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.
J. G. Ballard, author of the 1984 novel Empire of the Sun, was born in the Shanghai International Settlement in China in 1930, into a privileged colonial milieu with a chauffeur, a nanny, and servants. Ballard witnessed at first hand the collapse of the British Empire in Asia. The year 1945 was not a moment of imperial defeat, but of imperial reassertion for Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Britain, each of which saw their futures as global, colonial entities. This article, which deals with the end of empires, focusing on the loss of colonies such as Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, and South-East Asia, also discusses blueprints for a liberal policy in Africa, the 1956 Suez Crisis, developmental colonialism and decolonisation, and the empires of Portugal and Spain.
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.
Certain facts about postwar Europe seem self-evidently true. Undoubtedly the most salient was the division of Europe and the political, economic, social, and cultural antinomies that separated western capitalism from Soviet-style communism in the overarching context of the Cold War. If the Cold War itself stretched across four decades, from the heightening of international tensions in 1947–1948 to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989–1991, the postwar settlement's reliable solidities had already been breaking apart in the 1970s. The global economic downturn of 1973–1974 ended the postwar boom, shelving its promises of permanent growth and continuously unfolding prosperity. In those terms, the core of the postwar settlement lies in the years 1947–1973. This article explores the single most striking particularity of the post-1945 settlement, namely the centrality acquired by organised labour for the polities, social imaginaries, and public cultures of postwar European societies. First, it discusses democracy as a cultural project during 1945–1968. The article then looks at corporatism and social democracy, and concludes by assessing patterns of stability in Europe during the postwar period.
Hugh D Clout
By the dawn of the twenty-first century, Europe's agriculture had been reshaped dramatically, since policy makers viewed rural space as more than a resource base of crops, animal products, and timber. Rapid urbanisation and industrial growth since 1945 has covered substantial stretches of rural Europe with bricks, concrete, and tarmac. Despite challenges and reversals, collectivisation was implemented throughout Eastern Europe by the early 1960s. In Western Europe, the main objective of the postwar farm policies was to increase food supplies. Changing patterns of trade, concern over the costs of supporting farmers, worries about food quality and animal health, the challenge of sustainability, and the need to retain viable economies in the countryside have reconfigured the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union, and have shifted the attention of policy makers away from food to wider issues of rural management.
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.
One can define ethnic cleansing as a mass-scale, violent, and permanent removal of an ethnically defined group from one territory to a perceived external homeland. Deportations within a state were special in this regard because there was no vision of an external territory to which the cleansed population would be sent. It still needs to be explored why some states treated deported minorities worse than other states treated their supposed external enemies. This article examines the origins and three preconditions of ethnic cleansing: modern nationalism, the concept of the modern nation-state, and the development of population policy. It also discusses four major periods of ethnic cleansing: 1912–1925, ethnic cleansing under the hegemony of Nazi Germany (1938–1944), ethnic cleansing and the postwar order in Europe (1944–1948), and ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia (1991–1995).
For centuries, forms of European identity were built up through contrasts and oppositions, creating various forms of orientalism and occidentalism. It is useful to keep three levels of discussion distinct: that of the concrete procedure of the unification of Europe, that of the different ideas and ideologies regarding a united Europe, and that of identity. Multiculturalism has been suggested as the basis for an identity that could be recognised also by non-territorialised groups, such as foreigners or immigrants, and as the only possible basis for shaping a European political culture which could foster a European identity. In reference to Europeanness, the number and extension of currently possible cultural identities has increased. The process of globalisation, which has relativised the nation state, has led to the interpenetration of the European Union and other regions of the world. Thus it has suggested new conceptions of regional identities, in a modified vision of the relationship between self and other.
Even after more than four decades, the events of the tumultuous year 1968 still mesmerise and polarise Europe, both culturally and politically. Although prominent representatives of the continent's student revolt have called for people to ‘forget 68’, Europeans have entered the historicisation and memorialisation process for this period with vigour. Among the causes and contexts of the social movements, acts of dissent, and youthful revolts that are commonly subsumed under the cipher ‘1968’, the Cold War and the division of Europe after 1945 usually enjoy pride of place, although these were by no means the only influences. The rapid demographic changes after World War II were probably the primary force that shaped the context in which the opposition of the youth was to unfold. The postwar baby boom reached its climax in 1947, coinciding with a massive economic growth in many Northern and Western European countries that reached into all segments of society and proved particularly beneficial to the lower middle and working classes.
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.
When attempting to understand the cultural politics of gender in Europe after 1945, some readers will undoubtedly anticipate answers to the following question: To what extent have the impact of the Cold War, the rise of feminism, the supposedly sexually liberated 1960s, the emergence of ‘post-feminism’, and the putative ‘crisis of masculinity’ changed attitudes towards gender and sexuality, and impacted on gender-related legislation? This article examines the cultural politics of gender at the juncture of globalisation, securitisation, and Europeanisation, and explores how Europeans have ‘fashioned their distinction’ in attempts to reconstitute themselves as global citizens in a multi-ethnic, post-imperial Europe. By focusing on the commoditisation of white femaleness, the coercive normalisation of Muslim masculinity, the ‘liberation’ of the veiled Muslim woman, and the eroticisation of black men in white consumer fantasy, the article's analysis of exemplary cases demonstrates how gendered imaginaries in Europe are forged by a complex dialogue with race, nation, capitalism, sex, and security.
