War and Communism

War and Communism

Projet d’ouvrage collectif

Date limite : 31 mars 2020

Communist theory was supposed to lead to a classless society that would thereby overcome nationalism, imperialism, violence, and eventually war itself. Regardless of the theoretical assumption that a communist utopia would end wars forever, communism very often related to war, not only in a theoretical sense, but also in the actual historical process. How communist theorists interpreted war, argued for or against it and tried to sanction the use of violence in the name of a communist utopia are questions for an anthology about this “unnatural interrelationship“. The present call for chapters is therefore interested in, but not limited to, proposals that would fit into one of the following categories:

1. Communism and War
This section is intended to deal with theoretical questions about the interrelationship of communist doctrine/theory and the interpretation of war. How was the latter considered and interpreted? We are especially interested in proposals that go beyond the perspectives of well-known communist thinkers.

2. Communism at War
In an actual war communism often needed to react to the real world and theoretical ideas and doctrines had to be reformulated. Communist propaganda also had to explain the reasons for war and possibly its necessity. How this dilemma was addressed and which strategies were developed are the main questions for the second section.

3. Communism after War
Once war is over, it is often commemorated. How was this done in supposedly communist systems, which should aim to abolish war instead of glorifying it? Heroism and victory are usually things rather unsuitable for communist systems, but such states often need such a war-related mythology to explain their own existence. The narratives related to a violent past in supposedly communist environments are therefore of a great interest for the last section.

4. War against Communism
Very often the assumption to fight against the menace of communism was used in war times, why this section intends to focus on the use of the image of this “Red Peril“ by military planers and propaganda machineries alike, whose intent was to recruit or prepare soldiers for a merciless war of annihilation.


Interested scholars at any career stage and from different disciplines are invited to submit a short proposal (max. 300 words + short bio) to T.Hirschmueller@ku-eichstaett.de and frank.jacob@nord.no until March 31, 2020. Final papers, ranging from 7,500 to 10,000 words are expected by June 30, 2020.


Tobias Hirschmüller

Universitätsallee 1 , 85072 Eichstätt


Emilia Robin

Chercheuse associée à l'UMR SIRICE. Violons d'Ingres : guerre froide, médiation scientifique, logiciels libres

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