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This article provides a perspective on the relations between Jaspers, Sternberger and Paeschke, and the SEC, an intellectual organisation which advocated the autonomy of culture from politics and the idea of common cultural ground with Eastern Europe. While West German intellectuals could endorse the principles of the association, they were reluctant to cooperate with foreign colleagues to bridge the division of Europe. This article supposes that their failure to collaborate with the SEC was due to the existence of a limited space for independent political initiatives, but also to their actual approval of the Cold War status, which had brought them back into the international community, and to the persistence of a traditional interpretation of ‘culture’, regardless of whether they accepted or refused this. Thus, the Cold War situation is not the only explanation of why the SEC failed to have success in West Germany in that phase.
This article investigates the Special Tribunal for the Defence of the State (Tribunale Speciale per la Difesa dello Stato; TSDS) in the colonial territories that constitute present-day Libya at the time of fascist rule. This court acted as the judicial arm of the fascist regime in the so-called Italian ‘fourth shore’. As a tool of the repressive apparatus of the regime, it persecuted the ‘anti-national enemies’ outside the metropolitan area, striking against those who opposed the fascist dictatorship and the fascist occupation in the colony by de-legitimising the defendants on juridical, political and moral grounds. The TSDS in Libya shows that the fight against the ‘anti-nationals’ was a primary concern of Mussolini's ultranationalist regime not only in the peninsular territory but also within the colonial administration.
This article explores the representation of alcohol on East German television, radio and film in the 1960s and 1970s. It analyses the state media's attempts to strike a balance between preaching moderation in the name of public health and co-opting the cultural legacy of beer, particularly for working-class men. The attempt to accomplish both goals simultaneously resulted in a seemingly contradictory programme of public messaging that reveals efforts by the socialist leadership to calibrate their vision of a modern socialist future to accommodate the persistent power of a cultural commodity in Germany.
The role of market-oriented tourist policies in the planned economies of socialist Eastern Europe has been long overlooked. This article examines how the socialist regime in Romania moved from sheer ideological rhetoric to commercialism and market-driven strategies when promoting Romania as a tourist destination in the ‘West’ between the 1960s and the 1980s. It argues that there was a continual shifting between using tourism as an ideological tool and a certain pragmatism that was needed to turn socialist Romania into a desirable tourist destination.
It is a little-known fact that the Italian Communist Party invested vast financial resources in the establishment of a network of local television stations. By 1980, there were as many as twenty of these stations. This article examines how the PCI's ‘free television’ experiment developed within the context of private broadcasting in Italy, and why it was eventually abandoned. A discussion of some of the programmes produced by communist television stations, complemented by interviews with some of the experiment's protagonists, will frame the experience of communist broadcasting within the PCI's history and television policy.
Through a systematic analysis of 500 Jewish testimonies, this article seeks to expand the social and cultural history of the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Shifting the focus away from heated debates about ‘knowledge’ of the Holocaust towards wartime social interactions, it argues that prevailing notions of ‘resistance/collaboration’ and ‘rescue/betrayal’ do not fully account for the civilian obstruction of Nazi policies and many small gestures of support towards Jews. Ultimately, as a crucial addition to German and non-Jewish Dutch sources, Jewish accounts invite further perspectives on the broader landscape of Jews’ perceptions and memories of non-Jews, acts of disobedience and the effects of polarisation across Nazi-occupied Western Europe.
The article sheds light on the significant and understudied bond between West German Chancellor and Nobel Peace Laureate Willy Brandt and Spanish President Felipe González. It is based on interviews with senior policy makers; archival material from the Ebert Foundation in Bonn; fresh material from Austria, Spain, Sweden, Portugal and the United States, and exclusive additional private papers. Drawing on these sources, the article identifies the three key political-intellectual pillars – democracy, social democracy and internationalism – that sustained their special ‘father–son’ relationship and discusses their shared desire to project their brand of socialism across Europe and the world. In doing so, it also sheds light on how personal guidance, assistance and exchange, linked with institutional support, contributed to the expansion of democracy and social democracy in the late Cold War.
