For its forthcoming participation to the International Committee of Historical Sciences (ICHS) congress in Poznan in 2020, the International Association for Contemporary History of Europe (IACHE) is organising three conferences on the theme ‘Europe in the 20th century – an asymmetric Europe.’
European history of the twentieth century has been characterised by an alternation between common European projects and a questioning of such projects, often vehemently, through alternative visions. To borrow an expression from an American president, the vicissitudes of the European continent’s history have led to a significant difference between the « Old Europe » and that which took shape at the end of the First World War, referred to either as « Central Europe » for some, « Eastern Europe » for others, even sometimes « East-Central » or « Danubian » Europe. The divergences between these « two Europes », as Francis Delaisi first pointed out in the inter-war years, are striking and manifest themselves throughout the twentieth century. They are present in the Versailles system, and throughout the Hitlerian project for Europe. They are still present during the Cold War.
The conferences that will take place leading up to the 2020 International Congress of Historical Sciences intend to explore this asymmetry. Have these projects influenced interpretations of European history ? Did they present Europe as a homogeneous entity? Or as a differentiated entity? Which interpretation is most current in Western Europe ? And Eastern Europe ? The idea will be to cross-compare these different currents.
A first conference took place in Moscow in December 2019, focusing on the ideologies during the Second World War. A second conference is being organised in Paris focusing on asymmetric Europe after the Treaty of Versailles. The third conference will take place in Luxembourg on 11 December 2019.
This third conference will be focusing on the cold war. The organisers are particularly interested in proposals looking at the following asymmetries:
- Asymmetry Council for Mutual Economic Assistance / European Economic Community
- Asymmetry Relations US/Western Europe on the one hand; USSR/Eastern Europe on the other
- Asymmetry in the types of cooperation put in place in the field of energy, and transport
- Asymmetry in the political and economic organisation of the European continent
- Calls into question of these asymmetries (de Gaulle, Ostpolitik) and their outcomes
- Intellectual and scientific exchanges between East and West
- The development and evolution of bilateral cooperations
- European integration and cold war dynamics
Applicants should submit an abstract of no more than 500 words, and a short CV, by 30 June 2019, to Frédéric Clavert (Université du Luxembourg, frederic.clavert at uni.lu) and Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol (University of Glasgow, emmanuel.mourlon-druol at glasgow.ac.uk). Proposals can be written in English or in French. Selected applicants will be informed by mid-July 2019.
This conference is organised with the support of the International Association for Contemporary History of Europe (IACHE), the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH, University of Luxembourg, the ERC-funded research project EURECON: The Making of a Lopsided Union: Economic Integration in the European Economic Community, 1957-1992 (grant agreement No 716849) and the Centre d’Excellence Jean Monnet Franco-Allemand (Université de Strasbourg).