Cold War

In the shadow of Moscow: Romania and the Suez Crisis


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 784-89
No. of Pages: 6
Keywords: , , ,
Summary/Abstract: The Suez Crisis has posed to Romania a challenge as the country was forced to take sides in the context of the Cold War. Broadly speaking, the country joined in the Soviet propaganda against the capitalist perpatrators of acts of aggression and supported the Egyptian decisions.
Open access on CEEOL: YES



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La Roumanie et la France pendant la guerre froide, les difficultes d’un nouveau debut


Language: French
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 109-119
No. of Pages: 11
Keywords: , , ,
Summary/Abstract: Après qu’on gouvernement communiste ait dirigé la Roumanie, le pays, occupé par l’Armée Rouge, dénonce ses relations avec les allié traditionnels du « camp impérialiste ». À son tour, la France, tributaire de son allié américain, a suivi fidèlement la politique de Washington durant les premières années de la Guerre Froide. Les priorités changent alors dans ces nouvelles circonstances : Paris est dans le « camp capitaliste » luttant contre l’expansion du communisme, et Bucarest se trouve dans la « camp socialiste » luttant contre la menace de l’impérialisme américain et occidental. C’est le stéréotype qui va modeler la perception réciproque concernant les deux pays durant la première décade de la Guerre Froide.
Open access on CEEOL: NO



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The Straits’ Question in the aftermath of the Second World War


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 33-40
No. of Pages: 8
Keywords: , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: The Black Sea’ Straits have been for a long time one of the most important strategic places at the confluence between Asia Minor and Europe. This paper deals with Soviet demands to dominate the Straits in the aftermath of the Second World War and with the Turkish and Western Allies’ response to this project. The USSR embarked not only upon pretending the revision of the Montreux Convention but, even more threatening, advanced territorial pretensions against Turkey. This perhaps contributed significantly to the outbreak of the Cold War.
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Peter Calvocoressi, Europa de la Bismarck la Gorbaciov (Polirom : Iasi, 2006), 232 pp.


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 147-149
No. of Pages: 3
Keywords: , , ,
Summary/Abstract: REVIEW: Peter Calvocoressi was a lecturer at Sussex University. He wrote „World Politics since 1945”, which is now at its 8th edition. He is considered one the most important contemporary historians. Polirom Publishing House published also some of his other works: “Break the lines. The Second World War and the post war Europe” (2000) and “Europe from Bismarck to Gorbachev”. Calvocoressi’s work is one of those extensive studies which evaluate the history of modern and contemporary Europe, from the last two centuries, tracking the line of the events that influenced the destiny of the continent. The main direction is given by the open or hidden conflicts between the great powers, from the two World Wars up to the Cold War. The book is structured on three sections.
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Melvyn P. Leffler, For the Soul of Mankind. The United States, the Soviet Union and the Cold War (New York: Hill and Wang, 2007).


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 115-117
No. of Pages: 3
Keywords: , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: One of the new approaches in the Cold War studies is the importance given to the role of ideology and culture in analyzing the decision-making process, the term ideology being largely interpreted, not only in the sense of political ideology, but also in the sense of perceptions of threats, selection of friends, evaluation of opportunities, historical memories, “ideas, norms and values”, “world view”, what people think or what meaning people gave to different things. Leffler’s book is a part of the new Cold War history, bringing new data from the Soviet and American archives and in the same time a new and fresh approach and interpretation.
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The five who scared… America, too. The immediate effects of the attempt in Bern (1955) over the Romanian diplomacy


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 41-50
No. of Pages: 10
Keywords: , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: The Bern attempt was a unique event in the history of young RPR and it caused exaggerated fears among communist leaders. On one hand, the Romanian communist regime considered that the Western secret services had worked together with the aim proving Moscow’s upper hand on the Eastern popular democracies. On the other hand, February 1955 represented the date when the external Romanian resistance, in its various forms, passed from parlor opposition to a violent action marked by heroic symbolism. The Romanian refugees in the West showed that they were able to take special responsibilities and bring the name of the communist government from Bucharest to the attention of the whole world. On a medium and long term, the Bern attempt had somber consequences over the Romanian diplomacy. Those engaged in the activity of external agencies of Romania were placed under the Securitate (secret service) control for the rest of their lives. Theoretically, such an attempt should not have happened again and the prevention was assured by a secret service that was working with brutal methods. In order to prevent that kind of events recurring, the Legations and embassies of the R.P.R. undertook an enormous load of informative work, surveillance, infiltration, and terrorizing of the Romanian immigrants in the West.
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Cezar Stanciu, Devotaţi Kremlinului. Alinierea politicii externe româneşti la cea sovietică în anii ‘50


