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War and Society in 20th Century Europe

War and Society in 20th Century Europe

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Published on Friday, November 13, 2009 by Karim Hammou


À la fin de cette année, le CEGES célèbrera durant trois jours son 40e anniversaire par la tenue d'un grand colloque international (en anglais) sur l'influence des guerres sur la société au XXe siècle. Il y a sept thèmes spécifiques : War and Law, Science and War, War and Gender, War and Propaganda, War Endings, Economy et War and Ethnicity. Du 9 au 11 décembre 2009 au Square Brussels Meeting Centre (ex-Palais des Congrès).


When historians draw up the balance of Europe’s 20th century, they cannot but acknowledge that wars and other violent conflicts played a significant role in it. It has been a century of ethnic conflicts, mass migration and new forms of violence on an unseen scale in history. This colloquium intends to reflect on how these conflicts have affected the European societies, in particular by focusing on seven specific themes.

  1. War and Law
  2. Science and War
  3. War and Gender
  4. War and Propaganda
  5. War Endings
  6. Economy
  7. War and Ethnicity

For the CEGES-SOMA, this means a reflection on nearly all the themes that lie at the centre of its interests. A perfect way to celebrate forty years of research and documentation on war and contemporary society.

The colloquium will take place in the Square Brussels Meeting Centre, the former and completely renovated Congrespaleis / Palais des Congrès, located at the very heart of Brussels, next to the Royal Library and only a few meters away from the Central Railway Station. For more information and the complete programme, please download the colloquium folder.


Wednesday 9 December

14.30 - 15.00

Welcome and introductory speaches by Rudi Van Doorslaer (CEGES-SOMA), Jean-François Chanet (Université de Lille III).

15.00 - 16.00

Keynote speach. War and Society in Europe from Napoleon to the Present (Richard Evans – University of Cambridge)

16.00 - Reception

18.00 - 20.00

Social event organized by the association Showing Friends of the CEGES-SOMA. Showing of the movie Katyń by Polish director Andrzej Wajda, preceded by a brief introduction by Joris Dedeurwaerder. (In the conference room of the CEGES-SOMA at the Square de l’Aviation/Luchtvaartsquare 29, 1070 Brussels, map)

Thursday 10 December

09.15 - 12.00 - 2 parallel sessions (coffee break at 11.00)                 

War and Law

(Chaired by Xavier Rousseaux – Université catholique de Louvain)

  • Police, Law and People during the World Wars in Europe (Benoît Majerus – Université libre de Bruxelles)
  • War Crimes and their Treatment during the World Wars in Europe (Gerd Hankel – Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung)
  • The Execution of Soldiers during World War I and II (Robert Lilly – Northern Kentucky University)

Science and War

(Chaired by Patrice Bret – Institut de recherche stratégique de l’école militaire - Centre des hautes études de l’armement, Paris)

  • Civilian/Military Hide and Seek: French Laboratories Fighting for Research, 1907-1955 (Patrice Bret – Institut de recherche stratégique de l’école militaire - Centre des hautes études de l’armement, Paris)  
  • What Game Theory Can Contribute to the Analysis of 20th Century wars? (Philippe Mongin – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique & Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, Paris)
  • The War of Guns and Mathematics: French Artillerymen, Ballisticians and Mathematicians in World War I (David Aubin – Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris)
  • “Special Detection” in France and in Italy during the First World War (Martina Schiavon – Archives Henri Poincaré/Université Nancy 2)

12.00 - 12.45

General discussion (Chaired by Louis Vos – Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)

12.45 - 14.00 - Lunch

14.00 - 17.30 - 3 parallel sessions (coffee break at 16.00)

War and Gender

(Chaired by Ana Carden-Coyne – University of Manchester)

  • The Image of the Soldier: Fascism, Militarism, Masculinity and Nation from the First to the Second World War (Lorenzo Benadusi – Università degli Studi di Bergamo)
  • The Politics of Wounds (Ana Carden-Coyne – University of Manchester)
  • Is War a Man’s World? Male and Female Guerillas in the Greek Civil War, 1946-1949 (Polymeris Voglis – University of Thessaly)
  • Affective Economies: Women and Violence in Press Photography (Marta Zarzycka - Universiteit Utrecht)

War and Propaganda

(Chaired by Irene Di Jorio – Université libre de Bruxelles)

