This book examines how rural Europe as a hybrid social and natural environment emerged as a key site of local, national and international governance in the interwar years. The post-war need to secure and intensify food production, to protect contested border areas, to improve rural infrastructure and the economic viability of rural regions and to politically integrate rural populations, gave rise to a variety of schemes aimed at modernizing agriculture and remaking rural society. The volume examines discourses, institutions and practices of rural governance from a transnational perspective, revealing striking commonalities across national and political boundaries. From the village town hall to the headquarters of international organizations, local authorities, government officials and politicians, scientific experts and farmers engaged in debates about the social, political and economic future of rural communities. They sought to respond to both real and imagined concerns over poverty and decline, backwardness and insufficient control, by conceptualizing planning and engineering models that would help foster an ideal rural community and develop an efficient agricultural sector. By examining some of these local, national and international schemes and policies, this volume highlights the hitherto under-researched interaction between policymakers, experts and rural inhabitants in the European countryside of the 1920s and '30s.

chapter 1|23 pages

The Green Heart of Governance

Rural Europe during the Interwar Years in a Global Perspective

chapter 2|21 pages

Internal Colonization in Weimar Germany

Transnational and Local Approaches to Rural Governance in the 1920s

chapter 4|25 pages

Cultivating Land and People

Internal Colonization in Interwar Europe

chapter 5|22 pages

The Future of Village Life

Welfare, Planning and the Role of Government in Rural Britain between the Wars

chapter 6|24 pages

The “Social Museum” of Village Life

Sociology and Heritage in 1930s Romania

chapter 8|21 pages

Between Mobilization and De-Politicization

Political Technologies of Rural Self-Government in Weimar Germany

chapter 10|22 pages

Guardians of the Countryside

The Associated Countrywomen of the World (ACWW) and International Rural Governance in the Interwar Years

chapter 11|26 pages

Cartels, Grossraumwirtschaft and Statistical Knowledge

International Organizations and Their Efforts to Govern Europe’s Forest Resources in the 1930s and 1940s

chapter 12|20 pages

The Red Peasant International 1