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 111-114
No. of Pages: 4
Keywords: , , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: The outcome of a Ph.D. research undertaken at Valahia University of Târgovişte and at its “Grigore Gafencu” Research Center for the History of International Relations and successfully completed in 2008, the book represents an original approach upon a theme barely investigated in earlier studies: Romania’s foreign policy in the years following the Soviet takeover, with a focus on the first half of the 1950s. The author is a young researcher who has systematically investigated the Romanian archives, a fact which permitted him to come up with fresh theories checked with the decision-makers own thoughts and perspectives as they result from first hand documents and various other materials. The aim of the research was to analyze the reasons and the mechanisms of Romania’s subordination to Soviet Union and the regime’s domestic and external goals responsible for the external course it followed and for the changes in its foreign policy it acknowledged with the passing of time.
Open access on CEEOL: YES



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New explanations for Romania’s detachment from Moscow at the beginning of the 1960s


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 51-82
No. of Pages: 32
Keywords: , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: During the first years of the 1960s Romania defined its so-called independent foreign policy doctrine. Although the causes and motives of its ‘deviation’ from Moscow’s line have been largely studied, the findings of the previous research seem questionable in the light of the data offered by the new archive documents. While the previous studies used exclusively an objectivist approach and focused on the actors’ motives and the external pressures to explain the ‘deviation’, the newly available archive documents suggest that the decision was heavily influenced by the way the Romanian decision-makers perceived the external environment and identified threats. The paper is structured in two major parts. The first one presents in short the scholarship in this filed and reveals its methodological problems: the objectivist approach and the misuse of the archive sources. The second one, on the basis on the new archive documents and using a perceptual approach, presents some new explanations for the Romanian detachment. In analyzing the leaders’ perceptions, I use the so-called representational model, which assumes that inferences may be drawn directly from the subject’s statements. I focus on one attribute: perceptions of the Soviet Union’s aggressive intentions/threats against Romania. I conclude that at the beginning of the 1960s the Soviet Union was perceived in Bucharest as a direct and imminent threat to the Romanian state and, to some extent, to the communist ideology. These perceptions are highly responsible for the adoption of the so-called ‘Romanian independent foreign policy doctrine’ developed in the 1960s. The study brings into attentions the relevance the ideology (perceptions, ideas, beliefs, norms) had in the decision-making process during the Cold War. It also reveals the need for further research on the role of the Romanian communist leaders’ perceptions of the ‘others’ in adopting one decision or another.
Open access on CEEOL: NO



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The relations of the Romanian People’s Republic with the United Kingdom (1948-1953)


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 95-104
No. of Pages: 10
Keywords: , , , , , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: The study analyses the Romanian-British tense relations beginning with the proclamation of the Romanian People’s Republic on 30 December 1947 until the beginning of 1954. My thesis is that, despite their different types of political regime, both countries hoped to establish a favourable agreement over the financial debts, but each awaited a favourable international evolution to strongly demand its own request. The research undertaken at the Diplomatic Archives of the Romanian Foreign Ministry and the Romanian National Archives disclosed new documents about the Romanian-British relations. The British Government sent to Romanian Government Notes Verbales with demands to liquidate the past financial issues, including British losses after the nationalization of June 1948, and continued to block Romanian pre-war funds in United Kingdom. Romanian People’s Republic opted for a delaying strategy and arrested the Romanian employees of British Legation in Bucharest in order to be informed on the British prospective measures.
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Romania’s policy in the Middle East (1950-1970). Challenges and opportunities


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 73-94
No. of Pages: 22
Keywords: , , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: Could small states rise against the superpowers of the Cold War in order to promote their own interests in world affairs? This was the basic premise for this study and it argues that, in the period of reference, Romania could and did develop an independent policy in the Middle East, different from that of the Communist bloc. In spite similarities, Romania’s policy pursued its own economic and political interests, aimed at identifying alternative sources of raw materials and markets, in order to reduce its vulnerability in front of Moscow. The basic aim was to be acknowledged as an independent partner. Relying on Romanian Communist Party sources, declassified in the recent years, this study reveals that this policy was successful and its goals were reached.
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East-West Cultural Exchanges and the Cold War. Conference in Jyväskylä, Finland, June 2012


