Cities, Migration and the Historiography of Post-war Europe

In: Journal of Migration History
Brian Shaev Institute for History, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands,

Search for other papers by Brian Shaev in
Current site
Google Scholar
Sarah Hackett School of Humanities, Bath Spa University, Bath Spa, UK,

Search for other papers by Sarah Hackett in
Current site
Google Scholar
Open Access


The role of municipalities in migrant integration in post-war European history has largely slipped below the radar in previous migration research. Our special issue presents case studies on how Bristol, Dortmund, Malmö, Mannheim, Stuttgart and Utrecht managed migrant influxes from the mid-1940s to 1960s. Following interdisciplinary advances in local migration studies, our urban histories take a diversity of approaches, present diverse temporalities, and uncover municipal responses that range from generosity to indifference and to outright hostility. In all six cities, despite such diversity in local attitudes and municipal policies, municipal authorities had significant impacts on migrants’ lives. The introductory article explores how our urban perspectives contribute to scholarship on reconstruction and the post-war boom; welfare; democracy and citizenship; and European integration. Using local migration as a lens into postwar European history, we argue, provides important new insights for the historiography of postwar Europe.


Migration history of post-war Europe has focused on the processes and aftermaths of forced migrant labour, the redrawing of borders in the 1940s (by governments but also through bottom-up social violence) and mass population displacements, the harrowing histories of which serve as a tragic bridge between the Second World War and the creation of a new normal by the 1950s. Histories of Displaced Persons (dp s) emphasise the role of relief organisations, new international organisations like the unrra, iro and unhcr,1 transcontinental migration to Australia, Canada, Israel/Palestine, Latin America, and the United States, the deportation of Germans from the Netherlands,2 and tend to conclude with the emptying of refugee camps in the late 1940s-early 1950s, though increasingly they adjust their timeframe to take into account that significant numbers of camps only emptied considerably later.3 Other displacement histories have their own timeframes. An especially prominent example are the ‘expellees’ in the Federal Republic of Germany, who until recent decades have been studied by and large as a sui generis population who successfully integrated into post-war German society.4 In many ways the history of these migrants has been enveloped within the broader redemptive story of Western Europe’s post-war rebirth. They have been memorialised more as features of a particular era, the post-war era, than as migrants to be examined within longer histories of migration and migrant reception in twentieth-century Europe.

Recovery and rehabilitation have traditionally been at the centre of post-war Western European historiography, demarcating a period of sacrifice before what Richard Bessel and Dirk Schumann have called a new ‘normality’ after the cataclysm of the Second World War.5 Narratives of redemption and renewal mix uneasily with a sense of popular exhaustion and, by the 1950s, a search for small creature comforts. Historical memory of post-war Europe encompasses the range from heroism and self-abnegation to crass materialism and the hoarding of goods during months of terrible shortages. Historians began investigating the post-war period first through the lens of Cold War politics, the fashioning of the nato alliance, and second through that of economic and political reconstruction. The immediate post-war period in the 1940s and early 1950s became a prehistory to the prosperity of the 1950s-60s, the ‘Thirty Glorious Years’ or the ‘economic miracle’ while nato has often been celebrated with aplomb as the ‘greatest military alliance in the history of mankind’ in official and popular discourses. An implicit teleological thrust emerges from the diverse timeframes scholars have assigned to the term. Whereas the immediate post-war period is generally confined to the period between May 1945—the capitulation of the Nazi government—and the announcement of the Schuman Plan or the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 (depending on one’s focus), ‘post-war’ Europe is also used to label the broader reconstruction period from 1945 to 1960, the period of recovery and post-war prosperity in Western Europe from 1945 until the recessions of the 1970s, or to designate the entire Cold War period of continental division from 1945 until the 1989 revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe. In this special issue on urban reception of migrants in European cities, we privilege the third periodisation because the post-war ‘economic boom’ aligns with the period of mass labour recruitment in Western European countries, which began with dp s but extended to (post)colonial and guest-worker migration in the 1940s-60s, before the ‘migration stops’ of 1973–74 led to a shift from labour migration to family reunification.6 Along with a special issue on ‘Illegal Migrations’ by Manuala Martini and Lutz Raphael, we present one of the first collective works on European migration history focused on the period from 1945 to the early 1970s.7

This timeframe is not self-evident. Migration history has implicitly erected a hard break between post-war forms of migration (especially of refugees) in the 1940s-early 1950s and later forms of migration in the 1950s-70s, including guest workers, (post)colonial migration, and later groups of refugees. In many ways this periodisation, born with the emergence of migration studies as a major field reacting to contemporary social and political controversies of the early 1970s, accords with a new historiographical appreciation of the profound changes in global capitalism that began in the 1970s, generally referred to as a shift to ‘neoliberalism’ that came of age in the 1980s. In this literature the 1970s, rather than the post-war period, mark the birth of our contemporary world.8 Like this literature, migration history has seen the 1960-70s as the dawn of something new in Europe that has continued to ripple in its effects into our contemporary present. Nonetheless there is a tension between different historiographical strains of post-war migration history. On one hand, numerous histories emphasise how the institutional treatment of dp s established the modern refugee regime that has persisted—though today under strain—to the present and that discursive categories of ‘true’ and ‘false’ refugees, ‘genuine’ refugees and ‘economic migrants’ emerged already in the late 1940s.9 On the other hand, when we examine public and scholarly discourses on migrant integration, what stands out is how much post-war migrants have been conceptualised as positive counter-examples and counter-models to the problematised groups of guest workers and (post)colonial migrants who have allegedly challenged Western societies in a manner that previous migrants did not.10

An effect of segregating the 1960s-70s and their aftermaths from the post-war period has been to reinforce the general narration of success, stability and normality of post-war Europe. This is beginning to change—in the broad historiography of post-war Europe and in the field of migration. In Postwar, Tony Judt warned against the understandable temptation ‘to narrate the story of Europe’s unexpected recovery after 1945 in a self-congratulatory, even lyrical key.’11 Dan Stone writes critically of ‘a happy narrative of stability and the triumph of boring normality.’12 In a recent special issue focused on Germany, Frank Biess and Astrid M. Eckert titled their introduction, ‘Why Do We Need New Narratives for the History of the Federal Republic?,’ in which they question ‘assumptions about the stability of and consensus about the liberal democratic order that have long served as the normative framework for the historical interpretations for the Federal Republic.’13 Following the introduction is an article by Lauren Stokes, whose temporal refashioning emerges already in its striking title, ‘The Permanent Refugee Crisis in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1949—.’ She leaves the end date open because ‘the Federal Republic has never experienced a decade without a “refugee crisis”’ and criticises how ‘migration has persistently been understood as an aberration that somehow recurs every single day.’14 In Britain, the government began introducing measures that attempted to deter “coloured” immigration from Commonwealth countries already during the immediate post-war years, thus causing some scholars to challenge the widely-held, and arguably idealised, notion that the period between 1948 and 1962 was an ‘age of innocence,’ which was brought to a sudden and abrupt end.15 Similarly, with regards to the Netherlands, despite the arrival of both (post)colonial and guest-worker migrants across the post-war years, the fact that it did not perceive itself as an immigration country was reflected in the clear absence of integration policies still during the 1970s.16 The historiographical turn has reached more general histories as well, in particular Peter Gatrell’s recent The Unsettling of Europe that tackles migration history in Europe from 1945 to the 2010s in a single overarching synthesis.17

This special issue aims to analyse urban migration settings in the period 1945 to the late 1960s in order to more fully integrate migration history into our understanding of the reconstruction era and ‘post-war’ Europe. In turn, it brings out how a periodical approach to migration history has potential to foster deeper comparative histories of diverse groups of migrants within and between countries, rather than isolating specific national, ethnic or religious groups from broader migration processes. The inspiration comes from a historiographical turn towards a social and cultural history of ordinary people and daily life in the study of post-war Europe and a social-science ‘local turn’ in the study of migrant reception and integration that has begun to impinge more fully on the consciousness and research frameworks of migration historians as well.18 The articles in the special issue examine the history of local societies by reflecting on how social, cultural and economic contexts and developments intersected with the crafting of public policy and the activities of non-state actors operating at local levels. Following insights from political science and sociology, in particular Michael Alexander’s ‘host-stranger’ framework for comparing local policy reactions, and Tiziana Caponio’s concepts of ‘local policy arenas’ and ‘administrative cultures,’ we expect a diversity in the issues of local significance, the policy and non-policy approaches chosen, and the modes of interaction between various state and non-state actors at local levels.19 To tackle this diversity, we have selected four themes central to the historiography of post-war Europe, presented below, that foster comparative insights between the city cases.

