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This book aims to contribute to the debate on European cultural policy and Martina Topic /Sinia Rodin (eds.

)
cultural diplomacy as well as to fill in the gap that exists in this under-

and Cultural Imperialism


researched field. Europe is still struggling in formulating its common cultural
policy that will present Europe as a united and diverse entity to the world
while the EU Member States invest efforts in promoting themselves only. This
volume examines individual practices in 10 selected cases while the introduc- Cultural Diplomacy and

Cultural Diplomacy
tion study outlines main features of the EU cultural diplomacy.

Cultural Imperialism
European perspective(s)

(eds.)
Martina Topic
Sinia Rodin
Martina Topic is a research fellow at the University of Zagreb (Croatia), cur-
rently completing a PhD in Sociology of Nationalism. She worked on several
research projects including FP7 IME (2009-2012) and UNESCO Media indica-
tors research (2008-2009).

Sinia Rodin is a Jean Monnet professor at the Faculty of Law, University of


Zagreb. He led several research projects including Jean Monnet European
Law and FP7 IME. He holds a PhD in Law and specializes in the field of the
EU Law and HE.

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Martina Topic /Sinia Rodin (eds.)

Cultural Diplomacy and


Cultural Imperialism
European perspective(s)

Peter Lang
Frankfurt am Main Berlin Bern Bruxelles New York Oxford Wien
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Content

Acknowledgements .......................................................................................... 7

Cultural diplomacy and Cultural hegemony:


A Framework for the analysis .......................................................................... 9
Martina Topi and Cassandra Sciortino

Section I: The Art ............................................................................................ 49

Rebuilding History: The Political Meaning of the Hungarian Historical


Pavilion at the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition ............................................. 51
Mikls Szkely

Cultural imperialism and Cultural communication:


Example of France and Corsica ....................................................................... 67
Margarita Kefalaki

Section II: Externally oriented Cultural Diplomacy ...................................... 77

Cultural diplomacy in the contemporary United Kingdom:


the case of the British Council ........................................................................ 79
Atsuko Ichijo

The Role of Yunus Emre Cultural Centres in Turkish Cultural diplomacy ... 95
Ayhan Kaya and Aye Tecmen

Dutch and German International Cultural policy in Comparison .................. 117


Laurens Runderkamp

Loosing Focus: an Outline for Romanian Cultural Diplomacy ...................... 131


Ovidiana Bulumac and Gabriel Sapunaru

5
Section III: Stereotyping ................................................................................. 159

Cultural Diplomacy and Stereotypes in Present-Day Czech-Slovak


Relations Breaking with the Past?
Hetero-stereotypes of Czechs and
Slovaks Twenty Years from the Velvet Divorce .............................................. 161
Daniela Chlniova

Italian Cultural diplomacy: A Playboys Diplomacy? ..................................... 189


Diego Albano

Section IV: Inside-Outside oriented cultural diplomacy ................................ 201

Greek Orthodox Churchs public discourse: Balancing between cultural


hegemony and cultural diplomacy .................................................................. 203
Alexandros Sakellariou

Culture and identity as tools for forging Europeanization ............................. 219


Martina Topi

Authors ............................................................................................................. 239

6
Acknowledgements

This book is deriving from our work at the international, collaborative project
Identities and modernities in Europe: European and national identity con-
struction programmes and politics, culture, history and religion1 funded under
the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission. The
project has been coordinated by dr. Atsuko Ichijo from Kingston University and
editors of this book were researches in the Croatian team (S. Rodin as a team
leader and M. Topi as the main researcher in the Croatian team).
The editors would like to express their gratitude to the European Commission
for funding the research that includes funding for this book. Special thanks also
goes to the project coordinator dr. Atsuko Ichijo for inviting us for collaboration
that proved to be abundantly fruitful and motivating.
We would also like to thank contributors to this volume, from the project and
those that accepted to collaborate on the volume based on the public call for papers
published on European Sociological Associations mailing list, for their enthrall-
ing contributions with which they supported and enriched this book project.
Additionally, we would also like to thank Ministry of science, education and
sports of the Republic of Croatia for financial support for publishing this volume.
Finally, we would like to thank editors in Peter Lang for equal-chances
approach in considering our proposal, helpful comments on how to improve the
book and a remarkably fast and considerate communication while putting this
project forward.

Martina Topi and Sinia Rodin


Zagreb, August 2012

1 Project acronym: IME, Project number: SSH-CT-2009-215949.

7
Cultural diplomacy and Cultural imperialism:
A Framework for the analysis

Martina Topi and Cassandra Sciortino

The intention of this interdisciplinary volume is to contribute to the ongoing


debate on cultural diplomacy in Europe and to discuss it also inside a framework
of cultural imperialism since cultural imperialism often comes together with cul-
tural diplomacy. We are looking into art, externally oriented cultural diplomacy,
stereotyping and into so-called, Inside-Outside oriented, cultural diplomacy. The
discussion is centred on the issue of how cultural diplomacy manifests itself in a
variety of practices and policies.
It is apparent that cultural diplomacy manifests in many fields and that, some-
times, it becomes exceptionally difficult to distinguish where cultural diplomacy
ends and public diplomacy begins. Sometimes it is difficult even to distinguish
among policies of cultural diplomacy itself where placing these policies in one
place becomes a rather difficult task because each aspect has various conno-
tations. This is why there is no agreement on what cultural and public diplomacy
are, how they are being enforced, how they manifest in practice, what effect do
they have or even how to define them.

Problems of Definition

Both the terms public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy are new and sometimes
used interchangeably. However, current scholarship generally views cultural
diplomacy as conceptually and practically a subset of public diplomacy (Mark
2009; Signitzer 2008; Higham 2001; Marsden 2003; Leonard et al 2002; Schnei-
der 2005).
The placement of cultural diplomacy within the realm of public diplomacy
reflects a massive change in the way cultural diplomacy is currently viewed and
applied. As Mark (2009) has stressed, historically cultural diplomacy was associ-
ated with implementing cultural agreements, rather than with the practice of public
diplomacy. Despite its position within the domain of public diplomacy, cultural
diplomacy is not synonymous with it. Recognizing this vital difference has been
complicated by the lack of clarity of what exactly the practice of cultural diplo-
macy entails and by what Fox (1999) calls the semantic baggage of the terms

9
Diplomacy and Culture. Lending (2000) has pointed to the major semantic
differences in connotations of the term that vary from country to country. For
instance, as Wyszomirski (2003) notes, the French term diplomatie culturelle
designates international cultural policy in Austria, the Netherlands, and Sweden;
while it refers to cultural relations in Australia, Canada, Singapore, and the UK.
This analysis does not intend to propose a fixed definition of the term. It con-
siders some of the problems of definition, some of the ways it is used, and schol-
arly work to differentiate between public diplomacy, cultural diplomacy and cul-
tural relations.
While the constituents of public diplomacy are as old as statecraft, it was
first used in 1965 to mean efforts of international actors to achieve foreign
policy objectives by interacting with foreign publics since the close of the Cold
War (Cull, 2008). Diplomacy is conventionally understood to mean govern-
ment-to-government (and diplomat-to-diplomat) exchange. The term public
diplomacy draws itself to the level of the people to indicate government to
people (of another country) and further to the level of people more generally (of
one country) to people (of another country) (Manheim 1990; Henrikson 2006).
It encompasses a wide and shifting terrain of processes and activities which
can range from government actors speaking by way of the media to the people,
or in people-to-people exchanges, such as an academic exchange between pro-
fessors from different countries articulated in a Cultural Agreement ratified
by the Minister of Education of both countries. These two approaches may be
loosely divided into two functions, which (Signitzer, 2008) quotes:
1. Public diplomacy (is) a governments process of communicating with foreign publics in
an attempt to bring about understanding for its nations ideas and ideals, its institutions
and cultures, as well as its national goals and current policies (Tuch, 1990)
2. [The goal of public diplomacy is] to influence the behavior of a foreign government by
influencing the attitudes of its citizens (Malone, 1988)

Following Signitzer (2008) and Deibel and Roberts (1976), these two approaches
constitute the two fundamental elements of public diplomacy: persuasion by
way of political information; and cultural communication that aims at cultivat-
ing mutual understanding. Political information operates within a short-term
time frame from meditated dissemination to crises management of government
policies or actions. The mutual understanding sought through cultural commu-
nication is long-term in scope, aiming at the presentation of ones own society
(Signitzer 2008; Deibel and Roberts 1976; James 1955). Political information
is disseminated with fast mediamainstream news media (newspapers, radio,
television internet etc.) in what James (1955) calls a tough minded school.
Cultural communication he frames as tender minded slow mediaacademic

10
and artistic exchange, exhibitions, films, language instruction, etc.) (Fran-
kel,1965).
For Leonard (1997) and Sablosky (2003) it is the long-term relationship build-
ing that distinguishes cultural diplomacy from public diplomacy. Leonard (1997)
articulated an influential three-tiered conceptualization of public diplomacy with
time as its metric. The first tier is short-term and may take hours or days. The next
tier is medium-term strategic communication that is executed within months. The
last tier, which is the province of cultural diplomacy, is tied to the long-term
relationship building and may take years (Leonard, 1997).
Signitzer (2008) is sensitive to the slippage between dissemination of political
information and cultural communication. He sees them operating on a continuum
with parameters that are unclear and unstable and proposes to accentuate them
by radicalizing them. Along with Malone (1988), Signitzer positions political
information in terms of political advocacy; while cultural communication is con-
ceived as moving beyond the cultivation of mutual understanding, to include
sensibilisation of ones own society as to how it is seen by the other society (Sig-
nitzer, 2008). This concept of co-orientation is well established in the commu-
nication sciences (McLeod and Chaffee, 1973). The concept of co-orientation or
sensibilisation may be implicit in the goal of cultivating mutual understanding,
but it is an objective that is little highlighted in standard definitions of cultural
diplomacy, even in the recent revisionary work of Donfried and Hecht (2010).
Following Signitzer (2008), public diplomacy is found in the political arena
of the foreign ministry that is at the higher echelons or top of policy making.
Cultural communication, on the other hand, may be free to operate apart from
the daily pressures of foreign policy. It extends into institutions entrusted with
the international section of education or culture ministry or partially autonomous
institutes abroad (Signitzer, 2008), such as the British Council, Alliance fran-
aise, the Societ Dante Alighieri, the Cervantes Institute, the German Goethe
Institute, or the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.
Mitchell (1986) divides cultural communication into two categories: cultural
diplomacy and cultural relations (see also Signitzer and Coombs, 1992). Accord-
ing to Mitchell (1986), cultural diplomacy has two levels of meaning: One refers
to the negotiation of formal cultural agreements, the other applies to the execution
of these agreements and the conduct of cultural relations flowing from them.
Both may be directly underwritten by political entities or delegated by gov-
ernments to external cultural institutions and agencies. According to Signitzer
(2008), who follows Mitchell (1986), the goal of cultural diplomacy is to pro-
duce positive attitudes towards ones own country with the hope that this may be
beneficial to over-all diplomatic goal achievement. Scholars such as Fox, Lend-
ing, Cummings and Mitchell define a range of structural mechanisms through

11
which cultural diplomacy is administeredfor example government ministries
and departments, independent agencies, and private, not-for-profit foundations.
Cultural Relations develops mutual understanding between countries or states
for mutual benefit and is marked by various forms of exchange rather than selec-
tive projections of national identity or character. Higham (2001) makes a strong
distinction between cultural relations and cultural diplomacy:
International Cultural Relations, as funded and encouraged by national governments at least,
generally have a different objective, cultural developmentthat of building a countrys
competence and capacity for its own artistic expression through international exposure and
collaborations abroad with other artistic or cultural professionals. The Alliance Franaise,
the Goethe Institute, the British Council, the Japan Foundation and even Canada Council
were founded in varying degrees on the cultural development/international cultural relations
rationale and less as tools designed exclusively for cultural diplomacy.

LEtang (2006) is sceptical of the possibility of symmetrical relations between


states in public relations, even in the more limited category of cultural relations.
Drawing a distinction between cultural diplomacy and cultural relations, within
the broader category of public diplomacy, represents one school of thought. One
implication of this separation is that cultural diplomacy supposes tighter control,
since the actors are narrowed to instrument of the state to produce specific posi-
tive attitudes toward a nation and so are fundamentally propaganda.
Mitchell (1986) states that cultural diplomacy is essentially the business of
governments. Contrary to this position are approaches that see cultural diplo-
macy as a means to act apart from politics; in this sense, collapsing into Mitchells
category of cultural relations (Feigenbaum, 2008) and separated from govern-
mental exigencies and administration. Finally, a third group of scholars, such as
Donfried and Hecht (2010) have sought to liberate the term cultural diplomacy
from a one dimensional assignment as an instrument of the state, an association
which tends to tie it to state manipulation, and consequent marginalization within
diplomatic activities. Donfried and Hecht explore the fine, porous, and fluid line
between propaganda and information, between institutions operated by the state
and those independent, nongovernmental organizations. They have complicated
assumptions about cultural diplomacy instituted by political agents by pointing to
the dependency of government organizations on non-governmental actors. Art-
ists, teachers, curators, students etc. who have agendas and interests of their own
may blur state drawn policy lines, regardless of the governmental program under
whose jurisdiction they may operate.
Donfried and Hecht underline the problem with Mitchells (1986) implication
that cultural diplomacy is more subject to state control and manipulation, while
international cultural relations is freer to operate in substantially more idealistic
terms. It is polarization of terms that has flaws on both sides. This is a point that

12
Mark (2009) also underlines. He points out that to suppose that cultural diplo-
macy uses flattering, selective self-projection would undermine the credibility
of cultural diplomacy, a key property of effective soft power (Nye, 2008). There
are numerous examples of this in films, where a film presents its country of origin
in an unflinchingly honest light. Mark points to the New Zealand film, Once there
Were Warriors (1994), but many other examples may be found, such as Waltz with
Bashir (2008), an animated Israeli documentary film about the 1982 Lebanon
War. Credibility, in an era marked by a dramatic increase in access to alternative
sources of information, has become increasingly relevant to cultural diplomacy.
Perceptions of credibility are a critical check in the flattering self-projection strat-
egies of nations employment of cultural diplomacy.
The question of state control and image projection raises the issue that has
significantly contributed to cultural diplomacys historical marginalization: that
it is, as Higham (2001) suggests, at the most basic level self interested propa-
ganda. The contention is obviously based on how propaganda is defined. If the
definition is information, ideas, opinions or images, often only giving one part
of an argument, which are broadcast, published or in some way spread with the
intention of influencing peoples opinions (Cambridge Dictionary, 2009) then
clearly cultural diplomacy and propaganda may be linked. But as Mark (2009),
drawing on the work of Melissen (2005; 2006), has argued it is an error to see
cultural diplomacy as synonymous with propaganda. The analysis of Melissen
(2006) provides a useful framework for a more nuanced understanding of the
relationship between the terms.
Melissen places public diplomacy and propaganda on a continuum rang-
ing from the crude and manipulative propaganda aiming at short-term political
effects to two-way public diplomacy for the long haul based on dialogue with
foreign audiences. Instead of seeking to prove differences between the two terms
in relation to objectives, he looks at the form their communication takes. Propa-
ganda and crude forms of public diplomacy engage in the rather primitive busi-
ness of peddling ones own views and narrowing other peoples minds. If experi-
ence with propaganda is any guide it may work, but its effect will not be lasting.
It does not make friends [and] has no listening capacity and is not dialogi-
caland not being interactive is the kiss of death in the age of ICT [Information
Communications Technology]. In contrast, he states the new public diplomacy
is marked by distinct traits: first, it is two-way communication. Its keywords
are engagement, dialogue, and mutuality (Melissen, 2006). This framing of
public and/or cultural diplomacy in terms of interactivity is extremely important
in light of the radical changes in technology and the traffic of information and
images through a far wider range of conduits than in the past. Apart from politi-
cal information, as a component of the public diplomacy (Signitzer, 2008) already

13
discussed earlierwhere speed is the metricnews and crises management may
still operate in classically one sided terms. But beyond this kind of immediacy of
information dissemination, Melissen sees public diplomacy, which can be related
here to cultural diplomacy, as containing many similarities to the relationship-
building characteristic of foreign cultural relations. At the same time, Lendings
(2000) proposal that propaganda is fundamentally the dissemination of more or
less doubtful truths for the purpose of influence and manipulation does under-
line the challenge of untangling the practices of cultural diplomacy from propa-
ganda. As Mark (2009) has stated, one governments cultural diplomacy truth
undertaken to influence could conceivably be another governments lies for the
purposes of manipulation. However, it should be clear enough that the terms of
cultural diplomacy and propaganda are not synonymous.
Melissens stress on the new age of Information Communication Technology
and the new kinds of demands it is making on the practices of cultural diplomacy
raises the important issue of how the practice of cultural diplomacy changes in
relation to information technology and the way it engages new media, new audi-
ences, and new kinds of disseminators of information.
P. van Ham in his analysis of the rise of the Brand State and the nature of
post-modern politics has argued that the terrain of geopolitics and power is shift-
ing to a post-modernist one defined by images and influence. Ryniejska (2009)
provides a clear analysis of these issues and draws on the work of E. Gilboa who
perceived public diplomacy in relation to the media and frames it as a channel
for a wide range of state and non-state actors who utilize it to influence external
public opinion abroad. Ryniejska (2009) believes that media, even the short-term
variety, representing one country to another, via state or non-state actors, should
not be excluded from the realm of diplomacy, if it is engaged in creating an image
of a state in an international context.
This is contrast to Signitzer (2008) and Szondi who place public diplomacy
under the purview of foreign policy, while the vast range of other mechanisms
conveying the image of a countrynation branding, tourism promotion, image
production and management etc.fall into the category of international relations.
One of Szondis apparent objectives is to establish nation branding in a field where
it has received little attention, compared to public diplomacy. To establish a stron-
ger force of presence of the concept of nation branding, specifically, he tends to
want to sever it from a diplomatic context to avoid conflation with it. Ryniejska
(2009) aptly notes that this overlooks numerous points of convergence between
public and cultural diplomacy and international relations and contests the practi-
cal implications of Szondis stress on separation in the interest of encouraging
cooperation and mutual implementation between the two fields. Such mutual col-
laboration is especially relevant to the EUs cultural diplomacy where the inter-

14
est is constructing a European identity in terms of a state or nations diversity.
Creating a division between branding and diplomacy, as Szondi does, may have
policy implications that limit the efficacy of actors and activities in the realm of
international relations to strengthen the policy driven goals of public diplomacy.
In addition to recognizing points of convergence and collaboration between
international relations and public and/or cultural diplomacy, recent scholarship
has pointed to the new power of the individual in the age of the Internet. In the
digital age, it is crucial to recognize how cultural diplomacy can operate beyond
not only the top-level arena of policy making by government actors, but also that
initiated by powerful disseminators of information who may operate from below.
Historically, established national media conduits of the economically most pow-
erful countries have the most powerful and the highest number of technological
vehicles to generate and disseminate information on the international stage so
easily becoming agents of cultural imperialism.
But new technology and networked communities, not only across national bor-
ders but also in opposition to dominant ideologies, open a window for a powerful,
bottom-up manifestation of cultural diplomacy. Cull (2008) points to the power
of new small technologies to derail the power of established media networks, and
carefully orchestrated publicity events aligned to foreign policy objectives. He
writes:
Examples of the power of this new technology to wrong-foot the powers that-be abound, from
the ability of a photograph from a cell phone to circle the globe and derail a carefully planned
media event to speed with which an SMS text message can be passed from person to person
and rally citizens to a protest. Besides new technology, it is equally important to also con-
sider the new demography and political economy that underpin contemporary international
relations. International communication is not necessarily about CNN or multi-million-dollar
cultural centres overseas. Any message that crosses a frontier is an international communi-
cation.

Cull states that while the mobilization of digital technologies in the interest of cul-
tural diplomacy may be daunting it could have major results. Among its potenti-
alities is to act as a balancing mechanism to work against the top-down approach
of conventional cultural diplomacy and cultural imperialist effects. Cull goes on
to position listening as a critical part of cultural diplomacy; in other words hear-
ing what kinds of ideas are emerging from a target audience and facilitating the
kind co-orientation, mentioned previously. Developing awareness of foreign public
opinion into the practice of public diplomacy is a neglected and critically important
task in the digital age. Cull (2008) points to the way in which advances in software
and the proliferation of online source material have made it possible to monitor
online media in English in real time, and other sources in near real time. He does
not mention the advances being made in translation software that would broaden

15
the scope of this project of cross-cultural empathy to an even greater degree. For
Cull, communication relations begin to operate in the realm of public and cultural
diplomacy as soon they are recognized as tools to facilitate the fundamental goals of
mutual understanding. He does not separate public diplomacy from public relations.
This kind of qualitative research on public opinion in the past may have been
assigned to a press attach or a diplomat in the field but now is accessible through
new digital modes of communication. Precisely because the digital age produces
vast amounts of data communication that is no longer a formal arm of the media
or foreign policy, it has the power to be mobilized in ways that facilitate mutual
understanding to a significant, and probably unprecedented, degree. Cull states
that current public diplomacy needs to create a way of conceiving of the public
diplomat, as that of the creator and disseminator of memes (ideas capable of
being spread from one person to another across a social network) and as a creator
and facilitator of networks and relationships.
Both cultural diplomacy and public diplomacy are examples of soft power.
According to Nye (2008) soft power is not simply influence, though it is one kind
of influence. Influence that is coercive can also rest on hard powermilitary or
economic threats for example. Soft power is also more than a matter of persua-
sion or the ability to convince through argument, though this too is an important
element of it. Soft power is fundamentally the ability to entice and attract; it is in
behavioural languagethe power of attraction.
For Veri (2008) the mechanics of soft power are indistinguishable from those
of public relations so calling attention to the semantic divisions in the academic
field and the value of transcending them. In the political arena, soft power is
mobilized as an instrument by governments to communicate and attract the pub-
lics of other countries, rather than at the high-level echelons of government. A
range of strategies may be used to mobilize the power of attractionbroadcast-
ing, cultural exports, exchanges and so onbut if they are not attractive they
cannot generate soft power. While the soft power of the United States is well
known, it may be undercut by policies that discredit values associated with it
most recently the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Nye isolates three resources enabling
soft power: its culture (in so far as it is attractive); political values (when they are
admired and when they are reflected in actions at home and abroad); and foreign
policies (when they are seen as legitimate and with an ethical foundation).
It should be born in mind that soft power may resonate and be effective in one
country and have the opposite effect in anotherfor instance some American
values may resonate in Australia, Europe, or South Korea in varying degrees, but
be rejected in Iran or Saudi Arabia. Soft power has the power to repel as much
as it attracts. This is especially evident if one looks closely at the assumptions of
superiority of certain European or American values and how they can uncritically

16
inhabit structures of artistic hegemony or cultural imperialism. For example
Fundamentalist Christian values in the United States may resonate in Muslim
countries but these are not internationally mobilized with moral authority as an
attractive form of power, where other more comfortably Western values are.
Credibility is also a critical element in the agency of soft power. In the age
of information vast parts of the world have much greater access to information
through a much wider range of news media, as well as information disseminated
by critical non-government organizations, and networks of scientific communi-
ties (Nye, 2008). At the same time Simon (1998) and Nye (2008) have pointed
to the paradox of plenty with regard to the quantity of information now acces-
sible and suggest that capturing attention has become a critical factor in generating
soft power. Consequently, garnering attention while carefully navigating political
struggles over the creation of credibility are key components of soft power. Politics,
as Arquilla and Ronfeldt (1999) have stated may be less about a traditional military
victory, but in an information age, may ultimately be about whose story wins.
Ryniejska (2009) makes an important point about the implications of the EU
deployment of soft power. The United States use of soft power, say, in Afghani-
stan, may possibly wane in relation to its involvement there. When a potential
EU country falls under the sway of soft power, its strength is broad and deep:
once sucked into its sphere of influence, countries are changed forever (Leonard,
2005). She points to the impact of the EU on Polish societyfrom its economic
policy, through property rights and treatment of minorities to what is served on
tables. This example throws into high relief the issue of cultural imperialism and
its inevitable tie to economic development. Tomlinson (2002) defines the term as
the use of political and economic power to exalt and spread the values and habits
of a foreign culture at the expense of a native culture. Herbert Schiller (1976),
the widely known writer on media imperialism, defined cultural imperialism as
the sum of the process by which a society is brought into the modern world
system and how its dominating stratum is attracted, pressured, forced, and some-
times bribed into shaping social institutions to correspond to, or even promote,
the values and structures of the dominating centre of the system.
The EUs well-known effort to counter this is evident in its search for a unify-
ing European identity by pursuing unity in diversity. Searching for intercul-
tural dialogue is purportedly one of the primary objectives of EU cultural policy,
and is behind numerous projects ranging from language initiatives to facilitating
employability and mobility of people across borders.
A word should be said about the supposed dangers arising from cultural
imperialism, or Coca-colonization or McDonaldization, debates which have
raged, as Norris and Inglehart (2009) have observed, for half a century. This is
not a relic from the Cold war era, as recent protectionist cultural policies have

17
taken shape in recent yearsamong these the United Nations Educational, Scien-
tific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the European Union (Norris and
Inglehart, 2009). In their new study, Cosmopolitan Communications: Cultural
Diversity in a Globalized World (2009) they propose that the expansion of infor-
mation from the so-called global North to South will have the highest degree
of impact on converging values in the areas of integration into world markets,
freedom of the press, and widespread access to the media. The authors drew from
empirical evidence at both the societal and individual level, and drew evidence
also from the World Values Survey, which encompasses 90 societies in all of the
major regions of the world from 1981 to 2007.