Language: English
Subject(s): Review
Page Range: 131-132
No. of Pages: 2
Keywords: , ,
Summary/Abstract: Although the Cold War had been the subject of intense debates and researches in the past decades, there are still research areas which did not receive sufficient attention. Beyond the level of high politics, the Cold War affected the lives of millions, caused social changes, with dramatic consequences sometimes, and generated new currents and forms of manifestation in the field of culture. Such evolutions have only been subjected to in-depth analysis in the last years, emerging as a new and fascinating field of research worldwide. In June 2012, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, organized an international conference, aiming to explore other less known aspects of the Cold War, respectively culture. The organizers envisaged a multi-disciplinary conference, bringing together research connected with cultural exchanges in the Cold War era, both from the East and from the West, encouraging theoretical discussion at the same time, about potential definitions of the cultural Cold War and the validity of the concept itself. Participants from more than 20 countries and academic institutions answered to this call, turning the event in Jyväskylä into one of the most successful conferences organized in Nordic Europe this year.
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The beginning of cultural diplomacy in Romanian-American relations, after Romania’s admission to the United Nations


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 133-154
No. of Pages: 22
Keywords: , , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: The way in which the cultural Romanian-American exchanges developed after Romania joined the United Nations Organization as part of the East-West relations was only a politically controlled phenomenon. Especially in Bucharest, but also in Washington, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the State Department approved certain cultural activities and rejected others. As both parts were very wary about keeping a certain political balance, the Romanian and American governments filtered the cultural actions and only approved the ones which suited their interests and did not endanger their own value system. Thus we can affirm that the Romanian cultural influence in American society or the American influence in Romanian society were both minimal. Films, exhibitions, music evenings and other cultural events were seen as curious attractions by the other country. But they received the distinction of being moments of real political effort to relax the bilateral political relations. The contacts were not that often as to create real cultural bridges between the two nations, but they were useful especially for reducing political tensions.
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Beyond the superpower conflict: Introduction to VJHS special issue on cultural exchanges during the Cold War


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 5-14
No. of Pages: 10
Keywords: , , ,
Summary/Abstract: Research on Cold War has often been considered to a separate research paradigm and has thus been given the same of Cold War Studies. There are journals, research centers and institutions in the western countries many of which were born already during the Cold War. The Cold War was a western paradigm that was partly adopted in the socialist countries during the Cold War, but mainly as a concept outside scholarly research. Cold War studies used to be very political by nature, concentrating on international politics, high-level diplomacy and military affairs. But since the end of the Cold War, drastic changes have taken place in the field. Culture and social approaches that were hardly even in the margins within the Cold War studies have quickly transformed the whole field. One of the important factors for this was the opening of borders and access to primary sources that had remained closed for most researchers throughout the Cold War. This change is well reflected in the articles of this volume.
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Fighting for the Fiddler: The Competition for Securing David Oistrakh’s First American Concert Tour in 1955


Language: English
Subject(s): Cultural history
Page Range: 35-60
No. of Pages: 26
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: After Stalin’s death in 1953, the Soviet Union and the United States began to seek alternatives to their military rivalry by using culture as a weapon of “soft-power” in order to accomplish their foreign policy goals using attraction rather than coercion. As the Cold War intensified, a thriving competition developed between the superpowers to determine which of them could send more cultural diplomats to the other side, in the form of soloists and performing groups. This article addresses the undercurrent of socio-economic and political processes involved in organizing violinist David Oistrakh’s first concert tour of the United States in 1955. I’ll discuss how Soviet organizations worked with non-governmental Western partners, such as concert firms and impresarios to bring Soviet performers to the United States. I’ll outline the development of the competition between Frederick C. Schang from Columbia Artists Management, and Sol Hurok from Hurok Artists, Inc. in the organization of Oistrakh’s American outreach from 1955 to 1959. I’ll also discuss how Soviet and American violinists, such as Oistrakh and Yehudi Menuhin, played significant roles in both the organization of tours and the choice of which concert firms would be used in the future. While driven primarily by economic motivations at first, these cultural overtures would have increasingly political and diplomatic implications as they expanded the Soviet Union’s cultural influence to the West. The ripple effect of this “back door diplomacy” very likely affected the outcome of the Cold War itself.
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Sailors and youth consumption in Soviet seaports during the Cold War period


