“Historical Reckoning in Belarus” is the latest chapter published by Dr Nelly Bekus. This forms part of the edited volume Transitional Justice and the Former Soviet Union: Reviewing the Past, Looking Toward the Future published by Cambridge University Press, February 2018. It is considered the most comprehensive account to date of post-Soviet efforts to address, distort, ignore, or recast the past through the use, manipulation, and obstruction of transitional justice measures and memory politics initiatives. Editors Cynthia M. Horne and Lavinia Stan have gathered contributions by top scholars in the field, allowing the disparate post-communist studies and transitional justice scholarly communities to come together and reflect on the past and its implications for the future of the region.
Bekus’ chapter takes an alternative view to most scholars of post-communist transitional justice, who primarily consider the reckoning programs adopted by various former Soviet republics after they declared their independence in 1991. Instead she examines initiatives passed as a result of Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika in 1987–91, measures introduced in 1990–4, and more recent
efforts under Lukashenka. She also focuses on the transitional justice initiatives promoted by the Soviet and post-Soviet governments, as well as those proposed since 1991 by the opposition to Lukashenka, formed from the nationalist Belarusian People’s Front (BPF) and civil society organisations, such as the Association of Victims of Political Repression, the Saving Kurapaty organization, Memorial, and others.
→ Download the chapter: Historical Reckoning in Belarus
State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism in Heritage Protection after 1945
21-22 November 2017
Location: Reed Hall, University of Exeter, UK
Join us for our conference exploring the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage at both domestic and international levels.
Histories of heritage usually perceive their object of study as a product of western modernity, and exclude the socialist world. Yet, understood as a cultural practice and an instrument of cultural power, and as a “right and a resource”, heritage has played important roles in managing the past and present in many societies and systems. In the postwar period, preservation became a key element of culture in socialist and non-aligned states from China, the Soviet Union, and the Eastern Bloc to Asia, Latin America and Africa. Attention paid to the peoples’ traditions and heritage became a way to manifest the superiority and historical necessity of socialist development. However, the contribution of socialist states and experts to the development of the idea of heritage is still to be fully excavated.
The conference aims to understand the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage at both domestic and international levels. This phenomenon was in part the result of country-specific factors – such as a reaction to rapid industrial development; the destruction of both the Second World War or wars of national liberation; and the necessity to (re)-invent national traditions on socialist terms. But it was also due the growth of a broader international consensus on international heritage protection policies – in which socialist and non-aligned states and their experts played an important role. To this end, the conference will also address the relationship between socialist conceptions of heritage and those found in the capitalist world: to what extent can we discern the convergence of Eastern and Western dynamics of heritage discourses and practices over the second half of the twentieth century? To what degree did heritage professionals from socialist states play a role in the formation of the transnational and transcultural heritage expertise? To what extent did heritage still play a role in Cold War competition? Socialist states claimed that their respect for progressive traditions and material culture distinguished their superior methods of development from that of the capitalist world. Non-Aligned countries often attempted to blend aspects of socialist and capitalist logics of cultural heritage politics.
