An introduction: the secret struggle for the global south – espionage, military assistance and state security in the cold war

Daniela Richterova, Natalia Telepneva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The post-World War II era was a moment of profound transformation of the international order. There emerged rivalry between the Soviet Union and the United States. The competition embodied a global confrontation between socialism and capitalism, which was in itself rooted in the ideas and transformations of the nineteenth century.1 In parallel, European colonial empires began to buckle under economic and political pressures. In 1947, the British exited the Indian subcontinent and, in 1954, the French gave up control of Indochina. However, it took until the mid-1960s for European colonial powers to relinquish control of the African continent. The rise of Mao’s China and the outbreak of the Korean War marked another key moment that brought the Global South into the orbit of superpower competition. In Latin America, the post-war period saw a surge of revolutionary movements demanding social justice, epitomised by the victory of the Cuban revolution in 1959. Accordingly, from the 1950s onwards, the ‘Global South’ increasingly became a target of bitter rivalry between the superpowers as well as the former colonial powers struggling to retain a modicum of influence
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalThe International History Review
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2020


  • cold war
  • Africa
  • secret intelligence
  • espionage
  • state security
  • military assistance

Cite this