The World System of Socialism and global economics in mid 1950s-mid 1970s: the evolution of economic and technological leadership of the USSR

Seminar talk by Prof Mikhail Lipkin (Director of the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences), on Thursday 12 April 2018 at 14:45 – Sala A. De Gasperi, Villa Salviati, Via Bolognese 156, 50139 Florence, Italy

Prof Lipkin will present results of the on-going research project of the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences funded by the Russian Scientific Foundation (RNF, project 17-18-01728) as well as his own book from which the idea of such a project originated (The Soviet Union and Integration Processes in Europe: mid 1940-s – late 1960-s. Moscow, 2016).
The study is based on new evidences from more than 13 archives, including the key Russian archives: The State Archive of Modern History (RGANI), The State Archive of Economics (RGAE), the State Archive of the Russian Federation (GARF) and others. The project’s aim is to better understand the real nature of the “world system of socialism”, both in theory and practice. The focus is given to strategic goals and means of their realization by various “teams” in the Soviet government, one of its aims is to reveal the ruptures and continuity between the notionally named “Khrushchev” and “Brezhnev” epochs, and to trace the links between diplomacy, trade and science (technological development) of the Soviet global project.

The presentation will focus on the following aspects:

  • The Soviet Union, Eastern Bloc and global economics after Stalin: regional and global tendencies beyond the Cold War.
  • Ideology and system reforms: a link between inner and external changes. New CMEA as a heart of the world system of socialism. The new story of Nikita Khrustchev’s grand design in the late 1950-s – early 1960s.
  • The time of “concentration”: pragmatism versus ideology. Challenges and opportunities of the world system of socialism in late 1960s–early 1970s. The China threat of 1969 and course towards CSCE. Détente and economic and technological security as viewed from Moscow. “White halls” in the Soviet and global history of 1970s.

Seminar readings