Canadian Student Movements on the Cold War Battlefield, 1944–1954


  • Nigel Roy Moses


International student organizations were a strategic site of struggle in the cultural Cold War, as can be illustrated by an examination of the international activities of the National Federation of Canadian University Students (NFCUS) from 1944 to 1954. At its conferences immediately following the war, the NFCUS grappled with defining its role in international development and with questions of participation in the communist-oriented International Union of Students. Canadian students were involved with the International Union of Students (established in 1945), the International Student Conference (established in 1950 with assistance of the CIA to counteract the influence of the IUS), and the US National Student Association (whose leaders were often inducted into the CIA). However, despite the intervention of covert state agents, university administrators, Catholic clergy, and other communist and anti-communist social forces, the NFCUS remained a relatively autonomous subject that acted in accordance with its own cultural orientations and values.