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HomeWars, hope, despair and peace in History

Wars, hope, despair and peace in History

Guerres, espoirs, désespoirs et paix dans l’histoire

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Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2019


The causes of violence and wars is a traditional theme of controversy. Some old philosophers, like Maurras or von Moltke, see war as a divine law. Others, like Plato, think that it results from human passions or that it constitutes a biological necessity (Nietzsche, Malthus). Still others attribute it to nationalism fueled by despotism. For Marxists, conflict comes from the clash of economic forces. Scholars, philosophers, and moralists debate whether aggression is a constant factor in  human nature, an innate or acquired character.


The Tunisian-Mediterranean Association for Historical, Social and Economic Studies (TMA for HSES) & The Tunisian World Center for Studies, Research and Development (TWC for SRD) will organize the 12th International Symposium around the theme: Wars, Hope, Despair and Peace in History, on 25, 26 and 27 November 2019.


The causes of violence and wars is a traditional theme of controversy. According to Ibn Khaldoun, "...wars and types of confrontation have always existed among living beings since God created them. Their origin is the will of certain beings to take revenge on each other, and each is supported by his relatives (Ahl al-Asabiyya). If they help each other and if the two communities agree, one demands revenge and the other defends itself, and war is triggered. This is normal in humans; no nation or generation is spared...". Some old philosophers, like Maurras or von Moltke, see war as a divine law. Others, like Plato, think that it results from human passions or that it constitutes a biological necessity (Nietzsche, Malthus). Still others attribute it to nationalism fueled by despotism. For Marxists, conflict comes from the clash of economic forces. Scholars, philosophers, and moralists debate whether aggression is a constant factor in  human nature, an innate or acquired character. According to Thomas Hobbes, in his famous work Leviathan (1651), man in the state of nature is violent, thirsty for power, and belligerent: thus, "Man is a wolf toward man". Arguing the contrary, Jean-Jacques Rousseau thinks that man is "naturally peaceful and fearful", and remains good as long as he does not live in society (From The Social Contract, 1762).

Researchers disagree on the nature and origins of wars in prehistoric times. Some think that conflicts were born out of the desire to to control game resources or with sedentarization that would have attracted hunter-gatherers' desire for agricultural resources; for other specialists, these clashes would have been facilitated by the perfecting of metallurgy to forge effective weapons or stimulated by the appearance of leaders wanting to consolidate their power through battles. The exhumation of skeletons pierced with arrows, dating from 13,000-14,000 BC, marks perhaps the first proven record of conflict. There are more definite traces of conflict around 10.000 BC.

In any case, war can be defined as the confrontation of two antagonistic forces, state or non-state, aiming at achieving their goals of various kinds, or to defend themselves against the ambitions of others. The theorist Carl von Clausewitz thus says that "war is an act of violence whose objective is to compel the adversary to execute our will". The often political dimension of conflict is emphasized by Clausewitz: "War is the extension of politics by other means". It follows that war is frequently anchored in the imperialist will of a belligerent. It can also have as its purpose to weld a community together against a common enemy; this objective is particularly emphasized by authoritarian regimes that use this argument justify strict control of citizens and covering themselves with glory to make people forget this imposed control.  For fascism, war is a rule of life and a window into human nature. In a speech dated August 24, 1924, Mussolini states:

"To live dangerously: I want this to be the overall slogan of Italian fascism. To live dangerously means to be ready for anything, for any sacrifice, for any possible danger, for any action whatsoever when it comes to defending the fatherland (...). The creed of fascism is heroism.


Armed conflicts can be classified into various categories, with the understanding that many of them overlap.

Depending on the geographic extent, there are world wars involving many participants from all over the world as well as smaller regional wars.

With regard to objectives, imperialist wars constitute a large category. These are based on the hope of conquering independent territories, sometimes not attached to strong central governments, or regions belonging to rival powers. For the Marxists, imperialist wars correspond to a stage of development of capitalism which would seek above all economic expansion based on the exploitation of conquered territories. Lenin observes that "in a capitalist regime, and particularly at its imperialist stage, wars are inevitable". Hannah Arendt points out that this type of expansion leads to totalitarianism. On the other hand, Joseph Schumpeter contests the economist analysis of Marxists and thinks that imperialist wars mainly reflect the warlike and militaristic will of those who trigger them.

