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Wed 12 April
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Fri 14 April
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Sat 15 April
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Saturday 15 April 2023 08.30 - 10.30
H-13 CRI05 Violence and the Democratic Order: Representing ‘the People’ around 1900
B32
Networks: Criminal Justice , Politics, Citizenship, and Nations Chair: Klaus Weinhauer
Organizer: Eveline Bouwers Discussant: Klaus Weinhauer
Eveline Bouwers : Citizens and Crusaders: the Emancipation of Religious Crowds in Europe around 1900
This paper probes how Catholic men and women with little to no influence on political decision-making processes used violent protest to defend the role of religion and the Roman Church in everyday life. For this, it looks at the involvement of believers in contentious politics that occurred in Belgium and ... (Show more)
This paper probes how Catholic men and women with little to no influence on political decision-making processes used violent protest to defend the role of religion and the Roman Church in everyday life. For this, it looks at the involvement of believers in contentious politics that occurred in Belgium and France around the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Both countries possessed a vibrant anticlerical culture yet were also a bulwark of Rome-centred ultramontanism. Whilst the contours of the ideological conflict between ‘anticlericals’ and ‘Catholics’ are well-known, the ways in which individuals sought to protect the Catholic-clerical sphere on the local level and through physical engagement have been studied much less. By delineating examples of Catholic crowd action around 1900, this paper shows its changing nature. It argues that whereas this violence drew on the repertoires of early-modern religious riot, the invocation of liberty and insistence on constitutional rights tied these protests to twentieth-century contentious politics. Most importantly, the paper demonstrates that such violence offered an unexpected opening for politicisation and emancipation. Indeed, although the clergy and other elite actors – often the aristocracy – famously encouraged resistance and provided the semantics for its legitimation, Catholic crowd action frequently acquired a dynamics of its own that separated it from leadership. In that sense, the term ‘culture war’ falsely suggested a unity of fronts that existed in the dreams of extremists only, be them Catholic or anticlerical. (Show less)

Amerigo Caruso : (Extra)Ordinary Violence: States of Emergency in Liberal Europe, c. 1860-1900
The architecture of liberal states – parliamentary oppositions, free press, rule of law, and fundamental rights – created new limits to pre-revolutionary politics of repression such as arbitrary arrests and brutal forms of punishment. In an age of liberal constitutionalism and democratic elections, Europe’s political elites were thus forced to ... (Show more)
The architecture of liberal states – parliamentary oppositions, free press, rule of law, and fundamental rights – created new limits to pre-revolutionary politics of repression such as arbitrary arrests and brutal forms of punishment. In an age of liberal constitutionalism and democratic elections, Europe’s political elites were thus forced to rethink the way in which they reacted to real or alleged threats to national security. In this context, liberal states developed both a new legal framework and a repertoire of action against major crises. The guiding principle of modern emergency regimes was that exceptional crises justified the suspension of constitutional rights and the use of military force to restore law and order. The concept ‘state of emergency’ and its first modern legal articulations emerged in the context of the French Revolution when the Republic abolished martial law in 1793 and declared a ‘political’ state of siege (état de siège politique) in several Western and Southern departments. From this point forward, and especially after the revolutionary wave of 1848–49, the French model of emergency politics spread throughout Europe. This paper examines the practice and theory of the state of emergency in late-nineteenth century France, Italy and Germany, with a focus on the public discourse on emergency and on reactions to (extraordinary) violence. I will argue that states of emergency had deeply ambiguous effects on the dynamics of state repression: on the one hand, emergency legislation transformed arbitrary and brutal repression into exceptional measures; on the other hand, the political state of siege provided a justification for arbitrary measures and the escalation of violence even in liberal states. However, while in Europe liberal institutions and public opinion were often able to control extraordinary violence and limit the use of emergency measures until 1914, the peripheries of the continent and the colonies experienced a permanent, factual if not formally declared state of emergency and the proliferation of ‘ordinary’ acts of violence. (Show less)

Fabian Lemmes : Violence Against the State: Theory, Practice and Impact of Anarchist “Propaganda by the Deed” in Late 19th Century Europe
This paper investigates violent action aimed at overthrowing the State and the existing social order. More specifically, it seeks to determine the place of late 19th century “attentats”, mostly committed by anarchists and often considered as the prototype of modern terrorism, in the history of political violence. The political “attentat” ... (Show more)
This paper investigates violent action aimed at overthrowing the State and the existing social order. More specifically, it seeks to determine the place of late 19th century “attentats”, mostly committed by anarchists and often considered as the prototype of modern terrorism, in the history of political violence. The political “attentat” was not new as such. Yet, the anarchists were the first to theorise its use under the term “propaganda by the deed”, which referred to a strategy to mobilise the masses for revolution and challenge the State. What is more, the anarchist assassination attempts and bomb attacks had unprecedented impacts, notably due to the massive expansion of the press in the late 19th century. They provoked not only massive government reaction but also intense public debates about their meaning, appropriate responses by the State as well as the boundaries of legitimate politics. They were, moreover, controversial among the anarchists themselves. The paper argues, then, that these actions marked a caesura in the history of terrorism and that they were both the cause and product of changing political spaces. It also shows that there was an important discrepancy between violent discourse and violent acts. (Show less)

Matteo Millan : Citizens of Order? Volunteer Civilian Militias in Italy before the Great War (and Beyond)
This paper examines acts of violence perpetrated by volunteer citizen militias in Italy from the 1860s to 1915, focusing on two case studies: the Citizens of Order (Cittadini dell’ordine) of Turin and the Citizens’ Patrols (Pattuglie cittadine) of Bologna. Originally established to provide support and manpower to ordinary police ... (Show more)
This paper examines acts of violence perpetrated by volunteer citizen militias in Italy from the 1860s to 1915, focusing on two case studies: the Citizens of Order (Cittadini dell’ordine) of Turin and the Citizens’ Patrols (Pattuglie cittadine) of Bologna. Originally established to provide support and manpower to ordinary police forces during crime waves, the two militias underwent two very different processes of development. The Turin militia became a private company and adapted itself to the context of the new security market that emerged from the early 20th century onwards. On the contrary, the Citizens’ Patrols of Bologna became a stronghold of armed counter-revolutionary reaction against the working classes. It will be argued that the militias’ development was strictly related to the changing conditions in the political and social sphere, which was characterised by a huge increase in mass participation from the end of the 19th century. The paper’s approach is threefold. First, it looks at the legal framework within which such militias could operate, in terms of juridical status, the concession of gun licenses and quasi-police functions. Second, the paper analyses the militias’ practices and political cultures, with a focus both on their ordinary daily duties and intervention in the event of major disorders. Third, the progressive shifts of such groups from supporting the state to promoting vigilante attitudes will be considered, with particular attention to the period immediately before Italy entered the Great War in May 1915. The conclusion sketches the militias’ long-term legacy in terms of the challenging of state legitimacy in a period marked by a huge increase in mass participation in political and social life. Groups like these are particularly interesting because they came to embody “non-Weberian” conceptions of the state monopoly of physical violence which threatened state legitimacy, by invoking the self-declared primacy of “the people’s will” over standard democratic procedures. The paper argues that such ways of thinking and violently acting had enduring consequences and may help to explain the rise of Fascism in the aftermath of the Great War. (Show less)



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