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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.

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

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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