Global Advocacy or Self-Interested Relativism? Socialist Romania, International Organizations, and the Quest for Economic Development (1960s-1980s)

by Vlad Pașca, at the conference The Other Globalisers: How the Socialist and the Non-Aligned World Shaped the Rise of Post-War Economic Globalisation, University of Exeter, 6-7 July 2017

Since early 1960s, socialist Romania insulated itself within the Comecon due to its nationalist and anti-hegemonic perspectives, which translated into fending away of cooperation projects with other member states. This position though was accompanied by a renewed readiness towards trans-systemic cooperation on the European and the global scene. In order to satisfy its developmental drive, two strategies were designed by the party leadership in tandem with economic experts. First, they emphasized Romania’s European affiliation as a common denominator in negotiating trade relations and economic cooperation before and during the negotiation at the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Second, the country’s representatives, both in international organizations and in bilateral relations, made efforts towards the recognition of Romania’s status as developing socialist country. Simultaneously, Romania’s multiple initiatives in both the European (UN Economic Commission for Europe, CSCE) and global organizations or agencies (UNCTAD or the group of 77) shaped its image of world-peace promoter and advocate of a new international economic order. Continue reading Global Advocacy or Self-Interested Relativism? Socialist Romania, International Organizations, and the Quest for Economic Development (1960s-1980s)

The Other Globalisers: How the Socialist and the Non-Aligned World Shaped the Rise of Post-War Economic Globalisation

International Conference, 6-7 July 2017, University of Exeter, UK

Join the 1989 after 1989 research team for our conference on the “Other Globalisers” – how the socialist and the non-aligned world shaped the rise of post-war economic globalisation. Based at Exeter, this conference is the second in a series of events exploring how processes and practices that emerged from the socialist world shaped the re-globalised world of our times.

Conference synopsis

In the wake of the Second World War, the world economy began to ‘reglobalise’ – following the disintegrative processes of the interwar period. This story has most often been told as the final triumph of a neoliberal international order led by the West. Recent research, however, suggests that the creation of our modern interconnected world was not driven solely by the forces of Western capitalism, nor was it the only model of global economic interdependence that arose in the second half of the twentieth century. This conference aims to rethink the histories of postwar globalisation by focusing on the socialist and non-aligned world, whose roles in the rise of an economically interconnected world have received substantially less attention.

This conference aspires to address a wide variety of processes, practices and projects – such as efforts to create alternative systems of international trade, new business practices, through to theoretical conceptualisations of economic interconnectedness – and examine a broad range of actors, such as e.g. governments, experts, international institutions, and business ventures. It will also explore whether such initiatives were alternative at all: as recent research has suggested, actors from these worlds could be contributors to the emerging neoliberal consensus, as well as to other forms of regional economy and global trade that survive to this day. We also hope to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars using different approaches to global interconnectedness, and/or working on a variety of regions (e.g. Latin America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union).

See the conference programme here.

CFP: Spaces of Interaction between the Socialist Camp and the Global South

International Conference Spaces of Interaction between the Socialist Camp and the Global South.  Knowledge Production, Trade, and Scientific-Technical Cooperation in the Cold War Era

Date and location: 26-27 October, 2017, University of Leipzig

Deadline for submissions: 30 April, 2017.

International studies on Cold War history have overcome the simplified model of two superpower–dominated blocs defined by a rivalry along an impenetrable Iron Curtain. Transnational history approaches have reintroduced the explanatory axis of an economic divide between the Global North and the Global South. Other than in previous Cold War approaches, the (semi-)peripheries have taken centre stage. The recent debate has highlighted the significance of relations between Soviet bloc and developing countries in shaping the spatial order of the Cold War. “Socialist globalization” has become an integral part of the global post-war economic expansion. Contributing to this debate, our conference will focus on concrete spaces of economic East-South interactions. Transnational hubs, institutions, and infrastructures will be taken as a starting point to identify actors, interests, and power relations.

The conference is organized by Project B3 “East-South Relations during the Global Cold War”, which is part of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 1199: “Processes of Spatialization under the Global Condition” at the University of Leipzig. The SFB is developing a historical narrative about the change of spatial orders under global conditions and a systematic approach that establishes a typology of spatial formats by exploring different scales of territories, networks, chains, enclaves, corridors, (special) zones, as well as the various indications of virtual and transnational spaces. Within this framework, Project B3 “East-South Relations in the Global Cold War” aims to challenge Cold War perspectives that take “Moscow’s” hegemony and centralized control by national communist parties for granted. To this end, the project asks to what degree were the borders of the Soviet bloc actually blurred and redrawn as a result of relations and interactions between the socialist camp and the Global South (with a special focus on African countries).

Read the rest of the announcement here.

