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Rupture and integration in the wake of total war

The development of the European Union as a community-based project of integration with decision-making powers outside the constitutional architecture of the nation-state is the most significant innovation in twentieth-century political organisation. It raises fundamental questions about our understanding of the state, sovereignty, citizenship, democracy, and the relationship between political power and economic forces. Despite its achievements, events at the start of the twenty-first century – including the political, economic, and financial crisis of the Eurozone, as well as Brexit and the rise of populism – pose an existential threat to the EU.

Memory and the future of Europe addresses the crisis of the EU by treating integration as a response to the rupture created by the continent’s experience of total war. It traces Europe’s existing pathologies to the project’s loss of its moral foundations rooted in collective memories of total war. As the generations with personal memories of the two world wars pass away, economic gain has become the EU’s sole raison d’être. If it is to survive its future challenges, the EU will have to create a new historical imaginary that relies not only on the lessons of the past, but also builds on Europe’s ability to protect its citizens by serving as a counterweight against the forces of globalisation. By framing its argument through the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, Memory and the future of Europe will attract readers interested in political and social philosophy, collective memory studies, European studies, international relations, and contemporary politics.

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British POW families, 1939–45

During the Second World War, some 250,000 British servicemen were taken captive either by the Axis powers or the Japanese, as a result of which their wives and families became completely dependent on the military and civil authorities for news of their loved ones and for financial and material support. This book outlines the nature of their plight, and shows how they attempted to overcome the particular difficulties they faced during and in the immediate aftermath of hostilities. It opens up a whole new area of analysis and examines the experiences of the millions of service dependents created by total war. Taking as its starting point the provisions made by pre-Second World War British governments to meet the needs of its service dependents, the book then goes on to focus on the most disadvantaged elements of this group – the wives, children and dependents of men taken prisoner – and the changes brought about by the exigencies of total war. Further chapters reflect on how these families organised to lobby government and the strategies they adopted to circumvent apparent bureaucratic ineptitude and misinformation. The book contributes to our understanding of the ways in which welfare provision was developed during the Second World War.

Open Access (free)
Civilian morale in Britain during the Second World War
Author: Robert Mackay

How well did civilian morale stand up to the pressures of total war and what factors were important to it? This book rejects contentions that civilian morale fell a long way short of the favourable picture presented at the time and in hundreds of books and films ever since. While acknowledging that some negative attitudes and behaviour existed—panic and defeatism, ration-cheating and black-marketeering—it argues that these involved a very small minority of the population. In fact, most people behaved well, and this should be the real measure of civilian morale, rather than the failing of the few who behaved badly. The book shows that although before the war, the official prognosis was pessimistic, measures to bolster morale were taken nevertheless, in particular with regard to protection against air raids. An examination of indicative factors concludes that moral fluctuated but was in the main good, right to the end of the war. In examining this phenomenon, due credit is accorded to government policies for the maintenance of morale, but special emphasis is given to the ‘invisible chain’ of patriotic feeling that held the nation together during its time of trial.

Open Access (free)
Bloomsbury attitudes to the Great War
Author: Jonathan Atkin

The Great War still haunts us. This book draws together examples of the ‘aesthetic pacifism’ practised during the Great War by such celebrated individuals as Virginia Woolf, Siegfried Sassoon and Bertrand Russell. It also tells the stories of those less well known who shared the attitudes of the Bloomsbury Group when it came to facing the first ‘total war’. The five-year research for this study gathered evidence from all the major archives in Great Britain and abroad in order to paint a complete picture of this unique form of anti-war expression. The narrative begins with the Great War's effect on philosopher-pacifist Bertrand Russell and Cambridge University.

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The First Aid Nursing Yeomanry in the First World War
Author: Janet Lee

Total war tends to create a situation that falls back on established social and cultural discourses and institutional arrangements at the same time that it provides the opportunity for a shifting and renegotiation of these arrangements. This book explores how the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) drew upon, and/or subverted cultural mythologies to make sense of their wartime service. It focuses on this renegotiation of gender and examines seven key themes implicit in this process. The first theme concerns the ways women's military organizations utilized traditional notions of genteel femininity and its accompanying nurturance, cheerfulness and devotion in their promise of service, yet went beyond the parameters of such cultural mythologies. The second focuses on the gendering of military heroism. The third theme addresses the context of female military service in terms of the preparation women received, the opportunities they were given and the risks they took, and focuses on their coping behaviours. Theme four focuses specifically on women's transgression into the masculine terrain of driving and mechanics and shares the ways they developed skills and competencies previously off-limits for women. Such transgressions almost invariably led to women having to negotiate masculine authority and develop skills in autonomy, independence and assertiveness - the focus of theme five. The last two themes discussed in the book address the integration and consolidation of women's organizations as the war progressed and their service became indispensable.

Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles
Rony Brauman

imperial conquests were foreshadowing the twentieth century’s mechanised and industrialised total wars. Dunant himself anticipated the evolution of armed conflict towards total war in a collection of writings published at the end of his life, presciently entitled L’Avenir sanglant (the bloody future). We know what happened to humanitarian norms during what historian Eric Hobsbawm dubbed the ‘age of extremes’, with its colonial massacres, world wars, genocides

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Philip M. Taylor

Chapter 20 War and the Communications Revolution The twentieth century saw the arrival of a fundamentally different kind of warfare: ‘Total War’. Although the Napoleonic wars and the American War of Independence had foreshadowed this phenomenon by their level of popular involvement, the world wars of the twentieth century differed markedly from previous conflicts, not just in their scale but also in the degree to which civilians were affected by, and contributed directly to, events in the front line. War now became a matter for every member of the population, a

in Munitions of the Mind
Philip M. Taylor

in 1938. It was also fundamental to the Sudeten crisis, which almost boiled over into a war that nobody either wanted and or was prepared for. Too often it is forgotten that Munich was extremely popular at the time, both in Britain and Germany, and that Chamberlain was hailed all over the world as ‘The Peacemaker’, the ‘Man of the Hour’ who had brought Europe back from the brink of catastrophe. Munitions_08_Chap23 209 4/11/03, 11:04 210 Propaganda in the Age of Total War and Cold War Barely twelve months later, Chamberlain declared war on Germany believing

in Munitions of the Mind
Peter J. Verovšek

project at a time when leaders with no personal memories of total war increasingly calculate their European interests in terms of short-term cost–benefit analysis. The following section focuses on political education and the development of a supranational understanding history as the foundation for a truly postnational European identity. Similar to the current generation of leaders, the cohort born after 1980 also does not have personal memories of Europe’s age of total war. However, this younger generation is equipped with new, pro-European resources as a result of

in Memory and the future of Europe
The French experience, 1792-1815
Gavin Daly

-Napoleonic Wars are seen as a continuation and intensification of these early transformative changes in military affairs. On the other hand, the French Revolutionary-Napoleonic Wars have been seen as the crucial formative phase in a narrative of ‘modern’ or indeed ‘total war’. Here, the epoch represents a fundamental break with the past: the ‘limited’ and ‘restrained’ dynastic or

in Violence and the state