The International Union of Students and Student Internationalism in the Cold War

Monday, 29 April 2024, 18:30
Department of Contemporary History, Seminar Room 1
Spitalgasse 2-4/Hof 1, 1090 Vienna

The International Union of Students - IUS - was one of the most influential student NGOs during the Cold War. As a socialist-oriented student federation, it has been interpreted by historians as a "communist front organization". This lecture offers a different interpretation, reflecting the debate on the Global Cold War and the impact of decolonization, the role of the IUS and Prague (where it was based) in the transnational socialist network, and last but not least, also the history of student internationalism and the changing role of students as a social group in the society in the 20th century.

Mikuláš Pešta is a researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History, Czech Academy of Science, and anassistant professor at the Institute of World History at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Research Center for the History of Transformations at the University of Vienna. He focuses on the contacts between Czechoslovakia and the African and Asian countries and national liberation movements in the field of education, cultural diplomacy, ideology, or secret services. Currently, he researches the role of Prague-based international organizations and student internationalism during the Cold War and beyond.

This event is co-organised with the Research Group New Cold War Studies.