HomeDealing with the Aftermath of Violence: Institutions and Players in the 20th and 21st centuries

HomeDealing with the Aftermath of Violence: Institutions and Players in the 20th and 21st centuries

Dealing with the Aftermath of Violence: Institutions and Players in the 20th and 21st centuries

Prendre en charge l’après-violence : institutions et acteurs (XX-XXIes siècles)

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Published on Wednesday, June 12, 2024


Héros, martyrs, anciens combattants, bourreaux, criminels, victimes, blessés, mutilés, disparus, morts, endeuillés - femmes, hommes et enfants. Telles sont les figures qui naissent ou peuvent naître de l’« expérience paroxystique de violence » (C. Ingrao, Le soleil noir du paroxysme…). Loin de former des catégories pré-établies, ces attributions se trouvent au contraire sans cesse redéfinies par les individus qui s’en revendiquent – ou pas – comme par les institutions qui les décernent – ou non. Comment ces dernières prennent-elles alors en charge ces acteurs sociaux singuliers dans le temps plus ou moins long des « sorties de guerre » (B. Cabanes, G. Piketty, Retour à l’intime…), ou plus largement des « sortie[s] de la violence » (M. Wieviorka, « Sortir de la violence ») ? 



Heroes, martyrs, veterans, executioners, criminals, victims, the wounded, the mutilated, the missing, the dead, the bereaved - women, men, and children. These are the figures that emerge or can emerge from the "paroxysmal experience of violence" (C. Ingrao, Le soleil noir du paroxysme...). Far from forming pre-established categories, these attributions are, on the contrary, constantly redefined by the individuals who claim them - or not - and by the institutions that award them - or not. How, then, do the latter deal with these singular social actors over the more or less long term of 'exits from war' (B. Cabanes, G. Piketty, Retour à l'intime...), or more broadly of 'exits[s] from violence' (M. Wieviorka, 'Sortir de la violence')?

Here, we use a broad definition of the concept of institution, to designate social structures or systems of social relations with a certain stability over time, socially or legally instituted to meet specific needs in a given society. This definition covers institutions as varied as the army, schools, justice and prisons (state institutions), health and social institutions, but also associative groups (infra-state) and non-governmental organisations (such as the ICRC). We are looking at how the latter deals with individuals in the aftermaths of violent events — wars, civil wars, genocides, mass violence, insurrections, revolutions, and terrorism.

Care is understood here as the act of taking responsibility for an individual or a group and their difficulties, providing material or holistic assistance. This concept enables us to understand more precisely the reception, care, education, recognition, reparation; and the condemnation, sanction and punishment of social actors who have experienced situations of extreme violence. 

The aim is to study the systems put in place to meet the needs of combatants and civilians whose bodies and minds have been injured. The question of how to deal with these problems has become a source of tension, conflict and struggle for individuals and communities affected by violence. Occasionally, institutional interventions are seen as incomplete, unfair, or inadequate. The introduction of measures to deal with people who have come out of violence are often the result of battles for recognition of the suffering they have endured. Sometimes, institutions even propose, or impose, forms of care that are agreed to by the various parties involved, putting their agentivity at stake. 

In the private lives of couples and families, the return(s) to everyday life raise(s) the question of how loved ones should deal with the after-effects of violence. As a result, bodies, organisations, associations, and trade unions are set up to negotiate, challenge and compensate for the various forms of care and their possible shortcomings. To what extent does care provision impact institutions in a context of a return to peacetime norms? Hospitals, the justice system, prisons and schools, associations of victims or victims' families, and government departments (particularly the military) all provide a framework for the care of the injured, compensation for victims, punishment for perpetrators, etc., all of which condition the recognition of violence, reparations and, more broadly, the rebuilding of individuals, groups, and societies.

Finally, the question of the role of the historian in the creation of these care systems will also, we hope, be considered in a reflexive way.

