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A maverick in the making: Romania’s de-Satellization process and the Global Cold War (1953-1963)

Mavrodin, Corina (2017) A maverick in the making: Romania’s de-Satellization process and the Global Cold War (1953-1963). PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.yga3fy894zom


This research project explores Romania’s process of detachment from Moscow from 1953 to 1963 within the context of the global Cold War. Through a multi-archival investigation, the dissertation investigates the first full process of peaceful de-satellization within the Eastern bloc by considering the broader framework of the bipolar international climate. In so doing, it provides both a bottom-up, as well as a top-down analysis. This project focuses, in particular, on the tenure of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej (1947-65), Romania’s first Communist leader, as it was under his leadership that the country shifted from complete subservience to the Soviet Union to political and economic autonomy. In 1958, Romania negotiated a full troop withdrawal, remaining the only Warsaw Pact country without Soviet military presence until the fall of the Berlin Wall. And by 1963, it also dared to challenge Moscow’s plans for economic specialization within COMECON, thereby asserting its sovereign right to pursue national interest over the greater socialist good, and thus stymying the Kremlin’s initiative for an integrated bloc economy. This project provides an in-depth investigation into the reasons why Romania was able to boldly confront the Soviet Union without fear of retribution, by tracing the process through which Dej gradually removed Romania’s political straightjacket, and exploring those elements within the international climate which allowed him to negotiate Romania’s detachment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Corina Mavrodin
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Departments > International History
Supervisor: Ludlow, N. Piers and Westad, Arne

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