Call for Papers: The Other Globalisers: How the Socialist and the Non-Aligned World Shaped the Rise of Post-War Economic Globalisation

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University of Exeter, 6-7 July 2017

In the wake of the Second World War, the world economy began to ‘reglobalise’ – following the disintegrative processes of the interwar period. This story has most often been told as the final triumph of a neoliberal international order led by the West. Recent research, however, suggests that the creation of our modern interconnected world was not driven solely by the forces of Western capitalism, nor was it the only model of global economic interdependence that arose in the second half of the twentieth century. This conference aims to rethink the histories of postwar globalisation by focusing on the socialist and non-aligned world, whose roles in the rise of an economically interconnected world have received substantially less attention.

This conference aspires to address a wide variety of processes, practices and projects – such as efforts to create alternative systems of international trade, new business practices, through to theoretical conceptualisations of economic interconnectedness – and examine a broad range of actors, such as e.g. governments, experts, international institutions, and business ventures. It will also explore whether such initiatives were alternative at all: as recent research has suggested, actors from these worlds could be contributors to the emerging neoliberal consensus, as well as to other forms of regional economy and global trade that survive to this day. We also hope to encourage an interdisciplinary dialogue between scholars using different approaches to global interconnectedness, and/or working on a variety of regions (e.g. Latin America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union).

Main questions and themes:

  • theories and models of global economic connectedness: how did actors from the socialist and non-aligned worlds conceptualise e.g. the world economy, global trade;
  • the role of decolonisation, and anti-imperial/revolutionary conflict as a driver of globalisation;
  • the role of socialist and non-aligned actors at international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the United Nations (and associated organs/initiatives/networks such as the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the New International Economic Order, or the Group of 77 developing countries);
  • the role of the development paradigm;
  • cultural approaches to ‘socialist globalisation’, such as the relationship between socialist and non-aligned states’ promotion of economic interconnectedness and their political-cultural values such as solidarity and fraternity;
  • the role of the socialist and non-aligned worlds in creating new forms of trade and markets;
  • the role of socialist and non-aligned involvement in specific sectors and markets, e.g. oil, textiles, coffee, construction, etc.
  • the role of the socialist world in so-called ‘deviant globalisations’, such as in arms sales, drug trafficking and counterfeiting;
  • the role of socialist and Third World banks, financial innovations, new currencies, export credits, and indebtedness;
  • relations/links/influences across economic systems: e.g. collaboration across blocs, collaborations between the non-socialist Third World and socialist Second/Third World, and the impact of alternative economic processes on Western-led globalisation;
  • internal responses and adjustments to globalising forces within the socialist and non-aligned world;
  • the role of globalising economic processes on the survival and collapse of socialist systems across the world;
  • the ongoing histories of these contributions and alternatives in the post-Cold War world.

This conference is the second in a series of events exploring how processes and practices that emerged from the socialist world shaped the re-globalised world of our times.

Abstracts of 300-500 words, together with an accompanying short CV should be submitted to Natalie Taylor ([email protected]) by 18 March 2017.

The selected participants will be notified by the end of March 2017.

Funding opportunities for travel and accommodation are available, but we ask that potential contributors also explore funding opportunities at their home institutions.

Further information about the conference can be found on the 1989 after 1989 Other Globalisers conference page

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.


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