Warsaw Pact Intervention in the Third World: Aid and Influence in the Cold War

Warsaw Pact Intervention in the Third World: Aid and Influence in the Cold War, edited by Philip Muehlenbeck and Natalia Telepneva.

In April 2018, I.B. Tauris published Warsaw Pact Intervention in the Third World: Aid and Influence in the Cold War, edited by Philip Muehlenbeck and Natalia Telepneva. 

It was long assumed that the Soviet Union dictated Warsaw Pact policy in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America (known as the ‘Third World’ during the Cold War). Although the post-1991 opening of archives has demonstrated this to be untrue, there has still been no holistic volume examining the topic in detail. Such a comprehensive and nuanced treatment is virtually impossible for the individual scholar thanks to the linguistic and practical difficulties in satisfactorily covering all of the so-called ‘junior members’ of the Warsaw Pact. This important book fills that void and examines the agency of these states – Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania – and their international interactions during the ‘discovery’ of the ‘Third World’ from the 1950s to the 1970s. Building upon recent scholarship and working from a diverse range of new archival sources, contributors study the diplomacy of the eastern and central European communist states to reveal their myriad motivations and goals (importantly often in direct conflict with Soviet directives).

This work, the first revisionist review of the role of the junior members as a whole, will be of interest to all scholars of the Cold War, whatever their geographical focus.

Drawing on recently declassified materials from the archive of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, my chapter argues that the July 1963 proposal regarding the admission of the Mongolian People’s Republic into the Warsaw Pact Organization was blocked by Romania’s opposition, an aspect rarely mentioned by the existing scholarship. Presenting Bucharest’s reasons for this opposition, and the tactics that it used to secure its success, my
study challenges the received wisdom regarding not only the ability of the USSR to control a junior ally such as Romania but also the capacity of the latter to successfully pursue its own interests, even when these contradicted the (perceived) common interest of the socialist camp or the USSR’s (perceived) objectives. Generally, there is little information on Mongolia’s attempted accession to the WPO, and the findings advanced by this study, corroborated with evidence from other Eastern European archives, could create a better understanding of the event, in general, and of Romania’s independence (or autonomy) within the Warsaw Pact, in particular.

Philip Muehlenbeck is a professorial lecturer in history at the George Washington University. He is author of Czechoslovakia in Africa, 1945-1968 and Betting on the Africans: John F. Kennedy’s Courting of African Nationalist Leaders, as well as editor of several collections.

Natalia Telepneva is a post-doctoral fellow at University College London and a member of the international Socialism Goes Global research project team. She completed her PhD at the London School of Economics.

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: International Library of Twentieth Century History

ISBN: 9781788310550
Publication Date: 29 Apr 2018
Number of Pages: 336
Height: 216
Width: 138

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