Helen Graham and Alejandro Quiroga
What Spain, Greece, and Portugal have in common in the twentieth century is the manner in which their internal processes of change – rural to urban, agrarian to industrial – were intervened in and inflected at crucial moments and with enduring effect by the force of international political agendas. By the 1960s, in all three countries, the fearful imaginaries of traditionalists still saw a disguised form of communism in the ‘godlessness’ of Americanisation, social liberalisation, and anti-puritanism. This article adopts a tripartite structure (1945: survival; 1970s: transition; after 1989: memory) in order to explore why, how, and with what consequences Southern European political establishments with clear Nazi links or empathies not only survived the collapse of Adolf Hitler's new order, but were also able to persist as dictatorial and authoritarian regimes into the 1970s. It then interrogates the nature of the subsequent transitions to parliamentary democracy, paying particular attention to the continuities. It is remarkable, even today, how few Western European or North American commentators understand the brutality beneath the burlesque of dictatorship in Southern Europe.
In the forty-five years after World War II that Communist Yugoslavia existed, judgements as to the success of the experiment differed widely. Unlike the first royalist Yugoslav state, which had been dominated by the Serbian Karadjordjević Dynasty, the new country eventually gave recognition to all nationalities within the limits of its own authoritarian ideology. The creation of the second Yugoslavia united Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Serbs, Montenegrins, Macedonians, Croats, and Slovenes with significant Hungarian, Roma, Italian, and Turkish minorities into a single, nominally Leninist state. What united it was the charismatic authority of its wartime leader Josip Broz Tito and a very large and politically significant army. After the break with the Soviet Union in 1948, the Yugoslav Communists veered on an uneasy path between centralisation and republican autonomy. The Communists showed little respect for traditional culture and religion when they came to power. This article focuses on ethno-nationalism and the demise of Communist Yugoslavia.
A Continent Bristling With Arms: Continuity and Change In Western European Security Policies After the Second World War
Since the end of World War II, Europe has known an unprecedented period of peace that has profoundly altered the political landscape of the continent. Yet at the same time, for much of the postwar period, this peace has been accompanied by frightening preparations for a global nuclear war – in the 1960s, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) planned to deploy in Western Europe 7,000 tactical atomic warheads of different yields – and by a number of recurrent crises that repeatedly threatened the stability of the postwar order. Nor should one neglect the fact that two European powers – France and Britain – still field the third and fifth largest nuclear arsenals in the whole world respectively. This article explores the post World War II evolution of defence and security policies in Western Europe, as well as the role of nuclear weapons in European security and the shifting perceptions of war in European public opinion and mentality. After considering colonial empires, decolonisation and nuclear issues, it discusses the last years of the Cold War.
Catherine Lee and Robert Bideleux
Western Europe has not only met but also married Eastern Europe, even if there are rumours that it was a marriage of convenience, consummated in ‘EU Europe’. Nevertheless, a significant outcome of the cohabitation has been the resurgence of debates about the status, location, and distinctiveness of ‘Central Europe’; the changing nature of borders and borderlands; and the emergence of ‘new’ East/West divides. Because World War II was predominantly fought on the Eastern Front, almost 95 per cent of Europe's fatalities of war and genocide were in Central and Eastern Europe (including Germany and Austria). These mass killings, combined with the paramount role of the Soviet Union in the defeat of the Third Reich, led to substantial reconfigurations of the borders and ethnic compositions of European states. This article examines the reconfigurations of European territories at the close of World War II, the drastic redrawing of European borders during 1945–1948 and again in the late 1980s and 1990s, the impact on European borders of the European Union and its ‘deepening’ and ‘widening’, and Europe's new East/West divide.
Jussi M. Hanhimäki
In 1945, much of Europe was in rubble, following an orgy of violence and genocide unprecedented in recorded history. This alone provides one explanation for the phenomenal rise of Soviet and American power in Europe after World War II. And given the ideological differences, material capabilities, security interests, and contrasting personalities of those in power, it was no wonder that any possibility of cooperation between the Soviet Union and the United States vanished after the common objective of defeating the Axis powers had been achieved. While the Cold War may not have been inevitable, it would have been difficult to avoid. This article explores the evolution of transatlantic relations during the Cold War, with particular emphasis on Geir Lundestad's thesis about ‘empire by invitation’. It then turns to the other side of the Cold War divide and evaluates the supposed omnipotence of the Soviet Union over its client states. The article also examines the cracks in the Iron Curtain – the evolution of relations between, beneath, and beyond the two blocs in Europe.