Day 1 – 21 November
09.30-10.30 Panel 1: Transnational Circulations of Heritage Concepts and Ideas (Part 1)
Chair James Mark
Discussant Michael Falser
Nikolai Vukov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences) Ethnographising the Past, Ideologising the Present: Traditional Heritage as an Ideological Resource and International Asset in Eastern Europe after 1945
Yao Yuan (Nanjing University) International Factors in Shaping Chinese Heritage Conservation Policy
10.30-10.45 Refreshment Break
10.45-12.00 Panel 1: Transnational Circulations of Heritage Concepts and Ideas (Part 2)
Chair Corinne Geering
Discussant Nelly Bekus
Marko Spikic (University of Zagreb) Between Exceptionalism and Internationalism: Ethics and Politics of the Conservation System in People’s Republic of Croatia of the 1950s
Pablo Gonzalez (University of Lisbon) A Rebel Heritage for the Cuban Revolution: Socialist Internationalism, Art and Soviet Influence
12.00-13.00 Keynote Lecture: Stephen Smith (University of Oxford) Heritage in Contention: the Soviet Union and China after 1945
14.30-16.00 Panel 2: International Organisations and Socialist Heritage
Chair Kate Cowcher
Discussant Nikolai Vukov
Nelly Bekus (University of Exeter) Tracing Multiple Logics in Soviet Heritage-Making: Pan-Soviet, National and International Agencies of Cultural Power
Corinne Geering (Justus-Liebig-University Giessen) World Heritage beyond UNESCO: Soviet Approaches to World Heritage before 1988
Emanuela Grama (Carnegie Mellon University) International mediations: UNESCO visits to Romania at the end of the Cold War or heritage as a right to place
16.00-16.15 Refreshment Break
16.15-17.15 Panel 3: South East Asia and Socialist Heritage
Chair Natalia Telepneva
Discussant James Mark
Michael Falser (Heidelberg University – Université Bordeaux-Montaigne) Cold War and non-aligned heritage politics in South and South-East Asia
Alicja Gzowska (University of Warsaw) One man’s dream? Polish conservation experts in Vietnam
19.00 Drinks Reception – Devon and Exeter Institution
20.00 Conference Dinner – Rendezvous
Day 2 – 22 November
09.00 – 10.30 Panel 4: The Development of Socialist Ideas of Heritage in Africa (Part 1)
Chair Nelly Bekus
Discussant Paul Betts
Kate Cowcher (University of Maryland) Origin Myths and Incarcerations: Ethiopia’s National Museum amidst socialist revolution
Piotr Marciniak (Poznan University of Technology) From Warsaw to Faras. The Polish School of Reconstruction and Conservation of Monuments and Sites: People, Doctrine and History
Natalia Telepneva (University of Warwick) The Soviet-Somali Archaeological Expedition and the Global Struggle for the Horn of Africa
10.30-10.45 Refreshment break
10.45-11.45 Panel 4: The Development of Socialist Ideas of Heritage in Africa (Part 2)
Chair Michael Falser
Discussant Marko Spikic
Nadine Siegert (University of Bayreuth) (Re)activated heritage. State-sponsored socialist propaganda and architecture in the Luanda cityscape
Nina Díaz Fernández (University of Ljubljana) Yugoslav Experts and the Protection of Monuments in the Third world
11.45-13.00 Round Table
Paul Betts (University of Oxford)
Michael Falser (Heidelberg University – Université Bordeaux-Montaigne)
James Mark (University of Exeter)
13.00 Farewell Lunch
Professor James Mark’s co-edited volume Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe is now available through Anthem Press.
This collection of essays addresses institutions that develop the concept of collaboration, and examines the function, social representation and history of secret police archives and institutes of national memory that create these histories of collaboration. The essays provide a comparative account of collaboration/participation across differing categories of collaborators and different social milieux throughout East-Central Europe. They also demonstrate how secret police files can be used to produce more subtle social and cultural histories of the socialist dictatorships. By interrogating the ways in which post-socialist cultures produce the idea of, and knowledge about, “collaborators,” the contributing authors provide a nuanced historical conception of “collaboration,” expanding the concept toward broader frameworks of cooperation and political participation to facilitate a better understanding of Eastern European communist regimes.
Edited by Péter Apor, Sándor Horváth and James Mark, the essays are framed into three parts – Institutes, Secret Lives and Collaborating Communities and include topics such as the Stasi Records of the former GDR; memory in Latvia, Slovak and the Czech Republics; Tito and intellectuals 1945-80; entangled stories with the Former Securitate; Regional-level Party Activists in Slovakia and priest collaboration in Slovak Catholic memory after 1989.
“This excellent volume marks a genuine breakthrough in our knowledge about the everyday lives of the people who made up the secret police, of their motivations and their experiences. It challenges binary visions of the past and powerfully highlights the complexity of the term ‘collaboration.’ Ultimately, it makes a case for the human factor in the history of the repressive state.”
