157 The Impact of the First World War On European Transnationalism: Catalyst or Impediment?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013: 2:00 PM-3:45 PM
5.59 (PC Hoofthuis)
The last two decades historians have explored the emergent and burgeoning transnational movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Most inquiries deal with the materialization of the organizational structure, the ideological agenda, and the input of prominent advocates of internationalism - during peacetime. However, the ‘era of transnationalism’ also encompassed two world wars.

This panel examines the influence of World War I on transnational networks in Europe, how the war acted both as an impediment to these networks and spurred them. Furthermore, it will address the impact of the post-war perpetuation and rejuvenation of transnational endeavours. The panel aims to be an exploratory workshop, which analyses a variety of European transnational networks and their dynamics during the First World War. As such, it should be considered as a prelude and stepping-stone to a series of meetings which will address the theme of transnationalism and both World Wars in-depth.

In this panel we bring together different layers of transnational activity, from more idealistic to policy centred to technical projects. The papers will cover themes such as socialist internationalism, Europeanism, foreign policy networks, urban reform movements, and infrastructural interconnectivity. The panel’s contributors stem from diverging historical sub-disciplines such as social history, political history, urban history and the history of technology. As such, taken together, the papers will address the mechanisms of wartime and immediate post-war transnationalism activity sui generis. Consequently, this diversity in types of transnationalism speaks to an underlying question: whether transnationalism is an adequate signifier, or whether we should speak of transnationalisms?

Vincent Lagendijk
Kiran Patel
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