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,

The Boundaries and the Peopling of Europe

The boundaries and the peopling of Europe

The territoriality of Europe itself is a historical construct. From the Hellenistic period till the rise and challenge of Islam, what later became ‘Europe’ was the Mediterranean region, including Alexandria and other centres of south-shore civilization. The European space acquired its current extension only gradually, with the Christianizing of the North – completed only in the fourteenth century (Lithuania) – the Reconquista of the Iberian peninsula, the defeat of the Mongols in the East, the rise of Muscovy and the European turn of Russia under Peter the Great, and, finally, the retreat of the Ottomans and the nineteenth-century rise of European-oriented nationalism in the Balkans. In brief, current Europe is less than two ...

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