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: Socialism

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.

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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Post-Doctoral Positions with PanEur1970s at the European University Institute

PanEur1970_01_PE1970S_Web_COLOR

Two Research Associate positions are currently available with the PanEur1970s – Looking West: the European Socialist regimes facing pan-European cooperation and the European Community, based at the European University Institute. This five year project is investigating the European Socialist regimes’ expectations and predicaments vis-à-vis the opening of a space of pan-European cooperation in the long 1970s.

Research Associate Vacancy: GDR and European cooperation in the 1970s (24 months)

Applications are now open for a research associate to study these debates in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) by exploring and analysing archival as well as published sources.

More specifically, s/he will do research on East Germany’s socialist elites’ views, policies, and ideas on the processes of European cooperation and integration in the 1970s.

The position will be for 24 months, starting from October 2016.

The appointed candidate will receive a monthly net salary of approximately 2500 EUR depending on qualifications and allowances (household allowance, expatriation allowance, travel allowance, medical insurance, and dependents’ allowances, if applicable).

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 GDR’s archival records.

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

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


 

Research Associate Vacancy: Bulgaria and European cooperation in the 1970s (24 months)

Applications are now open for a Research Associate to study these debates in Bulgaria by exploring and analysing archival as well as published sources.

More specifically, s/he will do research on Bulgaria’s socialist elites’ views, policies, and ideas on the processes of European cooperation and integration in the 1970s.

The position will be for 24 months, starting from October 2016.

The appointed candidate will receive a monthly net salary of approximately 2500 EUR depending on qualifications and allowances (household allowance, expatriation allowance, travel allowance, medical insurance, and dependents’ allowances, if applicable).

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 Bulgaria’s archival records.

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

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


 

The deadline to submit applications for both posts is 31 May 2016.

More information and details of how to apply can be found on the PanEur1970s website:

GDR and European cooperation post

Bulgaria and European cooperation post

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Global Circuits of Expertise and the Making of the Post-1945 World

Interested in learning more about Professor James Mark’s research on  Hungary, South Korea and economic exchange in the Late Cold War? Then why not come along to Global Circuits of Expertise and the Making of the Post-1945 World: Eastern European and Asian Perspectives in New York, 29 – 30 April 2016:

Location:
Weatherhead East Asian Institute
International Affairs Building, Room 918 – 420 West 118th Street, New York, New York 10027

Register:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/global-circuits-of-expertise-and-the-making-of-the-post-1945-world-tickets-22426838277


 

This workshop aims to explore transfer and circulation of expert knowledge across socialist worlds in the post-1945 period of decolonization. The workshop brings together scholars with regional expertise, Eastern European and/or Asian, to seek commonalities between histories and historiographies that cut across regions, geopolitical blocs and continents.

Bringing these stories together, we will tell a story of expert circulation in the “socialist world.” These were regions where socialism was the dominant state ideology, where socialist parties were politically dominant, or where “progressive” export cultures played important roles. Yet we also wish to consider how experts from “socialist cultures” interacted globally, and were part of broader transnational debates over modernisation, political development, technology, and decolonization. Connections were made, for example, between Eastern Europe and India, as well as Socialist China and India, that defied Cold War blocs. Bringing scholars working across these regions, and on the place of these regions in a global perspective, will help provide important new insights into non-western contributions to various fields of knowledge in the wake of decolonisation.

This event is sponsored by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, The Harriman Institute,  and The Center for Science and Society at Columbia University, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK)-funded research project “Socialism Goes Global”.

