The Cold War and the Postcolonial Moment. Prehistory, Aims and Achievements of the Non-Aligned Movement, 50 Years after Belgrade

The Cold War and the Postcolonial Moment. Prehistory, Aims and Achievements of the Non-Aligned Movement, 50 Years after Belgrade

Abteilung für Osteuropäische Geschichte, Historisches Seminar, Universität Zürich; Geschichte der Modernen Welt, ETH Zürich; Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi
Freitag: ETHZ, Hauptgebäude (Semper Aula HG G 60) und Alumni Pavillon; Samstag: UZH Eingang Karl Schmid-Str., KO2 F 174/175
Vom - Bis
03.06.2011 - 04.06.2011
Miskovic, Natasa

In September 1961, the first conference of non-aligned nations took place in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. The idea behind the meeting was not new to many of the assembled delegates. Freedom activists from the European colonies in Asia, Africa, and South America had been discussing issues such as resistance against imperialism and peaceful coexistence for decades already, often together with pacifist and socialist intellectuals from Europe. They had gathered in Brussels in February 1927 in a conference of the League against Imperialism, and then in Bandung in April 1955. There, the newly independent nations of Asia and Africa attempted to organize themselves as the joint voice of the Third World, an illusion which almost instantly dissolved.

For Tito’s Yugoslavia, non-alignment became a matter of survival after its break with the Soviet Union and its refusal to join the NATO pact. Tito was quick to pick up the idea of peaceful coexistence and to wrap it into a new ideology. The special relationship developing between Tito, Nehru and Nasser after the Brioni Meeting of 1956, enabled Tito to host the Belgrade Conference of 1961. The new Movement of non-aligned states, united until today by minimal common goals and administration, was finally successful in offering the countries of Asia, Africa and South America a platform to speak together as one voice in forums such as the United Nations.

This conference remembers Belgrade 1961 by looking back at the ideological beginnings of the NAM in the times of the freedom movements and the founding of postcolonial states, examining the influence of its intellectual and political leaders, analyzing Yugoslavia’s role in the Movement, and discussing NAM’s function after the end of the Cold War, uniting senior and junior researchers and professionals from area studies, world history, political sciences and diplomacy.


Friday, 3 June 2011
Venue: ETH (Opening: Semper Aula; Panels: Alumni Pavillon)

8:30 Room HG G 60 (Semper Aula)
Opening Ceremony
Welcome Addresses:
Prof. Dr. Nada Boškovska, Chair of Eastern European History, UZH
Prof. Dr. Andreas Fischer, President, University of Zurich
Prof. Dr. Frank Schimmelfennig, Head, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences ETH
Prof. Dr. Harald Fischer-Tiné, Chair History of the Modern World, ETH

Key Note Addresses:
Prof. em. Dr. Dietmar Rothermund, University of Heidelberg: „The Era of Non-Alignment“
Budimir Lončar, former Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia, Head of the President’s Advisory Board on Foreign Policy and International Relations, Zagreb (Croatia)


10:30 ETH Alumni Pavillon
Panel I: „Who invented Non-Alignment?“

Chair: Prof. Dr. Nada Boškovska (UZH)
Prof. Dr. Madeleine Herren (University of Heidelberg): Introduction
Maria Framke (Jacobs University, Bremen): „The 1930s in India: the formative period for non-alignment?“
Prof. Dr. Mridula Mukherjee (Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi): „Nehru and the Non-Aligned Movement: Some Reflections“
Prof. Dr. Čedomir Štrbac (Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belgrade): „Coexistence and Non-Alignment in Yugoslav Foreign Policy“

12:30 Lunch buffet at ETH Alumni Pavillon

13:30 ETH Alumni Pavillon
Panel II: „Non-Alignment as a Political Movement of Postcolonialism“

