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Searching for a Cultural Diplomacy

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Volume 6

Explorations in Culture and International History

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Searching for a Cultural Diplomacy

Edited by Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht and Mark C. Donfried

278 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-746-4 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2010)

ISBN  978-1-78238-079-5 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (August 2013)

eISBN 978-1-84545-994-9 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Searching for a Cultural Diplomacy addresses the problem [of cultural diplomacy] directly, and as such provides a particularly fruitful starting point.” • Contemporary European History

“…the first complex publication on cultural diplomacy in years… Gienow-Hecht’s and Donfried’s work is valuable, but not only for the stated reason. Besides the courage to dive into an academically not favored field, they have put together a collection of thorough studies in a well-organized manner… the volume definitely is a must-read for any scholar dealing with cultural diplomacy.” • International Journal of Cultural Policy

“Taken together, the essays serve to remind readers of the value of considering cultural diplomacy and especially of pushing the definition to include not merely the countries seeking to conduct foreign policy by engaging a foreign public through culture but also those non-governmental organizations, regions, cities, and actors of any kind pursuing similar ends.” • Journal of Cold War Studies

“The articles of the book are all very well written; the lines of reasoning are fluid and are easily perceived… They all show an incredible knowledge on the topic discussed and, as a result, their handling of the topic is done in a most professional manner:.. Overall, this volume indulges the reader with a delightful analysis of the term of ‘cultural diplomacy’ which has nowadays become quite a phenomenon… For both academics and laymen, this is useful reading concerning the topic and highly recommended for all those looking forward not only to find basic information, but also, interpretation, analysis and references.” • CEU Political Science Journal


Recent studies on the meaning of cultural diplomacy in the twentieth century often focus on the United States and the Cold War, based on the premise that cultural diplomacy was a key instrument of foreign policy in the nation’s effort to contain the Soviet Union. As a result, the term “cultural diplomacy” has become one-dimensional, linked to political manipulation and subordination and relegated to the margin of diplomatic interactions. This volume explores the significance of cultural diplomacy in regions other than the United States or “western” countries, that is, regions that have been neglected by scholars so far—Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. By examining cultural diplomacy in these regions, the contributors show that the function of information and exchange programs differs considerably from area to area depending on historical circumstances and, even more importantly, on the cultural mindsets of the individuals involved.

Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht is Professor of History at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Free University of Berlin.

Mark C. Donfried is the founder and director of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in New York City. He is currently based at the ICD European Headquarters in Berlin, where he also holds a Visiting Professorship at Humboldt University. His current research and publishing focuses on civil society–based cultural diplomacy.

Subject: History (General)


List of Contributors

Introduction: Searching for a Cultural Diplomacy
Introduction: What Are We Searching For? Culture, Diplomacy, Agents and the State
Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht

The Model of Cultural Diplomacy: Power, Distance, and the Promise of Civil Society
Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht and Mark C. Donfried

Part I. Cultural Relations and the Soviet Union

Chapter 1. VOKS: The Third Dimension of Soviet Foreign Policy
Jean François Fayet

Chapter 2. Mission Impossible? Selling Soviet Socialism to Americans, 1955-1958
Rosa Magnusdottir

Part II. Cultural Diplomacy in Eastern Europe

Chapter 3. Hungarian Cultural Diplomacy between 1957 and 1963 -- Echoes of Western Cultural Activity in a Communist Country
Anikó Macher

Chapter 4. Catholics in Ostpolitik? Networking and Non-State Diplomacy in the Bensberger Polen-Memorandum, 1966-1970
Annika Friedberg

Part III. Cultural Diplomacy in the Middle East

Chapter 5. International Rivalry and Culture in Syria and Lebanon under the French Mandate
Jennifer Dueck

Chapter 6. The United States and the Limits of Cultural Diplomacy in the Arab Middle East, 1945-1957
James R. Vaughan

Part IV. Civil Society and Cultural Diplomacy in Japan

Chapter 7. Difficulties Faced by Japanese Who Tried to Interpret Japanese for the Foreign Audience
Yuzo Ota

Chapter 8. Germany in Europe, Japan and Asia: National Commitments to Cultural Relations within Regional Frameworks
Maki Aoki-Okabe, Toichi Makita, and Yoko Kawamura

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