Programme now available for our conference on State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism

State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism in Heritage Protection after 1945 21-22 November 2017 Location: Reed Hall, University of Exeter,...

Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe

Professor James Mark’s co-edited volume Secret Agents and the Memory of Everyday Collaboration in Communist Eastern Europe is now available through...

Join us for our next conference on State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism in Heritage Protection after 1945

Join us in Exeter for our conference exploring the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage...

The Future of the Past: Why the End of Yugoslavia is Still Important

By Ljubica Spaskovska A new socialist model is emerging in the western Balkans. Can its political vocabulary transcend the ethno-national dividing...

Writing Human Rights into the History of State Socialism

By Ned Richardson-Little The collapse of the Communist Bloc in 1989-1991 is viewed as one of the great triumphs of...

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Category: Globalisation

Programme now available for our conference on State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism

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.

CONFERENCE SYNOPSIS

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.

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME

Day 1 – 21 November

08.45-09.15    Registration

09.15-09.30    Introduction

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   

13.00-14.30    Lunch

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 Piotr Marciniak

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 Unkovic (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

The Other Globalisers conference programme now available

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.

The globalisation of the world economy has most often been portrayed as the final triumph of a neoliberal international order led by the West. By focusing on the socialist and the non-aligned world, this conference, by contrast, aims to rethink the histories of postwar globalisation by addressing forces and models of global economic interdependence other than those of Western capitalism. Acknowledging that actors from these worlds could be contributors to the emerging neoliberal consensus, as well as to other forms of regional economic integration and global trade that survive to this day, we hope to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars using different approaches to global interconnectedness, and/or working on a variety of regions.

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME

Day 1 – July 6

The Upper Lounge, Reed Hall, University of Exeter

8.45-9.15         Welcome Drinks

9.15-9.30         Introduction by the Organisers

9.30-11.30       Panel 1: Chronologies of Socialist Globalisations
Discussant: Wolfgang Knöbl (Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung)

Marc-William Palen (University of Exeter) – Marx and Manchester: The Socialist Foundations of Post-1945 Globalisation

James Mark (University of Exeter) – Alternative? Socialist? Writing Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union into Postwar Globalisation

Christina Schwenkel (University of California – Riverside) – The Afterlife of Global Socialism: Technology and Mobility in the Postcolony 

11.30-11.45     Refreshment Break

11.45-13.00     Panel 2: Global Integration
Discussant: Federico Romero (European University Institute)

Angela Romano (University of Glasgow) – Competing Plans of Pan-European Cooperation: European Community’s Policy and Soviet Proposals During the 1970s Globalization

Besnik Pula (Virginia Tech) – From Reform Socialism to Transnational Capitalism: The Political Economy of Foreign Direct Investment in Central and Eastern Europe

13.00-14.30     Lunch Break

14.30-16.30     Panel 3: Global Institutions Without Imperialism
Discussant: Richard Toye (University of Exeter)

Johanna Bockman (George Mason University) – Financial Globalisation Through Socialist and Non-Aligned Banks

Max Trecker (Institute for Contemporary History, Berlin) – Globalisation by Import Substitution? The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) and the Global South

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

Ljubica Spaskovska (University of Exeter) – The Non-Aligned, the UN and the Defeat of the ‘New International Economic Order’

16.30-16.45     Coffee Break

16.45-17.45     Round Table Discussion

Johanna Bockman (George Mason University)

Wolfgang Knöbl (Hamburger Institut für Sozialforschung)

Federico Romero (European University Institute)

19.00               Drinks Reception

20.30               Conference Dinner


Day 2 – July 7

Innovation Centre, University of Exeter

8.45-9.30         Welcome Drinks

9.30-10.45       Panel 4: Neoliberalism and the Socialist and Nonaligned Worlds
Discussant: James Mark (Exeter)

Patrick Neveling (School of Oriental and African Studies) – The New International Division of Labour before the New International Economic Order: Special Economic Zones and Neoliberal Globalisation since 1947