Ulf Brunnbauer, Director, Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany
Table of Contents
Frameworks: Collaboration, Cooperation, Political Participation in the Communist Regimes
Part 1: Institutes
Chapter 1: A Dissident Legacy, The ‘Federal Commissioner for the Stasi Records of the Former GDR’ (BStU) in United Germany
Chapter 2: In Black and White? The Discourse on Polish Post-War Society by the Institute of Polish Remembrance
Chapter 3: The Exempt Nation: Memory of Collaborationism in Contemporary Latvia
Chapter 4: Institutes of Memory in the Slovak and Czech Republics – What Kind of Memory?
Chapter 5: Closing the Past – Opening the Future. Hungarian Victims and Perpetrators of the Communist Regime
(Péter Apor and Sándor Horváth)
Chapter 6: To Collaborate and to Punish. Democracy and Transitional Justice in Romania
Part 2: Secret Lives
Chapter 7: ‘Resistance through Culture’ or ‘Connivance through Culture.’ Difficulties of Interpretation; Nuances, Errors, and Manipulations
Chapter 8: Intellectuals between Collaboration and Independence. Politics and Everyday Life in the Prague Faculty of Arts in Late Socialism
Chapter 9: Tito and Intellectuals – Collaboration and Support, 1945–1980
Chapter 10: Spy in the Underground. Polish Samizdat Stories
Chapter 11: Entangled Stories. On the Meaning of Collaboration with the Former Securitate
Part 3: Collaborating Communities
Chapter 12: Finding the Ways (around). Regional-level Party Activists in Slovakia
Chapter 13: ‘But Who is the Party?’ History and Historiography in the Hungarian Communist Party
Chapter 14: Forgetting ‘Judas’. Priest Collaboration in Slovak Catholic Memory after 1989
Chapter 15: Informing as Life-Style. Unofficial Collaborators of the Hungarian and the East-German State Security (Stasi) Working in the Tourism Sector
→ Order your copy through the Anthem Press website: Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe[Top]
Are you a Postgraduate student who would like to develop a PhD proposal in the field of Eastern European Studies, European Studies, Global and Area Studies? Are you based in Germany or is your current institution affiliated with the Leibniz ScienceCampus? If so, the EEGA postgraduate grant could be for you!
Call for Applications:
EEGA@future: Postgraduate-Grants (Preparation of PhD)
Deadline for submissions: 15 May 2017
Start of funding: 1 October 2017
Funding period: 3 months
What is the Leibniz ScienceCampus EEGA?
The Leibniz ScienceCampus “Eastern Europe – Global Area” (EEGA) is committed to developing new research perspectives on Eastern Europe, engaging in knowledge exchange activities on the region with stakeholders, and promoting young researchers. It follows the idea that the multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted examination of processes of globalisation are a key for a better understanding of actual societal developments. The focus is on Eastern Europe’s diverse, tension-filled, and sometimes paradoxical globalisation projects “from within” and “from the outside”, and thus, on the self-positioning of Eastern European societies under the global condition.
The EEGA brings together interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise from researchers affiliated with both universities and research institutes in the Leipzig-Jena-Halle science region. Together with partners from the region, the EEGA explores the fields of migration and mobilities; business strategies and political economies; cultural and intellectual perspectives and identities; and political integration in a changing global arena. Overcoming prejudices and clichés, some of which are rooted in the era of the Cold War, and promoting an informed understanding of Eastern Europe in its diverse traditions and positions, developments and (internal) dynamics, are the primary mission.
The eight partner institutions that form the ScienceCampus EEGA are the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography, Leipzig (IfL), the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies, Halle (Saale) (IAMO), the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Leipzig University (UL), the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy (IMW), the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (GWZO) and the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Saale) (MPI).
