Europe Contested analyses the failures and achievements of an astonishing era of economic advance and political chaos, from the First World War up to the present day.
Beginning with the Great War, the book goes on to examine connections between the self-destruction of liberal democracy, market economics, and the international political and security framework in the interwar period. It then considers the mass politics that surrounded the glorification of new-style leaders Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler before moving on to explore the ways in which the interwar legacy was superseded post-1945. James examines the deceptive appearance of stability brought by a new convergence in European politics that focused around the market and the principle of liberal democracy, and demonstrates how the impact of globalization and openness to migration and to destabilizing financial capital flows has eroded traditional politics and ended the stable left-right polarization at the core of the postwar order. This new edition has been thoroughly updated throughout, demonstrating also how an era of crisis is challenging Europe and its values.
Supported by boxed case studies, illustrations, chronologies and an annotated bibliography, and focusing on Europe as a whole, it is the perfect introduction for students of Modern European History.