Střed | Centre, 1/2023 – Call for Papers: Spaces of Encounter in the Cold War
Issue theme: Spaces of Encounter in the Cold War
Languages of publication: Czech, Slovak, English, German
Indexed in: SCOPUS, CEEEOL, ERIH+, CEJSH, EBSCO
Recent historical research has demonstrated that despite the obvious divisions and countless conflicts caused by the Cold War in Central Europe, there were also numerous spaces of encounter that problematize the split into two separate Cold War “camps”.
Firstly, the “Iron Curtain” which divided Europe during the Cold War was – figuratively speaking – not made of “iron” but of more permeable fabrics. Notions such as the “Nylon Curtain” (György Péteri) tried to capture this ambiguous quality of the East-West border. Despite its repressive character that manifested itself in curtailed international exchange and violation of human rights, this closely observed trans-systemic border did also allow contacts and cooperation. Sometimes officially, but also beyond the purview of respective governments, the two Cold War camps were more connected than previously assumed.
Secondly, Cold War research moved its attention from the East-West rivalry in the global North to the global South. Newly independent states in Africa and Asia were not only arenas of competition between the two superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union. Central European states, too, became involved in this cooperation with non-European regions where the East-West conflict and Cold War dichotomies were confronted from a different perspective. Acting in compliance with the grand strategy of their super-allies, Central European states also pursued their own agendas. Various international organizations, seemingly non-political and technocratic, facilitated these contacts and exchanges.
This issue of Střed/Centre is seeking papers that build on the current state of the art and investigate new avenues of research in this historiographic field. Methodologically or empirically new studies will further scrutinize Central European connections beyond the Cold War “camps” by focusing on hitherto under-researched spaces of encounter.
The issue can include, but is not limited to, the following topics:
- Economic partnerships and competition between capitalist and socialist economies
- Trans-systemic cultural exchanges, religious activities and NGOs
- Trans-systemic relations through intermediaries (e. g. United Nations, International Red Cross)
- Circulation of knowledge between the East, the West and the South
- Grey zones of economic and intellectual exchange