Eglė Rindzevičiūtė: The Power of Systems: How Policy Sciences Opened Up the Cold War World (2016)

28 January 2021, dusan

“In The Power of Systems, Eglė Rindzevičiūtė introduces readers to one of the best-kept secrets of the Cold War: the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), an international think tank established by the U.S. and Soviet governments to advance scientific collaboration. From 1972 until the late 1980s IIASA in Austria was one of the very few permanent platforms where policy scientists from both sides of the Cold War divide could work together to articulate and solve world problems. This think tank was a rare zone of freedom, communication, and negotiation, where leading Soviet scientists could try out their innovative ideas, benefit from access to Western literature, and develop social networks, thus paving the way for some of the key science and policy breakthroughs of the twentieth century.

Ambitious diplomatic, scientific, and organizational strategies were employed to make this arena for cooperation work for global change. Under the umbrella of the systems approach, East-West scientists co-produced computer simulations of the long-term world future and the anthropogenic impact on the environment, using global modeling to explore the possible effects of climate change and nuclear winter. Their concern with global issues also became a vehicle for transformation inside the Soviet Union. The book shows how computer modeling, cybernetics, and the systems approach challenged Soviet governance by undermining the linear notions of control on which Soviet governance was based and creating new objects and techniques of government.”

Publisher Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 2016
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License
ISBN 9781501703188, 1501703188
xi+292 pages

Reviews: Roundtable: Barbara Czarniawska, Jenny Andersson, Claudia Aradau, Paul Rubinson, author’s response (H-Diplo, 2019), Kristine C. Harper (Isis, 2018), Benjamin Peters (Slavic Review, 2019), Gerald Easter (American Historical Review, 2018), Jeanne Morefield (J History of Ideas, 2020), Laurent Coumel (Cahiers du monde russe, 2018, FR), Una Bergmane (Lithuanian Historical Studies, 2018), Christian Dayé (Serendipities, 2018).

Publisher, (2)

PDF (19 MB)

James Mark, Artemy Kalinovsky, Steffi Marung (eds.): Alternative Globalizations: Eastern Europe and the Postcolonial World (2020)

6 October 2020, dusan

“Globalization has become synonymous with the seemingly unfettered spread of capitalist multinationals, but this focus on the West and western economies ignores the wide variety of globalizing projects that sprang up in the socialist world as a consequence of the end of the European empires. This collection is the first to explore alternative forms of globalization across the socialist world during the Cold War. Gathering the work of established and upcoming scholars of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China, Alternative Globalizations addresses the new relationships and interconnections which emerged between a decolonizing world in the postwar period and an increasingly internationalist eastern bloc after the death of Stalin. In many cases, the legacies of these former globalizing impulses from the socialist world still exist today. Divided into four sections, the works gathered examine the economic, political, developmental, and cultural aspects of this exchange. In doing so, the authors break new ground in exploring this understudied history of globalization and provide a multifaceted study of an increasing postwar interconnectedness across a socialist world.”

Publisher Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2020
ISBN 9780253046505, 0253046505
vii+341 pages

Reviews: Jelena Đureinović (Studies of Transition States and Societies, 2020), Markus Sattler (Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2020), Ondřej Bělíček (A2larm, 2020, CZ).

Interviews with co-author (James Mark): Zoltán Ginelli (LeftEast, 2020, Part 2, Part 3).

Project website

PDF (7 MB)

Łukasz Stanek: Architecture in Global Socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War (2020)

28 September 2020, dusan

“In the course of the Cold War, architects, planners, and construction companies from socialist Eastern Europe engaged in a vibrant collaboration with those in West Africa and the Middle East in order to bring modernization to the developing world. Architecture in Global Socialism shows how their collaboration reshaped five cities in the Global South: Accra, Lagos, Baghdad, Abu Dhabi, and Kuwait City.

Łukasz Stanek describes how local authorities and professionals in these cities drew on Soviet prefabrication systems, Hungarian and Polish planning methods, Yugoslav and Bulgarian construction materials, Romanian and East German standard designs, and manual laborers from across Eastern Europe. He explores how the socialist development path was adapted to tropical conditions in Ghana in the 1960s, and how Eastern European architectural traditions were given new life in 1970s Nigeria. He looks at how the differences between socialist foreign trade and the emerging global construction market were exploited in the Middle East in the closing decades of the Cold War. Stanek demonstrates how these and other practices of global cooperation by socialist countries—what he calls socialist worldmaking—left their enduring mark on urban landscapes in the postcolonial world.

Featuring an extensive collection of previously unpublished images, Architecture in Global Socialism draws on original archival research on four continents and a wealth of in-depth interviews. This incisive book presents a new understanding of global urbanization and its architecture through the lens of socialist internationalism, challenging long-held notions about modernization and development in the Global South.”

Publisher Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2020
ISBN 0691168709, 9780691168708
368 pages

Reviews: Gregor Harbusch (BauNetz, 2020), Alexander Adams (The Critic, 2020), Owen Hatherley (The Guardian, 2020).

Interview with author (Hilde Heynen & Sebastiaan Loosen, Architectural Histories, 2019)


PDF (55 MB, updated on 2021-4-13)