1st Edition

Beyond Transnationalism Mapping the Spatial Contours of Political Activism in Europe’s Long 1970s

Edited By Sonja Levsen, Kiran Klaus Patel Copyright 2023

    This book is a collection of case studies that provides fresh insights into the history of political activism in Europe’s long 1970s. It covers the full spectrum of such groups, from the far left to the neofascist right, and from the various parts of Europe, including East and West. The chapters in this book push the boundaries of our knowledge with regard to transnational spaces. For many political activists at the time, identifying with a ‘transnational’ or ‘global’ protest movement provided both legitimacy for their claims and stood for the promise of sweeping change. Existing research has often reproduced such perceptions. This book goes beyond such an approach by distinguishing between different forms of transnational spaces. More specifically, it recognizes important differences between imagined spaces of solidarity and belonging, spaces of knowledge circulation and spaces of social experience and political action. Each chapter uses this new framework and analyses the interrelationship and significance of each of these three spaces.

    Beyond Transnationalism will be of particular interest to historians, political scientists and educators. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of European Review of History.

    Introduction: Imagined transnationalism? Mapping transnational spaces of political activism in Europe’s long 1970s

    Sonja Levsen and Kiran Klaus Patel

    1. Signal strength excellent in West Germany: Radio Tirana, European Maoist internationalism and its disintegration in the global seventies

    David Spreen

    2. Ambiguities of transnationalism: Social opposition to the civil use of nuclear power in the United Kingdom and in West Germany during the 1970s

    Eva Oberloskamp

    3. Seeking inclusion through redefining expertise: The changing spatial contours of disability activism in the long 1970s

    Monika Baar

    4. Rebel code? The transnational imaginary of ‘armed struggle’ in the fall of Southern European dictatorships

    Kostis Kornetis

    5. Aidland in South Asia: Humanitarian crisis and the contours of the global aid industry in the long 1970s

    Kevin O’Sullivan

    6. ‘From Brest to Bucharest’: Neofascist transnational networks during the long 1970s

    Pablo del Hierro

    7. The spatial contours of transnational activism: Conceptual implications and the road forward

    Kiran Klaus Patel and Sonja Levsen


    Sonja Levsen is Professor of History at the University of Trier. Her research focuses on the cultural and social history of twentieth-century Europe in transnational and comparative perspectives, with special attention to British, French and German history. She has published on political culture in interwar Britain and Germany, on youth in post-1945 Europe, on the history of democracy after 1945 and on the transformation processes of French and German societies after the Second World War, with special focus on education.

    Kiran Klaus Patel is Professor of History at Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU) in Munich and founding director of LMU’s Project House Europe, a research centre on Europe’s contemporary history. His research focuses on transnational and global approaches to history and empirically on nineteenth- and twentieth-century US American and European history.