CfP: Europeanisations from the Bottom and from the Margins. Actors, Representations, and Experiences (late 19th-early 21st centuries)/Européanisations par le bas et les marges. Acteurs, représentations et expériences (fin XIXe-début XXIe siècles)

31. March 2024
Call for papers

The European continent in recent years has been the scene of various consecutive crises (Brexit, management of the migratory crisis and vaccination policies during the pandemic, War in Ukraine, etc.) which are accompanied by a rise in populist and illiberal ideals in several countries - some of which are part of the European Union - and which call into question the very foundations of European cooperation as it has operated in multiple fields since the end of the 19th century. This general context seems to have encouraged a proliferation of research aimed at demonstrating the diversity of individual and collective undertakings that support the creation of links, connections and cooperation on a European scale (Warlouzet 2018).1

In the wake of the historiographical revival launched some fifteen years ago, which aims to revisit the history of the European project by reinserting  it into a geographically and time-wise broader history (sometimes theorized under the concept of global history), several studies have focused on the various facets of Europeanisation. Widely mobilized in law and political science since the late 1990s, the concept of Europeanisation has increasingly attracted the attention of historians (Kaelble and Kirsch 2008; Conway and Patel 2010; Osmont, Robin-Hivert, Seidel and Spoerer 2012; Meyer and Poncharal 2012; Bancel, Quin and Vonnard 2016; Greiner, Pichler and Vermeiren 2022). Used in a historical sense,  Europeanisation is approached not primarily as a concept, but rather as “a variety of political, social, economic, and cultural processes that promote (or modify) a sustainable strengthening of intra-European connections and similarities through acts of emulation, exchange, and entanglement, and that have been experienced and labelled as ‘European’ in the course of history” (von Hirschhausen and Patel 2010, 2). This  broad spectrum allows us to speak of Europeanisations in the plural. In this respect, two precautions need to be taken. Firstly, as Meyer and Poncharal note, care should be taken with the “présupposés téléologiques impliqués dans un tel concept de changement directionnel” and in this sense, counter currents such as anti-Europeanism, de-Europeanisation phenomena and alternatives must be considered (Meyer and Poncharal  2012, p. 118). Secondly, it is important to take a broad view of these processes. Thus, in terms of their origins, motivations, and temporalities, Europeanisations go beyond the history of the political and institutional development of the European Union and its territorial borders.

Based on these observations, and benefiting from the contributions of the above-mentioned research, this international colloquium aims to extend these ideas on Europeanisation by bringing together contributions based on two main approaches: history from below and history from the margins. Broadly speaking, the question to be addressed is: to what extent have "ordinary" citizens and concrete practices been key elements in the Europeanisation processes at work before and during European integration?
Looking at Europeanisation from below leads us to reflect on the various representations and practices of Europe, or, to put it another way, on "l’Europe vécue" (Girault 1995, p. 81), focusing on individual and collective actors emerging or evolving in a wide variety of social fields (media, sport, environment, etc.). The notion of Europe is not approached here solely as a geopolitical phenomenon involving state and parastatal institutions, but is also understood more broadly as a social, political, cultural, and economic space under construction, and a frame of reference affecting all players in society.

This colloquium will complement this approach with a study of Europeanisation from the margins, in the sense of temporal and geographical margins. We'll be looking at the mechanisms at work over an extended period (19th and 20th centuries), in particular in countries or regions on the periphery of the European Union that have until now received little attention in the framework of European integration, such as Switzerland, Finland, the Balkan countries and the Ukraine. These countries - and their citizens - have played an important role in the Europeanisation of several fields (e.g., culture, sport, telecommunications), and may have been crossroads in the political history of European cooperation, particularly during the Cold War. The question of the Eastern bloc and anti-liberal Europeanisations will also be included. Furthermore, our focus will turn to non-European actors (Chakrabarty 2008), such as South America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, which are also concerned by Europeanisation aspirations, as is the case with Euro-African projects, or marked by Europeanisation processes, whether during colonization or after independence.

The focus is on the bottom and the margins, not only as objects of influence, but also as subjects of action. In addition to examining how these  processes have been experienced on a day-to-day basis, we will also look at how they have been initiated.

To address these different aspects, we intend to gather contributions around three main research axes:

1. Unknown figures in the Europeanisation process
Overcoming a political history of European integration, cantered on the emergence of institutions that were themselves imagined by a few central figures, has been one of the challenges of European studies for several decades.
The aim of this colloquium is to look at the diversity of individual, collective and peripheral actors - ordinary citizens, intellectual and artistic elites, experts, cultural, sports, or business associations, political parties, trade unions and international organizations, secular or religious institutions, publishing houses, journals, lobbies, movements and networks within and outside political and continental Europe - who have participated in the  making of Europe in the broadest sense, by playing a role in the processes of Europeanisation.

