CfP: 100 years of universal suffrage in Luxembourg

Call for papers, deadline 1 February 2019

2019 will mark the 100th anniversary of the introduction of universal suffrage in Luxembourg. On this occasion, the Chamber of Deputies and the National Museum of History and Art (MNHA) will organise a major exhibition on the historical background, the establishment of universal suffrage in 1919 and the consequences of the democratisation process of Luxembourg’s society. The exhibition will run at the MNHA from the 26th September 2019 until the 6th September 2020. A number of publications, conferences as well as educational activities are planned.

In this context, a scientific conference will be held on the 28th and 29th February 2020. It will cover both the origins of the discussion on universal suffrage and the struggle surrounding its introduction in the Grand Duchy as well as its establishment in the years 1917-1919 and its effects in the following decades.

Contributions to the conference should focus on universal suffrage in Luxembourg and European history following a comparative and interdisciplinary approach (political, social, literary, art and media studies, etc.). A striking aspect of the Luxembourg situation was that the introduction of universal suffrage concerned all adult women as well as a considerable number of men who were excluded from the census voting system. The contributions taking into account these two categories will receive priority attention.

More specifically, the conference should bring together researchers interested in the following questions:

  1. Census suffrage and democracy

  • Census and universal suffrage: arguments and discourses
  • Emancipation movements
  • Influence of international developments and discourses on the debate in Luxembourg
  • Law and emancipation
  • 1830 / 1848 / 1919: universal suffrage and revolutions
  • Monarchs and census suffrage
  • Universal suffrage, a claim by the left or by the right
  • Political and societal movements and their attitudes towards the suffrage for women and for men
  • Feminism, suffrage and visions of gender complementarity
  1. The introduction of universal suffrage and its consequences

  • Democracy, language and nation
  • War and democracy
  • Monarchy and democracy
  • Parliamentary or popular democracy? The influence of the international communist movement
  • Major debates on electoral reform: universal suffrage, proportional suffrage, voting-splitting between candidate lists, introduction of constituencies, payment of representatives, concurrently held mandates, incompatibilities, compulsory voting, questions regarding electoral sections, referendum, …
  • Democracy and the crisis of parliamentarism in the interwar period
  • The parties and the new electorate after 1919
  • Parliament and the fear of the communist danger
  • The Chamber of Deputies during the Second World War
  1. Participation and representation since the end of the Second World War

  • The changing image of the role of members of parliament
  • 1930s and 1960s: the disappearance and the return of female politicians
  • The 1968 Cultural revolution and democracy
  • The emancipation of married women
  • Demands for gender equality
  • Social and demographic evolution, electorate and representativeness of the parliament
  • Right to vote and nationality
  • Calling into question of the electoral system: parity, single constituency, compulsory voting, vote splitting between candidate lists, …
  • Marches: democracy in the street?
  • Participation, referendum and direct democracy yesterday and today
  • Politics and polls
  • Democracy 4.0
  • Between ideology and marketing: the evolution of political campaigns

Conditions de soumission

Other thematic proposals regarding universal suffrage are welcome. Presentations should last for not more than 20 minutes. The conference will be held in French, German and English.

Please send an abstract of your contribution proposal (maximum 300 words), a short CV and a selection of previous publications related to the subject (maximum 5) to the following address:

until 01.02.2019 

A publication of the papers is planned. Deadline for submission: 01.01.2020.

They must not exceed a length of 40.000 characters (spaces and notes included). Contributions must either be written in French, German or English and follow the style guide of the periodical “Hémecht” (see attached document). The publishing committee reserves the right to publish only a selection based on the quality of the contributions and the overall coherence of the publication.

Scientific coordinators

  • Régis Moes, conservateur au Musée national d'histoire et d'art
  • Claude Frieseisen, Secrétaire général de la Chambre des Députés
  • Renée Wagener, PhD, assistante scientifique auprès de la Chambre des Députés