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.
Roger D. Markwick
World War II has never ended for the citizens of the former Soviet Union. Nearly 27 million Soviet citizens died in the course of what Joseph Stalin declared to be the Great Patriotic War, half of the total 55 million victims of the world war. The enduring personal trauma and grief that engulfed those who survived, despite the Red Army's victory over fascism, was not matched by Stalin's state of mind, which preferred to forget the war. Not until the ousting of Nikita S. Khrushchev in October 1964 by Leonid Brezhnev was official memory of the war really resurrected. This article elaborates a thesis about the place of World War II in Soviet and post-Soviet collective memory by illuminating the sources of the myth of the Great Patriotic War and the mechanisms by which it has been sustained and even amplified. It discusses perestroika, patriotism without communism, the fate of the wartime Young Communist heroine Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, the battle for Victory Day, the return of ‘trophy’ art, the Hill of Prostrations, and Sovietism without socialism.
G.J. Ashworth and Brian Graham
Despite their marked differences, Belfast and Berlin demonstrate a trait that, since the mid-1970s, has become a defining characteristic of European cities, namely the repositioning of the contemporary urban area through representations of its past. This is the most recent stage in the genesis of postwar European cities which, since 1945, have undergone an as yet incomplete process of radical restructuring that has changed not merely the outward physical appearance of morphologies, buildings, and spaces, but, more fundamentally, the ways in which cities are used and, ultimately, their meanings for those who use them. Urban landscapes constitute a powerful economic resource in that the European city has become a keystone in cultural tourism while the historically referenced landscape is also used to ‘sell’ places. This article explores how cities in Europe have been reconceptualised since 1945, not just as places to live and work, but as sites of memory and culture. The discussion is framed through the lens of heritage.
The audio-visual culture of Europe right after 1945 was a culture in ashes in a Europe soon to be divided into east and west under the Cold War. It was a Europe where nation-states had to reconstruct and revitalise a cinema culture damaged by war, and where television did not emerge until the 1950s, or in some countries even later. Already during the 1980s, a cultural policy and a policy for film and media was starting to develop, and both the MEDIA programmes (from 1987) and the EURIMAGE programme (from 1988) represented the institutionalisation of support for the diversity of film and media culture in Europe as a whole. This article explores European images in cinema and television culture during the postwar period. It also discusses fascism and new wave cinema in Southern Europe, new wave cinema in Scandinavia and the rise of a modern welfare culture, European media culture and the Communist ‘Ice Age’, European art television and national fiction series, the transnational power of television, documentary film and television, and digital television and film in European perspective.
Many Europeans today perceive immigration as a major problem for society. Some claim that asylum seekers and low-skilled migrants are an economic burden and that ethnic diversity undermines the solidarity necessary for strong welfare states. Above all, a widespread discourse portrays Europe's new found cultural and religious complexity as a challenge to historical models of national identity and citizenship. Such concerns are far from new, but they have grown sharply. The trigger for the perception of a ‘migration crisis’ was the end of the Cold War. This article examines the history of migration, ethnicity, and racism, which has always been closely interwoven with nation-state formation, colonialism, and modernity. The ‘migration crisis’ of the early 1990s reveals itself as just one of several crucial turning points in Europe's migration history. Before discussing such epochal shifts, the article summarises pre-1945 experiences, with emphasis on developments since World War II, and also examines multiculturalism and social cohesion in Europe.
Although Nazism was destroyed totally and decisively at the end of World War II, the relationship of intellectuals to it as the years passed thereafter never proved simple. Its formation and evolution depended above all on two factors. First, intellectuals drew on traditions of conceptualising the nature of the Nazi ideology and Adolf Hitler's regime forged before the war: anti-fascism and anti-totalitarianism. Second, an evolving politics of recognition of the particularities of Hitler's agenda, and especially his unique animus towards the Jewish people, proved crucial. The persistence of the earliest traditions of interpreting and denouncing Nazism has been drastically understated in conventional narratives of the postwar history of Europe. It may have been surprising that Christianity, even Christian anti-totalitarianism, could enjoy a massive renaissance in the immediate postwar years, given the active and tacit support which many Christians had lent Nazism in Germany and across the continent. France's case shows that – as elsewhere in the interregnum years between World and Cold War – there was no inevitability to the anti-fascist expulsion of Jewish victimhood from perception and memory.
When World War II ended in Europe, many assumed that the sheer level of destruction, hatred, and fear unleashed by the conflict would produce a Europe even worse than the one they recalled from the 1930s. Only in Germany was the moment captured linguistically, in the concept of Stunde Null, hour zero, for the German population almost certainly expected the worst from the catastrophic defeat of Adolf Hitler's Reich. The Cold War and racial realities of Europe between 1945 and 1949 contributed to the idea that the two German states created in 1949, the Federal Republic in the West and the Democratic Republic in the East, were new experiments in democratic politics quite distinct from the legacy of a united Germany since 1871. Much of the historical literature on European economic recovery has focused on West German revival. The gulf between the years of recession, poor trade, state restrictions, and planning for war in the 1930s, and the booming consumer and construction sectors in the 1950s, made it evident that something changed dramatically in 1945.