was fairly well prepared to measure itself against the American model and aimed at technology-transfer-based Americanisation in order to make itself competitive in the global market. Mass production adapted to Italian plants and necessities, combined with Italian style and design, was seen as a path towards international relaunch. Fiat’s subsequent development of its own technological resources and innovation strategy enabled it to weather the ups and downs of its long-term business history. When in 2009 an alliance with Chrysler was signed, Fiat’s technological capabilities in the field of innovative ecological and fuel-saving technology and its long-standing attention to style and interior design were judged important inputs to help the American car-maker (and Fiat itself) to survive in the global market.

France’s Renewed Commitment to Commercial Diplomacy in the 1960s by Laurence Badel

The political and strategic aspects of General de Gaulle’s policies, his grandeur rhetoric and his hostility to European integration have between them taken up the attention of historians. It has therefore been overlooked that the 1960s were a period of unprecedented mobilisation by the French state in the promotion of French exports. This policy is not only due to the history of commercial diplomacy. The senior civil servants in charge of this process were interested not only in selling but also in creating a fundamental change to the perception of France by those abroad. It was a keen fight, involving not only official and semi-official bodies, but also private enterprise, who together furthered the neo-corporatist programme of the French state.



New Issue: Francia

A new issue of Francia (N°38) has been published:

Richard Sowerby, The Lives of St Samson. Rewriting the Ambitions of an Early Medieval Cult. To get the text, click here.

Ludwig Falkenstein, Alexander III. und der Schutz unheilbar Kranker. Zu einem Streit in Epernay. To get the text, click here.

Maren Lorenz, Sur les traces de la violence sexuelle dans les guerres du XVIIe siecle. Un problème des sources. To get the text, click here.

Falk Bretschneider, “Unzucht im Zuchthaus”. Sexualité, violence et comportements sociaux dans les institutions d’enfermement au XVIIIe siècle. To get the text, click here.

Kirill Abrosimov, Wissensordnungen der Aufklärung. Diderots Kommunikationsstrategien zwischen der “Encyclopédie” und der “Correspondance littéraire” von Friedrich Melchior Grimm. To get the text, click here.

Malte König, Geburtenkontrolle. Abtreibung und Empfängnisverhütung in Frankreich und Deutschland, 1870–1940. To get the text, click here.

Joachim C. Häberlen, Mobilisierung, Politisierung und Zerfall. Aufstieg und Fall des Front populaire in Lyon, 1934–1938. To get the text, click here.