[FRA] The Break-up of the K.U.K “Contract” in Austria-Hungary During WWI: Clues and Signs


Place: Maison de la Recherche, Université Paris IV Paris-Sorbonne.
Date: 22-23 March 2018
Organizers: UMR-SIRICE (CNRS, Paris I-IV, Sorbonne), CREE-Inalco, LABEX EHNE.


This conference is the third and last part of a cycle en2tled “Wri2ng at War, wri2ng the War. Austria-Hungary’s Soldiers and Civilians in WWI”. It aims to contribute to a reflexion “from below”, mostly through non- governmental and private sources. It favours a local or regional approach and intends to take into account the diverse situa2ons the local popula2ons faced, as soldiers or as civilians at the rear. The first conference (October 2016, Inalco, Paris) was devoted to the eve of war, the second (June 2017, Inalco and Paris-IV Sorbonne) to k.u.k. solidari2es and their evolu2ons.

Call for papers

It is now generally accepted that the weakening of Austria-Hungary’s State legi2macy cannot be reduced to the “na2onal ques2on” or shortages. Our hypothesis is that the cau2ous scru2ny of the rela2onship between the main poli2cal centres – Vienna and Budapest – and the different components of the mobilized society in the overall organiza2on of the “war society”, more specifically during the second part of the war, is of great relevance to map the cracks that appeared bit by bit in the imperial and royal consensus and in consent to the explicit and implicit rules of what John Horne called the specific “war2me social morality”. This “contract” involves the responsibility of the ci2zens and its total devo2on to the Austrian fatherland as well as the responsibility of the State itself. This morality seemed to weaken from summer 1916 onwards. We will iden2fy some of the clues and signs of this weakening and analyse some of its diverse aspects.

We will focus mostly on three points:

• How was the Austrian administra2ve war governance blamed for the growing difficul2es and malfunc2oning

of the everyday life at the rear? How, and to what extent, were its strategies as to the economic structure in general or to specific issues and categories of popula2on contested (children, refugees and POWs, for instance)?

• What impact and consequences did the 2ghtening of the prescrip2ve frame (either moral or legal) have? What are the main strategies that arose to bypass or sidestep it, and how should they be analysed?

• How, and using which clues is it possible to observe a slackening of the link between the front line and the rear, the limits of dona2on campaigns, and the gradual “na2onaliza2on” of support commi]ees? Local and regional consequences of these reconfigura2ons will be the priority.

Prac/cal informa/on

• Accommoda2on (2 nights) and meals are at the organizers’ expense.

• The organizers do not cover travel expenses.

• Proposals are to be sent before 30 November 2018. They should be within the 300-500 words range (in

English or French) and sent to É2enne Boisserie – e2enne.boisserie@inalco.fr and Catherine Horel –


• Presenta2ons of accepted papers (in English or French) should not last more than 20 minutes.

É2enne Boisserie, CREE, Inalco
Catherine Horel, CNRS, UMR SIRICE, Université Paris-Sorbonne