Within the category of imperialist clashes, colonial wars have a special place: they can be understood as the takeover of territories by a metropolis that expects to occupy strategic support points, exploit natural resources or make use of an available workforce, even impose a culture. These colonial objectives are sometimes hidden by the conqueror who claims to be engaging in a civilizing mission. The dominant power imposes various statuses on the subject regions--occupation, annexation, protectorate ...; it can encourage the emigration of its nationals to the colony or be content to send military forces and some civilian cadres.

Among the objectives are individualized revolutionary wars or wars of liberation wars that seek to abolish colonial domination or foreign occupation. According to the Marxists, independence can only be achieved by a revolutionary armed struggle supported by avant-garde political-ideological choices. In this type of conflict, belligerents pay particular attention to controlling civilian populations. Lenin strongly emphasizes the positive nature of these wars:

"The Social-Democrats can not deny the positive value of revolutionary wars, that is to say, non-imperialist wars ... or possible wars aimed at safeguarding the conquests of a victorious proletariat in its struggle against the bourgeoisie.".

Within the goal-based analysis grid, there are religious wars, sometimes called holy wars. These are conflicts that oppose followers of different religions. Belligerents think they act in the name of higher or divine principles, often feel invested with a sacred mission, and want to impose a faith, convert or eliminate their religious opponents.

Within the analysis grid Genocide aims at the total or partial elimination of a national, ethnic or religious community. This confrontation often takes the form of a programmed, more or less systematic, collective murder committed against people considered to be inferior or undesirable.

Conflicts can also be classified according to the nature of the belligerents. Civil wars taking place within a state go beyond riot, revolt or occasional insurrection, as shown in the fifteenth century the Quarrel between the Armagnacs and Burgundians in France and the War of the Roses in England. The origins of these clashes can be dynastic, ideological-political, ethnic, community, or religious. These may be tribal wars. Their non-international character does not prevent the intervention of foreign states, as was the case in Spain (1936-1939), in Greece (1946-1949), and in various African countries and in the Middle East.

The means used by the adversaries make it possible to individualize other conflicts. Economic war is embodied in various ways. Initially, these are clashes between competing economies on a global scale. The exacerbation of ambitions leads on some occasions to military action. In wartime one of the belligerents may seek to stifle his enemy by blockade.

Psychological warfare or war of the nerves consists in fighting the enemy on the grounds of ideas, propaganda, persuasion. It is necessary to convince the opposing camp that it is in a process of defeat, to scare it, to demoralize it, even to terrorize it. This type of struggle sometimes involves the war of the air waves which mobilizes radio and television to galvanize one camp and to lessen the capacity of resistance of the other.

Cold War is strictly speaking the confrontation between the Western camp and the Soviet bloc from 1947 to 1989-1991. The term is sometimes used to describe a conflict that recalls the struggle of these two blocks separated by the Iron Curtain. This war, based on ideological and political differences, led to the conventional and nuclear arms race. Opponents avoid coming to a direct confrontation because it would have ncalculable consequences, but they confront each other indirectly during international crises (Berlin, Cuba, Suez ...) and localized wars (Korea, Indochina, Vietnam, Afghanistan ...).

Electronic warfare refers to the means by which one party seeks to protect its telecommunications network and to hinder the enemy's transmissions: eavesdropping, jamming and anti-jamming, sending false instructions on enemy wavelengths, propaganda broadcasts, etc.

ABC war (Atomic, Biological, Chemical) defines a form of confrontation based on the use of weapons of mass destruction.

Total war, theorized by Clausewitz (Absoluter Krieg), adopted by the Pan-Germans of the nineteenth century and by the Nazis in the twentieth century, consists in mobilizing all the resources of belligerents, men and equipment, to control society, to impose a centralized and authoritarian control, censorship, and stuffing people’s heads with propaganda, leading to the annihilation of the enemy.

Asymmetrical wars oppose a state or a group of states with small but generally very strong enemies. The latter then develop strong propaganda to compensate for their weakness and to win the support of public opinion. They resort to terrorism, such as the ancient opponents of the Roman occupation, the sect of the assassins at the end of the eleventh century, the anarchists after 1880, the nationalists fighting against the colonial powers, contemporary groups wanting to defend their identity or impose their religious views. Minorities can organize themselves and move to the guerrilla stage led by partisans and snipers who act by targeted blows, ambushes, attacks on state forces. The Vendeans in France under the Revolution, the Castroites in Cuba, the anticolonialist armed groups offer good examples of guerrilla warfare. The actions of clandestine organizations are often referred to as subversive warfare.

