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Grant number: FA-58491-15

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Andreea Deciu Ritivoi
Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890)

Captive Nations: American Democracy in the Cold War and the Politics of Rescue

America’s hegemony began to emerge in the Cold War in a constant tension between trying to assert economic control over the world, and trying to win it over. How did American democracy come to be seen, at home and abroad, as a model political order that could inspire and shape other polities? My project seeks to address this question by focusing on the engagement between American political actors and Eastern European emigres who had fled communism. I examine the role played by the topos of the “captive nation” in early Cold War U.S. political discourse, as a space of invention for arguments about the role of American democracy in international politics. The captivity topos shaped a political discourse in which liberation missions, or what I call a politics of rescue, became a staple for decades to come. By analyzing this particular rhetorical topos I want to examine the effectiveness of trans-nationally crafted political strategies.

Project fields:
Communications; Composition and Rhetoric; International Relations

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$37,800 (approved)
$29,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 7/31/2015