Tobias Rupprecht (University of Exeter) – “Neoliberal” Ideas in the Communist Periphery

10.45-11.00     Refreshment Break

11.00-13.00     Panel 5: Africa and Alternative Globalisations
Discussant: Patrick Neveling (School of Oriental and African Studies)

Alanna O’Malley (Leiden University) – The Road to UNCTAD: The Exploration of Economic Sovereignty by African Countries at the United Nations, 1958-1962

Darius A’Zami (Renmin University of China) – Extra-Liberal Interdependence: The Land Commission, Heterodox Globalisation and its Roots in Sino-Tanzanian Relations in the Cold War

Theodora Dragostinova (The Ohio State University) – The Second World in the Third: Bulgarian Notions of Economic and Cultural Development in Nigeria, 1976-1982

Pavel Szobi (European University Institute) – Was Angola the “Czechoslovak Africa?” The Obstacles of the ČSSR Support for the MPLA Government Between 1975 and 1992

13.00-14.00     Lunch Break

14.00-16.00     Panel 6: Resources and Experts
Discussant: Piers Ludlow (LSE)

Ned Richardson-Little (University of Exeter) – East Germany and the Failed Dream of Global Socialist Oil Solidarity

Jan Zofka (University of Leipzig) – Coal as the Other Oil: East German Technical Experts and Industrial Expansion in the Socialist World of the 1950s

Shuxi Yin (Hefei University of Technology) – Sino-Soviet Rubber Cooperation, 1950-1953

Andrew Kloiber (McMaster University) – Brewing Global Socialism: Coffee, East Germans and the World, 1949-1989

16.15-17.00     Concluding Discussion


 

If you would like to attend the Other Globaliser’s conference on the 6-7 July, please contact the Project Co-ordinator, Natalie Taylor – N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk

 

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Conference programme available: Transnational and Global Dimensions of Justice and Memory Processes 8-9 June

Interested in transnational and global dimensions of justice and memory processes? Would you like to hear papers from three of our 1989 after 1989 academics covering topics such as transnational perspectives on the Kurapaty Memorial Site and transnational advocacy networks and corporate liability for international crimes?

The conference Transnational and Global Dimensions of Justice and Memory Processes in Europe and Latin America will be held in Paris on 8-9 June and the programme is now available.

The conference is organised by the University of Paris Nanterre, the Institut des Sciences sociales du Politiques (CNRS) and the University of Exeter, within the framework of the AHRC funded project The Criminalization of Dictatorial Pasts in Europe and Latin America in Global Perspective.

Transnational and Global Dimensions of Justice and Memory Processes in Europe and Latin America

June 8-9, 2017
Institut culturel roumain
1 rue de l’exposition, Paris

Justice and memory processes that had accompanied the “third wave of democratisation” have been the subject of a large body of academic literature. These works have commonly taken certain approaches. Some have analysed these processes within national borders or by providing comparative accounts of countries seen as discrete units, disconnected from transnational or global developments. Others, by contrast, have tried to account for the criminalization of dictatorships and conflicts in terms of the emergence of international norms based on an ethics of human rights and a “cosmopolitan memory” – often driven by a decontextualized remembrance of the Holocaust. This scholarship has however tended to overgeneralize global trends without always grasping the complexity of local attempts at dealing with the past. In the last ten years, a third approach, focusing on specific transnational entanglements, has gained ground. This emerging literature has started to analyze empirically transnational activism, exchanges of knowledge and expertise at bilateral, regional or international levels, the impact of legal and mnemonic narratives outside their countries of origin, and the role of international organizations and NGOs in dealing with mass violence.

Focusing on Europe and Latin America, this conference aims to take stock of this transnational turn in justice and memory studies and to develop a socio-historical analysis of the circulation of norms, repertoires of collective action and models adopted to deal with the legacies of authoritarian regimes and armed conflicts. It seeks to trace the interconnections and mutual influences of these processes both within Europe and Latin America and between the two regions, as well as the mobilizations of European and Latin American actors in international institutions, global NGOs, or at venues on other continents.