Details of the Scholarship and Training
The ScienceCampus EEGA invites applications by talented Postgraduate students who are intending to develop a PhD proposal in the field of research of the EEGA, ie Eastern European Studies, European Studies, Global and Area Studies, and the disciplines involved in the ScienceCampus. The EEGA will provide both financial as well as topical support to scholarship holders. The EEGA facilitates access to existing infrastructures at the member institutions of the EEGA. Scholarship holders get the opportunity to participate in existing PhD- and institutional colloquia and other events of participating institutes The ScienceCampus also offers additional training measures and services to the scholarship holders. They will get the chance to receive specific counselling from EEGA PostDocs, individual consultation with research area coordinators in the EEGA, training sessions organised by EEGA, and financial support of participation in existing courses at other universities or research institutions in Germany.
Eligible for Postgraduate-Grants are MA students from Germany, foreign Postgraduate students who are currently situated in Germany and Postgraduate students from institutions in other countries that are related to the members of the EEGA through cooperation agreements. Main criterion for selection is the compatibility of the Postgraduate student’s research interest with the focus and aims of the EEGA.
Eligible are Postgraduate students only. Generally, the submission of the MA thesis should not date back longer than 12 months.
Applications should be related to the research focus of one or more research areas of the EEGA. The 5 research areas of EEGA are:
- Research Area 1: Mobilities and Migration Regimes in Eastern Europe
(Coordination: Judith Miggelbrink and Helena Flam)
- Research Area 2: The Self-Positioning of Eastern Europe in a New World Order In-The-Making
(Coordination: Frank Hadler and Matthias Middell)
- Research Area 3: Business Strategies and Frameworks of Political Economies
(Coordination: Sebastian Henn, Thomas Glauben and Thorsten Posselt)
- Research Area 4: Cultural and Intellectual Perspectives and Identifications
(Coordination: Jürgen Heyde, Yvonne Kleinmann and Stefan Troebst)
- Research Area 5: Eastern Europe in Times of Europeanisation
(Coordination: Gert Pickel and Holger Lengfeld)
The Other Globalisers: How the Socialist and the Non-Aligned World Shaped the Rise of Post-War Economic Globalisation
Location: Exeter University, UK
Date: 6-7 July 2017
Abstract Deadline: 18 March 2017
Papers are now invited for our exciting conference addressing how the socialist and non-aligned world shaped the rise of post-war economic globalisation. 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.
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).
Abstracts of 300-500 words, together with an accompanying short CV should be submitted to Natalie Taylor (N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk) by 18 March 2017.
The selected participants will be notified by the end of March 2017.
Funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are available, but we ask that potential contributors also explore funding opportunities at their home institutions.
This event is kindly supported by Exeter University’s Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective.
The full call for papers is available on our conference page
→ Download the Call for Papers The Other Globalisers
State Socialism, Legal Experts and the Genesis of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law after 1945
November 24-26, 2016
Humboldt University of Berlin
Unter den Linden 6
The programme for our international collaborative conference with the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East-Central Europe (GWZO), and the Humboldt University of Berlin is now available. It will take place on the 24-26 November, 2016 at Unter den Linden 6, Room 2249a, Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany.
It brings together 3 research projects – 1989 after 1989, Processes of Juridification in International Relations since 1850 based at Leipzig and Jurists in International Politics Practice and Practitioners of International Law in the 19th and 20th Century based in Berlin.
In the history of international law, the socialist bloc has been generally relegated to the role of roadblock in fulfilling the ideals of Western liberalism. This conference seeks to question established narratives that have ignored or downplayed the role of state-socialist governments and legal experts in shaping the evolution of international criminal and humanitarian law after the end of the Second World War. With a geographic scope covering the Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc, Africa, and China, the conference explores the socialist world’s doctrines and international engagements concerning the codification of different international crimes (including crimes against peace, the crimes of aggression, Apartheid, terrorism, slavery, narcotics trafficking and more), approaches to humanitarian intervention, and the relationship between state sovereignty and international law. The conference advances the idea that rather than simply block progress, socialist initiatives played a vital role in the production of norms and ideas that continue to be relevant for the current international criminal and humanitarian legal system.
