Soviet Medicine in the Cold War: the Experience of International Cooperation and Geopolitical Influence (Second Half of the 1940s — 1970s)
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Soviet Medicine in the Cold War: the Experience of International Cooperation and Geopolitical Influence (Second Half of the 1940s — 1970s)
Annotation
PII
S207987840020707-6-1
Publication type
Article
Status
Published
Authors
Nikita Pivovarov 
Affiliation:
Institute of World History RAS
Privolzhsky Research Medical University
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Natalia Shock
Affiliation: Privolzhsky Research Medical University
Address: Russian Federation, Nizhny Novgorod
Abstract

The article is devoted to the transformation of Soviet medical science and practice under the conditions of the development of international relations after World War II. The main attention was placed on the study of scientific and social medical projects, which were implemented by the USSR during the Cold War under the influence of foreign policy trends and priorities. The analysis of foreign, Soviet and Russian historiography shows that researchers have made serious progress in the study of medicine in the sphere of international relations. At the same time, the Soviet medical global project has not been sufficiently examined, which is due both to the source base and to the lack of a sociopolitical context in these works. The main documents for this article are recently declassified materials held in the fonds of the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History, the State Archive of the Russian Federation, and the Russian State Archive of Economics. The authors analyze the development of Soviet medical projects during the period of “late” Stalinism, in the 1950s and 1960s, and in the 1970s. The authors conclude that the Soviet global medical project constantly sought to expand. Thus, the first postwar years provided the foundations for the sustainability of the Soviet project within the socialist bloc, in the 1960s it would begin to spread to the Third World, and in the 1970s it would compete in the leading countries of the world. An important component of the Soviet medical project was the fight against epidemic and infectious diseases in post-colonial countries, the prevention of socially significant diseases and non-communicable diseases, as well as intensive scientific-medical and medical-technical exchanges through bilateral and multilateral partnerships. The Soviet medical project made possible not only competition between the two superpowers, but also cooperation in such important areas as the fight against smallpox or cooperation in shaping the international public dialogue on denuclearization. In general, the authors believe that an analysis of Soviet medicine during the Cold War allows us to show its role in the Soviet geopolitical construct, thus evaluating its ideological and applied components.

Keywords
Soviet medicine, Cold War, USSR, socialist countries, Global South, Western countries, smallpox, malaria, global cooperation, WHO
Received
13.03.2022
Publication date
30.06.2022
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92754
Number of purchasers
1
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118
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