Mapping the Global Cold War: the unfolding of Brot für die Welt project no. 2746 in Colombia, 1977-1984.


  • Markus Buderath Latein American Studies Institute (LAI), Freie Universität Berlin
  • Vera Dickhoff
  • Carl Magnus Michel



With this article, we set out to make a case for a novel analytical approach to understanding Cold War phenomena, through linking Odd Arne Westad’s Global Cold War thesis with Saskia Sassen’s understanding of assemblages. In 1976, the West German Christian aid organization Brot für die Welt received a request for funding for the Colombian organization Encuentro/Dimensión Educativa and its work in liberating evangelism and popular education. This article sets off from Brot für die Welt’s project no. 2764 to pursue an analysis of the project’s unfolding at the local level, attempting to map one aspect of the era increasingly known as the Global Cold War. The work is based on archived materials, related to project no. 2764 and located in Berlin, and treats the project as an assemblage as the basis of the analysis. Specifically, this article puts forward the idea that the Cold War at large can be seen as an assemblage from a macro-analytical viewpoint, and that the project no. 2764 is an example of a constituent assemblage that is partially global in both the terms of its transactions and in the character of its content. Local actors, global actors and the superstructure of the Cold War all influence, or interact with, both of these aspects and therefore warrant a structural analysis.

Author Biography

Markus Buderath, Latein American Studies Institute (LAI), Freie Universität Berlin

Markus Buderath holds a master’s in conflict studies from Utrecht University and currently studies at the Free University of Berlin’s Institute for Latin American Studies.