Högskolans skriftserier

Drömmen om en gränslös fred

Världsmedborgarrörelsens reaktopi, 1949-1968

Omslag för Drömmen om en gränslös fred: Världsmedborgarrörelsens reaktopi, 1949-1968

Gustafsson, Jenny

In postwar France, a new movement – Citoyens du Monde – emerged with the aim to unite people across the world around the political target of achieving world peace through dissolving the national borders and establishing a worldwide society. In 1949, Världsmedborgarrörelsen (the World Citizen Movement) was established in Sweden as the 21st branch of the movement and represented the new ism mondialism.

The aim of the study is to understand and explain the ideas that propelled Världsmedborgarrörelsen, and how these ideas emerged, evolved and faded away in relation to the prevailing political circumstances. Theoretically, the dissertation draws on formation of -isms and approaches to political temporality. The study is supported by Hannah Arendt’s posited gap in time between memory and expectation as a crucial precondition for political actors as they temporally orient themselves to establish new policies. The study argues that the temporal orientation of world citizens was based on a gap in time filled by the idea that World War II had demonstrated the failure of traditional politics. Furthermore, the would-be citizens of the world forged their political expectations through a ”reactopia”; they presented a utopian political dream to ward off an imagined dystopia of nuclear war. Having experienced World War II and now living under the very real threat of nuclear weapons, Världsmedborgarrörelsen proclaimed that nation states, with their intergovernmental strife and division of people, were paving the way to new wars. By the time Världsmedborgarrörelsen dissolved in the 1960s, it appeared to be a prisoner of its own reactopian temporal orientation. Memories of World War II had faded and the threat of nuclear war diminished. As the new political boundary was drawn between Global North and Global South, the movement found it difficult to mobilise its forces.

Möklinta : Gidlunds förlag, 2022. 291 sidor.

ISBN 978-91-7844-482-3

Serie: Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, 1652-7399 ; 201

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