Europe and Culture

When it comes to cultural imperialism that we just mentioned, it is notable that


Europe is not immune to these practices either or, at least it is reasonable to state
that Europe has a history of certain practices that could be considered as hege-
monic and imperial due to its colonial past. This colonial past relates to individual
European states and not the EU or Europe that, as some scholars observe, does
not exist and particularly not as a sovereign power (Delanty, 2005).
A whole other question emerges when one asks what it means to be European
and if it is possible to be one. For example, Delanty (2005, p. 11) argues that being
European is in a certain sense, optional or vague, lacking a clearly defined set of
markers. Paul Valry (1962), on the other hand, described Europe as a some sort
of a supra state that created citizens that belong to it while others claim that being
European means having a lifestyle that is related to the behaviour of the so-called
West (e.g. Borneman and Fowler, 1997).
But, some sort of Europe and the notion of being European exists at least on
the upper level within the European elite presented in the EUs governing bodies,
while the feelings of European citizens toward being European remain rather
unclear and problematic, as numerous research studies have demonstrated.
When it comes to culture and cultural diplomacy, Europe currently presents a
case of an ongoing struggle with one joint cultural policy coming from the fact
that cultural policies of different European countries still differ, while, at the
same time, these policies always take the national as its foci.
It is beyond the possibility of one introduction study to address all relevant
issues in an in-depth analysis1 of the EUs cultural policy let alone to discuss all
1 The same applies to the reference list we are using here and that we do not consider as com-
plete nor do we imply that authors we cited here are the only authors in the field who should be
considered as the only authorities on this complex matter.

18
distinctive policies that exist in the EU Member States and non-EU European
countries. However, we will try to address certain turning points that might give
a picture of the complexity of the issue when it comes to notions of Europe and its
culture, heritage and civilisation that affect present dual and somewhat distorted
cultural policy and cultural diplomacy of the EU.
When it comes to the notion of Europe, it is difficult to determine where to begin
due to the complexity of the issue. However, Europe most certainly always had a
hegemonic aspect, constructed in opposition to a certain other. Calhoun (2003, p.
6) argues that the idea of Europe derives from a claim to collective identity, we in
relation to the others and that the idea of Europe continued to be invented in con-
trast to non-Europeans, especially in colonies. In this vision, as Calhoun observes,
Europe was understood as a civilisation that has the right to dominate and this civil-
isational claim then developed into the project that eventually constructed Europe-
anness. This challenge existed since the advent of colonialism, since colonies were
taught European civilisation but this civilisational teaching was conveyed to those
who were colonised and therefore Europeans needed to learn how to understand
and reproduce civilizational identities that were less problematic at home (Cal-
houn, 2003, p. 6). To this, we may add that much of the European colonization was
concerned with asserting its civilisational superiority (see e.g. FisherTin, 2005).
Other scholars have also argued that the idea of Europe existed in a much older
form (Hay 1957; Delanty 1995; Pagden 2002; Perkins 2004) and at its beginning
it was conceived as Latin Christendom as opposed to Islam and Orthodox Chris-
tianity. The notion of Latin Christendom is still found in the essence of Europe,
although European integration remains secularly oriented due to the criticism of
religious aspects (Calhoun 2003; Boldt et al 2009)2.
This Europeanness has always been particularly present among elites and, in
this sense the notion of Europe and the European identity existed before European
nation states were founded as an ideal political and cultural organization of the
state (Calhoun 2003; Anderson 1991). Consequently, the notion of creating Euro-
pean identity certainly existed before the desire to create one common cultural
identity (Calhoun 2003; Boldt et al 2009; Vidmar Horvat 2012). Competition in
colonies brought wars and after two World Wars in Europe, European countries
started to unite again in, what is today, the European Union. However, European
heritage still remains founded on European values, traditions and practices but
also on those practices Europeans brought from its colonies that enriched Europe
(Calhoun, 2003, p. 11, 12).
2 Some proposed that the European Constitution should contain preamble stating that Europe is
founded on Judeo-Christian tradition (Weiler 2003 in Delanty 2005). Among other reasons,
Weiler (2003) states that preamble is the place where Europe acknowledges its heritage and
civilisational inheritance that might form the base for European identity (in Delanty 2005).

19
Many authors compared building of the EU with nation building because
nation states built a sense of belonging and a common identity via the creation
of national culture (Nederveen Pieterse 1991; Outhwaite 2008; Shore 2000;
2006; Mokre 2006). This is something the EU is also trying to accomplish
by creating the common culture and a sense of belonging to it (Shore 2006
in Vidmar Horvat 2012). Because collective identities were often understood
through their cultural identities this was not, for a long time, on the European
agenda (Mokre, 2006). The EU has, since its beginning, been more preoccu-
pied in producing common foreign and security policy than common European
culture that came on the policy agenda rather late (Calhoun 2003; Shore 2006;
Mokre 2006; Kraus 2011; Vidmar Horvat 2012).
European identity, on the other hand, came to the public agenda as early
as 1973 when the Declaration on European Identity was introduced after the
Copenhagen meeting. The Declaration outlined the need for European unifi-
cation that was seen as having a dynamic nature and as open to every country
that shares the same ideals and objectives. However, the Declaration specifi-
cally outlined that unification achieved until 1973 serves as a basis for fur-
ther unification, creation of the EU and creation of the European identity. The
common European identity was to be based on diversity of cultures inside
common European civilisation with which the notion of European civilisation
is being re-introduced. However, the European identity also entailed a refer-
ence to culture but a diverse culture and not one common European culture:
The diversity of cultures within the framework of a common European civilization, the
attachment to common values and principles, the increasing convergence of attitudes to life,
the awareness of having specific interests in common and the determination to take part in
the construction of a United Europe, all give the European Identity its originality and its own
dynamism (Declaration on European Identity, 1973, I/3).

It appears that civilisation is to be kept in common to European citizens while


the culture is designated to remain within national boarders as has been the case
since the beginning, and as expressed in the Treaty of Rome that formed Euro-
pean Economic Community that had no reference to culture3.
The Declaration on European Identity appeared to consolidate Europe as a
player on the international world map and to construct the European identity and
Europes place in the world after two large financial crises (Strath 2002; Boldt et

3 Article 3 of the Treaty of Rome formulated activities of the Community but there is no refer-
ence in creating a common European culture. Other articles also do not mention common
culture. See Treaty of Rome, retrieved 8 July from European Commissions Website:
http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/emu_history/documents/treaties/rometreaty2.pdf

20
al 2009). This declaration also served as a legitimising aspect for the European
unification (Shore 1993; Boldt et al 2009).
Numerous academic studies appeared and the majority of them concluded that
the European identity is weak and presents a complex issue (see e.g. Hooghe and
Marks 2004; Bruter 2003, 2004, 2005; Hermann et al 2004; Gillespie and Laffan
2006, Risse 2004; Schild 2001; Strath 2002; Favell 2008, Fligstein 2008, Checkel
and Katzenstein 2009; Medrano 2003).
Many also concluded that national still bears more relevance than the Euro-
pean (Carey 2002; Smith 2003; McLaren 2006; Boldt et al 2009).
The others expressed views according to which national and European need not
to be exclusive of each other and seen as conflictive types of identification (Herb
and Kaplan 1999; Diez Medrano and Gutierrez 2001; Risse 2004; Ichijo and Spohn
2005).
Some other authors (Delanty, 2005) insist that in comparison to the Ameri-
can hyphenated identity of being, for example, Irish-American or Italian-Amer-
ican that makes the American identification possible, something like this does
not exist in Europe where there is no, for example, German-European identity
and particularly not, as in the US where African-American identification exists,
African-European identity. On the contrary, what does exist, in this view, is
the lifestyle that might be considered as European even if there is no personal
identification. This means that being European can mean being cosmopolitan
in orientation towards the world while remaining uninterested in culture and
politics (Delanty, 2005). In this vision, a notion of cosmopolitanism is being
introduced as a type of identification4.
However, despite the ambitious plan to create a large and internationally
important Europe, which some authors claim not to exist, particularly not when
it comes to European culture (Delanty, 2005), culture remained in the shadow of
this plan. This is particularly visible in Section I of the Copenhagen Declaration
on European identity that reads:

Although in the past the European countries were individually able to play a major role on
the international scene, present international problems are difficult for any of the Nine to solve
alone. International developments and the growing concentration of power and responsibility
in the hands of a very small number of great powers mean that Europe must unite and speak

4 European cosmopolitanism would mean: Europeans are citizens with a world outlook. What
can this consist of? In the most basic sense it means that the citizens of one country consider
the citizens of another one of us; it means the recognition of living in a world of diversity and
a belief in the fundamental virtue of embracing positively the values of the other. While this
was once an identity of the European elites, there is some evidence that it has become a more
general identity for all Europeans (Delanty, 2005, p. 18).

21
increasingly with one voice if it wants to make itself heard and play its proper role in the world
(Declaration on European Identity, 1973, I/6)5.

As well as in the Section III of the Declaration:


The European identity will evolve as a function of the dynamic construction of a United
Europe. In their external relations, the Nine propose progressively to undertake the definition
of their identity in relation to other countries or groups of countries. They believe that in so
doing they will strengthen their own cohesion and contribute to the framing of a genuinely
European foreign policy. They are convinced that building up this policy will help them to
tackle with confidence and realism further stages in the construction of a United Europe thus
making easier the proposed transformation of the whole complex of their relations into a
European Union (Declaration on European Identity, III/22).

Recently, Europe has been preoccupied with diversity that is related to cultural
matters and that is particularly visible in the EUs motto United in diversity.
This has been a highly contested issue due to the traditional divisions inside
Europe that have existed since the beginning of the unification process6. This
motto is also particularly visible in trans-European activities (Kraus, 2006), as
well as in European activities against discrimination expressed in a motto For
Diversity. Against Discrimination (Kraus, 2011).
Kraus (2011, p. 8) states, if cultural homogenization represented one of the
dominant paradigms of European modernity and was an objective actively pur-
sued by many state-makers and nation-builders, the embrace of diversity in a
good part of contemporary political discourses must be considered a very signifi-
cant change. He understands the term diversity as a cultural diversity meaning
that diversity presents the pattern of identification that affects social life and it
expresses itself in ethnicity, language and religion. According to this view, col-
lective identities in present Europe are those of the majority and their state,
indigenous minority population and that of immigration. Nonetheless, he cor-
rectly observes that identity of the majority can hardly be considered as compact
and united to consider it as one unique major identity and culture (Kraus, 2011).
In an enlarged and culturally enriched Europe, what it means to be from a cer-
tain country changed as well as did the meaning of what it means to be European.
This is also changing due to naturalized citizens with non-European origins,

5 The term Nine refers to nine Member States of the EU. At the time this Declaration was intro-
duced the EU had nine Member States.
6 Europeans and the others were first, as already noted, but there are also divisions on west and
east, Christianity versus Islam, political right versus political left, etc. However, division on
west and the east that still remains in the European public and political sphere remains one of
the obstacles for full Europeanization and creation of the European identity since this division
is a pure construct that was made by the West during the Cold war to prove western superiority
and the east then became Other (Wolff 1996; Neumann 2001).

22
who have citizenship of EU member states but a diverse cultural background
(see Kraus, 2011) as well as other variable aspects. One is that the EU, when
cultural diversity is at stake, largely protects its own cultural diversity or the
cultural diversity of its member states (Kraus, 2011) and not the European culture
for which some authors claim not to exist because there is no essence for such a
concept (Delanty, 2005).
Strath (2002) argues that the fall of Communism that started in 1989 brought
more consideration to the European identity and its redefinition.
This particularly makes sense in light of what Kundera said to Western Europe
in his writings or, in his quest addressed to Western Europe, asking Europe to
save Central Europe from Soviet influence based on the premise of its common
heritage and values, regardless of its historical division between east and west.
Kundera thought that Central Europe is the cradle of European identity (Kun-
dera, 1984) and this is often seen in the former Communist bloc, where countries
claim to be cradles of Christianity and an antemurale Christianitatis to identify
themselves as fully and unquestionably European (Topi et al, 2009). Nonethe-
less, Kundera thought that countries of the former eastern bloc belong to the West
culturally and to the East politically because the identity of people and civili-
sation, in his view, is reflected and concentrated in what has been created by the
mind in what is known as culture (Kundera, 1984, p. 2). Culture is in his view
what unites Europe as one civilisation gathered around ancient Greek culture and
Judeo-Christian thought.
However, Western Europe stood still and observed events surrounding the
collapse of Communism without an appropriate reaction, even when the war in
former Yugoslavia occurred (Vidmar Horvat and Delanty 2008; Vidmar Horvat
2012) and this has caused dual feelings in the former Communist bloc that today
express a certain amount of reluctance to identify fully as European but for dif-
ferent reasons than those in the west where a similar situation also exists (e.g.
in the UK citizens also feels a low degree of attachment to the notion of being
European but for different reasons).
The changes that occurred after 1989, general divisions between east and west,
and also the enlargement process of the EU into the former Communist bloc,
have influenced the feelings toward the European identity (Vidmar Horvat, 2012).
These processes of enlargement brought about a rise in considerations on what
it means to be European and to have a European identity, and a vast number
of research studies have been conducted to explore this. The enlargement pro-
cesses caused a new division within Europe. Whereas before there was a division
between eastern and western Europe, today we have a division to the so-called
old and new Europe and this is expressed even in some studies conducted by the
EU itself, such as Eurobarometer which examined habits of the new Europeans

23
which includes cultural habits and feelings of belonging as well (Eurobarometer
2011; for the analysis of these practices see Vidmar Horvat, 2012)7. And, this then
influences the cultural identities and poses a question whether there is a common
European culture and identity and is it possible to have one.
As already noted, not much attention has been paid to drafting a joint cul-
tural policy at the beginning of the European unification process. It took until
the Treaty of Maastrictht8 in 1992 to list culture as the European competence
(Culture Action Europe, 2012) and this was done in Article 151 that regulates

the flowering of cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional
diversity and at the same time bringing the common cultural heritage to the fore (Treaty of
Maastricht, 1992, Article 151, Clause 1)9.

However, actions that Community planned to undertake were centred on culture


and history of the European peoples and promotion of diversity as well as to
encourage cooperation between Member States but also between Member States
and the third countries:
Action by the Community shall be aimed at encouraging cooperation between Member
States and, if necessary, supporting and supplementing their action in the following areas:
improvement of the knowledge and dissemination of the culture and history of the Euro-
pean peoples;
conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage of European significance; - non-com-
mercial cultural exchanges; - artistic and literary creation, including in the audiovisual
sector.
The Community and the Member States shall foster cooperation with third countries and the
competent international organisations in the sphere of culture, in particular the Council of
Europe.
The Community shall take cultural aspects into account in its action under other provisions
of this Treaty, in particular in order to respect and to promote the diversity of its cultures.
(Treaty of Maastricht 1992, Article 151, Clauses 2, 3, 4).

This document laid down the ground for the motto United in diversity. Vidmar
Horvat (2012, p. 31, emphasis from V. H.) argues that this notion of diversity

7 To the certain extent Survey on European culture and cultural habits conducted for the Euro-
pean Commission also enforces western and eastern view on culture and cultural habits by
often outlining western views. See The Europeans, culture and cultural values: Qualitative
study in 27 European countries. Retrieved 8 July 2012 from European Commissions Website:
http://ec.europa.eu/culture/pdf/doc964_en.pdf
8 Treaty of Rome only briefly mentioned elements that later became used in drafting the cultural
policy of the EU such as unifying factor that will eliminate barriers that divide Europe and
closer union among people in Europe. Treaty of Rome, retrieved 8 July 2012 from European
Commissions Website:
http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/emu_history/documents/treaties/rometreaty2.pdf
9 This was at first Article 128 but it became Article 151 after changes made in the Treaty of
Amsterdam.

24
entailed the protection of cultural expression against the pressures of American-
ization and globalization. However, as Calhoun (2003) observed the intention
behind this policy was to Europeanize Europe and this has also been done, as
Shore (2006, p. 14) argues, by Europeanising the cultural sector through a
whole set of policies meant to foster one European cultural space based on dis-
tinctive European heritage and civilisation (e.g. Europe day). This motto United
in diversity does tend to diminish presupposed differences between the east and
the west since it acknowledges diversity however it is questionable to whom this
characteristic of diversity is pointed to and how we can understand this. But,
since there is no explanation and due to the enormous campaign of the EU to pres-
ent itself as diverse, we might believe that elites in the EU think on all diversities
present in the EU.
The EU recognized cultural cooperation as vital in its policies during the
1990s and in line with that the EU launched several programs to foster cultural
cooperation with which it sought to achieve three main objectives: to promote
cross-border mobility of those working in the cultural sector; to encourage the
transnational circulation of cultural and artistic output; and to foster intercultural
dialogue.10 But, it took until the new Millennium for the EU to start engaging in
fostering cultural policy further.
Therefore, in 2005, The General Conference of the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization, at the meeting in Paris from 3 to 21 Octo-
ber 2005 at its 33rd session a Convention on the protection and promotion of the
diversity of cultural expressions, Annex 1.a) was introduced. That Document in
the preamble lists 21 point that serves as a basis for promoting cultural diversity
that is understood as the common heritage and the basis of humanity that should
be preserved and cherished. This document apparently served as a basis for a new
document introduced two years later.
In 2007 the Commission of the European Communities introduced a document
entitled Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the
Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the
regions on a European agenda for culture in the globalizing world {SEC(2007)
570}11.

10 EU Culture Programme. Retrieved 7 July 2012 from European Music Council Website: http://
www.emc-imc.org/cultural-policy/eu-culture-programme/
11 This Document was introduced after several public discussions on European culture and
policy implementation of cultural activities to be financed by the EU. In 2006 the European
Commission introduced a Document entitled European agenda for culture that was build
on the result of a commissioned report on the Economy of Culture (published in November
2006) and on the added profile for cultural actions that the European Year of Intercultural
Dialogue 2008 was expected to bring (Culture Action Europe, 2012a). In September 2006

25
This document opens with a quotation from Denis de Rougemont who particu-
larly outlined diversity and culture and their intertwined nature12. The Document
then continues by insisting on a common cultural heritage of Europe expressed in
its diversity by stating that:
Culture lies at the heart of human development and civilisation. Culture is what makes
people hope and dream, by stimulating our senses and offering new ways of looking at real-
ity. It is what brings people together, by stirring dialogue and arousing passions, in a way
that unites rather than divides. Culture should be regarded as a set of distinctive spiritual and
material traits that characterize a society and social group. It embraces literature and arts
as well as ways of life, value systems, traditions and beliefs (Communication, 2007, p. 2).

With this, the Document clearly underlined the civilisational aspect of culture
and culture is seen as a string that binds people and embraces fields such as
literature, arts, ways of life, value systems, traditions and beliefs. In line with
Calhouns (2003) argumentation, it appears as if the EU never departed from its
civilisational aspect in fostering its culture.
After stressing that culture is what brings people together and what culture
entails the Document then goes on to quote Dario Fo who pointed out that even
before Europe was united on an economic level it was the culture that served as
a unifying factor for all countries in Europe and European culture means that
Europeans share
a common cultural heritage, which is the result of centuries of creativity, migratory flows
and exchanges. They also enjoy and value a rich cultural and linguistic diversity, which is
inspiring and has inspired many countries across the world (Communication, 2007, p. 2).

This is a further development of Calhouns (2003) argument in which the EU


insists on its cultural heritage but, at the same time, admits part of it came from
migrations with which it accepts migrant cultures as well. The Document then
particularly outlines that in the heart of Europe lies the fact that it is united in
diversity and this is seen as indispensable in this globalising world in which
Europe should ensure a stronger place on the international scene. Cultural policy
of the EU is here strictly relying on the Treaty and its Article 151 that, as already

the Commission held public discussions related to the European agenda for culture and its
implementation but responses mostly came from the older member states and in December
2006 the second consultations were held by the ECs Directorate General for Education and
Culture (DG EAC) under the title Culture: a sound investment for Europe. In early 2007 DG
EAC held inter service consultation during all Directorates General (DGs) of the EC made
their final input and later in the same year the Communication document was introduced.
12 Culture is all the dreams and labour tending towards forging humanity. Culture requests a
paradoxical pact: diversity must be the principle of unity, taking stock of differences is neces-
sary not to divide, but to enrich culture even more. Europe is a culture or it is not. (Com-
munication, 2007, p. 2).