The conference commences at 14:00 on the 24 November with a welcome address and introduction from the conference organisers – Marcus Payk, Humboldt University of Berlin; Dietmar Mueller and Stefan Troebst, GWZO Leipzig; Raluca Grosescu, University of Exeter and Ned Richardson-Little, University of Exeter. Papers will then be presented that deal with International Criminal Law and International Humanitarian Law in socialist legal doctrines.
Panels on the following day will include papers on state socialist contributions to and critiques of the Geneva Conventions; decolonisation, gender, and International Humanitarian Law, state socialist contributions to International Criminal Law; and Transnational Criminality. The final day will debate International Criminal Law in state socialist national settings and will include case studies from China and Hungary.
More information on the conference can be found on our conference pages.
(Re)Thinking Yugoslav Internationalism – Cold War Entanglements and their Legacies
29 September – 1 October 2016
University of Graz
Meerscheinschlössl / Festsaal
** Please be aware that the conference venue has recently changed and will no longer be at Merangasse 70, Universitatszentrum. **
The conference programme is now available for our collaborative conference taking place this Thursday to Saturday in Graz, Austria.
It will open at 4pm on the 29th September with a welcome address from Professor Florian Bieber, University of Graz, followed by a Keynote speech from Kristen Ghodsee of Bowdoin, USA, entitled Women in Red: East European Mass Women’s Organizations and International Feminism during the Cold War.
Panels on Friday 30th will include papers on the theory and practice of Non-Alignment and Yugoslav foreign policy as well as elite socialisation and Global Actors. The day will conclude with a Keynote speech from 1989 after 1989’s Professor James Mark.
The final day of the conference will feature a witness panel discussion with Budimir Loncar – the last Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs; as well as papers on race, anti-Colonialism and Yugoslavia in post-Colonial Africa; economics, self-management and visions of non-capitalist development; the United Nations, international law, gender and development; and tourism, architecture and cultural diplomacy.[Top]
The conference Human Rights after 1945 in the Socialist and Post-Socialist World took place on the 3 – 5 March 2016 at the German Historical Institute, Warsaw. It was a collaborative conference between 1989 after 1989; the German Historical Institute Warsaw; Georg-August University of Göttingen and the London School of Economics. The aim of the conference was to highlight the role and historical agency of the socialist world in the history of human rights.
The conference report is now available on our conference pages and on Geschichte Transnational. It summarises papers presented across 6 panels covering topics such as state socialism, human rights and globalisation; how human rights is defined internationally; state socialist conceptualisation of rights and human rights; socialist foreign policy; transnational movements and flows; and political dissent in relation to the global history of human rights.
The importance of analyzing vernacular human rights, i.e. analyzing when and how people used human rights languages , was one of the leitmotifs of the conference. The issue of teleology and normativity in historical human rights research was another major topic. Consequently, many papers presented stories of failures that contradict positivist narratives and challenge policy-orientated narratives of democratic transition. Parallel to transnational and international human rights history, the role of the state in human rights history was another key issue of the conference. Bringing the state back in, human rights can also be seen as an element of legal history – a promising approach embedding the highly normative notion of human rights in a wider legal history context. This conference brought together scholars working on various regions and actors in a truly fruitful manner. It linked different approaches and perspectives on the history of human rights in a way that contributed to an urgently needed, more complex understanding of the socialist world’s role in human rights history.
Read the full conference report.[Top]
Interested in hearing Professor James Mark keynote speech on socialist globalization and the research work of Dr Ljubica Spaskovska on Yugoslav investment construction and labour mobility? Then why not come along to a workshop hosted by the University of Oxford on the 19-20 May. Papers given at the workshop will also present research work taking place as part of the Socialism Goes Global project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the University of Exeter.