 

CFP: Scientists and “Third World Countries” in the 1960s to 1980s

International conference, Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, 23-24 November, 2017

The conference focuses on the period starting in the 1960s, which saw great political and economic changes in the so-called “Third World Countries”. The process of decolonization, the emergence of independent countries created from former colonies and UN mandates and the efforts of other countries to break away from their dependence on Western powers, the nationalization of industry, whether oil fields in the Middle East or the Suez Canal in Egypt, brought a change in the political orientation of large areas of Asia and Africa. The situation in Cuba had a very specific development. The newly formed independent countries found themselves in the grip of the fight between Soviet and American influence. Continue reading CFP: Scientists and “Third World Countries” in the 1960s to 1980s

International Conference “L’Europe de l’Est, l’Afrique Subsaharienne et la diplomatie culturelle pendant la Guerre Froide”

« L’Europe de l’Est, l’Afrique Subsaharienne et la diplomatie culturelle pendant la Guerre Froide », Bucarest, le 17 juin 2016

Venue: The Regional Francophone Centre for Advanced Research in Social Sciences (CEREFREA Villa Noël) conference room, 6, rue Emile Zola, Secteur 1, 011847, Bucarest, Romania

9:30 – 09:40 Allocutions d’ouverture/ Welcome remarks

09:40 – 10:30 Conférence inaugurale/ Opening Address

Maria Paula Meneses (Université de Coimbra / University of Coimbra) [EN]

De Bandung à libérations nationales: alliances qui ont façonné l’Afrique Sub-saharienne[From Bandung to national liberations: alliances that shaped Subsaharan Africa]

10:30– 10:40 Pause-café/ Coffee Break

10:40– 12:10 1e session/ Panel 1. L’ Europe de l’Est et l’Afrique sub-saharienne: bilatéralisme et internationalisme/ Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Bilateralism and Internationalism

Michèle Leclerc-Olive (L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, IRIS) [FR]

Les pays de l’Europe de l’Est et La Guinée. Au lendemain de l’indépendance. Le rôle des conseils économiques de Sékou Touré [Eastern Europe and Guinea in the Aftermath of the Independence. The Role of Sekou Toure’s economic advisers]

Bogdan C. Iacob (New Europe College, Bucarest/ Hungarian Academy of Sciences) [EN]

Africa Rediscovered. Romania’s Global Turn during 1970s [Afrique redécouverte. La politique globale de la Roumanie dans les années 1970]

Domnica Gorovei (Université de Bucarest) [FR]

Roumanie-Sénégal: les visites d’État de Nicolae Ceaușescu à Dakar et de Léopold Sédar Senghor à Bucarest (1965-1980) [Romania-Senegal: Nicolae Ceauşescu’ state visits in Dakar and Léopold Sédar Senghor’s in Bucharest (1965-1980)]

Continue reading International Conference “L’Europe de l’Est, l’Afrique Subsaharienne et la diplomatie culturelle pendant la Guerre Froide”

Roundtable – Converging Worlds of the Cold War: Eastern Europe and the Global South

“Converging Worlds of the Cold War: Eastern Europe and the Global South” Roundtable
May 19, 16.00
New Europe College (Plantelor no. 21, Bucharest)

afis_converging_worlds_blog

The roundtable reflects the general aim of our project “Turning Global,” that is, to provide the framework for a comprehensive analysis of post-1945 state socialism’s international projection. The roundtable will map the interaction between communist regimes in Eastern Europe and newly de-colonized countries from the Global South. The participants wish to look into the impact of de-colonization and its tribulations on state socialist countries’ positioning and self-representation during the global Cold War.

Some of the themes we wish to touch upon are: Continue reading Roundtable – Converging Worlds of the Cold War: Eastern Europe and the Global South

Colloquium “In from the Cold: Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Cultural Diplomacy during the Cold War”

Colloquium “In from the Cold: Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Cultural Diplomacy during the Cold War”, Bucharest, June 17, 2016.

Organized by:

The Regional Francophone Centre for Advanced Research in Social Sciences (CEREFREA Villa Noël), Bucharest

In partnership with:

National Archives of Romania

Portuguese Embassy in Bucharest

Camões Institute for Cooperation and Language, Portugal

Call for Papers

In 1955, the Afro-Asian Conference held at Bandung, Indonesia, was a historical marker. Representatives of newly independent states came together to discuss the fate of African and Asian nations in face of the superpower’s political ambitions over the “Third World.” The “Bandung spirit” would epitomize the commitment to anti-colonialism and neutralism during the Cold War. In 1961, the Belgrade Summit crystallized this state of affairs as it advocated an eminently independent path for the “Third World”: the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). This shift from neutralism to non-alignment co-existed with important historical events, such as the Sino-Soviet split and the Sino-Indian conflict. In the early 1960s, as the “Second world” of socialist countries was strongly divided and the decolonization process in Africa took off, new ideological and political fronts were opened in the global Cold War.  Africa became an important battleground on which a myriad of political projects were confronted and played out, from anti-colonialism and socialist solidarity to “third worldism”, non-alignment or Pan-africanism. In this context, cultural diplomacy became an important strategy for building cultural ties and fostering forms of political identification among different, sometimes estranged, actors. Continue reading Colloquium “In from the Cold: Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Cultural Diplomacy during the Cold War”