We have contributions on three German cities and one British, Dutch, and Swedish city, respectively: Dortmund, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Bristol, Utrecht and Malmö. We would have liked to have had a contribution on a French city as well. Fortunately there are a number of excellent local case studies on migrants in French cities, though they have different periodisations than the 1945–1970 period we pursue in this special issue.20 Christopher Bertossi and Jan Willem Duyvendak have argued that national paradigms continue to distort international comparative research on migrant reception and integration.21 Engraining both a national and international choice of cities within our special issue, we open a window on broader dynamics of local migration contexts in post-war Europe without placing an implicit burden on each city to serve as a local ‘exemplar’ of their nation. For this reason the commonalities but more so the contrasts the articles bring out between the three German cities with one another, in addition to with their British, Dutch, and Swedish counterparts, serve to remind us that though national frameworks indeed matter in how migrants are received in localities, they are less determinative than is generally realised and often leave considerable room for autonomy for local actors and officials to shape the culture and policies of migrant reception. This approach builds on existing historiography that emphases the impact of regional differences on how migrants have been treated, especially in the Federal Republic of Germany.22 Further, by focusing exclusively on mid-size European cities that received significant numbers of migrants in the post-war period, the special issue avoids a bias in migration studies to privilege only the largest cities, referred to as ‘global cities’ in social-science research, which are more likely to become ‘superdiverse’ cities.23 Mid-size cities offer a broader and more representative sample of how migration has affected urban societies and vice versa than a focus solely on metropolises like Amsterdam, London, and Paris. In this way too we expect to make new contributions to the social and cultural history of daily life in post-war Europe by examining mid-size urban settings that scholars often overlook.

In considering how local post-war migration history may contribute to new narratives and perspectives of mid-twentieth century history, we have picked four themes central to the historiography of post-war Europe that the special issue articles each address to varying degrees. These themes are reconstruction and the economic boom; welfare; democracy; and European integration. The latter two themes explain our exclusive focus on Western European countries, as we would like to bring out how migration fits into broader contexts of post-war European democracy and the free movement of workers put in place by new European institutions. The dictatorships of Spain and Portugal, and the emigrant nature of those countries, explain our choice of cities in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Italy, though a democratic country, mostly received ‘repatriates’ from the remnants of Italian empire in the post-war era while engaging in massive emigration programmes, and thus is excluded as well. Central and Eastern European cities remain understudied. Gregor Thum, for instance, has written a fascinating book about how city officials managed the almost complete population overhaul that occurred with the mass arrival of Poles from areas of the lost Polish east as the German city Breslau became the Polish city of Wrocław, which he argues ‘had much in common with a nation-building process’.24 We have limited our cases though to democratic countries that were or became immigrant countries during the post-war period.

The following sections examine the potential of local migration history to contribute to a more profound understanding of our four chosen themes, all of which have done so much to shape our understanding of post-war Europe both as a period and as a concept.25 Doing so brings into question narratives stressing the ‘normality’ of the post-war period and suggests that not only should the post-war era be analysed as a post-history of the interwar and Second World War, as Bessel and Schumann suggest, but that later migration histories focusing on the 1970s and after would do well to consider continuities and legacies of post-war history. Without contesting the undeniable importance of the national ‘migration stops’ of 1973–74,26 we should avoid positing a new ‘zero hour’ for migration history beginning with the recessions of the 1970s that obfuscates continuities with what came before.

Reconstruction and the Post-war Boom

Reconstruction in post-war Europe came into its own as a field of historical inquiry in the 1980s as scholarship shifted from an earlier focus on the geopolitical origins of the Cold War to investigations of the nexus of socioeconomic, political and international factors out of which nation-states in Western Europe re-emerged as global economic actors while stabilising their new post-war domestic political systems. Alan Milward’s The Reconstruction of Western Europe was an important work inaugurating this field, laying out an elite-driven analysis from above of how an ‘institutionalised pattern of economic interdependence in Western Europe [emerged as] a better basis for western Europe’s economic and political existence than the comprehensive regulation by treaty of major political issues which was attempted after 1918 and which failed.’27 Milward’s focus was on the political-economic origins of the post-war peace settlement in Western Europe, which Milward argues was shaped more by European than US ideas and preferences. Decisive was the integration of the West German economy into the Western economy and its economic institutions, in particular the Organisation of European Economic Cooperation (oeec) and the European Economic Community (eec), an outcome that permitted export-led growth to sustain itself from reconstruction into a full-on economic boom. A number of national histories reinforced Milward’s perspective on reconstruction in the 1980s-90s. Prime examples, to take France, are Philippe Mioche’s study of economic planning emerging from the Second World War, Gérard Bossuat’s analysis of the international dimensions of French economic recovery policy, and Richard Kuisel’s history of the emergence of a strong state-directed recovery.28 The centrality of the nation-state in fostering European reconstruction is the primary element emerging from this scholarship. Here our case studies offer new perspectives on the theme by considering the strategies, roles and contributions of local governments in managing and shaping reconstruction.

Three temporalities underlie reconstruction scholarship. The strongest at first was a look backwards in time: historians like Charles Maier were eager to investigate why the post-Second World War settlement in Europe was so much more successful in political and economic terms than the post-First World War settlement.29 Analyses of the role of the United States, the Marshall Plan, and ‘productivity tours’ of the European Recovery Program gave way to long debates about the extent and role of ‘Americanisation’ in this post-war settlement.30 The second temporality was the relation between reconstruction and the economic boom of the 1950s-60s, a perspective that emphasises the extent to which key decisions of post-war governments were or were not responsible for the unprecedented period of economic growth that came out of the reconstruction era. Without charging the castle, local perspectives cast new light on aspects of this origin story as well. For instance, Barry Eichengreen praises the results of Ludwig Erhard’s decision to lift price controls during the 1948 West German currency reform, which has been memorialised in German historical memory as the origin of post-war prosperity, as ‘nothing short of miraculous.’31 It looks rather different though when one considers the reform’s impact on poor, weak and marginalised members of post-war German society. Ian Cooper has shown how the currency reform devastated the livelihoods of wide swathes of refugees in 1948–49, encumbering their employment prospects and forcing them to pay higher rent and food costs which many could not afford.32 Maria Alexopoulou reinforces Cooper’s analysis in her article on Mannheim by demonstrating the devastating impact the reform had on former forced labourers, who were often in even more precarious situations.

Migrants were necessary for reconstruction to be possible in the first place. Refugees and migrants enter histories focused on the political economy of reconstruction and the economic boom first and foremost as labourers. A particularly poignant example was the recruitment of Italians to work in Belgian coal mines from 1946.33 Western countries were desperate for labour for reconstruction industries, in particular energy extraction and production, metalmaking, railroads, and building construction. Britain launched a mass recruitment programme among dp s in Germany willing to move to Britain as European Volunteer Workers.34 France initially prevented some German prisoners of war from leaving and posted them to work in industry and coal mines, before launching official recruitment policies abroad from 1946 while often tolerating illegal migration, in particular from Italy.35 In the Netherlands, emigration actually outstripped immigration during the immediate post-war reconstruction period despite the arrival and settlement of substantial numbers of colonial and post-colonial migrants. However, this changed during the 1960s as a guest-worker programme was set up to secure the labourers needed to continue the post-war reconstruction boom, the majority of whom comprised low- and unskilled males from the Mediterranean region.36 Sweden, which had stayed out of the war, recruited labour from nearby Nordic countries, as well as skilled workers from Germany and Italy.37 The result of labour shortages were salary increases. Only in Germany were refugees numerous enough to act as a ceiling on wage increases, thereby enhancing Germany’s competitiveness in the 1950s, for which scholars have credited their strong contribution to the ‘economic miracle’.38 The flip side of this initially was that, as economic historians have found, when expellees and refugees exceeded 15 per cent of a locality’s population in the late 1940s-early 1950s, their high numbers correlated with lower employment rates of ‘native’ workers, giving some substance to local-level resentments at newcomers.39 By the mid-1950s there was full employment in most Western European countries, a key element for post-war success narratives as countries avoided the economic and social disasters of the 1920s-30s. Here focusing on local urban settings complicates the picture again. The necessity of reconstruction meant recruiting mass numbers of labourers to come to cities that did not have the capacity to adequately house them. Reconstruction engendered local conflicts over severely depleted housing supplies in a manner that spawned resentments between migrants and ‘natives,’ as well as between different groups of migrants. Such conflicts were especially acute during the ‘hungry winter’ of 1946/47 but housing reconstruction was such a prolonged process in war-damaged cities like Utrecht that shortages continued fostering local inter-community conflicts into the 1960s. Local populations went so far as to riot against housing arrangements for guest workers in the Hague and Rotterdam in 1969 and 1972 respectively.40 Hence migrant labour—an ingredient essential for European reconstruction—also exacerbated local conflicts over scarce resources in manners that affected the development of post-war urban politics and society.

