The Security History Network invites you to join us in a lecture organised in collaboration with the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). In this lecture titled ‘Fighting for a New World: The 1848 Revolutions in Europe’, Professor Sir Christopher Clark will discuss the insights of his latest book Revolutionary Spring: Europe aflame and the fight for a new world, 1848-1849.
Professors Annelien de Dijn and Glenda Sluga (Sydney, Florence) will respond to the book and draw parallels to the current day and age. Do democracies need revolutions? Can freedom thrive without? And what about the situation of the Netherlands, where no revolution took place at all and that still went through a democratic transformation in 1848. Professor Beatrice de Graaf will chair the panel and the debate with the audience.
Christopher Clark’s research interests are centred on the history of nineteenth-century Germany and continental Europe. His early work focused on the political and cultural history of religion. His first book was a study of the relationship between Christians and the Jewish minority in Prussia between 1728 and 1941; here he explored the ways in which contemporary understandings of Christianity shaped successive mutations of the ‘Jewish Question’.
Since then Clark has published various articles and essays on related subjects – some of them examine the trouble that results when the state authority takes the initiative in religious questions, others look at the ways in which questions of religious allegiance were implicated in processes of political and cultural change. In 2004 Clark co-edited, with Wolfram Kaiser of the University of Portsmouth, an edited volume about the ‘culture war’ between Catholic and secular social forces that polarised so many European states in the years 1850-1890.
In the meanwhile, he has published a study of Kaiser Wilhelm II (2000) for the Longmans/Pearson series Profiles in Power and completed a general history of Prussia for Penguin, due out in spring 2006. He is currently working on a study of political change across Europe in the aftermath of the 1848 revolutions.