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The Continuation of Politics with Other Means: War and Protest, 1914-2011

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - COPWOM (The Continuation of Politics with Other Means: War and Protest, 1914-2011)

Reporting period: 2017-10-01 to 2019-03-31

"What is the problem/issue being addressed?
The historiographies of war and of protest, apart from numerous specific studies, are only infrequently brought together, and there is virtually no comparative or integrative literature. Hitherto studies have often focused on Cold War peace movements, and especially non-violent strategies of protest. Almost exclusively in such instances, the reader is asked to maintain a bi-polar vision: peace/war; peaceful/violent. This research project is not so much concerned with peace and protest, but with war and protest, hence the main focus on protest generated by war and performed while the war in question was being waged. This perspective helps to contextualise and problematize the intuitive insight that “peace is good and war is bad”.

Why is it important for society?
COPWOM is an interdisciplinary and distinctively European research project into social movements during times of war in the period from the First World War to the Iraq War that left behind powerful legacies in the political culture of societies around the globe. At a critical time when European society is exercised by the implications of warfare, the emergence of new forms of protest politics and the relative absence of anti-war dissent, COPWOM is invested in challenging the premises often underpinning such thorny debates. Protest in relation to war has most commonly been considered in terms of peace movements, rather than integrated into a vision of the Europe-wide manifestations of war-time protest, the partial erosion of pacifist movements under conditions of war, and the use of state power to counter the challenge of war-time protest. Equally importantly, contestations of legitimacy – the essence of protest – remain an under-researched interface in societies’ experiences of and responses to war; and no systematic attempt has been made to place war studies and protest research − both among the most vibrant fields of contemporary history – into close conversation with each other.

What are the overall objectives?
COPWOM has been pursuing the following objectives:
• to articulate the relationship between war and protest in the twentieth century and beyond, and to develop further the ongoing debate surrounding war as a channel of cultural, social, and political change.
• to advance research into the comparative dimension of war-time protest by embedding this investigation in an analytical framework focused on the methods and questions of historical enquiry into social movements, and to give further specificity to the debate surrounding processes of politicisation and depoliticisation with a particular focus on the variety of motivations that drove war-time protest beyond just pacifism.
• to examine the reciprocal impact of changing gender roles and war-time protest dynamics.
• to illuminate the ways in which war-time protest manifested itself in a number of different wars, including both the major and well-known wars of the twentieth century and some of the ""forgotten wars"" that offer a specific constellation of power and protest (i.e. World War I, the Spanish Civil War, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Soviet-Afghan War, the Kosovo War, and the Iraq War)."
Academic Workshops and Panels:
• 9/10 April 2018, workshop “War and protest during the Cold War”, Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
• 6 April 2018, panel “’Two, Three, Many Vietnams’: Protest against the Vietnam War as Part of Other Emancipatory and Revolutionary Struggles”, European Social Science History Conference, Belfast

Presentations:
• 12 March 2019, “Revolutionary Protest in the Vietnam War Era”, seminar series, School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences, Bangor University
• 11 December 2018, “Korea und Vietnam: Krieg - Protest - Kalter Krieg”, Universität Koblenz-Landau
• 26 October 2018, “Die Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln: Krieg, Protest, Kalter Krieg”, research series 19th and 20th century history, Universität Bielefeld
• 28 May 2018, “The Continuation of Politics with Other Means: War and Protest”, research seminar series “Sozialgeschichte und Soziale Bewegungen”, Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
• 10 April 2018, “The Continuation of Politics with Other Means: War and Protest”, academic workshop “War and protest during the Cold War”, Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
• 23/24 March 2018, workshop “’1968’ – The Global and the Local”, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. session chair
• 22 March 2018, “The Continuation of Politics with Other Means: Violence and Protest in the Vietnam War Era”, Georgetown University, BMW Center for German and European Studies

Public events:
• 14 March 2019, “Revolutionary Protest in the Vietnam War Era”, Social Histories of Revolution: the long 1960s, Basil Jellicoe community hall, St Joseph’s Flats, Drummond Crescent, London
• 5. Bochumer Disput, Globalisierungskonflikte vor Ort, “Ohnmacht - humanitäre Hilfe - Protest: Globale Kriege, lokale Konsequenzen” [Powerlessness – humanitarian aid – protest: global wars, local consequences]

Film screenings:
• 5 December 2018, film series “Krieg und Protest”: Cuba und Vietnam, short films by Santiago Álvarez, Endstation Kino im Bahnhof Langendreer, Bochum
• 7 November 2018, film series, “Krieg und Protest”: U.S. documentary protest, short films by the Newsreel Collective, Endstation Kino im Bahnhof Langendreer, Bochum
• 24 October 2018, film series “Krieg und Protest“: Vietnam auf Schauplätzen Westberlins [Vietnam in West Berlin settings], short films by Harun Farocki, Endstation Kino im Bahnhof Langendreer, Bochum
• 19/20 October 2018, retrospective “Krieg und Protest: Eingreifende Filme im Zeitalter des Vietnamkriegs”, Unabhängiges Filmfest Osnabrück, films by Peter Ulbrich, Harun Farocki, and Chris Marker

Research findings have been disseminated through:
a) Academic and non-academic speaker events (international academic workshop organised; panel at international academic conference organised; 7 presentations to academic audiences in Germany, the UK, and the US; presentation to public discussion series; public symposium organised);
b) Public film screenings and film festivals, including introductory presentations and audience discussions (screening of 12 films from 5 countries);
c) The project website: http://www.isb.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/forschung/drittmittel/COPWOM.html.en;
d) Discussions at the Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr University Bochum and its seminars and post-graduate training programmes.

Research findings will be disseminated through:
a) A peer-reviewed monograph (under contract with Bloomsbury Publishing, to be submitted shortly);
b) A peer-reviewed collection of essays (submitted to Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements for publication in 2020);
c) Continued cooperation with the Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr University Bochum;
d) Transfer of the project’s film programme to Bangor University’s Pontio cultural centre.
The project is creating impact by intervening in current discussions about the repercussions of global warfare and by furthering public awareness of the crucial historical role of war-time protest in the European political heritage. It has advanced the potential and future career prospects of the researcher. The research infrastructure that has emerged will have a sustainable impact beyond the duration of the fellowship.