Mark Mazower, in a review article on reconstruction, encourages scholars to consider ‘the self-consciousness of the reconstruction effort’ and that ‘reconstruction itself was the operative category for those involved.’41 We expect that the self-consciousness of actors may find reflection in local policies and discourses, as Brian Shaev shows for the case of Dortmund where reconstruction remained at the heart of local political culture through the 1950s. What Mazower writes is important to keep in mind: local actors were aware of being engaged in construction, whether reconstruction or new a type of construction. Here though we begin to test the linguistic limits of the term ‘reconstruction’, as in Germany for instance contemporary politicians and others debated whether they were engaged in ‘reconstruction’ (Wiederaufbau) or ‘new-construction’ (Neubau) in the late 1940s-early 1950s.42 The next three themes relevant for our special issue also combine aspects of new-construction with reconstruction, often building on pre-Second World War models but moving in new directions in the post-war period.


Welfare and social policy, our second theme, was a moral imperative in Allied wartime and resistance designs of a new post-war world in 1941–45. In the context of the early Cold War, it became a political imperative as well, a promise made by governing elites to their populations during an all-too-often cold and hungry reconstruction, and then an area of policy innovation in the 1950s. As the welfare state was constructed it coexisted with older networks of private organisations—including associations of migrants such as those in Amsterdam analysed by Leo Lucassen—that remained the primary providers of welfare for migrants into the 1950s in the Netherlands for example.43 The ‘golden age’ of increased welfare-state financing coincided with the peak of guest-worker programmes in Europe in the 1960s-early 1970s. The post-war welfare state was largely premised on territorial closure, though this was partially mitigated by the free movement provisions of the 1957 Treaties of Rome, the Nordic Passport Union, and the 1957 European Convention on the Social Security of Migrant Workers, a landmark multilateral agreement that established the portability of pensions across borders amongst signatory states.44 The residency and employment of migrant workers raised difficult questions for welfare policies. Employment-based insurance and pensions, largely based on individual contributions but mixed in a number of countries with public subsidies, along with equal wages, were extended by and large on an equal basis to migrant workers, especially because this was a central demand of social-democratic parties to prevent native workers from having to compete with lower paid migrants.45 Historians and social scientists have argued that labour migration in post-war Europe was a boon for welfare, as migrants contributed their best working years to fund their host countries’ social security systems, while their labour in often low-wage, unenviable positions allowed upward social mobility, and the higher wages that came with it, for native workers during the economic boom.46

There was much greater resistance though to the arrival of non-labour migrants who were considered less deserving of welfare services and were thought of as strains on limited resources, in particular housing. We observe this attitude expressed widely in our contributions, e.g., in Mannheim towards dp s, in Dortmund towards early post-war refugees and later guest workers who wanted to bring family members, and in Utrecht against the settlement of the wives of Spanish guest workers.47 In Bristol, West Indians were frequently linked to unemployment, residential overcrowding and various social problems, and were thus perceived by some to be strains on inner-city areas in particular, while in Malmö, Yugoslav migrants who arrived during the 1965 economic recession experienced difficulties securing work and were accused of overusing the welfare system.48 There has been a long interdisciplinary debate about whether increased diversity over the long term erodes popular support for welfare.49 Such diversity need not be ethnic- or religious-based, as we often think of diversity today. Ian Connor points out how German political parties had to be cautious in their public support for the social needs of expellees in the 1940s-50s, as expellees’ demands led to furious social and political backlash in some local communities, in particular in Bavaria.50 We are attuned in our contributions to the political pull exercised by the real or perceived threat of such ‘native’ backlash to the ‘privileging’ or other support services for migrants. Investigating local settings of social services offers new perspectives on the construction of the post-war welfare state and patterns of inclusion and exclusion that continue to shape debates in welfare studies.51

First, welfare services, even if centrally or regionally-funded, are often administered at local levels, with local bureaucrats determining access or exclusion. This opened room for local administrative arbitrariness, in particular in Mannheim in which we observe the real negative consequences for marginalised people of an administrative culture marked by malign neglect of dp s. Migrants’ access to social services was not always assured even when legally guaranteed in the face of a hostile municipality. Second, migrants often require special social services, like assistance with local banking, access to cultural material in their own language, and language training. Scholars find that municipalities differ greatly in their responsiveness to migrants’ specific service needs, which can have enormous impact on migrants’ daily lives.52 Third, localities often bore traces of earlier pre-national forms of welfare in that social services were divided (sometimes formally, other times ad hoc) between not just central and local governments, but between official and non-state organisations such as religious, charity and other private welfare institutions. The governance of migrant reception and inclusion therefore played out in evolving constellations of cooperation between state and non-state actors. In Bristol, for instance, Sarah Hackett shows how initially charitable, community, voluntary and religious groups were often the most prominent providers of welfare services for migrant communities, with the municipality not developing and implementing more comprehensive migration policies and practices in earnest until the 1960s. Indeed, across Britain, a range of local-level state and non-state actors actively addressed migrant welfare and race relations during the post-war years and a plethora of local responses emerged, especially in urban areas.53 Furthermore, in Bristol, there existed a clear sense of continuity as some of these groups that played such key roles in providing for the welfare of so-called “colonial workers” during the 1950s and 1960s had previously done so vis-à-vis refugees and dp s. In the Netherlands, stemming from the belief that guest workers would return home and that thus a formal integration policy was unnecessary, it was often charities and religious and welfare organisations including migrant-run organisations, rather than central or local governments, that initially offered assistance and support to migrant workers during the 1950s and 1960s.54 Marlou Schrover discusses how, in Utrecht, municipal authorities attempted to keep themselves out of this sphere of activity, insisting that employers handle migrant communities themselves, while employers in turn looked to pass off responsibility to charities and religious groups. Similarly, Malmö’s municipality refrained at first from becoming involved, as Pål Brünnstrom and Robert Nilsson Mohammedi inform us. In post-war Sweden, the lack of labour was perceived to be the most pressing problem, and migrants were seen as the solution to this.55 Therefore, it was easy in the initial post-war years for the municipality to push the responsibility for migrant reception on to the companies but in the 1960s it felt compelled to become more involved once Yugoslav migration became a politically salient issue. Hence not only were there disputes over claims to authority over varying aspects of social policy between local, regional, and national authorities, and between state and non-state actors, but we also find efforts to avoid responsibility over social services for migrants and to assign it to others instead.

Democracy and Citizenship

The third theme is how migration at local levels interacted with evolving concepts and practices of democracy and citizenship in what Martin Conway has called ‘Western Europe’s democratic age’ from 1945 to 1968.56 Conway’s periodisation fits well with a post-war timeframe that highlights the move from Europe’s 1) reconstruction to 2) economic ‘golden age’ ending in 3) the 1968 protest wave, followed by economic recession from 1973. Scholars continue to debate who deserves the most credit for Western Europe’s post-war democratisation out of which emerged ‘the most remarkable uniformity of […] political structures’ likely since the ancien régimes of the eighteenth century.57 The debate is structured around the shift from the frenetic energy of the antifascist ‘postwar moment’ in 1944–4758 to a moderate conservative decade in the 1950s, the heyday of Cold War politics in Europe, and then the cultural ferment of the 1960s. Sheri Berman, Geoff Eley and Dan Stone credit social democracy and its influence even when social democrats were in opposition for the spirit of the age in which post-war democracy was built upon much firmer socio-economic foundations that provided a political legitimacy sorely lacking in continental forms of interwar democracy.59 By contrast, Jan-Werner Müller argues that, ‘the Western European post-war settlement was the work, if anything, of moderate conservative forces, primarily Christian Democracy’.60 Examining the local levels of new democratic systems affords us a pluralistic outlook on the influence of varying political traditions, for instance the inclusive concept of local citizenship and belonging developed by social democrats in Dortmund. Scholarship on democracy emphasises the comforting image fostered by the post-war leadership of ‘old men’ born in the nineteenth century like Konrad Adenauer, Alcide de Gasperi, and Robert Schuman61—and there were local social-democratic examples of this in Dortmund too such as post-war mayor Fritz Henssler, born in 1886, and Paul Klambt, head of Dortmund’s Expellee and Refugee Council, born in 1878.

