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The Dark Side of the Belle Époque. Political violence and Armed Associations in Europe before the First World War

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 PREWArAs project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the PREWArAs project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "PREWArAs" about.

paramilitary    understand    mass    aftermath    regarded    fill    image    associations    gap    united    armed    permeated    lasting    shift    hungarian    overview    transnational    post    iberian    phenomenon    political    19th    thousands    eacute    repertoires    1914    militias    brotherhoods    shared    patterns    paradigm    generally    europeans    members    belle    outbreak    poque    establishing    politics    movements    characterised    individual    promises    kingdom    legitimate    perpetrated    hundreds    examines    male    shaped    purposes    scholars    violence    course    mobilisation    austro    germany    action    groups    peninsula    vigilante    engaged    progress    agents    reassuring    despite    century    violent    life    experiences    france    practices    represented    historical    exerted    origins    cultures    world    massacres    collective    empire    war    first    societies    team    peace    group    identities    acted    continent    paved    italy    radicalisation    shaping    era    influence    social   

Project "PREWArAs" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: VIA 8 FEBBRAIO 2
city: PADOVA
postcode: 35122

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Italy [IT]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙448˙776 €
 EC max contribution 1˙448˙776 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-10-01   to  2021-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI PADOVA IT (PADOVA) coordinator 1˙448˙776.00


 Project objective

This research project is a comparative historical study which examines the role of militias, paramilitary movements, armed organisations, and vigilante groups before the First World War (from the late 19th century to 1914). Its goal is to investigate how and to what extent organised political violence permeated European societies even before the outbreak of the Great War. The practice of organised violence represented a mass transnational experience in an era, the so-called Belle Époque, which is generally seen as characterised by peace and progress. Armed associations were male brotherhoods that experienced and perpetrated group violence. They also acted as agents of political mobilisation, shaping individual and collective identities. Despite their different origins and purposes, these groups shared repertoires of practices and political cultures in which violence was regarded as a fully legitimate course of action. The project will provide a comprehensive, multi-scale overview of armed organisations in pre-1914 Europe. Although they represent a mass phenomenon, no comparative research on them has been carried on so far. The project will fill this gap by establishing a team of scholars who focus on Germany, Italy, the Iberian Peninsula, France, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the United Kingdom. The project also promises to bring about a paradigm shift in our understanding of the Great War and post-war paramilitary movements. Hundreds of thousands of male Europeans engaged in various violent practices as members of these groups. These experiences shaped patterns which exerted a lasting influence on the political and social life of the whole continent. The mass experience of violence among pre-war armed associations should be taken into account not only to challenge the reassuring image of the Belle Époque, but also to understand to what extent the radicalisation of politics paved the way to the massacres of the Great War and the turmoil of its aftermath.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Matteo Millan
Introduction: Strikebreaking During Europe\'s Belle Époque
published pages: 553-569, ISSN: 0265-6914, DOI: 10.1177/0265691419863982
European History Quarterly 49/4 2019-12-16
2019 Alessandro Saluppo
Strikebreaking and Anti-Unionism on the Waterfront: The Shipping Federation, 1890–1914
published pages: 570-596, ISSN: 0265-6914, DOI: 10.1177/0265691419864491
European History Quarterly 49/4 2019-12-16
2019 Amerigo Caruso
Joining Forces against ‘Strike Terrorism’: The Public-Private Interplay in Policing Strikes in Imperial Germany, 1890–1914
published pages: 597-624, ISSN: 0265-6914, DOI: 10.1177/0265691419864007
European History Quarterly 49/4 2019-12-16
2019 Claire Morelon
Social Conflict, National Strife, or Political Battle? Violence and Strikebreaking in Late Habsburg Austria
published pages: 650-676, ISSN: 0265-6914, DOI: 10.1177/0265691419875564
European History Quarterly 49/4 2019-12-16
2019 Matteo Millan
‘The Public Force of the Private State’ – Strikebreaking and Visions of Subversion in Liberal Italy (1880s to 1914)
published pages: 625-649, ISSN: 0265-6914, DOI: 10.1177/0265691419864500
European History Quarterly 49/4 2019-12-16

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