Friday 14 April 2023
16.30 - 18.30
Movements, Masses and Resistance
Västra Hamngatan 25 AK2 138
Esra Aras :
Daring to Object to a Coup Regime: Fractious Practices from the 80s in the Resistant Social Memory of Turkey
As part of the research in the tracks of the practices of resistance for the enhancement of democratic norms and values against authoritarian governments, this proposal concentrates on the 1980s of Turkey. Turkey opened up this decade with a military coup that consolidated the legacy of the previous authoritarian accumulation ... (Show more)
As part of the research in the tracks of the practices of resistance for the enhancement of democratic norms and values against authoritarian governments, this proposal concentrates on the 1980s of Turkey. Turkey opened up this decade with a military coup that consolidated the legacy of the previous authoritarian accumulation and imposed the longest and most comprehensive martial law in the entire country to date. The state of martial law that lasted until 1987 brought with it a series of anti-democratic arrangements. The political and legal landscape of the country was reconfigured with the claim of the coup government to ensure national security, unity and, solidarity and brought about means for the military to “supervise” the policy-making. Meanwhile, while suppressing any critical perspective, the coup plotters equipped themselves with the privileges of exemption from all kinds of financial, criminal, or legal liabilities and immunity from jurisdiction for any of their decisions and acts with the 15th provisional article of the new constitution of the country. Those privileges that remained in force until a legislative arrangement in 2010 applied even to the decision-makers and implementing bodies moving in the direction of the article in question. Whereas the overwhelming political atmosphere with the robust safe zone for the putschists was not encouraging for any challenges to itself persistent claims to democratic solutions against the impositions of the 1980 coup regime dared to come along.
Some early fractious practices that dissented from the repressive rule of the 1980 coup, regardless of its violent methods of response came up with remarkable samples of civil resistance that brought the anti-democratic nature and violations of rights of the military-controlled political sphere into question. This proposal is concerned with the reflections such practices have triggered in the memory of resistance and repression from that day to today and aims to grasp their function of discrediting the suppressive authority with the possession of the relevant legal basis and immunity from jurisdiction. In this sense, it elaborates on the dissenting voices of the feminists, intellectuals, and laborers that point out the heated topics in the memory of resistance and repression from the 80s onwards of Turkey. While the coup plotters started enjoying the endless immunity from all legal proceedings with the period of prescription in 2016 on their coup-related crimes, these voices focused on have so far remained to be in the arena of active resistance. This proposal pursues to contextualize the disruptive effects of such early resistance practices for the hegemony of the 1980 coup regime conditioned to abolish all the bodies that could re-open the opposition process in politics. It also deals with the complex continuity of the conflict between the resistance practices and repression strategies of the 1980s within the changing dynamics of Turkish politics over time. (Show less)
Paul Corthorn :
Ulster Unionist Political Thought in the Era of the Northern Ireland Troubles, 1968-1998
This paper examines Ulster Unionist political thought, in its widest sense, against the backdrop of the Northern Ireland Troubles. During this period, Ulster Unionists sought to resist nationalist and republican arguments for the unification of Ireland and to articulate their position to supporters and wider audiences. As Direct Rule from ... (Show more)
This paper examines Ulster Unionist political thought, in its widest sense, against the backdrop of the Northern Ireland Troubles. During this period, Ulster Unionists sought to resist nationalist and republican arguments for the unification of Ireland and to articulate their position to supporters and wider audiences. As Direct Rule from London followed the suspension of the unionist-dominated Northern Ireland Parliament at Stormont in 1972, and its abolition the following year, internal unionist debate intensified over the constitutional future of Northern Ireland. Defining Ulster Unionism broadly, at a time when its organisational forms were proliferating, the paper considers the Ulster Unionist Party, its offshoot Vanguard, as well as the Democratic Unionist Party and the paramilitary organisations, the Ulster Volunteer Force and the Ulster Defence Association, and their affiliated political bodies. The paper analyses, in turn, the four competing unionist visions of the future: a return to majority-rule devolution; independence; closer integration with Great Britain; and power-sharing devolution. Not attempting a detailed consideration of the policy proposals, the paper instead explores the connections forged between Ulster Unionist political ideas, some of them with long pedigree, and wider debates. It shows that, at a time of considerable change for the United Kingdom, Ulster Unionist argument reflected – much more than is currently understood and sometimes in a pronounced form – a wide range of inter-connected contemporary British disputes. These not only concerned the constitution, nationality and sovereignty but also permissiveness, political parties, decline, the end of empire, Thatcherism and European integration. (Show less)