Transcending an either-or dichotomy on the political origins of post-war democracy, Martin Conway and Pepijn Corduwener have each argued that the content and shape of democracy was ‘contested’ between the leading political forces of post-war Europe.62 This accords well with Robin de Bruin’s finding that another key concept of the post-war era, ‘Europe,’ had quite different meanings across the Dutch political spectrum in the 1940s-50s.63 What has often been called the ‘post-war consensus’ therefore rested on the adaptation by key political traditions of core terms like democracy and Europe even though these had rather different meanings to different people. Further, the post-war consensus took a unique form in many countries in which the ‘process of government increasingly took on a neo-corporatist character as a multi-layered process of social negotiation developed within the parties themselves, within the socio-economic institutions, within parliament and ultimately within the government,’ as Conway writes.64 This complex governing system made it especially hard for migrants to be heard as they had to navigate diffused networks and institutions of formal and informal power. One promising, but difficult, means of doing so was through trade unions as ‘the political legitimacy of labor,’ according to Eley, provides perhaps the largest contrast between modes of governance in the inter- and post-war periods.65 Bettina Severin-Barboutie shows in her article how transnational actors in Stuttgart looking to build new representative institutions of emigrant workers were deeply enmeshed with German and international trade-union networks. Here the legal right of guest workers to join and vote for work council elections in Germany would prove important in migrants’ civic participation, especially in later decades.66

Despite the ‘contested’ nature of post-war democracy in Western Europe, the new concept of ‘social citizenship’ in the 1950s67 presents a point of commonality among Christian democrats, social democrats, and some though certainly not all liberals. The post-war promise was that democratic governments would ensure social and economic security to their citizens in addition to classic liberal political rights. Hence, in this one concept social citizenship, reconstruction, welfare, and democracy became discursively and politically tied together into a single political project underlying post-war consensus, though this project too was of course contested by different political actors. The concept was nationally-tinged, surfacing as it did as national promises to repay societies for their wartime sacrifices, thereby providing legitimation for the building of post-war welfare states. Migrants had an ambivalent and polyvalent relationship with new concepts of citizenship after the war. Some migrants, such as German expellees, were already citizens of their new states, but that does not mean that they were treated as such in local communities, as local case studies have revealed.68 So too did Soviet-Zone refugees face societal and political resistance in post-war Germany due to widespread contentions that they were not ‘real’ refugees because relatively few of them were fleeing immediate political violence, sentiments that come out in reactions of non-state actors to their arrival in Dortmund. On the other end were stateless persons without citizenship who were generally treated even worse like we find in Alexopoulou’s examination of Mannheim.

Non-citizens often found themselves in precarious circumstances as it was especially difficult for them to organise as a political bloc to demand attention; expellees by contrast were able to captivate local and national attention around their claim to restitution and other rights in West Germany. The largest group of post-war migrants, labour migrants, were ‘excluded over the long-term from the [post-war] settlement’s social goods,’ Eley argues.69 Migrants gained rights progressively through international treaties in the 1940s-50s, and had a mix of equal and unequal rights under national laws, but they had far greater difficulty in claiming rights as shown in Olga Sparschuh’s comparison of the experiences of Italian labour migrants in post-war Turin (where they had citizenship) and in Munich (where they did not).70 Frederick Cooper writes that, ‘citizenship is the right to have rights—or, better, the right to claim rights.’71 Where migrants achieved political prominence (which usually was predicated on having national citizenship), as in the case of expellee leader of Dortmund’s local Christian Democratic party, Willi Koch, they could appeal successfully for local leaders to adjust how they identified them in public discourse, for instance using the term ‘expellee’ rather than ‘refugee’. When they had less political capital, even for a significant local group like the Unione degli emigranti in Germania in Stuttgart, local officials and the national press ignored requests that they call migrants ‘emigrants’ rather than ‘guest workers.’ Migrants’ lack of access to structures of political power had further consequences in a number of our city cases. Whereas expellees appear to have been relatively well represented in their relations with local authorities by their Expellee Council in Dortmund, the recovery of local democracy in Mannheim, for instance, led to a worsening of conditions for dp s, as newly elected authorities chose to favour the native population at their expense. In Utrecht, access to public space ran through channels of political power, and local reticence prevented the construction of a mosque in the 1960s. Schrover argues that the difficulties of attaining spaces for worship and other activities, which reached beyond the mosque itself into many aspects of social life, encouraged migrants to gather in spaces that they could access, especially the central train station. Similarly, in Bristol, there were increasingly fewer spaces available for West Indians to meet and socialise across the post-war years and they were often viewed with suspicion, no doubt leading to a sense of segregation and ostracisation.

In all these cases not only national but local concepts of social citizenship and belonging had a great impact on migrants living in these cities because they found expression in political power. Returning to recent historiography on democracy in post-war Western Europe, migrants represent a particularly potent example of ‘constrained democracy’ that Conway and Müller emphasise as characteristic of democratic systems in the 1940s-60s. Constitutional parliamentary systems were ‘hostile to ideals of unlimited popular sovereignty’ and constrained by unelected institutions like constitutional courts and international law.72 Conway writes that ‘(t)he emphasis […] within this parliamentarism was placed more on management and control than it was on mass participation’.73 We observe this for instance in Dortmund officials attempts to steer expellees’ expression towards new norms of local democracy and their encouragement that migrants join local civic organisations rather than organise themselves separately. Though post-war democracy in Western Europe came in a top-down form focused on representation, Conway argues that it still aimed to be inclusive rather than exclusive. There were opportunities for migrant groups at times to claim representation in migrant councils but, as we see in Stuttgart, local democratic officials often looked askance at migrant efforts to organise themselves outside of pre-established advisory institutions. Hence the effort at achieving a form of direct democracy in a ‘European Parliament of Foreign Workers’ in Stuttgart anticipated criticisms of post-war democracy enunciated by radical advocates of direct democracy in the cultural revolutions of 1968, one of the products of which were new Immigrant Councils in Western European countries in the 1970s, an important development despite how disappointing some of these proved to be in practice.74 In Bristol, the late 1940s and 1950s witnessed the emergence of a number of West Indian associations and organisations, and migrant communities increasingly played an active role in developments and discussions relating to integration and race relations. Overall, although some of these initiatives were successful, the impact of others has been questioned. For instance, in Utrecht, despite some efforts to promote bottom-up guest-worker initiatives and representation, their success was often limited, which hampered efforts to deal with the local housing problem.

European Integration

A final theme of the post-war period we treat in the special issue, already alluded to above, is the concept of Europe and European integration. Historiography on the origins of European integration is deeply engrained in scholarship on the reconstruction period: Milward’s book on reconstruction concluded with the Schuman Plan that launched the European Coal and Steel Community in the early 1950s. Early scholarship emphasised the role of non-state organisations, federalist and other pressure groups ranging from business to consumer advocates and trade-union lobbies but Milward helped inaugurate a scholarly turn in European integration historiography toward governmental actors and intergovernmental negotiations in the 1990s-2000s.75 It has proven exceedingly difficult in recent years for historians to write a history of European union from below. A noteworthy example of a successful approach is political scientist Daniel Thomas’ argument that a coalition of socialist politicians helped defeat the ‘Spanish Application’ for Francoist Spain to join the eec in the early 1960s, thereby establishing precedent that the European Communities must include only democratic countries.76 Another example is Nicolas Verschueren’s work on the multilevel politics including grassroots efforts and protest movements to create a European Miners Statute in the context of deindustrialisation in the early 1960s, culminating in a mass demonstration in Dortmund in 1964 before the effort’s ultimate failure.77 Finally, we can highlight Simone Paoli’s work on how radical politics from below in the late 1960s filtered into high-level discussions in summits of ec leaders in the early 1970s.78 This list is certainly not exclusive, there are other works tackling European integration from below, but they have remained few in number besides a burgeoning number of works on the role of political parties in European integration history.79

Severin-Barboutie’s article on a migrant-led effort to build Europe from below through self-organisation is therefore a highly welcome intervention bringing together the fields of migration and European integration history. Here local history brings new light on concepts of Europe and non-state actors’ engagement with evolving projects of European integration, a field in which more work remains to be done. Though the focus is largely on local elites, it is rather unique in expanding our vista beyond national actors, while anchoring transnational actors in local spheres. Further, its focus on the Unione dei Emigranti in Germania fits well with Wolfram Kaiser’s and Jan-Henrik Meyer’s framework for investigating ‘societal actors in European integration,’ in which semi-elite ‘collective actors’ often come to represent the interests from below of a much larger group, though one of the reasons for the ueg’s demise appears to be that in the end its leadership lost the confidence of important parts of its membership.80 Further, following Kaiser and Meyer, we should avoid erecting ‘rigid dichotomies between public and private or state and non-state actors’ in our historical narratives because the efforts of societal actors are often directed at attempting to influence the state and state institutions, which Severin-Barboutie finds for the ueg as well.81

