Beyond Versailles

Beyond Versailles

Sovereignty, Legitimacy, and the Formation of New Polities after the Great War
Edited by Marcus M. Payk and Roberta Pergher
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 05/01/2019
ISBN: 978-0-253-04094-7
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European historians focus on two critical aspects of the Treaty of Versailles: it was an attempt to carve out a new Europe as determined by the victors of World War I, and it was doomed to failure. In Beyond Versailles, a broad and more nuanced look at the construction of the Treaty provides a rich understanding of the institutions and ideas involved in constructing the new world order. While previous attention has been paid to the treaty architects and their agendas, this collection considers the treaty's resonance for local players responding to the global shifts in power. This volume offers important reappraisals of the shift from the imperial age to the age of nations and examines how notions of nation, sovereignty, and citizenship were negotiated and contested in order to balance popular will with clear constraints against assertions of post-war nationhood. The work questions our understanding of the nation-state as the inevitable outcome of the cataclysms of war and examines the ways in which a world of nations came into being.

Author Bio

Roberta Pergher is Assistant Professor of History at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is author of Mussolini's Nation-Empire: Sovereignty and Settlement in Italy's Borderlands, 1922-1943.

Marcus M. Payk is Assistant Professor of History at Humboldt University of Berlin and author of two books.


“This is an excellent collected volume, well-conceived and very well written. . . . This is not at all a top-down history of the diffusion of ideas about national self-determination. Rather, it is an examination of the ways in which these ideas were taken up, re-fashioned, and reasserted at many levels to serve local and regional agendas, while at the same time influencing international debates about the meanings and possible implementations of self-determination.”
 — Pieter M. Judson, author of The Habsburg Empire: A New History

“This is an insightful investigation of the enduring impact and relevance of ideas and structures given prominence by the negotiations and settlements at the end of the First World War, raising important questions about the intellectual frameworks and mindsets of the inter-war period.”
 — Alan Sharp, author of The Versailles Settlement: Peacemaking After the First World War, 1919-1923

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