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The Limits of Demobilization, 1917-1923: Paramilitary Violence in Europe and the Wider World


The purpose of the proposed project is to think afresh about the violent aftermath of the Great War and its legacies. This will be achieved by forging a team of researchers who focus on the violent conflicts that erupted in many of the former combatant states after 1917/18 from a comparative or transnational global perspective and the ways in which these conflicts were avoided in other areas. The project will differ from previous attempts to analyse the violent transition from war to peace in this period in several ways: The first is its comparative and transational complexion. Despite recent attempts to write transnational histories of the Great War, the global history of its immediate aftermath is yet to be written. War and the politics of conflicts (and its aftermaths) are still largely studied according to divisions of national identity or ethnic difference. And yet clearly the First World War was a phenomenon that crossed frontiers and left legacies that posessed common themes. Indeed one of its consequences, especially in East-Central Europe but also in the shatter-zones of the Ottoman Empire and colonial contexts, was the destruction of frontiers, creating spaces without order or unquestioned government authority. The project will thus approach its subject matter by zones of victory, of defeat, and of mutilated or ambivalent victories rather than nation-states as a novel way of overcoming nation-centric frameworks of analysis. In terms of chronological scope, the investigation moves away from the traditional emphasis on the years 1914-18 as the crucible years of twentieth-century history. Furthermore, the project is at once European and global, investigating the emergence of violent conflicts in both the shatter-zones of European land empires and colonial conflicts.

Call for proposal

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4 Dublin

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Ireland Eastern and Midland Dublin
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Donal Doolan (Mr.)
Principal investigator
Robert Benjamin Gerwarth (Dr.)
EU contribution
No data

Beneficiaries (1)