Workshop Programme

GlobalCircuits

Friday, April 29

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Panel 1: Science and Decolonization
Chaired by Eugenia Lean, Columbia University

Session 1: The Eastern European Peasant in Nehru’s India: Transnational Debates on Rural Economies, 1930s-1960s
Malgorzata Mazurek, Columbia University
Session 2: Water Management and Transnational Expertise in 1950s China and India
Arunabh Ghosh, Harvard University
Session 3: Curing Ills with Socialist Medicine: China’s Medical Missions in Algeria, 1963-1973
Dongxin Zou, Columbia University

2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Panel 2: Global Revolution: Circuits of Expertise and Techniques
Chaired by James Mark, Exeter University

Session 4: The Screen is Red: China and East Germany Make Films Together in 1950s
Quinn Slobodian, Wellesley College
Session 5: Between Work and Struggle: The Varieties of Bolshevik “Self-Criticism” in Maoist China
Chris Chang, Columbia University

3:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Panel 3: Politics of Exchange and Circulation
Chaired by Eugenia Lean, Columbia University

Session 6: Tending the Trees of Friendship, Breeding New Knowledge at Home: The Case of the Albanian Olive Tree in China
Sigrid Schmalzer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Session 7: Earthquakes, Disaster Governance, and Socialist China — an International Perspective
Fa-ti Fan, State University of New York, Binghamton

Saturday, April 30

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Panel 4: Late Socialist Reforms: Economics and Exchange
Chaired by Malgorzata Mazurek, Columbia University

Session 8:  Entangled Electronics: Bulgarian Computers and the Developing World as a Space of Exchange, 1967-1990
Victor Petrov, Columbia University
Session 9: The Political-Economy of Détente: Interdependence, Technocratic Internationalism and Formation of Perestroika Political Economy
Yakov Feygin, University of Pennsylvania
Session 10: Between Eastern Europe and the ‘East Asian Tigers’: Hungary, South Korea and Economic Exchange in the Late Cold War
James Mark, Exeter University

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Roundtable

Paul Betts, Oxford University
Eugenia Lean, Columbia University
Elidor Mehilli, Hunter College
Adam Tooze, Columbia University

Link to Conference Poster

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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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Call for Journal Articles: 1956, Resistance and Cultural Opposition in East Central Europe

The deadline for submissions of abstracts for the 4th issue of Hungarian Historical Review on 1956, Resistance and Cultural Opposition in East Central Europe is fast approaching.

Abstracts of 500 words and a short biography listing the author’s five most important publications should be submitted by the January 15, 2016. Those selected will then be asked to submit their final articles no later than June 16, 2016, with the articles being published following a peer-review process. The call for journal articles can be found below:

Call for Journal Articles: 1956, Resistance and Cultural Opposition in East Central Europe

Since 1989, former socialist countries have been in the process of constructing and negotiating their relationships with their recent past, which includes their stories of resistance, revolts and cultural opposition. Opposition is typically understood in a narrow sense as referring to open political resistance to communist governments. We propose a more nuanced historical conception of resistance, opposition and revolts, expanding the concept towards broader frameworks of political participation in order to facilitate a better understanding of how dissent and criticism were possible in the former socialist regimes of Eastern Europe.

Since the authorities tried to control public spheres and there were no opportunities for democratic public debates, several critical movements (democratic, Church related or nationalist opposition) decided to establish underground public spheres and declared open opposition to the socialist state. However, several cultural groups with no open political program (e. g. avant-garde art, alternative religious communities, youth culture) were also regarded as forms of opposition and branded as such by the authorities, and, as a result, they were also forced underground.

Possible topics include:

– Individuals, institutions, groups and networks of cultural opposition;

– New perspectives of revolts (1956, 1968, 1981) against the Communist regimes;

– Members of the “hard-core” democratic opposition, who were banned during the socialist

period (including the world of samizdat publications, art movements, and non-official

lectures);

– Activities and networks of elite and intellectual groups of the opposition;

– Radical and experimental theatre;

– Underground and non-conformist youth and popular culture;

– Religious groups and institutions and their roles in the opposition;

– Cultural and scientific institutions, which implemented the research agenda of the opposition

(e.g. research on poverty in the communist regimes).