26
mentioned, fostered cultural diversity that will respect national and regional
diversity of all Member States but that will also bring common heritage to the
fore.
This document, however, mostly recapitulates what the EU had already done
and which programs it enforced to foster cultural collaboration and dialogue,
such as framing the year 2008 as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue or
year 2009 as a European Year of Creativity and Innovation.
But, after exploring all programs that the EU has already enforced and after
emphasizing that the EU will work together with its Member States rather than
replacing their already existent policies, the document continues with challeng-
ing the EUs external relations by stating
Culture is recognized as an important part of the EUs main cooperation programmes and
instruments, and in the Unions bilateral agreements with third countries. It is also a key
element of the co-operation developed with the Council of Europe, which has allowed the
joint implementation of the European Heritage Days as well as some actions in the Western
Balkans (Communication, 2007, p. 6).

This means that the Article 151 is being interpreted through its international
domain. International cultural cooperation has also been outlined in its mention
of the Commissions diplomacy to third countries about Europe and its identity
and its experience of building bridges between different cultures (Communi-
cation, 2007, p. 7).
On the other hand, the Document claims that the Commission has recognized
the need to intervene in developing countries and regions as well as to be more
present in the world with its international cultural policy. In this, the Document
cites recent pollsters:
Recent opinion polls clearly show that, under the pressure of globalization, the great major-
ity of Europes citizens led by the Heads of State and Government in June 2006 want
Europe to be more present in the world, with an external policy which well reflects its values.
Culture is of course central to this multilateral, consensus-building approach (Communi-
cation, 2007, p. 7).

The Document also states that enforcing of the UNESCO Convention on the Pro-
tection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions illustrates this
international engagement in fostering cultural diversity at the international level.
The main objectives that are stressed in the document are Cultural diversity and
intercultural dialogue, Culture as a catalyst for creativity in the framework of
the Lisbon Strategy for growth and jobs and Culture as a vital element in inter-
national relations.
With these policies, that are being introduced or announced, it appears that
the EU is primarily fostering its international cooperation and presentation so to

27
place itself in a global position as a significant actor. This seems in line with the
priority the EU has had since its existence, i.e. its foreign policy. The only dif-
ference is that this time it seems as if the EUs cultural policy serves as a means
to foster its strength to become a player in world politics or, that culture is being
used to promote Europe as strong and to challenge the lack of adequate foreign
policy roles in the rest of the world.
The Communication (2007, p. 2, 3) also recognizes problems and challenges
the EU is facing when it comes to cultural exchanges that are seen as lively and
vibrant as ever because of the freedom of movement that has greatly facilitated
cultural exchanges and dialogue across borders. Demand for cultural activities
and cultural goods are on the increase due to the new communication tools but
at the same time globalisation has increased the exposure to more diverse cul-
tures from across the world. This has heightened our curiosity and capacity to
exchange with and benefit from other cultures, and contributed to the diversity of
our societies. However, this has also raised questions about Europes identity and
its ability to ensure intercultural, cohesive societies.
With this statement, the Document recognizes the problem of the European iden-
tity and the need to ensure a cohesive society but at the same time, the document
continues by recognizing that cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue presents
a major challenge in the global world. By the signing of UNESCOs Convention,
the EU has greatly contributed to this understanding, as stated in the Document.
But, Europes role is then presented as a key factor on an international agenda:
Europes cultural richness and diversity is closely linked to its role and influence in the
world. The European Union is not just an economic process or a trading power, it is already
widely and accurately perceived as an unprecedented and successful social and cultural
project. The EU is, and must aspire to become even more, an example of a soft power
founded on norms and values such as human dignity, solidarity, tolerance, freedom of expres-
sion, respect for diversity and intercultural dialogue, values which, provided they are upheld
and promoted, can be of inspiration for the world of tomorrow.
Europes cultural richness based on its diversity is also, and increasingly so, an important
asset in an immaterial and knowledge-based world. The European cultural sector is already
a very dynamic trigger of economic activities and jobs throughout the EU territory. Cultural
activities also help promoting an inclusive society and contribute to preventing and reduc-
ing poverty and social exclusion. As was recognised by the conclusions of the 2007 Spring
European Council, creative entrepreneurs and a vibrant cultural industry are a unique source
of innovation for the future. This potential must be recognised even more and fully tapped
(Communication, 2007, p. 2, 3).

Some authors recognized that policies like this one, but also others, are seeking
to build legitimacy for the European project (Sassatelli 2002; Shore, 2000, 2006).
Others have also observed that these cultural policies have been instrumental-
ized to generate the sense of shared belonging in the EU (Vidmar Horvat,

28
2012, p. 28) while those that are empowered do not have the power to speak for
themselves. This means that those who have power have the ability to invent
futures (Clifford 1988, p. 9; Vidmar Horvat 2012, p. 28).
Fisher (2012, p. 1) called European cultural policy as an ad hoc policy lacking
strategic objectives, insufficiently rooted in local need and lacking insufficient
engagement with local cultural sector while the budget remains inadequate as
well as systematic evaluation. The EUs cultural policy, in this view, competes
with policies of its Member State while it should complement them as a facilitator
and initiator and not the organiser of the cultural policy (p. 4).
In the most recent period the EU made an attempt to further strengthen its cul-
tural policy by introducing the previously mentioned document entitled, Euro-
pean Year of Intercultural Dialogue (introduced by the European Parliament and
the Council of Europe in 2008 and announced in the Communication document).
These two initiatives (Communication and the European Year of Intercultural
dialogue) fostering the intercultural dialogue marked a new era of embracing
cultural diversity as a feature of European identity. Intercultural dialogue as pro-
moted by EU documents was proposed as a way to better understanding cultural
differences in the member states and gaining insight into how the member states
addressed this diversity (Vidmar Horvat 2012, p. 31).
However, EUs cultural documents have not been introduced without criticism.
Vidmar Horvat (2012) states that the assumption of the Communication document
is imperialistic because the Document outlines the need for the EUs involvement
on the global scale. She thinks this way because the international scene that the
Document describes does not consist of an open, democratically conceived field
of exchange and contacts among diverse societies of the world, in which the EU
would be only one partner in the dialogue among equals. Rather, the EU global
agenda implies control. (p. 40). In this sense, this Document enforced by the EU
can indeed be seen as cultural hegemony (Vidmar Horvat, 2012, p. 40). This is
because the Document indeed finds crucial for Europe
to develop active inter-cultural dialogue with all countries and all regions, taking advantage
for example of Europes language links with many countries. In this context, it is also impor-
tant to promote the richness of cultural diversity of our partners, to serve local identities, to
promote access to culture of local populations and develop an economic resource which can
have a direct impact on socio-economic development (Communication, 2007, p. 10).

Rumford (2008, p. 51) argued that the EUs desire to reinvent itself as a privileged
global site of arbitration and dialogue between civilizations is the EUs goal and
this is in line with the Communication document that outlines the need for the EUs
global involvement. In line with this is the previously mentioned Fos citation from
the EU global cultural agenda since this citation interprets the common European

29
identity that can also be considered to bring back the imperial thought, now pow-
erfully revived by forces of globalization (Vidmar Horvat, 2012, p. 40).
Another criticism that can be directed towards the EUs external documents
is the previously observed fact that it does not give voice to those without power
to speak for themselves but rather remains a project made by European elites
fraught with a certain degree of imperial tensions. These somewhat imperial ten-
sions are exposed in selling diversity as a role model for countries of the so-
called Third world where the EU is meant to play a significant role in imposing
their own views on how to maintain and manage cultural diversity as it has been
the case with the enlargement processes when the EU imposed its own views on
how to manage, for example, minority rights to potential members13.
Due to the growing xenophobia in the EU itself it is very questionable how
Europeans really cherish its diversity and which policies would the EU bring to
the so-called Third world. But, it would be unfair to state that the EU only wants
to enforce imperial hegemony on the rest of the world while at the same time
being xenophobic. The EU is, at the same time, investing a great deal of funding
and energy to combat problems within the EU itself that includes xenophobia
and intolerance.14 Furthermore, if the EU is considered as an elite-managed proj-
ect then it can be considered as more open to diversity than the opposite. But,
these issues should, perhaps, be solved before the EU begins grasping for oppor-
tunities to teach others how to manage these sensitive issues. Additionally, as
Vidmar Horvat (2012) observes, the EU should not impose itself as a role model
but rather collaborate on cultural exchange. Cultural policies oriented towards
outside are indeed meant to legitimize the very European project but this policy
is present inside the EU through a whole set of programs that are being financed
inside different initiatives to foster mutual understanding and a sense for diver-
sity.
The first such event that can be considered as relevant is the initiative entitled
European City of Culture and this practice was in line with standard EU policy of
respecting local culture while at the same time, through this initiative, strengthen-

13 For example, Johns (2003) wrote a critical article inspecting the EUs requirements for the EU
accession arguing that the minority protection in the old Member States in not so advanced,
as it may seem due to requirements imposed before potential EU members.
14 For example, the EU ordered a study for combating Anti-Semitism after numerous attacks on
Jewish communities throughout Europe due to the Israeli policy with which it made the Jewish
position in Europe a bit easier since it became easier to accuse someone who is intimidating
Jewish community as Anti-Semite without fearing to be accused of using Anti-Semitism as an
excuse to defend Israel. See European Union Monitoring Center for Racism and Xenophobia
(EUMC). (2004). Working definition of Antisemitism. Retrieved 18 January 2012 from Euro-
pean Agency for Fundamental Rights:
http://fra.europa.eu/fraWebsite/material/pub/AS/AS-WorkingDefinition-draft.pdf

30
ing the European consciousness (Sassatelli, 2005). The initiative has been launched
in 1985 and until 1999 only one city each year received the title City of Culture.
After the turn of a new Millennium, in 2000 nine cities earned that title to mark the
symbolic nature of the new Millennium and European unification process (City-
mayors, 2012). In 1999 the initiative was renamed to Cultural Capital of Europe
and the new selection procedure entered in force in 2005. According to the expla-
nation from the European Commissions website, the European Capital of Cul-
tures purpose is to
highlight the richness and diversity of European cultures
celebrate the cultural ties that link Europeans together
bring people from different European countries into contact with each others culture and
promote mutual understanding
foster a feeling of European citizenship (European Capital of Culture, European Com-
mission, 2011).

The explanation adds that this event proved to be very fruitful to


regenerate cities, raise their international profile and enhance their image in the eyes of their
own inhabitants, give new vitality to their cultural life, raise their international profile, boost
tourism and enhance their image in the eyes of their own inhabitants (European Capital of
Culture, European Commission, 2011).

This policy is meant to foster a feeling of European citizenship but also strengthen
Europes international position. However, this is not the only policy addressed to
European citizens. The Europe day presents a policy that can be considered as
an internally oriented cultural diplomacy because it clearly makes an attempt to
foster European identification among Europeans themselves.
According to the official information from the European Commission, Europe
day is celebrated on 9th May each year to celebrate the Schuman declaration or,
the speech of Robert Schuman (the French foreign minister) given on 9th May 1950
where he
proposed a new form of political cooperation for Europe, which would make war between
Europes nations unthinkable. His vision was the creation of a supranational European insti-
tution that would manage pooled coal and steel production. A treaty creating such an entity
was signed just under a year later and came into force in July 1952. Schumans proposal is
considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union. At an EU summit in
Milan in 1985, it was decided that 9 May would be celebrated as Europe Day. Europe Day
is an opportunity for activities and festivities designed to bring the EUs institutions closer to
the public, and the blocs peoples closer to one another15.

15 Retrieved 8th July 2012 from European Commissions Website: http://europa.eu/about-eu/


basic-information/symbols/europe-day/index_en.htm

31
Each year, to celebrate the Europe day a poster is issued, with an annually dif-
ferent theme and motto, ranging from those only celebrating the European Union
and its motto United in diversity (2005; 2004) to those that send a message that
Europe is being built through the EU (1996, 1997) and that the EU means peace,
solidarity, prosperity and democracy. In these claims, peace is constant even if
other motifs change (2000; 2001)16.
However, after 2001 the EU started to use Europe day posters to promote
important decisions the EU has made such as The Euro: The European Union
in your hand (2002) with which the EC promoted European currency that has
always been questioned in Europe.
In 2003 poster promoted enlargement process, another contested issue with a
motto Enlarging the European Union A historic step (2003)17. This has also
happened in 2009 when important European elections occurred with a poster
with the motto European elections 4 June 2009 Its your choice (2009).
When the idea of culture slowly started to bear more relevance in EU politics
then the promotion of dialogue, interculturality and the EUs new motto United
in diversity and posters started to promote the European Year of Intercultural
Dialogue with a motto Its not them and us Its you and me European Year
of Intercultural Dialogue (2008), My favourite mix People, places, cultures
and Growing stronger together (2012)18. With this the EU is making significant
efforts to promote its decisions even within the EU itself and this includes respect
for cultural diversity that is, nowadays at least, at the core of the EU cultural
policy and the idea of united Europe.
Europe day celebrations do not end at this poster dissemination. The activities
are also organized in every Member State and, with small differences they are
usually centred on celebration of European unification in a form of the EU. Orga-
nization usually includes festivals and various programs and quizzes for adults
and entertainment for children. However, the level of importance and attention is
not the same and Europe is not united in celebrating its unification process.
In some cases this celebration also includes political speeches such as, for
example, in Finland where the speakers address various issues present in the EU
such as the Greek financial crisis and European elections. The events usually
attract attention from the public that positively reacts to these celebrations (Ris,

16 Retrieved 8th July 2012 from European Commissions Website: http://europa.eu/about-eu/


basic-information/symbols/europe-day/index_en.htm
17 Enlargement processes bear cultural connotation too because enlargement has been debated
through the prism of cultural transformations (Delanty, 2003, p. 10).
18 Retrieved 8th July 2012 from European Commissions Website: http://europa.eu/about-eu/
basic-information/symbols/europe-day/index_en.htm

32
2011) due to its European identification not present in other northern countries
where being European is a secondary identification (Delanty, 2005).
On the other hand, in the UK Europe day is barely celebrated and attracts very
little interest from the public. In 2011 the reluctance to celebrate Europe day was
so significant that the Downing Street refused to fly the European flag on the
Europe day (Ichijo, 2011) that presents a reflection of the UKs position towards
the EU, and its large non-European identification that is considered as the weakest
in Europe (Delanty, 2005).
The celebration is also organized in the EU accession candidates such as
Turkey and Croatia. In the first case, Turkish government is also included in the
organization by issuing its own posters to promote the idea of Turkish member-
ship in the EU (Kaya and Tecmen, 2011), while in Croatia (scheduled to join the
EU in July 2013) there is no celebration of the Europe day but of the European
week which is a unique practice and it is not accidental because Croatia is EUs
most Euro-sceptic candidate ever (Eurobarometer 75, Topi et al 2009, Topi and
Vasiljevi 2011; 2011a). As for the activities, The European week usually starts
on 2nd May each year and ends on 9th May or, on the actual Europe day. The
activities are mostly performed by the Delegation of the European Commission
in Croatia however Croatian Ministry of foreign affairs and European integration
actively participates as well (Topi et al, 2011, p. 1)19.
Although some authors, as already noted, claim Europe does not exist (Del-
anty, 2005), when it comes to the object of this study, as we have demonstrated,
the EU is investing significant efforts to create and to foster creation of Euro-
pean identity and then, recently, to create a European identity based on common
civilisation and culture, as well as to develop strong cultural policy. The EU is
also making an effort to Europeanize its own citizenship and in it employment
of various practices such as the European City of Culture initiative, Europe day
celebration and, practices such as common currency Euro and the EU flag and
anthem that some authors recognize as a creation of a symbolic European iden-
tity (Sassatelli, 2005) are being deployed. Even if these policies are top-down
oriented and can be considered as the project of elites they still exist.
It is evident that the EU has started to invest significant efforts in its cultural
diplomacy or, cultural diplomacy pointed towards its own citizenship and exter-

19 The European Commission is traditionally organizing a bus that is travelling throughout the
country promoting the idea of European unification process (Topi et al, 2011) in traditionally
Euro-sceptic country that voted yes for joining the EU in 2012 only after a massive campaign
performed by the Croatian government and the Croatian media that presented the EU acces-
sion as a no-alternative option (Topi, 2012). However, even under these circumstances the
referendum turnout was very low, i.e. 43, 51 per cent of citizens casted their votes out of which
66, 27 per cent voted affirmatively (DIP, 2012).

33
nally oriented cultural diplomacy. However, the EUs cultural diplomacy is com-
pact in a sense that the same value of diversity is being promoted inside the EU
as well as outside. It still remains open whether its cultural diplomacy pointed
towards outside of the European boarders can be considered as hegemonic and
imperial as some authors claim however, this practice certainly exists.

Content of the volume

In this volume we have no intention to offer a definite definition of cultural diplo-


macy. We assume that cultural diplomacy entails many aspects such as art, the
media, externally oriented cultural policies and tourism and that cultural diplo-
macy can be managed by governmental and non-governmental sector with the
first appearing more often than the second.
We also assume that cultural diplomacy, sometimes, contributes to stereotyp-
ing and that it can also entail religious figures that address the domestic audience
and the wider, international one and, because of it, their practices become part of
cultural diplomacy, as well.
We see cultural diplomacy as a means to present the country, but this does not
necessarily mean that we are talking about nation branding or public diplomacy
or that we consider cultural diplomacy as propaganda per se. This rather means
that cultural diplomacy can have various shapes and be pointed towards inside,
and towards the outside of the country but, at the same time, it is often intertwined
with public diplomacy (particularly when it comes to academic exchanges that
are seen as a part of public diplomacy). Its role is as understood by the scholarship
as well, to promote ideas and to encourage a dialogue, and it is a long-term pro-
cess, which is why unlikely for public diplomacy uses culture and the so-called
slow media (art, films, language courses, etc.) as a means for achieving its goals.
We are exploring a variety of practices in cultural diplomacy in several Euro-
pean cases. We are also exploring whether cultural diplomacy often entails impe-
rial policies and policies of enforcing cultural hegemony and imperialism.
We understand cultural imperialism as a domination that is enforced to impose
values culture and tradition of the dominator over the dominated.
We are generally departing from the view that some countries in Europe have a
different understanding of cultural diplomacy or, in line with division mentioned
at the beginning of this study, some countries understand cultural diplomacy as
international cultural policy and some countries understand it as developing cul-
tural relations while the EU policy makers clearly understand cultural diplomacy
in both of its shapes, i.e. as international cultural policy enforced towards out-

34
side of the EU and as developing cultural relations (through policies implemented
abroad as well as inside the EU itself).
As already noted, to discuss cultural diplomacy in Europe we selected ten
case studies where we are exploring art, externally oriented cultural diplomacy,
stereotyping and something we call Inside-Outside oriented cultural diplomacy,
and we are examining these distinctive policies within the European framework.
The first section is entitled The art and it encompasses two chapters. Both
chapters have a strong historical dimension. While the first chapter discusses his-
torical events, the second chapter is discussing consequences of historical colo-
nialism as found today. However, both chapters discuss the notion of cultural
imperialism and hegemony where one culture imposed itself over another.
M. Szkely discusses Hungarian cultural diplomacy enforced via art expo-
sures and presentations of Hungarian art in international exposures and pavil-
ions in 19th century. Through in-depth discussion of Hungarian policy toward
art exposures, the chapter outlines that the basis of the consciously build Hun-
garian self-representation was determined by the strong historical awareness of
the political and financial elite devoted to national conventions, the will to make
the economy prosper and refine the culture. Behind these ends, there was the
intention to rebuild the modernized ancient great power that felt oppressed inside
the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. With this, culture served as a means to push
the idea of Independent Hungarian Kingdom and the long Hungarian state-
hood. This paper, therefore, reveals some of the Hungarian historical discourses
when it comes to enforcing of the national and the imperial (since Hungary was
also in union with Croatia that was subordinated to it) via culture that served as a
foundation for meeting the international policy objectives.
In her paper Margarita Kefalaki, using an ethnographic approach, examines
French cultural imperialism over Corsica that diminished Corsican language and
national dances. When France gained power over Corsica, it imposed its language
while traditional dances that were the symbols of rebellion towards colonization
were banned. Because of this, younger generations today have a weak knowledge
of their tradition. Kefalaki argues that the dominators should bear more attention
to what their domination is doing to the local culture but, at the same time, that
locals should improve their communication in preserving their national culture
and inheritance. This chapter shows the consequences of imperial and hegemonic
power and the importance of culture and art when it comes to imperialism and
imposition of one culture over another. The chapter also shows the importance of
communication strategy in preserving the tradition as well as the importance of
cultural relations and exchange.
The following section is entitled Externally oriented Cultural diplomacy and
it encompasses four papers discussing manifestations of cultural diplomacy via

35
externally oriented cultural policies or, the lack of it. This externally oriented cul-
tural diplomacy can be indeed considered close to public diplomacy; however, we
consider these policies as cultural diplomacy with external orientation and thus
closely attached to public diplomacy but not as being part of it. It is notable that
the present externally oriented cultural diplomacy follows the previous EU model
where each Member State presents itself while there is no recognition or the sense
of Europe in presentations except in cases of the EU accession candidate coun-
tries that emphasize their European heritage and civilisation.
The first chapter is written by A. Ichijo who examines British cultural diplo-
macy by firstly offering a short analysis of what cultural diplomacy is and then
placing her case study in the context she proposes. According to her analysis, an
in-depth examination of activities of the British council that defines its activi-
ties as cultural relations has been recognized as a policy projecting Britishness
abroad through public and cultural diplomacy. While projecting their culture and
collaboration with other countries, British councils actually enforce diplomacy
via cultural activities yet this diplomacy is not clearly articulated. Therefore, it
manifests in presenting the UK abroad as well as through advertising its edu-
cation system, the language, etc. With this, the UK is using a dual approach;
from one point it enforces activities belonging to public diplomacy (academic
exchanges) but from another point it promotes its language that belongs to the
field of cultural diplomacy. The UK policy makers apparently understand cultural
diplomacy through both of its prisms: cultural relations and international cultural
policy. With the UK being the former colonial power as well as a country with
the lowest European identification it is visible that the UK, although having a
badly articulated cultural diplomacy, does not present Europe nor its European
heritage but rather itself that is in line with previous EUs policy of keeping cul-
tural diplomacy inside national domains.
A. Kaya and A. Tecmen write the second chapter that discusses the role of
Yunus Emre cultural centres in Turkish cultural diplomacy using the multiple
modernities approach. As explained, Turkey has been placed on a position of a
role model for other Muslim countries due to its moderate Islam that brings Turk-
ish civilisation to a higher level. Through the discussion of activities of Yunus
Emre cultural centres, the paper reveals that the Turkish government generated
a cultural/religious/civilisation discourse on a parallel with the rhetoric of Alli-
ance of Civilisations to promote Turkey in the EU and other parts of the world,
using a neo-Ottoman discourse. In this, Turkey particularly emphasized, in its
promotional activities directed towards the EU, its differences but, at the same
time, also its close ties with the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa, the Caucasus
and Central Asia. Although all of these activities were meant to foster Turkeys
European integration, when activities are inspected it appears that Turkey is fos-

36
tering its hegemony rather than advocating Turkeys EU membership. With this
policy, the Turkish case clearly presents a case of imperial tendency as well as a
case of using culture and cultural diplomacy to foster the national. By opening
institutes promoting modern Islam and the higher level of civilisation, Turkish
officials also understand cultural diplomacy through cultural relations that they
are trying to develop. On the other hand, Turkish policy makers also understand
cultural diplomacy as a useful contribution to the international cultural policy
with somewhat imperial character.
In his comparative chapter, Laurens Runderkamp outlines basic features of
cultural diplomacy in Germany and the Netherlands. Whereas both countries tend
to deploy policies meant to foster their culture Germany seems to be more suc-
cessful in it due to its high budget as well as a strict approach and a clear agenda
on what to promote, where to promote itself and how this promotion should be
done. The Dutch, on the other hand, tend to deploy more flexible approach where
everybody gets certain attention while nobody gets enough. Both countries tend
to present themselves to Europe and to the world whereas when it comes to the
world, they mostly collaborate with countries with which they have historical
relations coming from their past such as, for example, Sri Lanka in the case of
the Dutch or Central Europe in the case of Germans. The outline of this chapter
suggests that these two countries that are also the so-called old members of the
EU are acting similarly as the EU itself by presenting themselves to Europe and
the rest of the world. On the other hand, in their presentations they do not pro-
mote Europe and the European culture but their national culture. It seems that
just like in the case of the UK, when it comes to these two countries, not much
was changed since the beginning of the EU when founding Treaties left cultural
policies in hands of the Member States. On the other hand, although these two
countries do not enforce imperialism, they are using theirs imperial history to
present cultural diplomacy that they obviously understand through international
cultural policy.
O. Bulumac and G. Sapunaru write the last chapter in this section. In their
analysis of the Romanian case, they emphasize that Romanian external cultural
diplomacy went through different variations that were, inevitably, connected
with changes of regime. In the Romanian case, the cultural diplomacy some-
how losses the focus, due to its unclear objectives, slow institutional mechanisms
and de-valorisation tendency of the past figures and values. And while it is open
to international partners, it has a poor internal management of cultural policies
and specific diplomatic objectives. Historical eras generated equivalent patterns
in the evolution of the meaning of Europe where in the interwar period being
Romanian meant being European while, on the other hand, during the Com-
munist regime, the Romanian cultural identity was pushed away from Europe.

