Appel à communication : session du colloque EAUH de Lisbonne 2014

Vos contributions sont les bienvenues pour la session suivante retenue par les organisateurs de la prochaine conférence européenne d’histoire urbaine (Lisbonne, 3-6 septembre 2014) :

Municipalisation(s) ou privatisation(s) ? Les services urbains en comparaison (XVIIIe-XXIe siècles)

Municipalising or privatising ? Urban services in comparative perspective (XVIIIth-XXIth centuries)

This session deals with the question of the various urban services’ “regimes” as political modes of action since the 18th century. Key issues are the social, cultural, political and economic processes that promoted municipalisation as well as privatisation and were mutually influenced by these developments themselves. In which way for example did the relation of public and private spheres, of state and civil society, or of ideas about social order and justice change?

The scientific significance for historical research is obvious, because the tension between municipal and private options of supplying services required to modern cities is a key question of urban societies since the Industrial Revolution until today. At first, supply of water, gas or electricity was privately organised, only later these and many other services were municipalised or nationalised. Since the 1970s the scene of urban services has been complexified: while an urban market opened in emerging countries in Asia or Africa, some European cities explored the path of “re-municipalisation”. However, this process has hardly been considered from a historical perspective, but has been studied prevalently in economic and social sciences. In those studies privatisation has been often looked upon as an inevitable consequence of budgetary restrictions and higher efficiency of private companies. These interpretations seem too short-sighted, given that privatisation (as municipalisation before) was implemented in very different ways in several cities, but rejected in others. Therefore, much can be gained from a shift to a historiographical perspective, because it can show the diversity and ambivalence of the process beyond any theoretical preconceptions by analysing a broad number of sources.

This session aims to improve historicization of municipalisation and privatisation processes, from the “take off” of the phenomenon in the eighteenth century to our present. As potential themes for this session’s paper, we welcome transnational, national or regional interactions and dynamics that stimulated municipalisation and privatisation processes, transfers of knowledge about these dynamics, and studies about the experiences of people who worked in enterprises that were privatised or the role of Think Tanks and private consultants. These issues can be researched in different fields of public enterprises and services (social housing, public transport, supply of water, wastewater or garbage disposal etc.).

Marcel vom Lehn, assistant de recherche, université de Iena, Allemagne

Stéphane Frioux, maître de conférences, université Lyon 2/UMR LARHRA.

Pour répondre à l’appel, allez sur le site de la conférence (, inscrivez-vous  et suivez la procédure de soumission.

Stéphane Frioux

Maître de conférences en histoire contemporaine, université Lyon 2 Chercheur au LARHRA, UMR CNRS 5190

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Stéphane Frioux

Maître de conférences en histoire contemporaine, université Lyon 2 Chercheur au LARHRA, UMR CNRS 5190

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