  • The NATO Information Service Between Intelligence and Propaganda, 1949-1989 (Linda Risso - University of Reading)
  • Battleground Eastern Europe: Media, Propaganda and the Early Cold War (Marsha Siefert - Central European University, Budapest)
  • “Today Germany, Tomorrow the World.” Nazi Propaganda and Total War, 1919-1945 (David Welch - University of Kent)
  • Italy vs. Austria: Reassessing a Great Propaganda Battle of the Great War (Nicola Labanca - Università di Siena)
  • Propaganda and Foreign Intervention during the Spanish Civil War (Alejandro Pizarroso Quintero - Universidad Complutense de Madrid)  

War Endings

(Chaired by Peter Schrijvers – University of New South Wales, Sydney)

  • France at the End of World War II: an Aftermath Full of Contrasts (Guillaume Piketty - Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po, Paris)
  • The Purged in Postwar France: Putting the Liberation on Film (Karen Adler - University of Nottingham)
  • Between the 1945 Nationalist Revolution and the 1948 Communist Coup: The Third Czechoslovak Republic and the Legacy of World War Two (Benjamin Frommer - Northwestern University, Chicago)
  • In America’s Image? Reconstructing Dutch Identity after World War II (Jaap Verheul - Universiteit Utrecht)
  • How to Kill the Living Dead? The Persistence of the World Wars during Post-War Periods in Belgium (Marnix Beyen – Universiteit Antwerpen)

17.30 - 18.30

General discussion; conlusions of the day (Chaired by Jean-François Chanet – Université de Lille III)

Friday 11 December

09.15 - 12.15 - 2 parallel sessions (coffee break at 11.00)


(Chaired by Dirk Luyten – CEGES-SOMA)

  • The Consequences of War for Multinationals in Europe (Ben Wubs - Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)
  • Black Markets, Clandestine Production and Macro-Economic Series (Hein Klemann - Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)
  • Changing Economic Elites in France and Germany from Collaboration to Cooperation in the Afterwar (Hervé Joly - Laboratoire de recherches historiques Rhône-Alpes, Université de Lyon)
  • Economic Exploitation in the East (Sergei Kudryashov - Deutsches Historisches Institut Moscow)
  • Between State Coercion and Absolute Business Autonomy. Room for Manoeuvre and Expectations of German Enterprises in the “Third Reich” (Ralf Banken & Werner Plumpe - Goethe-Universität Frankfurt)
  • Multinational Enterprise, Ideological Challenge and the Coming of the Second World War (Neil Forbes - Coventry University)

War and Ethnicity

(Chaired by Bruno De Wever – Universiteit Gent)

  • The European Order of Lausanne vs. the European Order of Versailles. The Domino-effect of Ethnic Cleansing in 20th Century Europe (Pieter Lagrou - Université libre de Bruxelles)
  • Ethnic Cleansing as a Tool in Developing Citizenship and State Security in New Nation States, Particularly in Central and Eastern Europe (Pieter van der Plank - Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)
  • The Palestinian Exile in Lebanon (Jihane Sfeir - Université libre de Bruxelles)
  • How Much Sense Does the Framework “Ethnic Cleansing” Make for Analyzing World War II Violence in Europe? (Christian Gerlach – Universität Bern)                       

12.15 - 13.15

Final discussion and closing remarks of the colloquium (Chaired by Rudi Van Doorslaer – CEGES-SOMA)


Please register in advance.

Contact Hans Boers (hans.boers@cegesoma.be) and transfer the proper amount into the CEGES-SOMA bank account 679-2004500-92 (IBAN: BE12 6792 0045 0092, BIC: PCHQBEBB) with mention of “War and Society” + surname before 30 November.

Price (lunch not included):

€35 for three days (students: €20)

€15 for one day (students: €10) - please mention which day

How to reach SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre

Rue Ravenstein 2, 1000 Brussels

Train: Brussels Central Station

Car: There are 650 parking places under the SQUARE building

Public Transport: There are numerous metro, station and bus stops at the Central Station


Luchtvaartsquare/Square de l'Aviation, 29
B-1070 Brussels
Tel.  +32(0)2/556 92 11
Fax +32(0)2/556 92 00


  • SQUARE Brussels Meeting Centre, Rue Ravenstein 2
    Brussels, Belgium


  • Wednesday, December 09, 2009
  • Thursday, December 10, 2009
  • Friday, December 11, 2009

Attached files


  • guerre, société, XXe siècle, conflits


  • Hans Boers
    courriel : hans [dot] boers [at] cegesoma [dot] be

Information source

  • Lisa Dejonghe
    courriel : lisa [dot] dejonghe [at] ugent [dot] be

To cite this announcement

« War and Society in 20th Century Europe », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Friday, November 13, 2009, https://calenda.org/199505

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