Thirty four essays by a team of leading scholars offering a broad reassessment of the cold war, calling into question orthodox ways of ordering the chronology of the period and presenting new insights into the global dimension of the conflict.
The postwar period is no longer current affairs but is becoming the recent past. As such, it is increasingly attracting the attentions of historians. Whilst the Cold War has long been a mainstay of political science and contemporary history, recent research approaches postwar Europe in many different ways, all of which are represented in the thirty-five chapters of this book. As well as diplomatic, political, institutional, economic, and social history, The Oxford Handbook of Postwar European History contains chapters which approach the past through the lenses of gender, espionage, art and architecture, technology, agriculture, heritage, postcolonialism, memory, and generational change, and shows how the history of postwar Europe can be enriched by looking to disciplines such as anthropology and philosophy. The Handbook covers all of Europe, with a notable focus on Eastern Europe. Including subjects as diverse as the meaning of 'Europe' and European identity, southern Europe after dictatorship, the cultural meanings of the bomb, the 1968 student uprisings, immigration, Americanization, welfare, leisure, decolonization, the Wars of Yugoslav Succession, and coming to terms with the Nazi past, the essays in this Handbook offer an unparalleled coverage of postwar European history that offers far more than the standard Cold War framework. Readers will find self-contained, state-of-the-art analyses of major subjects, each written by an acknowledged expert, as well as stimulating and novel approaches to newer topics. Combining empirical rigour and adventurous conceptual analysis, this Handbook offers in one substantial volume a guide to the numerous ways in which historians are now rewriting the history of postwar Europe.
The essays in this Handbook, written by an international team of distinguished scholars, combine to explore the way in which fascism is understood by contemporary scholarship, as well as pointing to areas of continuing dispute and discussion. From a focus on Italy as, chronologically at least, the 'first Fascist nation', the contributors cover a wide range of countries, from Nazi Germany and the comparison with Soviet Communism to fascism in Yugoslavia and its successor states. The book also examines the roots of fascism before 1914 and its survival, whether in practice or in memory, after 1945. The analysis looks at both fascist ideas and practice, and at the often uneasy relationship between the two. The book is not designed to provide any final answers to the fascist problem and no quick definition emerges from its pages. Readers will rather find there historical debate. On appropriate occasions, the authors disagree with each other and have not been forced into any artificial 'consensus', offering readers the chance to engage with the debates over a phenomenon that, more than any other single factor, led humankind into the catastrophe of the Second World War.
The term 'consumption' covers the desire for goods and services, their acquisition, use, and disposal. The study of consumption has grown enormously in recent years, and it has been the subject of major historiographical debates: did the eighteenth century bring a consumer revolution? Was there a great divergence between East and West? Did the twentieth century see the triumph of global consumerism? Questions of consumption have become defining topics in all branches of history, from gender and labour history to political history and cultural studies. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption offers a timely overview of how our understanding of consumption in history has changed in the last generation, taking the reader from the ancient period to the twenty-first century. It includes chapters on Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America, brings together new perspectives, highlights cutting-edge areas of research, and offers a guide through the main historiographical developments. Contributions from leading historians examine the spaces of consumption, consumer politics, luxury and waste, nationalism and empire, the body, well-being, youth cultures, and fashion. The Handbook also showcases the different ways in which recent historians have approached the subject, from cultural and economic history to political history and technology studies, including areas where multidisciplinary approaches have been especially fruitful.
This is the first comprehensive volume to offer a state of the art investigation both of the nature of political ideologies and of their main manifestations. The diversity of ideology studies is represented by a mixture of the range of theories that illuminate the field, combined with an appreciation of the changing complexity of concrete ideologies and the emergence of new ones. Ideologies, however, are always with us. The Handbook is divided into three sections: The first is divided into three sections: The first reflects some of the latest thinking about the development of ideology on an historical dimension, from the standpoints of conceptual history, Marx studies, social science theory and history, and leading schools of continental philosophy. The second includes some of the most recent interpretations and theories of ideology, all of which are sympathetic in their own ways to its exploration and close investigation, even when judiciously critical of its social impact. This section contains many of the more salient contemporary accounts of ideology. The third focuses on the leading ideological families and traditions, as well as on some of their cultural and geographical manifestations, incorporating both historical and contemporary perspectives. Each chapter is written by an expert in their field, bringing the latest approaches and understandings to their task. The Handbook will position the study of ideologies in the mainstream of political theory and political analysis and will attest to its indispensability both to courses on political theory and to scholars who wish to take their understanding of ideologies in new directions.
