Zero Hours

Conceptual Insecurities and New Beginnings in the Interwar Period

by Hagen Schulz-Forberg (Volume editor)
Monographs 315 Pages


To cut off time and seal away the past, to proclaim a new beginning in the present and project a better future onto tomorrow – and thus to make history – is a key signature of modern social, political and cultural discourses. In this book, this practice is represented through the metaphor of the Zero Hour, which alludes to the wish to rebuild the past in the face of a crisis-ridden present characterised by growing conceptual insecurity, hoping for a more stable future. Indeed, the ever-new construction of our past, sequenced and ordered in explanatory narratives, bears witness to a future that ‘ought to be’. As the case studies in this volume show, this is a global phenomenon.
Against the backdrop of a confluence of experiences which unsettled conceptual norms after the First World War, this volume presents a novel approach to global history as it examines ways of breaking with the past and the way in which societies, as well as transnational historical actors, employ key concepts to compose arguments for a better tomorrow.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2013 (November)
Bruxelles, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2013. 315 pp., 4 fig., 1 table

Biographical notes

Hagen Schulz-Forberg (Volume editor)

Hagen Schulz-Forberg is Associate Professor of Global and European History at Aarhus University, where he co-ordinates the International Studies programme. His latest monograph, co-authored with Bo Stråth, The Political History of European Integration (2010, paperback 2012), was shortlisted for the European Book Prize 2011.


Title: Zero Hours