The South in Post-War Europe. Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal

27.-28.06.3013, Internationale Konferenz, DHI Rom

According to the mainstream discourse of the Cold War, “Western Europe” after 1945 appears to be essentially a homogeneous historical space fully integrated into the context of modern industrial societies. In the second half of the 20th century, however, the so called Western European societies were divided by deep inequalities both on the political and economic level. While States in the north embodied consolidated democracies, Spain, Portugal and Greece were, for shorter or longer periods, authoritarian regimes. At the same time, these countries were deeply afflicted with underdevelopment, which cut them off from the “economic miracles” other European states were experiencing. With its “weak democracy”, Italy had a contradictory position on the edge between the “backwardness” in the Iberian and Greek peninsulas and the “progress” in the neighbouring countries beyond the Alps. At the beginning of the 21th century the old inequalities were believed to belong to the past, until the debt crisis appeared to be splitting apart the continent once again. The conference raises the question whether “Southern Europe” — as this area may be referred to from a geopolitical and socio-historical rather than from a geographical point of view — is useful as an analytical tool for contemporary history.

Conference attendance is free, but pre-registration is required.Please email Monika Kruse: kruse@dhi-roma.it.