New forms of war appear. Under international mandate (UN, African Union, Arab League ...) countries or groups of countries intervene in third countries to restore order, separate rival factions, or to chase terrorists as France does in sub-Saharan Africa, in assisting regular troops, special forces, targeted strikes by airplanes or armed drones, or supplying military equipment.

The conduct of the war conditions the results of the clashes. Some hope to achieve a state of force discouraging potential attackers. The Latins said: "If vis pacem, para bellum" (If you want peace, prepare the war). It is in this spirit that France calls its nuclear weapon a "deterrent". Another method is Divisare ut imperare (Divide and conquer).  This is a method also recommended by the Jean de La Fontaine in his fables:

"Always keep the bad guys divided

The safety of the rest of the earth

Depends on. Sow war between them

Or you will have no peace with them".

The strategy is to coordinate the general action of the armies to achieve the defensive or offensive goals defined by political power. Napoleon I, Clausewitz and the German generals, and also Foch set general principles, but these are challenged by the appearance of weapons of mass destruction and new forms of war. The tactic is the implementation of the previously set strategic goals; it consists largely of the art of directing armies on a specific battlefield.

The conduct of the war depends partly on the armaments placed at the disposal of the combatants: light weapons, different kinds of firearms, light or heavy artillery, naval and air fleets, atomic bombs ... In his appeal of June 18, 1940, General de Gaulle emphasized the importance of equipment: "Today we are being attacked by a mechanized force, and we will be able to overcome it in the future by a superior mechanized force. The fate of the world depends on it ". Fortifications once held an important role in the conduct of fighting. New technologies and modern equipment have made old fortifications obsolete.

The life of combatants is attracting more and more attention from researchers. The time spent in the barracks, camps, trenches has an influence on the preparation of men for combat, their efficiency, their morale, their hopes. The relations between officers and simple soldiers is important. It is necessary to study the character of military training, whether the soldier fully consents or is merely resigned, and mutinies such as those that took place in the French army in 1917, the quality of the food distributed at the front, the system of the furloughs and leaves, leisure, the relations with the civilians or among the various contingents fighting under the same flag. The rate of human loss and its demographic impact can weigh heavily on the destiny of nations.

The rules for the conduct of war are very old, originally customary rather than written, designed to define the modalities of war that were considered just—regarding the atatus of wounded soldiers, prisoners, hostages, civilians in occupation zones, etc.  The first written code regarding war may have been the Code of Hammurabi, who has King of Babylon around 2000 BC. The Catholic Church in the Middle Ages and the philosopher Grotius in the sixteenth century are examples of the doctrine of the "just war". Jurists became active in this domain in the nineteenth century. International humanitarian laws were established by the Conventions of Geneva (1864, 1949, 1977, 2005) and the Hague (1899 and 1907). The Red Cross, called Red Crescent in Muslim countries, was founded in 1863 by the Swiss Henri Dunant, who was struck by how the wounded were abandoned after the battle of Solferino (1859); this humanitarian organization today provides care to victims without distinction of nationality.


For centuries there was a clear distinction between a combat zone and a rear area more or less distant from the conflict. Of course, the movement of battle lines could constantly transform a sector from the rear into a war zone. Today, with very rapid means of transport, advancements in armaments, the growth of terrorism and guerrillas, there are few places in the world that are spared.

Nevertheless, civilians have their own experiences of war.  In the political arena, governments try to control people in the rear so that they remain confident and united behind their leaders. Censorship, brainwashing through insistent propaganda, supervision of youth, police surveillance, spying and sabotage are the usual means used by officials. They sometimes use the lever of identity, based on patriotism and nationalism, to strengthen national cohesion. In this game of influencing minds, the press and other media have a major role.  The formation of a “Sacred Union,” an expression coined by Raymond Poincaré, President of the French Republic in 1914, is the ideal goal. However, in a democracy like France at the beginning of the Great War, the Sacred Union did not mean a fusion of parties, but only a temporary truce in partisan struggles.

