The Soviet bloc and the pursuit of international trade cooperation through the United Nations, 1953-1964

Schmickle, William Edgar (1975) The Soviet bloc and the pursuit of international trade cooperation through the United Nations, 1953-1964. MLitt(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This study is an inquiry into and an interpretation of Soviet bloc policies with respect to certain economic activities of the United Nations, the response of other countries to these policies and the impact of the resulting interactions on the United Nations' institutions and functions. The focus is on the efforts of the Soviet Union and its East European allies to expand and "normalize" trade with the industrially advanced countries of the West through the Organization's central economic forums and the Economic Commission for Europe during the period from early 1953 to Nikita Khrushchev's exit from office. The basic theme of the study is continuity and change in Soviet policy. The purpose of Chapter One is to familiarize the reader with important developments of the preceding postwar period which influenced and, expecially in the area of institutional evolution, conditioned Soviet trade-related policies in the United Nations after 1953. It offers an introductory survey of relevant developments in Soviet foreign policy, East-West relations and the evolution of the Organization's activities in the trade field from Joseph Stalin's initial posture of aloofness and hostility toward American wartime plans for reordering the world trading system to the early signs of a major change in the Soviet attitude toward the United Nations' economic programme which appeared shortly before his death. While Soviet--and hence Soviet bloc--participation in the economic work of the Organization was kept at a near stultifying low in the interim, what happened to the United Nations and outside it set the framework for later Soviet policies. Thus the failure of wartime plans for an International Trade Organization (for reasons that had little enough to do directly with Soviet policy), the advent of the cold war and the American imposed western system of controls on trade with the East, the shifting of practically all matters of economic cooperation from the United Nations to the jurisdiction of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other essentially western institutions, and the United States' use of its enormous influence and power for bending the Organization to its own anti-communist purposes provided the themes of discrimination and subversion of the Charter which hallmarked the Soviet bloc's assault on western trade policy in the United Nations under the post-Stalin regime. The expansion and implementation of the new look in the Soviet attitude toward extra-bloc trade carried out by Stalin's successors became a central feature of Nikita Klirushchev's highly touted policy of peaceful coexistence of the capitalist and socialist states. The diplomatic strategy developed by the socialist delegations in the United Nations as a complementary means of pressing the issue of "normalizing" East-West commercial relations was an adaptation of this policy. Its two main components- the contention that western trade controls and discriminatory practices constituted the most serious obstacles to such a normalization and the assertion that normal trade relations should and could precede a stable political peace--are systematically set forth and analyzed in Chapter Two. The Soviet Union proposed the reconsideration of an international trade organization within the United Nations system to displace GATT from the centre stage of intergovernmental commercial arrangements (Chapter Four) ; the adoption of an all-European Agreement on Economic Cooperation and other measures by the ECE to supplant the European Common Market (Chapter Five); and, later on, the creation of four regional trade organizations--with emphasis on the one for Europe--which would in time merge into the preferred general universal trade organization (Chapters Four and Five). From the beginning, the socialist delegations had sought western acceptance of these measures as a prerequisite for success, recognizing that their adoption would be of little real value if the majorities did not include those states whose policies they were intended to change. Nonetheless, the convening of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in the spring of 1964 at the behest of the less developed nations saw an abandonment of this caution and an attempt to enlist the now dominant presence of Third World countries in the United Nations in an effort to force the adoption of Soviet bloc policies with or without western concurrence (Chapter Six). (Abstract shortened by ProQuest.).

Item Type: Thesis (MLitt(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Adviser: Alec Nove
Keywords: Russian history, International relations, Commerce-Business
Date of Award: 1975
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1975-72959
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2019 11:06
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/72959

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