Spaces of Interaction between the Socialist Camp and the Global South: Knowledge Production, Trade, and Scientific-Technical Cooperation in the Cold War Era

Spaces of Interaction between the Socialist Camp and the Global South: Knowledge Production, Trade, and Scientific-Technical Cooperation in the Cold War Era

Anne-Kristin Hartmetz, Bence Kocsev, Jan Zofka, SFB 1199 “Processes of Globalization under the Global Condition”, Project B03 “East-South Relations during the Global Cold War”, Leipzig University
SFB 1199 / Strohsack Passage / Nikolaistraße 6–10 / 5th floor / 04109 Leipzig
From - Until
26.10.2017 - 27.10.2017
Anne-Kristin Hartmetz

In recent debates on the Cold War Era, Transnational and Global History highlight the significance of relations between the Soviet bloc and the global South. They challenge Cold War perspectives that take “Moscow’s” hegemony and centralized control by national communist parties for granted. “Socialist globalization” has come to be seen an integral part of the global post-war economic expansion. Contributing to these debates, this conference will focus on concrete spaces of economic East-South interactions: transnational hubs, institutions, and infrastructures. These spaces, to a certain extent, emerged and functioned beyond – or at the margins of – national control and opened up pathways into “the world”. Taking these spaces as a starting point the conference will ask for the actors, their interests, and power relations inside the East-South interactions. How were these spaces created and to what extent did they become relevant platforms of competition and of negotiation of differing interests? To what extent did the interactions between socialist camp and the global south replicate, or blur, the seemingly dominant spatial order of the global Cold War between the “Iron Curtain” and the North-South divide? We would like to discuss how different scales such as the local, the national, the bloc, and the global were intertwined in (the making of) these spaces. Emphasising the spatial dimension will help to reread the global Cold War order and post-war globalization processes.


13:00-13:30 Welcome & introductory remarks
Anne-Kristin Hartmetz, Bence Kocsev, Jan Zofka

13:30 – 14:45 Keynote
Johanna Bockman (George Mason University, Fairfax, VA/Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton): Financial globalization as a socialist, decolonial project: UNCTAD, NIEO, and non-aligned banking

14:45-15:00 Coffee Break

15:00 – 16:45 Panel I. Knowledge Production
Introduction & Chair: Bence Kocsev (University of Leipzig)

Eric Burton (University of Vienna)
Diverging Visions in post-revolutionary spaces. East German advisers and revolution from above in Zanzibar (1964-1970)

Monika Motylinska (Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space, Erkner)
The COMECON and knowledge production in the fields of architecture, town planning and design

Chris Saunders/Thorsten Kern (University of Cape Town)
A Space of Interaction: the GDR and the Namibians in the Cold War

Comment: James Mark (University of Exeter)

16:45 - 17:00 Coffee Break

17:00 – 18:30 Roundtable
Negotiating a New International Economic Order (NIEO) – perspectives from behind the scenes

Chair: Bence Kocsev (University of Leipzig)

Mihály Simai (Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, former Director of World Institute for Development Economics Research)
Ervin László (Club of Budapest, the Laszlo Institute)
James Mark (University of Exeter) (t.b.c.)
19:00 Conference Dinner

Friday, 27th October
Venue: SFB 1199 Strohsack Passage

Panel II. Scientific-Technical Cooperation and Development Policy
Introduction & Chair: Anne-Kristin Hartmetz (University of Leipzig)

9:00 – 10:30 Section A
Jun Fujisawa (Kobe University)
A united front against the Seven Sisters? The Soviet-East European support for the Iraqi oil industry and the nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Company (1967-1979)

Max Trecker (Institute for Contemporary History Munich-Berlin)
The grapes of cooperation: Bulgarian and East German plans to build a Syrian cement industry from scratch

Comment: Frank Hadler (Leibniz-Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe, Leipzig)

10:30 – 10:45 Coffee Break

10:45-12:30 Section B
Marcia C. Schenck (Princeton University, Humboldt University, Berlin)
Working the factory and the dance floor: Angolan and Mozambican worker-trainees in East Germany (1979-90)

Nana Osei-Opare (University of California, Los Angeles)
Socialist Help: Ghana and Soviet Technical & Scientific Exchanges, 1957-1966.

Bogdan Iacob (New Europe College) – Iolande Vasile (Coimbra University/West University Timisoara)
Elective affinities under duress: limits of Romania-Mozambique bilateralism (1976-1984)

Comment: Stefan Troebst (Leibniz-Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe, Leipzig)

12:30-13:30 Lunch

Panel III: Trade and Trade Infrastructures
Introduction & Chair: Jan Zofka (University of Leipzig)

13:30-15:00 Section A
Anne Dietrich (University of Leipzig)
Bartering within and outside the COMECON: The GDR’s import of Cuban fruits and Ethiopian coffee

Simon Yin (Hefei University of Technology)
China-Soviet rubber cooperation (1950-1953)

Comment: Uwe Müller (Leibniz-Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe, Leipzig)

15:00 – 15:15 Coffee Break

15:15 – 16:45 Section B
Yury Skubko (Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute for African Studies, Moscow)
National interests above ideology: Soviet diamond deals with South African De Beers cartel during the Cold War

Victor Petrov (European University Institute, Florence)
The Rose and the Lotus: Bulgarian electronic entanglements in India (1967-1990)

Comment: Steffi Marung (University of Leipzig)

16:45 – 17:15 Closing remarks/ closing discussion

Contact (announcement)

Anne-Kristin Hartmetz, Bence Kocsev, Dr. Jan Zofka

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