Petitioning was and is a universal phenomenon that transcends place and time. In pre-democratic periods it was frequently the most accessible form of popular political participation, but it has long been neglected by historians and political scientists pre-occupied with voting, elections and parties. The recent rise of e-petitioning and the crisis of traditional representative democracy across the Western world makes the study of alternative forms of popular representation and participation not only timely but urgent. This two day symposium brings together historians and social scientists to highlight future directions for research in this exciting emerging field.
The symposium will identify key questions for the study of petitioning in North America, Britain and Europe from 1750 to the present, specifically focusing on the changing relationship between petitioning and participation, representation and democratic development. In particular, the symposium seeks to promote the study of the transnational and comparative study of petitioning and place national and local studies in global perspective.
Papers will address
• The relationship between petitioning and representation, participation and democracy/ democratisation
• E-petitioning and contemporary petitioning
• Comparative studies
• Cultural and political transfer of petitioning cultures
• Different methodological approaches to the study of petitioning
• The export and import of petitioning in national political constitutions
• Petitions to international organisations and the role of petitioning in supranational systems
• Imperial petitions/ petitions within empires
Dr. Benoît Agnès (Paris/Sorbonne)
Prof. Daniel Carpenter (Harvard)
Prof. Malcolm Chase (Leeds)
Dr. Richard Huzzey (Liverpool)
Dr. Henry Miller (Manchester)
Dr. Maartje Janse (Leiden)
Dr. Diego Palacios Cerezales (Stirling)
Prof. David Zaret (Indiana)
This event is supported by the Social History Society and the Manchester Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.