37
After 1989, the cultural diplomacy lost its focus and the Romanian society feels
alienated from Europe while, at the same time, negative stereotyping of Roma-
nians, particularly in destinations where they often immigrate, occurred. Roma-
nian cultural diplomacy seems to be loosely oriented towards inside and outside,
but inside it causes the lack of European identification whereas towards outside
it causes stereotyping and a bad image of Romanians. Cultural diplomacy in
Romania also seems to be understood through international cultural policy, that
remains open for international partnership, however, due to poor policies the
effect is negative.
The following section is entitled Stereotyping and it encompasses two chap-
ters discussing consequences of an inadequate cultural diplomacy.
The first chapter is written by D. Chlaniova who writes about Czech-Slovak
separation after the fall of Communism and the stereotypes that exist between
two nations, now both members of the EU. The mutual stereotypes (that the
author call hetero-stereotypes) still exist and by examining stereotypes that
existed before the dissolution as well as those that exist now, the chapter also
discusses the role of cultural diplomacy in promoting positive stereotypes and
mutual understanding between Czechs and Slovaks. Among other stereotypes,
Czechs see Slovaks as slowly overcoming their historical backwardness while
Slovaks see Czechs as imperial. The lack of adequate cultural diplomacy in
societies fuelled with stereotypes created animosities between two nations that
resulted in separation of the two states while today it presents an obstacle to a full
understanding although the tensions calmed. This chapter shows the significance
of stereotypes when enforced publicly and the importance of adequate cultural
and public diplomacy or the negative effect when there is a lack of it. This chapter
also demonstrates the importance of the second aspect of cultural diplomacy:
developing cultural relations that should foster mutual understanding and present
one country to another. When there is a lack of it, a place for prejudices opens up,
particularly in countries with turbulent pasts.
The following chapter is written by D. Albano who discusses Berlusconis rule
and the influence his leadership, as well as a lack of cultural diplomacy, had on
Italy and stereotyping of Italians. Berlusconis behaviour fostered stereotyping
on Italians as sometimes passionate and irrational people. However, Berlusco-
nis gaffs were covered in European and international media and because of the
underplaying of the implications of his behaviour to the European political arena,
in the end, his policies damaged Europe at the peak of an unprecedented financial
crisis. Berlusconis lack of cultural diplomacy became the European problem and
not solely Italian one; however, this example also demonstrates fragmentation in
Europe itself as well as insufficient regulation when it comes to the media (Euro-
pean and international) that, clearly, have a significant influence on both Italy

38
and Europe. The outline of this chapter demonstrates international perception of
Europe that is presented through behaviour of the EU member states regardless of
the EUs official cultural diplomacy, as well as the fact that public diplomacy and
public appearance always affect cultural diplomacy and when the first is shallow
the second becomes overshadowed with it even in places with a rich history and
culture.
The last section is entitled Inside-Outside oriented Cultural diplomacy, and
in this section we are exploring two cases where countries claim to have a certain
level of civilisation that distinguishes them from other countries and makes them
superior, as well as two countries that clearly use dual policies in enforcing their
cultural diplomacy by promoting one thing inside the country and another outside
of its borders.
A. Sakellariou discusses the cultural diplomacy of Greek Orthodox Arch-
bishop, who was an international figure that could be considered as a part of the
countrys cultural diplomacy since he often discussed civilisation and culture in
his speeches, writes the first chapter. The Archbishops speeches were, nonethe-
less, addressed not only to the Greek audience but also to the European one.
The author argues that this policy had a dual aspect of addressing Europeans
in one way and the Greeks in the other way. In this, the Archbishop used one
content when addressing Europeans, i.e. he addressed Europeans by discussing
Islam while, when addressing the Greeks, he used division between immoral west
and moral east with west being a threat to the Greek society. Furthermore, in
the European context the solid Greek-Orthodox identity was transformed into
European-Christian identity. Outline of this chapter shows manipulations with
culture, civilisation and religion that are used to foster image of a country and
its position toward larger European framework while towards the outside these
elements are then discussed to achieve forming of the stronger national iden-
tity. Cultural diplomacy within Greek Orthodox Church apparently understands
the role and significance of culture through cultural relations that will, if being
successful, advance countrys reputation. On the other hand, culture is in inter-
nally oriented policies understood as a means to strengthen the feeling of national
expressed in religious.
Finally, M. Topi writes about Croatias tourist offer that belongs to cul-
tural diplomacy and not nation branding, as she argues. It appears that Croatia
enforces its tourism by claiming to offer a cultural tourism, however, this is
intertwined with Croatias historical discourse of Europeanism. In this, Croa-
tia enforces (historical) unquestionable belonging to Europe and the Euro-
pean civilisation circle that is emphasized in the tourist offer. With this, Croa-
tia claims its culture to be the European culture with which, from one point,
enforces its unquestionable cultural specialness and importance but this also

39
gives credit to the European cultural and civilisation superiority that it claims
to belong to since the tourist offer tends to outline European civilisation and
culture. On the other hand, when it comes to internal policies then only national
is being enforced and with this Croatia uses a dual policy in developing its own
identity, i.e. towards the outside it is unquestionably European whereas towards
the inside it is unquestionably national. The outline of this chapter suggests that
Croatia presents an example of a country that is approaching the world by pro-
moting itself but also Europe by aligning itself with the current European cul-
tural policy of strengthening its image of rich culture and ancient civilisation.
From another point, this policy presents a case of instrumentalising European
to foster the national while the cultural diplomacy is understood as international
cultural policy and promotion.

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Zagreb/Berkeley, July 2012

48
Section I:
The Art
Rebuilding History:
The Political Meaning of the Hungarian Historical
Pavilion at the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition

Mikls Szkely

This study offers a case study analyzing an emblematic moment of the self-gov-
erned Hungarian cultural policy: the conception and the building itself of the
Hungarian pavilion of the 1900 Parisian universal exhibition, as the most signifi-
cant international success of the self-governed Hungarian Ministry of Religion
and Education in charge of cultural matters.
The first part of the study examines the role of 19th century universal exhi-
bitions from the aspect of the changes in cultural diplomacy.
Afterwards, it gives a short summary of the Hungarian cultural-political pri-
orities that defined the countrys presence at universal exhibitions organized in
the second half of the 19th century. The third part discusses the operation of the
Hungarian cultural diplomacy reinforcing national aspects as related to the Hun-
garian pavilion at the Parisian universal exhibition of 1900, based on documents
of French and Hungarian diplomacy.
The conclusion consists of the joint analysis of original, so-far unpublished
archive sources.
The universal exhibition was a world in the world: as to the original intention,
its task was to present the cultural and economic aspirations and achievements
of age; in fact, it held a positive mirror of its own society, culture and economy
to the visitors.
Two factors played a significant part in its realization: beside the commercial
competition that made capital out of the results of the industrial revolutions, the
positivist encyclopaedic conception. The basis of the latter was the conviction
that the worlds phenomena were describable and interpretable. Categorization
and description meant the clue to understanding. In the case of universal exhi-
bitions, it manifested itself as the most developed equipments, newest objects and
works of art created by man, put next to each other in the frame of a magnificent,
temporarily built and structured present and future research museum.
The original aim of the universal exhibition, formulated in the making, was
to help the modernization of the Western world in the field of production, con-
sumption, economy and culture through introducing the new industrial, scien-
tific and artistic achievements (Wesemael, 2001, p. 21). The universal exhibition

51
interpreting the actual state of the world through its regular publications needed
new, peculiar architecture. For the new tasks of the modernized, civil societies,
new, previously nonexistent types of buildings were needed; at the beginning of
the 19th century, the museum was one of these. The architecture of this sanctuary
holding treasures of the past was determined by Classicist ideas; moreover, the
forms of Antique architecture suited well to the mission of the institution. The
iron architecture in the middle of the century provided the frame that was proper
for the universal exhibitions temporary character, catered for the demands
regarding holding capacity, and mirrored continuous development. The solutions
triggered by the new function, the mechanic and economic development and the
spirit of the age answered the challenges simultaneously, in interaction with each
other. However, this continuously renewing; consequently temporary architec-
ture did not manifest itself solely in iron-glass-faience halls. Not long after its
appearance, the use of wooden-plaster, light structured pavilions came to life and
became widespread within a short time.
With the new economic conditions, the organizers and the participants of the
universal exhibitions national sections had to face a new, unfamiliar task: to
acquire economic, commercial and cultural advantages for their country by creat-
ing a most original and competitive perception of the country (Wesemael, 2001,
p. 22). The economic force of the country image based on historical traditions
served as a crucial aspect on the side of the organizer as well as the invited coun-
tries. The universal exhibition offered modern national states an exclusive oppor-
tunity to represent themselves, demonstrate their place in the world, and improve
their position. The fact and the way of participation also indicated positions taken
up in crucial questions of world politics. Political interest coming into promi-
nence showed themselves the most obviously in the wish of France, run down
by the French-Prussian war and the Commune at the beginning of the 1870, to
organize a universal exhibition in 1878.
The purpose of the organizing work strengthened by hard diplomatic offen-
sive was to restore the countrys international reputation within the rivalry of
the world powers, by another successful exhibition. Similarly, the competition
about the prominence of forms of government monarchies and republics was
motivated by political causes, as the case of the monarchies staying away from
the Parisian universal exhibition of 1889 due at the centenary of the French Revo-
lution proves.
Thus, one of the main purposes of the universal exhibition was trade develop-
ment; that is, bringing more and more products to the circulation of commodities.
The organizer country could utilize this opportunity the most: saving a signifi-
cant part (c. a half, usually) of the exhibiting territory, and this way the exhibited
goods, for its own exhibitors resulted in a similar proportion of the medals won. In

52
time, this market-winning technique influenced the style of the exhibited objects,
thus it influenced national, cultural policies of the newly (re-) created kingdoms
at the eastern borders of the European continent, among them Hungary. Parallel
to this process in the first quarter of the 19th century, the appearance and spread
of universal exhibitions that were less educational and richer in spectacular ele-
ments, with an aim to entertain, organized first on the American continent, led
to the appreciation of specialness. The aspect of specialness coming to the front
was shown in the adoption of international fashion as well as in the emphasis on
national traits. The motivation for the latter was the realization of the fact that
those goods that mixed national or local properties with the newest mechanic
and technical achievements sold better on the global market. At the turn of the
century, this lead to an intense, whats more, officially propagated use of the
features of modern national art and architecture. This was presented as an impor-
tant factor in pavilion architecture, and pieces of handicraft trade and applied art
alike.
The tastefully formed products reflecting the modern national style enlarged
enormously a countrys recognition and its products success on the market. That
is the explanation of the fact that organizers coming from the leading economic-
commercial circles of some participating countries, Hungary included, wished
to affect the modernization of their countrys architecture and art by deliberately
utilizing national traditions (Wesemael, 2001, p. 21). Still, we should not forget
that the question of the modern national style meant different things in each coun-
try: France, considering itself the pioneer of modernism, used the novelty of the
Art Nouveau in its exhibited objects; while Italy, dealing with questions of iden-
tity since the creation of political unity, was tossing between pan-national and
regional solutions of historicizing. At the universal exhibition of the turn of the
century, Hungary reckoned to have found its own voice in the mixture of folk
traditions that were supposed to have maintained the architecture of the period
before the establishment of the state, the motifs of grave goods from the con-
quests time and pre-modern tendencies.
This bore many traits similar to those of the young states of the Balkans, espe-
cially Serbia and Romania in the medieval-rooted Orthodox structured pavilions
of which the features of modernism also appeared.

Hungary at Universal Exhibitions between 18511911


A General Overview

The aims and methods of the policy wishing to alter Hungarys self-represen-
tation and reputation abroad were profoundly influenced by the civilizer sense

53
of mission inherited through centuries from the higher nobility. The aristocracy
partially got their rights restored by the Austro-Hungarian Compromise in 1867
that was based on the recognition of the Hungarian Constitution matured through
the long centuries of medieval Hungary by the Hapsburg court.
Through the period starting by the 1867 Compromise and ending of the WWI
the terms independent and Hungarian remained the basic central ideas of country
image building. Its significance cannot only be recognized through a comparison
with Vienna the capital of the biggest rival country, Austria, but, with a regional
focus, also in comparison with the ground for Czech and Polish policy, which
were entirely deprived of independence. Using constitutional borders, the politi-
cal elite, mostly of aristocratic origin, was able to introduce and represent the
independent and Hungarian economy, culture and even its own historical view.
The universal exhibitions organized in the examined period coincided with
political changes that were significant from the Hungarian point of view. The
basis of the self-definition of the country, which was seriously restricted as part
of the Hapsburg Empire, and later, in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, gained
relative self-government, was presenting the Hungarian economys and cultures
independence and specialness. This disposition, in accordance with the political
consensus following the Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867 did not in the
least show aspiration for independence. The Hungarian parliamentary parties, the
Liberal and the Independence Party alike, unanimously accepted the rule of the
Hapsburg House. Thus, the rhetoric of country image building and the rational-
ity of political compromise were separated. Therefore, the virtual restoration of
medieval Hungary, in all manifestations out of Hungary in terms of cultural poli-
tics, economics and culture, was a constitutionally justified historicizing experi-
ment.
The first period important from the aspect of the history of universal exhi-
bitions, between 1851 and 1862, stretches from the international isolation of
Hungary after the lost of the independence war in 18481849 to the 1862 uni-
versal exhibition of London, organized by the council of governor-general, but
run under the strong authority of the Viennese court. The first half of this period
includes the universal exhibitions of London in 1851 and of Paris in 1855, which
can be characterized by sparse and fractional Hungarian exhibitor presence. In
connection with these, we can mainly talk about objects of Hungarian origin,
listed as belonging to Austrian exhibitors goods and pieces. At the Parisian uni-
versal exhibition of 1855, the Hungarian economy was presented as on level with
the hereditary provinces of Austria, primarily through its sources of raw material.
The organizers of the Hungarian display in London in 1862 tried to give a more
accurate picture of the countrys economic and cultural conditions as a sign of
political relaxation. Hungary was still primarily represented by its raw materi-

54
als, but beside the arbitrarily collected objects of applied art, a fine art collection,
preselected in Pest (later part of Budapest capital), was also exhibited, including
a few representative works of contemporary Hungarian painting.
The second period between 1867 and 1896, (the political compromise and the
Millennium Festivities celebrating the conquest of the state territory and thus the
foundation of the State), was characterized by gradual modernization, efforts to
show the independent economy and culture. The activity of Hungarian exhibiting
groups now ran under control of the Hungarian government in a more and more
organized way.
In the year of the Compromise, Hungary made an independent debut on the
international stage with its first catalogue, in French, and self organized exhi-
bition. At the universal exhibition of 1867, the threefold arrangement, that is, a
representation built on the trinity of architectureapplied artfine art, typical
of the universal exhibitions of the turn of the century already appeared. Paral-
lel to industrial development, foundation of museums and schools of applied
art and industry, the selection of objects of applied art, with the purpose to
show national culture, grew more and more conscious. The Hungarian wayside
inside of the 1867 universal exhibition served partly economical interests and
also strengthened the topos of Puszta (The Great Hungarian Plane or lowland)
romance with its half-wide inhabitants, animals and myths, but because of the
unprofessional organization and the misconception of the display it did not fulfil
its real purpose: the support of wine export bearing high significance in the
national economy.
The 1873 universal exhibition in Vienna was not arranged by the Monarchy,
but by Austria, and Hungary, in contrast with its constitutional position, was
invited as a foreign state. In spite of this, the country made an introduction with
the most important, most conception-centred material of the period: the univer-
sal exhibitions forestry pavilion served the interest of the state-owned forestry,
providing significant state profit; and as such, it counted as the first pavilion that
truly fulfilled its economic, marketing aim. With a range of ethnographic village
houses, apart from the display of the picture of a multiethnic country as a peculiar
country image, they wished to show possible answers to modern architecture,
rooted in domestic folk architecture.
After the 1878 Paris universal exhibitions, which were arranged together with
Austrian exhibitors and where Hungary was only partially represented in the
common exhibition ground of the Monarchy, the view that a return to univer-
sal exhibitions should happen only after progress in the modernization of the
country became general. According to the Hungarian governments assessment,
during the Millennium celebrations, the countrys economical and cultural stan-
dard became competitive and displayable on the international stage. In the second

55
period, running from the compromise to the millennium, two factors hindered
intense presence abroad.
Not only because Hungarian decision makers thought the country unsuitable
for international measures, but also because many of the periods universal exhi-
bitions were overseas, and the high transport costs made it impossible to carry an
ample quantity of goods. After the retreat from the international stage, in the two
decades between 1878 and 1896, official Hungary passed the right to organize
the Hungarian sections of less significant universal exhibitions to civilian orga-
nizations, while at bigger displays it did not participate for political and financial
reasons. Civilian initiations gaining ground caused the disregard of official state
representation, the industrial and commercial circles entrusted organized primar-
ily economy-oriented shows.
Official Hungary returned to the line of universal exhibition participants after
the millennium celebrations of 1896, utilizing more financial, economic sources
than ever. The universal exhibition industrys professionalism characterizes the
third phase between 1896 and 1918. Exhibition Centres across the world were
responsible for the information of the participants and the audience and in charge
of a unified international control were brought to life at this point.
The 1885 general national and the 1896 millennium exhibitions organized in
the Hungarian capital Budapest, both in a frame of national arrangement, also
belonged to the ones aimed at Hungarys catching up; their most important pro-
ceed was a crystallized exhibiting, pavilion building and thematic conception.
From 1900 on, its effect was shown by the fact that Hungarian exhibitions abroad
became more organized, more compact and thought over in their planning and
realization. The fields playing a central role regarding the creation of the country
image, thus, home industry, applied art, industrial and fine art education, fine art
and architecture were displayed as a coherent system at the Parisian show of 1900.
These were the fields that served to create the image of a culturally independent
Hungary in the period of 18961918 (The 1906 universal exhibition of Milan,
where the regulations ruled out pieces of foreign fine art, counts as an exception.)
At the 1900 universal exhibition of Paris, from all the memories of a histori-
cal past, what characterized the exhibitions pavilion and installation was the
architecture bearing independent and Hungarian hallmarks. The use of further
elements of the artistic palette, applied art and fine art, remained crucial in the
Hungarian groups of universal exhibitions later on, as well, but in the upcoming
time, we do not find examples of displays introducing the countrys culture and
industry as a whole, neither in Hungary, nor abroad. Although the pavilion at the
1904 Saint Louis universal exhibition and its material counted as Hungarys first
significant overseas introduction. The small area provided did not give the chance
of a resoundingly, internationally successful exhibition. In 1906, in Milan, fine

56
art was entirely missing, the other elements of cultural representation, however,
were present.
For the 1911 Turin-Rome universal exhibition, there was an outstanding
architectural, fine art, applied art and partly industrial education demonstration
organized. On this occasion, although divided between two venues, there was
an experiment again to show all five fields together, in the Turin pavilion and its
interior showing the achievements of urbanization, industry and applied art, on
the one hand, and in the retrospective collection of the Roman hall dealing with
the past half century of Hungarian fine art, on the other.

The 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition and Hungary

The organization of the great universal exhibition of the turn of the century
started on 13th July 1892, with the edict of the Republican head of state, Sadi
Carnot. This date is also included in the letter sent from the French Ministry of
Foreign Affairs to Vienna, in which we can read the following on the choice of
the date:
The year 1900 fits the long-existing 11-year cycle, which marks the interval of the inter-
national universal exhibitions. Apart from that, it coincides with the closure of a century
denoting marvellous economic and scientific development, and at the same time, may stand
as the opening of an even more fertile century.1

The continuation of the series of the Parisian universal exhibitions of 1867, 1878
and 1889 served as a good basis for the advocacy of French patriotism, national
glory and the republican idea alike. The importance of the universal exhibition of
the century is well indicated by the fact that the organizing work started already
in 1893.
The preparation of the Hungarian sections and pavilions goes back to the time
of the millennium exhibition in 1896. Participation was justified by sober eco-
nomic and political consideration: Hungarian achievements of the last quarter of
the 19th century in the economic, industrial and cultural field could be displayed
as equal in rank with the other exhibiting countries here for the first time. We can
take the comment of Adolf Strauszs, member of the Hungarian organizing com-
mittee, as a general opinion:
At earlier big national displays, Hungary was represented very modestly. Although the
Vienna exhibition was in the neighbourhood, and we collected the very best of our economic
and industrial production, back then (in 1873) we did not come up to a standard to be able to

1 Archives Diplomatiques du Ministre des Affaires Etrangres. Letter No. 489. 16th September
1895.

57
make an impression abroad by the quality and quantity of our production and material talent.
Whats more, the way of our participation at the Vienna exhibition contributed to Hungarys
foreign perception as a colony of Austria to a great extent. Although in 1878, in Paris, there
was a small, well-organized Hungarian department, this was enough only to prove our exis-
tence. (Strausz, 1900, p. 29).

