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Cold War Civil Defence in Western Europe

Sociotechnical Imaginaries of Survival and Preparedness

Palgrave Macmillan

Editors:

(view affiliations)
  • Argues for the importance of historical perspectives in contemporary civil defence planning

  • Brings together established and new perspectives on the history of civil defence in Europe

  • Covers themes such as technology, materiality, media, memory and everyday experience

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Buying options

Softcover Book
USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (10 chapters)

About this book

“With its geographical focus on Western Europe and its application of the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries from science and technology studies, Cold War Civil Defence in Western Europe breaks new ground.”

– Christoph Laucht, Swansea University, UK 

"Too often, Cold War civil defence history has been limited to the two superpowers in the 1950s and early 1960s. This compelling collection demonstrates a great diversity of civil defence plans, periodizations, material interventions, and public responses across a number of NATO and neutral countries."

– David Monteyne, University of Calgary, Canada

This open access edited collection brings together established and new perspectives on Cold War civil defence in Western Europe within a common analytical framework that also facilitates comparative and transnational dimensions. The current interest in creating disaster-resilient societies demands new histories of civil defence. Historical contextualization is essential in order to understand what is at stake in preparing, devising, and implementing forms of preparedness, protection, and security that are specifically targeted at societies and citizens. Applying the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries to civil defence history, the chapters of this volume cover a range of new themes, from technology and materiality to media, memory, and everyday experience. The book underlines the social embeddedness of civil defence by detailing how it both prompted new forms of social interaction and reflected norms and visions of the ‘good society’ in an age where nuclear technology seemed to hold the key to both doom and salvation.

Keywords

  • Survival
  • Resilience
  • Disaster planning
  • Terrorism
  • Nuclear conflict
  • Memory studies
  • Materiality
  • Everyday experience
  • Cold War
  • NATO
  • Twentieth century
  • open access

Reviews

“Transnational in scope and underpinned by the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries, this brilliantly conceptualized and empirically rich book not only opens up new avenues for studying civil defence and emergency preparedness in the past but also helps to inform debates on threats, resilience and safety in today’s crisis-ridden societies.” (Silvia Berger Ziauddin, University of Bern, Switzerland) 

“With its geographical focus on Western Europe and its application of the concept of sociotechnical imaginaries from science and technology studies, Cold War Civil Defence in Western Europe breaks new ground.” (Christoph Laucht, Swansea University, UK) 

“Too often, Cold War civil defence history has been limited to the two superpowers in the 1950s and early 1960s. This compelling collection demonstrates a great diversity of civil defence plans, periodizations, material interventions, and public responses across a number of NATO and neutral countries.” (David Monteyne, University of Calgary, Canada)


Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Communication and Media, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

    Marie Cronqvist

  • Department of History, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark

    Rosanna Farbøl, Casper Sylvest

About the editors

Marie Cronqvist is a Reader and Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Media History in the Department of Communication and Media at Lund University, Sweden. Her research is focused on Cold War media, civil defence culture and transnational broadcasting.

Rosanna Farbøl is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Southern Denmark. Her research is focused on Cold War civil defence, and she has specialized in the connection between materiality, imaginaries and culture, and comparative studies of urban civil defence strategies in Denmark and Europe.

Casper Sylvest is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Southern Denmark. His research is focused on nuclear politics and culture during the Cold War. He currently directs a research project on Danish Civil Defence during the Cold War.


Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Cold War Civil Defence in Western Europe

  • Book Subtitle: Sociotechnical Imaginaries of Survival and Preparedness

  • Editors: Marie Cronqvist, Rosanna Farbøl, Casper Sylvest

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84281-9

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2022

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-84280-2

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-030-84283-3

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-84281-9

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XV, 250

  • Number of Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations, 6 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: History of Modern Europe, Military and Defence Studies, Cultural History, History of Technology, Diplomatic and International History

Buying options

Softcover Book
USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)