In wartime, civilians are usually faced with more or less serious difficulties. Barriers to travel disrupt family unity and subsistence of the family.  The requisitioning of means of transport, harvests, herds and their redirection to provide for armies reduces the supplies of all kinds, often leading to rationing, especially in regions that produce little. It becomes difficult to get enough to eat and to keep warm. Prices increase. The worsening of poverty makes living conditions precarious, despite the provision of various kinds of aid and the action of humanitarian organizations. Workers demand increases in their incomes and, in democracies, they can go on strike if they do not obtain satisfaction. Crimes related to poverty increase--burglaries, especially in the unoccupied housing of those who have left for the front or in the second homes of absent tourists, scams under the guise of charitable works, prostitution. Juvenile delinquency increases due to the loosening of family ties, the absence of the father who has gone to battle, the worries that assault the mother who has to work harder than in the past, and the decline in public education.

Despite the remoteness of the front, the inhabitants of the rear feel the realities of the war. The contact is indirect--the sight of the wounded being cared for far away from the combat zones, refugees and displaced persons coming from the front or the regions occupied by the enemy, prisoners put at the disposal of employers. The contact obviously becomes direct when clashes come to a sector hitherto spared. Ground war and bombing lead to death and material destruction. If the enemy remains on the spot, he can occupy or annex the territory, commit violence, take hostages, commit rapes, massacres ... These acts of violence can provoke in the inhabitants a patriotic reaction of resistance.

The state of mind and the maintenance of trust--in other words, hope--are important issues. But civilians are beset by many fears: the future course of the war and the future of the fatherland, the fate of family members risking their lives at the front or being held in prison camps, famine and sometimes starvation.  Hatred of the enemy and indignation against traitors and profiteers swell, criticisms against political and military leaders unable to bring a quick victory coalesce. During the First World War, in France, trust fell in 1917 and rose up again at the end of the year when an energetic leader, Georges Clemenceau, took the direction of the government and even defined major strategic orientations; he declared on November 20, 1917, the following: "War is a thing too serious to be entrusted to the military". General de Gaulle, in a less sarcastic tone, expounded the same idea in his book Discord in the Enemy (1924).

Religion maintains hope, serves as a remedy and a consolation. Indeed, religious practice generally increases because the individuals invoke God to obtain victory and the return of the relative gone to the front. If the latter is killed or injured, prayer can bring some comfort.


War, even when it is brief, requires the mobilization of important material resources. Funding is a primary necessity. Therefore, gold reserves and inventories are generally used, asset holdings increased, taxes increased if the situation permits, borrowing on domestic and foreign markets, and disbursing loans. After the conflict, some countries find themselves drained, heavily indebted, confronted with inflation, while others, neutral or far from the battlefield, bankers of the belligerents, are enriched.

Agricultural and industrial production is often reduced because of requisitions and mobilizations that send workers to the front. Deficits in energy, food and manufactured goods must be met by expensive imports. The lack of arms leads to the use of a replacement workforce: women, children, old people, immigrants, prisoners of war. Some soldiers, who are given special assignments, are sometimes returned to the rear when they have a professional specialty that is rare or useful for national defense. These specialists are particularly used in converted factories for the supply of weapons and ammunition.

Trade undergoes various disturbances: difficulty of supply, shortages causing price increases, rationing, bad mood of the consumers. Some traders take advantage of the situation and are guilty of misdemeanors: speculation and excessive price increases, black market, fraud regarding product quality. In Menton, in September 1917, two creameries were sentenced for selling milk containing 76% water. The public authorities increase controls, creating technical commissions and regulatory bodies. But they cannot prevent all crimes, small and large scams, charity requests that are made for private gain ... Trafficking of any kind promotes the enrichment of unscrupulous individuals and shady intermediaries. Armed forces suppliers often make considerable profits.

The owners at all levels, savers are affected by various measures adopted by the governments: reduction of the rate of interest on loans, moratoriums on rents, control of the currency exchange, suspension of the convertibility of gold ... Thus the incomes stagnate or collapse at a time when prices are rising. Tourism, an activity considered futile in time of war, and luxury products suffer considerable losses: customers, fearful or distant from the countries at war, become rare; leisure deemed offensive, gambling, ostentatious holidays, and some sports competitions, are prohibited. Show organizers must justify themselves by organizing charity galas. Hotels built with heavy investments remain empty. Countries and regions whose economies are largely based on tourism fear for the future.

