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A Transatlantic Mediterranean?

Une Méditerranée transatlantique ?

Circulations, influences and civilian and military cooperation between the United States and Southern European and Turkish spaces (1945-1980's)

Circulations, influences et coopérations civiles et militaires entre les États-Unis et l’espace méditerranéen européen et turc (de 1945 aux années 1980)

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Published on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 by Elsa Zotian

Summary

The objective of this meeting is to contribute to a transnational and decompartmentalized history of the circulations between Mediterranean Europe and the United States between 1945 and the 1980s, which will make it possible to apprehend these relations from a global point of view and to analyze the way in which these links were able to generate circulations of influence between Mediterranean countries. The aim is to combine diplomatic approaches with the socio-history of these actors and with the analysis of the circulation of knowledge and modes of governmentality, by placing Atlantic military issues and policies in the wider context of intellectual mobility and cross-practices. The European and Turkish Mediterranean is understood here in a broad and political sense, from Portugal to the confines of the Anatolian peninsula. Similarly, the ambition is to see how these relations between Mediterranean Europe and the Atlantic space may have had effects on the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, whether during or after the period of colonial domination.

Announcement

Argument

The Second World War represented a watershed in the growth of American influence in the Mediterranean area, marked not only by US military investment but also by a growing influence in the economic, scientific, political and cultural fields. As early as 1943, the establishment of American military administrations in North Africa, and then in Italy, was combined with the distribution of food and technical aid to the authorities and civilian populations. While historiography has insisted on the role of the Mediterranean as an area of confrontation between American, Soviet and colonial imperial ambitions, and has particularly emphasized the action of governments, relations between the United States, Mediterranean Europe and Turkey were also affected by non-state actors and private initiatives on both sides of the Atlantic, whether they be foundations, political parties, unions, experts or individual artists and writers. These exchanges thus favored the circulation of knowledge, ideas, representations and technologies – both at the military and civilian levels—which cannot be reduced to the sole policy of influence of the governments, American administrations foremost amongst them. They favored what could be called a "cross-fertilization" of knowledge and practices. Conversely, the relationships forged between associations, organizations and private actors had a lasting influence on the political and ideological consolidation of the "Western bloc".

The diversity of these exchanges and influences has been the subject of stimulating research over the past decade This new scholarship has shown the complexity of these relationships in fields such as economics, social sciences or intelligence. It has shed a new light on the role of American and European foundations and academic institutions.

This conference wants to contribute to a transnational and decompartmentalized history of these circulations. The purpose is to better understand the relations between the Mediterranean and the United States from a global perspective, and to analyze the way in which these links also generated circulations of influence between Mediterranean countries. The aim is to combine diplomatic approaches with the socio-history of these actors and with the analysis of the circulation of knowledge and modes of governmentality/governance, by placing Atlantic military issues and policies in the broader context of intellectual mobilities and cross-practices.

The Northern Mediterranean is understood here in a broad and political sense, from Portugal to the borders of the Anatolian peninsula. The endeavor is to examine how these relations between Mediterranean Europe and the Atlantic space affected the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean, whether during or after the period of colonial domination.

Several themes and scales of analysis will be examined:

  • We want to analyze the importance of these relations in reshaping international power relations and in redefining the notion of regional power, by focusing on how relations with the United States were used by states and political movements or, on the contrary, hindered them. We think of the role of the United States in promoting new forms of international organizations such as the EEC or in the relations with less integrated states such as Franco's Spain. We will also look at how these relationships were instrumental in establishing or undermining the borders between spheres of influence at the regional level (with Yugoslavia and the USSR in particular).
  • We will examine how these relations did contribute to phenomena of political, economic, social or cultural convergence, be they described as "Americanization", "Westernization" or "modernization". The notions of "the West" and "Western Mediterranean" will thus be interrogated in their variability, especially by analyzing their coherence and their geographical and epistemological limits. Similarly, the relevance of the Mediterranean framework will be discussed by focusing on local and regional singularities in the relationship with the United States.
  • On an infra-state scale, and with a focus on transnational processes, we will analyze the circulation and the importance of non-governmental actors. Special attention will be paid to knowledge networks, economic and material means, productions (scriptural, artistic or other) and vectors of influence. We will look at institutional venues as well as at less formalized forms of socialization and exchange. We will also examine cultural transfers in the broadest sense as well as the creation of hybrid cultures (by integrating, for example, corporate, administrative, technical or culinary cultures, teaching and research cultures...).
  • The role of the Mediterranean in establishing models and expertise will also be investigated in order to analyze how local or sectoral experiences were exported to other areas or how practices from other contexts were implemented and adapted, making the Mediterranean area a laboratory in some cases. Likewise, the weight of external events (wars in Asia, African and Asian decolonization processes, political developments) in the variations of relations between the Mediterranean and the United States will also be taken into account.

Submission guidelines

Proposals for papers should be sent to the following address: colloquemedtransatlantique[at]gmail.com

by 16 October 2022 at the latest

They should consist of a one-page presentation of the paper with an indication of the title, subject, method and sources, as well as a short CV (one page maximum).

The conference will pay for accommodation and possibly transport (with priority given to non-funded doctoral and post-doctoral students). However, speakers are invited to turn to their institution for the payment of all or part of their travel expenses.

Scientific committee

  • François Dumasy, ScPo Aix, Mesopolhis
  • Nicolas Badalassi, ScPo Aix, Mesopolhis
  • Frédéric Attal, Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France, LARSH
  • Elena Calandri, Università di Padova, SPGI
  • Frédéric Heurtebize, Université Paris Nanterre, CREA
  • Matthieu Trouvé, ScPO Bordeaux, Centre Émile Durkheim

Places

  • Sciences Po Aix 25, rue Gaston de Saporta
    Aix-en-Provence, France (13100)

Date(s)

  • Sunday, October 16, 2022

Keywords

  • Méditerranée, Europe, États-Unis, guerre froide, reconstruction

Contact(s)

  • François Dumasy
    courriel : fdumasy [at] hotmail [dot] com

Information source

  • François Dumasy
    courriel : fdumasy [at] hotmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« A Transatlantic Mediterranean? », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Wednesday, July 13, 2022, https://calenda.org/1007639

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