Kaiser and Meyer’s framework of societal actors focuses on how network-type relations between grassroot and various levels of government and European institutions influence policymaking at the European level. Along the lines of a special issue by Kaiser and Kiran Patel, it appears worthwhile to extend our scope beyond direct causal influences of networks to consider as well alternatives not taken in European integration history, here including groups that in the end did not have sufficient resources or networks to change the course of post-war history in the first instance.82 Examining how non-state actors engaged with and appropriated European integration rhetoric in service of their own set of goals could open up the field of European integration history to other fields of critical importance in twentieth-century history. Considering the interaction of democracy, migration, and European integration in the programme and demands of an organisation of migrants in Stuttgart allows us to see how concepts of Europe affected politics and society at local levels. Though the ueg raised policy demands tied to the rights of migrants for free movement and equal treatment in European treaties to improve the daily life of migrants in Stuttgart, their primary focus was on what Kaiser and Meyer call ‘polity-building’ rather than ‘policy-building.’83 ueg leaders wanted to change how local democracy functioned in Stuttgart by moving to forms of direct democracy led by migrants themselves, as well as the direction of European integration by supplanting the formal institutional development of the Communities with a grassroots parliament of European emigrants who would claim a democratic avant-garde position for migrants in the development of European union. Though they had alternative ideas of how Europe should develop, the short history of the ueg also suggests that at least some migrant activists saw Europe as a more promising venue for their demands than local or national democracies in the 1960s.

The ambitions of the ueg in the mid-1960s, short-lived as the organisation was, point us towards literature on ‘Europeanisation’ in modern and contemporary history, a term that has taken many meanings.84 A narrow strain focuses on the Europeanisation of leading officials in European institutions, sometimes described colloquially as ‘going Brussels’, or of political parties or other organisations of state- or non-state actors.85 Another strain focuses on unconscious processes of adaptive change in which European societies become more homogenous, more ‘European,’ over time. This perspective from historical sociology finds an especially prominent expression for the modern era in the work of Helmut Kaelble on the convergence of French and German societies in the twentieth century.86 A third strain, which we have already implicitly discussed in regards to Severin-Barboutie’s article, is ‘Europeanisation’ as an active project consciously propagated by actors with defined political goals. As the term ‘Europe’ increasing came to be identified with ‘European integration’ in the 1940s-60s, Kiran Patel writes that ‘actors of all kinds had to reposition themselves’ to compete over the legitimacy that derived from this discourse.87 Their motivations for doing so, Conway argues, ‘have often been both opportunist and sincere,’88 an insight that appears to capture well the dynamics driving ueg leaders in Stuttgart. A final strain to discuss here is Marcel Berlinghoff’s three-step argument about the ‘Europeanisation of migration policy’ in Germany since the late 1960s.89 First, he argues there was a Europeanisation of the perception of migrants as a problem, in particular the transfer of the concept of Überfremdung (excess of foreigners) from Switzerland to Germany in the 1960s. We see in Shaev’s article how this concept surfaced in Dortmund’s city council, though it was immediately shot down—it would be worthwhile for scholars to explore whether the term may have encountered similar resistance elsewhere. Indeed, it is clear that the ‘problematisation’ of certain migrant groups took hold more firmly in some of our other city case studies, in particular in regards to former dp s, West Indians, Yugoslavs and Moroccans in Mannheim, Bristol, Malmö and Utrecht respectively. Second, there was Europeanisation in that European governments looked to and took inspiration from one another in reorienting their migration policies in restrictive directions in the 1970s.

Finally, Berlinghoff argues that there was a third Europeanisation in the cross-border emergence of new concepts of inclusion and exclusion around shifting meanings of who is European and what that entails, which took legal form with the free movement provisions of the early European treaties and the creation of European citizenship in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty. Our contributors find instances of this as well at local levels. In his response to the comment on Überfremdung on Dortmund’s City Council, the city’s future mayor responded that the region had always been a ‘melting pot for all European peoples,’ in which he implicitly included Turks. Further, the ueg’s ambition of representing European emigrant workers and not other migrant workers contains as a premise the exclusion of non-Europeans even in discourses in which notions of generosity and inclusiveness stand out most at first sight. These tantalising local examples lead us to conclude that we need more scholarly work on how non-European and (post)colonial migration interacted with concepts of European citizenship and European integration in the decolonisation of Europe and its aftermath.90 Doing so would allow scholars to more fully establish the historical context for the contemporary controversies surrounding migration in Europe today.

Introducing Our City Cases

Maria Alexopoulou writes about the treatment of Displaced Persons in post-war Mannheim, whose plight worsened in the 1950s once local authorities regained control from US occupation authorities. She provides a local perspective on the post-war reception and (non)integration of so-called ‘hard-core’ dp s, remnants of the larger dp population in the 1940s, who remained in Germany and became the ‘first permanent post-war group of foreigners’ in the Federal Republic. Whereas most studies of this group focus on Poles, Alexopoulou provides a microhistory of the fate of a Russian former Ostarbeiter who moved between temporary shelters and became a petty criminal in a context of societal neglect until his death in the early 1960s. ‘Such sad or even tragic life stories were quite common amongst this group,’ she writes, a tragic number of whom committed suicide in the decades after the war. Quoting a local memory entrepreneur, she writes about how many people who had already experienced the pain of displacement and war, in some cases multiple displacements as was the case for this former Ostarbeiter, became ‘nobodies’ in post-war Germany as their legal status shifted from Displaced Person to Homeless Foreigner. In Mannheim, local authorities considered themselves defenders of the native population, which in turn resented the alleged ‘privileges’ of the dp population. Local municipal officials stigmatised dp s as criminals (as did the press), likely kept information about changes in legal status from them that could have improved their conditions, and blamed them for dreadful housing conditions while steering federal and state resources designated to build new houses for them to the expellee population and others instead. Racialised notions about Eastern Europeans and Russians therefore transgressed the ‘zero hour’ and placed a heavy mark on the politics and culture surrounding the reception of dp s. In a poignant sense the war never ended for the former dp s of Mannheim as the hostility of the local population and government marginalised them from post-war society and pushed many beyond the point of despair.

Turning to Utrecht, Marlou Schrover provides a history of the difficult urban context in the 1940s-1960s that migrants had to navigate after their arrivals. Severe post-war housing shortages were ‘public enemy number one’ in Utrecht, as elsewhere in the Netherlands, and housing conditions actually worsened from 1945 to 1949. The Netherlands received 300,000 repatriates during the decolonisation of The Dutch East Indies (current Indonesia) in 1949–50. The influx in the midst of continued housing shortages fostered local disputes between ‘Dutch Dutch’ and ‘Indo Dutch’ residents in Utrecht. Housing shortages continued into the guest-worker period in the early 1960s, providing fodder for controversies over the presence of hundreds of ‘illegal’ Spanish women who came to join their guest-worker husbands and partners in Utrecht. The local government banned families and non-labourers from coming to Utrecht in the early 1960s but, by the mid-1960s, they were acquiescing to their presence as pragmatic and moral concerns gained the upper hand. The municipality declared that employers had responsibility over the reception and living conditions of guest workers, which employers tended to pass on to private Catholic organisations. These Catholic groups provided services for migrants in a top-down manner without welcoming migrant involvement, and refused to provide mosques or places of worship for Muslim guest workers from Morocco and Turkey. Only in the 1970s was an Immigrant Council formed in Utrecht, but it was short lived. When a recession hit in 1965, municipal officials panicked over the arrival of ‘stray’ guest workers whom employers encouraged to come without official contracts, especially as they found many to be living in deplorable housing conditions. The local police chief showed sympathy for guest workers during the recession, considering it unfair that they were often the first laid off, while worrying that this portended a possible increase in crime. Overall Utrecht presented a challenging local arena for migrants to navigate. The lack of access to social space, epitomised by the refusal to build a mosque in the 1960s, constrained migrants to spend their free time in exposed public spaces like the central train station.

