An Improbable War?: The Outbreak of World War I and European Political Culture before 1914

An Improbable War?: The Outbreak of World War I and European Political Culture before 1914

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Overview

The First World War has been described as the "primordial catastrophe of the twentieth century." Arguably, Italian Fascism, German National Socialism and Soviet Leninism and Stalinism would not have emerged without the cultural and political shock of World War I. The question why this catastrophe happened therefore preoccupies historians to this day. The focus of this volume is not on the consequences, but rather on the connection between the Great War and the long 19th century, the short- and long-term causes of World War I. This approach results in the questioning of many received ideas about the war's causes, especially the notion of "inevitability."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857453105
Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/01/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 380
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

David Stevenson is Stevenson Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He specializes in the history of international relations in Europe since c.1900, with particular reference to the World War I. His recent publications include Armaments and the Coming of War: Europe, 1904-1914 (Oxford, 1996), Cataclysm: The First World War as Political Tragedy (New York, 2004) amd With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918 (Allen Lane, 2011)

Table of Contents

List of Maps

List of Illustrations

List of Tables

Acknowledgements

Foreword: President Jimmy Carter: A Century of War and Peace

Introduction

PART I: EUROPEAN STATESCRAFT AND THE QUESTION OF WAR AND PEACE BEFORE 1914

Chapter 1. Stealing Horses to Great Applause: Austria-Hungary's Decision in 1914 in Systemic Perspective

Paul W. Schroeder

Chapter 2. Did Norms Matter in Nineteenth-Century International Relations? Progress and Decline in the "Culture of Peace" before World War I

Matthias Schulz

Chapter 3. Aggressive and Defensive Aims of Political Elites? Austro-Hungarian Policy in 1914

Samuel R. Williamson, Jr.

Chapter 4. The Curious Case of the Kaiser's Disappearing War Guilt: Wilhelm II in July 1914

John C. G. Röhl

PART II: THE MILITARY SITUATION BEFORE 1914: EUROPE BETWEEN HOT AND COLD WAR

Chapter 5. Chances and Limits of Armament Control 1898-1914

Jost Dülffer

Chapter 6. The Naval Race before 1914: Was a Peaceful Outcome Thinkable?

Michael Epkenhans

Chapter 7. Was a Peaceful Solution Thinkable? The European Land Armaments Race before 1914

David Stevenson

Chapter 8. The German and Austro-Hungarian General Staffs and their Reflections on an Impossible War

Günther Kronenbitter

PART III: HOPES AND FEARS OF WAR AND PEACE: SUBJECTIVE EXPECTATIONS AND UNSPOKEN ASSUMPTIONS IN EUROPEAN SOCIETIES BEFORE 1914

Chapter 9. The Topos of Improbable War in Europe before 1914

Holger Afflerbach

Chapter 10. Unfought Wars: The Effect of Détente before World War I

Friedrich Kiešling

Chapter 11. "War Enthusiasm?" Public Opinion and the Outbreak of War in 1914

Roger Chickering

Chapter 12. Education for War, Peace, and Patriotism in Russia on the Eve of World War I

Joshua A. Sanborn

PART IV: CULTURE, GENDER, RELIGIOSITY, AND THE COMING OF WAR

Chapter 13. Honor, Gender, and Power: The Politics of Satisfaction in Pre-War Europe

Ute Frevert

Chapter 14. International Solidarity in European and North American Protestantism before 1914 and after

Hartmut Lehmann

Chapter 15. International Relations, Arts, and Culture before 1914

Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht

PART V: THE PERSPECTIVE FROM AFAR: THE OUTBREAK OF WAR IN EUROPE IN THE EYES OF OTHER CONTINENTS

Chapter 16. War as the Savior? Hopes for War and Peace in Ottoman Politics before 1914

Mustafa Aksakal

Chapter 17. The View from Japan: War and Peace in Europe around 1914

Frederick R. Dickinson

Chapter 18. War, Peace, and Commerce: The American Reaction to the Outbreak of World War I in Europe

Fraser J. Harbutt

Contributors

Selected Bibliography

Index of Names

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