CFP: International solidarity movements in the Low Countries during the long twentieth (ULB – 26-27 th May 2016)

Find here the whole Call for Papers (deadline : 20th February 2016)

Over the last two decades, international historiography has given much consideration to the ways in which a so-called “global civil society” was well under its way before the end of the Cold War. It has now became fashionable to depict the 20th century as “the century of NGOs” and the apogee of “transnational civil societies” which projected human rights and various kinds of international solidarity across the globe. Citizens in Europe broadened their scope towards what happened in foreign and distant countries in the Global South, or – closer to their homes – to dictatorships in Eastern or Southern Europe. Making sense of the bewildering variety of foreign causes and countries that inspired social movements in Europe as well as the elective and changing affinities of this activism, has proved to be a challenge for many historians. The history of transnational activism during the twentieth century has for a long time been written with a fragmented focus, with little diachronic and synchronic comparison between different solidarity movements and countries. Concepts such as the “human rights revolution of the 1970s” and “new social movements” tend to stress change and discontinuity. In recent years, new voices, access to new archives, and the growing interdisciplinary nature of the research field have however stimulated fresh perspectives and new themes in the history of international solidarity movements. The aim of this conference is stimulate innovative research on the rise of international solidarity movements in the Low Countries – the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg – over the long twentieth century. It wants to put these movements in a broader comparative and transnational perspective, and embed them in other research fields, such as the history of the Cold War, decolonization, European integration, and communism.

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