Following the millennium celebrations, the demand to make Hungarys indepen-


dent economy and culture known and recognized abroad grew stronger. Vienna
stood up against the demonstration of independent Hungarian statehood, econ-
omy and culture before the foreign cultural elite or a wider audience with all
devices provided. Such intentions had been successful once before: the 1896 mil-
lennium celebrations were realized not as a universal exhibition, but in a national
sphere of authority, as a state exhibition (Vadas, 1996, p. 2829).
The circumstances of the organization of the universal exhibition can be well
reconstructed, with hindsight, from the remaining diplomatic documents. The
official Hungarian participation was decided at the cabinet meeting of 22nd April
1896.2 The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs got to know about the Hungar-
ian Secretary of States, Dezs Perczels positive standpoint already from the
Budapest French consuls telegram dated to 1st June 1896.3 The common Pari-
sian Embassy sent the official notice about the acceptance of the invitation of
Monarchys countries to Gabriel Hantaux, French Secretary of Foreign Affairs
on 7th July 1896. The Budapest French consuls report dated to 24 December
1896 mentions the meeting, held five days earlier, that dealt with the subject of
Hungarian participation at the Parisian universal exhibition, and invited repre-
sentatives of Hungarian and Croatian trade chambers and other professionals.4
The person in charge from the consulate told about the details significant for
the French interest with remarkable accuracy. The French organizing committee
negotiated with national government committees, according to tradition, did not
make direct contact with exhibitors, the selection happened in a national sphere
of authority. This decision opened the way to each participating country to set up
its exhibition following its national cultural political agenda at the sole exception
of fine art exhibitions.
Because of the prominent place in the fine art scene France has acquired, at the
turn-of-the-century, a status where the exhibitions main French organizing com-
2 The French Secretary of Foreign Affairs informing letter to the French Ministry of Trade.
Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Organisation. Hongrie. 3rd February 1897. 7957.
3 Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. Commissariat Gnral. No. 4777. 1st
June 1896.
4 Archives des Ministres des Affaires trangres. 489/29. The importance of the report is indi-
cated by the fact that the French Secretary of Trade received a letter of similar content from the
Parisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Organisation. Hongrie.
31st December 1896. 7469.

58
mittee judged foreign fine art works. Although this decision was rather formal,
based on the suggestion of the national commissioner and the French fine art
commissioner. In the fine art section, only works created after 1st May 1889, that
is, the opening of the previous universal exhibition, were accepted, a maximum
of ten pieces from the same artist. Creating the official French catalogue of the
displayed works of all nations was also amongst the tasks of the French organiz-
ers. Besides, national committees had the right to release, in their own sphere
of authority, other advertising publications and unofficial exhibition catalogues.
As the costs of production could not be covered with advertisement or selling
profits not all participating countries released separate national catalogue.5 The
Hungarian one, similarly to many others, was made primarily for purposes of the
promotion of national art for a non-connoisseur public (Hongrie, 1900).

The Hungarian Historical Pavilion at the 1900


Paris Universal Exhibition

Compared to the Hungarian exhibitions of the universal exhibition in the 19th


century and pavilion architecture originated in the picture of the Puszta, in the
two decades after the millennium exhibition, Hungarys self-representation based
on the emphasis of national features became stronger, more thought over and con-
scious as far as highlighting aspects of national factors were concerned. By the
time of the 1896 millennium exhibition, the idea of independence grew unmis-
takably, tacitly stronger, if not on the level of political will and reality, but on the
level of rhetoric, and this was visible in the structure and conception of indepen-
dent Hungarian pavilions in the one and half decades that followed 1900. It is also
proved by a great number of references, found in documents and official letters
related to the organization of the national section at universal exhibitions between
1896 and 1918, to demand that Hungarian pavilions should be placed at a great
physical distance from Austrias buildings.
The political viewpoint regarding the Hungarian historical pavilion has a his-
tory well retraceable from the documents. This building, moreover, mirrors the
various opinions about the Hungarian nations political interests either hypotheti-
cal or real ones. The historicalness that can be compiled of the documents is not
in the least uninteresting, as it cast light on the questions of interaction between
politics and architectural style. It is possible to reconstruct quite accurately the
changes of the political conception determining the architectural solutions from
the official documents. The first written mention of the pavilion appears in a letter

5 Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. Archive with no reference.

59
of Bla Lukcsi, Hungarian chief commissar dated to 3rd February 1897, sent to
the chair of the French organizing committee. In this, Bla Lukcsi submitted the
Hungarian governments demand for an area of 35 000 square meters total, for
the exhibitors. Here he also mentions a separate Hungarian pavilion of 600800
square meters, which might be built in the style of the best period of Hungarian
architecture, and can show all the treasures that Hungary created in the 1618th
centuries.6 This architectural and artistic conception related to the pavilion and
its exhibition was entirely different from its finally realized version.
Coherent stylistic features or a linear development cannot describe the Hun-
garian art history of the 1618th centuries. This period is rich in Late Gothic,
Renaissance, Late Renaissance, Early and Late High Baroque art and it can be
surely seen more as a politically coherent phase: its political frame is marked the
rule of the Hapsburg dynasty: started by the setting of the Hapsburg power in
Hungary, followed the countrys inclusion into the Hapsburg Empire, then the
reforms appearing under the influence of the Enlightenment and the beginnings
of a gradual national cultural awakening. The first conception of the Hungarian
pavilion and exhibition still bore the monarchic patriotism shaped in Vienna,
as it was clearly shown in the Austrian pavilion, the structure of which quoted the
architecture of Fischer von Erlach the most prestigious court architect in Vienna
in the mid 18th century when the Hapsburg globalization reached its first peak.
The opposition of turn-of-the-century convictions and a historicizing that
expresses political aspects as well is visible in the text that we can read in Magyar
Iparmvszet (Hungarian Applied Art), in a commentary to the first known plan
made in collaboration by Zoltn Blint and Lajos Jmbor, architects of the Hun-
garian historical pavilion:
In the case of these pavilions, historical style was compulsory, therefore, it is self-evident
that we plan this pavilion to be built up of motif series from Hungarys best monuments. In the
great halls, naturally, we had to aspire to increasingly differ from other nations and come to
compete with them on these stages, as well not only through our industry, but also through
the way it is shown. We had to bring modernity to our plans, but we also had to represent that
we had character, that Hungary is the nation that, with its strong ethnic traits, puts a mark on
everything made here. (Prisi, 1900, p. 56).

The report of Jzsef Mihalik about the Hungarian pavilion emphasized the gist
of the pavilion:
The Hungarian historical pavilion, which was designed by Blint and Jmbor Hungarian
architects, was fit together from relics of old Hungarian art still present today; it is, therefore,
a retrospective architectural exhibition, in fact, which reveals for the visitor the gist and
the stages of development of Hungarian architecture, from the Roman style to the Rococo,
through non-fictive, alive monuments. (Mihalik, 1900, p. 325333).

6 Archives Nationales. F12 4243. Hongrie. Organisation. 3rd February 1897. 8011.

60
At the end of the 1890s, the Neo-Baroque, which came into fashion primarily
in the 1880s, can be understood not only as the post-flourish of an architectural
fashion, but also as a political statement: the Hapsburg court (and the Austrian)
discovered their modern national style in the Austrian High-Baroque, which the
Austrian art history also aimed to emphasize (Farbaky, 2001, p. 241264). Within
the Hapsburg Empire, the reminiscence of High Baroque architecture typical of
the phase of political unification efforts in the 18th century was in accordance
with the court politics of Vienna. It is manifested in the Austrian interior in Ant-
werp Universal Exhibition of 1885 and Austrias Parisian pavilion in Paris in
1900.
The history of the pavilion continued at the end of 1897, when the Hungarian
government accepted the area set by the French organizers committee, although
there was no exact information on the neighbourhood, the necessary distance
from the Austrian pavilion and the hoped great powers company. Lukcsis letter
reported the situation as follows:
The Hungarian government considers the possibility to call attention to Hungarys historical
or other national art in the frame a special exhibition complementary to the Hungarian dis-
plays in the international halls. With this purpose, the Hungarian organizers committee plans
to build a pavilion on the set area. The committee is going to pay attention to reconstruct the
architecture of one of the countrys periods, showing the features of national architecture. In
order to achieve the right result, I find it necessary for our pavilion not only to stand in the first
row, but also to be situated in the company of other European Great Powers.7

The request, however, could not, in effect, influence the French organiz-
ers committee, the decision on the pavilions location at the bank of the Seine,
between Great Britain and Bosnia and Herzegovina was already made, about
which Lukcsi was informed somewhat later, on 23 January 1898. The national
committees could use and furnish the spaces they were given in the exhibition
hall freely. It was a crucial question to indicate Hungarian groups, located at vari-
ous points in the exhibition pavilions, through characteristic and unique stylistic
features. The Hungarian Applied Art Society recommended that such an archi-
tect should be given the commission, who
Has a mature, assertive personality () and can enforce his character in his works individu-
ally, on the other hand, he has to be familiar with the common style, which is justified to be
seen as Hungarian type, sustained in relics of the old domestic art industry and ornamental
motifs used in folk art. Besides, it is necessary that he thoroughly knows the modern artistic
schools and trends.8

7 Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. 28th October 1897. 10727.
8 A prisi killts magyar csoportja egy rsznek installcionlis tervei (1900). In. Mag-
yarorszg, 1900, p. 55.

61
According to the suggestion, they made architects in charge not only of the
installations architectural frame, but of the organization of the objects, as well.
The installations of the Hungarian exhibiting groups were born in the name
of the quest for modern Hungarian architecture. Their unified and character-
istic visual highlighting aimed to physically separate the exhibitors groups.
Regarding the forms, they used elements referring to the nature of the exhibit-
ing group, reflecting the idea of the architecture parlante: the telegraph poles
and wires of the telecommunication group, or the wheels and tat of the trans-
port group were clear visual signs guiding the visitors. These were mixed
with solutions of ornamental Secession. This early work of the Blint-Jmbor
couple, seeking solutions of national Hungarian architecture, followed the way
of putting folk ornamental motifs onto historical structure. This is what dn
Lechner realized on the Museum of Applied Art in Budapest and which rapidly
became a solution for Hungarian vernacular modernism. The difference is to
be looked for in the lack of the Historicism in the case of the installations for
the Hungarian sections at the Paris universal exhibition in 1900: the uncon-
ventional forms of the installations opened the way to the use of traditional
architectural elements so to the par excellence manifestation of the national
cultural policy in artistic terms.
The Hungarian historical pavilion in Paris in 1900 with its experimental
facade consisting of someone and half dozen elements of first-rank archi-
tectural monuments of the country, gave news of the nations great power
ambitions. In the fourteen rooms of the pavilion, there were 1516 historical
relics installed on the ground, on the walls and in the seventy-three glass
cabinets.9 The introduction of history, the object and spiritual culture, and
the art of the Independent Hungarian Kingdom constituted the core of the
exhibition. The collection of the historical pavilion was divided into three
segments: religious and secular art, moreover, historical military exhibition.
The Hungarian historical pavilion, a modern Kunst and Rustkammer of this
widely unknown and exotic-like country was one of the most popular ones, it
admitted 56000 visitors per day. It was awarded the universal exhibitions
grand prix for the architectural solution and the unified conception of the
historical exhibition. (Mikls, 1903, p. 167172)
In spite of the official recognition and popularity, the international critical echo
of the building was poor. The indifference of the contemporary critics is espe-
cially striking when compared to the international reception of Finnish pavilion
of Eliel Saarinen, which embodied the architectural innovation between modern-

9 Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. 5th February 1900. 9049.

62
ism, historicism and vernacularism of the turn-of-the-century (Cski, 2006, p.
200230.).
The universal exhibition of 1900 was also a watershed between historiciz-
ing and the pre-modern idea of mixing folksy ornaments with the vernacular
architectural inheritance. In the Hungarian installations of the 1900 universal
exhibition, the mentality based on architectural and artistic forms and tech-
niques considered Hungarian, which defined the design of the pavilions reflect-
ing what was conceived as independent and Hungarian style up to the WWI
already showed itself. Because of the representative tinge of pavilions, each
turn of the debate about the Hungarian style, at the turn of the century, carries
exceptional significance.
The pavilions of the Millennium exhibition in Budapest illustrated the
essence of Hungarian history, the nations thousand-year long presence in
Europe, through architectural means. The program of the universal exhibition
focused on two periods: in the bigger part, the aim was to show 19th-century
development as a whole, in the other, it was to reveal the new achievements of
the decade that had passed since 1889, the last Paris universal exhibition. It was
against the regulations of the Parisian display, however, to show pure historical
styles:
The program of the Parisian exhibition did not actually allow the idea of a magnificent his-
torical exhibition, from the retrospective material it secured place only for works from the
19th century. (Prisi, 1900, p. 9).

The Hungarian historical pavilion in Paris and its material can be interpreted
within the context of the universal exhibitions second, retrospective part. While
the millennium exhibition presented the thousand-year old Hungary, its Parisian
reduction, in accordance with the program description focusing on the period
between 18891900, showed the year of the millennium itself (1896) and inter-
preted it as the end of a historical process in which Hungary reassessed its lead-
ing political position among European powers. This interpretation was based
on the political compromise between Austria and Hungary in 1867 and its main
achievement: the continuity of the Hungarian constitution as a historical politi-
cal creation and as the base of the specialness of the country in the 19th century
national revival.
The Parisian pavilion, which included the historical exhibition and millennium
buildings, symbolizing the closing of the thousand-year statehood, showed the
result of state-creation and stabilizing statehood, Hungary taking an independent
place amongst European nations, as destination of the state organizing process,
crystallized by 1896. Partly, the millennium exhibition of 1896 in Budapest also
declared the effects of historical events and their whole process, and of historical

63
rights in the present, and actually this history exemplifying the salvation of
the Hungarian noble nation was presented on the international stage in 1900.10
The Hungarian installations reflecting the aim to mix national character and
modern art complied with the Hungarian expectations held towards Hungar-
ian buildings of the universal exhibition. In dn Miklss summary describ-
ing the Hungarian pavilion and installations, we can read that while thematic
installations framed by Lechnerian architecture showed the Hungarian present,
the Hungarian House on the bank of the Seine revealed the thousand-year
long history of the nation for the foreign audience (Mikls, 1903, p. 155 156).
The folklore inspired Hungarian installation, which can be seen in parallel
with the universal exhibitions vernacular buildings and installations, differed
considerably from Austrias historicizing representation. Seeking national
peculiarities, clear, distinguished signs of the independent and Hungarian
taste, the designers had the stylized use of Hungarian motifs before their eyes,
primarily under Lechnerian influence. This tendency turned around c. 1905
1908, and the aspirations advocating the national features manifested in 1900,
penetrated by the spirit of the age increasingly emphasizing the national char-
acter, in time, influenced even the Viennese courts political representation:
instead of the unified empire image, elements of Austrian folk art appeared in
the representation of the imperial court (Houze, 20042005, p. 9092). Getting
over the decade-old topos of the Puszta wayside inn, the French-Belgian Art
Nouveau featured building of the Hungarian Bakery (by Jzsef Fischer) medi-
ated the self-picture of a modern, Hungarian urban culture.
The Hungarian sections of the universal exhibitions between 19001911, as
true mirrors of economy and cultural policy, showed everything the organizers
considered displayable for the foreign audience in connection with the countrys
actual economic and cultural state each time referring to the notions of inde-
pendent and Hungarian as peculiar characteristics of specialness. Hungarian
pavilion building made a development from the topos of the wayside inn Puszta
Romanticism, that is, the plain peasant house also serving as winegrowers shop,
and took two directions: as the house of the nation, in Paris, in 1900, it demon-
strated the European embeddings of the countrys architectural traditions, while
eleven years later in Turin, the pavilion, manifesting the synthesis of the most
modern tendencies and the thought-to-be ancient forms, pointed out the progres-
siveness of contemporary Hungarian architecture.
Furthermore, the plain wayside inn, taking pace with social changes, turned
into a confectionery catering for civic-urban demands. The institution network

10 The expression of noble nation refers in this context to the social statute and the leading role
of the aristocracy. For the rest, see: Sink, 1993, pp. 132146.

64
was established in the 1890s, the demonstration of the effect that was played on
the economy and the national style by the methodology of (partly artistic) edu-
cation constituting the mover of modernization, acquired particular significance
concerning the Hungarian presentations of universal exhibitions.
The development of applied art indicates a similar change: the work of domes-
tic masters, who, in the beginning, worked mainly according to foreign patterns
and were less recognized at the universal exhibitions, was helped to growing
international success and commissions by the pattern transmitting activity of
double institutions, significant as schools and museums, companies and journals.
The basis of the consciously build Hungarian self-representation was deter-
mined by the strong historical awareness of the political and financial elite
devoted to national conventions, the will to make the economy prosper and refine
the culture. Behind these ends, there was the intention to rebuild the modernized
ancient great power.

References

Sources

Archives des Ministres des Affaires trangres. 489/29.


Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. 5th February 1900. 9049.
Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. 28th October 1897. 10727.
Archives Nationales. F12 4243. Hongrie. Organisation. 3rd February 1897. 8011.
Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. Commissariat Gnral.
No. 4777. 1st June 1896.
Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Organisation. Hongrie. 31st December 1896. 7469.
Archives Diplomatiques du Ministre des Affaires Etrangres. Letter No. 489.
16th September 1895.
Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. Archive with no refer-
ence.
A prisi killts magyar csoportja egy rsznek installcionlis tervei (1900).
In. Magyarorszg, 1900, p. 55.
The French Secretary of Foreign Affairs informing letter to the French Ministry
of Trade. Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Organisation. Hongrie. 3rd February
1897. 7957.

65
Literature

Cski, T. (2006). A finn ptszet s az architektra magyar lelke. Kultrpoli-


tika, ptszet, publicisztika a szzadel Magyarorszgn, Mltunk, No. 1, p.
200230.
Farbaky, P. (2001) A budai kirlyi palota a historizmus korban. Tanulmnyok
Budapest Mltjbl, XXIX. Budapest, p. 241264.
Hongrie lexposition universelle de 1900 Paris (1900), Exposition des Beaux
Arts. Catalogue illustr. Budapest: Hornynszky.
Houze, R. (20042005). National Internationalism. Reactions to Austrian and
Hungarian Decorative Arts at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. Studies
in Decorative Arts, FallWinter, p. 9092.
Magyarorszg (1900). Magyarorszg a prizsi vilgkilltson. Budapest:
Hornynszky.
Mihalik, J. (1900). A magyar trtnelmi pavilon, Magyar Iparmvszet, No. 3/6.
Mikls, . (1903). Magyarorszg s trsorszgai az 1900ik vi Prisi Nemzet-
kzi Killtson. Budapest: Athenaeum.
Prisi (1900). A prisi killts magyar csoportja egy rsznek installcionlis
tervei (1900). Magyarorszg a prizsi vilgkilltson. Budapest: Hornyn-
szky.
Sink, K. (1993). A Histria a mi ers vrunk. A millenniumi killts mint
Gesamkunstwerk. In Zdor, A. (ed.), A historizmus mvszete Mag-
yarorszgon (pp.132146). Budapest: Akadmiai.
Strausz, A. (1900). A prisi killts magyar osztlya Pris s az 1900iki vilg-
killts. Budapest: Lampel.
Vadas, F. (1996). Programtervezetek a Millennium megnneplsre (1893), Ars
Hungarica, No. 24/1.
Wesemael, P. (2001). Architecture of Instruction and Delight. A Sociohistorical
analysis of World Exhibitions as a didactic phenomenon (179818511970).
Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.

66
Cultural imperialism and Cultural communication:
Example of France and Corsica

Margarita Kefalaki

Introduction

Culture has many different significances and meanings. In this study, it rep-
resents a set of shared practices that characterizes people from a certain group.
The context here is the case of Corsicas oral patrimony, and more particularly
its popular dances. The paper aims to examine the condition of popular dances
in Corsica and the impacts they might have received from Continental France
(mainly after the French domination in 1769). Often culture is transmitted orally
from one generation to the other. Understanding the cultural dynamic of a group
can become a very complex procedure, in addition to the cultural dynamic, of an
island. Nevertheless, this is a necessary path to follow in a work that has to do
with cultural imperialism and cultural communication1. Additionally, diversity
is difficult to be preserved in a world of constant changes where mimesis and
mass consumption dominates. An oral, dominated tradition in a modern world,
especially at a period when Europe and the European idea arein crisis, offers an
interesting field of study.
This paper aims to offer a better view of cultural imperialism that concern
an ancient oral tradition and propose ways that could prevent negative impacts,
either towards the dominant orthe dominated culture. This is how, arguably,
the European cultural patrimony possibly could be preserved. The results of this
research illustrate the need for better communication to protect cultural diversity.
In the first part, we meet the cultural/social environments of this study (France
and Corsica). Then we refer to the research questions and the research technique
chosen, before exposing the results of this research. Finally, we propose ways
to overcome the possible problems that cultural imperialism could create. The
communication inside and outside a dominated cultural environment plays an

1 By cultural imperialism we mean the domination of one culture over another. It could be
argued that France has used cultural imperialism as a political process that led to the inte-
gration of peripheral areas into greater France. This process could also be named colonial-
ism, as France established a form of political control over areas it incorporated in the French
territory.

67
important role in this case. Before referring to the methodology of the research, it
is essential to learn more about France and Corsica.