WORKSHOP: LABOUR MOBILITY IN THE SOCIALIST WORLD AND ITS LEGACIES
19-20 May 2016
European Studies Centre, University of Oxford
Almost 30 years after the crumbling of the state-socialist regimes in Eastern Europe, the conceptualisation of the state-socialist era as a time of immobility and isolation continues to linger. This portrayal utterly misses the robust flows of people, technology, goods, knowledge and capital that took place between socialist states worldwide. Recently, scholars from a variety of disciplines have begun to map these socialist circulations. The planned workshop will build on these pioneering efforts with the goal of furthering the understanding of these complex flows – particularly those involving workers and technical staff – within the erstwhile socialist world.
Some of the socialist circulations, such as the stays by thousands of university students from Africa, Asia and Latin America in various Eastern European countries, have already received some scholarly attention. However, other forms of mobility, such as state-socialist labour migrations, remain largely unexplored. Yet, examples abound: the Vietnamese government dispatched thousands of its teachers, engineers, agronomists, doctors and planners to Madagascar, Guiney, Algeria, Angola and Mozambique; Cuba sent both its intelligentsia and its blue-collar workers to Europe for training and work and simultaneously provided secondary and university education to 30,000 people from the sub-Saharan Africa; Vietnamese, Cubans and Mozambicans travelled for vocational training or as contract workers to the GDR, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, the Soviet Union, Hungary and Poland; many engineers, doctors, and military officers from eastern Europe travelled in the opposite direction to help build power stations, cement factories or hospitals and to train local personnel for them on site. Labour mobility took place within regions too: Hungarians and Poles, for instance, crossed the border daily or weekly to work in Czechoslovak companies. In short, the world of socialist labour mobility was complex one: It was multidirectional, crossed local borders, spanned world regions, was simultaneously an economic, political and cultural phenomenon.
We also wish to address the contemporary incarnations and the legacy of these past circulations. Business and trade links still follow some of the earlier patterns of socialistera mobility. Some of the experts and students who were trained and socialised in a broader socialist world of the late Cold War continue to hold high positions in many countries and thus shape these countries global engagements today.
Thursday, 19 May 2016
Arrival, meet & greet, light lunch served at the European Studies Centre from 12:15
13:00–13:15: Opening remarks: Alena Alamgir
Panel 1 – 13:15–15:15 – Labour mobility between the Soviet centre and peripheries (Chair TBA)
- Malika Bahovadinova: “Building the state and the proletariat on a Soviet construction site in Tajikistan.”
2. Kateryna Burkush: “On the forest front: Mechanisms of seasonal labour migration under late socialism (1960s–1980s). The case of Western Ukraine.”
3. Leyla Sayfutdinova: “Mapping the mobility of Azerbaijani Soviet engineers: linking West and East?”
Panel 2 – 15:35–16:45 – Technological flows and exchanges (Chair TBA)
- Ljubica Spaskovska: “‘Constructing a better world’ – Yugoslav investment construction and labour mobility in the developing world 1960-1990”
2. Patryk Babiracki: “Labour mobility at the Poznań International Trade Fair, 1940s– 1960s” Break 16:45–17:05 17:05–18:15: “Mini-keynote” on labour migration by Andreas Eckert, roundtable discussion
Friday, May 20th
Panel 3 – 9:00–11:00 – Overseas blue-collar workers in state-socialist Central Europe (Chair TBA)
- Alena Alamgir: “’They knit sweaters and refuse to follow foreman’s orders’: Vietnamese female workers’ labour disputes in 1980s Czechoslovakia”
2. Balint Tolmar: “Socialist assistance under a regime of austerity: The case of Cuban temporary workers in Hungary, 1980–1989”
3. Marcia Schenck: “Legacies of Mozambican and Angolan labour migration to the GDR: ‘East-algia’ and continuing protest“
Panel 4 – 11:20–12:30 – Expert migrations (Chair TBA)
- Klejd Këlliçi: “Chinese specialist in Albania 1961-1978: From brothers and heroes to villains”
2. Agnieszka Sadecka: “Polish experts in India as represented in works of nonfiction from 1960s and 1970s”
13:30–14:40: “Mini-keynote” on socialist globalization by James Mark, roundtable discussion, summary, and conclusion of the workshop
Socialism Goes Global website: http://socialismgoesglobal.exeter.ac.uk/[Top]
Humboldt University of Berlin
The University of Exeter, the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East-Central Europe (GWZO), and the Humboldt University of Berlin
24 – 26 November 2016
Call for Papers Deadline: 15 June 2016
State Socialism, Legal Experts and the Genesis of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law after 1945
In the history of international law, the socialist bloc has been generally relegated to the role of roadblock to the fulfillment of the ideals of Western liberalism. Scholars of international criminal law (ICL) and international humanitarian law (IHL) have often dismissed the contributions of socialist legal initiatives as little more than Cold War propaganda and thus irrelevant to understanding the historical evolution of judicial norms and the modern international system. The establishment of different international tribunals since the collapse of the Soviet Union has only reinforced the notion that the socialist world was little more than an impediment to progress. Nevertheless, the American-led global war on terror has done much to call into question Western commitment to the laws of war.
