Utrecht (the Netherlands), 20-21 April 2017
The research group International and Political History at Utrecht University convenes a workshop on the theme ‘1989 and the West. New Perspectives on the Consequences of the End of the Cold War’.
This workshop aims to offer new perspectives on how the end of the Cold War affected and formed the states of Western Europe. The European continent seems strained by enduring political divisions between East and West, putting their distinctiveness again at the top of the political agenda, ranging from international orientation; domestic party politics; the role of migration; intelligence and security politics; to the politics of nationalism.
A major historical question in the field of political history and international relations history has been how the transformations resulting from the end of the Cold War have changed the political map of Europe. Most of the scholarly attention has in this regard been devoted to the former Eastern bloc, and has sought to understand how the end of the Cold War affected the countries from the Baltic to the Adriatic. Often, this has been understood in terms of the eastern halve of the continent finally ‘joining’ Europe, meaning the West. Yet Europe’s western halve was by no means a ‘static’ model whose domestic and international systems were unaffected by the end of the Cold War.
The ‘end of history’ thesis which saw the end of the Cold War in terms of a Western victory has long been questioned, but no overarching narrative has replaced it, leaving the question still open on how the end of the Cold War affected the West. This workshop is dedicated to that question. Most obviously, the Fall of the Berlin Wall brought an end to the existence of Western European communist parties; gave a stimulus to European integration; changed the balance of power in the European Union; altered the face of social democracy; and caused an overhaul of the intelligence and security apparatus. Yet also other, and less obvious, dimensions of the consequences of the end of the Cold War for the West, for instance regarding the politics of migration; the rise of populism; the ‘normalization’ of nationalism and the prominence of neoliberalism might be explored.
This workshop seeks to bring together scholars working in various disciplines of the social sciences, including political history, history of international relations, political science and public administration, in all stages of their careers. The workshop is intended to establish close contacts and international cooperation among scholars working on the consequences of the fall of the Berlin Wall for the West. The workshop is with emphasis intended to discuss papers at an advanced stage. Publication of a special issue is intended.
We invite paper proposals based on original research that offer new accounts of the creation of Western Europe as a distinctive entity after the Cold War. Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The changing face of nationalism
- The position of Germany in Europe
- European integration
- Domestic party systems and the rise of populism
- Social movements in the West
- Intelligence and security policies in the West
- Social Democracy and the Third Way
- The politics of neoliberalism
Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2016
Please submit your abstract (max. 200 words) and a short bio to E.C.Braat@uu.nl or P.Corduwener@uu.nl by 15 September 2016. All abstract should include a paper title, author name(s) and affiliation(s), professional status, and contact details. Notification of paper acceptance will be given by end-September.