Time and Place:

This subject is part of the long-term aftermath of war, conflict, and mass violence, taking into account not only the short, almost immediate, aftermath ("post-violence") and emergency care, but also the longer term of recognition, care and reparation in the interaction between players and institutions.

Our aim is to extend this junior conference to most of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first century, as well as to all areas, in a comparative, transnational and even global approach. For this reason, papers may be submitted on a global scale and for a broad XXe century (from 1914 to the present day). While the two world wars play a central role, the conference will seek to vary the contexts, highlighting non-European experiences, conflicts of various kinds (imperial wars, colonial wars, wars of decolonisation, conventional or otherwise) and less often studied actors: women, children, the colonised (especially colonial soldiers), the mentally ill and other marginalised populations.

We hope that this chronological and spatial breadth will enable fruitful comparisons to be made between different forms of institutional care in the aftermath of violence, bringing out similarities and differences, generalities, and singularities, as well as circulations and transfers of experience. Papers should focus on the following issues.

Possible themes :

  • Victims' groups and associations

The spontaneous grouping of victims or victims' families, whether institutionalised or not by the filing of an association status in accordance with the France law of 1901, appears to be a cross-cutting phenomenon at the end of times of violence. As early as the Great War, widows and mothers joined forces to demand financial support, in the form of a pension, equal to that of retired soldiers, questioning the gendered dimension of care. Groups, committees, and associations of victims of attacks, wounded veterans, missing persons and displaced persons are therefore emerging and taking their place in the public arena as pressure groups, trying to influence institutions and obtain compensation. How do these groups come together? What does this tell us about what makes a collective, what makes a community? How do these groups influence - or not - the setting up of institutional mechanisms?

  • The School

How does the school, as the primary forum for the socialisation of childhood, deal with the various social actors who emerge from violence? Bereaved headteachers, teachers who are war widows, ex-servicemen, orphaned pupils, and former pupils who have been killed in action are all examples of the diversity of profiles that populate schools. From primary through to secondary and higher education, the school, which prepares students for war and peace alike, becomes a major link in the institutional response to post-war violence, between the policy implemented by the central administration and the individual commitment of school staff. What measures does it put in place? How? And in what way? To what extent does its role vary according to space and context? What tensions might arise? These are just some of the questions that this symposium will address.

  • Health and Social Institutions

Health and social care institutions play an essential role in caring for people who have experienced violence. Wars and, more generally, all forms of violence inflict physical and psychological wounds on individuals, posing challenges both to the injured and to society as a whole. The treatment envisaged is obviously first and foremost that of care, which can take very different forms depending on the context and be differentiated according to the individual, their socio-economic situation, their gender, their origin, or even the type of injury. Indeed, not all injuries are deemed worthy of treatment, such as psychological disorders or sexual violence. What distinctions are made in care, and according to what criteria?

While hospitals, and in particular military hospitals, appear to be key institutions in the provision of health and social care, both in emergencies and over the long term, there are other institutions that aim to heal physical and psychological wounds, and these will be examined at the conference.

  • Military, Legal and Judicial Institutions

The aftermath of violence raises three major issues: the army's ability to take responsibility for its veterans, heroes, dead and its own violence; the creation of standards and mechanisms capable of responding to the need for justice, truth and reparation; and finally, the possibility for societies to judge the perpetrators of crimes, punish them and, in so doing, publicly recognise the victims. However, criminal justice, whether national or international, does not always make it possible to meet these challenges, and we are interested here in the ex-nihilo creation of other bodies and other judicial temporalities. While the question of both symbolic and material reparations may have arisen, for example in relation to the spoliations of the Second World War, the field of reparations through the justice system and administrative compensation procedures has mainly been explored by sociologists, anthropologists, and political scientists. We hope that this interdisciplinary conversation will enrich the question of reparations, understood in the broad sense of recognition, compensation, and indemnification.

Apply now

The conference will be held on the Sciences Po Paris campus with the support of the CHSP. Those wishing to present their work are invited to send a provisional title, a summary of no more than 200 words and a short bibliography to apreslaviolence2024@gmail.com

by Friday, the 31th of July 2024.