Rejecting claims that European integration has been inimical or antithetical to nations, states, and ‘national’ interests, Alan Milward's The European Rescue of the Nation-State (1992) argues that the relationship between European integration and the nation-state has been mutually beneficial and supportive. This article discusses the European Union's ‘rescues’ of small and sub-state nations, languages, cultures, and minorities; EU state-building and ‘rescues of the nation-state’ in the post-Communist East Central European, Baltic, and Balkan regions; transformations of the states in need of ‘rescue’, focusing on ‘embedded neoliberalism’; the EU and ‘the nation-state’ after the Lisbon Treaty of 2009; the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008–2009 and the eurozone crises of 2010–2012; and the decade-long ‘money illusion’ of economic prosperity in Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain.
Ivan T. Berend
In the year after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the historian and critic Lewis Mumford made a dramatic attack on the insanity of the nuclear age. In his article entitled ‘Gentlemen: You are Mad!’, Mumford said: ‘We in America are living among madmen. Madmen govern our affairs in the name of order and security’. According to Mumford, the modern superweapon society, for all its technological supremacy, was unable to recognise the looming disaster. People were sleepwalking towards the abyss of atomic war. The Cold War arms race created and served to maintain what Winston Churchill termed ‘the balance of terror’. By the end of the 1960s, both the United States and the Soviet Union had more than enough nuclear weapons to withstand a first strike and still be able to retaliate. This article explores how mutual assured destruction (MAD) was reflected and refracted in European culture and society from 1950 to 1985, and shows how film and fiction played a key role in highlighting the potential effects of MAD – a global nuclear holocaust.
The Soviet Union's victory in World War II offered both Moscow and Communists in Europe the opportunity to break out of the isolation that had afflicted them during the interwar years. With the end of the war in Europe in 1945, the Soviet front line traversed Central Europe from Germany's Baltic Coast in the north to the Yugoslav–Italian border in the south. By the mid-1950s, the enhanced influence of communism had been both consolidated and contained. Explaining the paradoxical consolidation and containment of communism's influence across the continent is fundamental to grasping the contours of politics in Europe during the postwar period. The dominant strand in the historiography that approaches such an explanation is informed by the perspective of international history. The pressures of survival during the precarious situation for the Soviet Union that persisted throughout 1942 reinforced the non-participatory, bureaucratic Stalinism which emerged during 1939–1940. The launch of Barbarossa underpinned an escalation in the radicalisation of Nazism.
The basic, legal building blocks for the Soviet sphere of influence during the Cold War were the bilateral ‘Treaties of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance’ between the states of East Central Europe and the Soviet Union. Germany was the main potential enemy, but the treaties also applied to any state allied with it or any third state in general – most importantly, the United States. This article traces the evolution of the East Central European states' limited sovereignty from the origins of the friendship-treaty system during World War II through to its final reformulation in the mid-1970s. In terms of the Soviet bloc friendship treaties, one can speak of three periodsm the first of which began with the establishment of the system of friendship treaties under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, 1943–1948, and ended with his death in 1953. A second period began after Stalin's death in 1953 and the eventual assumption of power by Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev, whose removal ushered in a third and final period for the friendship-treaty system under his successor, Leonid Brezhnev.
Was it communism or socialism that succumbed in 1989? Was communism dead in 1989, when the ‘Sinatra Doctrine’ (‘each does it his own way’) replaced the Brezhnev Doctrine in East Central Europe? Or did the patient agonise until the official dismemberment of the Soviet Union in 1991? Twenty-seven countries share a communist past in Europe and Asia. Of the surviving five, not all would pass the ‘Leninist test’. Which legacies affect post-communist systems has been an issue under debate since shortly after the fall of the Old Regimes. Claus Offe pointed out that post-communist regimes are faced with a ‘dilemma of simultaneity’, amounting to a ‘triple transition’: the process of having to cope concomitantly with unconsolidated borders, democratisation, and property redistribution. While other authors have often wondered which legacies ‘count’ in post-communism (those of communism itself or the ante-communist heritage), it is Herbert Kitschelt's merit to have pointed out that the modes of communist rule have been in turn influenced by historical antecedents.