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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

THE SLOVENES IN YUGOSLAV DIPLOMACY AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS ACTIVITIES IN THE PERIOD BETWEEN 1941 AND 1980: OUTSTANDING ISSUES AND RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.01.00  Humanities  Historiography   

Code Science Field
H271  Humanities  Political history 

Code Science Field
6.01  Humanities  History and Archaeology 
Keywords
History of Diplomacy, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Paradiplomacy, 1941-1980, Yugoslavia, Slovenes, Cominform, Cross-border Cooperation, Non-Aligned Movement, the Border Question
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (10)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  22467  PhD Gorazd Bajc  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2013  377 
2.  10728  PhD Darko Darovec  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2012  513 
3.  17057  PhD Aleksej Kalc  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2013  404 
4.  24376  PhD Borut Klabjan  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  355 
5.  12648  PhD Egon Pelikan  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  264 
6.  17051  PhD Jože Pirjevec  Historiography  Head  2011 - 2014  797 
7.  19632  PhD Andrej Rahten  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  557 
8.  30859  PhD Jure Ramšak  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2013  127 
9.  31316  PhD Monica Rebeschini  Humanities  Researcher  2011 - 2013  50 
10.  15635  PhD Mateja Režek  Historiography  Researcher  2011 - 2014  180 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1510  Science and Research Centre Koper  Koper  7187416000  13,685 
2.  2404  Nova revija - Institute of Humanist Studies  Ljubljana  2156059  3,786 
Abstract
Even if independent Slovenia was established as late as in 1991, Slovene diplomats were active players in the international arena already before independence. On the basis of the realization of common characteristics and open research issues of the topic presented in its title, the research project proposed The Slovenes in Yugoslav Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs activities in the period between 1941 and 1980: outstanding issues and research perspectives will deal with a period of Slovene diplomatic history that so far has not been comprehensively accounted for even if it involved specific and important activities of Slovene diplomats related to intensive developments in the international arena and carried out independently or as part of common Yugoslav foreign policy. On the basis of recent historiographic findings and many years of research experiences held by the project leader the project team has identified main ideological, political and economic factors that affected the actions of Slovene diplomats and other individuals active in Yugoslav foreign policy during this period: the interest in the revision of state borders, cultural and ideological affinity with the western and central European areas, and economic cooperation with capitalist states. Taking into account the afore-mentioned factors that had an impact upon the engagement of Slovene diplomats each in their own historic context, the project team has conceived several research sections that will be dealt with individually. Firstly, it will address the time of WWII by comprehensively accounting for the diplomatic activities undertaken by Slovenes from all ideological camps in Slovene territory and in emigration. The 2nd section will be related to the post-war period first marked by activities aimed at solving border issues, in which Slovene diplomats (eg.Vilfan, Bebler, Brilej) and other experts (eg.Zwitter) invested great efforts, and later on by Yugoslavia’s search for independent position between the two world blocs and the formulation of its policy of non-alignment, in which Slovene diplomats, especially Kardelj and Dolanc, showed particular interest (owing to their reserved attitude towards fostering too close contacts with the Soviet Union). The last research section will explore the issue of the so-called paradiplomatic activities. It will address the period after the end of the 1960s when the government of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia (SRS) launched its own foreign policy, in particular in the field of cross-border cooperation, the aim of which was to strengthen economic relations and cooperation with Slovene minorities in Italy and Austria. On the basis of thorough research in Slovene and foreign archives and libraries (in Belgrade, Zagreb, London, Washington, New York, Moscow, Paris, Oslo, Berlin, New Delhi, Prague, Rome) and collection of oral testimonies, the project team set several goals, including the presentation of diplomatic activities of Slovenes from the partisan and antipartisan camps during WWII, the identification of the impact of specific national (Slovene) characteristics and interethnic dynamics in socialist Yugoslavia upon the formation of Yugoslavia’s foreign policy, the understanding of the origins and importance of early forms of independent foreign policy initiative launched by SRS, and the assessment of the theoretical contribution of Slovene experts in international relations to the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement. In order to meet the above-mentioned goals, the project team will prepare relevant scientific studies and disseminate its findings through historiographic discourse in Slovenia, former Yugoslav republics and in international scientific sphere. The ultimate result of the project proposed will be the acquisition of as abundant and diverse knowledge as possible of the Slovene diplomatic activities from 1941 to 1980, which will also serve as the basis for further research as well as for new study topics.
Significance for science
