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No bargaining chips, no spheres of interest: the Yugoslav origins of Cold War non-alignment

Rajak, Svetozar (2014) No bargaining chips, no spheres of interest: the Yugoslav origins of Cold War non-alignment. Journal of Cold War Studies, 16 (1). 146 - 179. ISSN 1520-3972

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Identification Number: 10.1162/JCWS_a_00434


This article reevaluates the origins of Yugoslavia's instrumental role in the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and elucidates the roots and conceptualization of Tito's strategic reorientation toward nonalignment. Yugoslav foreign policy became truly independent only after Yugoslavia was expelled from the Soviet fold. The article shows that Belgrade began searching for a “third way” earlier than is acknowledged in the relevant historiography. The search began when, faced with the distinct threat of a Soviet invasion in the early 1950s, Yugoslavia became all but formally incorporated into the Western alliance. Based on previously unknown or inadequately researched documents from the Yugoslav archives, the article demonstrates that Josip Broz Tito's trip to India and Burma in December 1954, particularly his first encounter with India's Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, played a key role in shaping Tito's principles of active peaceful coexistence and noncommitment and in transforming them into a global initiative. The article highlights the well-defined political and philosophical rationale behind the principles that became embedded in the concept of non-engagement and, later, nonalignment.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Divisions: International History
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DR Balkan Peninsula
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2017 11:25
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:13

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