Center for the History of Global Development

War Veterans and Development
during the Cold War Era

Interventions of the World Veterans Federation in the Third World

This research project examines the historical role of war veterans in developmental practices in Third World countries, and particularly in the Asian region, during the 1950s and 1960s. This research plan is part of a wider book project, with provisional title War Veterans and Globalization: The History of the World Veterans Federation, which I am currently writing as an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral
Fellow at LMU Munich. My project studies international veteran politics during the global Cold War era. It analyses transatlantic and global networks of veteran organizations that emerged after 1945 and became a significant factor in the wide processes of globalization of the second half of the twentieth century. In particular, my project focuses on the World Veterans Federation (WVF), an organization created in
1950 and linked to the United Nations. The WVF still exists and currently claims to be “a Federation of 172 veteran organizations from 121 countries representing some 45 million veterans worldwide”.1 In the 1950s and 1960s, the WVF claimed to represent some 100 million veterans throughout the world. Development initiatives focused on the rehabilitation and reintegration of war veterans al over the globe were a very important part of the WVF activities from the 1950s on.

With this project, Alcalde aims to provide new insights into the intersections between the Cold War, the transnational sphere of international organizations, and discourses and practices of development in the Third World.

Researcher: Ángel Alcalde