Rethinking repertoires: popular politics in the long nineteenth century

Seminar, 26 March 2021, online

Online seminar Research School Political History, 26 March 2021

You are cordially invited to attend our seminar on nineteenth-century popular politics. The inspiration of this seminar is Charles Tilly’s work on protest repertoires. According to his work, repertoires of popular protest changed fundamentally along the nineteenth century. Strikes took the place of food riots, charivaris made way for demonstrations and tax rebellions left the stage for public meetings. In this seminar, our aim is to see if Tilly’s riot-to-demonstration thesis can withstand
recent trends in political history. These shifts include the substitution of a national for a more local, or conversely, transnational perspective, the focus on everyday history, and a broadening of our understanding of what it means to “act political”.

As such, recent historical studies have made our picture of popular politics and protest repertoires richer and more diverse, but also more disconnected than ever. This fragmentation begs the question if there is still a larger story to tell about the nature of “popular politics” in the nineteenth century. Our seminar wants to address this question by revisiting the work of the late Charles Tilly. In the first part, two keynote speakers will introduce the theoretical stakes: Maartje Janse (Leiden University) and Katrina Navickas (University of Hertfordshire). In the second part, researchers Adriejan van Veen (Radboud University) and Antoine Renglet (Goethe University) will present a few case studies to add some empirical flavor to the debate, after which there will be a general discussion, and a chance for reactions, questions, and reflections from the audience. 

The meeting is designed to provide inspiration to beginning researchers and doctoral students as well as to seasoned academics.

On behalf of the Research School Political History, we warmly invite everyone to attend our online seminar on the 26th of March, at 14 p.m. A Zoom-invitation will be provided after registration.

Research master students can write a 500 word report on the seminar, to be published on the website of the OPG. Writing a report is rewarded with 1 ECTS.

Please register before 15 March 2020 by sending an email to

All the best,
The organizing committee. Jasper Bongers, Martin Schoups, Dirk Jan Wolffram