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Palgrave Macmillan

Cultural Diplomacy in Cold War Finland

Identity, Geopolitics and the Welfare State

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  • © 2023

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  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access
  • Combines research on Finnish foreign relations, cultural diplomacy, the Nordic countries, small states, and the Cold War
  • Highlights both domestic and international drivers of cultural diplomacy
  • Shows how Finland used culture and cultural practices for external nation branding and domestic identity building

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About this book

This open access book explores the organization and evolution of Finland’s Cold War cultural diplomacy (1945-1975) as the basis for a reflection on the country’s foreign relations, the link between culture and politics, small states’ autonomy during the Cold War, and the porosity of the East-West divide.

The book offers a historical survey of the development of Finland’s cultural diplomacy as part of the Finnish state’s foreign activities. In its empirical parts, it focuses on archives drawn from the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education in order to explain Finland’s cultural diplomacy as the result of the country’s foreign policy orientations, interactions between domestic and foreign policy, and the expansion of state activities in the artistic, educational, and cultural sectors. Various reflections and reports on foreign cultural relations highlight the role of identity concerns, cultural relations, geopolitics and economic imperatives in the development of a specifically Finnish cultural diplomacy. Furthermore, the book focuses on specific aspects and events, considering for instance the organization and evolutions of Finland’s cultural relations with the USSR, the role of cultural treaties, academic exchanges and scientific cooperation, “cultural exports” and the marketization of culture, overlaps between cultural relations and high politics.

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Table of contents (6 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Contemporary History, Philosophy, and Political Science, University of Turku, Turku, Finland

    Louis Clerc

About the author

Louis Clerc is Professor in Contemporary History in the Department of Contemporary History, Philosophy and Political Science at the University of Turku, Finland. His current research projects deal with the history of public and cultural diplomacy and the study of diplomatic relations.

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