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Re-Imagining Democracy

Re-imagining Democracy is a 4-part collaborative research project exploring how older understandings of democracy were re-imagined and reworked intellectually, practically and institutionally in the movements for and against reform across Europe and the Americas (1750 -1870). The final part on Central and Northern Europe will run from 2022-2026.

Please see our website for more information about the project


Re-imagining Democracy in Central and Northern Europe, 1780-1870

Under the auspices of the Re-imagining Democracy project co-ordinated by Joanna Innes (Oxford) and Mark Philp (Warwick)

Huygens Institute, Amsterdam, Wednesday, 24 – Thursday, 25 January 2024

The project will hold a two day workshop in Amsterdam, exploring Dutch uses of the word democracy in the first 70 years of the 19th Century, and exploring the part played by agrarian reform and the agricultural sector in the radical movements of the 1830s, 1840s and 1860s.

Democracy in the Netherlands and Belgium

Democracy – the word and its uses with: Joris Oddens and Mart Rutjes; Henk te Velde ; Brecht Deseurre; Marnix Beyen

With attention to: The 1860s; the Writing of History; Individualism, corporatism, collectivism and Living democratically: Contributors include: Henk te Velde, Christophe Maes, Dirk Alkemade, Camille Creyghton

Rural society and its discontents in central and northern Europe

With Maartje Janse and Diederik Smit, Yannis Skalli-Housseini, Klaas van Gelder, and Wouter Ryckbosch (Vrije Universiteit Brussel/State Archives); Anne Engelst Nørgaard (NTNU, Trondheim), on Peasant politics and democracy in Denmark; Martin Dackling (Lund University) on Rural society and politics in Sweden; Niels Grüne (University of Innsbruck), on Rural society and politicisation in South West Germany; Piotr Kuligowski (Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw) on Rural society and politics in Poland.

Summary of Conference

Demokratie and the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe fifty years on

Warwick University, 12.30pm 4th May to 2.00pm 5th May 2023

This workshop is part of the Re-imagining Democracy Project that is now focussing on Central and Northern Europe. It brought together scholars of the history of the German speaking world to reflect on the contribution and limitations of the account of the history of the German word Demokratie provided in the Geschichtliche Grundbegriffe ( a dictionary of historical concepts). Developments in digital resources and associated scholarship raise a series of critical questions about this account- and this workshop will bring together historians, and other scholars to review the contribution that these new resources and approaches might make.

More information

This workshop was been made possible by the generous support of the Humanities Research Fund, University of Warwick, The European History Research Centre in Warwick’s History Department; and the Institute for Advanced Study at Warwick.