Europe after Empire is a pioneering comparative history of European decolonization from the formal ending of empires to the postcolonial European present. Elizabeth Buettner charts the long-term development of post-war decolonization processes as well as the histories of inward and return migration from former empires which followed. She shows that not only were former colonies remade as a result of the path to decolonization: so too was Western Europe, with imperial traces scattered throughout popular and elite cultures, consumer goods, religious life, political formations, and ideological terrains. People were also inwardly mobile, including not simply Europeans returning 'home' but Asians, Africans, West Indians, and others who made their way to Europe to forge new lives. The result is a Europe fundamentally transformed by multicultural diversity and cultural hybridity and by the destabilization of assumptions about race, culture, and the meanings of place, and where imperial legacies and memories live on.
About the Author
Elizabeth Buettner joined the University of Amsterdam as Professor of Modern History in 2014, prior to which she taught at the University of York. She received her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University and her MA and PhD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. In 2012-2013, she held a Senior Research Fellowship at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies in Germany in conjunction with a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship, and in 2006 she was selected to participate in the International Research Seminar on Decolonization sponsored by the National History Center, the Mellon Foundation, and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Her publications include Empire Families: Britons and Late Imperial India (2004), which was awarded the Women's History Network Book Prize and led to her being shortlisted for the Young Academic Author of the Year award by the Times Higher Education Supplement in 2005. She has written articles in the Journal of Modern History, the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, History and Memory, the Scottish Historical Review (where her piece won the Royal Historical Society's David Berry Prize), Annales de Démographie Historique, Ab Imperio, and Food and History. Contributions to edited collections include the chapter 'Ethnicity' in A Concise Companion to History, edited by Ulinka Rublack (2011).
Table of ContentsIntroduction; Part I. Decolonization for Colonizers: Europe's Transition to the Postcolonial Era: 1. Myths of continuity and European exceptionalism: Britain, decolonization, and the Commonwealth family ideal; 2. Occupation, resistance, and liberation: the road to Dutch decolonization; 3. Soldiering on in the shadow of war: decolonizing la plus grande France; 4. Long live the king?: Belgium, the monarchy, and the Congo between the Second World War and the decolonization years; 5. From Rose-Coloured Map to Carnation Revolution: Portugal's overseas amputations; Part II. Migrations and Multiculturalisms in Postcolonial Europe; 6. Ending empires, coming home: the ghost worlds of European colonial repatriates; 7. Ethnic minority immigration from empires lost; 8. Reconfiguring nations: identities, belonging, and multiculturalism in the wake of postcolonial migration; Part III. Memories, Legacies, and Further Directions: 9. Remembering and forgetting empires; Epilogue: thoughts toward new histories of contemporary Europe; Further reading; Index.