Special difficulties arise in the occupied or annexed regions. The winner, not caring to spare the inhabitants, imposes requisitions of all kinds, special taxes and property transfers. The occupiers, controlling the borders, reduce or prohibit the movement of people and goods toward the enemy, which prevents the reunion of families, cuts the traditional commercial circuits, and makes everyday life very complicated. The occupying power sometimes forces the inhabitants into its own military units. If resistance is formed, the repression is extremely severe.


The outcomes of war, from the demographic, economic, social, political and diplomatic points of view, are very active subject of study today.

The cost of war in human and material terms often appears dramatic. Soldiers who died in combat or, later, as a result of their wounds, belong to the younger age groups, which deprives the country of men who are able to produce and procreate. The problem of decimated generations can have a lasting effect on the future of nations. Some survivors who have been seriously injured cannot re-enter the economy. The demographic liability also includes the birth deficit due to the absence of men at the front. The balance sheet must assess the losses by socio-professional category, by region of origin, countryside and city, metropolis and colonies, main belligerents and distant allies. It should be noted that in modern wars the number of civilian casualties is much greater than in the past due to the geographic spread of fighting and the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Economic and financial consequences undermine the fate of the countries that fought: indebtedness, inflation, loss of gold supply, destruction due to fighting, bombing, spoliation, decline in agricultural and industrial production, damage to basic infrastructure and arable land, factories, buildings, roads, bridges, ports, canals ... In the aftermath of the Great War, France lost 3 million hectares of arable land, 300,000 buildings, 62,000 kilometers of roads. Some communes on the front have never been rebuilt. On the other hand, the third countries which sold their production to the belligerents and advanced credit to them gain significant profits: the Great War allowed a large economic takeoff in the United States and Japan

Former belligerents or the winners of the war come together to negotiate the terms of peace and try to accomplish the hopes they have built up during the fight. The nature of peace varies according to the balance of power and competing ambitions, the respective power of the countries concerned, the free or occupied territories at the time of the negotiations. The various treaties and agreements reflect this complex situation. Also territorial changes, the number of displaced persons, the amount of possible reparations, and the court judgments of war criminals take different forms. Territorial divisions resulting from wars can lead to the creation of multinational states containing minorities hostile to the central power. Thus, peace sometimes generates motives for later wars. Poland, wiped off the map in the eighteenth century, once again becomes a state in 1919.

At the psychological level, war leaves many wounds, even reasons for deep despair. The wounded survivors, veterans, widows and orphans bear the physical and moral traces of their sufferings. Historian George L. Mosse presented the widely discussed concept of "brutalization": during the war, the trivialization of violence, the exacerbation of nationalism, the valorization of virility and camaraderie among soldiers, the construction of heroic memorial myth is at the origin of mass movements such as fascism. Although this theory may apply to the German far right after 1919, it does not seem to capture all situations in time and space. While the former soldiers of Napoleon's Grande Armée helped to build the legend of the emperor in the nineteenth century, it was rather a nostalgia for greatness, not an organized, massive and aggressive movement. In fact, peace, militant pacifism, the hope of building a society insensitive to bellicose training, have long been celebrated. Thus, in 1511, the humanist Erasmus, in his Eloge de la Folie, considers that it is "crazy" to engage in a war "from which it there results, for both parties, more harm than good ". Fenelon, in his Dialogues des morts (1712), observes: "War is an evil that dishonors the human race". Victor Hugo dedicates some verses of his Songs of Streets and Woods (1865) to an opposition between conflicts and the wonders of creation:

"For six thousand years, war

Has brought pleasure to quarrelsome people,

And God is wasting his time creating

Stars and flowers.”

Albert Einstein, in How I See the World (1949), hopes that people will reach "a new level from which war will appear to us as an incomprehensible mistake of our ancestors". At all times, many former soldiers, traumatized by war, hope that their sacrifices will establish a lasting peace.

In the intellectual field, war often brings about great changes. It offers an immense subject of reflection to philosophers and moralists. It promotes contacts and exchange of ideas between fighters of different cultures. In ancient times, Rome conquered Greece, after which it was penetrated by Hellenism--the language, art and values ​​of the country it had defeated, which the poet Horace summed up in these terms: "Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit "(Defeated Greece defeated its fierce conqueror). The armies of the French Revolution spread republican ideas and the principle of human rights throughout Europe. It was Black American fighters who introduced jazz to Europe during the First World War. The tragedies of the Great War caused a profound shaking of world views, a weariness that some tried to escape by launching into a life of pleasure and enjoyment, a loss of confidence in rationalism and progress that had not stopped the horrors and the hecatomb, a feeling of the absurd leading to surrealism, communist revolt, with priority given to the search for material happiness.