The project “The Slovenes in Yugoslav Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs Activities in the Period between 1941 and 1980: Outstanding Issues and Research Perspectives” was part of the research into the Slovene diplomatic engagement in the past that has only recently established itself as an independent discipline within Slovene historiography. The project team conducted one of the first systematic surveys of the Slovene diplomatic history of the second half of the 20th century, thus bringing Slovene historiography closer to the state of the art in historiography not only in countries that have been the major players in the international arena but also in the successor states of the SFRY. Having taken into account the project results, the project members organized the international scientific conference “Tito’s Yugoslavia as a Diplomatic Challenge of the 20th Century” (Koper, 2012), thus creating a platform for the exchange of scientific views with colleagues from other countries. The results were published in the special issue of the journal Annales, Series Historia et Sociologia (4/2014) entirely dedicated to the project topic – the original scientific articles were written by as many as 18 renowned experts in diplomatic history from Slovenia, Serbia, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. Moreover, the project team members disseminated the research results to their students at Slovene universities, as well as to the foreign audience attending their guest lectures at universities abroad. As regards the contents, the scientific relevance of the project lies in the study of previously unknown or lesser known aspects of the role of individual Slovene diplomats in the international arena (e.g. in international organizations) and in the Yugoslav diplomatic corps. The research also involved individuals’ secret operations related to the establishment and maintenance of contacts with other resistance movements during WWII, diplomatic and intelligence actions related to the behind-the-scenes struggle for revision of the state borders in the aftermath of the WWII, and to similar activities in the bipolar world in the following decades. Such activities can be regarded as special international engagement and could be reconstructed only through the analysis of a series of detailed oral testimonies by the then diplomats and newly accessible archival sources. On the basis of the analysis of original documents from Slovene and foreign (Russian, British, US, Swedish, Norwegian, Serbian, etc.) archives and the political philosophy underlying the Yugoslav self-management system, the project team examined the impact of “Yugoslav heresy” on the international socialist movement. From the theoretical point of view, the researchers (in particular when studying the foreign policy activities at the level of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia) applied the concepts of paradiplomacy to the socialist self-management environment. Such paradiplomacy involved the activities of subnational agents in western countries since the 1970s, with the agents of international cooperation being not only republic bodies in charge of international cooperation but also a number of non-state “agents” such as the Chamber of Commerce, cultural associations, business consortia, etc. The project revealed that they were especially active in the Alpe-Adria Working Community, an entity fostering cooperation beyond ideological and political boundaries. Established in a border region, the community formed a micro level environment ahead of its time and the historical context of bipolar Europe. A similar spectrum of transideological ties was also revealed by the research into the “socialist” economic diplomacy, which brought a number of special characteristics to light. The majority of them were a result of Yugoslavia’s/Slovenia’s unique position between the two blocs, as well as of the process of internal political federalization of the country.
Significance for the country
Even before its completion, the project whose main objective was a systematic research of the past Slovene diplomatic endeavours, was recognized as an important undertaking by former and contemporary Slovene diplomats and experts in international relations. The research has not only filled the gap in the knowledge of contemporary Slovene diplomatic history, the study of which has been almost entirely neglected owing to the fact that Slovenia became an independent nation-state as late as 1991, but also revealed impressive engagement of individual Slovene diplomats, which was extraordinary even from the global point of view. Furthermore, the research has evaluated their contribution to the international promotion of Yugoslavia and its ideas of a more just world order. Interestingly, their visions of the development of international political and economic relations can still serve as a starting point for the reflection on the future role of Slovenia and the European Union. The research project has also shown that the experiences of individual Slovene diplomats testify to the potential of small countries for providing solution to major international problems. Today’s Slovene diplomacy can therefore learn from their “firm principles and clever tactics” as characterized by reviewers of the on-line collection of oral testimonies entitled “From Mašun to New York: The 20th Century through the Testimonies of Four Slovene Diplomats”. To enumerate just a few issues the Slovene diplomats dealt with: the Austrian State Treaty, the protection of the Slovene minority in Carinthia, the return of nationalized property to Austrian citizens, with the latter still being unsolved. The research has also addressed issues that are still considered the key challenges of foreign and home policy of the Republic of Slovenia, such as economic diplomacy, the expansion to new markets, foreign investments into state-owned infrastructure, etc. The project results therefore offer precious background information on these issues and can be of valuable help to today’s political decision makers, economists, legal experts, etc. The project results have been disseminated through the teaching process at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Primorska where the project team members teach courses in the history of diplomacy, the 20th century history, the history of European integrations, etc. They have also presented them when lecturing at foreign institutes and universities (e.g. in Regensburg, Teramo, Trento, Bolzano, Lugano, Gdansk, Moscow, etc.). Last but not least, they have acquainted the general public, both Slovene and international, with them through the organization of a scientific conference attended by both experts and the general public, and through the publication of Prof. Pirjevec’s monograph Tito in tovariši (Tito and the Comrades), which boasted a Slovene print run of 25.000 copies and has been translated into Serbian, Croatian and Italian languages (with the English, German and French translations underway).
Most important scientific results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2011, 2012, 2013, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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