This conference seeks to explore the role of state-socialist intellectuals, experts and governments in shaping the evolution of ICL and IHL since the end of the Second World War. Actors from Eastern Europe, the USSR, and East Asian and African socialist states actively participated in international debates regarding international legal norms, the meaning of state sovereignty, and in the negotiation of all major ICL and IHL conventions after 1945. In various cases the socialist bloc was often more enthusiastic, and timely, in supporting and ratifying international legal agreements than Western governments, even if these initiatives were inseparable from political agendas. Although they systematically opposed the creation of international tribunals, experts from socialist countries led the way in many areas, such as the codification of crimes against peace and Apartheid or the elimination of statutory limitations for major ICL offences. The socialist world participated also in debates over the international legal status of drug conflicts and revolutionary groups funded by narcotics trafficking. Deliberations on the criminalization of terrorism and the regulation of armed conflicts were closely linked to the politics of “wars of liberation” by socialist forces in Africa, South-East Asia, and Latin America. Socialist legal experts were active participants in transnational epistemic communities and engaged in broader global projects, initiatives, and mobilizations across the Cold War divide.
We encourage proposals on the following topics, and from scholars working on socialist regimes, experts and movements across the world. You are welcome to submit proposals on other themes related to this topic.
- The contributions of the socialist countries and experts to debates on the general principles of ICL and IHL (the relationship between municipal and international law; the sources of ICL; the relationship between state sovereignty, ICL and IHL etc.).
- Socialist challenges to western liberal humanitarian doctrines and conventions (i.e. Peace proposals as alternative to new Geneva conventions, rejection of equality of nations before the law in cases of aggressive war, etc.)
- The role of socialist elites, legal experts, and courts in the development of specific fields of international crimes such as war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, and to acts of transnational criminality, such as terrorism, illicit drug trafficking, the arms trade, smuggling of nuclear materials, and trafficking in persons and slavery. The evolution of ICL and IHL discourse, ideas, and initiatives in state-socialist countries.
- The role of the Red Cross and other humanitarian NGOs in the socialist world (i.e. North Vietnamese rejection of ICRC protection for US POWs, the creation of local Red Cross organizations in the Eastern Bloc, etc.)
- Assessments of the continuing legacies and contributions of state socialist traditions of engagement with ICL and IHL on justice processes after 1989/91.
Abstracts of 300-500 words, together with an accompanying short CV should be submitted to Natalie Taylor (N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk) by 15th June 2016.
The selected participants will be notified by 1st July 2016. They are then expected to submit their papers by 1st November 2016.
Funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are available, but we ask that potential contributors also explore funding opportunities at their home institutions.
The conference is organized by the University of Exeter, the Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East-Central Europe (GWZO), and the Humboldt University of Berlin.
This event is kindly supported by Exeter University’s Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective, and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).[Top]