Anticom research program

ANTICOM is a research project that develops a global history of anti-communism since 1945.

It defends the idea that to seize the forms of this transnational ideology supposes to articulate archival sources of several countries and several historiographies (i.e. the history of the Cold War, the history of colonial empires, the history of transatlantic relations, the history of the European Union).

Drawing from existing researches that identified inter-war modes of coordination among employers, the team will document how transnational networks of organizations and individuals capitalized on modes of action that pre-existed the cold-war to contain activities that were deemed communists by employers, industrial organizations. To do so requires multi-site and multi-language archival work.

First axis: “The words of anticommunism”

The large volume of documentation offers promising options in terms of lexicometric analysis of the evolution of anti-communist lexicon from the 1950s to the 1990s. From the large body of newspapers and propaganda leaflets, the team would like to delineate the evolutions in the labelling of communism and its assimilation to an existential threat. Echoing the sequences of the Cold War, the terminologies seem to evolve: from the semantics of the psychological warfare in the 1950s to the 1970s restoration of the law and order on the campus and in the plants of large companies.

In this context, funding from the IRIS Global help us to store the documents in a proper DBMS and identify and refine existing tools to perform OCR and, hence lexicometric analysis.

Second axis: Mapping the network of the organizations and actors of anticommunism.

Our database is comprised of four top level tables:

• Organizations.

Sub-tables will capture diverse data sources, including: corporations, think tanks, associations, foundations, universities, activist groups and governmental agencies.

• People.

Sub-tables will be created for different types of actors, such as firm owners, officials, intellectuals and activists. Where possible, socio-demographic and other biographical data will also be collected.

• Output/activities.

Sub-tables will include such data as publications, online-material, events.

• Connections.

These tables will be constructed from the other three. They will consist of the intersection of any pair of the above tables or sub-tables, such as the connections between organizations and people, where the output may be further partitioned. To ensure data quality, access to the database will be first restricted to a small group of researchers.

We plan to use different approaches for gathering and accessing data.

A Global History of Anticommunism (1917-1997)

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