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Conference: The Cold War and the Postcolonial Moment: Prehistory, Aims and Achievements of the Non-Aligned Movement, 50 Years after Belgrade, Zurich, 3-4 June 2011‏

The University of Zurich, Department for Eastern European History, together with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Chair History of the Modern World, and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, cordially invite to the international conference
The Cold War and the Postcolonial Moment
Prehistory, Aims and Achievements of the Non-Aligned Movement 50 Years after Belgrade,
in Zurich, 3 and 4 June 2011.
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 Main building
8:30 Room HG G 60 (Semper Aula)
Opening Ceremony
Welcome Addresses by Prof. Dr. Nada Boškovska, University of Zurich; Prof. Dr. Andreas Fischer, President, University of Zurich; Prof. Dr. Frank Schimmelfennig, Head, Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences ETH; and Prof. Dr. Harald Fischer-Tiné, 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?“
A sort of friendly rivalry exists between Indian and Yugoslav diplomats about who invented non-alignment. This panel aims to explore the origins of the idea, and the contributions from various quarters.
Chair: Prof. Dr. Nada Boškovska, University of Zurich
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
13:30 ETH Alumni Pavillon
Panel II: „Non-Alignment as a Political Movement of Postcolonialism“
The political organization of the Third World was a direct consequence of the decolonization process and the wish of the freedom movements to rid themselves of the colonial past. As such, it represents the political wing of postcolonialism.
Chair: Prof. Dr. Harald Fischer-Tiné, ETH Zurich
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“
NAM was the joint project of the first generation of African and Asian leaders after independence. They devoted a lot of energy and enthusiasm into it, but did not succeed in engaging their respective peoples as well. They remained among themselves, forming a new class of Third World leaders.
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“
Non-Alignment was a reaction to the division of the world into two power blocs. Each country was forced to decide whether to join a superpower alliance or to remain independent. The latter was only possible through isolation, or through cooperation with likeminded states.
Chair: Prof. Dr. Andreas Wenger, ETH Zurich
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
13:30 UZH KO2 F-174
Panel V: „Yugoslavia’s Role in Non-Alignment“
Yugoslavia was the only European state within the NAM which had significant impact on the movement’s decisions and actions. Latest research explores the reasons why.
Chair: Prof. Dr. Jeronim Perović, University of Zurich
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, University of Zurich: „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, University of Zurich
followed by Coffee break
16:15 UZH (Entrance Karl Schmid-Strasse 4), KO2 F-175
Round Table Discussion: „The Non-Aligned Movement after 1989“
With the end of the Cold War, NAM lost its main purpose and and the member states had to decide whether to diverge or to redefine the movement’s aims.
Moderation: 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 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Berne
Admission free
Dr. Nataša Mišković
Historisches Seminar der Universität Zürich
Abt. Osteuropäische Geschichte
Karl Schmid-Str. 4
CH-8006 Zürich