Party, Peers, Publicity: Overlapping Loyalties in Early Soviet Pugwash, 1955–1960

Lüscher, Fabian (2020). Party, Peers, Publicity: Overlapping Loyalties in Early Soviet Pugwash, 1955–1960. In: Kraft, Alison; Sachse, Carola (eds.) Science, (Anti-)Communism and Diplomacy. History of Modern Science: Vol. 3 (pp. 121-155). Leiden: Brill 10.1163/9789004340176_005

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The CPSU’s propagandistic effort for complete disarmament and towards a comprehensive ban of nuclear weapons matched the moral values of the Pugwash initiative well. Soon after the Russell-Einstein Manifesto was published, the Party decided that some Soviet scientists should participate in the networks evolving around the Manifesto. Later, Soviet Pugwash activity was institutionalized
in a formal group under the auspices of the Academy of Sciences. Usually, the Presidium of the Academy issued directives before the Pugwash conferences, instructing the Soviet participants to push the party line and demonstrate full support of Khrushchev’s official foreign policy doctrine. Nonetheless, Pugwash was more than just another stage for Soviet propaganda. It provided scientists with the chance to meet foreign peers and allowed them to establish contacts across the Iron Curtain. This chapter examines the work of Soviet Pugwash participants and their perception as both activists
in a transnational initiative for nuclear disarmament and ambassadors of Soviet foreign policy in the second half of the 1950s. Drawing on documents of the Soviet Pugwash group and on personal papers of its members, this chapter shows how overlapping loyalties to both the Soviet government and the Pugwash network demanded great flexibility on the part of the academicians involved.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Modern and Contemporary History

UniBE Contributor:

Lüscher, Fabian


900 History






History of Modern Science






Fabian Lüscher

Date Deposited:

25 Nov 2019 16:09

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:32

Publisher DOI:





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