Economic History Workshop - "Organizing the World: Planning and Engineering in Cold War Europe"

Economic History Workshop
Event date: 
October 24, 2019 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Sandrine Kott
Université de Genève
Seminar Series: 
Economic History Workshop
Co-Sponsored by: 
The Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy & Finance

"Organizing the World: Planning and Engineering in Cold War Europe"

Sandrine Kott, Université de Genève

Far from being specific to the Communist experience, planning, engineering and regulating thoughts and practices were part of a common European history since the 19th century. This is well reflected in the foundation and the work of international organizations. During the Cold War societies and regimes in the West as well as in the East shared the belief in their ability to plan, to engineer social and economic processes and were also eager to exemplify their respective models, and were promoting two competing internationalisms. Meanwhile, this same belief made mutual interest and collaboration possible and even desirable depending on the general political context. In this contribution, Kott will look at possible forms of mutual interest, circulation of ideas and models in a “pan-European” area and the role that international organizations played as fora and platforms where ideas and know-how were shaped and exchanged.

Sandrine Kott is Professor at the University of Geneva where she teaches contemporary international and European History, she is also invited Professor at NYU. Among her last books: Day to Day Communism. State Enterprises in East German Society, Michigan, MUP, 2014, Sozialstaat und Gesellschaft. Das deutsche Kaiserreich in Europa, Göttingen, Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, Kritische Studien, 2014 and the following co-edited volumes (with Joëlle Droux), Globalizing social rights. The ILO and beyond, London, Palgrave, 2013, (with Kiran Klaus Patel), Nazism across Borders. The Social Policies of the Third Reich and their Global Appeal, Oxford University Press, 2018, (with Michel Christian and Ondrej Matejka) Planning in Cold War Europe. Competition, Cooperation, circulation (1950s-1970s), Oldenburg, De Gruyter, 2018.

Liane Hewitt
Area of Interest: 
Economic History
20th Century