In certain well-defined areas, war can bring positive change. Thus, medicine makes progress on the battlefields, particularly in surgery, orthopedics, microbiology. In the 16th century, Ambroise Paré, a military surgeon, improved the disinfection of wounds and developed ligation of the arteries during amputations. Larrey during the Napoleonic campaigns, Letterman during the American Civil War, and Marie Curie who invented the radiological ambulances during the Great War are at the root of other advances. War also stimulates progress in military industrial techniques whose inventions can be reused for production in time of peace, the improvement of organization of work, standardization, Taylorism. During fighting, on the battlefields and in the trenches, men from different social and cultural backgrounds get to know each other. Back behind the front, women, exercising new responsibilities, emancipate themselves.

War stimulates artistic creation. In literature, many major works have been inspired by fighting; Homer narrates the Trojan War in the Iliad, Julius Caesar recounts his battles in The War of the Gauls, the anonymous author of the Song of Roland, in the eleventh century, evokes the fighting three centuries earlier, between the troops of Charlemagne and the Vascons. The great novel War and Peace (1864-1869) of Tolstoy takes place during the Russian campaign of 1812. Painting is not to be outdone: Rubens painted The Horrors of the war (1637), Goya painted the events of May 3, 1808 in Madrid (1814), Delacroix The massacres of Scio (1824), Otto Dix (1929-1932), Picasso’s Guernica (1937)  In sculpture, effigies of warrior heroes dot the avenues and squares; war memorials of 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 are present on the territory of all the belligerents and particularly in each of the 36 000 communes of France. Marches and hymns embody the military dimension of music. Beethoven composed his third (so-called) Heroic Symphony (1805) in honor of Napoleon Bonaparte, who seemed to him to be spreading the ideas of the Revolution in Europe; furious to learn that this great man proclaimed himself emperor, he suppresses his dedication and replaces it with the funeral formula: "In memory of a great man". It is also in tribute to Napoleon that Berlioz wrote his great Te Deum (1849). Tchaikovsky, in his Overture 1812 (1880), commemorates the Russian victory over Napoleon. The French anthem, La Marseillaise (1792), is originally a war song; the Song of the partisans (1943) celebrates the resistance, but the Song of Craonne (1917) expresses a pacifist sensibility, as well as The Deserter (1954) by Boris Vian, composed at the end of the Indochina War. Popular songs are often inspired by military episodes. War photography is illustrated by great artists such as Robert Capa, David Duncan, Marc Flament War is represented in hundreds of films, some of which are classic works, such as Abel Gance's J’Accuse (1919), La Grande Illusion of Jean Renoir (1937) which totaled 13 million admissions despite the censorship imposed by the Nazi regime, Night and Fog by Alain Resnais (1956), Trails of Glory by Stanley Kubrick, The Battle of Algiers by Gillo Pontecorvo (1966), Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979), and Steven Speilberg's Schindler's List (1994)

For centuries, war has been a sinister punctuation to the march of history. War gives rise to an accumulation of dead and ruins. At the end of the Great War, Paul Valéry sadly concluded: "We, civilizations, we now know that we are mortal".

The theme "Wars, Hope, Despair and Peace in History" can be approached along the following lines:

  1. Making war

  • War and ideology
  • The concept of war, the origin of the phenomenon, the art of war
  • World Wars and regional wars
  • Imperialist wars
  • Colonial Wars
  • Revolutionary wars, liberation wars
  • Religious wars, holy wars
  • Civil wars, interethnic wars, tribal wars
  • Psychological Wars
  • Cold War
  • Electronic warfare
  • ABC war
  • Total war
  • Asymmetric wars, terrorism, guerrilla warfare, subversive wars
  • Genocides
  • New forms of war: proxy wars (eg in Syria), punctual operations, commandos, targeted air strikes ...,
  • Conduct of war, strategy, tactics, spying
  • Goals of war, expectations of states and societies
  • Life and death of fighters
  • Laws of war, law of war, humanitarian action
  1. Civil society and war