Successful proposals will be announced by Friday 13 September 2024.

The conference will be bilingual: English, and French, to encourage young international researchers. Each speaker will submit his or her paper in English and/or French one month before the conference. A subsequent publication is envisaged.

Organising committee

  • Élodie CHARIÉ (CHSP),
  • Ebunolowa IYAMU (CHSP).

Scientific Committee

  • Ana Carden Coyne (The University of Manchester)
  • Hélène Dumas (CNRS)
  • Guillaume Piketty (CHSP)
  • Emmanuel Saint-Fuscien (LIER-FYT)
  • Sylvie Thénault (CNRS)

Indicative bibliography

(non-exhaustive) :

AMESTOY, Pierre, Le droit à réparation tel que prévu par le code des pensions militaires d'invalidité et des victimes de guerre, Doctoral thesis under the supervision of CATTOIR-JONVILLE, Vincent, Droit public: Lille 2, 2017.

AUDOIN-ROUZEAU, Stéphane, BECKER Annette, 14-18, retrouver la guerre, Paris, Gallimard, 2000.

AUDOIN-ROUZEAU, Stéphane, L'Enfant de l'ennemi, Viol, avortement, infanticide pendant la Grande Guerre, Paris, Flammarion, 2013.

AUDOIN-ROUZEAU, Stéphane, "Violences extrêmes de combat et refus de voir", Revue internationale des sciences sociales, 2002 / 4, pp. 543-549.

BARBOT, Janine and DODIER, Nicolas, Des victimes en procès: essai sur la réparation, Paris, Presses des Mines - Transvalor (Collection Sciences sociales), 2023.

BETTE, Peggy,

  • Veuves françaises de la Grande Guerre. Itinéraires et combats, Lausanne, Peter Lang, 2017.
  •             "IV. Le deuil et la pension. Pistes pour une histoire comparée des veuves de la Première Guerre mondiale en Europe", in La Guerre et les Femmes, Paris, Hermann, 2018, pp. 43-52.

BESSONE, Magali, Faire justice de l'irréparable : esclavage colonial et responsabilités contemporaines, Paris, Librairie philosophique J. Vrin, 2019.

BOUSSION, Samuel, GARDET, Mathias, RUCHAT, Martine,     L'Internationale des républiques d'enfants, 1939-1955, Paris, Anamosa, 2020.

CABANES, Bruno and PIKETTY, Guillaume,

  • "Sortir de la guerre: jalons pour une histoire en chantier", Histoire@Politique, 2007/ 3.
  • Retour à l'intime au sortant de la guerre, Paris, Tallandier, 2009.


  • Reconstructing the Body: Classicism, Modernism and the First World War, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • The Politics of Wounds: Military Patients and Medical Power in the First World War, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.
  • "The Art of Resilience: Veteran Therapy from the Occupational to the Creative 1914- 1945", in L. van Bergen, & E. Vermetten (Eds.), The First World War and Health: Rethinking Resilience (pp. 39-70). (History of Warfare 130; Vol. 130), Leiden, Brill, 2020.
  • "Decolonising War Disability: the Case of Indian Veterans after the First World War", Kriegsgeschädigte und europäische Nachkriegsgesellschaften im 20. Jahrhundert, editor / Sabine Schleiermacher, Noyan Dinçkal, Leiden, Brill, 2022.

DÉNOUVEAUX, Arthur, GARAPON Antoine, Tracts (N°10) - Victimes, et après? 10th edn, Paris, Gallimard (Tracts), 2019.

DUMAS, Hélène,

  • "Histoire, justice et réconciliation: les juridictions gacaca au Rwanda", Mouvements, vol. 53, no. 1, 2008, pp. 110-117.
  • "Trivialisation, revision and denial: the "rewriting" of the history of the Tutsi genocide"Esprit, vol. no. 5, 2010, pp. 85-102.
  • Genocide in the Village. Le massacre des Tutsi au Rwanda, Paris, Le Seuil, 2014.
  • Sans ciel ni terre: paroles orphelines du génocide des Tutsi (1994-2006), Paris, La Découverte, 2020.

