Alternative histories of non-hegemonic foreign policy

Influence of Choice: Alternative histories of non-hegemonic foreign policy in the Cold War

London School of Economics, 3-4 December 2020

Deadline: 30 August 2020


Theoretical understandings of international relations since the Second World War have often defined a nation’s position in terms of neutrality or alliance, of the East or the West. Directional discussions of relations between small and big states have tended to be cast in hegemonic terms of weak versus the powerful. In the vein of new Cold War history (Krotz, Patel & Romero, 2019) the hitherto underestimated role of small states has often been mentioned but has been little researched in determining detail (Kullaa, 2013). The aim of this workshop is to recast the history of the influence of non-hegemonic states on Cold War international relations, and to offer an alternative narrative to the transformative impact (Ther, 2014) and evolution of the Cold War through empirical case studies. Our driving question is: what can we add to our understanding of international relations history if we explore multiple other determining factors of choice in foreign policy during the Cold War (Ackarya, 2008)?

While acknowledging the power and influence of non-hegemonic actors in international relations, such as civil society and transnational movements, our focus will be also on the state’s foreign policy apparatus. More specifically, our objective is to retell a global history of the Cold War not having the United States or the Soviet Union serving as a specific vantage point, but instead inquire into the agency of non-hegemonic states and into their perception of the use of nonhegemony:

  • How did non-hegemonic states elaborate and manifest ideas of modernisation and transformation in arenas and areas such as international organisations, science diplomacy, aviation/technology and development, to name a few, during the Cold War?
  • How did these states localise and repatriate foreign policy ideas?
  • What were their preferable instruments for exerting international influence?

In order to answer these questions, we have to look beyond the traditional arsenal of foreign policy tools and focus on alternative methods with which states questioned both materially and ideationally the hegemonic structure of the international system. Thus, in answering these questions we want to be more imaginative with our sources in order to capture the multiplicity of different narratives (Bradley, 2017) and offer an empirical expose of Cold War histories (Romero, 2015).

This workshop will be held 3 and 4 December 2020. It will be hosted by LSE but due to COVID-19, the event will be held entirely online.

This workshop is funded by the Academy of Finland.


We invite proposals consisting of an abstract of no more than 300 words in addition to a CV. These should be sent to and by 30 August 2020.


Organizers: Rinna Kullaa, University of Tampere; Wolgang Mueller, University of Vienna; Eirini Karamouzi, University of Sheffield; Luc-André Brunet, The Open University; Roham Alvandi, London School of Economics

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Citer ce billet
Emilia Robin (2020, 25 août). Alternative histories of non-hegemonic foreign policy. Faire l'histoire de la guerre froide. Consulté le 19 juin 2024, à l’adresse

Emilia Robin

Chercheuse associée à l'UMR SIRICE. Violons d'Ingres : guerre froide, médiation scientifique, logiciels libres

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