  • Rear control by governments
  • Censorship, propaganda, press and media, police surveillance
  • Hunting for spies, saboteurs, traitors
  • State of mind, trust or despair
  • National Identity, Sacred Union, Patriotism, Nationalism
  • Shortages, rationing, difficulties of daily life
  • Poverty, charity, mutual aid, social action
  • Common law crime in wartime
  • Injured, refugees, displaced, forward- and rear-facing
  • Irruption of fighting in the rear, occupied areas, annexations, violence, hostage-taking, rape
  • Resistance, collaboration, wait-and-seeism
  • Religious and intellectual life
  • Art in the face of war: art at the service of war, art that denounces war
  • The media and the war: photos and articles on the war, working conditions of the journalists...,
  1. The economy in time of war

  • Financing of war, taxation, loans, exchange controls, moratoria
  • Transportation, railways, roads, air and sea, ports, submarine warfare
  • Energy supply
  • Agricultural and industrial production
  • Replacement labor, women, immigrants, prisoners of war
  • Trade, shortages, price increases
  • Fraud, black market, alteration of product quality, speculation, scams
  • Adventurers and new rich
  • Difficulties of owners, savers
  • Social unrest, strikes
  • Tourism, luxury productions

The case of occupied or annexed regions, requisitions, impositions, reduction of displacements, forced enlistment, resistance, repression

  1. After the war

  • War Prices
  • Demographic balance sheet, loss of life, injured, disabled, birth deficit
  • Losses by socio-professional category and region of origin
  • Economic and financial balance, destruction, decline in production, indebtedness, inflation
  • Peace negotiations, treaties, territorial changes, displaced persons, reparations, trials of war criminals
  • Psychological assessment
  • Brutalization, mass movements, pacifism, fascism, spirit of revolt
  • Philosophical and moral reflection, new hopes, despair, decline of rationalism, feelings of the absurdity of the world
  • Progress in techniques, organization of work, medicine
  • Emancipation of women (or not)
  • War and literature, cartoons
  • War and visual arts, painting, engraving, sculpture, war memorials, photography
  • Music in War: Military Music, Classical Music, Songs
  • War, cinema and television
  • Return to the ruins (towns and villages): return or not of the inhabitants, living conditions, restoration of administrative life
  • Reconstruction: its financing, its terms
  • Commemorations: ceremonies and monuments
  • War tourism in the immediate post-war period (visit of graves and battlefields).

Important dates

  • July 10, 2019: Deadline for submissions to the following address:


  • November 15, 2019: Deadline for sending the Final Text
  • 25, 26, and 27 November 2019: 12th International Symposium in Béja - TUNISIA

Terms of submission

  • Individual proposal: a new subject that has not already been published or presented in a scientific symposium.
  • Detailed summary: one page at a minimum (Font: Times New Roman 12; Page: 2.5 cm margin; line spacing: single), with updated scientific C.V.
  • Proposals for papers may be submitted in Arabic, English, French or Spanish.
  • For French or Spanish abstracts, a detailed English translation is required (at least one page: Font: Times New Roman 12, Page: Margins 2.5 cm, Line spacing: simple).

