Brazil and the Cold War in Latin America:
New Research and New Sources
Centre for International Relations, CPDOC - FGV
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 27-28 September 2010
In recent years new research has underscored how different the Cold War looked when viewed from the global South. In taking developments from the 'periphery' seriously, new international Cold War historians are increasingly focusing on de-centred narratives, examining interactive links between global, regional, national and local events, ideas and people along the way.
This conference set out to draw on recent archival openings, published memoirs and oral history projects to understand what significance the Cold War had for Latin America. Was Latin America's Cold War a regional theatre of the global conflict or was it a distinct phenomenon? Did the Cold War mean the same to people viewing it from different parts of that region? How did the global Cold War impact upon the concept of 'Latin America'? How significant were regional events and different countries' experiences for the evolution of the global Cold War? And, consequently, what was the relationship between the region's Cold War dynamics and international dimensions of a conflict that in one way or another affected people around the globe?
With these questions in mind, Brazil's story is a particularly intriguing case that needs further examination within the context of new studies of the Cold War. Where does Brazil fit into the historical narrative of the Cold War, and how did that global conflict shape political life in Brazil? What are the connections between the Cold War and cycles of democracy, dictatorship and modernization in the country? What was Brazil's role in fighting the Cold War in South America? Why did a right-wing military dictatorship resist close cooperation with the United States, and why did it support Marxist movements in Africa? How did the global revolutions of 1968, 1979 and 1989 play out in the Brazilian context? For those of us interested in the global dynamics of the Cold War story an examination of Brazil's experience will open new avenues for research.
The Latin America International Affairs Programme at LSE IDEAS and the Center for International Relations at the Social Sciences and History School/CPDOC of Fundação Getulio Vargas have teamed up to organize a two-day international conference in Rio de Janeiro on 27 and 28 September 2010. The aim of the conference – which is partly funded by the British Academy's UK-Latin America Link Programme – is first and foremost to bring scholars working on international histories of Brazil and the Cold War in Latin America together to talk about their research and exchange ideas. We plan to publish selected papers in an edited volume and special journal issues in Brazil and the UK.