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The Longue Durée of Empire

Toward a Comparative Semantics of a Key Concept in Modern European History

Jörn Leonhard

Against the background of a new interest in empires past and present and an inflation of the concept in modern political language and beyond, the article first looks at the use of the concept as an analytical marker in historical and current interpretations of empires. With a focus on Western European cases, the concrete semantics of empire as a key concept in modern European history is analyzed, combining a reconstruction of some diachronic trends with synchronic differentiations.

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European Union

Are the Founding Ideas Obsolete?

Isabelle Petit and George Ross

On 9 May 1950, in an elegant salon of the Quai d’Orsay in Paris, France’s Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that France and Germany, plus any other democratic nation in Western Europe that wanted to join, establish a “community” to regulate and govern the coal and steel industries across national borders. France and Germany had been at, or preparing for, war for most of the nineteenth and twentieth century, at huge costs to millions of citizens. Moreover, in 1950 iron and steel remained central to national economic success and war-making power. The Schuman Plan therefore clearly spoke to deeper issues.

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Pamela Ballinger and Kristen P. Ghodsee

Scholars of religion have increasingly brought secularism within the framework of critical studies of spirituality, analyzing the dialogic relationship between religions and secularisms past and present. This emerging field of “postsecularist” studies examines the multiple meanings and practices that different cultures and societies attach to the concepts of “religion,” “faith,” and “piety.” The articles presented in this special section of Aspasia contribute to these larger academic debates by focusing on the multiethnic and historically pluralistic region of Southeastern Europe, an area too often ignored in larger scholarly discussions that have focused primarily on Western Europe and the so-called Third World. More important, the articles in this volume demonstrate how secularization projects are intricately interwoven with gender relations in any given society. Collectively, the articles urge readers to draw connections between the shifting spiritual cartographies, state formations, and definitions of appropriate masculinity and femininity of particular Southeastern European societies.

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Ordinary Trauma

Twenty-One Disabled Women Surviving the 1989 Polish Transformation

Natalia Pamula

This article analyzes the Polish disability memoirs in Cierpieniem pisane: Pamiętniki kobiet niepełnosprawnych (Written through Suffering: Disabled Women’s Memoirs), published in 1991. Written through Suffering consists of twenty-one short memoirs submitted as a response to a memoir competition organized around the theme “I am a Disabled Woman” in 1990. Published two years after the first democratic elections, which took place in Poland in June 1989, this anthology shows that contrary to the mainstream narrative in Poland, Western Europe, and the US, 1989 did not bring about a revolution or any dramatic change for disabled women. Women’s memoirs included in this collection question the teleological narrative of linear progression from state socialism to democracy and capitalism and point to the uneven distribution of newly acquired rights.

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in one of the most brutal massacres perpetrated in Western Europe after the Second World War. Since the end of the 1980s, historians and activists proposed narratives of these events that mainly portray the Algerians as victims of a colonial

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Introduction

Pegida as a European Far-Right Populist Movement

Helga Druxes and Patricia Anne Simpson

inequalities among them. Aftereffects from the break-up of the East bloc can be felt in the escalation of antiminority violence in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as “the smouldering slow burn of the legacies of colonialism” in Western Europe. 2 These

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Introduction

Remembering the Second World War in Post-Soviet Educational Media

Barbara Christophe

of the West. 21 This difference is even said to have influenced the preferred choice of media used as a means to store memories. While Western European countries are seen as inclined toward fixing consensual interpretations of the past by literally

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Sharon A. Kowalsky

—contribute to action and experience. Although there is some overlap among the various contributions, the articles are arranged roughly chronologically, beginning in the late nineteenth century in Greece and traveling north to Russia, Poland, and parts of Western

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Public Health in Eastern Europe

Visible Modernization and Elusive Gender Transformation

Evguenia Davidova

endorse the decentering of research on Western European public health. The authors promote academic dialogue and suggest fruitful venues for future studies. Readers interested in structural issues in healthcare, in which power and gender imbalances are

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Sarah Wiliarty and Louise K. Davidson-Schmich

the AfD's entry onto the national political scene. The contributors—an interdisciplinary group representing several generations of German politics scholars—draw on comparative examples from across western Europe and throughout German history to