CfP “Transformative Recovery? The European Recovery Program (ERP)/Marshall Plan in European Tourism”

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Call for Papers
February 23, 2018 to February 24, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Environmental History / Studies, European History / Studies, Rural History / Studies, Urban History / Studies

CfP “Transformative Recovery? The European Recovery Program (ERP)/Marshall Plan in European Tourism”

International colloquium at the Paris Lodron University Salzburg, organized in cooperation with the Klagenfurt University and the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation

23–24 February 2018

Organizers: Martin Knoll, Salzburg University; Robert Groß, Klagenfurt University

The active involvement of the United States in World War II resulted in sizeable economic growth. In 1945, the U.S.A. literally had half of the world’s wealth, but, as had to be expected, the economic boom came to a sudden halt at the end of the war. This situation concerned U.S. economists and politicians who sought to mitigate a recession by boosting domestic production and recovering former and creating new markets. As solution, the US launched in 1948 the world's largest economic aid operation in history, the European Recovery Program (ERP) commonly known as Marshall Plan.  Europe would have had tremendous import needs in theory but its most industrialized regions lay in ruins in 1945, followed by a stagnation of the reconstruction in 1947. To stabilize European national economies, to prevent advancing communist and nationalist forces but also to create new markets for American goods and raw materials in Europe, aid was imperative.

The ERP focused on imports of strategic goods and machinery to reinstate domestic economic activities. These would accelerate the recovery of foreign currency stocks in European countries. Tourism also was targeted by ERP experts, who saw investments into accommodation and tourist mobility infrastructure as a quick and easy way for European tourism to earn more foreign currency. In addition to financial support, mainly in the form of loans, the ERP organized knowledge and technology transfer to rationalize the tourism industry according to U.S. standards. Despite the ERP’s importance for the reconstruction and transformation of the entire industry and regional livelihoods, the program’s positive and negative long-term consequences on the affected regions have not been studied in detail.

With the generous support by Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation we invite scholars from various fields such as tourism-, regional- and environmental-, economic-, political and social history, history of technology as well as of geography or other fields to elucidate the role of the Marshall Plan for tourism development. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Marshall Plan in 2018, a colloquium will be held in Salzburg to discuss their findings. We encourage papers that go beyond narratives of the ERP as expression of American altruism or as tool of capitalist imperialism. We animate scholars to conceptualize the ERP as a framework of processual and practical encounters of stakeholders who took part in the transformation of tourism regions.

We invite papers focusing on tourism under the Marshall Plan emphasizing one of the following questions, but submission are not limited to these themes.

  1. Which environmental and/or socio-economic long-term consequences did the implementation of funding schemes as well as the increasing capitalization of tourism and its infrastructures have in a particular region?
  2. Which effects did the creation of novel alliances between the tourism industry and other forms of industries, but also with the public sector (e.g. road building) exhibit in a particular region? Which role did the ERP play for the emergence of specific industrial clusters and how did these clusters shape regional development in the long term?
  3. In which ways did transnational technology- or knowledge transfers alter tourism education and/or regional development paths? What are the learning outcomes of the historical ERP for today’s discourse about tourism development, especially in light of sustainability issues?

Transport and accommodation costs for participants can be covered. We ask for proposal abstracts of approximately 5.000 characters, short scientific CV including a list of a maximum of ten own publications (in a single file) to Robert Groß and Martin Knoll by 15 September 2017. Applicants will be notified by beginning of October. For further information or in case of any questions, please contact either Robert Groß or Martin Knoll.

Contact Info: 

Robert Groß, Institut of Social Ecology/Klagenfurt University,

Martin Knoll, FB Geschichte/Salzburg University,

Contact Email: