The Northern and the Southern Enlargement in Historical Perspective: Scandinavian and Greek Responses to European Integration, 1960s–1970s.

Name of applicant

Christos Tsakas


"Danish Institute at Athens (housing commitment)"


DKK 1,883,318



Type of grant

Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Danish Institute at Athens


This project will explore the European integration dynamics from a business history perspective through a comparative analysis of the first and the second enlargement of the European Community (EC). The specific focus of the study is on the Danish, Greek and abortive Norwegian applications in the 1960s and 1970s. Adopting a business-centered approach, my research enquires into societal actors and transnational networks as analytical tools in order to question progressive interpretations of enlargement and illustrate how European integration impacted upon diverse environments. The research, by addressing direct and indirect business interactions, will examine both their impact on the respective European policies of each country and their potential bearing on the EC level.


This project aims to offer new insights into the emergence of the present-day EU, by adding to recent scholarship that challenges teleological accounts of European integration. Such accounts have largely overlooked the complex interplay between core and periphery and between insiders and outsiders in European integration. Yet these are central issues that are crucial not only to understanding why certain countries opted for joining or abstaining from the EC/EU in the first place, but also necessary in order to conceptualize the dynamics and limits of the Europeanization process.


Based on archival research in multiple countries, this project makes use of a wide range of available sources at the national and the EU level. The project will bring transnational history methods, and business history insights to bear on debates over the North-South divide in Europe. My research views European integration as an inherently complex process, in which conflict among national economic strategies, organized business interests and sectoral or firm preferences may result in individual interests overriding general interests. In this respect, my research agenda includes investigation of both the contributing and counteracting causes of EC/EU enlargement and lays the groundwork for a non-teleological account.

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