Language: English
Subject(s): Economy
Page Range: 61-72
No. of Pages: 12
Keywords: , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: Communication with soviet and foreign sailors was one of the most common ways in the USSR to join the western way of life. Structuring this communication was made by official and non-official institutions. Material and non-material exchange constructed special West image which sometimes have little in common with the real West. Distribution of propaganda materials, black-marketing and exchanging of western LPs are analyzing in the article as the main ways of constructing Imaginary West (term proposed by A. Yurchak). I suppose that Imaginary West was built with the help of western goods which “western image” meant more than their utility and anti-Soviet content of propaganda materials. Cultural exchange had not only influenced the individual cognition but also created new social milieus. Rerecording and exchanging of western albums were the example of such milieu creation. Took its birth inside friend circles in 1960–1970s that process had been officially organized as informal associations in 1980s.
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Studying (and not studying) one’s neighbour: Sovietology in Cold War Finland


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 73-87
No. of Pages: 15
Keywords: , , ,
Summary/Abstract: While historian generally agree that Sovietology was far more than just “knowing your enemy”, a profound understanding of the highly complex nature of the field has been impeded by the lack of a comparative perspective and the absence of what could be called peripheral countries from the grand narrative of Soviet Studies. This essay shifts the emphasis away from American and West German perspectives and turns, instead, to the institutional development of Soviet Studies in Finland. Beginning from the pre-Cold War history of the Finnish Slavistics, the essay provides a lens through which to reflect upon a number of key issues related to the current debate on Cold War social science (in general) and Soviet Studies (in particular).
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Journeys Beyond Three Seas: Cold War Indo-Soviet Tourism


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 109-134
No. of Pages: 26
Keywords: ,
Summary/Abstract: This article draws on archival research in Russia (14 months), India (3 months), and the United States, plus research on material published for Indian and Soviet readers. It explores tourism between India and the USSR, which grew out of the Cold War partnership of the two countries. Jeremiah argues that tourists crossing international boundaries (as in cultural exchange writ large) helped create a forum for Soviet self-presentations which externalized the Bolshevik culture-building project and the principle of “friendship of the peoples.” While he notes that Soviet presentations for Indian visitors were not always well-received, they had further meaning: coaching for Indo-Soviet encounters influenced public rhetoric, and the experiences of Soviet citizens abroad shaped the way they experienced leisure, cultural production, consumption, and ultimately Soviet identity – or the place citizens saw themselves occupying in the world. Jeremiah endeavors to offer something innovative in the way he tells a transnational story of cultural borrowing and foreign policy shaping domestic Soviet experiences.
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Managing Systemic Convergence. American Multilateral Bridge Building in Europe during the 1960s and Early 1970s


Language: English
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 135-168
No. of Pages: 34
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: Scholars have usually seen American bridge building policies in a bilateral context applied towards Eastern Europe. Equally, the discussion of modernization theories confines it to the Third World or a non-European context. The author shows that the bridge building policies pursued by the Johnson Administration had a strong multilateral and method driven dimension that led to the establishment of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). Rooted in national security calculations, multilateral bridge building was closely connected with the social discourse on modernization and social convergence during the 1960s and 1970s. The negotiation process revealed that the American way of modernization was not endorsed by the Europeans, and thus needed bridge building also in West Europe. By applying Peter Haas’ epistemic community theory framework in the context of Benedict Anderson’s ideas on nations as imagined communities, the author asks if the failures of overcoming the Cold War in the 1960s and 1970s can be interpreted as an American overextension of both epistemic and national limits. To grasp the historical background for IIASA the analysis includes other involved multilateral organizations, the OECD, ECE and NATO.
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Ambassadeurs en pays étranger : la place des lecteurs dans la diplomatie culturelle franco-roumaine (années 1960 et 1970)


Language: French
Subject(s): History
Page Range: 169-185
No. of Pages: 17
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Summary/Abstract: After a halt determined by the implementation of communism, French-Romanian relations started to regain impetus. Despite being members of two ideologically opposite camps, France and Romania sustain the development of their bilateral exchanges. This is why cultural relations grow and diversify. Language lectureships are created both in France and Romania. Beyond their official purpose, language teaching, lecturers and lectureships play an important role as information relays and even cultural ambassadors. Archival documents from the French and Romanian Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Romanian universities (Iasi and Bucharest) and oral interviews were used for studying lecturers’ actions during the ‘60 and ’70. They allow and ensure contact, better knowledge, and understanding between citizens East and West of the Iron Curtain. French students discover Romania, its language, its culture, its traditions, while Romanians manage to maintain a connection with the French civilizations and, through it, with the western civilization. In this article I argue that despite all the controls carried out by the Romanian authorities, there were exchanges between French and Romanians, proving that the Iron Curtain was permeable. This study also illustrates the complexity of East-West cultural relations during the Cold War.
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