Brian Shaev explores how Dortmund officials constructed an inclusive post-war concept of city-citizenship based around the notion of a community of suffering by tying the fates of evacuees, locals, expellees, and refugees together in a discourse of mutual obligation. This universalist concept of city-citizenship reflected the local hegemony attained by Dortmund’s Social Democratic Party, which brought social-democratic discourses of working-class solidarity together with local identities and the migration history of the Ruhr as a ‘melting-pot’ region for European peoples. The discourse had a particularist quality, in that it created a common history between Dortmund and Waldenburg, the origin city of Dortmund’s largest expellee community, but it was generalisable as well and was extended to Poles and later to guest workers. The consistent propagation of this discourse mitigated the local politics of inter-community resentment during the reconstruction of one of the most damaged cities in the Federal Republic of Germany, where 50–60 per cent of the housing stock was destroyed in the 1940s and in which evacuees, locals, expellees, and Soviet Zone Refugees competed for scarce housing and other resources. Dortmund’s city government expended enormous sums of its own money in the 1950s to rebuild the local housing stock. Housing added to other daily-life resentments between migrant and local communities that found expression in complaints within the Expellee and Refugee Council. The Council raised at times heated concerns to municipal officials, but positive working relations were facilitated by the long-time council leadership of Paul Klambt, who shared the municipality’s intention of stressing an equality of deservingness among locals, expellees, and refugees. When guest workers arrived in the early 1960s, city officials were at first concerned about the impact of family reunification on a tight housing market, but by the mid-1960s Dortmund leaders and administrators extended their local discourses of city-citizenship to guest workers. They urged locals to show understanding when guest workers were disproportionately laid off in the severe 1966–67 recession, and stressed that unemployed guest workers could stay in Dortmund under certain conditions.

Using the 1980 St. Paul’s riot as a point of departure, Sarah Hackett retrospectively explores migration policies and practices in Bristol during the 1950s and 1960s with a specific focus on the West Indian community. Although historians have often shied away from addressing local-level migration and race policymaking during the post-war decades in Britain, her article exposes a complex urban response to migration that is not fully captured in the traditional national-level historiography on the politics of immigration. It reveals how, already from the early 1950s, there were three local actors who played important roles in the city’s debates and developments on migration and integration: the police, charitable, community, religious and voluntary groups and organisations, and Bristol’s municipality. They made up a local policy arena that was firmly rooted in city-, and even district-level, anxieties, concerns and issues. In particular, it developed in response to the growing West Indian presence in St. Paul’s, but also other inner-city neighbourhoods, so-called ‘twilight areas’ from which many English residents had moved out, yet which offered new migrant arrivals affordable, if often multi-occupied and run-down, housing. This policy arena was shaped by a variety of factors and influences, including central government directive, racial prejudice, a genuine commitment to migrant integration and welfare, and municipal hesitancy and inaction. The policy issues and domains addressed in the city across the 1950s and 1960s were multiple and ever-changing, and included education, social behaviour and public order, health and well-being, housing and residential segregation, community and race relations, and racism and discrimination. At the centre of Hackett’s article lies the argument that the deliberations, policies and practices of Bristol’s local actors during the post-war decades are crucial, not only as precursors to the widely recognised inner-city tensions of the 1970s and the subsequent 1980 riot, but also because they further our understanding of what is a too often neglected local dimension of migration policymaking in post-war Britain.

Pål Brunnström and Robert Nilsson Mohammadi analyse the reception of refugees and labour migrants in Malmö across the post-war decades. Their article investigates how different migrant groups were racialised, making visible the interconnectivity between race, ethnicity and gender. Some refugees, predominantly Estonians, were a welcome addition to the city’s labour force, and were offered work at large textile plants, which also provided them with housing and food. However, Malmö’s most pressing need were skilled workers for its expanding shipping industry, and thus local companies organised the recruitment of workers from Germany and Italy. This led to conflict, however, and the Italians especially were dissatisfied with labour and housing conditions, and eventually organised a wildcat strike to further their demands. The employers’ interpretation of this conflict was that Italians were culturally distinct, and that this was the cause of their militant tactics. A minor downturn in the economy in the mid-1960s led to unemployment among migrants and in turn to a situation in which local employers and labour market institutions could no longer meet their needs. Malmö’s municipality reacted by commissioning a report on the situation of migrants, especially Yugoslavs. The report refuted claims that migrants were overusing the welfare system, and greatly influenced Malmö’s migrant reception policy, with the city henceforth taking a much more active role. Furthermore, vertical interactions between the national state and local actors are especially important in the Malmö case. During the 1940s and 1950s, it was local companies that, acting within the framework set by the National Labour Market Board (ams), managed migrant reception. In the course of formulating a migrant reception policy—or, to use contemporary terminology, an ‘immigrants’ adaptation policy’—the municipality was influenced by national government-appointed experts. Yet it also developed expertise that was later incorporated into the national-level government commission’s migration policies. The article thus illustrates how both top-down and bottom-up influences and mechanisms developed regarding migration policymaking in Malmö during the post-war decades.

Bettina Severin-Barboutie presents the short but lively history of the Italian-led Unione dei Emigrante in Germania, a self-organisation of migrants formed in 1963 in Stuttgart that disappears from public records in 1965. She reinterprets existing narratives of the ueg’s ‘failure’, emphasising rather its role as ‘forerunner’ in expressing ideas of a democracy of emigrants in Germany and European democracy that found (partial) realisation in the 1970s in local Foreigners Advisory Councils in Germany and direct elections for the European Parliament, as well as the creation of European citizenship in the 1990s. The ueg saw itself not just as a self-organisation of labour migrants but as an organisation to help construct Europe from below. It directly challenged paternalist forms of migrant assistance prevailing in Stuttgart and Germany more widely, insisting that migrants direct their own organisations, that they not be divided by nationality and religion, and that they be called ‘emigrants’ rather than ‘guest workers’. They proclaimed migrants from European countries to be vanguards of a culturally diverse European union and looked to plant a flag in Stuttgart by proposing the creation of a ‘European Parliament of Foreign Workers.’ Their campaign presented a unique mix of demands for improvement of economic and social conditions with political rights as European citizens that would end their status as ‘second-class workers.’ City officials engaged with the ueg from the beginning but were wary of its pretence to transform local and European governance. They sought to contain it by modelling migrant agency within existing structures in which migrants served as advisors rather than as elected policymakers. In the end they resisted ueg entreaties to permit the formation of an emigrant European parliament from below and sacrificed an opportunity, in Severin-Barboutie’s view, for their city to serve as a local and transnational site for a unique initiative by migrants to engage in European unity in the 1960s.


This article is part of the project ‘Immigrant integration programs in European Cities from the mid 1940s to the 1970s. A comparative case study’ funded by Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius stiftelse (P17-0021) and hosted at the Centre for European Research at the University of Gothenburg (CERGU). The authors would like to thank Maartje Jansen and Paul van Trigt for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this introductory article and Dr. Linda Berg and Birgitta Jännebring at CERGU for their gracious support in hosting this project.


Jessica Reinisch and Elizabeth White (eds), The disentanglement of populations: migration, expulsion and displacement in post-war Europe, 1944–9 (Basingstoke 2011); Jessica Reinisch, ‘Introduction: relief in the aftermath of war’, Journal of Contemporary History 43:3 (2008) 371–404; Paul Weindling, ‘“For the love of Christ”: strategies of International Catholic Relief and the Allied occupation of Germany, 1945–1948’, Journal of Contemporary History 43:3 (2008) 477–492.


Marlou Schrover, ‘The deportation of Germans from the Netherlands’, Immigrants & Minorities 33:3 (2015) 1–29.


Matthew J. Frank and Jessica Reinisch (eds), Refugees in Europe, 1919–1959: A forty years’ crisis? (London 2017).


Philipp Ther, ‘The integration of expellees in Germany and Poland after World War ii: A historical reassessment’, Slavic Review 55:4 (1996) 779–805.


Richard Bessel and Dirk Schumann, ‘Violence, normality, and the construction of postwar Europe’, in: Richard Bessel and Dirk Schumann (eds), Life after death: approaches to a cultural and social history of Europe during the 1940s and 1950s (Cambridge 2003) 1–13.


Marcel Berlinghoff, Das Ende der ‘Gastarbeit’: Europäische Anwerbestopps 1970–1974 (Paderborn 2013).


Manuela Martini and Lutz Raphael, ‘Illegal Mediterranean migrations to western Europe after World War ii’, Journal of Modern European History 12:1 (2014) 80–83.