Rural modernisation was at the core of postwar development programmes, not least in the Mediterranean. The notion of ‘modernisation’ inherited a number of assumptions about the nexus between economic and social development from experiences in Western and Central European ‘internal colonisation’ projects. The Turkish case reveals how such concepts travelled alongside exiled scholars in the Nazi period. However, they were also renegotiated at the local and regional levels, in particular after the Second World War. Kemalist conceptions of a ‘modern’ countryside came into conflict with international policies. This article analyses these expert encounters through the prism of the German model farm of Tahirova. Zooming in on a particular breeding project of the Tahirova sheep, it seeks to untie the rationales of different actors and the ways in which they shaped Turkey's role in postwar Europe, deeply influenced by cryptocolonial representations of the Mediterranean as Europe's agricultural (and demographic) reservoir.
The Dublin Convention (1990) was the first binding agreement on asylum between the member states of the European Community. It defined the criteria that determined responsibility for the examination of asylum applications lodged in their territories. Given the contemporary discussions about the system that derived from it, the paper reflects on one of its main criteria: the first entry principle. Drawing on archival research in Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, the essay shows how the inclusion of the first entry principle was far more than a matter of course. It was influenced by the Schengen process and the establishment of the single market, previous North-South tensions over migratory issues, and governments’ (in)capacity to predict future developments. The inclusion of the first entry principle contributed to assimilating asylum policy with migration control, creating the premises for the subsequent burden-sharing problems and readmission agreement practices.
The main landmass of Europe does not appear in the iconic Blue Marble photograph of earth, taken from space on the final Apollo mission to the moon in December 1972. Europe as a continent remains out of frame, hidden north beyond the curvature of the planet. Viewers instead see swirling clouds, vast expanses of the world ocean and the partially obscured forms of Africa, Antarctica and the Arabian Peninsula. Decentring the Global North was crucial to the charisma of this image, which for half a century has been a symbol of human unity and a staple of appeals to protect the only planet we have ever inhabited. The universality of the photograph contrasted with the frictions of the Cold War and decolonisation that peaked in the 1960s. Blue Marble is nonetheless deeply ambivalent. Its extraterrestrial vantage was possible thanks to the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. And the implicit message of the photograph – that the benefits of spaceflight and other advanced technologies would be shared with all peoples as a contribution to global economic development – simultaneously invoked legacies of inequality from the epoch of formal imperialism, itself not yet at an end. Regions visible in Blue Marble, in fact, included territory still administered at the time by Britain, France, Norway, Portugal and Spain.1
Over the past decade right-wing populism has achieved unprecedented popularity across much of Europe. The first intimations came in 2010 when Viktor Orbán's Fidesz Party won a super-majority in alliance with Christian Democrats, gaining the power to reshape Hungary's legal framework. While the eurozone crisis then sparked the rise of left-wing anti-establishment movements across Mediterranean Europe, elsewhere populism exploded on the right. In the 2014 European parliamentary elections centrists lost seats to parties on the margins, and Fidesz extended its grip over Hungary. Over the next three years Law and Justice won elections in Poland with a campaign steeped in religion and euroscepticism; the United Kingdom shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union; Marine Le Pen of the National Front demolished conventional candidates in the first round of the French presidential elections; the anti-immigrant Lega joined a ruling coalition in Italy; and in Germany, Europe's largest country, the nationalist Alternative for Germany (Alernativ für Deutschland; AfD) entered parliament as the third largest party.
This special issue argues that historical work must take ‘the family’ seriously as an active participant in shaping historical change. The issue offers seven case studies from across the North to South and East to West of Europe, ranging from the 1940s until the present, and looking across authoritarian, liberal democratic, communist and fascistic systems. In all case studies, authors look ‘from below’ to show how individuals thought of themselves, in messy and complex ways, as living within ‘families’. This powerful yet shifting idea shaped people's social lives, political choices and activism. This introduction explores grand narratives of welfare and democracy in the twentieth century; offers a new working approach to analysis of family ‘agency’; and then summarises the collection's main findings around chronologies and geographies of change.