2. Models, identities and representations, reflecting the diversity of forms of Europeanisations
How is Europe viewed from below and on the margins? We'll be looking at the ways in which Europe invades the infra-state and local levels, and is experienced daily, whether consciously or unconsciously. What traces does it leave behind? To what extent is the framework of thought influenced? How have the processes of Europeanisation, and the resulting experiences, been perceived in terms of identities and representations? What are their effects on civil society and their impact on associative life and the structure of organizations? Finally, we'll seek to identify the frictions, contradictions, tensions, and oppositions that accompany the encounter between the European and local scales. For example, a  discrepancy between policies thought to be part of Europeanisation (in Brussels or elsewhere) and which are not experienced as such could be questioned.

3. Instruments, practices, experiences, and results of Europeanisation processes from below and from the margins
The European project is not just an ideal conceived and nurtured in intellectual circles, or a phenomenon covering abstract principles, but also the expression of concrete practices, economic, social, and cultural realities, and experiences. We'll be looking at how actors seize the paradigm and the European scale and translate them into experience and practice. These practices sometimes embody the intention to "make Europe", as in the case of twinning, youth encounters, school exchanges, "pedagogies of memory" or radio or TV programs (Radio Free Europe, Europe 1, Eurovision, Arte) aimed at strengthening inter- and intra-European relations (Bossuat 2012). In other cases, forms of Europeanisation accompany practices without always being conscious or politicized. This is particularly true of tourism, migration, certain forms of commercial cooperation, cultural events, and sporting competitions. Intentionally Europeanist or not, these initiatives flourish in a wide variety of fields, including media, arts, business, sport, education, technology, science, the environment, literature, and local heritage. We'll be looking at how Europe is materializing in these different areas, and how these experiences are nurturing new ideas of Europe and new forms of Europeanisation. By mobilizing this dual approach (from below and from the margins), the contributions brought together in this colloquium will:
• bring to the fore new actors and agents of Europeanisation processes within the EU, but also outside political and continental Europe, highlighting social groups and non-governmental organizations that have received little attention to date, and thus bring light to other places, other spaces,  rediscovering Europe elsewhere than where we expect to
see it;
• highlight the multiplicity of motivations underlying Europeanisations (liberal, anti-liberal, sometimes even involuntary) and the different ways in which they are embraced;
• question the different scales of these processes (local, regional, national, European, international, etc.);
• mobilize new sources (municipal and private archives, oral sources, regional press, etc.);
• compare chronologies, and even question those generally used to divide up the various phases of Europeanisation;
• study the bottom-up and marginal mechanisms of Europeanisation phenomena, shifts that offer different angles of observation on these non-linear processes, not always perceived positively by contemporaries.

As the aim of this scientific event is to contribute to the clarification of the very concept of Europeanisation and, more broadly, to a political, social and cultural history of Europe, we encourage contributions from junior and senior researchers specializing in European history, but also in the history of the media, sport, the environment, technology, art, education, etc., or from related disciplines (anthropology, political science, sociology, etc.), who wish to participate in a dialogue regarding the European scale in their fields of expertise.

Professor Kiran Klaus Patel (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität) will give the opening lecture to set the frame for the discussions.

A conference will also be given by Professor emeritus Christophe Charle (Université Paris 1Panthéon-Sorbonne).

A concluding round table is planned in order to discuss the major points raised during the symposium (different visions of Europeanisation,  chronology, possible fields of research).

Practical information
The colloquium will be held in Lausanne and will benefit from the excellent infrastructure of the university campus, as well as the presence of the Jean Monnet Foundation for Europe, which holds important archives for researchers interested in the history of European cooperation. A visit to the Foundation is planned during the event.

We aim to gather as many participants as possible on site, but speakers will also be able to participate remotely (via Zoom software) in case of absolute necessity and on explicit request.

The working languages of the symposium will be French and English. Papers must be supported by a projected presentation in the other language. Papers (approx. 6000 words) will be submitted a few weeks before the event. A collective publication based on the conference contributions (in
English and/or French) is planned.

Participants' travel and accommodation expenses will be covered (in full or in part, depending on the outcome of grant applications) if these cannot be covered by their employing institution. Priority will be given to junior researchers.

Application process and calendar
March 15, 2024: Proposals to be sent to the following address:

Submit your proposal (max. 350 words in Word or PDF format), including a title, a clear research question, a bibliography (max. 5 references), a short bio-bibliographical note (max. 15 lines) with your intention or not to travel to Lausanne.
April 30, 2024: Notification of acceptance after a selection process conducted with the help of
members of the Scientific Committee.
October 31, 2024: Submission of a paper of around 6,000 words, which will be made available to
colleagues taking part in the conference.
November 28-29, 2024: International conference on the campus of the University of Lausanne.
February 1, 2025: Submission of papers selected for publication.


1 According to Warlouzet, the term "cooperation", unlike "construction", also used in European studies, has the
advantage of extending both geographically and temporally beyond the post-World War II context marked by the
building of the European Economic Community (EEC) and, more broadly, of the "Europe-organization" (Frank, 2004).

Organised by
History Department and Sport Sciences Institute (ISSUL) of the University of Lausanne


University of Lausanne


Carmen Crozier

Event language(s)

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