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“Matts Mattson Paavola knows Elihu Burritt”: A Transnational Perspective on Nineteenth-Century Peace Activism in Northern Europe*


  • Norbert Götz

  • *

    I owe the idea to conduct research on the mid-nineteenth-century peace movement’s Nordic connection to Bo Stråth. An earlier version of this article was presented within the seminar series Constitutions and Geopolitics in Post-Napoleonic Europe, Helsinki, April 8, 2008. I am grateful to the anonymous reviewers as well as to the editors of Peace & Change for their helpful comments.


Existing research on Scandinavian peace activism has largely been guided by a traditional nation-state perspective and an institutionalist outlook. This view puts the starting point of Scandinavian peace activism in the 1880s, the time when the first peace associations were established in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. The article at hand demonstrates that a new chapter to the history of Nordic peace activism can be added, covering the period from 1843 to the early 1880s. This is achieved by applying a transnational perspective on nineteenth-century peace activism that redirects the focus from national accomplishments and movements to individuals and transnational networks, as well as to the dissemination of ideas on peace.

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