In 1939 the historian E.H. Carr published a widely read and challenging book. He called it The Twenty Years’ Crisis, and his subject was the long period of political and economic instability which ran from the end of the Great War, in November 1918. The book was written before the coming of the Second World War, which turned the crisis years into a mere entr’acte, the ‘inter-war years’, between two periods of violent upheaval. Carr’s title reflected a widespread view in the 1930s that ever since the Great War transformed the established political and international structure, the populations of Europe (and beyond) had lived in the shadow of almost permanent crisis (Carr, 1939).