Jean Boutier : jean.boutier[at]univ-amu.fr
Cecilia Garcia-Peñalosa : cecilia.garcia-penalosa[at]univ-amu.fr
Eric Roca Fernandez : eric.roca[at]uclouvain.be
Alain Trannoy : alain.trannoy[at]univ-amu.fr
Arundhati Virmani : arundhati.virmani[at]ehess.fr
The end of the 19th century was the "era of attacks" (Jean Maitron) Never before and after as much kings, members of goverment and high administration had been killed by attacks in Europe. The present study is not so much a microhistorical study of these attacks which by the way has already been done but an enquiry in the state and society reactions to them in three different societies. Three main questions are raised:
- How the attacks were perceived by the governement and the media? This is a study in the semantics and the "war of words" inside the three societies.
- How and in using which legitimation the states reacted to the attacks? Are there very different ways of reacting or a common structure?
- How and with which effects governements and anarchists tried to create fear and "moral panics" and which were the effects of these strategies?
As comparative history is demanding extensive contextualization, it is needless to say that this comparative project which will try to situate the different perspectives inside a broader political and societal context.
This historical study is interested to deal with current day problems. During the last fifty years different governements reacted to terrorist attacks. Their policies and legitimations has been largely analysed. One major problem is coming up in nearly all of these studies: was the state reaction succesfull? and was what the definition of success? What were the political costs of the policy of repression? Is it restricting the rules of law, the freedom of press, association and meetings?