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Book Talk | Organize the world. Another Cold War Story

Sandrine Kott, University of Geneva

March 28, 2022 · 12:00 pm1:20 pm · Zoom

Center for Collaborative History

Diving into the archives of international organizations – the UN and its agencies, in particular, but also non-governmental organizations and large private foundations – Sandrine Kott reveals another story of the Cold War. These organizations, where actors from worlds in conflict meet and oppose each other, turn out to be places for the joint development of knowledge and projects. They make possible and encourage internationalisms structured around causes that both unite and divide: human and women’s rights, peace, ecology… They promote the idea that it is possible to organize the world by regulating its imbalances and contradictions. Finally and above all, they give voice to a multitude of actors neglected in the great narratives, in particular those of the “Third World” whose demands for justice powerfully marked the international agenda of the period. The Cold War was followed by the era of globalism marked by the generalization of the logic of competition. Their triumph endangers the space for international debate as well as the projects for regulating and organizing the world, which human societies and their natural environments would need, however, more than ever.

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