F – Solidarities, internationalisms, and global movements

Solidarities and exclusion under and after the Cold War

Event Details

  • Date

    Saturday, 27 June - 11:00 – 13:00

  • Venue
    tba
  • Theme
    F – Solidarities, internationalisms, and global movements
Convenor
  • Yulia Gradskova (Stockholm University)
Chair
  • Yulia Gradskova (Stockholm University)
Commentator
  • Fredrik Pettersson (Åbo Akademi University)
Panelists
  • Yulia Gradskova (Stockholm University)
  • Nadezda Petrusenko (Umeå University)
  • Irina Gordeeva (Saint Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute)
  • Monica Quirico (Södertörn University)

Papers

  • Yulia Gradskova
    ”The Soviet Women Constantly Support the Struggle of the African People” Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) and its work with women’s organizations from the “Third World”

    ”The Soviet Women Constantly Support the Struggle of the African People” Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF) and its work with women’s organizations from the “Third World”

    The presentation is dedicated to the work of the transnational women’s organization, Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF), for women’s rights in the countries outside of Europe under the Cold War. The WIDF enjoyed support of the Soviet Union and was frequently addressed in the West as the “communist organization” and “the Soviet front”. The presentation analyses how the problems of women from the “Third world” countries were addressed by WIDF’s official documents and how they were discussed in unofficial correspondence and Soviet reports. The study is based on the archive materials preserved in Moscow as well as on WIDF official publications. In spite of initial attempts of attracting women worldwide with the help of maternalism and peace protection, the growth of anti-colonial movements in Asia and Africa, in particular from the late 1950s, made WIDF to expand its agenda and include into its agenda more materials discussing issues of colonialism, Apartheid and racism. The issues of poverty and economic development also became more visible in the discussions of the problems of the “Third world” women and work of their organizations. The presentation shows that introduction of the new ideas and goals not rarely led to conflicts inside of the WIDF’s leadership and among the participants of the WIDF’s congresses from different countries. The issues connected to women’s active participation in military anti-colonial movements and use of “anti-imperialism” provoked particularly big discrepancies. The study of archival documents suggests at the same time that even if WIDF always demonstrated support for the rights of women from the “Third World,” their circumstances and intersectional concerns frequently were ignored by the WIDF’s leadership.
  • Nadezda Petrusenko
    Irina Gordeeva
    Female Transnational Solidarity Beyond Feminism: Cooperation between Peace Activists of Great Britain and USSR in the 1980s

    Female Transnational Solidarity Beyond Feminism: Cooperation between Peace Activists of Great Britain and USSR in the 1980s

    The focus of the presentation is cooperation between British peace activists from Greenham Common peace camp and the Soviet grassroots peace organization “Group for establishing trust between the USSR and USA” (later between East and West) (the Trust Group). The Greenham Common peace camp was established in September 1981 after peace activists arrived at Berkshire, Southern England, to protest against placement of American cruise missiles at Greenham Common air base. The Trust Group was a grassroots peace organization founded in 1982 and persecuted by the Soviet authorities because of its independence from the official Soviet peace movement. In historiography Greenham Common have been often introduced as radical feminists, who asked male peace activists to leave the peace camp in order to organize women only protests. In this context cooperation with the Trust Group, which was a men-dominated organization with no feminist agenda, seems to be an unexpected outcome of Greenham Common’s activism. The current presentation will shed light on that issue. Cooperation between Greenham Common and the Trust Group was based on solidarity, which primarily stemmed from similarities in the goals and ideologies of the two peace movements divided by the Iron Curtain and political goals of their national states. However, that solidarity also had a gendered nature that will be in the focus of presentation. These were Greenham women with more traditional views on women and femininity, who later had to leave the peace camp, who managed to establish relationships with the Trust Group, in the course of protests against arrest and incarceration of Olga Medvedkova, a female Soviet peace activist. On the basis of archival documents and interviews with participants of these events, the presentation will show development of solidarity and trust between British and Soviet peace activists, which later made possible cooperation between two grassroots peace organizations.
  • Monica Quirico
    Contested solidarity: right-wing populist parties’ civic nationalism and Social Democracies’ response in the Nordic countries

    Contested solidarity: right-wing populist parties’ civic nationalism and Social Democracies’ response in the Nordic countries

    While diverse, right-wing populist parties share an important commonality: they all justify a variety of policy positions on socio-economic issues on the basis of an ideology which draws a dividing line between the ingroup and outgroups. This is no longer in terms of ascriptive or organic criteria (as deployed by conventional extreme-right parties) but rather is done through the adoption of a form of civic nationalism, which excludes on the basis of ideological rather than biological criteria those who supposedly do not espouse society’s value consensus (pluralism, stability, equality). The aim of this paper is to analyze how in the Nordic countries right-wing populist parties have reformulated the concept of solidarity in order to advance a vision of democracy which tries to normalize exclusion. In particular, this paper will examine to what extent in the different national contexts their rhetoric has made use of the narrative of the Nordic model and the Welfare State, yet accommodating it to a nationalist frame. At the same time, the response of the Nordic Social Democratic parties will be examined: have they counteract this “misappropriation” of the value of solidarity or on the contrary have they in turn embraced its nationalist redefinition? This paper is part of the research project Democracy in the shadow of Populism: a Nordic way out?, funded by the research hub RENEW (Reimagining Norden in an Evolving World).

Abstract

Solidarity can be seen as an important condition for the functioning of the society; it was also the core idea and practice for many 20th century social movements and transnational and global organizations. The interpretations of the grounds and conditions for solidarity often depend on many factors including political interests of the actors involved, social and cultural contexts as well as from dynamic of global and regional geopolitics. Thus, this panel will contribute to discussion on how geopolitical agendas of the Cold War period and recent changes in political climate impact interpretations of solidarity and its practices for fighting exclusion and discrimination. The first paper (by Yulia Gradskova) discusses the politics of solidarity practiced by one of the biggest transnational women’s organizations of the Cold War period, Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF). The presentation focuses on the contradictions and ambiguities of WIDF’s practices of solidarity with women from Africa, Asia and Latin America, in particular, the presentation explores the conflict between pro-Soviet position of WIDF’s leadership and the demands of women’s organizations from the “Third World”. The second paper (by Nadezda Petrusenko and Irina Gordeeva) also explores solidarity under the Cold War period, but with focus on peace activism. It explores solidarity between Greenham Common peace camp in Great Britain and the Soviet grassroots organization, the Trust group, both marginalized in their home countries. The presentation focuses on development of solidarity beyond feminism between female peace activists on both sides and shows how that solidarity later boosted cooperation between radical feminist Greenham Common and the men-dominated Trust Group.