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Moments of Democratic Evaluation? Literature Review on the History of Elections and Election Campaigns in Western Europe from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century

Abstract : Research agendas or appeals for a »new electoral history« with a transnational ambition have multiplied in recent years. For a long time, both social scientists and historians continued to treat elections as transparent operations for translating socio-political patterns into representation or as rituals designed to hide real power processes. Historians of different horizons have noted how, over the last few decades, election history has moved from a state of »crisis« (Thomas Kühne) or »neglect« to an »academic enthusiasm« (Alain Garrigou). Yet beyond shared approaches and inspirations, research on elections and election campaigns has asked different questions and adopted various methodologies, so that one may wonder if there really is such a thing as a transnational new history of elections. Indeed, while many recent studies aspire to a transnational perspective, it seems that national historiographical traditions and perspectives are particularly tenacious in political history. This is not only the case because – in spite of frequent claims to be studying democracy in a »non-normative« light – discussing elections of the past always resonates with the state of democracies today. Depending on the context, the various renewals of political history also entertain varying relations with other disciplines studying politics, such as political science, sociology, anthropology, communication science and gender studies. Faced with this diversity, it seems all the more important to bring these various perspectives into discussion, particularly across linguistic and national borders. Focusing for the most part on English-, German- and French-speaking works on elections in Western Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this literature review aims to contextualise the boom in election studies, discussing recent studies and suggesting questions for further research.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03197412
Contributor : Zoé Kergomard Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 12:37:24 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 3:27:39 AM

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Zoé Kergomard. Moments of Democratic Evaluation? Literature Review on the History of Elections and Election Campaigns in Western Europe from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century. Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, 2020, »Hoch die internationale..?« Praktiken und Ideen der Solidarität, 60, pp.485-512. ⟨halshs-03197412v2⟩

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