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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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TRANSITION IN SOUTHERN EUROPE LA TRANSITION EN EUROPE DU SUD 301 The United States and the Crises in Southern Europe Mario DEL PERO In this paper I will concentrate on the reaction of the Nixon and Ford administrations to the crises that exploded in various Southern European countries in the early and mid-1970s. In doing so, I will advance two interpretations. The first is that with the administration of Richard Nixon the US paid much greater attention to the political and economic situation of the most important Southern European countries (Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece). It did so out of necessity, since it had to face up to the complex and frail realities of these often unreliable allies; but it did so also as a consequence of a more general change in the foreign policy approach of the US. Such change was quite radical and manifested itself in a greater willingness to intervene (and interfere) in the domestic affairs of Washington’s Southern European allies. The second argument, however, is that the results of this renewed attention were different from what was expected. Nixon and Kissinger’s search for greater stability in Southern Europe ended up producing a parado- xical increase in political instability in the region. Having to confront this instability, and the criticisms of most Western European allies, the US finally moderated its approach and opted for a traditional, cautious and renewed multilateralism in dealing with the Southern European political crises in the period, the Italian one above all. The...

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