* Further information and guidance on submission can be found on the Hungarian Historical Review website.

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Funded Doctoral Positions with PanEur1970s at European University Institute

 

PanEur1970s is a five-year project (2015-2020) – based at the European University Institute (EUI) – to investigate the European Socialist regimes’ expectations and predicaments vis-à-vis the opening of a space of pan-European cooperation in the long 1970s. Funded by the European Research Council (ERC), they are offering three four-year PhD studentships in East Germany, Poland and Bulgaria, with enrolment onto the History and Civilization Department’s doctoral programme at the European University Institute.

Successful applicants will be expected to start on the 1 September 2016 and should consider their research proposals within the framework of the project. Requirements for the project in particular are:

  • MA in History, preferably with a specialization in international and\or economic history;
  • Readiness to work in a team of researchers and to enrol in the regular EUI PhD programme;
  • Good knowledge of English and excellent command of the language of the country the candidate will study (German, Polish or Bulgarian);
  • Knowledge of other European languages will constitute an advantage.

The successful candidates will be awarded an annual grant equivalent to, or slightly higher than, the EUI grant (currently € 1280 per month), in addition to dependants’ allowances (if applicable), travel allowance and medical insurance.

For information about the online application procedure and to submit your application, please see the EUI website. Further information about the PanEur1970s project can be found on their website.

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Call for Papers: (Re)Thinking Yugoslav Internationalism – Cold War Global Entanglements and their Legacies

Graz, Austria
Centre for Southeast European Studies, University of Graz and the University of Exeter
30 September – 1 October 2016

Call for Papers Deadline: 28 February 2016

(Re)Thinking Yugoslav Internationalism – Cold War Global Entanglements and their Legacies

For more than forty years, Yugoslavia was one of the most internationalist and outward looking of all socialist countries in Europe, playing leading roles in various trans-national initiatives – principally as central participant within the Non-Aligned Movement – that sought to remake existing geopolitical hierarchies and rethink international relations. Both moral and pragmatic motives often overlapped in its efforts to enhance cooperation between developing nations, propagate peaceful coexistence in a divided world and pioneer a specific non-orthodox form of socialism.

Although the disintegration of socialist Yugoslavia has received extensive treatment across a range of disciplines, the end of Yugoslavia’s global role and the impacts this had both at home and abroad, have received little attention. Coinciding with the 55th anniversary of the Belgrade summit and the foundation of the Non-Aligned Movement, this conference seeks to open up 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 would map the history of Yugoslavia’s global engagements not only as a subject associated with political/diplomatic history, but also as a broader societal and cultural project. Important witnesses involved in those exchanges and alliances will also be invited to share their experiences.

We welcome papers from different disciplines and from diverse perspectives, whether dealing with aspects of Cold War international cooperation, development, Yugoslavia’s global role, or the ‘global’ Cold War from the perspective of the developing world and the ‘global South’. We particularly encourage proposals which would reflect on:

  • the roots of Yugoslav internationalism and how it was understood in cultural/economic/social as well as political/diplomatic terms;
  • the contours of Yugoslav diplomacy and the ways Yugoslav elites conceptualised their global role;
  • the role of Yugoslavia in the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations as the fora for global encounters and in particular the attempts at tackling global inequality and alternative development;
  • the relationship between Yugoslavia, the different liberation movements and the newly emerging independent nations in the ‘global South’ (including cultural diplomacy, labour migration, individual travel);
  • the realities and challenges of foreign trade, investment construction and economic cooperation;
  • the ways international engagements reshaped aspects of political, economic or cultural life back in Yugoslavia;
  • the role and significance of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War and today;
  • the international impact of the end of Yugoslavia and the collapse of her global role;
  • the legacies and new understandings of Yugoslavia’s global role.

Abstracts of 300-500 words, together with an accompanying short biographical note should be submitted to Natalie Taylor (N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk) by 28 February 2016.

