Projects

Comparative perspectives on right wing women and social action in 20th century Europe

This project will explore the feminization of and leadership roles played by women in nationalist and populist politics. Conservative parties’ capacity to mobilize women at the local echelon, through their investment in local government and social action seems to be one of the key common features of European right-wing parties. The politics of social welfare and popular education in citizenship need to be constructed as a cross-national study of women’s mobilizations throughout Europe. These women have not emerged from a historical vacuum and we will seek to develop a historically-grounded understanding of the persistently powerful connection between women and conservative politics by exploring the involvement of women in both political and voluntary networks and their changing comprehension of the relationship between individual and collective welfare.

Contact Clarisse Berthezène


Families in the Quest for Welfare and Democracy

Sally Alexander, Laura Downs, Paul Ginsborg, eds.

This project looks at families as subjects of, and actors in the creation and delivery of welfare and social services in late 19th and 20th century Europe. Our intention is to place the family at the center of the inquiry, and to consider families in relation to welfare, to voluntary welfare associations, and to politics (particularly democratic politics) through a series of essays that, taken together, cover a broad geographic and chronological sweep: Europe east and west, south and north, from the second half of the 19th century to the early years of the 21st.

Contact Laura Downs or Paul Ginsborg or Sally Alexander


The co-constitution of public and private actors: Building the field of social protection in the 19th and 20th centuries.

This project explores public-private interactions in the field of social protection by looking at how such interactions have been at the source of new organisations and new areas for both public and private intervention since the 19th century. Many studies have stressed how public and private agents may collaborate or compete with each other for legitimacy, resources and responsibility, but it is seldom noticed that public actors are often at the very origin of private initiatives, and vice versa. Moreover, the private and public sectors are involved in a vast array of (un-)mutual relationships, e.g. virtuously growing out of each other, preying or living as a parasite on each other and, sometimes, dying out together.

For more information contact:

Fabio Giomi: [email protected]

Célia Keren: [email protected]

Morgane Labbé: [email protected]


Who do the children belong to?

This project places within the same frame the removal of indigenous children from their patents in colonial territories, the transportation of working-class British children to the white dominions, and the growing international ‘trade’ in children for adoption. Doing so, it traces the shift from a nineteenth-century discourse in which children were regarded as a national resource, to present-day child-rearing norms that emphasise the emotional and psychological dimensions of parent-child attachment and the integrity of the family. It examines the advent of the modern welfare state and the ways in which it changed the status of children in their nations and families throughout the last century.

Contact Emily Baughan for more details.