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...

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,...

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: Post Socialism

The “Children of Crisis”: Making Sense of (Post)socialism and the End of Yugoslavia

Ljubica Spaskovska’s article The “Children of Crisis”: Making Sense of (Post)socialism and the End of Yugoslavia has just been published in the Journal of East European Politics and Societies, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2017. It forms part of a special section on the Genealogies of Memory, guest edited by Ferenc Laczó and Joanna Wawrzyniak.

Ljubica’s article traces certain mnemonic patterns in the ways individuals who belonged to the late-socialist Yugoslav youth elite articulated their values in the wake of Yugoslavia’s demise and the ways they make sense of the Yugoslav socialist past and their generational role a quarter of a century later. It detects narratives of loss, betrayed hopes, and a general disillusionment with politics and the state of post-socialist democracy that appear to be particularly frequent in the testimonies of the media and cultural elites. They convey a sense of discontent with the state of post-Yugoslav democracy and with the politicians—some belonging to the same generation—who embraced conservative values and a semi-authoritarian political culture. The article argues that an emerging new authoritarianism and the very process of progressive disillusionment with post-socialist politics allowed for the emergence and articulation of such alternative, noninstitutionalized individual memories that, whilst not uncritical of the Yugoslav past, tend to highlight its positive aspects.

East European Politics and Socieities, Volume 31, Issue 3, August 2017

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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Ljubica Spaskovska’s Monograph Now Available: The Last Yugoslav Generation

Manchester University Press have now published Dr Ljubica Spaskovska‘s new book – The Last Yugoslav Generation: The Rethinking of Youth Politics and Cultures in Late Socialism.

Her monograph examines the development of youth culture and politics in socialist Yugoslavia, focusing specifically on the 1980s. Rather than examining the 1980s as a mere prelude to the violent collapse of the country in the 1990s, the book recovers the multiplicity of political visions and cultural developments that evolved at the time and that have been largely forgotten in subsequent discussion. She argues that the youth of this generation sought to rearticulate the Yugoslav socialist framework in order to reinvigorate it and ‘democratise’ it, rather than destroy it altogether.

Image of Ljubica SpaskovskaLjubica Spaskovska is an Associate Research Fellow working on our research project 1989 after 1989 at the University of Exeter. Her research maps the history of the end of Yugoslavia’s global engagements not only as a subject/phenomenon associated with political/diplomatic history, but also as a broader societal project.

Purchase The Last Yugoslav Generation

 

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CFP: State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism in Heritage Protection after 1945

Join us in Exeter for our collaborative conference with the Herder Institute exploring the rising contributions of socialist and non-aligned actors to the development of heritage at both domestic and international levels.

Conference dates: 21-22 November 2017

Conference location: The University of Exeter

Call for Papers deadline: 20 June 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS

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 themes to be addressed in papers include (but are not limited to):

  • The rise of interest in, and conceptualisation of, heritage under socialist and non-aligned states;
  • the transnational and transcultural circulation of ideas about heritage both within an expanding world of socialist states and across Cold War ideological divides;
  • the role of socialist experts in international debates over heritage;
  • the role of individual actors as cultural brokers within the cultural heritage field;
  • the role of international organisations, such as UNESCO, ICOMOS, ICCROM, UIA and others in providing a platform for professional communication and knowledge exchange involving the socialist world;
  • the role of the Cold War in the development of heritage;
  • the role of national traditions, experience and transnational cooperation across the Cold War divide in the creation of concepts and practices of socialist heritage;
  • the legacies of the work of socialist states and experts in contemporary heritage practices.

 

Abstracts of 300-500 words, together with an accompanying short CV should be submitted to Natalie Taylor (N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk) by June 20, 2017.

The selected participants will be notified by July 20, 2017.

Funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are available, but we ask that potential contributors also explore funding opportunities at their home institutions.

To download a copy of the Call for Papers and for further information about the conference go to our State Socialism, Heritage Experts and Internationalism conference page


 

This event is organized by the University of Exeter in collaboration with Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe in Marburg.

It is kindly supported by Exeter University’s Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective.

Conference conveners:

Prof. James Mark and Dr. Nelly Bekus, University of Exeter, Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective

Dr. Eszter Gantner, Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg

Dr. Michael Falser, Cluster of Excellence Asia and Europe in a Global Context, Heidelberg University

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Post-Doctoral Vacancy with PanEur1970s and EUI

The European University Institute (EUI) has a vacancy for a Research Assistant in the Department of History and Civilization working under the direction of Professor Frederico Romero as part of the PanEur1970s – Looking West: the European Socialist regimes facing pan-European cooperation and the European Community project.

The successful applicant will research into socialist Romania’s archives and other sources on elites’ views, policies and ideas on processes of European cooperation and integration in the 1970s. Full participation in the project activities, including publication of research papers and essays, participation in conferences and dissemination activities will be required.

Post-Doctoral Position in Romania and European Co-operation in the 1970s
24 months, full time (30/30) (anticipated start date September 2017)
Based in Florence
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 21/04/2017

The appointed candidate will receive a monthly net salary of approximately 1800 EUR + allowances if applicable (See Conditions of Employment)

Funding for research missions and participation to international conferences will also be provided.

The candidate will have a PhD in History (preferably international or economic history) or in a closely related discipline, as well as research experience on Romania’s archival records.

S/he will be fluent in Romanian and have good command of English.

Knowledge of other European languages may constitute an advantage but is not required.

How to apply

Applicants should read the Vacancy notice first. Applicants must fill in the on-line application form and upload documents as requested. Only applications submitted through the on line form will be accepted.

For more information contact: serena.belligoli@eui.eu

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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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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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CFP: State Socialism, Legal Experts & the Genesis of International Criminal & Humanitarian Law after 1945

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

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).

Organizers: Raluca Grosescu (Exeter), Dietmar Müller (Leipzig), Marcus Payk (Berlin), Ned Richardson-Little (Exeter), Stefan Troebst (Leipzig), and Natalie Taylor (Exeter).

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