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 the Centre for Southeast European Studies and the Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective at the University of Exeter.

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Call for Papers: Human Rights after 1945 in the Socialist and Post-Socialist World

German Historical Institute, Warsaw
March 3 – 5, 2016

Call for Papers Deadline: 27 November 2015

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

Histories of late twentieth century global change have focused on its perceived winners on a macro-scale: democratic capitalism, global markets and individual rights. In such formulations, the “socialist world” and its history appear irrelevant to understanding global processes and unable to inform liberal Western democratic societies.

The global rise of human rights might look like a particularly striking case in point. The formal guarantees of rights in socialist societies, after all, seemed to have no substantial effect on these societies’ political and legal practices, and the debate on civil society in “the West” which east European human rights activists had inspired during the 1980s, did not survive socialism’s fall in that region.

In this conference, we want to question those narratives. Actors from the socialist world – be they state officials, loyal intellectuals or dissident activists – actively participated in international conflicts over the meaning of democracy, economic freedom, religious liberty and national self-determination in the post-war period. Socialist officials took part in drafting the U.N. covenants of 1966, in turning South African apartheid or repression in Chile into global causes célèbres or in promoting women’s rights. African socialists shaped human rights discourses by blending them with the struggle for self-determination, while Latin American activists grafted human rights to their Marxist ideas. Chinese Communists joined traditional ideas of cultural difference with Leninist ideology to create a distinct human rights discourse. Dissident intellectuals, on the other hand, did not necessarily take the West’s side in the Cold War when they criticized socialist realities, but developed innovative human rights vernaculars deeply shaped by their unique contexts. In sum, the “socialist world” did not just react passively to Western human rights politics, but was a vital participant in the story of the production of global human rights.

This conference seeks to explore how the socialist world can be written into the broader global narratives of the rise of human rights in the 20th century, and even revise these narratives. Our understanding of the “socialist world” is deliberately inclusive. It entails the socialist systems of eastern Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Southern and East Asia as well as socialist and Communist parties and movements more broadly, and anti-colonial or anti-dictatorial movements in the Global South.

We welcome papers from different disciplines and from diverse perspectives, whether dealing with official discourses, state policies, right experts, or national or transnational political movements.

We particularly encourage proposals on the following topics:

  • rights cultures within socialist societies, including reflections on the global context of their construction;
  • the contribution of socialist elites, experts and social groups to the global rise of human rights;
  • connections across the socialist world in the production of conceptions of rights, including reflections on the role of international organizations or transnational movements;
  • the importance of rights discourses for socialist regimes and movements in establishing legitimacy at home and abroad;
  • the use of rights discourses by opposition movements, and the relationship between official/ alternative rights movements within socialist societies;
  • the legacy of rights discourses within socialist and post-socialist societies today;
  • comparisons, and connections between, the production of rights ideas in the socialist and non-socialist worlds;
  • rethinking the role of rights and the collapse of socialist states;
  • broader reflections on writing the socialist world into the history of rights;
  • broader reflections on how these stories contribute to the rethinking of the story of cultural and political globalization.

This conference is the first in a series of meetings exploring how processes and practices that emerged from the socialist world shaped the re-globalized world of our times. Throughout, the legacies of this socialist engagement with globalising processes in the socialist and post-socialist world will also be an important point of interest.

Please send a brief abstract of 300-500 words, as well as a brief CV, by November 27, 2015, to Natalie Taylor at the University of Exeter (N.H.Taylor@exeter.ac.uk ). All organizational questions can be sent to Natalie Taylor. Academic queries should be sent to Hella Dietz (Hella.Dietz@sowi.uni-goettingen.de ).

Download the Call for Papers: Call for Papers Human Rights after 1945

Substantial 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 the German Historical Institute in Warsaw and the Leverhulme Trust-funded project 1989 after 1989: Rethinking the Fall of State Socialism in Global Perspective at the University of Exeter.

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