Histoire contemporaine européenne

Writing the Contemporary History of Europe: Old Concepts, New Tools?

Although the idea of Europe dates back to ancient times and was crystallised in the Enlightenment, the plan for European unification emerged in the second half of the 20th century as a consequence of an economic process based on a single market and a single currency. European integration is therefore a recent chapter in the history of Europe, one which has been written before our very eyes, but it remains fragmented into disparate national histories.

In the 21st century, those writing the history of Europe find themselves confronted with a threefold challenge: they must meet the demands of the digital age, adjust to the paradigm shift within the historical discipline and navigate the geopolitical upheavals that the continent has been experiencing since 1989 (the fall of communism; the enlargement of the European Union; the many crises the EU has faced, including Brexit; the divide between institutions and citizens; the socio-economic consequences of the global crisis, including the COVID-19 health crisis; the new nature of transatlantic relations, etc.).

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