Dr. Spero Simeon Z. Paravantes - Research

a Senior Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, Institute of European Studies

holds posts as a Senior Researcher at the University of Luxembourg – Robert Schuman Institute of European Affairs

a Visiting Professor in the Department of Economic History, at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy

a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley’s Institute of European Studies in 2017-18

From 2014 to 2018, he has been awarded four peer-reviewed research grants (funded by the Marie-Curie foundation, the University of Luxembourg, and the Luxembourg National Research funds – FNR) to develop research projects linking the early Cold War and the European Integration process. He is an International Historian, specializing in the Early Cold War, Anglo-American relations, Regional Groupings, Modern Greece and European Integration. Paravantes’ recent publications include “Britain and the United States in Greece after World War II: Anglo-American Relations and the Origins of the Cold War” (Forthcoming 2020, London Bloomsbury), and “A Tale of Two Referenda: The Greek Plebiscite of 1946 and the Referendum of July 2015” (The European Review of History, 2018). He has won numerous peer-reviewed research grants, and has lectured and given talks in various topics in Contemporary European History and Politics, in Canada, the US, the UK, Luxembourg, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands.

Spero Paravantes has participated in numerous international conferences and events, and co-organized the 2019 conference in Luxembourg entitled “The Benelux, Regional Groupings and the Dynamics of European Integration: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives,” held at the University of Luxembourg on April 8 and 9. Additionally, he is co-editing the related conference proceedings.

Research

  • Britain and the United States in Greece after World War II: Anglo-American Relations and the Origins of the Cold War

    After World War II, as Europe floundered economically, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee looked to disengage Britain from some of its broad international obligations and increase American support for its new foreign agenda. One place he sought to do so was in Greece, which was in the midst of a civil war. Through an in-depth study of Anglo-American diplomacy in Greece from 1946-52, Spero Simeon Z. Paravantes reveals how the relationship between Britain and the US developed in this formative period. He argues that, in many ways, Britain used the fast-escalating tensions of (what would become) the Cold War to direct and influence US policy in Greece, encouraging the Americans to take a more active role in re-building infrastructure and institutions, and (essentially) take Britain’s place in the region. In the process, he sheds fresh light onto how the American experience in Greece contributed to the formulation of the Truman Doctrine, the birth of the Cold War, and the roots of the Greek dictatorship of 1967-74. Drawing on a wide range of sources from Britain, the US, Greece and across the Balkans, Spero Simeon Z. Paravantes has produced the first book to focus on this crucial period in such close detail, and reveals the ways in which various foreign and domestic concerns coincided at a pivotal moment of twentieth century history. This book is essential reading for all scholars looking to gain fresh insight into post-WWII Greece, institution building in post-conflict countries, the Anglo-American alliance and the complex origins of the Cold War. Link

  • In for a penny: A legal and diplomatic history or reparations and their impact on European (dis?) integration

    Journal name: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL HISTORY AND INSTITUTIONS, Vol . nº 3 (2019), ISSN: 2515-9208, (https://iholji.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/nc2ba-3-ijolhi.pdf )  This article summarizes the legal, historical and political developments in regards to the issue of WWII reparations. It suggests that due to the separation between the historical and legal fields which have examined the issue of WWII reparations, no generally accepted notion about their status exists either in the historical, legal or political spheres. It is this lack of clarity that has greatly contributed to this issue remaining unresolved thus far. This paper’s originality lies in its combination of diverse and original sources, both primary and secondary, in addition to referring to the text of the treaties in question to bring the debate on WWII reparations into a single narrative and addressing some of the shortcomings in other studies. It is also original because no previous studies on WWII reparations have addressed the role their ‘settlement’ played in the early European Integration process. In conclusion, the paper responds to arguments stating that the issue is closed, and questions whether or not the US and USSR did in fact have the right to suspend the rights of their allies to claim reparations from Germany upon re-unification.

  • Building Bridges or a Bridge Too Far? The "Macedonia" Name Agreement, and the Past, Present and Future of Greek Interstate Relations.

