Alternative Encounters: The 'Second World' and the 'Global South', 1945-1990s

A Centre for Imperial and Global History conference
Date3 - 4 November 2014
TimeEvent spans several days
PlaceFriedrich-Schiller-Universitat, Jena

A collaboration between the Imre Kertész Kolleg, University of Jena; the Centre for Area Studies, University of Leipzig; and the Centre of Imperial & Global History, University of Exeter

In the post-war period, as decolonization accelerated, new linkages opened up, and existing ties were remade, between the so-called ‘Second World’ (from the Soviet Union to the GDR) and the ‘Global South’ (from Latin America to Africa to Asia). Contacts multiplied through, for instance, the development of political linkages; economic development and aid; health and cultural and academic projects; as well as military interventions.  Yet these important encounters, and their impacts on national, regional and global histories, have hitherto only played a marginal role in accounts of late 20th century globalization, which have mainly focused on links between the West and former colonies, or between the countries of the ‘Global South’. There is still little study of the interaction between these areas, where commonly shared – and contested – beliefs in the power of socialist modernization and anti-imperial culture opened up possibilities of meaningful transfers during the Cold War and its aftermath. This conference seeks to address this lacuna, by bringing together specialists working on different regions (such as Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, Africa, Latin America, Asia) and on forms of exchange, intervention and subjugation.  In doing so, it seeks to provide new insights into the global circulation of ideas during the Cold War, and explore ‘the socialist world’ as well as ‘the Global South’ as a dynamic hub of global interactions during the second half of the twentieth century.

For more information, please visit the event page at the Institute of Historical Research


ProviderCentre for Imperial and Global History

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