France, Corsica and the Riaquistu movement

France is a unitary, semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several


overseas territories and islands, like Corsica. Corsica is the fourth biggest island in
the Mediterranean, after Sicily, Sardinia and Cyprus. Closer to Italy and the Ital-
ian culture, this island is one of the 27 regions of France2, under a special status it
is, by law, designated as a territorial collectivism and it enjoys different (better)
treatment than other French regions. With a population of about 275.000 people,
this island is mountainous with over 1.000 km of coastline and 200 beaches. More
than any other island of the Mediterranean, Corsica has its own character, identity
and cultural elements. Efforts to preserve its cultural diversity, after the French
occupation in 1769, led to the appearance of the Riacquistu movement in the
1770s. At that time, people used music and, more important, polyphonic singing
as the only way to indicate and express the islands particular character. It was an
effort from the inhabitants to preserve their cultural elements (language, music,
cultural expressions). This type of polyphonic music then became a symbol of
identification, an element that affirmed the islands cultural existence. Based on
the interviews3 conducted during this study, the Riaquistu movement considered
this type of music (polyphony), something very static and serious, as the only
cultural expression that could represent the islands character. The above, put an
obstacle for the inclusion of dance in the islands cultural values.
Dancing implies bodily expression and free movement, whilst polyphonic
singing involves a static and stable position. The consequence of this musics
predominance promotion was that Corsican dance was little by little forgotten.
Dance there, today, cannot be considered a natural phenomenon, since it is some
dance associations that keep it alive4. Music groups that emerged at the time of
Riaquistu, with the aim of promoting static original identity, can be named the
cause for the ignorance of dance. This cultural movement soon took a political
dimension and cultural identity was then perceived as a symbol of the islands
nationalism. Andreanni J.-J., specialist of Corsican traditional music and musi-

2 Corsica was only very briefly an independent Corsican Republic, until it was bought from
Genoa to France in 1769.
3 The persons interviewed were either founding members of cultural groups (music and dance
groups) or culture specialists.
4 It is no longer transmitted naturally from one generation to the other.

68
cian, use the expression laffaire du trou (Kefalaki, 2010)5. Differently said, for
him dance neglect is a theme with many questions but no answers. He explains
that everything stared in the 18th century, when the war was declared against
Genoa. In 1736, Genoas prohibited the use of the instruments, the festivals, the
dances and the carnival. This period is called the black period6, for the damage
it has evoked to cultural expressions7. People (especially dancers and musicians)
were, then, ordered to stop playing music and to stop dancing.

Methodology

We make out, from the above, that the period of dance neglect had started before
the French domination. Nevertheless, this research investigates the cultural impact
of a dominant culture towards a dominated one. Our research questions in
this paper have to do with France domination: has France really imposed its
cultural values to Corsica and if so how have the islands inhabitants reacted?
To understand Corsicas cultural situation an ethnographic fieldwork tech-
nique was chosen. Primary data collection included observation, active partici-
pation and semi structured, open-ended interviews. Nevertheless in this paper
we only expose interview data from seventeen (17) dance associations and from
some specialists of the Corsican oral tradition. Our fieldwork approach in this
research was iterative and exploratory to allow the researcher to be open to new
information (Bernard 1995; Jacob 2009). The study took place between January
2003 and December 2006. The seventeen associations chosen to participate in the
research were those that proposed at least one seminar of popular dance a week.
A total of thirty interviews took place with the associations representatives and
some key administrative actors8 of Corsicas cultural patrimony.
Interviews took the form of an open dialogue, between researcher and infor-
mants, as close to a normal conversation as possible (Bernard 1995; Jacob 2009).
In the course of the interview, questions included data about Corsicas dance con-
dition, particular details of the associations9, following up statements made by

5 Andreani Jean-Jacques, Interview with Margarita Kefalaki, Corte 09 aot 2004 (PhD Thesis
research).
6 In French, la priode noire
7 Cultural expressions include music, dance, and oral expressions in general (fables, fairy
tales).
8 Key informants in this research are considered people who maintained a central role in the
cultural activity of the island.
9 The interviews with the associations included questions about their creation date, reasons and
conditions, their activities, their actual and future actions and projects, the use of costumes,
and their views about other dance associations.

69
the informants, as well as previous statements integrated into the continuously-
developing interview guide (Alvesson, 2003).
Questions addressed to dance associations were mainly organized in three
parts: firstly membership, secondly technical elements (e.g. method of teaching),
and thirdly function, actions and projects. One of the main purposes of the inter-
views, addressed to the dance associations members, was to invite informants
to give concrete examples, describing specific situations that, in their opinion,
had affected their participation in dance events, especially with regard to other
members and other associations.
All interviews were conducted in French, except for some words (dance figures
and popular expressions) spoken and transferred into the local dialect of Corsica.
Open interviews were conducted with key members of the following seventeen
(17) dance associations, namely Estudiantina Aiaccina, Sirinata Aiaccina, A
Mannella, A Cirnea, A Paghjella, Cantu di cirnu, A Riesciuta, I Macchjaghjoli, A
Squatriglia, Ochju Ochju, Tutti in piazza, Quatrigliu in Aiacciu, A Piazzetta, A
Liscinosa, Ballettu strintu, Musical and A Casarella.
Questions addressed to the associations were first sent by e-mail. More than
one telephone discussions followed. Then, in some cases, face-to-face interviews
took place to examine in depth some of the informants answers. For Bitton-
Andreotti and Grimaldi10 (Kefalaki, 2010), the difficult thing is to give people
the will to dance again. The specialist of Corsican culture even expressed their
disapproval of popular dance neglect:
We are not so proud by the fact that Corsica is a Mediterranean island where popular dances
are so little practiced11 (Pazzoni, 2004).

Castelli L.12 explains that the Corsican traditional repertory counts a limited
number of dances, and more the symbolic of them is quadrille (Kefalaki, 2010).
At the same time, other dances like a manfarina and a scuttiscia were practiced.
Nevertheless the results of this research are based on the practice of quadrille
dance. One significant conclusion made out of these interviews was the real-
ization that if a dance is no longer performed, it will finally be forgotten. This is
also the case of Corsican popular dances that we examine in this paper.

10 Bitton-Andreotti Alain is the man who created the federation of Corsican dances Tutti in
Piazza, whether Grimaldi Pierre-Paul is a founding member of the dance association Ochju
Ochju.
11 Pazzoni B. (2004) I Balli in Corsica (non dit), Confrence au muse dAnthropologie de la
Corse dans le cadre du saltu di San Ghjuv (06 Juin), Corte.
12 Castelli Louis is founding member of the most ancient dance association in Corsica, named I
Macchjaghjoli. Interview to the writer, October 2004, Bastia, Corsica.

70
Dance associations in Corsica

Dance associations were mostly situated in Corsica13 (table 1). Their projects con-
cerned research, promotion and transmission of the islands dance and music pat-
rimony. The associations members had learned how to dance in a related envi-
ronment. At the moment of the research, there was no annual calendar or agenda
for them to communicate their dancing events. All associations claimed to have
a place to rehearse and practice; nevertheless they would all like to have a more
adequate one14. For most of the associations, wearing a costume was not consid-
ered necessary for their appearance in public. This means that these associations
used to promote their actions was principally from mouth to mouth.
Furthermore, they all claimed not to target a particular public, although they
would all like to include younger ages in their dance seminars. Additionally, each
association differentiated dance figures based on its own preferences. Finally,
all associations claimed to have difficulties finding the necessary resources to
promote their actions15.

Association Data/
Percentages Percentage

Location Inside Corsica 93,75%

Out of Corsica 6,25%

Projects Research, Promotion, Transmission 100%

Diffusion Use of mouth to mouth communication 100%

No costumes 81,25%

Needs No adequate place to rehearse 100%

Problem with recourses 100%

Table 1. Interview data from the 17 dance associations

13 This research was conducted from 2003 to 2006. At that time there was only one association
that maintained habitual dance activity both in Corsica and in continental France (Paris).
14 A place that would be bigger and/or with the necessary equipment would be more adequate for
rehearsals, as the participants claimed during their interview.
15 Data of dance associations, discussed in this paragraph, figure in table 1. More details can be
found in Kefalaki (2010).

71
Problems and solutions

A problem that all the associations in Corsica face, is that they mainly concern
a particular age group, more particularly people from 40 to 60 years old, while
they would all like to approach a younger public. For Castelli (Kefalaki, 2010),
the problem of the Corsica dance is that young public does not sufficiently take
part in dance demonstrations and additionally that they do not want to wear any
traditional costume16.
The problem of dance transmission is to discuss as well. When usual ways
of transmission are no longer in use, new ways should be invented. Dance prac-
tice used to be transmitted orally from one generation to the other. Nevertheless,
where transmission is no longer in practice in a society, it becomes extraordi-
narily difficult to even find written or recorded traces which can prove the exis-
tence of popular dances. Dance associations in Corsica today use this pivotal role
of transmission. However, these same associations find it difficult to collaborate
with other dance associations.
During the research17, the biggest communication problem perceived among
different associations was the diversity of their dance figures. To be more pre-
cise, each dance association followed different rules and dance figures, a situation
that eventually posed problems to dance preservation and transmission. Actually,
almost all associations maintained different dance teaching tactics and dance
figures. Not to neglect that most associations had a neutral or even a negative
position about other associations tactics and transmission processes. Though,
it is not just a question of how to transmit, but what to transmit. For Thiers
(1989), the inhabitants should accept the fact that we live in an era of sharing and
exchange and that tradition is a living organism and, as such, it is impossible to
keep it intact like a museum piece. The associations founding members answers
did not prove their willingness to interact and communicate. However, the words
of some key members of Corsicas Cultural Patrimony, like Bitton-Andreotti A.,
evoked the need for action and interaction among the different dance groups and
governmental actors:
We prefer to settle in front of a video recorder and to remain pathetic actors, we follow the
fashion, we consume the way the media impose to us. However, when we make the effort to
go towards the activities such as music and dance, we discover again our smile, the kindness
and the love of life18 (Andreani, 2001).

16 Interview M. Kefalaki, Bastia, October 2004.


17 Observation was the research method used to understand associative communicative con-
dition.
18 Translation from French to English by the author.

72
The use of the media (radio, newspapers, magazines and the Internet), would also
help the associations better, promote their actions and become able to include
younger ages into their dance seminars, the imposition of French language might
also be considered a reason for popular dance loss.
It is generally known that a dominant culture usually starts transferring its dif-
ferent cultural and social aspects by imposing its language. As Veloutsou (2003,
p. 1) claimed, language is a key source of culture demonstrating the power of
communication, because humans who interact can discover similar elements,
coming from their knowledge and information, and so, for this reason, they can
share similar beliefs and cultural elements.
The many years of French linguistic imperialism have eliminated the every-
day, natural use of Corsican language. When primary education became compul-
sory (1882), French was used instead of Corsican, a fact which made Corsican
a minority language, and in a great disadvantage. As a result, many Corsican
expressions, fables, fairy tales, and even dances and music, were lost and arecon-
tinually disappearing day by day. What actions could help the preservation of
such cultural elements? Some implications about dance preservation, arising
from the research, follow.
Intergroup contact would possibly help resolve communication insufficiencies
among Corsican dance associations. Cultural communication would ameliorate
todays condition of non-transmission, not forgetting that communications cul-
tural advantages are always accompanied by economic and general social bene-
fits. Direct and indirect contact is a necessary step to achieve communication and
exchange. As a matter of fact, indirect contact can have positive consequences not
only for participants, but also for nonparticipants, whose friends and associates
would experience a contact. Nevertheless, intergroup contact is a necessary but
insufficient condition, by itself, to resolve any potential intergroup conflict (Pet-
tigrew, 2008).
According to Intergroup Contact Theory, contact between groups that takes
place under optimal conditions can improve intergroup attitudes. The conditions
to promote favourable intergroup relations are equal status between the groups,
common goals, co-operation, institutional support (Allport, 1954) and the pro-
jection of trait positivity (Stathi and Crisp, 2010).
Speaking of the last condition (the projection of trait positivity), positive
contact evokes greater self-out-group similarity19, which increases out-group
liking20 through the projection of positivity. Both the projection of positivity and

19 The group has a common personality, with rules and functions.


20 The way that others see the group.

73
reduced anxiety, though independently from one another, result in improved out-
groupattitudes21.
The lack of interaction among dance groups in Corsica is a key reason for
dance being a neglected area. Researchers (Tsui et al, 1992) dealing with social
categorization, emphasize that similar organization members interact more with
each other than with non-similar individuals. All the same, the associations
members examined in this research mainly originated from the island, so they
did not face a condition of non-similarity.
From another point of view, Turner et al. (1987) argued that if group member-
ship is unsatisfactory, members would attempt to leave that group. Even when
that is not physically possible, individuals may engage themselves in other forms
of reduced attachment, such as psychologically withdrawing from the commu-
nity (Turner et al, 1987). To avoid such situations, a global working environment
should be created. The aim would be to mix individuals from different cultures
with different knowledge and perspectives, and let them communicate, share and
exchange. This might be possible during the annual dance festivals organised on
the island during the summer, when people from over the world with different
nationalities and cultures participate in dance courses and festivities. By mixing
teams with regard to nationality and trying to avoid groupings based on cultural
and linguistic affiliation, it is expected that possible narrow minded or ethnocen-
tric viewpoints would be questioned before they could have any negative impact.

Conclusions

At the time of the research, dance associations in Corsica were the only places
where popular dance was still practised. The field study research proved the exis-
tence of communication problems among the different dance groups in Corsica.
Most of them followed their own dance rules and figures and had their own tac-
tics of dance promotion. This conflict harms even more the already-neglected
oral tradition of Corsica. Referring to groups communication theories, mutual
respect and better understanding of the situation could help the associations pro-
pose and follow a common project to ameliorate the situation. Following common
rules, proposing a specific agenda with dance events, inviting younger people to
dance, promoting research, developing members identification by creating inter-
cultural groups and mixing the teams with regard to nationality, are some actions
which could help dance transmission. In this way, communication among the
different dance groups, the cultural actors and the society could be ameliorated

21 Attitudes towards people outside the group.

74
so that cooperation to protect an oral patrimony in risk of disappearance could
be achieved.
As Chevalier and Chiva (1990) suggested in order to protect we must transmit
and consequently take into account the psychological, social and cultural meth-
ods of this transmission22.
On the other hand, France certainlyhad an impact on Corsicas cultural situ-
ation. The imposition of French language and a new administrative system,
received different reactions. The importance of cultural preservation should be
taken into account by every dominant culture, as on one side the dominated
one needs time to adapt and advance without any cultural or other loss, and on the
other, a possible cultural loss would harm the dominant country as well23.
In this paper we treated only a specific aspect of the difficulties that an oral
culture can face. The neglect of dance in an oral society influenced by a dominant
culture was our main reference point. Future research could examine to a greater
extent the mediating and moderating role of group processes and power relations
linked to oral patrimonies, as well as the economic and general the social benefits
related to cultural promotion.

References

Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Garden City. NY: Doubleday.


Alvesson, M. (2003). Beyond neopositivists, romantics, and localists: A reflexive
approach to interviews in organizational research, Academy of Management
Review, Vol. 28, No. 1, p. 1333.
Andreani J.J. (2001). Quand la Corse mne le bal (interview of Bitton- Andreotti
Alain), Magazine Mditerrane, numro Spcial, Milan Presse, Toulouse, p.
128.
Bernard, R. H. (1995). Research methods in anthropology: Qualitative and quan-
titative approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Chevalier D.; Chiva I. (1990). Lintrouvable objet. In Chevallier Denis (Eds).
Savoir faire et pouvoir transmettre, cahier No. 6, Paris: Maison des sciences
de lhomme.
Kefalaki . (2010). Lidentit culturelle en Mditerrane: musiques et danses de
Corse et de Naxos. Berlin: ditions universitaires europennes.

22 Translated from French to English by the author.


23 e. g. France would not benefit from Corsicas dance tradition loss. Popular dances of the island
could be considered to add to the uniqueness of French culture.

75
Pettigrewa T. F.; Christ O.; Wagnerb U.; Stellmacherb, J. (2007). Direct and indi-
rect intergroup
contact effects on prejudice: A normative interpretation. International Journal of
Intercultural Relations, Vol. 31, pp. 411425.
Stathi S.; Crisp R. J. (2010). Intergroup contact and the projection of positivity.
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 34, pp. 580591.
Thiers J. (1989). Papiers didentit(s). Genova: Albiana
Tsui, A. S.; Egan, T. D.; OReilly, C. A. (1992). Being different: Relational demog-
raphy and organizational attachment. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol.
37, pp. 549579.
Turner, J. C.; Hogg, M. A.; Oakes, P. J.; Reicher, J. D.; Wetherell, M. S. (1987).
Rediscovering the social group: A self-categorization theory. Oxford: Basil
Blackwell.
Veloutsou C. (2003). Communicating with Customers Trends and Develop-
ments: An Introduction, In Communicating with Customers: Trends and
Developments. Athens: ATINER.

76
Section II:
Externally oriented cultural Diplomacy
Cultural diplomacy in the contemporary United Kingdom:
the case of the British Council

Atsuko Ichijo

Introduction

The chapter investigates the theme of the volume, cultural diplomacy, in the con-
temporary United Kingdom (UK). It approaches the subject matter by way of
examining national identity formulated and projected in the arena of contemporary
cultural diplomacy. More specifically, the theme of the book, cultural diplomacy,
is approached by analysing the discourses on Britishness produced by the Brit-
ish Council, a body which operates at arms length from the government, whose
activities are nonetheless incorporated in public diplomacy pursued by the UK
government (Crown Copyright 2003; 2006). The British Council defines what it
does as cultural relations (British Council 2010; 2011) but in the literature, it is
often labelled as an actor in cultural or public diplomacy (Parsons 1985; Fox 1999).
The preceding paragraph has already demonstrated one of the fundamental
problems in discussing cultural diplomacy: the question of definition. Simon
Mark, lamenting a relative lack of scholarly attention to cultural diplomacy, attri-
butes the cause of the problem to the lack of clarity about what precisely the
practice entails. There is no one agreed definition of cultural diplomacy, and
he points out the existence of a range of terms used by scholars as interchange-
able with cultural diplomacy: public diplomacy, international cultural relations,
international cultural policy and a states foreign cultural mission (Mark 2010,
p. 6263). Turning to public diplomacy, the most frequently used synonym for
cultural diplomacy, the situation is not better either. On the one hand, there is an
equivocal view that public diplomacy is part and parcel of international politi-
cal marketing whose sole purpose is to market nations by projecting national
images (Sun, 2008). On the other hand, Jan Mellison (2005) paints a much more
nuanced picture; while public diplomacy is clearly distinguished from traditional
diplomacy in that the latter is about relationships between the representatives
of states, or other international actors and the former involves general public
and non-official groups (Mellison, 2005, p. 5), it shares a lot of ground with con-
cepts in adjacent fields such as propaganda, nation-branding and foreign cultural
relations (Mellison, 2005, p. 1623). As a concept, both cultural and public diplo-
macy appear to be swimming in murky water.

79
However, sorting out the conceptual or definitional confusion surrounding
cultural diplomacy is not the purpose of this chapter. Its key interest lies in an
investigation of construction and maintenance of national identity in the context
of cultural diplomacy. Identity is relevant to any inquiry into cultural diplomacy
because of the centrality of culture in cultural diplomacy and what is perceived
as an irrefutable, taken-for-granted link between culture and identity. There-
fore this chapter adopts a loose, pragmatic description of cultural diplomacy
as a means of delineating its scope: cultural diplomacy has the involvement of
government, to whatever extent, in the business of projecting the nations image
abroad. Cultural, or Public, Diplomacy is an arm of diplomacy itself, the busi-
ness of winning friends and influencing people (Fox, 1999, p. 3).
Cultural diplomacy provides a promising context in which to carry out an
investigation into national identity for a number of reasons. First of all, diplomacy
is about promoting and securing national interests and national identity plays
an prominent role in defining what constitute national interest for a particular
nation-state. Secondly, synonyms for cultural diplomacy include nation-branding
and the projection of the nations image, both of which serve as a stage where
national identity is constructed, contested and maintained by various parties
involved. Thirdly, cultural diplomacy as a subunit of public diplomacy presup-
poses involvement of non-state actors, which suggests that in the context of cul-
tural diplomacy, competing visions of the nations official and non-official are
presented. What is more, as Mark (2010) suggests cultural diplomacy touches
upon cultural sovereignty which opens new possibilities for investigating identity
issues in a multinational state such as the UK, though this problematique lies
outside the scope of the current chapter.
Cultural diplomacy in the UK in particular adds further dimensions which
make an investigation into national identity more exciting. The UK is said to
be a late comer in cultural diplomacy, especially compared to France which is
widely seen to have long engaged with the practice through the Bourbon courts
and the post-revolutionary governments. According to a former UK diplomat,
this reflects differences in attitudes towards culture itself and management of
colonies (Parsons, 1985). The British/English scepticism towards anything intel-
lectual is widely noted while the adoration of public intellectuals is often attrib-
uted to continental countries such as France and Germany in the postwar period.
The difference in the colonial management style has also widely been acknowl-
edged: the British tended to make the most of the already existing system of
rule in managing colonies but the French set out to produce Frenchmen through
education. Both suggest that the British are less experienced in the business of
projecting themselves to the wider world by means of culture than, for instance,
the French. Still cultural diplomacy, or at least public diplomacy, is now one of the

80
cornerstones of British diplomacy, and the UK government is pursuing it in the
post-colonial world where multiculturalism is the norm. When British national
identity is negotiated in the course of cultural diplomacy, all these factors come
into play, which creates a fluid and dynamic environment in which national iden-
tity is negotiated.
The chapter draws from the research work carried out for an FP7 project,
Identities and Modernities in Europe (IME) . In IME, discourses surrounding
cultural institutions in relation to the states externally-oriented attempt at con-
structing and maintaining national identity were investigated in nine countries,
and the current chapter draws from the UK case study (Ichijo, 2010). In what
follows, official discourses found in relation to the work of the British Council
are examined so as to decipher what kind of national identity is being negotiated
and projected to the rest of the world. In order to fulfil this objective, discourse
analysis of policy documents related to the British Council as well as the British
Councils own documents is carried out.
The analysis is carried out within the framework of grounded theory, a theory
for qualitative analysis of discourse originally proposed by Glaser and Strauss
in 1967 (Glaser and Strauss, 1967). Although grounded theory has now evolved
beyond its original framework, it is still seen as providing a useful set of basic
strategies for discourse analysis (Pidgeon and Henwood, 2004). Following the
spirit of the grounded theory approach shared by a number of scholars, the
material is analysed to capture the emergent, that is, the insights that emerge
from the repetition of observation, note-taking and categorising (Glaser 1992;
Glaser and Strauss 1967). In practice, this means that the collected material
is first read with a set of open-coded categories (identity/Britishness/values,
etc). These categories are then repeatedly revised during subsequent readings
in order to capture emerging concepts that are relevant to the inquiry on hand.
This is then supported by critical discourse analysis which takes consideration
of the context of language use to be crucial because political utterances are part
of the political process which is historically and culturally determined (Wodak,
2001, p. 1). The chapter concludes with a discussion of findings and a reflection
on the relationship between cultural diplomacy and national identity in todays
world.

The case: the British Council

The British Council was established in 1934 to make the life and thought of
the British peoples more widely known; and to promote a mutual interchange of

81
knowledge and ideas. It is now a registered charity. According to the Foreign and
Commonwealth Office/British Council Management Statement (2007), it is
an organization that operates at arms length from Government and is incorporated by Royal
Charter. The British Council does not carry out its functions on behalf of the Crown
(2007, p. 3).