The essays in this Handbook, written by leading scholars working in the rapidly developing field of witchcraft studies, explore the historical literature regarding witch beliefs and witch trials in Europe and colonial America between the early fifteenth and early eighteenth centuries. During these years witches were thought to be evil people who used magical power to inflict physical harm or misfortune on their neighbours. Witches were also believed to have made pacts with the devil and sometimes to have worshipped him at nocturnal assemblies known as sabbaths. These beliefs provided the basis for defining witchcraft as a secular and ecclesiastical crime and prosecuting tens of thousands of women and men for this offence. The trials resulted in as many as fifty thousand executions. These essays study the rise and fall of witchcraft prosecutions in the various kingdoms and territories of Europe and in English, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies in the Americas. They also relate these prosecutions to the Catholic and Protestant reformations, the introduction of new forms of criminal procedure, medical and scientific thought, the process of state-building, profound social and economic change, early modern patterns of gender relations, and the wave of demonic possessions that occurred in Europe at the same time. The essays survey the current state of knowledge in the field, explore the academic controversies that have arisen regarding witch beliefs and witch trials, propose new ways of studying the subject, and identify areas for future research.
Recent books by, among others, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have thrust atheism firmly into the popular, media, and academic spotlight. This so-called New Atheism is arguably the most striking development in western socio-religious culture of the past decade or more. As such, it has spurred fertile (and often heated) discussions both within, and between, a diverse range of disciplines. Yet atheism, and the New Atheism, are by no means co-extensive. Interesting though it indeed is, the New Atheism is a single, historically and culturally specific manifestation of positive atheism (the that there is/are no God/s), which is itself but one form of a far deeper, broader, and more significant global phenomenon. The Oxford Handbook of Atheism is a pioneering edited volume, exploring atheism—understood in the broad sense of 'an absence of belief in the existence of a God or gods'—in all the richness and diversity of its historical and contemporary expressions. Bringing together an international team of established and emerging scholars, it probes the varied manifestations and implications of unbelief from an array of disciplinary perspectives (philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, demography, psychology, natural sciences, gender and sexuality studies, literary criticism, film studies, musicology) and in a range of global contexts (Western Europe, North America, post-communist Europe, the Islamic world, Japan, India). Both surveying and synthesizing previous work, and presenting the major fruits of innovative recent research, the handbook is set to be a landmark text for the study of atheism.
Legislatures are political bodies essential to democracy and the rule of law. They present social scientists with numerous intriguing puzzles, with far-reaching implications for our understanding of political institutions. Why, and how, have these ancient assemblies, established in pre-democratic times, survived the transition to mass democracies? How have they adapted? How do they structure such processes as budgeting, legislation, and executive oversight? How do their members get selected, and what consequences flow from differences in these rules? What roles do committees and political parties play in contemporary legislatures? What functions do legislatures perform in autocratic, semi-democratic or recently democratized societies? What explains the similarities and differences in legislative rules, powers and recruitment? What are the policy and other consequences of variation in how legislatures are organized and function? The 33 chapters in The Oxford Handbook of Legislative Studies, written by 47 of the most distinguished legislative scholars, provide a comprehensive and up-to-date description and assessment of the state of the art in legislative studies. Key themes explored include theoretical paradigms and methodological approaches to the study of legislatures, representation and legislative careers, internal organization, the role of parties within legislatures and the role of legislatures in policy making and accountability. The Handbook also explores the emergence of parliaments in historical and contemporary contexts, including new democracies and trans-national institutions.
Few scholarly fields have developed in recent decades as rapidly and vigorously as Holocaust Studies. At the start of the twenty-first century, the persecution and murder perpetrated by the Nazi regime have become the subjects of an enormous literature in multiple academic disciplines and a touchstone of public and intellectual discourse in such diverse fields as politics, ethics and religion. Forward-looking and multi-disciplinary, this handbook draws on the work of an international team of forty-seven outstanding scholars. The handbook is thematically divided into five broad sections. Part One, Enablers, concentrates on the broad and necessary contextual conditions for the Holocaust. Part Two, Protagonists, concentrates on the principal persons and groups involved in the Holocaust and attempts to disaggregate the conventional interpretive categories of perpetrator, victim, and bystander. It examines the agency of the Nazi leaders and killers and of those involved in resisting and surviving the assault. Part Three, Settings, concentrates on the particular places, sites, and physical circumstances where the actions of the Holocaust's protagonists and the forms of persecution were literally grounded. Part Four, Representations, engages complex questions about how the Holocaust can and should be grasped and what meaning or lack of meaning might be attributed to events through historical analysis, interpretation of texts, artistic creation and criticism, and philosophical and religious reflection. Part Five, Aftereffects, explores the Holocaust's impact on politics and ethics, education and religion, national identities and international relations, the prospects for genocide prevention, and the defense of human rights.