The 1960s inaugurated a new period both in European and in Mediterranean history: On the one hand détente was firmly established in the aftermath of the Berlin and Cuban Missile crises. On the other hand, the end of the decolonisation process in Northern Africa gave birth to new sovereign states which rapidly appeared to be potential allies for the two superpowers. It was in this same decade that the Six Day War, in 1967, revived the Arab-Israeli conflict. These factors collectively gave significance to the Mediterranean area in international relations as a centre of major interests during the last two decades of the Cold War. The Western attention to this region, from the United States and from Western Europe, has been subject of thorough research since the 1990s. But the relations between the Eastern bloc and the Mediterranean countries (Europe, Near East, Northern Africa) have received far less attention. This workshop aims at taking stock of the research perspectives in this field.
The workshop focuses on the place of the Mediterranean countries in the foreign politics of the USSR and the Eastern European countries (member states of the Warsaw Pact and Yugoslavia) within the context of détente and subsequent increased tensions. It comprises foreign relations of political, diplomatic and economic nature only between Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean area, both at bilateral and multilateral level. The period of research stretches from 1967 to 1989. One of the essential aspects of the conference is the focus on both foreign politics of the two areas without privileging a one-way analysis. Research on the Mediterranean perception of the Eastern bloc and its members is thus greatly encouraged.
Themes to be discussed might include, but are not limited to:
- The relations of the USSR and its allies with the Arab world and Israel.
- The weight of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the East-West relations.
- The impact of the energy crisis
- The stakes of the end of the Iberian dictatorships in the eyes of the international communist movement
- The politics of détente of France and Italy towards the Eastern European countries
- The place of Yugoslavia in the Mediterranean and in the communist world during the last decade of the Tito era and after his death.
- The Cyprus problem and the significance for the member states of the Warsaw pact.
- Northern Africa, between socialist sympathies and non-alignment.
- The role of the European Community in Mediterranean and East West relations.
- The Mediterranean and the end of the Cold War
- The approach of Libya to the USSR as a corollary to the development of a relationship with the « marxist » African states
- The problem of the Maltese neutrality and the associated relations with the Eastern European countries and the USSR.
Interested researchers are kindly requested to send a summary of their paper, include: the title of the paper, a summary of its content (no more than 1,500 characters), including the indication of the main archival sources (if any) of the contribution, and a brief vita before 13 July 2011 to the members of the steering committee
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