Its status is also defined as an executive non-departmental public body but its
status as a registered charity deems to prevail should there be any conflict. While
not a full part of the Government, the British Council receives grant-in-aid from
the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) just as the BBC World Service does
(Crown Copyright 2003, p. 7). It is described in UK International Priorities: A
Strategy for the FCO, a White Paper published in 2003 and in Active Diplomacy
for a Changing World: the UKs International Priorities, another White Paper
published in 2006, as firmly incorporated in the current British governments
promotion of active/public diplomacy and the workings of the FCO (Crown
Copyright 2003, p. 8; 2006, p. 47). The British Council is therefore one of the
means through which diplomacy of the UK is conducted and can be legitimately
seen as one venue through which the British state tries to establish and maintain
British national identity to its advantage.
The British Councils overall aims according to the aforementioned Manage-
ment Statement are to build mutually beneficial relationships between people in
the UK and other countries and to increase appreciation of the UKs creative ideas
and achievements (FCO/British Council 2007, p. 3). These aims are pursued by:
Promoting a wider knowledge of the United Kingdom;
Developing a wider knowledge of the English language;
Encouraging cultural, scientific, technological and other educational co-operation
between the United Kingdom and other countries; or
Promoting the advancement of education (FCO/British Council 2007, p. 3).

The work of the British Council is scrutinised by the House of Commons Foreign
Committee as a part of their scrutiny of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The British Council is described by the UK government as promoting Brit-
ish values, ideas and achievements and strengthens relations between the UK
and other countries and as playing a vital role in maximising the UKs inter-
national influence (Crown Copyright 2003, p. 7, 8). It is also described, together
with the BBC World Service, as two World-Class institutions with strong
brands (Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2005, p. 4). The House of Com-
mons Foreign Committee has also been generally favourable in their assessment
of the British Councils work.

82
An inherent contradiction:
the British Councils ambiguous position

In examining policy documents concerning the British Council, the recent emer-
gence of a new framework called public diplomacy has to be taken into account
since it appears to have a tangible impact on the way the British Council, described
as one of the key public diplomacy institutions, operates.
Public diplomacy is defined by the Carter Commission which was tasked to
review the effectiveness of current public diplomacy by the government as work
which aims at influencing in a positive way the perceptions of individuals and
organisations overseas about the UK, and their engagement with the UK (FCO
2005, p. 8). However, as the report itself acknowledges the ways in which the term
public diplomacy is interpreted and acted upon differ considerably among those
who are involved in public diplomacy. Below is the Commissions understanding
and assessment of the British Councils stance:
2.3 The British Council suggested an alternative definition in their submission
to the Carter Review, which was work aiming to interact and build relationships
with individuals and organisations overseas in order to improve perceptions of,
and strengthen the influence for, the United Kingdom. This helps to clarify that
part of the purpose of public diplomacy is to strengthen the influence for the UK,
acknowledging it is not simply about being favourably perceived. However, in
the context of the Councils Government funded activity at least, it still lacks an
essential reference to public diplomacy being in support of Government goals or
objectives (FCO, 2005, p. 8).
The first observation emerges from this is that there is a tension between what
the government considers appropriate for the British Council as an arm of public
diplomacy and what the British Council actually carries out on the ground. In the
above excerpt, the way in which the British Council perceives public diplomacy,
and by extension, its activities in public diplomacy, is assessed by the Commission
to be lacking in clear reference to its official function: being part of the UKs public
diplomacy. Clearly, there is an inherit tension in situating the work of the British
Council in the overall structure of the governments work. The report continues:
2.4 At its core, Government funded public diplomacy must be about building
support for Government medium and long term goals and objectives. Building
relationships, mutuality, and shared understanding all help to create a benevolent
(and informed) environment for public diplomacy, but they will not necessarily
deliver public diplomacy objectives on their own.
2.5 The Review Team recommends that a better definition of public diplomacy
would be work aiming to inform and engage individuals and organisations over-

83
seas, in order to improve understanding of and influence for the United Kingdom
in a manner consistent with governmental medium and long term goals. Govern-
ment goals are of course wide-ranging, and would need to be clearly articulated,
along with key objectives, themes and action plans as part of an overall strategy,
but it is clear that public diplomacy should no longer be defined simply in terms
of creating positive perceptions. This definition must be understood within the
context of the continuing guarantee of editorial independence for the BBC World
Service and day-to-day operational independence for the British Council. (FCO,
2005, p. 8).
The report indicates there is an underlying contradiction in the environment
in which the British Council operates. On the one hand, the British Council pro-
motes arts, science, education and understanding, which are intrinsically univer-
sal in its orientation while the British Council which receives funding from the
government has to calibrate its operation to be in tune with the promotion of the
UK interests. The tension is acknowledged by the report:
5.2.14 The British Council receives substantial funding from Government, but
believes its ability to operate at one remove from government enhances the range
of the UKs public diplomacy, particularly for engendering trust and building
relationships with groups less likely to respond to conventional diplomacy. This
may be true, but it is also true that the Foreign Secretary is accountable to Parlia-
ment for public diplomacy and to foreign governments (especially in countries
where British Council employees or operations have diplomatic status). (FCO,
2005, p. 25)
The tension sometimes comes to the surface. For instance, the House of Com-
mons Foreign Affairs Committee, which is on the whole favourably disposed to
the British Councils work and show a large degree of understanding of its pre-
carious position in between the state and the private, once censured it publicly in
a 2004 report. The issue was the British Councils new logo which replaced the
old one designed on a Union Flag motive.
206. We are concerned that the British Council may be making the same mis-
take as British Airways, in underplaying its Britishness. The Union Flag is the
most well-known and widely recognised symbol of Britain and, as British Air-
ways belatedly realised, it can be presented as part of a modern and dynamic
corporate image, but we did not see it displayed prominently in the offices of the
British Council in Moscow. We would be very surprised if the people of Moscow
or elsewhere understood the symbolism of the four dots, which in our view com-
pletely fail to reflect the Councils mission, to increase appreciation of the UKs
creative ideas and achievements.
207. We conclude that the British Councils new branding fails to project its
purpose and its identity. We recommend that the British Council provide us with

84
detailed information on the full cost of its rebranding and that it reconsider its
reluctance to use the Union Flag. (House of Commons Foreign Affairs Commit-
tee 2004, p. 81)
The British Council, whose declared values are internationalism, profession-
alism and creativity, is being criticised for not taking Britishness seriously
because it dumped the Union Flag and adopted a four-dot design. The new logo
is judged by one arm of the government as not conducive to the British Councils
remit to represent Britain while it is deemed to be in line with the British Coun-
cils self image as a leading cultural institution.
While emphasising the necessity of aligning the British Councils activity with
that of the UK government, the Carter report also notes the generally observed
appreciation of the British Council by various parts of the government:
6.1.2 Where such activity may be seen to have the greatest impact is in areas
where more traditional diplomacy is either difficult or has proven unsuccessful.
Visiting Arts, for example, ran a successful project to bring Argentinean artists to
the UK immediately after the Falklands, and co-ordinated an exchange of Iranian
and British artists during a period when not even the British Council was operat-
ing in Iran. In politically sensitive climates, culture, arts and sport can provide
invaluable means of reaching people, as seen in Burma where the Government
banned all foreign media, but turned a blind eye to international football being
shown in public places because of its popularity. (FCO, 2005, p. 31)
From the governments point of view, therefore, the British Council is an asset
in influencing the peoples view of Britain though it is an institution which needs
some supervision to ensure public funding provided to promote the UKs national
interests would not be diverted to somewhere else.
This inherent tension is acknowledged and addressed by the British Council as
issues of independence and accountability in their annual report (British Council
2006, 2010 and 2011). In its Annual Report 20092010, it is emphasised that:
We are operationally independent from the UK government, which enables us
to build trust on the ground in places and with people where relationships with
our country, society and values are strained but added that We are living within
our means (British Council 2010, p. 11). The insistence on independence from
the UK government is of vital importance for the British Council if it were to
carry out its mission in different corners of the world. Despite its emphasises
on its independence of the UK government, the British Council is easily seen as
an extension of the UK state in foreign countries, and it sometimes suffer from
collateral damage resulting from the state of the UKs relationship with some
countries. In late 2007, the British Council was ordered to suspend some of its
operations in Russia by the Russian government when the tension between the
two countries was mounting. In August 2011, on the day that marked Afghan

85
independence from Britain in 1919, the British Council compound in Kabul was
attacked by a group of suicide bombers and gunmen, leaving all the assailants and
at least 12 people dead. In the context of cultural diplomacy, therefore, the Brit-
ish Council occupies a place which is full of tension and contradictions, which
inevitably would have some effects on the type of British identity it projects to
the outside world. Though it declares We place the UK at the heart of everything
that we do. We are working for the UK where it matters (British Council 2010,
p. 11), the British Council cannot afford to be seen simply as a yet another arm of
the UK state.
The British Councils concern with accountability echoes the governments
concern over what the British Council does. The British Council is not entirely
private; it receives public funding though it is not entirely publicly funded either.
If it receives public funding, it has to show that the money is used for the benefits
of tax payers in this case maintaining and improving the UKs friendly relation-
ship with other countries. Here enters another inherent problem: how to evaluate
culture. Measuring economic effects of culture is difficult enough; measuring
cultures effects on diplomacy is probably impossible. Still the British Council
has devised a number of ways to measure its performance including Evaluation
of Long-Term Outcomes (ELTO) research, Heads of Mission Survey and indi-
cators such as customer satisfaction, engagement and reach (British Council,
2011). All of these, unsurprisingly, tend to present the British Council in a favour-
able light and no doubt serve as part of ammunition when it is scrutinised by
the Parliament for its value-for-money aspect. It is not rocket science to deduce
that concern over accountability should an effect on what kind of work the Brit-
ish Council pursues in promoting the UK abroad. The British Council, a partly
publicly funded organisation that focuses on culture, has to negotiate various con-
straints in its endeavour to project Britishness abroad.

Britishness in the discursive space surrounding


the British Council

The discursive construction of British identity by the British Council is therefore


carried out within an inherent tension between a non-official body and the gov-
ernment, which is often played out as a funding issue. In addition to this rather
situational constraint, the British Council appears to be obliged to negotiate two
opposing forces: universalism as embodied in the idea of art and creativity and
particularism that emphasises Britishness.
The British Council is repeatedly represented as one of the leading cultural
relations organisations and as playing a crucial role in building overseas influ-

86
ence for the UK by developing mutual understanding between peoples, societies
and countries by both the British Council and the government (British Council
2008, p. 2). At the same time, the government has also declared:
At the heart of any foreign policy must lie a set of fundamental values. For this
Government, the values that we promote abroad are those that guide our actions
at home. We seek a world in which freedom, justice and opportunity thrive, in
which governments are accountable to the people, protect their rights and guar-
antee their security and basic needs. We do so because these are the values we
believe to be right. And because such a world is the best guarantee of security and
prosperity of the people of the United Kingdom (Crown Copyright 2006, p. 4).
Placing the British Council self-understanding within the view of diplomacy
as an expression and realisation of a countrys fundamental values, it is reason-
able to assume that British identity is presented as related to freedom and justice.
Because the British people are fair and love freedom, it is assumed that they are
good at building mutual understanding, an activity in which the British Council
excels. The British is represented as to be so good at doing this that other coun-
tries, notably France with its Campus France programme, are described to follow
the British way of doing things, which only enforces the message that the British
are good at fostering mutual understanding because of their fundamental values
(British Council 2006, p. 4).
The British commitment to fostering further mutual understanding across the
world as a way of stabilising it is pursued through education and language access.
Having international students in the UK higher education sector is valued because
it brings tangible economic benefits to the UK but also its effects on building
mutual understanding. The incoming students will gain intimate acquaintance
with modern Britain and they also bring knowledge and abilities that enrich
courses, campuses and communities (British Council 2006, p. 4). The contempo-
rary UK is represented as modern and a place where learning from each other is
valued. Since the UK higher education sector is seen as world-leading in attract-
ing overseas students, Britain is represented as occupying a superior position in
education, which is automatically assessed as intrinsically good. The British are
therefore a promoter of one of the fundamentally good things: education. Fur-
thermore, in the British Councils discursive structure, the British are depicted
as good at using education to bring about further good mutual understanding.
The perceived status of the English language in todays world is also another
device through which the idea of the British representing the good is pursued.
The British Councils work in providing English language education across the
world is repeatedly commended by the government (for instance, House of Com-
mons Foreign Affairs Committee 1999; 2003; 2006). The strategic advantage the
UK has in the situation where the English language is gaining hegemony as the

87
major means of communication in a globalising world is also frequently noted.
The British are therefore represented as naturally occupying an advantageous
position in todays world because of their mother tongue. This opportunity can be
utilised in several ways to the advantage of the UK. First, it represents an infinite
source of revenue; the demand for English language teaching only increases and
the UKs ability to provide high quality English language teaching represents
numerous opportunities for the government and the British Council to gain eco-
nomic profit. It also represents a unique opportunity to influence elites across the
world. The British Councils English language teaching is sometimes criticised
as being elitist by the Parliament, but the British Council counters it by reasoning
that it would be the most effective way of fostering favourable relationships with
many countries across the world. Also by contributing to expand access to Eng-
lish language education by working with various educational authorities across
the world, the British Council is widening access to the most influential means of
global communication, therefore bringing more opportunity to people across the
world. This is easily linked to the governments declared aim of diplomacy: the
British are contributing to the betterment of the world by offering widened access
to their mother tongue, English.
In addition to the self-image of the British being the force of good because of
their fundamental values, the British are also represented as at the forefront of
the knowledge economy based on creativity, something that is intrinsically good.
Creativity is a universal value, but the way the British have been exploiting it to
create knowledge economy is unique, the British Council appears to be arguing.
The British are therefore demonstrating to the world how to make the most of
universal values and qualities to be unique.
In Strategy 2010: Our Vision for Future (2004), the British Council sets out its
aim as follows:
By 2010
We will be a world authority on cultural relations, English language teaching,
and the international dimensions of education and the arts.
We will understand the needs and aspirations of those we are seeking to reach
much better. We will be using our expertise and knowledge to help millions of
people reach their goals and make a difference.
We will have built many lasting relationships between people in the UK and other
countries and strengthened trust and understanding between our different cultures.
We will be welcomed as an effective and sensitive partner for societies want-
ing to bring about a fairer and more prosperous world.
We will be connecting millions of people with creative ideas from all over the
UK and with each other, both face to face and with innovative online and broad-
cast communications.

88
We will be broadening the UKs world view, particularly how young people in
the UK understand and value other cultures and traditions.
And everyone who works for the British Council will feel valued and will
enjoy opportunities to be creative and realise their potential. (British Council
2004, p. 5).
Here, the UK is presented as a decent and modest international actor which is
committed to the universal good mutual understanding, creativity, respect for
diversity and whose fundamental values are defined as freedom and justice. As
a depiction of national identity, it is markedly short on the particular. Standard
markers of national identity such as language, customs, beliefs, specific cultural
traits and territory are conspicuous in their absence. The contour of Britishness as
presented here is drawn by appropriating the universal arts, culture, education,
mutual understanding without referring to the particular. This is not a custom-
ary way of promoting a nation. The positive images of the nation are forcefully
projected but what distinguishes the nation from others is not specified in refer-
ence to something concrete and tangible. This absence of referent to the particular
is in fact what the members of the Parliament felt uneasy when they criticised the
British Councils new logo as seen earlier. The British Council, whose vision has
a strong universal orientation, triggered some uneasiness among the MPs when
it dropped a very explicit and tangible British referent the Union Flag from
its logo. The redesigning of the logo, however, was an expression of the British
Councils efforts to project an accurate and modern image of the UK to the out-
side world:
Our logo is one of the main graphic elements that give the British Council its unique identity.
The four dots symbol is an abstract representation of the four countries of the UK and how we
bring people together for cultural exchange, always giving equal weight to different values,
ideas and experience.1

Four dots, which look very abstract, in fact represent four constituent nations
of the UK and the whole design embodies the value of equality, equality among
the four constituent nations of the UK in the first instance and among differ-
ent values, ideas and experience. What emerges here is a strong indication of
the influence of multiculturalism as a hegemonic norm in the postcolonial era.
Multiculturalism as a set of ideas that no culture is superior or inferior to other
cultures and that each culture should be paid equal respect has underpinned the
UKs social policy in the postwar period. In the post- war and colonial era, even
the language of diplomacy is encapsulated in the language of multiculturalism
in which uncritical assertion of the superiority of the particular is held back and
reference to the universal prevails in the promotion of national identity. It appears

1 http://www.britishcouncil.org/ukraine-press-room-logo.htm (Retrieved 20 August 2011)

89
to suggest that cultural diplomacy in the postcolonial environment is profoundly
incluenced by multiculturalism in which the unquestioned assertion of superior-
ity of a particular nation is heavily checked. Cultural diplomacy in the contempo-
rary world may well be serving to weaken the expression of the particular despite
the expectation that cultural diplomacy that is associated with nation-branding
would enhance the nations image and identity.

Conclusion

The foregoing examination has shown that cultural diplomacy in the UK is pur-
sued in the midst of an inherent tension between the state and the non-official
bodies because of the very means through which diplomacy is conducted: culture.
The separation of politics and culture is often sought, sometimes as a means for
the non-official organisation to defend itself. However, given that actors in cul-
tural diplomacy are often in receipt of state funding, the obligation of account-
ability necessitates a degree of alignment between the governments objectives
and that of the organisation involved as seen in the practice of scrutiny of the
British Councils operation by the UK government. Consequently, national iden-
tity projected by the British Council is not exactly what the successive British
governments wish to propagate but not entirely formulated and articulated by the
British Council whose prime interest lies in cultural relations, either.
Furthermore, the act of projecting the nations image through culture in the
postcolonial world appears to be significantly conditioned by multiculturalism.
In the world where there is no inherent, self-evident and unconditionally justified
hierarchy especially in the realm of culture, asserting the superiority of a nations
particularity has to be carried out carefully. The case study of the British Council
has shown that, in projecting images of the UK, it is heavily reliant on universal
values freedom and justice without, however, reference to something concrete.
In the case of the United States, perhaps the same values freedom and jus-
tice may well be projected together with concrete images of the Statute of Lib-
erty, the Liberty Bell and the Lincoln Memorial or images from the Civil Rights
movement and perhaps accompanied by reference to President Obama. It can
further argued that the US still occupies a place in the world perhaps only just
in which projection of the nations superiority does not cause existential agony
amongst policy officials.
In the case of the British Council, while reference to English language teach-
ing is abundant, no tangible or visual images are provided in emphasising free-
dom and justice as core British values. This reflects in part the position the UK
occupies in the world: an ex-colonial power with historical baggage which is one

90
of the middle-ranking countries. It also reflects a strong hold of multicultural-
ism on the contemporary UK. Taken together, it seems cultural diplomacy of the
contemporary UK is creating a condition in which articulation of the particular is
increasingly difficult. In other words, contemporary cultural diplomacy appears
to have a flattening effect on national identity rather than enhancing it as expected
in the practice of nation-branding.
It would be interesting to see if the same tendency can be observed in cul-
tural diplomacy of other European countries. France, Germany and Italy in the
prewar period are often described to have led the way in cultural diplomacy as
an enterprise to impress others by exhibiting the nations superiority in culture
(Parsons 1985; Mellison 2005). Germany and Italy were humiliated at World
War II and France had to face decolonisation as the UK did; all these countries
have gone through similar social change in the postwar period and have adopted
multiculturalism as a ways of managing social relations in one way or another. Is
cultural diplomacy of France today, for instance, conducted in a similar tension
and under similar pressure to those of the British Council? Is the articulation of
national identity within the context of cultural diplomacy showing a sign of flat-
tening as in the case of the British Council? Among the post-communist coun-
tries, Polands public diplomacy in the run up to the accession to the European
Union is often seen as a success (Mellison 2005). Having achieved its priority of
becoming an EU member state, is Polands cultural diplomacy converging with
those pursued by old member states? Further questions keep coming up. Cultural
diplomacy continues to provide a fertile context in which to investigate national
identity.

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The Role of Yunus Emre Cultural Centres in
Turkish Cultural diplomacy

Ayhan Kaya and Aye Tecmen

Introduction

This study investigates the role of Yunus Emre Cultural Centres in the promotion
of Turkish society and culture abroad with reference to the theory of multiple
modernities a theory that is likely to revitalize the role of culture and religion
in social and political inquiries. We will argue that Turkey has recently begun
instrumentalizing its language and culture in promoting Turkey abroad through
the Yunus Emre Cultural Centres scattered around the world, and in doing so is
making alternative use of a neo-Ottoman discourse and a modernist discourse
dependent on the peculiarities of the location in question. It will be claimed that
the current political elite in power is inclined to position Turkey as a hegemonic
power among its neighbours (the Middle East, the Balkans, North Africa and
the Caucasus as well as in the Central Asian Turkic republics) using a Turco-
Islamist discourse, and in European Union countries by instrumentalizing the
migrant entities of Turkish origin settled there. In both instances, it seems the
Turkish political elite has proven that their manoeuvres comply with the multiple
modernities paradigm: They have portrayed themselves as active political agents
imposing their cultural, linguistic, historical and religious tenets on other nations,
rather than being imposed upon by the linear form of modernity monopolized by
the west.
These manoeuvres also indicate that the contemporary Turkish political elite
is not willing to accept the hegemony of the linear form of classical European
modernity, but offer instead an alternative form of modernity arising out of the
cultural, religious and historical specificities of Turkey. However, it will also be
maintained that what the Justice and Development Party (JDP) government is
pursuing is in line with the neo-liberal form of governmentality, to use Michel
Foucault (1979)s term, which is inclined to reduce the political, social and eco-
nomic to the cultural and religious in the same vein as postmodernity (Dirlik,
2006).1

1 For further information about the notion of governmentality, see Foucault (1979: 21). Michel
Foucault describes the concept of governmentality as a collection of methods used by political
elites to maintain their power, or as an art of acquiring power. In other words, governmental-

95
In this study2, we will draw on our initial research findings from the EU
funded FP7 project entitled Identities and modernities in Europe: European and
national identity construction programmes and politics, culture, history and reli-
gion (SSH-CT-2009215949) where Yunus Emre Cultural Centres were investi-
gated as elements of Turkeys external identity promotion.3 Yunus Emre Cultural
Centres are quite newly established institutions, and hence our research on the
relevant scientific literature did not yield any results. However, these centres have
been discussed in daily newspapers, and the Yunus Emre Foundation publishes
official bulletins that provide speeches, statements and opinions of political fig-
ures as well as providing an overview of the activities of the Yunus Emre Insti-
tute. Accordingly, newspaper articles and official bulletins4 will constitute the
principal resources we investigate and analyse. Additionally, the speeches and
statements of the leading political figures will be studied through the Critical
Discourse Analysis (Wodak, 1999, 2002, 2010). This means that the research-
ers critically explored the chosen texts in order to best place each of them in the
discursive map of the Centres. In the meantime, an extensive literature review
was also made in order to position the speeches of the chosen figures alongside
the literature.
This paper will consist of two parts. The first part will provide information on
the multiple modernities theory and how this theory is applicable to the Turkish
case via an introduction to the academic literature on self-reflexivity and civil
and civic participation in Turkeys modernization process as of the early 2000s.
In addition to the introduction of these concepts as reference points for under-
standing the multiple modernities theory, the first part will also investigate the
Yunus Emre cultural centres abroad, and will aim to elucidate on the discourses
used by the political and bureaucratic elite in the establishment of these centres.
The second part will primarily focus on the employment of the common heritage
ity refers to the practices that characterise the form of supervision a state exercises over its
subjects, their wealth, misfortunes, customs, bodies, souls and habits. It is the art of governing.
2 First and more detailed version of this paper has been published in 2011 under the title The
role of common cultural heritage in external promotion in modern Turkey: Yunus Emre cul-
tural centres, Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University, Working papers of the European Institute,
No. 4/EU/4/2011.
3 The project entitled Identities and modernities in Europe: European and national identity
construction programmes and politics, culture, history and religion (IME) investigates the
notions of national identity, European identity and modernity via case studies. Reports per-
taining to the Turkish case are available at: http://fass.kingston.ac.uk/public/ime/. For further
information on Turkeys modernization process and the role of internal and external identity
promotion activities in the promotion of Turkish culture please see Kaya and Tecmen (2010a;
2010b, 2011a; and 2011b).
4 Please note that the Yunus Emre Institutes official bulletins are published only in Turkish,
thus quotations from these in this study were translated by the authors.

