Thomas Jørgensen

European University Institute
Department of History and Civilisation 
Via Boccaccio 121
50133 Firenze (Fi) 


PhD. Project: The left and the concept of 'nation' in Denmark and Sweden c1956-c1980

The project is a conceptual analysis of the concept 'Nation' on the Danish and Swedish left from the 20th party congress of the CPSU in 1956 until around 1980 - before the peace movement, but after the 'radical 1970s'.

From the mid-1950s, the Soviet Union gradually lost its firm grip on international communism allowing individual parties to seek their 'national roads to socialism'. Though it still kept control over Eastern Europe, it had internationally lost its leading position as the 'fatherland of socialism', and new 'national communisms' emerged particularly in China and the 3rd world. The consequence for Western Europe was a new pluralism on the left with the emergence of new socialist and 'new left' parties.

In Denmark, it resulted in a split in the communist party between hard-liners and reformists. The latter formed a new and very successful party, who eradicated the communists completely in the following elections. In Sweden, the communist party avoided a serious split by reforming itself gradually and freeing itself (partly) from Soviet Marxism/Leninism.

From the mid-1960s, the left wing in both countries got ever more fragmented with splinter parties of splinter parties, extra parliamentary movements, student revolts, feminism etc.

The aim of the project is to follow the changes in the concept of nation to see, how and if it is connected to these internal struggles on the left or to larger social and political changes. Thereby, I hope to present an alternative to the ideological/intellectual version of the history of the left wing, which explains events and phenomena on the left as products of freely and coherently thinking individuals. Instead, I want to show the incoherences, anachronisms and the opportunism that characterized the thinking on the left.

Supervisor: Bo Stråth
Secondary supervisor: Kim Salomon (University of Lund, Sweden)

Other activities

Member of the editing board of the journal Den jyske historiker.
Other, other activities: The Frenzy - creativity boost and sheer beauty!