Call for papers – social movements and memories

Please find below the call for papers for the panel “Social Movements and Memories”, proposed to the ECPR general conference 2014.

Please feel free to distribute this call to interested colleagues.

Please send paper abstracts (max. 250 words) by 26 January 2014

Social Movements and Memorie

Chair: Priska Daphi (Humboldt University Berlin)

Discussant: Lorenzo Zamponi (European University Institute)

Though large protests often surprise observers, they hardly start from scratch. Mostly, they are rooted in previous mobilisations with respect to their diagnostic framing, forms of organisation, and repertoires. Memories of previous mobilisations crucially influence which activities are considered helpful or successful and which are not. Hence, analysing memories allows crucial insights into social movement dynamics and continuity. Memories are, at the same time, outcomes of mobilisation and significant factors in shaping further mobilisation.

In the last few years, the interest in collective memory has been constantly growing among scholars of contentious politics. In this context, memory studies and in particular the sociology of memory based on the seminal work of Maurice Halbwachs, have become fundamental tools in advancing our understanding of social movements. These approaches provide useful insights into the symbolic construction of the reality in which collective action takes place. On the other hand, contentious politics approaches inform the growing number of studies on the conflictual dynamics of memory.

This panel aims to discuss the role of memories in social movements. How does the past and its public representation influence mobilisation? How do social movements participate in the construction of public memory? How and why do some specific events from the past become fundamental symbols for social and political contention, while others do not? How does diffusion of practices, symbols, and repertoires of mobilisation work over time?

We welcome submissions coming from different disciplinary fields, in the attempt to bring together the scholarships on social movements and memory studies. Each abstract will be evaluated for: quality and clarity of the research question; methodological precision of the comparative approach; theoretical originality of the contribution and discussion of available knowledge; relevance and pertinence to the panel’s theme.

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