Histoire contemporaine européenne

Mapping the Role of Women in Luxembourg Post-War Diplomacy through the Lens of Oral History

After the Second World War, as Luxembourg abandoned its neutrality and engaged in international multilateralism and European integration, it adopted a new foreign policy that for many years remained exclusively male-dominated. The recruitment of the first female diplomat in 1973 was preceded by the emergence of Luxembourg’s first female politicians in international relations as elected members of parliament or ministers/members of the government. These forerunners paved the way for a more significant and diverse representation of women in diplomacy, as Members of the European Parliament or the Commission or as senior technocrats. Taking into account the lack of systematic archival sources (the diplomatic archives of the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry deposited in the National Archives only cover the period up to 1973), the oral history is not only an established methodological tool, but also the most appropriate source for creating new content.

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