Civil Wars in History

University College Dublin, 10/11 September 2021
The Centre for War Studies, University College Dublin, in collaboration with the Society for the History of War,
invites proposals for a conference on the global history of civil wars (c. 1500-2020).

Confirmed keynote speakers include Stathis Kalyvas (Oxford), Penny Roberts (Warwick), David Armitage (Harvard) and Kirsten Weld (Harvard).

Papers and panels cover a range of themed topics from the Early Modern period to the 20th century.

​Latest Conference Programme updated 2nd September available here >>

Civil war, or violent confrontation within a single political unit, is one of the oldest forms of armed conflict. It features prominently, for example, in the classical works of Thucydides and Tacitus, always as a stark warning that war within a state or community ought to be avoided at all costs because of its particularly disruptive and destructive nature.

Despite much scholarly attention to the widespread phenomenon of internal armed conflicts, comparative histories of civil wars remain a remarkably under-developed area of historical enquiry.

 While political scientists have paid much attention to civil wars after 1990, often from a comparative perspective, historians have tended to study particular cases of internal conflict such as the Irish Civil War, the American Civil War, the Chinese Civil War, the Russian Civil War or the Spanish Civil War.

 Instead of considering the origins, forms, and consequences of civil wars across time and space, historians have preferred the reconstruction of historical particularity over analysis of potential connections or similarities between individual cases.

Due to continued uncertainty around international travel in September, the event will be held as a virtual conference via Zoom.

People can register to the event by emailing and will be sent a link to the event in closer to the time of the conference.

There is a modest fee of 15 Euros for attending the conference (except for graduate students and independent scholars who can register free of charge). This is to help pay for editing video of the keynote talks which will be made available online at a later point. We also hope to create a small financial surplus which will be used as a bursary for Early Career Researchers for SHoW’s next annual conference.

​Payment can be made by credit card through this link, which will generate a receipt.

Author: Aisseco

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