Anne Heyer :
Unruly Abroad, Friendly at Home? The Emergence of the Masses as a Political Actor in the Nineteenth-century Netherlands
By the end of the nineteenth century, the concept of the masses had become an essential feature of a new legitimizing strategy for political participation: instead of the quality of political representatives, it was the quantity of the represented that legitimized power. While democratization has been so far described as ... (Show more)
By the end of the nineteenth century, the concept of the masses had become an essential feature of a new legitimizing strategy for political participation: instead of the quality of political representatives, it was the quantity of the represented that legitimized power. While democratization has been so far described as an almost natural process of political emancipation, current historiography does not take the emergence of mass politics for granted any longer. Political historians argue that understanding the history of democracy requires a more careful approach with attention to the contested nature of democratic ideas and practices. In this literature there is a renewed interest in the politicization of vocabulary not only as a description of society, but as an actual factor in the creation of democracy.
This contribution analyses the emerging meaning of the “masses” for popular politics with the recently digitized Dutch newspaper archive Delpher. While the concept of the masses was firstly used to describe objects, it gained a human and later explicit political meaning in many European states in the nineteenth century. Striking is that the predominant use of the term carried a negative connotation that referred to the unruly side of mass politics. This is why the Netherlands, known for a rather boring style of conducting politics, provides for an interesting case study. After the short moment of upheaval during the Batavian period in the wake of the French Revolution, the Dutch moved to an orderly and sometimes rather scholarly exchange of arguments in formal political settings.
This paper will focus on the role of national and transnational manifestations of the crowd in bringing about a new understanding of mass politics. It will provide a chronology of the dissemination of mass gatherings for both the regional, national and international level and establish when these meetings were considered “political”. Dutch newspapers depicted mass gathering as well-behaved and joyful crowds. In the domestic context, mass gathering appeared supportive of the existing order of king, parliament and the nation. Only abroad the masses became a dangerous phenomenon whose gatherings in public spaces caused chaos and bloodshed. In the long run, however, both positive depictions of domestic masses and the more frequent scandalization of their foreign counterparts made the masses a regular feature of political discourses. These mentions did not necessarily wipe out the concerns about the unruly side of mass politics. The growing number of reports about political crowds, however, had another relevant outcome: the masses had become an essential aspect of political life whose legitimacy in political processes could never be completely rolled back. (Show less)
Robert Hornsby :
New Struggles at the Periphery: Protest and Dissent among Youth in the Baltic States, 1953-68
This paper explores what has traditionally been a chronological ‘grey area’ in the literature on dissenting activity in the Baltic States under Soviet rule: the years between the end of armed partisan resistance to Soviet occupation in the early 1950s and the emergence of high profile and human rights focused ... (Show more)
This paper explores what has traditionally been a chronological ‘grey area’ in the literature on dissenting activity in the Baltic States under Soviet rule: the years between the end of armed partisan resistance to Soviet occupation in the early 1950s and the emergence of high profile and human rights focused dissident movements from the late 1960s. Its findings are drawn from archival research conducted in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, as well as declassified KGB materials newly available online. Broadly understood as a period when the Baltic States were less overtly rebellious as the Soviet system underwent a considerable degree of liberalisation, my paper shows that there was in fact considerable unrest evident among young people especially, and that this was at times remarkably strident, including underground groups distributing leaflets critical of Soviet power and even amassing weapons and planning terrorist actions, as well as a handful of volatile public disturbances. From there, the paper goes on to draw out wider comparisons and contrasts with dissenting activity witnessed in other parts of the Soviet Union around the same time. (Show less)