Scientific Committee

  • Ibrahim Muhammed Saadaoui (University of Tunisia / T.M.A. for HSES),
  • Abdennaser Ali Al-Fakki (International University of Africa. Sudan),
  • Adel Ben Youssef (University of Sousse. Tunisia)
  • Adel Zyada (Cairo University, Egypt),
  • Aislu B. Yunusova (Ufa Science Center. Russia),
  • Alain Hugon (University of Caen. France)
  • Ali Zidi (University of Sfax. Tunisia)
  • Ammar Fadhel Hamza (University of  Basrah, Iraq),
  • Antonio Garrido Almonacid (University of Jaén. Spain),
  • Belgacem Tababi (University of Manouba. Tunisia),
  • Boutheina Telmini (University of Tunis. Tunisia)
  • Claudia Martinez Mullen (Wits School of Governance Johannesburg. South Africa),
  • Debarati Sarkar (CLRA, Delhi, India)
  • Elizabeh Bishop (Texas State university. USA),
  • Eric R. Dursteler (Brigham Young University. USA),
  • Fatima Azzahra Guechi (University of Constantine. Algeriaà,
  • Florentine AGOH (University of Bouake, Ivory Coast),
  • Habib Belaid (University of Manouba. Tunisia),
  • Hana Younis (University of Sarajevo. Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • Hassan Amili (University of Hassan II. Mohammedia. Morocco),
  • Hussein Ammari (University of Beni Mellel, Morocco),
  • Idrissa BA (Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Senegal),
  • Idrissa Soïba Traore (University of Bamako, Tchad),
  • Ilaboti Dipo (University of Lomé. Togo),
  • John Chircop (University of Malta),
  • Jomaa Ben Zarwal (University of Batna. Algeria)
  • Kamaran M.K. Mondal (University of Burdwan, West Bengal, India)
  • Kemal Çiçek (Yeni Türkiye Stratejik Araştırma Merkezi. Ankara, Turkey)
  • Khalifa Hammache (University of Constantine. Algeria)
  • Kimba Kapanda Vincent (University of Lubumbashi. DRC),
  • Kouadio Kouassi Kan Adolphe (Alassane University Ouattara, Bouaké. Ivory Coast)
  • Laurence Marfaing (University of Hamburg. Germany)
  • Laurence Michalak (University of California, Berkeley. USA)
  • Lisbeth Haas (University of California, Santa Cruz. USA),
  • Mabrouk Chihi (University of Jendouba. Tunisia),
  • Manel Muhammed Salih (University of Moussul. Iraq),
  • Marie-Christine Allart (University of Lille3, France),
  • Marina Bertoncin (University of Padova. Italy),
  • Martina Hacke (University of Düsseldorf. Germany),
  • Mayéda Ningui Wénssowa (University of Lomé. Togo)
  • Mbida Onambele Max Zachée Saintclair (University of Buea. Cameroon),
  • Meignan Gouedan Richard (Felix Houphouet Boigny University, Abidjan. Ivory Coast)
  • Messina Mvogo Ernest (University of Douala. Cameroon)
  • Minoti Chakravarty-Kaul (New Delhi University. India)
  • Mohammed Arnaout (Al- al Bayit University, Jordan),
  • Mohammed Bdiwi (University of Asyut, Egypt),
  • Mohammed Chadly (University of Algiers, Algeria)
  • Mohammed Ratoul (University of Hassiba ben Bouali, Chlef. Algeria)
  • Mouna Ben Aissa (University of Gabes. Tunisia)
  • Mustafa Ozturk (Fırat Üniversitesi. Elazığ. Türkiye)
  • Nawal Moutazakki (University of Hassan II. Casablanca. Morocco),
  • Nelly Hanna (American university in Cairo. Egypt)
  • Othmane Mansouri (University of Hassan II. Mohammedia. Morocco),
  • Paola Avallone (Italian National Council of Research. Napoli. Italy)
  • Pierre-Éric Fageol (University of Reunion)
  • Prisca Justine EHUI (ISAD. Abidjan. Ivory Coast),
  • Rafael Valenci (University of Seville. Spain),
  • Raffaella Salvemini (Italian National Council of Research. Napoli. Italy)
  • Ralph Schor (University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis. France),
  • Raspaud Michel (Université Grenoble Alpes. France)
  • Salah Haridy (University of Damanhour. Egypt),
  • Sami Abdelmalik al-Bayyadhi (Cairo University, Egypt),
  • Sami Madhi (Mustansiriya University, Baghdad. Iraq),
  • Sergio Luiz Cruz Aguilar (Sao Paulo State University. Brazil)
  • Talal Hmud al-Mikhlafi (University of Ataz. Yemen)
  • Tanoh Raphael Bekoin (University of Bouake, Ivory Coast).
  • Thierry Vanelslander (University of Antwerp. Begium),
  • Yves Guillermou (Toulouse University 3. France)


  • Salle de réunion, ISET - Route de Tunis
    Béja, Tunisia


  • Wednesday, July 10, 2019


  • guerre, société, espoir, désespoir, art, crise, migration, paix, relation internationale, reconstruction


  • Saadaoui Ibrahim Muhammed
    courriel : saadaoui_brahim [at] yahoo [dot] fr

Information source

  • Saadaoui Ibrahim Muhammed
    courriel : saadaoui_brahim [at] yahoo [dot] fr


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

To cite this announcement

« Wars, hope, despair and peace in History », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, April 17, 2019, https://doi.org/10.58079/12g8

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