"The West" is a central idea in German public discourse, yet historians know surprisingly little about the evolution of the concept. Contrary to common assumptions, this volume argues that the German concept of the West was not born in the twentieth century, but can be traced from a much earlier time. In the nineteenth century, "the West" became associated with notions of progress, liberty, civilization, and modernity. It signified the future through the opposition to antonyms such as "Russia" and "the East," and was deployed as a tool for forging German identities. Examining the shifting meanings, political uses, and transnational circulations of the idea of "the West" sheds new light on German intellectual history from the post-Napoleonic era to the Cold War.
Riccardo Bavaj is a Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of St Andrews. From 2009 to 2012 he was a Feodor Lynen Research Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. His publications include "'The West': A Conceptual Exploration" in European History Online (2011) and Die Ambivalenz der Moderne im Nationalsozialismus (2003). Martina Steber is a Research Fellow at the Institut fur Zeitgeschichte Munchen-Berlin. Her publications include Ethnische Gewissheiten: Die Ordnung des Regionalen im bayerischen Schwaben vom Kaiserreich bis zum NS-Regime (2010) and Visions of Community in Nazi Germany: Social Engineering and Private Lives, edited with Bernhard Gotto (2014).
PrefaceIntroduction: Germany and 'the West': The Vagaries of a Modern RelationshipRiccardo Bavaj & Martina SteberPART I: RISES AND SILENCES OF 'THE WEST'Chapter 1. In Search of 'the West': The Language of Political, Social and Cultural Spaces in the Sattelzeit, from about 1770 to the 1830sBernhard StruckChapter 2. The Kaiserreich and the Kulturlander: Conceptions of the West in Wilhelmine Germany, 1890-1914Mark HewitsonChapter 3. World War I and the Invention of 'Western Democracy'Marcus LlanqueChapter 4. Perceptions of 'the West' in Twentieth-Century GermanyAnselm Doering-ManteuffelPART II: EAST-WEST ENTANGLEMENTSChapter 5. Russian and German Ideas of the West in the Long Nineteenth Century: Entanglements of Spatial IdentitiesDenis SdvizkovChapter 6. 'Orient' and 'Occident', 'East' and 'West' in the Discourse of German Orientalists, 1790-1930Douglas T. McGetchinChapter 7. German Jews and the West: Identification, Dissimilation and Marginalization around the Turn of the CenturyStefan VogtPART III: LIBERAL AMBIGUITIES AND STRATEGIES OF 'WESTERNIZATION'Chapter 8. Between 'East' and 'West'? A Liberal Dilemma, 1830-48/49Benjamin SchroderChapter 9. Before 'the West': Rudolf von Gneist's English UtopiaFrank Lorenz MullerChapter 10. Weimar and 'the West': Liberal Social Thought in Germany, 1914-1933Austin HarringtonChapter 11. Germany and 'Western Democracies': The Spatialization of Ernst Fraenkel's Political ThoughtRiccardo BavajPART IV: NATIONALIST SELF-CENTEREDNESS AND CONSERVATIVE ADAPTATIONSChapter 12. 'The West' in German Cultural Criticism during the Long Nineteenth CenturyThomas RohkramerChapter 13. No Place for 'the West': National Socialism and the 'Defence of Europe'Philipp GassertChapter 14. 'The West', Tocqueville, and West German Conservatism from the 1950s to the 1970sMartina SteberPART V: SOCIALISTS BETWEEN 'EAST' AND 'WEST'Chapter 15. 'The West' as a Paradox in German Social Democratic Thought: Britain as Counterfoil and Model, 1871-1945Stefan BergerChapter 16. Bridge over Troubled Waters: German Left-Wing Intellectuals between 'East' and 'West', 1945-49Dominik GeppertChapter 17. Antipathy and Attraction to the West and Western Consumerism in the German Democratic RepublicKatherine PenceSelected BibliographyList of ContributorsIndex