Call for papers – Parliament contested? Rethinking the relationship between national politics, global crises, and pressure from below in the 1970s

Conference organized by the Centre for Parliamentary History, RU Nijmegen, 9 June 2023

How can the 1970s be characterized? For a long time, it were the 1960s with its student revolts and spectacular cultural shifts that attracted most attention among historians. In comparison, the years that followed seemed somewhat dreary and unimportant. In recent years, historians have, however, reversed the original image of the 1970s as a period in which ‘nothing happened’: several authors have in fact come to consider the decade as a ‘main event’, or even a ‘turning point’ in contemporary European history.

The purpose of this conference is to reassess the role of national parliaments and national policy-making processes in the 1970s in light of the increasing global challenges and extraparliamentary pressure that occurred. What can be seen as decisive turning points shaping the political history of the era? Were they the same in each country, or did they differ from state to state? And in what way and to what extent were these defining moments and events related to citizen activism, national political factors and cross-border actors or influences respectively? Furthermore, what do our findings tell us about politics in the 1970s, also in relation to the ‘revolutionary’ 1960s and the ‘neoliberal’ 1980s?

With this call for papers, we invite scholars who are interested to participate in this conference to submit an abstract of their paper (400 words). The deadline for submission is 6 January 2023. We will select according to quality criteria as well as on the basis of the four aspects listed below. Applicants will be informed before 20 January 2022.

To stimulate discussion and foster an atmosphere of collaboration, we will circulate preliminary papers beforehand. Therefore, we kindly ask contributors to submit a draft of their paper (3000-5000 words) before 20 May 2023. Abstracts and preliminary papers should be in English and can be send to

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