Niall Ferguson, Charles S. Maier, Manela Erez and Daniel J. Sargent (eds), The shock of the global: The 1970s in perspective (Cambridge, Ma., 2010); Daniel Stedman Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman and the birth of neoliberal politics (Princeton 2014); Laurent Warlouzet, Governing Europe in a globalizing world: neoliberalism and its alternatives following the 1973 oil crisis (London 2019).


Irial Glynn, ‘The genesis and development of Article 1 of the 1951 Refugee Convention’, Journal of Refugee Studies 25:1 (2011) 134–148; Peter Gatrell, The unsettling of Europe: The great migration, 1945 to the present (London 2019) 66.


For an extended criticism of the contention that newer migrants are not integrating as well as previous groups of migrants in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, see Leo Lucassen, The immigrant threat: The integration of old and new migrants in western Europe since 1850 (Urbana 2006).


Tony Judt, Postwar: A history of Europe since 1945 (London 2005) 5.


Dan Stone, ‘Editor’s introduction: Postwar Europe as history’, in: Dan Stone (ed), The Oxford handbook of postwar European history (Oxford 2012) 2.


Frank Biess and Astrid M. Eckert, ‘Introduction: why do we need new narratives for the history of the Federal Republic?’, Central European History 52 (2019) 1–18, 1.


Lauren Stokes, ‘The permanent refugee crisis in the Federal Republic of Germany, 1949—’, Central European History 52 (2019) 19–44, 43–44.


John Solomos, Race and racism in Britain (Basingstoke, 2003) 52–53.


For an excellent overview of the development of integration policy in the Netherlands, see Peter Scholten, Framing immigrant integration: Dutch research-policy dialogues in comparative perspective (Amsterdam 2011).


Gatrell, The unsettling of Europe, chapter 3: ‘People adrift: expellees and refugees’.


Camilo Erlichman and Christopher Knowles, Transforming occupation in the western zones of Germany: politics, everyday life and social interactions, 1945–55 (London 2019); Sarah Hackett, ‘The “local turn” in historical perspective: two city case studies in Britain and Germany’, International Review of Administrative Sciences 83 (2017) 340–357.


Michael Alexander, ‘Local policies towards migrants as an expression of Host-Stranger relations: A proposed typology’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 29 (2003) 411–30, 425; Tiziana Caponio, ‘Conclusion: Making sense of local migration policy arenas’, in: Tiziana Caponio and Maren Borkert (eds), The local dimension of migration policymaking (Amsterdam 2010) 161–192; the special issue authors have further developed a comparative methodology for studying local migrant integration building on these studies in Brian Shaev, Sarah Hackett, Pål Brunnström and Robert Nilsson Mohammadi, ‘Refugees, expellees, and immigrants: Comparing migrant reception policies and practices in post-war Bristol, Dortmund and Malmö’, Urban History, forthcoming.


Emile Chabal, ‘Managing the postcolony: Minority politics in Montpellier, c.1960-c.2010’, Contemporary European History 23:2 (2014) 237–258; Marion Fontaine, ‘Les “Polaks” et les “Sang et Or”: Une lecture sportive de la relation aux étrangers dans une ville manière (Lens, années trente-années cinquante)’, in: Didier Terrier and Judith Rainhorn (eds), Etranges voisins. Altérité et relations de proximité dans la ville depuis le XVIIIe siècle (Rennes 2010) 151–162; Ed Naylor, ‘“Un âne dans l’ascenseur”: Late colonial welfare services and social housing in Marseille after decolonization’, French History 27:3 (2013) 422–447.


Christophe Bertossi and Jan Willem Duyvendak, ‘National models of immigrant integration: The costs for comparative research’, Comparative European Politics 10:3 (2012) 237–247.


Sarah Hackett, Brian Shaev, Pål Brunnström and Robert Nilsson Mohammadi, ‘Variants, Race Relations, and Trend-Setters: Postwar Dortmund, Bristol and Malmö in National Migration Histories’, in Christoph Cornelissen, Beat Kümin and Massimo Rosprocher (eds), Migration and the European City: Social and cultural perspectives from the early modern to the present (Berlin, forthcoming).


Nina Glick Schiller and Ayşe Çağlar, ‘Locality and globality: Building a comparative analytical framework in migration and urban studies’, in: Nina Glick Schiller and Ayşe Çağlar (eds), Locating migration: rescaling cities and migrants (Ithaca 2011) 60–81; Peter Scholten, Maurice Crul and Paul van de Laar (eds), Coming to terms with superdiversity: The Case of Rotterdam (Cham 2019).


Gregor Thum, Uprooted: How Breslau became Wrocław during the century of expulsions (Princeton 2011) 9.


Stone, ‘Editor’s introduction’, 7.


Sylvain Laurens, ‘“1974” et la fermeture des frontières. Analyse critique d’une décision érigéee en turning-point’, Politix 82 (2008) 69–94.


Alan Milward, The reconstruction of western Europe, 1945–51 (London 1984) 463.


Philippe Mioche, Le Plan Monnet: Génèse et élaboration, 1941–1947 (Paris 1987); Gérard Bossuat, La France, l’aide américaine et la construction européenne: 1944–1954 (Paris 1997); Richard F. Kuisel, Capitalism and the state in modern France: Renovation and economic management in the twentieth century (Cambridge 1983).


Charles S. Maier, ‘The two postwar eras and the conditions for stability in twentieth-century western Europe’, American Historical Review 86:2 (1981) 327–352.


Michael J. Hogan, The Marshall Plan: America, Britain, and the reconstruction of western Europe, 1947–1952 (Cambridge 1987); Völker Berghahn, The Americanisation of West German industry, 1945–1973 (Leamington Spa 1986).


Barry Eichengreen, The European economy since 1945: Coordinated capitalism and beyond (Princeton 2007) 72.


Ian Connor, Refugees and expellees in post-war Germany (Manchester 2007) 28–48.


Gatrell, The unsettling of Europe, 77–78.


Diana Kay and Robert Miles, Refugees or migrant workers?: European Volunteer Workers in Britain, 1946–1951 (London 1992); Inge Weber-Newth and Johannes-Dieter Steinert, German migrants in post-war Britain: An enemy embrace (Oxon 2006).


Sandro Rinauro, ‘L’émigration illégale des Italiens en France et en Suisse après la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale’, Journal of Modern European History 12:1 (2014) 84–106.


For an insight into these migrant groups and corresponding government policy, see Hans van Amersfoort and Mies van Niekerk, ‘Immigration as a colonial inheritance: post-colonial immigrants in the Netherlands, 1945–2002’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32:3 (2006) 323–346; Rinus Penninx, ‘Postwar immigration and integration policies in the Netherlands: an unstable marriage’, in: Dominika Pszczółkowska, Maciej Duszczyk and Marta Pachocka (eds), Relations between immigration and integration policies in Europe (Abingdon 2020) 77–105.


Joacim Waara, Svenska Arbetsgivareföreningen och arbetskraftsinvandringen 19451972 (Gothenburg 2012) 106–113.


Gatrell traces this argument to the work of US economist Charles Kindleberger. Gatrell, The unsettling of Europe, 70–71.


Sebastian Braun and Toman Omar Mahmoud, ‘The employment effects of immigration: Evidence from the mass arrival of German expellees in postwar Germany’, The Journal of Economic History 74:1 (2014) 69–108.


Marlou Schrover, ‘Urban migration histories’, in: Tiziana Caponio, Peter Scholten and Ricard Zapata-Barrero (eds), The Routledge handbook of the governance of migration and diversity in cities (Abingdon 2019) 22–38.


Mark Mazower, ‘Reconstruction: the historiographical issues’, Past & Present 210:6 (2011) 17–28.


‘Dr. Kurt Schumacher, Hannover: Was wollen die Sozialdemokraten? Neubau-nicht Wiederaufbau!’, 1945, Bestand Kurt Schumacher 35, Archiv der Sozialen Demokratie.


Leo Lucassen, ‘Migrantenorganisaties vroeger en nu: Een inleiding’, in: Leo Lucassen (ed), Amsterdammer worden: Migranten, hun organisaties en inburgering, 1600–2000 (Amsterdam 2004) 9–22.


Maurizio Ferraro, The boundaries of welfare: European integration and the new spatial politics of social protection (Oxford 2005); Karim Fertikh, ‘From territorialized rights to personalized international social rights? The making of the European Convention on the Social Security of Migrant Workers (1957)’, in: Monika Báar and Paul van Trigt (eds), Marginalized groups, inequalities and the post-war welfare state: whose welfare? (London 2020) 29–48.


