Transnational Imaginations of Socialism. Political Town Twinning between Italy and the German Democratic Republic in the 1960s and 1970s

Malice, Teresa (2019) Transnational Imaginations of Socialism. Political Town Twinning between Italy and the German Democratic Republic in the 1960s and 1970s, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Storia culture civilta', 31 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/8966.
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This dissertation is conceived as a history of relations between Italy and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) through town twinning practices between the 1960s and 1970s. At the center of the study are the bonds which set seven Italian communist-oriented municipalities and local articulations of labor unions, located in Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Piedmont, in contact with their correspondents in East Germany. Methodologically, my research is grounded on the concept of translocality and on the adoption of a bottom-up, micro perspective on international relations during the late Cold War (chapter 1). Through the analysis of archival documents in both Italy and Germany, diaries, travel reports and also oral testimonies, it has been possible to explore the political meaning of these twinnings, their organization, strategic dimension and collocation in the national and international networks (chapters 2 and 3). In particular, their specificities in terms of communist-led local administrations and their ideal conception have been researched (chapter 4). At this level, besides defining the actors and protagonists of the twinnings, I have investigated two main aspects. On the one hand, the concrete repercussions that twinnings had on territorial economies and technical-administrative realizations, mostly in Italy. Particular attention has been given to local welfare and social assistance (chapter 5). On the other hand, the sphere of microsociability and grassroots connections, with a focus on the shared memories of antifascism, war and Resistance, on the (communist) symbols of the past and the present and their strategic use, on reciprocal perceptions of the respective daily lives, as well as – through oral interviews – on the memories of the twinning experiences (chapter 6).

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Malice, Teresa
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Town twinnings; Italy; Italian communism; PCI; German Democratic Republic; East Germany; local administrations; Emilia-Romagna; Tuscany; Piedmont; Cold War; transnational history; communist networks; economy; welfare; memory
Data di discussione
28 Marzo 2019

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