    The “Macedonia” name issue has been a constant point of contention between Greece and the newly re-named Republic of North Macedonia, since the breakup of Yugoslavia. With the origins of the dispute stretching back to the Second World War, the “Prespa Agreement,” signed between the two Balkan neighbors in June 2018 (coming into force in February 2019) is hoped to be a new beginning in interstate relations in the Balkans. Through Prime Ministers Tspiras and Zeav have adopted warm facades in front of the cameras, significant opposition to the agreement domestically and abroad highlights the transnational / international legacy and implications of this dispute. In this lecture, Dr, Spero Paravantes will examine the history of the dispute over the name “Macedonia.” He will then explain the Prespa Agreement, some of the controversies surrounding it, and he will discuss the role played in the dispute (and in the agreement) by foreign diplomats. He will concluded with an assessment of the domestic and international implications of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), becoming the Republic of North Macedonia. ( Link) (Summary: link)

  • The Benelux, Regional Groupings and the Dynamics of European Integration: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives

  • A tale of two referenda: the Greek Plebiscite of 1946 and the referendum of 2015

    This paper compares two periods of crisis in Greece separated by 70 years, the crisis surrounding the national elections and the plebiscite on the return of the Greek monarchy in 1946, and the referendum on the terms contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of July 2015, and the international involvement in and reaction to these referenda. The inspirations for the paper, were the ways in which external forces attempted to direct their outcome, and the similarities in the ways in which in both periods, external forces attempted to frame the definition of the referenda in favour of their wider strategic objectives. The pressure placed on the Greek government, both from within Greece and from without, was also noteworthy, as was the rhetoric that was used both during and after both events. The paper concludes that in these two cases, rather than providing resolution to an issue, the referenda served mainly as a vehicle of protest, extremely susceptible to manipulation, leading to a situation worse than that which had preceded them.  (Limited free downloads by using this link)

  • European institutions and European enterprises

    (Seminar at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy, May 30 2018. From 01:00 to 24:00. I explain the Origins of the Rules surrounding the freedom of establishment in the EU. NOTE: the computer crashed before the seminar, so I had to look to the large screen to my left to read the notes. This is why I am looking left throughout the video.) Vimeo link

  • Luxembourg and the Marshal Plan (April 2018)

    (A short Video by Dan Schank, of Video Productions.lu, made for Wort,lu and published online.) He interviewed me about the Marshall Plan, and its impact in Luxembourg and beyond. I am featured at 1:25 to 2:10, 3:50 to 5:00, 6:00 to 6:40, 6:55 to 7:30, and 7:50 to 8:52. Video link

  • Reparations and European Integration (Part 2)

    from the Institute of European Studies (IES) at UC Berkeley, 32 mins. In this lecture, I examine the role that reparations from the First and Second World Wars played in relations between European states. YouTube link

  • Reparations and European Integration, Part I (Short Video Lecture, 03.20)

    Impact of WWII reparations claims on European Integration (Part 1)
    YouTube link

  • Spero S.Z. Paravantes, The Relationship between the WEU and NATO

    A short article explaining the relationship between the WEU and NATO. Link

  • Spero S.Z. Paravantes, The nuclear question

    A short article explaining the role played by WEU in WEstern Europe’s Nuclear Policy. Link

  • Spero S.Z. Paravantes, The Defence Industry and Technology Base (DTIB): the development and production of armaments

    An explanation of Western European efforts to coordinate arms production during the Cold War. Link

  • The issue of NATO ‘out-of-area’ operations: from West Africa to the Near East

    An summary of NATO’s policy regarding activities beyond the Treaty’s stated geographical limits. Link

  • The Greek Case: The Truman Doctrine and British Manipulation of the United States.

    An analysis of Anglo-American policy in Greece during the latter stages of the Civil War.

Publications

BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES IN GREECE AFTER WWII Anglo-American relations and the Origins of the Cold War

After World War II, as Europe floundered economically, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee looked to disengage Britain from some of its broad international obligations and increase American support for its new foreign agenda. One place he sought to do so was in Greece, which was in the midst of a civil war. Through an in-depth study of Anglo-American diplomacy in Greece from 1946-52, Spero Simeon Z. Paravantes reveals how the relationship between Britain and the US developed in this formative period. He argues that, in many ways, Britain used the fast-escalating tensions of (what would become) the Cold War to direct and influence US policy in Greece, encouraging the Americans to take a more active role in re-building infrastructure and institutions, and (essentially) take Britain’s place in the region. In the process, he sheds fresh light onto how the American experience in Greece contributed to the formulation of the Truman Doctrine, the birth of the Cold War, and the roots of the Greek dictatorship of 1967-74.
Drawing on a wide range of sources from Britain, the US, Greece and across the Balkans, Spero Simeon Z. Paravantes has produced the first book to focus on this crucial period in such close detail, and reveals the ways in which various foreign and domestic concerns coincided at a pivotal moment of twentieth century history. This book is essential reading for all scholars looking to gain fresh insight into post-WWII Greece, institution building in post-conflict countries, the Anglo-American alliance and the complex origins of the Cold War.

The Greek Case: The Truman Doctrine and British Manipulation of the United States

This Article analyses events in Greece from 1944 to 1947, and the way in which they were used by the British to stoke anti-communist sentiment and action in the US government.

