The women’s movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century were closely connected by a network of manifold communication relations. To analyze the development of social movements and their transnational communication in a systematic way this article presents an analytical framework and then applies it to the German suffrage movement. Considering different stages of domestic social movements (initial phase, organizational phase, phase of establishment) and different types of media (personal letters among the inner circle, newsletters and feminist magazines for all activists and press releases for the general public), the input of international suffrage associations, in particular, is analyzed. It can be shown that, during the initial phase a transfer of ideas and image of suffragists predominated: the German suffrage activists were strongly affected by the international suffrage discourse and it was the international suffrage movement that ultimately caused the organizational structures of the German suffrage movement to be established. It was during the phase of establishment that nationally specific claims were developed. The latter will be discussed via the examination of the controversial debate on the British suffragettes and their tactics within the publications of the German suffrage movement and the German general public, and it will be shown how national patterns of selection and interpretation became the central point of reference within the German suffrage movement.
Keywords: public sphere, suffrage, international feminist movement
How to Cite:
Kinnebrock, S., (2017) “InternatIonalIzatIon or natIonalIzatIon by CommunICatIon? the InternatIonal CommunICatIon relatIons of the German suffraGe movement”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 8(3), p.47-71. doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.133