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Recasting Bourgeois EuropeStabilization in France, Germany, and Italy in the Decade after World War I$
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Charles S. Maier

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169798

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169798.001.0001

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Introduction: From Bourgeois to Corporatist Europe

Introduction: From Bourgeois to Corporatist Europe

(p.3) Introduction: From Bourgeois to Corporatist Europe
Recasting Bourgeois Europe

Charles S. Maier

Princeton University Press

This introductory chapter explains that the book examines the process by which three European nations—France, Germany, and Italy—achieved political and economic stabilization in the decade after World War I. It shows how conservatives aimed at a stability and status associated with prewar Europe, employing the term “bourgeois” as a shorthand for all they felt threatened by war, mass politics, and economic difficulty. The book describes the emergence of a corporatist political economy that involved the displacement of power from elected representatives or a career bureaucracy to the major organized forces of European society and economy. This evolution toward corporatism meant the decline of sovereignty and of parliamentary influence. The book highlights two further significant developments that emerged only with the massive economic mobilization of World War I: the integration of organized labor into a bargaining system supervised by the state, and the wartime erosion of the distinction between private and public sectors.

Keywords:   conservatives, France, Germany, Italy, political stabilization, economic stabilization, Europe, bourgeois, political economy, corporatism

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