HomeThinking rights in Latin America in the 20th century

Thinking rights in Latin America in the 20th century

Penser les droites en Amérique latine au XXe siècle

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Published on Monday, February 11, 2013 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

This conference purports to think about the right-wing in twentieth-century Latin America. We shall seek to discover whether the current Latin American right-wing movements are merely the prolongation of XIXth century conservatism, or if a series of events might explain the emergence of new actors in the XXth century. This will enable us to enquire into which geographical scale - national or continental - is relevant when examining this concept. We expect papers from scholars in various social sciences, based on monographic and comparative historical examples. Our purpose is to historicize the concept and the object.

Announcement

Argument

At a time when Latin America is mainly governed by the Left, it is increasingly frequent to find references to right-wing movements or parties in newspapers or scientific works, as if this categorization were an obvious fact and as if it were inherent to the modern political systems which have risen and gathered strength since the independence of Latin American countries. However the term "right-wing" appeared rather late in the history of political vocabulary in Latin America (the 1930s in Chile, or 1940 in Mexico for example) and to this day its use remains questionable in many countries where the two-party system is divided along a liberal/conservative line and does not really recognize a Right wing per se.

The confusion around this concept merely stresses the lack of theoretical and historical reflection on the right-wing political tradition. Despite some praiseworthy monographic and comparative studies, the paucity of the existing bibliography can only be deplored, especially with regard to the plethoric studies concerning left-wing movements and parties. Yet it must be recognized that except for the contemporary period, the Right has indeed presided over the destiny of the continent throughout the twentieth century. This simple fact underscores how crucial and urgent it is to start this reflection.

This conference thus purports to think about the Latin American Right as a subject of history, in order to establish a chronological and conceptual framework for a definition that will be neither minimalist (the Right as what does not belong to the Left) or essentialist (the Right as belonging to the dominant class). We shall thus seek to discover whether the present Latin American Right is only the continuation of 19th century Conservatism, in particular because of its relationship with the Roman Catholic Church and Catholicism; or whether a series of events might explain the emergence of new actors on the right side of the political spectrum in the 20th century. This will enable us to enquire into which geographical scale - national or continental –is relevant when examining this concept.

We expect papers from scholars in various social sciences, based on monographic and comparative historical examples. Our purpose is to historicize the concept as this is the only way to understand the construction of right-wing identities as a dynamic process and to capture the reality of social actors who recognize themselves in these identities.

Three aspects will be emphasized:

  • First of all, a reflection on right-wing players, on their memories and their sensibilities.

We shall try to determine who the relevant players are: political parties and movements, intellectuals and idea propagators, the Roman Catholic Church and its many extensions throughout society, the media, the heads of private companies and business lobbies, clubs and their contemporary counterparts, think tanks.Beyond this diversity of players and given the plurality of the right-wing universe, we will wonder if historiography, social representations and the political imaginary give rise to a “right-wing” man. Is the latter inhabited by an “anthropological pessimism” and firmly convinced of the inexorable and natural inequality among human beings? Does he always prefer permanence over any form of constructivism, and does he always favour a small number of chosen people who may be the only ones (or the only one in the case of a providential man) able to prevent the decline of the nation and its society?

  • Then we shall discuss the ideological and political characteristics that define right-wing culture.

We will examine whether there is an homogeneous corpus of ideas and values based on the notions of "historic continuity and legitimacy", "authority and tradition", "order and elitism", "private property and economic liberalism" that are specific to the Right. Or does the Right only find its meaning when compared to the definition of the Left and of the Center, or when complemented by labels such as reactionary, conservative, liberal, or revolutionary? We would also like to use the various political traditions present on the Right to look into the types of political action it has always favored and the social networks it has relied upon in order to participate in the political life of Latin American countries and to maintain a more or less hegemonic symbolic power over them. 

  • Finally, the construction of right-wing political identities in Latin America cannot be understood without taking into account the process of circulation, diffusion and transfer of ideas and models between the Latin American Right and its counterparts in North America and in Europe.

Beyond population movements, we will focus on the links that the Latin American Rights maintain with institutions, civil organizations and inter- or transnational parties such as the Roman Catholic Church, the globalized networks of think tanks or the “internationals” (the Liberal International, the Christian Democrat International, the Centrist Democrat International, the International Democratic Union, the World Alliance of Democrats, etc.).. This last point will allow us to question the nature of the ideas, knowledge and political practices that circulate between the continent and the rest of the world as well as the players producing them and the places where they come into being.

Keywords: Right Wing, Political History, Ideology, Political Culture, Latin America, Circulations of ideas and models, Connected History. 

Paper submission

Authors are invited to submit papers (in either French, English, Spanish o Portuguese) including :

  • Title of the paper
  • Abstract of the paper (3000 signs max.)
  • Author(s) name(s), affiliations and addresses (Institution, e-mail, postal address, phone number).
  • A brief curriculum vitae (or resume) for each author and list of works and publicacions are also required.

June 1, 2013 – Deadline to submit presentation abstracts and papers

September 1, 2013 – Notification of acceptance

December 15, 2013 – Submission of the full-length paper.

Date : january 23, 24 25, 2014

Place : Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 et Université Paris 8 – Vincennes Saint-Denis

Symposium organizers

  • E. Bohoslavsky
  • S. Boisard
  • E. Fernández

Contact : droites.al.2014@free.fr

  • Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 (France)
  • Université Paris 8 – Vincennes Saint-Denis (France)
  • Universidad Nacional General Sarmiento (Argentina)

Scientific committee

  • Jordi Canal (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales – France)
  • Olivier Compagnon (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 - France)
  • Françoise Coste (Université Toulouse 2 – Le Mirail - France)
  • Carlos Demasi (Universidad de la República – Uruguay)
  • Eduardo Deves (Universidad de Santiago de Chile - Chile)
  • Paulo Drinot (University College London - England)
  • Armelle Enders (Université Paris IV - France)
  • Renée Frégosi (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 – France)
  • Eduardo González Calleja (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas - Spain)
  • Annick Lempérière (Université Paris I – France)
  • Daniel Lvovich (Universidad Nacional General Sarmiento – Argentina)
  • Perla Petrich (Université Paris VIII - France)

Places

  • Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 - 13 rue de Santeuil
    Paris, France (75005)
  • Université Paris 8 - 2 rue de la Liberté
    Saint-Denis, France (93)

Date(s)

  • Saturday, June 01, 2013

Keywords

  • droite(s), histoire politique, idéologie, culture politique, Amérique latine, circulations, histoire connectée

Contact(s)

  • Enrique Fernández
    courriel : enrique [dot] fernandez [at] yahoo [dot] fr
  • Stéphane Boisard
    courriel : derechalogos [at] protonmail [dot] com
  • Ernesto Bohoslavsky
    courriel : derechalogos [at] protonmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Stéphane Boisard
    courriel : derechalogos [at] protonmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Thinking rights in Latin America in the 20th century », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, February 11, 2013, https://calenda.org/238319

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