CfP: The Tito-Stalin split 70 years after

Call for papers, deadline 15 February 2018


Zagreb, June 29, 2018, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Department of History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb and Department of History, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana.  

The announcement of the Information Bureau Resolution of 28 June 1948 initiated the break between Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, which would quickly turn into one of the most important events of the early phase of the Cold War. It was the first major conflict in the theretofore monolithic international communist movement and it remained a permanent reference for communist parties that wanted to become ideologically and politically emancipated from Moscow. For socialist Yugoslavia, it remained the most important, defining, event of its history. One of the outcomes of the break in this aspect was the specific development of Yugoslavia, which remained communist, but was able to articulate its own path both in the internal and foreign policy stage. This led to the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement, an organization bringing together states independent of the Western or the Eastern Bloc. This is the main reason why Yugoslavia and its leader Josip Broz Tito became an important factor in Cold War international relations. The Break of 1948 also initiated a series of processes in the internal Yugoslav ideological, economic and social spheres. During the conflict (1948-1956) Yugoslav secret police (UDBA), motivated by fear of an internal coup and an outside military intervention, carried out a wave of arrests of real and alleged Stalin supporters („ibeovci)“ who mostly ended up in camps (Goli otok, Sveti Grgur) and prisons where they were exposed to physical and psychological abuse and severe physical labor. In addition, the separation from Moscow initiated reforms of the system, organization of the state and Party, primarily focusing on limited political, economic and administrative decentralization and liberalization. The efforts to become emancipated from Soviet and home-grown Stalinism spurred various processes in social, cultural, artistic and other forms of Yugoslav life.

The aim of the conference is to bring together scientists whose ideas and work contribute to new interpretations of the different aspects of the Tito-Stalin conflict. We are especially interested in contributions on the following topics:

- Tito-Stalin conflict in the context of the Cold War

- Repression of Stalin's supporters („ibeovci“)

- Attempts at ideological emancipation from Moscow and redefinition of communist ideology

- Tito-Stalin conflict as a turning point in ideological conceptualization of art

- The emigration of „ibeovci“during and after the conflict

- The influence of the Yugoslav example on other Eastern Bloc countries (Hungary 1956 and Czechoslovakia 1968)

- Intelligence agencies and Tito-Stalin conflict

- 1948 and the reorganization of the Yugoslav federation

- The propaganda war and Tito-Stalin conflict

- Historiography on 1948

Please send proposed topics, abstracts (300 words) and a CV by 15 February 2018 to Notice of acceptance by 1 March 2018.

Publication of conference proceedings is planned, with December 2018 as the deadline for submitting papers.