States of Insecurity

This article highlights three aspects that shaped the regime insecurity in Albania and North Korea: the social dynamics of war and early threats; the challenge presented by de-Stalinization in 1956; and the momentous Sino-Soviet split in the early 1960s. Like the boisterous language of Marxism-Leninism and the drive to engineer a non-capitalist society, insecurity was also built into the Communist international system.

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Mao and the Albanians

The meeting with Mao was arranged in secret, late in the summer of 1967. The two guests, who had come all the way from Albania, explained their mission to the Chairman: editing his Little Red Book of quotations, which the Chinese had recently translated into the Albanian language.



Technology and the Cold War

Reviewing a number of recent contributions, this chapter looks at the connections between Cold War politics, technological innovation, and material demands. At its most conspicuous, this was a race between capitalism and socialism over consumption: everyday conveniences like televisions, washing machines, and modern kitchens. But underlying this race in mundane consumer artifacts were aspirations for a better life, shared by millions across the world, and the pursuit of international prestige and modernization.


Socialist Encounters

This chapter argues for the Eastern bloc as an important level of transnational analysis. The socialist bloc was was more than a geopolitical concept or military alliance; it also came about through formal and informal interactions, coercive and voluntary transfers and circulations enabled by communist parties and centralized economies. Much has been written about post–World War II development politics and modernization campaigns in the Third World, but the transnational history of the so-called Second World has been overlooked.


The Socialist Design

This article argues for the interconnected nature of domestic, international, and Eastern bloc-level dynamics by viewing processes of the Soviet-era Thaw simultaneously from the angles of neighborhood, city, and empire. These angles capture the evolving relationship with the Soviet past, the expansion of the Cold War into everyday city life, and the burgeoning exchange in knowledge, technology, and planning instruments among socialist countries.


Defying De-Stalinization

Drawing on declassified Albanian, Soviet, East German, and Western archival sources, this article investigates the little-known events of 1956 in Albania. It assesses deliberations over security and ideology at the highest levels and shows how tiny Albania came to embody, in exaggerated form, both the promises and the perils of socialist exchange, in addition to mirroring the profound inconsistencies of Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization campaign.