Journal section co-edited by Kiran Klaus Patel

Kiran Klaus Patel has co-edited a special section of the Journal of Contemporary History together with Sven Reichardt (University of Konstanz). The various contributions to this special section ‘The Dark Sides of Transnationalism: Social Engineering and Nazism, 1930s-40s’ deal with social engineering as a transnational phenomenon during the interwar years and World War Two.

Highlighting the role of the Third Reich, the articles focus on two related issues: for one, to understand the history of the Nazi regime by enriching it with transnational perspectives; for another, to pay greater attention to the neglected “dark sides” of transnational processes of perception and exchange in contemporary history.

Concrete case studies focus on urban planning and architecture, the ideology of Volksgemeinschaft, resettlement plans, and other issues. They zoom in on Nazi Germany’s relationship with Fascist Italy, but also with neutral Switzerland and Sweden, amongst other places. Together, they demonstrate the significance of social engineering as a phenomenon transcending the boundaries between democracy and dictatorship – as well as the need to pay more attention to the problematic sides of transnational links and flows between societies.

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