Conference Programme: Transnational and Global Dimensions of Justice and Memory Processes in Europe and Latin America

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Leibniz ScienceCampus EEGA PhD Proposal Scholarship and Training Available

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)

Further information about this opportunity and how to apply

→ Leibniz ScienceCampus website

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Join us for our conference on the “Other Globalisers”, Exeter 6-7 July 2017

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.

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).

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

 

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(Re)Thinking Yugoslav Internationalism Conference Programme now available

(Re)Thinking Yugoslav Internationalism – Cold War Entanglements and their Legacies
29 September – 1 October 2016

Meerscheinschlössl, außen
VENUE:
University of Graz
Meerscheinschlössl / Festsaal
Mozartgasse 3
8010 Graz

** Please be aware that the conference venue has recently changed and will no longer be at Merangasse 70, Universitatszentrum. **

Google Map of Meerscheinschlössl

 

 

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.

Conference Programme

More information on the conference can be found on our conference page and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/1088023487942103/

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Join us for our (Re)Thinking Yugoslav Internationalism Conference in Graz, 29 September – 1 October

Coinciding with the 55th anniversary of the Belgrade summit and the foundation of the Non-Aligned Movement, this conference will address a range of questions relating to the wealth of diplomatic, economic, intellectual and cultural encounters and exchange between 1945 – 1990, both within the Non-Aligned Movement, across the socialist world and with the developed countries. It will map the history of Yugoslavia’s global engagements not only as a subject associated with political and diplomatic
history, but also as a broader societal and cultural project.

This is a collaborative conference between ourselves and the Centre of Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz.

WHERE:

University of Graz
Meerscheinschlössl / Festsaal
Mozartgasse 3
8010 Graz

University of Graz campus map

Conference Poster

WHEN:

29 September 16:00 – 19:00 1 October

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:

kristen-ghodsee-2011Professor Kristen Ghodsee
Bowdoin University, USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

JM-webProfessor James Mark
University of Exeter & 1989 after 1989, UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Human Rights after 1945 Conference Report Published

 

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 [5], 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.

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Workshop: Labour Mobility in the Socialist World and its Legacies, Oxford 19-20 May 2016

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

Workshop Synopsis

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.


 

PRELIMINARY PROGRAMME

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)

  1. 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?”

Break 15:15-15:35

Panel 2 – 15:35–16:45 – Technological flows and exchanges (Chair TBA)

  1. 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)

  1. 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“

Break 11:00–11:20

Panel 4 – 11:20–12:30 – Expert migrations (Chair TBA)

  1. 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”

12:30–13:30: Lunch

13:30–14:40: “Mini-keynote” on socialist globalization by James Mark, roundtable discussion, summary, and conclusion of the workshop

For more information about this event please contact Catherine Devenish: c.devenish@exeter.ac.uk or email european.studies@sant.ox.ac.uk

Socialism Goes Global website: http://socialismgoesglobal.exeter.ac.uk/

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Human Rights after 1945 in the Socialist and Post-Socialist World Conference Programme

March 3-5, 2016
German Historical Institute Warsaw
Conference Room, 3rd Floor

Organizers:

German Historical Institute Warsaw
1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective
Georg-August University of Göttingen

Synopsis

human rights after 1945 confernece-imageAs both human rights and globalization have emerged as dynamic fields of historical and sociological research, the “socialist world” is relegated to a supporting role in the triumph of Western capitalism and liberal democracy. The aim of this conference is to question established narratives that have ignored or downplayed the role of socialist ideas, practice, and experts—be they state officials, loyal intellectuals or dissident activists — in the development of international human rights ideas, discourses, and systems in the post-war era. With a geographic scope that covers the Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc, Yugoslavia and China, we hope to show that the socialist world did not just react passively to Western human rights politics, but was a vital participant in the production of global human rights with legacies that continued past the revolutions of 1989. By examining the socialist contribution to the evolution of human rights, we hope to contribute to revising standard narratives of globalization that focus exclusively on the perceived winners of these processes.

