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Combining comparative and transnational histories, Politics of Security stresses how these movements were deeply embedded in their own societies, but also transcended them. In particular, it highlights the centrality of the memories of the Second World War as a prism through which people made sense of the threat of nuclear war. By placing British and West German experiences side by side, Holger Nehring illuminates the general patterns and specific features of these debates, arguing that the key characteristic of these discussions was the countries' concerns with different notions of security. The volume highlights how these ideas changed over time, how they reflected more general political, social, and cultural trends, and how they challenged mainstream assumptions of politics and government.
This volume is the first to capture in a transnational fashion what activists did on marches against nuclear warfare, and what it meant to them and to others. It highlights the ways in which people became activists, and how they were transformed by these experiences. Nehring examines how these two societies with very different experiences and memories of the cruelties and atrocities of the Second World War drew on very similar arguments when they came to understand the Cold War through the prism of the previous world war.
Holger Nehring completed his D.Phil. at University College, Oxford, before taking up a research fellowship at St. Peter's College, Oxford. He has been teaching at the University of Sheffield since March 2006. His interests lie in the transnational history of social movements and activism, peace history, the history of violence, and the history of the Cold War. He is one of the co-founders of the Centre for Peace History at Sheffield, one of the very few institutions in the world that specialises in research on and teaching of the historical contingencies of peace making and peace keeping.