aaus-list @ ukrainianstudies.org -- [aaus-list] Conf.: Elections under 20th C. Dictatorships,Cologne 7.-9.5.09

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Prof. Dr. Ralph Jessen; Dr. des. Hedwig Richter; University of Cologne,
Department of History, Cologne, Germany

07.05.2009-09.05.2009, Albertus-Magnus-Platz  D-50923 Köln / Cologne

Deadline: 27.04.2009


Why did almost all modern dictatorships try to seek formal
legitimation through some kind of popular vote: the German Nazi
Regime as well as the Italian Fascists and the Communist Regimes?

The aim of the conference is to examine the hypothesis that pseudo-
democratic elections and plebiscites in 20th Century dictatorships
should not be dismissed as trivial propaganda phenomena. Instead,
these elections might offer valuable insights and a deeper
understanding of the inner workings of these regimes.

We will be looking at the symbolic content and the practice of
elections, at the interaction between authority and the people, and
at the aspect of performance. Up to now, little effort has been made
to investigate these aspects of elections under dictatorial rule from
a historical and comparative perspective.

Thursday, May 7, 2009
16.00 - 16.15 Welcome and introduction

16.15 - 18.15         Keynotes and opening discussion

Ralph Jessen: Non-competitive elections in 20th century "totalitarian"
dictatorships. Some questions and general considerations

Werner Patzelt: Elections in modern dictatorships. An analytical

19.15   Public lecture (in German)

Hans Michael Kloth: Der Anfang vom Ende: Die DDR-Kommunalwahlen vom 7.
Mai 1989

Friday, May 8, 2009
9.00 - 12.30, 1st Panel: The function of elections and plebiscites in
Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany

Paul Corner: Fascist national unity and the importance of the appearance
of unity

Markus Urban: Self-representations of a plebiscitary dictatorship? The
National Socialist regime between "uniformed Reichstag" referenda
and party rallies

Frank Omland: Elections and referendums in Schleswig-Holstein,

Enzo Fimiani: Plebiscites in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany: comparative

12.30 - 14.00 Lunch

14.00 - 16.00, 2nd Panel: Elections and the legitimation of communist

Virgiliu Tarau: The Soviet factor in the elections held in Eastern
Europe in the first years after the Second World War

Pawel Machcewicz: The January 1957 elections in Poland

16.00 - 16.30 Coffee break

16.30 - 19.00, 3rd Panel The micro-politics of election campaigns in
the USSR and East Germany

Marc Smith: The Supreme Soviet elections of February 1946: housing,
welfare, and Stalinist legitimacy after the Great Fatherland War

Thomas Bohn: The elections for the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in 1958 -
loyalty and dissent in communism

Hedwig Richter: Cultural history of elections in the German Democratic

20.00           Conference dinner

Saturday, May 9, 2009
9.00 - 12.00, 4th Panel: Elections in non-state organizations under

Gleb Tsipursky: Celebration and dissent: youth engagement in Soviet
elections, 1953-68

Peter Heumos: Works council elections in Czechoslovak industrial and
mining enterprises, 1948-1968

Ondrej Matejka: A refuge of democracy in the communist dictatorship?
Election issues in the Czech protestant milieu 1948-1989

12.00 - 13.30         Lunch

13.30 - 16.00, 5th Panel: Regime transformation and elections after

Donnacha Ó Beacháin: Elections in post-communist Central Asian

Michael Zeuske: Elections in Castro's Cuba

Tianjian Shi: Political experience: a critical variable in the studies
of elections in rural China

16.00   Coffee break

Hedwig  Richter
University of Cologne, Department of History

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