Building Bridges or a Bridge Too Far? The "Macedonia" Name Agreement and the Past, Present and Future of Greek Interstate Relations

The “Macedonia” name issue has been a constant point of contention between Greece and the newly re-named Republic of North Macedonia, since the breakup of Yugoslavia. With the origins of the dispute stretching back to the Second World War, the “Prespa Agreement,” signed between the two Balkan neighbors in June 2018 (coming into force in February 2019) is hoped to be a new beginning in interstate relations in the Balkans. Through Prime Ministers Tspiras and Zeav have adopted warm facades in front of the cameras, significant opposition to the agreement domestically and abroad highlights the transnational / international legacy and implications of this dispute.
In this lecture, Dr, Spero Paravantes examined the history of the dispute over the name “Macedonia.” He explained the Prespa Agreement, some of the controversies surrounding it, and discussed the role played in the dispute (and in the agreement) by foreign diplomats. He concluded with an assessment of the domestic and international implications of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), becoming the Republic of North Macedonia.

IN FOR A PENNY: A LEGAL AND DIPLOMATIC HISTORY OF REPARATIONS AND THEIR IMPACT ON EUROPEAN (DIS?) INTEGRATION

International Journal of Legal History and Institutions, 2019
https://iholji.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/nc2ba-3-ijolhi.pdf

ISSN 2515-9208

This article summarizes the legal, historical and political developments in regards to the issue of WWII reparations. It suggests that due to the separation between the historical and legal fields which have examined the issue of WWII reparations, no generally accepted notion about their status exists either in the historical, legal or political spheres. It is this lack of clarity that has greatly contributed to this issue remaining unresolved thus far. This paper’s originality lies in its combination of diverse and original sources, both primary and secondary, in addition to referring to the text of the treaties in question to bring the debate on WWII reparations into a single narrative and addressing some of the shortcomings in other studies. It is also original because no previous studies on WWII reparations have addressed the role their ‘settlement’ played in the early European Integration process. In conclusion, the paper responds to arguments stating that the issue is closed, and questions whether or not the US and USSR did in fact have the right to suspend the rights of their allies to claim reparations from Germany upon re-unification.

A tale of two referenda: the Greek Plebiscite of 1946 and the referendum of 2015

European Review of History, 2018
This paper compares two periods of crisis in Greece separated by 70 years, the crisis surrounding the national elections and the plebiscite on the return of the Greek monarchy in 1946, and the referendum on the terms contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of July 2015, and the international involvement in and reaction to these referenda. The inspirations for the paper, were the ways in which external forces attempted to direct their outcome, and the similarities in the ways in which in both periods, external forces attempted to frame the definition of the referenda in favour of their wider strategic objectives. The pressure placed on the Greek government, both from within Greece and from without, was also noteworthy, as was the rhetoric that was used both during and after both events. The paper concludes that in these two cases, rather than providing resolution to an issue, the referenda served mainly as a vehicle of protest, extremely susceptible to manipulation, leading to a situation worse than that which had preceded them.

«C’était extrêmement violent» Il y a 100 ans, la révolution de Février a provoqué la fin de l’Empire russe

La révolution de Février, qui s’est déroulée du 8 mars (23 février) 1917 au 13 mars
(28 février) 1917, marque le début de la révolution russe de 1917. Elle force l’abdication
du tsar Nicolas II et provoque la fin de l’Empire russe. Un gouvernement
provisoire dirige, mais la même année, la révolution d’Octobre met au pouvoir
des bolcheviks et permet la création de l’Union des républiques socialistes soviétiques
(URSS). Le chercheur au «Centre for Contemporary and Digital History» à l’Université du
Luxembourg, Dr. Spero S.Z. Paravantis nous détaille ce chapitre de l’histoire.

The relationship between WEU and NATO

Franco-British Diplomatic games and issues within the Western European Union (WEU) (1954-1982)
http://www.cvce.eu/en/recherche/unit-content/-/unit/e7c423ed-a376-4a57-a415-f8519344e558

#1 of 4 texts, which were published to accompany the selection of WEU documents for the above-named project, to establish the relevant institutional and historical background to place these documents in their proper context.
Published October 2016 by DEIS, (Formerly the CVCE) University of Luxembourg

The Nuclear Question

Franco-British Diplomatic games and issues within the Western European Union (WEU) (1954-1982)
http://www.cvce.eu/en/recherche/unit-content/-/unit/e7c423ed-a376-4a57-a415-f8519344e558

#2 of 4 texts, which were published to accompany the selection of WEU documents for the above-named project, to establish the relevant institutional and historical background to place these documents in their proper context.
Published October 2016 by DEIS, (Formerly the CVCE) University of Luxembourg

The Defence Industry and Technology Base (DTIB): the development and production of armaments.