Chair: Prof. Dr. Harald Fischer-Tiné (ETH)
Carolien Stolte (University of Leiden): „‚The Asiatic Hour’: The Asian Relations Conference (New Delhi 1947) as a Transitional Phase in Asian Relations“
Prof. Dr. Kweku Ampiah (University of Leeds): „The Non-aligned Movement and its References to the Bandung Conference“
Jürgen Dinkel (University of Giessen): „‚To grab the Headlines in the World Press’. Non-Aligned Summits as Media Events“
Prof. Dr. Itty Abraham (University of Texas, Austin): „The Necessity of Recognition: A Prolegomena to Non-Alignment as Movement“

15:30 Coffee break

16:00 ETH Alumni Pavillon
Panel III: „NAM as a Project of the Postcolonial Elites“

Chair: Prof. Dr. Corinne Pernet (University of St. Gallen)
Ambassador Chandrashekhar Dasgupta (Former Indian Foreign Service, New Delhi): „India’s Relations with the Commonwealth and its Influence on Foreign Policy“
Prof. Dr. Naoko Shimazu (Birkbeck College, University of London): „The Festival of Nations: A Cultural History of the Bandung Conference“
Dr. Elham Manea (Department for Political Science, University of Zurich): „Arab Elites in the Middle East during the 1950s“
Prof. Dr. Aditya Mukherjee (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi): „The Economic Foundations of Non-Alignment“

Saturday, 4 June 2011
Venue: University of Zurich (building KO2, entrance Karl Schmid-Strasse 4)

9:30 UZH KO2 F-174
Panel IV: „The NAM as a Cold War Necessity“

Chair: Prof. Dr. Andreas Wenger (ETH)
Prof. Dr. Gopalan Balachandran, Graduate Institute, Geneva): „Recuperating the Global South: Super-Power Rivalries, Non-Alignment, and the Politics of Historical Memory“
Dr. Bhashyam Kasturi (Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi): „Nehru’s Strategic Vision and Non-Alignment“
Dr. Amit Das Gupta (Institute of Contemporary History, Berlin): „The Non-Aligned and the German Question“
Prof. Dr. Lorenz Lüthi (McGill University, Montreal): „The Non-Aligned: Apart from and still within the Cold War“

12:00 Lunch at Restaurant Linde

13:30 UZH KO2 F-174
Panel V: „Yugoslavia’s Role in Non-Alignment“

Chair: Prof. Dr. Jeronim Perović (UZH)
Prof. Dr. Jože Pirjevec (University of Primorska, Koper): „The First Steps of Yugoslav Non-Aligned Foreign Policy: Ambassadors Djerdja and Vilfan in New Delhi“
Dr. Svetozar Rajak (London School of Economics, London): „Yugoslav–Soviet Normalization, 1953-1956 and the Beginning of the Yugoslav Road to Non-alignment“
Dr. Nataša Mišković (UZH): „Belgrade and the First Summit of the Non-Aligned“
Prof. Dr. Tvrtko Jakovina (University of Zagreb): „Yugoslavia and the Non-Aligned Movement in the 1970s and 1980s“

15:30 Concluding Remarks
Prof. Dr. Mridula Mukherjee (Nehru Memorial Museum and Library)
Dr. Nataša Mišković (UZH)

15:45 Coffee break

16:15 UZH KO2 F-175
Public Round Table: „The Non-Aligned Movement after 1989“

Chair: Dr. Bernard Imhasly, former correspondent Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Mumbai
— Budimir Lončar, former Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia, Head of the President’s Advisory Board on Foreign Policy and International Relations, Zagreb (Croatia)
— Ambassador Rajiv Sikri, Former Indian Foreign Service, New Delhi
— Prof. Dr. Ivan Iveković, American University in Cairo, former Yugoslav Ambassador to Egypt, Cairo
— Dr. Claude Altermatt, Special Emissary to State Secretary, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Berne


Nataša Mišković

Universität Zürich, Historisches Seminar, Abteilung Osteuropäische Geschichte
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