Brian Shaev, ‘I socialisti europei, la libera circolazione dei lavoratori e i flussi migratori dall’estero nelle prime comunità europee’, in: Giuliana Laschi, Valeria Deplano and Alessandro Pes (eds), Europa in movimento. Mobilità e migrazioni tra integrazione europea e decolonizzazione, 1945–1992 (Bologna 2018) 101–134.


For an insight into some of these arguments with regards to guest-worker systems in post-war Europe, see Ulrich Herbert, A history of foreign labor in Germany, 1880–1980 (Ann Arbor 1990) 210–213; Amelie F. Constant, Olga Nottmeyer and Klaus F. Zimmermann, ‘The economics of circular migration’, in: Amelie F. Constant and Klaus F. Zimmermann (eds), International handbook on the economics of migration (Cheltenham 2013) 55–74, 58–59.


See also Saskia Bonjour and Marlou Schrover, ‘Public debate and policy-making on family migration in the Netherlands, 1960–1995’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 41:9 (2015) 1475–1494.


Mikael Byström and Pär Frohnert, Invandringens historia: Från “Folkhemmet” till dagens Sverige (Stockholm 2017) 40–41.


Stephen Castles and Carl-Ulrik Schierup, ‘Migration and ethnic minorities’, in: Francis G. Castles et al. (eds), The Oxford handbook of the welfare state (Oxford 2010) 278–291, 284–285.


Connor, Refugees and expellees; Ian Connor, ‘German refugees and the spd in Schleswig-Holstein, 1945–50’, European History Quarterly 36:3 (2006) 173–199.


Monika Báar and Paul van Trigt, ‘Introduction’, in Monika Báar and Paul van Trigt (eds), Marginalized groups, inequalities and the post-war welfare state, 1–8.


For instance, see Rinus Penninx, Karen Kraal, Marco Martiniello and Steven Vertovec (eds), Citizenship in European cities: Immigrants, local politics and integration policies (Aldershot 2004); Amelia H. Lyons, ‘French or foreign? The Algerian migrants’ status at the end of empire (1962–1968)’, Journal of Modern European History 12:1 (2014) 126–145, 138–140.


Sheila Patterson, Immigration and race relations in Britain 1960–1967 (London 1969) part iii; Solomos, Race and racism in Britain, chapter 5.


Justus Uitermark, Dynamics of power in Dutch integration policies: from accommodation to confrontation (Amsterdam 2012) 66; Rita Chin, The crisis of multiculturalism in Europe: a history (Princeton 2017) 107–108.


Byström and Frohnert, Invandringens historia, 33–53.


Martin Conway, Western Europe’s democratic age, 1945–1968 (Princeton 2020).


Martin Conway, ‘Democracy in postwar western Europe: the triumph of a political model’, European History Quarterly 32:1 (2002) 59–84, 59.


Isser Woloch, The postwar moment: progressive forces in Britain, France and the United States after World War II (New Haven 2019).


Sheri Berman, Democracy and dictatorship in Europe: From the ancien régime to the present day (New York 2018) 294; Geoff Eley, Forging democracy: The history of the left in Europe, 1850–2000 (Oxford 2002); Dan Stone, Goodbye to all that?: The story of Europe since 1945 (Oxford 2014).


Jan-Werner Müller, Contesting democracy: political ideas in twentieth-century Europe (Cumberland 2014) 5–6.


Ibid., 145–146.


Martin Conway, ‘The rise and fall of western Europe’s democratic golden age, 1945–1973’, Contemporary European History 13:1 (2004) 67–88; Pepijn Corduwener, ‘Democracy as a contested concept in postwar western Europe: a comparative study of political debates in France, West Germany and Italy’, The Historical Journal 59:1 (2016) 197–220.


Robin de Bruin, Elastisch Europe: De integratie van Europe en de Nederlandse politiek, 1947–1968 (Amsterdam 2014).


Conway, ‘Democracy in postwar western Europe’, 76.


Geoff Eley, ‘Legacies of antifascism: constructing democracy in postwar Europe’, New German Critique 67 (1996) 73–100, 82.


Rita Chin, The guest worker question in postwar Germany (Cambridge 2007) 63.


Thomas Humphrey Marshall, Citizenship and Social Class, and Other Essays (Cambridge 1950).


An especially important example is Rainer Schulze, Unruhige Zeiten: Erlebnisberichte aus dem Landkreis Celle 1945–1949 (Munich 1991).


Geoff Eley, ‘Corporatism and the social democratic moment: the postwar settlement, 1945–1973’, in: Stone (ed), The Oxford handbook of postwar European History, 37–59, 57.


Olga Sparschuh, ‘Citizens and non-citizens: The relevance of Citizenship status in labour migration within Italy and to Germany from the 1950s to 1970s’, Journal of Contemporary History 49:1 (2014) 28–53.


Frederick Cooper, Citizenship, inequality and difference: Historical perspectives (Princeton 2018) 10.


Müller, Contesting democracy, 5.


Conway, ‘Democracy in postwar western Europe’, 65.


Timothy Scott Brown, West Germany and the global sixties: The antiauthoritarian revolt, 1962–1978 (Cambridge 2014); Gerd-Rainer Horn, The spirit of ’68: Rebellion in Western Europe and North America, 1956–1976 (Oxford 2009); an example of disappointment with a Foreigners Advisory Council is Nuremburg, see Patrick Ireland, Becoming Europe: immigration integration and the welfare state (Pittsburgh 2004) 79–80.


Ernst B. Haas, The Uniting of Europe: Political, social, and economic forces 1950–1957 (Stanford 1958); Walter Lipgens, A history of European integration, 1945–47 (Oxford 1982).


Daniel C. Thomas, ‘Constitutionalization through enlargement: the contested origins of the EU’s democratic identity’, Journal of European Public Policy 13 (2006) 1190–1210.


Nicolas Verschueren, Fermer les mines en construisant l’Europe. Une histoire sociale de l’intégration européenne (Brussels 2013).


Simone Paoli, ‘The influence of protest movements on the European integration process: an interpretation of the 1972 Paris Summit’, in: Antonio Varsori and Guia Migani (eds), Europe in the international arena during the 1970s: entering a different world (Brussels 2011) 253–277.


Brian Shaev, ‘Liberalising regional trade: Socialists and European economic integration’, Contemporary European History 27:2 (May 2018) 258–279; Wolfram Kaiser, ‘Europeanization of Christian democracy? Negotiating organization, enlargement, policy and allegiance in the European People’s Party’, in: Wolfram Kaiser and Jan-Henrik Meyer (eds), Societal actors in European integration: Polity-building and policy-making 1958–1992 (Basingstoke 2013) 15–36.


Wolfram Kaiser and Jan-Henrik Meyer, ‘Beyond governments and supranational institutions: societal actors in European integration’, in: Kaiser and Meyer (eds), Societal actors in European integration, 1–14, 4–5.


Ibid., 5–6.


Kiran K. Patel and Wolfram Kaiser, ‘Continuity and change in European cooperation during the twentieth century’, Contemporary European History 27:2 (2018) 165–182.


Kaiser and Meyer, ‘Beyond governments and supranational institutions’, 8–9.


Martin Conway and Kiran Klaus Patel, Europeanization in the twentieth century: Historical approaches (Basingstoke 2010).


An example is Kristine Mitchell, ‘From Whitehall to Brussels: Thatcher, Delors and the Europeanization of the tuc’, Labor History 53:1 (2012) 25–50.


Helmut Kaelble, Nachbarn am Rhein: Entfremdung und Annäherung der französischen und deutschen Gesellschaft seit 1880 (München 1991).


Ulrike von Hirschhausen and Kiran K. Patel, ‘Europeanization in history: An introduction’, in: Conway and Patel (eds), Europeanization in the twentieth century, 1–18, 12.


Martin Conway, ‘Conclusion’, in: Conway and Patel (eds), Europeanization in the twentieth century, 271–277, 277.


Marcel Berlinghoff, ‘Die Bundesrepublik und die Europäisierung der Migrationspolitik seit den späten 1960er Jahren’, in: Jochen Oltmer (ed), Handbuch Staat und Migration in Deutschland seit 17. Jahrhundert (Oldenbourg 2016) 931–966.


Ideal starting points include no doubt Elizabeth Buettner, Europe after empire: Decolonization, society and culture (Cambridge 2016); Christoph Kalter, Die Entdeckung der Dritten Welt: Dekolonisierung und neue radikale Linke in Frankreich (Frankfurt am Main 2011); Laschi et al (eds), Europa in movimento; Todd Shepard, The invention of decolonization: The Algerian War and the remaking of France (Ithaca 2006).

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 1706 593 56
PDF Views & Downloads 2533 874 106