Counter-Revolution and the Making of Conservatism(s)

Juliette Reboul's picture
Call for Papers
January 15, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Diplomacy and International Relations, European History / Studies, Intellectual History, Modern European History / Studies, Political History / Studies

Counter-Revolution and the Making of Conservatism(s)
Transnationalism and the circulation of conservative ideas from the mid-seventeenth century until the First World War
14 and 15 June 2018
Soeterbeeck conference centre, Ravenstein, Netherlands

Matthijs Lok (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Alicia Montoya (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen), Juliette Reboul (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)

With the rise to prominence of conservative ideologies across the Western world, the study of the genesis and diversity of conservative and ‘anti-modern’ European traditions has gained new urgency. This conference has two aims - the first is to discuss the long-term transformation of conservative ideas and rhetoric through the lense of global and transnational connections. Early conservative movements are often studied in national contexts, and the foreign roots of political imagination hidden and buried away by cohesive and structural discourses.

We posit that the transfer of conservative ideas via travel, counter-revolutionary migration or through the international book trade, helped shape seemingly homegrown conservative ideologies. It was only three years ago that global intellectual historian David Armitage pointed out ‘there is still no synoptic account of the late eighteenth century as the age of global anti-democratic counter-revolution’. So far cosmopolitanism has been regarded as mainly a progressive phenomenon, while forms of conservative or even reactionary trans- and internationalism have been ignored on the whole.

The second aim of this conference is to promote the systematic study of Euro-pean Conservatisms and possibly sketch a varied typology of modern conserva-tive thinking based on the notions of dialogue and circulation - between Enligh-tenment philosophy and conservative thinkers, between Revolution and Coun-ter-Revolution, between high-, middle- and low-brow conservative actors, as well as between European intellectual centres and their peripheries. There is still much conceptual and empirical confusion regarding the interrelation of notions such as ‘conservatism’, ‘counter revolution’ and ‘counter-Enlightenment’ in the period from the late eighteenth century until the rise of fascism in the 1920s and 1930s.

This inter-disciplinary event will particularly welcome early career researchers and scholars who have studied or shown an interest in the early stages of modern conservatism in any European context or beyond.
Themes may include (but not exclusively):

- Actors: Ideologues and popularisers of conservative thought
- Conservative Cosmopolitanism?
- Counter-Revolution and the transnational influence of exiles
- The Conservative and Counter-Revolutionary Book Trade
- Counter-Revolution, Religion and Nationalism
- Acceptance and rejection of European Conservatism beyond Europe

To participate, please send a 400-word abstract and a short CV including current institutional affiliation and relevant publication to before 15 January 2018.

This conference is facilitated by the generosity of the University of Amsterdam and Radboud University Nijmegen. It will take place in the former Augustinian women’s convent of Soeterbeeck, in Ravenstein near Nijmegen. More informa-tion on the organisation of the workshop and accommodation will be provided to participants in due course.

Contact Info: 

To participate, please send a 400-word abstract and a short CV including current institutional affiliation and relevant publication to before 15 January 2018.

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