Sie sind hier: FRIAS School of History Fellows Prof. Dr. John Horne

Prof. Dr. John Horne

University of Dublin

Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS)
School of History
D-79104 Freiburg im Breisgau


Born 1949; 1968-71 Balliol College, Oxford. B.A. (Hons.),  Modern History, 1971; 1973-1980, University of Sussex, Dr. Phil., Lecturer in modern French and European history, Department of Modern History, Trinity College, Dublin, 1977-1991; 1980; Fellow of Trinity College (FTCD), Dublin, 1993; Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (School of Historical Studies), 1994-5; Visiting Associate Fellow of the Center for Historical Analysis, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1994-5; Visiting lectureship, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Centre de  Recherches Historiques), Paris, March-April 1997.; Senior lecturer in European history, 1991-1997 Associate Professor of Modern European History, Trinity College, Dublin, 1997- 2003; Fraenkel Prize in contemporary history (with Alan Kramer), 2000; Invited to deliver the annual Marc Bloch lecture at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, June 2005 (also one-month visiting professorship); Member of Board of Directors, Centre de Recherche, Historial de la  Grande Guerre (Péronne), 2002-present; Professor of Modern European History, Trinity College, Dublin, 2003-present (personal chair); Founding member of EURHISTXX, a consortium of research institutes and academic departments across Europe concerned with writing the contemporary history of  Europe  in a comparative and trans-national perspective, (2003-present); Visiting Fellowship at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Study, October 2012-July 2013.

PUBLICATIONS (10 selected)


  • (ed., with Roberth Gerwarth), War in Peace. Paramilitary Violence in Europe after the First World War, 1917-1923 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), with three authored or co-authored chapters
  • (ed.)Vers la guerre totale: le tournant de 1914-1915 (Paris: Tallandier, 2010), with two authored chapters.
  • (ed.) Blackwell Companion to the First World War (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010), with two authored chapters.
  • (ed.) Our War: Ireland and the Great War (Dublin: RTE and the Royal Irish Academy, 2008), with two authored chapters.
  • German Atrocities, 1914. A History of Denial (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2001), pp. xv + 608. German translation, Hamburger Edition, Hamburg,  2003. French translation, Editions Tallandier, Paris, 2005; French paperback edition, 2011)

Articles and chapters (from a total of 78 published or accepted)

  • ‘Vectors of Violence: Paramilitarism after the Great War, 1917-1923,’ Journal of  Modern History, 83/3, 2011, pp. 489-512 (with Robert Gerwarth).
  • ‘Guerres et reconciliations européennes au 20e siècle’, in Jean-Noël Jeanneney (ed.), Les 27 leçons d’histoire (Paris: Le Seuil, 2009), pp. 137-45 (abridged version) and in Vingtième siècle, 104, 2009, pp. 3-15 (full version).
  • ‘Defeat and Memory in Modern History,’ in Jenny Macleod (ed.), Defeat and Memory: Cultural Histories of Military Defeat in the Modern Era (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 11-29.
  • ‘War and Conflict in Contemporary Europe, 1914-2004’ in Konrad H. Jarausch and Thomas Lindenberger, eds., Conflicted Memories. Europeanizing Contemporary Histories (New York and Oxford: Berghahn  Books, 2007), pp. 81-95 (originally published in Zeithistorische Forschungen, 1/2 2004, pp. 347-62).
  • ‘Kulturelle Demobilmachung 1919-1939. Ein sinnvoller historischer Begriff?’,  in Wolfgang Hardtwig (ed.), Politische Kulturgeschichte der Zwischenkriegszeit 1918-1939 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2005), pp. 129-150.


"Total War: The French Experience, 1914-1918"

The project hypothesis is that the Great War involved a double dynamic for all participants. This consisted of a spiral of violence on the battlefield and an ever-increasing mobilization in order to sustain that violence. The more stubborn the deadlock of trench warfare, the more society in all its aspects had to be mobilized to overcome it. It was to describe just this process that the French invented the term ‘guerre totale’ in 1917-18.  ‘Total war’ was not absolute. Rather it was a process – a ‘totalizing dynamic’ – that ultimately fed back into battle and resolved the war in 1918. But along the way, it had the power to transform whole societies. Inevitably, such a dynamic generated friction and opposition, which it sought constantly to overcome, and in so doing it destroyed some states and regimes and changed others.

The French parliamentary republic proved better able to sustain the dynamic of ‘total’ war than most other societies (including Germany). But the cost was so great in human life and material destruction that the post-war future of France was mortgaged down to 1940 and beyond. The project uses cultural history as a means to reconstruct the key ‘experiences’ of the French and also adopts a comparative and transnational approach to highlight key features of the French case. Ultimately it seeks to make cultural rather than military or political history the framework of the narrative and analysis. But in order to do so it needs to adapt cultural history to questions of authority and power as well as to the workings of the war economy.