There is a universe of institutions, communities, conferences, publications, and archives that are still in the shadows of the dominant narratives, if not clichés, of Cold War history. Our project targets these blank spots on the map of the postwar. It is a contribution to the reconstruction of Eastern European communist regimes’ global dimension (with Romania as starting point) in the history of the Cold War.
We analyze five types of expert communities (historians, economic experts, demographers, lawyers, and theatre practitioners) in order to clarify the interplay between national, regional, and international environments. We examine the groups involved in exchanges across borders, in international institutions, foreign policy, and the transnational production of specialized knowledge. Beyond the confines of the Iron Curtain, such individuals formed groups central to the evolution of socialist policies and practices concerning culture, values, and development in global context. Their examination triggers the re-alignment of interpretation concerning national contexts, international phenomena, and long-held views about the Cold War as exclusively characterized by ideological conflict and segregation.
The project takes into account three decades:
1960s – characterized by the move from peaceful coexistence to détente;
1970s – defined by transition from détente to “the new Cold War” (1978-1985) in the context of economic crisis, and by the rise of the Global South (the Non-Aligned Movement and the New International Economic Order);
1980s – the shift from ideological/military confrontation to disengagement, simultaneous with accelerated globalization (larger influence of previously consolidated intergovernmental and nongovernmental institutions), the systemic crisis and ultimate demise of state socialism.
This project is supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS – UEFISCDI, under number PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0335