CfP: Civil Wars and Postwars in the Contemporary Era, 1776-2020. A transnational and global approach

Call for papers, deadline 20 January 2020

In the last years we are witnessing one of the most serious migratory crisis since the Second World War. Some of these migrants decide to leave their countries due to economic, political, social or climate motivations. Nonetheless, a significant part of them have in war, and more specifically in civil wars, their main reason to abandon their lives. In this sense, the internal conflicts that have recently aroused in some parts of the world, as well as the endemic and chronic wars in regions such as Latin America, Middle East or Central Africa, are having a more decisive influence on a global scale. The widespread (and growing) existence of these internal conflicts around the globe places the concept of civil war as a key element to understand nowadays’ world, connecting to the relevance that this type of conflict had in the previous 19th and 20th centuries.

The main aim of our panel is to analyse civil wars regarding their historical importance, thus defining a chronology which goes from the final years of the 18th century until nowadays. We seek to delve into the architecture of the concept ‘civil war’: definition, limits and evolution in the last 225 years, as well as the various forms and manifestations of such a complex phenomenon. Indeed, through the concept ‘civil war’ we can understand several other historical processes of many kinds. We also want to address the relationship between the internal and international levels within civil wars, as many dormant conflicts accelerate and break out due to the appearance of exogenous factors. Moreover, another key element would be how civil wars affect communities in which they emerge, that is, how these conflicts are developed at several levels, how the various forms of violence take form and in which way they disrupt local balances, also affecting the survival and reconstruction of these communities. Finally, we intend to address (civil) postwars as scenarios where war keeps going through different ways and paths, but also as frames of reconstruction and memory.

This panel aims to be a meeting point for debate and the exchange of ideas between colleagues coming from several different latitudes and historiographical traditions. Because of that, we encourage proposal with global, transnational and comparative approaches, and furthermore those aiming to transcend Western geographies, that is to say, coming from other continents such as America, Asia or Africa. With this, our idea is to integrate as much perspectives as possible and to suggest new questions and rethink some concepts through the light of other case studies coming from areas outside the Western world.

The panel will be held within the 15th Meeting of the Spanish Association of Contemporary History, which will take place in Albacete (Spain) between 17-19 September 2020. Scholars interested in presenting a paper at the panel are invited to send a brief abstract of 500 words and a 200-word CV by 20 January 2020 to Miguel Alonso ( or David Alegre (