The Seventies research group was established in 2017 primarily as a discussion group. It aims at bringing scholars from the Centre for Parliamentary History (CPG) and Political History together in order to enhance discussion, and in addition invite guest speakers from other universities. By organising discussion meetings our research group engages in the lively historiographical debate about the meaning and significance of the 1970s in Dutch history, also offering the opportunity to interpret key socio-cultural, economic, political and institutional developments in Netherlands within a European and global context.
After the late twentieth-century academic debate about the 1960s, and the subsequent plea to pay serious attention to the 1950s as well, there has been an increase in scholarly interest in the 1970s. This is particularly true for British and German historians, but also to an increasing degree for their Dutch colleagues.
The Seventies research group of the Faculty of Arts at Radboud University studies the political discourses, the forms of representation and the institutional changes that accompanied the developments during this tumultuous decade.
The Seventies research group approaches its main subject as a period in which fundamental societal changes took place. Whereas the 1960s significantly brought individual freedoms, the 1970s presented a turning point. For the first time, the consequences of growing interdependence were actually felt, giving rise to serious feelings of uncertainty and various forms of instability. The economies’ increasing international interconnection and the negative effects of the oil crisis shook Keynesian policy assumptions, while newly invented political practices simultaneously entered the scene.
These changes crucially contributed to the creation of the modern society in the decades that followed. Hence, this period merits the attention of The Seventies research group. As such, the group’s research fits perfectly within RICH (Radboud Institute for Culture & History) theme of ‘Europe in a changing world’ and the corresponding key question of ‘how and under which conditions different kinds of loyalties, communities and categories of people emerge and disappear’.