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A quantum of solace? European peace movements during the Cold War and their elective affinities

Ziemann, Benjamin (2009) A quantum of solace? European peace movements during the Cold War and their elective affinities. Archiv für Sozialgeschichte , 49. pp. 351-389. ISSN 0066-6505


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The article discusses the European dimension of antinuclear protests in Europe during the Cold War. In conceptual terms, explanations of peace movement mobilisation during the early 1980s as result of a value change to post-materialist values are criticised. Contrary to this interpretation, peace activists, in particular women’s peace protests, stressed the material shortcomings they faced as a results of expenditure on nuclear armaments. In terms of their European character, antinuclear activists during the first mobilisation wave until 1963 developed substantial transnational contacts, but kept an orientation towards their nation as an identity space. During the campaign against the Euromissiles in the early 1980s, an increasingly dense network of elective affinities according to – for instance – denomination or professional expertise emerged. Attempts to connect peace activists on both sides of the Iron Curtain in a ›détente from below‹, however, eere hampered by practical problems and divergent perceptions of the political situation. Even while movement activists interacted and coordinated their efforts across national borders, they did not simply merge into a European civil society. Antinuclear peace movement activists, the article argues, did not constitute a European subject.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2009 Ziemann, B. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: peace movements; dual-track solution; Western Europe
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of History (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Benjamin Ziemann
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2012 15:32
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 13:17
Status: Published
Publisher: J.H.W. Dietz Nachf.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/74457

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