Dr Pepijn Corduwener (Political History) and Dr Eleni Braat (History of International Relations) will organise a workshop on the theme ‘1989 and the West. New Perspectives on the Consequences of the End of the Cold War’ on 20 and 21 April 2017.
The workshop aims to offer new perspectives on how the end of the Cold War affected and formed the states of Western Europe. Most scholarly attention dedicated to the change of Europe's political map after the Cold War has been devoted to understand of the end of the Cold War affected the former Eastern bloc. Often, this has been understood in terms of the eastern halve of the continent finally ‘joining’ Europe, meaning the West. Yet Europe’s western halve was by no means a ‘static’ model whose domestic and international systems were unaffected by the end of the Cold War.
How did the Cold War affect the West?
The ‘end of history’ thesis which saw the end of the Cold War in terms of a Western victory has long been questioned, but no overarching narrative has replaced it, leaving the question still open on how the end of the Cold War affected the West. This workshop is dedicated to that question. Most obviously, the Fall of the Berlin Wall brought an end to the existence of Western European communist parties; gave a stimulus to European integration; changed the balance of power in the European Union; altered the face of social democracy; and caused an overhaul of the intelligence and security apparatus. Yet also other, and less obvious, dimensions of the consequences of the end of the Cold War for the West might be explored.