FASSIN Didier and RECHTMAN Richard, L'empire du traumatisme : enquête sur la condition de victime, Paris, Flammarion (Champs Essais), 2011.

GACON, Stéphane, "Les amnisties de la guerre d'Algérie (1962-1982)", Histoire de la justice, 16, 2005, pp. 271-279.

GARAPON, Antoine,

  • Des crimes qu'on ne peut ni punir ni pardonner: pour une justice internationale, Paris, Odile Jacob, 2002.
  • Peut-on réparer l'histoire: Colonisation, esclavage, Shoah, Paris, Odile Jacob, 2008.

GUILLEMAIN, Hervé, TISON, Stéphane, Du front à l'asile, 1914-1918, Paris, Alma, 2013.

HOBSON FAURE, Laura, PIGNOT Manon, RIVIERE Antoine (dir.), Enfants en guerre, "Sans famille" dans les conflits du XXe siècle, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2023.

INGRAO, Christian, Le soleil noir du paroxysme: nazisme, violence de guerre, temps présent, Paris, Odile Jacob, 2021.

KORA, Andrieu, La justice transitionnelle: de l'Afrique du Sud au Rwanda, Paris, Gallimard (Folio essais inédit), 2012.

LEFRANC, Sandrine,

  • Comment sortir de la violence, Enjeux et limites de la justice transitionnelle, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2022.
  • After the conflict, reconciliation? : revised proceedings of the study days organised on 12 and 13 December 2005 / by the Institut des sciences sociales du politique (formerly the Laboratoire d'analyse des systèmes politiques) CNRS-Université de Paris X et ENS Cachan ; texts compiled by Sandrine Lefranc, Paris, M. Houdiard, 2006.
  • and ROSOUX, Valérie, "Que peut-on réparer?", Esprit (Paris. 1932). 2024, vol.506.

MICHEL, Johann, Le réparable et l'irréparable : l'humain au temps du vulnérable, Paris, Hermann (Philosophie), 2021.

PONET, Philippe, "Remettre les corps en ordre : entre savoirs et pouvoirs : La " professionnalisation " de l'évaluation médicale du dommage corporel", Revue française de sociologie, 48, 2007, pp. 477-517.


  • "Sortir de la guerre pour revenir dans la classe? L'impact de la guerre sur les pratiques enseignantes au prisme du cas Delvert (1906-1939)', Histoire de l'éducation, vol. 139, no. 3, 2013, pp. 51-72.
  • Célestin Freinet, Un pédagogue en guerres 1914-1945, Paris, Perrin, 2017.
  • "Ce que la guerre fait à l'institution: l'école primaire en France autour du premier conflit mondial," Guerres mondiales et conflits contemporains, vol. 278, no. 2, 2020, 5-22.

THÉNAULT, Sylvie, Réparer l'injustice : l'affaire Maurice Audin, Bayonne (Pyrénées- Atlantiques), Institut Francophone pour la Justice et la Démocratie, 2019.

WIEVIORKA, Michel, "Sortir de la violence", Socio, 5 | 2015, pp. 221-240.



  • Campus de Sciences Po Paris - 1 place Saint Thomas d'Aquin
    Paris, France (75)

Event attendance modalities

Full on-site event


  • Wednesday, July 31, 2024


  • histoire contemporaine, violence, guerre, XXe, XXIe, institution, acteur, prise en charge


  • Emma Papadacci
    courriel : emma [dot] papadaccistephanopoli [at] sciencespo [dot] fr

Information source

  • Emma Papadacci
    courriel : emma [dot] papadaccistephanopoli [at] sciencespo [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Dealing with the Aftermath of Violence: Institutions and Players in the 20th and 21st centuries », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, https://doi.org/10.58079/11t18

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