Call for Papers
The Economics of the Cold War
Sixth international conference in a series “Between ‘Total War’ and ‘Small Wars’: Studies in the Societal History of the Cold War”
Hamburg Institute for Social Research, Hamburg, Germany, 2–4 September 2009
Convenors: Bernd Greiner, Christian Th. Müller, Dierk Walter, Claudia Weber
The confrontation and competition of two antagonistic economic systems was an integral part of the Cold War, as Cold War “warfare” was played out in the realm of economic, trade, and social policies. Yet in spite of the crucial role of the economic sector in the Cold War, there is still a considerable need for systematic research and, in particular, for work with a diachronic and comparative international perspective.
The conference will address the following central questions:
- How was economic development shaped by the Cold War?
- How was the Cold War waged in the economic sector?
- What are the salient features of an economic history of the Cold War?
- To what extent and how can economic, trade-related, and socio-political policies that directly served the goals of the Cold War be isolated reliably from the more general effects of modernization?
Besides considering the super powers and great powers, contributions are welcome which pay special attention to minor actors, especially those at the periphery of the bloc confrontation.
We would like to focus on the following thematic clusters:
1) General surveys of the economic history of the Cold War, the history of economic warfare, and the development of national economies
2) Economic and social effects of defense spending in free market economies vs. command economies
3) The competition of economic systems in the spheres of living standards, social welfare, and infrastructure (“Schaufensterkonzept”, “Magnettheorie”)
4) Types of development aid within the rivalry of the opposing systems and criteria for its allocation (economic aid, armaments, education)
5) International economic organizations such as the IMF, OECD, Comecon, and their effects on the economic development of the respective member states
6) Economic warfare versus economic cooperation beyond the logic of bloc confrontation
7) Ecological effects of economic policies in the service of the Cold War
The conference language is English. The Hamburg Institute for Social Research will reimburse travel expenses (second-class train fare or economy-class air fare for long-distance travel) and provide accommodations during the conference for all invited participants.
Please send proposals (one to two pages) by 15 April 2009 to the Hamburg Institute for Social Research at
Invited speakers will be expected to submit a paper of no more than 15 pages in length on the topic proposed by 1 August 2009.
Dr. Christian Th. Müller
Hamburg Institute for Social Research
+49 40 41 40 97 76 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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