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Communism between Cold War and decolonization. Issues, sources, interpretations


Tuesday, 25 February 2020 to Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Total hours: 44
Hours of lectures: 40
Hours of supplementary teaching: 4

Examination procedure

  • Report or seminar


The main focus of the course will be on the intersections of international communism with the colonial and post-colonial world, by analysing strategies, influences, and connections between the Soviet Union, Europe, and the Third World in the aftermath of the Second World War. The Cold War and decolonization provided the context for the emergence of the communist "global moment". However, such conjuncture soon exposed deep cleavages between Russia, Europe, and China, which turned out to affect the unity and mission of the "socialist camp". The course will devote particular attention to how communism played a role in anti-imperialist movements in the Global South, and how Cold War-centric approaches influenced that role. Students are expected to take active part in seminars on assigned readings.


Educational Goal: 

Students will have to develop a scholarly understanding of the main issues, interpretations and sources about the intersections between communism, Cold War, and decolonization in the second half of the Twentieth century


Bibliographical references

Silvio Pons, The Global Revolution: A History of International Communism, 1917-1991, Oxford UP, 2014

The Cambridge History of Communism, vol. 2, The Socialist Camp and World Power, edited by Norman Naimark, Silvio Pons and Sophie Quinn-Judge, Cambridge, Cambridge UP, 2017

The Cambridge History of Communism, vol. 3, Endgames? Globalization, Collapse, and Transformations, edited by Juliane Fürst, Silvio Pons and Mark Selden, Cambridge, Cambridge UP, 2017