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The Global War on Civilians, 1914-1945

19 oct 2022 10:00 - 17:00
IEA de Paris
17 quai d'Anjou
75004 Paris

Conference organized by Sheldon Garon, historian, Princeton University, and former Paris IAS Research Fellow.


The war in Ukraine is only the most recent reminder of the toll of war on noncombatants. This one-day conference explores the disturbing question of how it became normal to seek to win wars by attacking cities and civil populations. The workshop brings together leading historians of the two world wars. They will discuss the historian Sheldon Garon’s essay-proposal on “The Global War on Civilians.” This path-breaking project covers what some have called the “second Thirty Years’ War” (1914-1945)—an era when developments in the First World War and interwar decades culminated in systematic attacks on civilians in the Second World War. The focus is on (1) aerial bombardment and civil defense against it, (2) hunger blockades and home-front food programs, and (3) strategies to “demoralize” enemy civilians while boosting “morale” at home. The project is a rare effort to tell a truly global story of the world wars—connecting the cases of Japan and China with Britain, Germany, France, the United States, Italy, Spain, and the Soviet Union.


Claire Andrieu (Sciences Po)
Annette Becker (Paris–Nanterre La Défense)
Claudia Baldoli (University of Milan
Bruno Cabanes (Ohio State University).
Masha Cerovic (EHESS)
Sophia Dafinger (University of Augsburg)
John Horne (Trinity College, Dublin)
Victor Louzon (Sorbonne Université)
Elisabeth Piller (University of Freiburg)
Henry Rousso (CNRS)

When Home Fronts Became Battlegrounds: A Transnational History of Violence against Civilians in Japan, Germany, and Britain in the Two World Wars
01 September 2021 - 30 June 2022
19 Oct 2022 17:00
Sheldon Garon
Conferences and workshops