In this book one of Europe's foremost sociologists offers a profound and accessible overview of the trajectory of European societies, East and West, since the end of World War II. Combining theoretical depth with factual analysis, Göran Therborn addresses the questions that underpin an understanding of the nature of European modernity, including: To what extent is the period 1945-2000 producing fundamental change and what are the areas of continuity? Have the societies of Europe become more similar to others on the globe or more distinctively European? What are the prospects of Europe after decades of postwar change and the end of the Cold War? Issues covered include the division of paid and unpaid labour,

Envoi: Europe and the Rest of Modernity

Envoi: Europe and the rest of modernity

The second half of the twentieth century was the time when Europe returned to itself, after half a millennium of outward expansion. The conquests and the protection rackets abroad had reached their limits by the end of the 1930s. Italy's conquest of Abyssinia in 1935 was the last victorious colonial exploit of Europe. Recently before that, the French and the Spanish had consolidated their power in Morocco, and the French and the British had gained control of the ex-Ottoman parts of the Arab world. After World War II came the necessity of retreat, peacefully or under fire. Withdrawal from colonies was universal and, in the end, only the forms of withdrawal differed. ...

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