1st Edition

Governing the Rural in Interwar Europe

Edited By Liesbeth van de Grift, Amalia Forclaz Copyright 2018
    310 Pages
    by Routledge

    310 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book examines how rural Europe as a hybrid social and natural environment emerged as a key site of local, national and international governance in the interwar years. The post-war need to secure and intensify food production, to protect contested border areas, to improve rural infrastructure and the economic viability of rural regions and to politically integrate rural populations, gave rise to a variety of schemes aimed at modernizing agriculture and remaking rural society. The volume examines discourses, institutions and practices of rural governance from a transnational perspective, revealing striking commonalities across national and political boundaries. From the village town hall to the headquarters of international organizations, local authorities, government officials and politicians, scientific experts and farmers engaged in debates about the social, political and economic future of rural communities. They sought to respond to both real and imagined concerns over poverty and decline, backwardness and insufficient control, by conceptualizing planning and engineering models that would help foster an ideal rural community and develop an efficient agricultural sector. By examining some of these local, national and international schemes and policies, this volume highlights the hitherto under-researched interaction between policymakers, experts and rural inhabitants in the European countryside of the 1920s and '30s.


    Liesbeth van de Grift and Amalia Ribi Forclaz

    1. The Green Heart of Governance: Rural Europe during the Interwar Years in a Global Perspective

    Kiran Klaus Patel

    2. Internal Colonization in Weimar Germany: Transnational and Local Approaches to Rural Governance in the 1920s

    Elizabeth B. Jones

    3. Colonization Projects and Agrarian Reforms in East-Central and Southeastern Europe, 1913–1950

    Dietmar Müller

    4. Cultivating Land and People: Internal Colonization in Interwar Europe

    Liesbeth van de Grift

    5. The Future of Village Life: Welfare, Planning and the Role of Government in Rural Britain between the Wars

    Clare Griffiths

    6. The "Social Museum" of Village Life: Sociology and Heritage in 1930s Romania

    Raluca Mușat

    7. Knowledge and Power in the Making of the Soviet Village

    Katja Bruisch

    8. Between Mobilization and De-Politicization: Political Technologies of Rural Self-Government in Weimar Germany

    Anette Schlimm

    9. Governing Rural Exodus in Nazi Germany: 1933 to 1939

    Ernst Langthaler

    10. Guardians of the Countryside: The Associated Countrywomen of the World (ACWW) and International Rural Governance in the Interwar Years

    Amalia Ribi Forclaz

    11. Cartels, Grossraumwirtschaft and Statistical Knowledge: International Organizations and Their Efforts to Govern Europe’s Forest Resources in the 1930s and 1940s

    Martin Bemmann

    12. The Red Peasant International

    Wim van Meurs


    Liesbeth van de Grift is Assistant Professor in the History of International Relations at Utrecht University.

    Amalia Ribi Forclaz is Assistant Professor in International History at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Geneva.