Conference Programme

Thursday, 3 March 2016


 

14:00-14:30
Welcoming Address
Ruth LEISEROWITZ (German Historical Institute Warsaw)

14:30-15:30
Introductory Panel: State Socialism, Human Rights and Globalization: In Search of a New Narrative 
Hella DIETZ (Georg-August University of Göttingen)
Ned RICHARDSON-LITTLE (University of Exeter)
Robert BRIER (London School of Economics)

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-18:00
Panel 1: Defining Human Rights Internationally

Steven JENSEN (Danish Institute for Human Rights)
Defining the Social in the Global: Social Rights, UN Diplomacy and the Emergence of International Non-Discrimination Norms and Politics, 1950-1960

Alexander OSIPOV (European Centre for Minority Issues)
The Soviet Union’s Involvement in the Establishment of the European Minority Rights Regime

Discussant: Arnd BAUERKÄMPER (Free University Berlin)

19:00 Conference Dinner

 

Friday, 4 March 2016


 

09:00-11:00
Panel 2: State-Socialist Conceptions of Rights and Human Rights

Jennifer ALTEHENGER (King’s College London)
Rights, Not Human Rights: Communist China’s National Constitution Discussion, 1954

Michal KOPEČEK (Institute for Contemporary History, Prague and Charles University, Prague)
Socialist Conceptions of Human Rights and its Dissident Critique

Todor HRISTOV (University of Sofia)
Rights to Weapons: Human Rights as a Resource in Workplace Conflicts in Late Socialist Bulgaria

Discussant: Paul BETTS (Oxford University)

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-13:00
Panel 3: Tolerance, Difference, and Rights under Socialism

Ivan SABLIN (University of Heidelberg)
Illusive Tolerance: Buddhism in the Late Soviet State

Zhuoyi WEN (Hong Kong Institute of Education)
Contesting Cultural Rights in Post-socialist China

Discussant: tba

13:00-14:30 Lunch break

14:30-16:00
Panel 4: Human Rights as Socialist Foreign Policy

Sebastian GEHRIG (Oxford University)
The Fifth Column of the Third World? The East German Quest for International Recognition through UN Rights Discourses

Jens BOYSEN (German Historical Institute Warsaw)
Polish Engagement in the United Nations as a Tool for Justifying Communist Rule in Poland and Gaining Leeway in the Warsaw Pact

Discussant: Robert BRIER
(London School of Economics)

16:00-16:30 Coffee Break

16:30-18:00
Panel 5: Transnational Movements and Flows

Christie MIEDEMA (University of Amsterdam)
Negotiating Space for International Human Rights Activism: Amnesty International in Eastern Europe before 1989

Rósa MAGNÚSDÓTTIR (University of Aarhus)
Soviet-American Intermarriage: Transnational Love and the Cold War

Discussant: James MARK (University of Exeter)

19:00 Dinner for the conference participants

 

Saturday, 5 March 2016


 

9:00-11:00
Panel 6: Dissent and Human Rights

Simone BELLEZZA (University of Eastern Piedmont)
The Right to Be Different: Ukrainian Dissent and the Struggle Against a Global Consumerist Cultural Standardization

Hermann AUBIÉ (University of Turku)
Between Loyalty and Dissent: Revisiting the History of Human Rights in China Through the Discourse of Chinese Intellectuals and Dissidents

Zsófi a LÓRÁND (European University Institute, Florence)
Feminist Dissent, Activism for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the Human Rights Discourse in Yugoslavia in the 1970s-1980s

Discussant: Celia DONERT (University of Liverpool)

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-13:00
Concluding Panel: The Place of State Socialist Societies in the Global History of Human Rights
Paul BETTS (Oxford University)
James MARK (University of Exeter)
Celia DONERT (University of Liverpool)

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