ZOOM WEBINAR: From Trojan Horses to Bridge-Builders: Europe’s Neutral States and the Soviet Union in the Global Cold War
- Date: –16:00
- Location: Via Zoom
- Lecturer: Aryo Makko, Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS. Professor of History, Stockholm University
- Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
- Contact person: Klas Holm
Aryo Makko, SCAS and Stockholm University, gives a seminar on "From Trojan Horses to Bridge-Builders: Europe’s Neutral States and the Soviet Union in the Global Cold War". The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.
In 1988, struggling with both his domestic reforms (perestroika and glasnost) and his country’s position in international affairs, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev described neutrality as an essential element of European politics of considerable importance: “If Europe lost the independent contribution of the neutral states, this would make the potential of international détente much poorer”. This concluded a long transition period in the Kremlin’s position towards neutrality and the neutral states – from outright suspicion under Stalin to acceptance under Brezhnev and appreciation under Gorbachev. Neutrality has been part of the European and World affairs for centuries. It has tended to become an integral part of national identity – organically where it was employed for a long time and as invented tradition or imagined myth where it was not. In the bipolar conflict known as the Cold War, neutrality offered a third way between East and West. Despite the fact that Europe’s neutral states only feared one superpower, the Soviet Union, their historiographies are framed in national and Western-centric fashion. A thorough understanding of neutrality and the foreign policies of neutral states during the Cold War must nonetheless include the Soviet factor. Drawing upon archival sources from several countries, many of which have only recently been declassified, the seminar will address the theory, rhetoric and conduct of European neutrality vis-à-vis the Soviet Union in the Global Cold War.