Illiberal deliberation : Communist regime travel controls as state capacity in everyday world politics

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Illiberal deliberation : Communist regime travel controls as state capacity in everyday world politics

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Illiberal deliberation : Communist regime travel controls as state capacity in everyday world politics
Author Hedin, Astrid
Date 2019
English abstract
Much social theory takes for granted that transnational people-to-people dialogue is inherently liberal in process and content - a haven of everyday authenticity that shelters ideas of human rights and democratic reform. In contrast, this contribution shows how communist regimes built and institutionalised an encompassing administrative state capacity to control and shape micro-level professional contacts with the West. This extensive but secret system of coercion, which was brought to light only with the opening of former communist regime archives, set a markedly illiberal framework for everyday East-West deliberations during the Cold War. Effectively, the travel cadre system may not only have delayed the demise of Soviet bloc communism, by isolating the population from Western influences. It was also intended to serve as a vehicle for the discursive influence of Soviet type regimes on the West. The article provides one of the first and most detailed English language maps of the administrative routines of a communist regime travel cadre system, based on the East German example. Furthermore, drawing on social mechanisms methodology, the article sets up a micro-level 'how it could work' scheme over how travel cadre systems can be understood as a state capacity, unique to totalitarian regimes, to help sway political discourse in open societies.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0010836718815522 (link to publisher's fulltext.)
Publisher Sage
Host/Issue Cooperation and Conflict;2
Volume 54
ISSN 0010-8367
Language eng (iso)
Subject Cold War
everyday life
state capacity
strategic narratives
travel cadre
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/29520 Permalink to this page
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