(editors: Dalia BATHORY, Ștefan BOSOMITU, Luciana JINGA, Bogdan JITEA; assistant editor: Daniel FILIP-AFLOAREI)


„Conquer your Future Now!” Youth and the Continuous Construction of Communism



There are a variety of categories that coalesce into the general concept of “youth”: the biological age that indicates the developmental phase between childhood and adulthood; the social category that comprises dynamic, flexible, easily adjustable, not yet settled, persons; the political category that serves as incubators for parties or mass organizations; a metaphor for a utopian world. Considering this scintillating energy, governing communist parties across the globe made considerable efforts to study, organize, educate, exploit or subject it according to the revolutionary needs of the regimes. The symbolical stance of youth as the promise for a better future made them a preferred target of socialist politics and policies in the former eastern bloc.

Furthermore, youth, understood as a period of transitioning to autonomous life, from learning to working, from dependent to independent living, etc. is a socially constructed concept. This means that it is not something fixed and definite, but it is created and understood each time it is used. As such, its definition varies in time and space. For this thematic issue, we target the young people aged 15 to 35, as the age category used in socialist regimes during the Cold War.

The relation between youth and communist parties can be analyzed from three major perspectives: policy, politics, activism. Firstly, there are youth policies implemented by the socialist regimes (education, sports, housing, employment, leisure) that were meant to respond to the needs of the young. Secondly, their political involvement (participation in elections, party membership, national and international youth organizations) was encouraged, sought for and sometimes even forced upon. And thirdly, the young’s activism, which was manifest in mass organizations or voluntary work, and which was preferred to be in support and not against the regimes. The latter includes young communists active in non-socialist countries such as Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, United States etc. along the 20th century.

Youth as a field of research is at the crossroads of several scientific fields. Hence, the editors welcome contributions from different fields of research: history, political science, cultural studies, philosophy, sociology, gender studies or any other related areas of interest.

Topics may address (but are not limited to) the following aspects:

  • Youth movements across the globe
  • Youth & transnationalism
  • Scientific approaches on youth
  • Cadres’ recruitment and promotion
  • Youth & politics
  • Youth & ideology
  • Youth & war
  • Youth & media
  • Propaganda & mass culture
  • Countercultures
  • Sexuality and sex education
  • Repression/Correction centers



Contributors are kindly asked to write abstracts (English or French) that do not exceed 500 words.

Deadline: June 6, 2022.

You may submit your proposals at: hce-online@iiccmer.ro, dalia.bathory@gmail.com .

Selected authors will be notified by the 10th of June 2022.

The deadline for the final draft of the paper is the 20th of October 2022.


The academic journal History of Communism in Europe (hce.iiccmer.ro) is edited by The Institute for the Investigation of the Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile. It is a journal open to all inquiries that have the objectivity, complexity and sophistication required by any research on the issue of communism, as well as on the different aspects of totalitarianisms of 20th Century Europe. These scholarly investigations must remain an interdisciplinary enterprise, in which raw data and refined concepts help us understand the subtle dynamics of any given phenomenon.