2 February 2017

As a part of the NIOD-fellowship programme researcher John Paul Newman started his fellowship at the NIOD. For the next months he is working on a large project looking at victorious societies and cultures of war in twentieth century Europe which poses a series of comparative questions about the function of war victory across a range of European states and societies in the twentieth century.

 	Amsterdam en omstreken, mei 1945. Bevrijding: feest in de versierde straten.
Liberation Amsterdam, may 1945 Credits: BeeldbankWo2/NIOD

Dr John Paul Newman is Senior Lecturer in Twentieth-century European History. He is the author of Yugoslavia in the Shadow of War: Veterans and the Limits of State Building, 1903-1945 (CUP, 2015), and the co-editor (with Mark Cornwall) of Sacrifice and Rebirth: The Legacy of the Last Habsburg War (Berghahn, 2016), and (with Julia Eichenberg) The Great War and Veterans' Internationalism (Palgrave Macmillan: 2013). Until September 2011, he was an ERC Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on the project 'Paramilitary Violence after the Great War', to which he contributed a case study of violence in the Balkans. He is also interested in the history of disability and disabled war veterans in Central Europe and the Balkans, and the comparative histories and historical trajectories of Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia from 1918 to 1993.

At NIOD, he is working on a large project looking at victorious societies and cultures of war in twentieth century Europe which poses a series of comparative questions about the function of war victory across a range of European states and societies in the twentieth century. Its point of departure is the inversion of Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s seminal concept of a ‘culture of defeat’, which claims that vanquished states and/or peoples are propelled towards transformative political or social projects as a means of redeeming past defeats. This new research posits that there is an alter-ego to the culture of defeat, a ‘culture of victory’ that is an important feature of states and societies that have emerged in triumph from war in the twentieth century. The contention is that cultures of war victory, although often considered powerful factors of cultural and societal integration, are also divisive and unsettling forces in post-war societies.