Franco-British Diplomatic games and issues within the Western European Union (WEU) (1954-1982)
http://www.cvce.eu/en/recherche/unit-content/-/unit/e7c423ed-a376-4a57-a415-f8519344e558

# 3 of 4 texts, which were published to accompany the selection of WEU documents for the above-named project, to establish the relevant institutional and historical background to place these documents in their proper context.
Published October 2016 by DEIS, (Formerly the CVCE) University of Luxembourg

The issue of NATO 'out-of-area' operations: from West Africa to the borders of the Near East

Franco-British Diplomatic games and issues within the Western European Union (WEU) (1954-1982)
http://www.cvce.eu/en/recherche/unit-content/-/unit/e7c423ed-a376-4a57-a415-f8519344e558

# 4 of4 texts, which were published to accompany the selection of WEU documents for the above-named project, to establish the relevant institutional and historical background to place these documents in their proper context.
Published October 2016 by DEIS, (Formerly the CVCE) University of Luxembourg

Projects

  • (USEU) The Early Cold-War US/European Relationship and the Impact of Military Spending on the European Integration Project. Duration: December 1st 2014 to August 31st 2016

    The project clarified how the Americans’ experience in Europe in the late 1940s contributed to the findings and proposals espoused in NSC 68 and as a result, how the United States began to implement its post-WWII Foreign Policy in Europe.

  • (WEU-ESS) American Military Spending in Europe and its impact on WEU Members' Security Planning (WEU-ESS) (1950 to 1960)

    Project examines the impact that the early Cold War American military / financial intervention in Western Europe and its effect on early Cold War period of the European Integration movement, looking specifically at the member states of the Western European Union (WEU)

  • The Power of Non-Powers: The BENELUX and American Financial intervention in Europe, (1948-1960).

    The separation in the Cold War and European Integration historiographies has widely been acknowledge as being artificial, since both processes developed at the same time and involved many of the same actors

  • WWI and WWII Reparations Claims and European Integration

  • Franco-British diplomatic games and issues within WEU (1954-1982)

    The thematic ePublication entitled ‘Franco-British diplomatic games and issues in WEU (1954–1982)’ is the result of the ‘Diplomacy within Western European Union’ research project carried out by the CVCE. It is based on an exploration of the archives of Western European Union, which were transferred to Luxembourg

Lectures

Past

2018

  • European institutions and European enterprises: The cases of Luxembourg and Ireland

    Seminar at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy, May 30 2018. From 01:00 to 24:00. I explain the Origins of the Rules surrounding the freedom of establishment in the EU.
    Title: : Freedom of Establishment under European Corporate Law: From Luxleaks to the Commission v Ireland.

    Abstract: In October 2017, the European Commission (EC) referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) over what it deemed to be unfair state support of business, ordering the recovery of over 17 billion Euros in unpaid taxes. Ireland’s treatment of Apple Europe Inc., triggered many complaints from other member states of the European Union, who stated that Ireland had unjustly taken advantage of Freedom of establishment rules to attract companies, which in effect amounted to unfair state aid. This followed another case of an EU member state making special rules for companies to do business on its territory.
    The scandal known as Lux Leaks broke in 2014, when an then unknown French accountant, Antoine Deltour, working at KPMG in Luxembourg, uncovered and then disclosed to the press, documents which showed that the Luxembourg government had made 1000s of secret tax deals with large companies, who, in exchange for setting up offices in Luxembourg, would receive special tax consideration. For his actions, Antoine Deltour was charged with theft and fraud, was convicted, and was then left to appeal the decision.
    These two cases highlight a conflict of values that cut to the heart of the integration process, and can be summed up as follows; is the EU supposed to be a union where members achieve relative equality across all areas, over time through accepted norms, or is it a union which attempts to reduce imbalances while preserving individual differences. It is a struggle being played out between the institutions and individual members in ways that will be discussed below.
    This article re-examines the ways in which the EU, from the earliest days of the ECSC, has sought to clarify the rules through which companies could be established and operate in member states, and shows how current disputes in this area are the result of competing visions of EU economics and corporate cultures.

    (NOTE: the computer crashed before the seminar, so I had to look to the large screen to my left to read the notes. This is why I am looking left throughout the video)

  • Reparations and European Integration, Part II (Short Video Lecture, 04:20)

    A short discussion of WWI and WWII Reparations, the marshall plan, and the recovery and re-integration of Germany into Western Europe.

    Link: Video
  • Reparations and European Integration, Part I (Short Video Lecture, 03.20)

    Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy, May 2017.
    Short Lecture Series. Brief discussion of WWI and WWII reparations and their impact on European Integration.

    Link: Video

Supervisions

  • Supervision I

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  • Supervision II

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Contact

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