Call for Papers: Acting Together - Political and Economic Spaces of Collective Action in Modern Rural Europe, ca. 1850—2000

RHN 71/2016 | Call

Organised by Dr. Anette Schlimm, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich)

23-24 February 2017, Center for Advanced Studies, LMU Munich, Germany

Deadline for submissions: 28 October 2016


Acting Together:
Political and Economic Spaces of Collective Action in Modern Rural Europe, ca. 1850—2000

The workshop addresses the manifold changes in rural spaces and their influence on rural populations since the 19th century. It is especially concerned with changes in the forms of collective actions in rural associations and communities. Pre-modern rural communities were characterized by overlapping spaces of collectivity: the management of common grounds, the influence of religious or legal ties on the social structure, and specific institutions of social control and collective action. Social, economic, juridical and political transformations since the 19th century changed the possibilities of social action not only in urban but also in rural environments as ‘the individual’ became the leading social figure of modernity. Nonetheless, collaboration, collectivity and co-operation continued to play an important part of social reality, especially in rural areas. The workshop investigates the variety of cooperative practices in rural Europe as well as the interdependent transformations of rural public and semi-public spaces.

It will bring together scholars from different disciplines (history, sociology, political science, cultural anthropology, geography etc.) interested in the social and economic changes since the 19th century. We will discuss institutionalized as well as spontaneous patterns of collective action in different social sectors, particularly common economic activities, communal protests, or political and economic associations etc. The workshop provides the opportunity to present case studies of collective action in rural Europe and discuss them in the light of more general questions:

  • Who were the key players of joint rural actions? Were there differences in terms of gender or social status? Which role was played by actors from small towns or cultural centers? Can we observe social inequalities?
  • How did “traditions” serve as (narrative) reference points for collective actions? Which patterns of action survived from the early modern period, which ones emerged newly, which were re-established? How much did contemporary attributions as “rural”, “traditional”, or “agrarian” influence the spaces and forms of collective action in rural Europe?
  • How did collective action influence other forms of local behavior? E.g.: How did economic co-operation influence forms of political negotiation? Did religious or cultural associations foster forms of social co-operation which were translated to other sectors of local life, especially political or economic spheres?
  • What kinds of incidents triggered rural collective actions? Which circumstances were considered as “problematic” and therefore demanded to join forces? Did rural actors dissociate themselves from other collectivities as “the society”, “the nation” or “the state”? Or did they consider themselves part of emerging regional, national or transnational entities or public spheres?


Please send an abstract of your presentation (ca. 300 words) and a short CV (including main research areas) (max. 1/2 page) to The workshop will be hold in English.

Deadline: October 28th, 2016.

Participants will get their travel and accommodation expenses reimbursed.