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Europe in the International Arena during the 1970s / L’Europe sur la scène internationale dans les années 1970

Entering a different world / À la découverte d’un nouveau monde


Edited By Guia Migani and Antonio Varsori

For some time now studies on European post-war history have regarded the 1970s as a period of crisis and uncertainty. Recently historians of both the Cold War and European integration have started to reassess the 1970s, but we still lack a comprehensive analysis of the period. Such an analysis was the main goal of a research project launched by a group of Italian scholars with the collaboration of foreign colleagues. The present volume is the outcome of the most significant results of the project, all based on extensive archival investigations. It offers significant new contributions on a fundamental period of our most recent history.
Jusqu’à une époque récente, les études sur l’histoire de l’après-guerre en Europe ont considéré les années 1970 comme une période de crise et d’incertitudes. Ce n’est que récemment que les historiens de la guerre froide et de l’intégration européenne ont commencé à réévaluer les années 1970. Une mise en perspective globale faisait cependant encore défaut. Un groupe de chercheurs italiens a décidé de s’y atteler, en développant un projet de recherche avec la collaboration de collègues étrangers. Cet ouvrage présente les résultats de leurs discussions ainsi que des recherches menées dans les archives de plusieurs pays et organisations. Il offre de passionnantes contributions et interprétations sur une période fondamentale de notre histoire récente.


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EUROPEAN CONSTRUCTION: THE GREAT DIVIDE LA CONSTRUCTION EUROPÉENNE : LE CHANGEMENT 27 The European Construction in the 1970s The Great Divide Antonio VARSORI Introduction Most historical contributions on European integration describe a process that started in the late 1940s and that, in spite of periods of “eurosclerosis”, was constantly revived by phases of “acceleration” or even “re-launching”.1 Obviously, in these interpretations, the process adapts itself to changes that were characterising both Western Europe and, indeed, the world, but continuity prevails. The very words “integration” and “construction” imply that the EC/EU is a sort of “building” that from the 1940s onwards had been built up in a coherent fashion and whose foundations were still the ones created by Adenauer, De Gasperi, Schuman and Monnet.2 Given the common use of this kind of imagery, it is hardly surprising that the influence of the “founding fathers” is always brought up in European political discourses, as if there is still a direct link between what happened in the early 1950s and the EU today. The present paper hopes to demonstrate that such a view is often misleading and that the 1970s represented a real and dramatic turning 1 These remarks appear to be valid for most of the general histories of the construction of a European Community. See for example: Gerbet, P., La construction de l’Europe, Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1994; Olivi, B., Giacone, A., L’Europe difficile. Histoire politique de la construction européenne, Paris, Gallimard, 2007. Obviously it would be possible to add...

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