It has become commonplace for researchers to claim that Europe’s past cannot be fully appreciated within its own self-sufficient, sovereign borders; that the nation is a distorting prism, ill-suited to the global dimensions of the Europe we inhabit today. An earlier generation of scholarship is routinely taken to task for erecting artificial distinctions between the nation and the world beyond Europe’s shores. The notion that the histories of Europe and the wider world were ‘imbricated’, ‘infused’, ‘embedded’, ‘steeped’, ‘interwoven’ and ‘entwined’ in one another, are widely circulated – each seeking to capture the imperative of placing the national and the global in the same analytical frame.
Yet these trends coincide with an endemic pessimism for the future of the transnational European project. Former EU president, Jean-Claude Juncker, linked the success of the EU to the presence of a living memory of World War II, and appealed to ‘the present generation of European leaders ‘to forge ahead with closer European ties’. In the absence of living and personal memories of the two world wars, Juncker feared that Europe – after six decades of peace – would be unable to incorporate these wars into a shared European cultural memory. Not without reason.
This research strand is concerned with the paradox of a globalizing Europe still anchored in national commemorative and political cultures. Despite significant advances in the study of memory, social movements and Europe’s imperial projections around the world, an enormous potential remains untapped. There lies the more innovative possibility of viewing European cultures and societies as inherently transnational, permeating not only the borders between Europe and the wider world, but also effortlessly transcending the boundaries within Europe itself.
Particularly after 1945, when decolonization changed the worldview of many European nations – whether or not they had been colonial powers before – perceptions and reactions towards the increasing global convergence had a strong impact on the understanding of European modernity in politics, economics, and culture. Although this pan-European research agenda has been tentatively probed in a variety of quarters for several years, it seems significant that it has only broken the surface in the volatile waters of post-2008 austerity. The spectacle of massive indebtedness, flatline growth rates, falling revenues, ageing populations, mass youth unemployment, and the ever-looming threat of sovereign default in the Eurozone, undoubtedly represents a new and unstable era in the history of European integration. But in a wider perspective it also represents a major watershed in the relative wealth, status and influence of Europe in the world.
Detlef Siegfried: The Impact of the Global. Apartheid and the Modernisation of European Societies, 1960s-1980s
The aim of this Danish-German collaborative project is to investigate how Western European societies perceived the South African Apartheid system and how these perceptions generated changes within European societies in the period of major transformation between the1960s and 1980s.
The project focuses on three central areas:
a) political communication and campaigns of Apartheid opponents and supporters
b) the relevance of anti-Apartheid attitudes for the mutual permeation of politics and lifestyles on an everyday basis
c) long-time encounters of Europeans and South Africans.
Two of the six sub-projects are located at EnGeRom and its platform ”Global Europe” (Detlef Siegfried: ”Anti-Apartheid and the Emergence of a Global Media Community” and Jakob Skovgaard: ” Consumer Boycott as Private Human Rights Politics”). The research group has published an issue of a scholarly journal and is now preparing its concluding conference, scheduled for September 2018 in Hamburg.
Morten Heiberg: US-Spanish relations during the transition period in Spain 1975-1989 (monograph)
The transition to democracy in Spain after General Franco's death on 20 November 1975 is widely recognized as one of the proudest moments in Spanish national history. Historians, sociologists and political scientists have contributed equally to a thorough understanding of this defining event. Yet for a number of good reasons their main focus has been on Spanish domestic issues rather than on external forces and their significance for the democratization of Spain. However, in recent years the international dimension of the transition period has gained new interest as a separate field of investigation. In this monograph I discuss the role and the importance of the United States for the process of democratic change in Spain.
Stuart Ward: Embers of Empire: The Receding Frontiers of Post-Imperial Britain
Embers of Empire is a project comprising the disciplines of English, History and Linguistics that explores the putative relationship between the dynamics of global decolonisation and the widely debated ‘break-up of Britain’ since the Second World War. The project examines the largely unquestioned assumption that the end of empire has produced the serial crises of British identity in recent decades. By uniting linguistic and historical research traditions and by looking at Britishness on a global scale, the project opens up the study both in terms of scope and methodology.
|Harder, Peter||Professor||+45 353-28609|
|Heiberg, Morten Rievers||Professor||+45 353-28618|
|Siegfried, Detlef||Professor||+45 353-28433|
See list of selected publications by the researchers involved in the platform.