The editors introduce the main questions explored in this issue on “Ordinary” women in Europe during the First World War, starting from a critical view of recent international historiography. The centenary of the First World War is being indeed characterized by a signi cant renewal of the research on the involvement of civilians in a world at war and the role of sex and gender under military occupation regimes. This special issue is dedicated to discuss the category of “ordinary women” in relation to war experiences and their long-term effects in Italy, France, Germany and Austrian- Hungarian border provinces, by focusing on lower and middle classes. The ve essays adopt a national, regional or local scale, enhancing the perspective from below and a micro-analytic approach. They shed light on the different forms assumed by women’s patriotism and the transformation of the family and gender relations in the cities and in the countryside during the con ict; they explore the links between care and work during the war mobilization and they analyse the relationship between work, work cultures, state policies and popular protests within different urban contexts (Bremen, Trieste). The comparison of these case studies highlights the importance of the border places, cities and regions as units of analysis of a transnational gendered history of the Great War also to understand forms and consequences of the crisis in relations between élite and masses.