Austin Jersild


Prof. Austin Jersild
(Old Dominion University, Virginia, USA)


A United Front of "Colored Peoples": The Socialist World and the Nonalignment Movement, 1955-1975

In his current project, Austin Jersild explores the history of the Nonaligned Movement during the Cold War from the perspective of the socialist world and its many rivalries and conflicts. The makers of Soviet foreign policy relied heavily on allies such as the German Democratic Republic and Czechoslovakia, countries that in turn had their own interests in the search for influence in the many newly independent states of the Third World. As a former socialist bloc alliance member, China was frustrated by the limitations and weaknesses of bloc exchange and collaboration, and claimed for itself a special role in the promotion of revolution in the less developed countries of the world. The Sino-Soviet rivalry after 1960 encouraged Third World leaders to pose questions about diverse forms of imperialism, which socialist bloc leaders found frustrating and challenging. The multilingual archival research, including ministry of foreign affairs material in Berlin and Prague, explores the increasing fragmentation of a socialist world that now included new debates about models of development in the Third World, the nature of agrarian societies, solidarity among peoples of color, the special features of Chinese society, and the differences between Europe and Asia.

Austin Jersild is Professor of History at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and an Affiliate of the Graduate Program in International Studies. He is the author of Orientalism and Empire: North Caucasus Mountain Peoples and the Georgian Frontier, 1845-1917 (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2002), and The Sino-Soviet Alliance: An International History (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014). This latter book was selected as a 2015 Choice Outstanding Academic Title, and received Honorable Mention for the Marshall Shulman Prize from the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies. His articles have appeared in American Historical Review, Cold War History, Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History, Modern China Studies, Slavic Review, and other places.

He was a research fellow at the Berlin Center for Cold War Studies in 2015/16.

Berlin Center for Cold War Studies
Blog Post | Research on the Sino-Soviet rivalry in the Third World | 01/12/2016

Brown Bag Breakfast # 3 | Projektvorstellung am Berliner Kolleg Kalter Krieg | 01/12/2016 (in German)

Article | Socialist exhibits and Sino-Soviet relations, 1950–60, Cold War History 18 (2018) | 8/29/2018

Book Review | Austin Jersild on Zhihua Shen and Yafeng Xia, Mao and the Sino-Soviet Partnership, 1945-1959: A New History (New York, 2015), H-Diplo Roundtable XVIII, 17 | 02/27/2017