96
approach by these Centres, with particular emphasis on the reinforcement of cul-
tural ties with neighbouring countries based on Turkish language and Islam and
the rising significance of cultural representation as a positive reinforcement in
Turkeys bid for EU membership. We will further argue that the revitalization and
restructuring of cultural and religious affinity in contemporary Turkish cultural
diplomacy constitutes an important example of how cultural politics and diplo-
macy contribute to the ways in which the Turkish modernization has become a
non-linear and transformative process.

Multiple Modernities:
A rupture from the classical modernity theories

In a classical perspective, modernity was understood to be a linear and teleologi-


cal process, spreading from the West to the rest of the world. Almost all the 19th
and 20th century sociology took modernity in a teleological way or, as a one-
way process, experienced by all nations being transformed from Gemeinschaft
to Gesellschaft. Auguste Comte, Georg Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel, Ferdinand
Tnnies, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss, Max Weber, Bronislaw
Malinowski and several other social scientists assumed and claimed that all soci-
eties undergo the same transformations, but over differing periods of time. In the
very end, they would all be modern in a Western sense. According to the meta-
narratives of modernity such as nation-state, the West, proletariat, high culture,
teleological thinking, progress and totality, irrational attachments to the local,
particular, tradition, roots, national myths and superstitions would gradually be
replaced by more rational, secular and Universalist social identities. In this frame
of reference, modernization is equated with Westernization, a process that is very
visible in the narrative of Turkish modernization. This belief also resulted in a
subjective evaluation of Western-type civilisation as the superior model of civili-
sation, thus promoting Euro-American hegemony in the discourse on modernity.
A recent new form of literature heavily criticizes the linear perception of
modernity. The Euro-American hegemony is called into question in the context
of contemporary discourses on modernity generated and discussed by Schmuel
N. Eisenstadt, Barrington Moore, Charles Taylor, Gerard Delanty, John Arnas-
son, Bo Strath, Peter Wagner, Willfried Spohn and Atsuko Ichijo.5 The ways in
which such scholars debate modernity constitutes a separate literature on the

5 It is also important to note that the project entitled: Identities and Modernities in Europe,
which we derive our study on, explores the notion of modernity and its applicability to con-
temporary political, societal and dynamics via case studies.

97
idea of multiple modernities. The idea of multiple modernities opposes classi-
cal views of modernization, and therefore denies the monopoly of the West on
modernity. Schmuel N. Eistenstadt admits that modernity was, in its origins, a
Western project, spreading to the rest of the world through military and economic
imperialism, especially in the form of colonialism, but he concludes that the West
has failed in the promotion of a homogenizing (cultural) program of modernity.
Instead, Eisenstadt observes the emergence of new centres of modernity all round
the world in which the originally Western model of modernity is continuously
reinterpreted and reconstructed. The varying interpretations of modernity mani-
fest themselves in different institutional and ideological patterns, and are car-
ried forward by various actors such as the agents of new social movements and
cultural associations. In other words, multiple modernities theory maintains that
modernity should not be understood as a linear and homogenising process vis--
vis secularization or rationalization, but as a story of continual constitution and
reconstitution of a multiplicity of political and cultural programmes (see intera-
lia Eisenstadt 2000, 2001, 2005; Delanty 2006; Arnasson 2006; Martinelli 2007;
Boldt, Bozec, Duchesne, Ichijo, Salvatore and Strath (2009)). Eisenstadt summa-
rizes the idea of multiple modernities as follows:
The idea of multiple modernities presumes that the best way to understand the contempo-
rary world indeed to explain the history of modernities is to see it as a story of continual
constitution and reconstitution of a multiplicity of cultural programs. These ongoing recon-
structions of multiple institutional and ideological patterns are carried forward by specific
social actors in close connection with social, political, and intellectual activists, and also by
social movements pursuing different programs of modernity, holding very different views on
what makes societies modern (Eisenstadt 2000, p. 2).

By the same token, Ibrahim Kaya (2004b, p. 3739) argues that modernity is an
open-ended horizon in which there are spaces for multiple interpretations. This
immediately implies a critique of totalizing theories of modernity. He rightfully
claims that it is modernity that makes it possible for radically plural world-inter-
pretations to be expressed openly, and it is for this reason that the field in which
human beings live necessarily becomes a field of tensions. Modernitys openness
to interpretation makes the concept of the plurality of modernities necessary.

Multiple Modernities theory in Turkish academic literature

The idea of multiple modernities is debated in Turkish academic literature


through the works of Nilfer Gle, brahim Kaya, Ferhat Kentel and Ayhan Kaya.
The works of Nilfer Gle (2003, 2009) and Kaya and Kentel (2005, 2007) pro-
vide some alternative interpretations for the growing visibility of Islamic symbols

98
in the public space in Turkey as well as in western European countries.6 Their
interpretation of modernity equates modernity with social (civil) and political
(civic) participation. The social and political action of those who have strong faith
in Islam makes them modern, although they do not fit into the classical definition
of western modernity. What makes them modern is their act of protest, in other
words their self-reflexivity, which they build against the detrimental forces of glo-
balization, and their participation in public life. Furthermore, it is cultural asso-
ciation and the resulting visibility carried out by these associations that inevitably
make such forms of protest viable in societal and political arenas.
Moreover, Ibrahim Kaya (2004a) makes a theoretical intervention on the idea
of multiple modernities through the works of Schmuel N. Eisenstadt, Johann
Arnason and Peter Wagner. Scrutinizing the relationship between women and
Islam in Turkey, Ibrahim Kaya (2004a) asserts that the current Islamism of veiled
women may be understood as essentially modern since the act of protest and self-
reflexivity is embedded in the very idea of modernity.7 Kaya also argues that it is
more plausible to talk about modernity in its plural form, as it is intertwined with
multiple sets of interpretations, as in Kemalism, Islamism, Liberalism, National
Socialism, Fascism and Leninism (Kaya, 2004b, p. 40).
These works tend to propose that equating modernity with westernization in
Turkey is a rather pathological inclination based as it is on the assumption that
western civilisation is superior in comparison to others. On the contrary, the idea
of multiple modernities does not yield to a kind of hierarchy between cultures, or
civilisations, in a similar vein to what Eisenstadt (2005) calls pluralistic moder-
nity with reference to Erasmus, Vico and Herder. In brief, multiple modernities
literature in general, and the works of Turkish scholars in particular, argue that
new centres of modernity are founded on the basis of increased self-reflexivity
and intensified cultural tensions, leading to increased social and political par-
ticipation as well as the contestation of the general Euro-American (or Western)
hegemony and supposed superiority. In that regard, Yunus Emre Cultural Centres
can be regarded as initiatives that challenge the presumed superiority of the West

6 Kaya and Kentel (2005 and 2007) discuss multiple forms of modernity in the framework of
the Islamic diaspora in Western Europe. To put it differently, they use the multiple modernity
theory to scrutinize the role of the agency in minority context vis-a-vis hegemonic majorities.
7 Schmuel N. Eisenstadt argues that self-reflexivity and protest are inherent constituents of
modernity: [Modernity] focused first on the evaluation of the major dimensions of human
experience, and especially on the place of reason in the construction of nature, of human
society and human history, as against the more expressive dimension. Secondly, it focused
on the tension between reflexivity and active approaches to human life. Thirdly, it focused on
totalizing and pluralistic approaches to human life and the constitution of society and, finally,
on control or discipline, on the one side, and autonomy or freedom, on the other (cited in
Delanty, 2004: 395396).

99
over the process of modernity vis--vis the revival of existing cultural and social
ties in non-Western countries.

The Origins of the Yunus Emre Foundation and Cultural Centres

There have been several state initiatives in Turkey aiming to promote culture
and cultural cooperation. For instance, there are the Turkish Cultural Centres
established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as state initiatives, functioning in
accordance with Regulations on Turkish Cultural Centres (1986) and under the
Law on the Establishment and Functioning of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of
the Republic of Turkey.
According to the Ministry, these centres have been established with a view to
promoting Turkish culture, language and art and in order to contribute to bilateral
relations between Turkey and other countries, as well as to help Turkish citi-
zens in their adaptation to the country in which they live8 Turkish Cultural Cen-
tres are located in several cities abroad such as Berlin, Hannover, Kln, Frank-
furt, Almaty, Ashkhabad, Sarajevo, Tehran, Amman, Baghdad, Jerusalem and
Damascus. These centres mainly function as access points for Turkish citizens
abroad, while aiming for the promotion of Turkish identity abroad.
In addition to these Centres, in 2007, the Yunus Emre Foundation was estab-
lished, with the aim of introducing Turkish culture, society and language to the
outside world. The Foundation was established as a state foundation under Law
5653, dated May 5, 2007, with its headquarters in Ankara. Article 1 of the Law
identifies the purpose of the Act as the following:
The purpose of this Act is, to introduce Turkey, its cultural heritage, the Turkish language,
culture and art, and enhance Turkeys friendship with other countries, increase cultural
exchange, in that regard to present domestic and foreign information and documents on
Turkey to the benefit of the world, to serve those who wish to receive an education in the
fields of Turkish language, culture and arts, to establish a Yunus Emre Research Institution in
Turkey and a Yunus Emre Cultural Centre abroad (Law No. 5653, Article 1).

Currently, there are twelve operational Yunus Emre Cultural Centres in ten
countries, as well as four centres in four countries that are expected to become
operational within the year 2012 (Table 1).

8 Official Website of the Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Available at: http://
www.mfa.gov.tr/

100
Country City Opening Date Region

Belgium Brussels 18 October 2010 Europe

Bosnia-Herzegovina Sarajevo 17 October 2010 Balkans

Albania Tirana 11 December 2009 Balkans

Egypt Cairo 03 March 2010 MiddleEast

Macedonia Skopje 26 March 2010 Balkans

Kazakhstan Astana 01 March 2010 Caucus

England London 09 November 2010 Europe

Syria Damascus 13 December 2010 Middle East

Kosovo Pristine 27 August 2011 Balkans


Prizren 26 August 2011

Romania Bucharest 14 November 2011 Balkans


Constanza 14 November 2011

Serbia In progress Balkans

Japan Tokyo In progress Asia

Lebanon Beirut In progress Middle East

Table 1. Yunus Emre Cultural Centres Abroad


Source: The information in this table is compiled by the authors from the official website and the
Bulletins of the Yunus Emre Institute.

The rapid proliferation of Yunus Emre Centres in various European, Balkan and
Middle Eastern cities represent a unique case study in understanding the various
aspects of modern Turkish culture and cultural policy priorities with respect to
Turkish cultural diplomacy. It is also important to note that the Yunus Emre Insti-
tute and the cultural centres have been given an important role in Turkish foreign
policy. For instance, while Erturul Gnay, Minister of Culture and Tourism,
calls these centres the civil pillar of foreign policy (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No:
7, 2010, p.10), the chairman of the Yunus Emre Foundation Board of Trustees and
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutolu, notes that
Foreign policy is not carried out solely with diplomacy but also with cultural, economic and
trade networks. He further argues that the mission of the Yunus Emre Institute is related to
Turkish foreign policys strategic dimension and popularization of Turkish language, pro-
tection of Turkish cultural heritage, and the dissemination of Turkish culture to the outside

101
world. This will enable us to place our historical-cultural richness in our current strategy
(Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 7, 2010, p. 8).

Similarly, in his opening speech in Tirana, Albania, President Abdullah Gl


emphasized that:
These centres are Turkeys invisible power. I mean preserving the vitality of her cultural
heritage is Turkeys biggest power. Not many countries have this power. We should appreciate
its worth (Turkish Presidency, 11.12.2009).

Moreover, the symbolism in the name of the Institute and the locations of the
centres are reflective of the changing foreign policy priorities of the state thereby
the importance of common cultural heritage in Turkish cultural diplomacy. In
that sense, the emphasis on certain regions, primarily the Balkans and the Middle
East, is complementary to the common cultural heritage approach that has been
a fundamental element of Turkish cultural diplomacy. This approach is further
supplemented by an emphasis on the Turkish language and historical legacy. As
we will further investigate, the locations of these centres also constitute a chal-
lenge to the traditional understanding of Turkish modernity, which acknowledged
the superiority of the western model while giving priority to the cultural relations
with European countries owing to EU membership efforts.9

A Symbolic Name and the Turkish Language

The name of the institutions is significant in that Yunus Emre, a Turkish poet
and Sufi mystic of the late 1300-early 1400s is considered the pioneering poet of
Turkish culture. His name was chosen for the Institutes to convey the importance
of Turkish language. To that effect, Prime Minister Erdoan stated that:
For thousands of years, we have been the carriers of a unique civilization, history and heri-
tage in which we have moulded and collated different cultures, different civilizations, along
with our own culture. Turkish is not the communicative language of the people living in these
lands. Turkish is also a language of science, at the same time a language of arts and a language
of literature. Turkish is the language of Yunus Emre, Pir Sultan Abdal, Karacaolan, Fuzuli,
Baki, Nazm Hikmet, Necip Fazl (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 1, 2010, p. 4).

Similarly, Erturul Gnay noted that:


We will establish a Yunus Emre Institute to tell the world about Yunus EmreWe will set
up branches in many countries of the world. We will talk about Yunus. We will talk about his

9 In relation to the priority given to European countries, we should also emphasize that the
research and the interviews we conducted in the scope of the project entitled Identities and
Modernities in Europe yielded that promotional activities in European countries tend to be
more consistent. For further information, please see, Kaya and Tecmen (2010b).

102
philosophy. We will show the world the riches of the Turkish language. Today, maybe belat-
edly we are doing what is necessary to show our respect for the Turkish language. Turkish is
one of the most important languages of the world, prevalent and deeply-rooted, and a lot of
our people speak this language outside the territories of Turkey (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No.
1, 2010, p. 78, emphasis ours).

As these quotes indicate, there is a growing emphasis on the Turkish language


and Turkology.10 In that respect, the Foundation also established the Yunus Emre
Turkish Education Centre (YETEC), which anticipates teaching Turkish within
the framework of the Yunus Emre Institution. The emphasis on the Turkish lan-
guage is an important step in the introduction and recognition of Turkish as a
common language in Turkic countries, but it also provides for a proficiency-test-
ing component, which is the Turkish Proficiency Examination System (Trke
Yeterlilik Snav Sistemi). This system anticipates the establishment of an exami-
nation, which will contribute to recognition of the Turkish language through an
international standard while promoting the use of the language.11 On this issue,
the director of the Yunus Emre Institute, Prof. Dr. Ali Fuat Bilkan stated that
In addition to the success of the Turkish foreign policy, the investments of Turkish business-
men have increased the attention to the Turkish language. Turkey has gained visibility. As
Turkey gained economic and political visibility, the popularity of our language has increased.
Particularly in the Balkans and Middle East there is an interest in Turkey.12

As Bilkan notes, owing to the visibility of Turkish economy, Turkish language


has become an important asset in economic ventures and political communi-
cations. President of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development
Agency (Trk birlii ve Kalknma daresi Bakanl, TKA), Prof. Dr. Musa
Kulaklkaya, further indicates that Turkish businessmen and their economic
investments, hence the economic ties that they forge, require Turkish language
education.13 TKA14 is a state institution established under Law 4668, published
in Official Gazette No. 24400 on 12 May 2001, and which operates under the
Turkish Prime Ministry. TIKA is considered a foreign policy instrument whereby

10 It is also important to note that there are various efforts that emphasize the importance of
Turkish language in forging and/or strengthening cultural ties. One such effort is the Agree-
ment Concerning the Joint Administration of Turkish Culture and Arts (TRKSOY) signed
on 12 July 1993 in Almaty by Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and
Turkmenistan. The Agreement established TURKSOY, which foresees cooperation among
Turkish-speaking countries. As such, TURKSOYs aims and activities revolve around iden-
tifying and promoting the common values of those countries, which is in line with the states
growing emphasis on Turkish language and literature, http://www.turksoy.org.
11 Anadolu Ajans, 21.12.2010, http://www.aa.com.tr, entry date 10 May 2011.
12 Daily Zaman, 19.01.2011, http://www.zaman.com.tr, entry date 13 May 2011.
13 Daily Zaman, 07.02.2011, http://www.zaman.com.tr, entry date 12 June 2011.
14 For further information on TIKA, visit: http://www.tika.gov.tr

103
cooperative efforts are carried out in Central Asia, Caucasia, the Middle East, the
Balkans and Africa, in other words in regions where there is a shared affiliation
for Turkish language and culture. Kulaklkaya explains the aims of TIKA as fol-
lows:
Initially we are providing aid to countries with mutual historical, political and cultural back-
grounds. These common backgrounds let us answer the needs of these countries much more
expeditiously, and this created a nice synergy. As a result of our aid and efforts, we possess a
tangible presence in the regions where we operate (UNDP, 2009).

While Bilkan and Kulaklkaya focus on the economic and developmental moti-
vations for the dissemination of Turkish language, there is also an aspect of
Yunus Emre Cultural Centres that tend to act as a supplement to the existing
cultural centres of European countries, which goes beyond these motivations.
To that effect, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Erturul Gnay, noted Our
people have been in Germany for the past 50 years. There is no Turkish Cultural
Institute but there is Goethe Institute in Turkey, there is a Cervantes Institute in
Turkey, there are French and English cultural centres. Now, as of 2008, there is
Yunus Emre [Institute] in all Balkan and Middle-Eastern countries. We are open-
ing Yunus Emre Institutes in Germany, England, Russia and France. We will
teach Turkish and its dialects.15 As Gunay notes, the dissemination of Turkish
language in foreign countries constitutes an important element of the rising trend
to put Turkey on the international political arena as a strong actor vis-a-vis the
revitalization of local cultural elements.

Turkey: A Soft Power in the Cradle of Civilisations

While the promotion of Turkish language constitutes an important element of the


Institutes goals, a close analysis of the Yunus Emre Bulletins reveals that there
are repeated references to the cultural heritage of Turkey, with particular empha-
sis on the cradle of civilisations approach. To that effect, during his speech on
the occasion of the opening of the Yunus Emre Foundation in Ankara, Chairman
of the Yunus Emre Foundation Board of Trustees and Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Ahmet Davutolu stated:
This foundation has two important standing goals. First, to enable the meeting of our national
culture with the universal culture, and increase its influence in universal culture In history,
very few nations that have directly encountered different cultures and civilizations, have
sometimes become the subject of those civilizations, sometimes generated cultural blends

15 Anadolu Ajans, 20.12.2010, http://www.aa.com.tr, entry date 15 June 2011.

104
from these civilizations, and sometimes participated in intense and active communication as
our nation has (Yunus Emre Bulletin 1, No: 1, 2010, p. 6).

Corresponding to the cultural heritage approach, the locations of the Institutes


reflect the common cultural heritage approach with a neo-Ottoman undertone. As
we will illustrate, these locations were in fact purposely chosen to strengthen the
common heritage discourse, which would serve as a strong foundation for Turk-
ish cultural diplomacy. For instance, during his speech at the inauguration of the
Yunus Emre Institute in Sarajevo, Davutolu stated that:
This is the first cultural centre that we have opened. It is not a coincidence that the first
centre is in Sarajevo. This is an informed decision that we made after much thought because,
if we thought about where Turkish culture was reflected best, this place would be the city of
Sarajevo. As Istanbul is the fundamental city of Turkish culture, Sarajevo is the city of our
common culture. Similarly, in as much as Sarajevo is a city of the Bosnians, so too is Istanbul.
Baar and Kapal ar, Gazi Hsrev Bey Mosque and Sultunahmet (Blue Mosque) have
the same spirit. Istanbul and Sarajevo are two soul brothers (Yunus Emre Bulletin No. 2,
2010, p. 3).

Similarly, in his opening speech in Skopje, Macedonia, Davutolu noted that


the common culture has been engraved into the streets of Skopje (Yunus Emre
Bulletin, No: 5, 2010, p. 6). Most importantly, it has become clear vis--vis the
locations of these centres that the Balkan region is important in the revival of
cultural relations and cultural ties. Furthermore, these centres are also reflective
of the motivations of the state to influence the culture of these regions. To that
effect, Davutolu noted in Skopje,
We would like to make a novel contribution to cultural exchange in the Balkans. Cultural
relations between Turkey and Macedonia will lead the way to a new Enlightenment in the
Balkans (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 5, 2010, p. 7).

Corresponding to Davutolus statement, during the opening of the cultural


centre in Astana, President Abdullah Gl stated that:
We should not keep our language, culture and traditions only to ourselves. Rather, we should
keep them alive and spread them. After learning our culture and language well, we should not
hesitate to learn other cultures. While we have great history in Balkans and in this geography
and our works remain standing, training will be given at the Yunus Emre Culture centres
here to those who wish to learn Turkish. There is a great demand for the centres. There are
cultural centres in great countries. We will introduce Turkish Culture with the Yunus Emre
Cultural Centres.16

As previously underlined, in the Turkish context, modernization was often


defined as a transformation process along the lines of Western civilisation,
which inevitably meant the strengthening of Turkeys ties with the West and a

16 Anadolu Ajans, 26.05.2010, http://www.aa.com.tr, entry date 13 June 2011.

105
weakening of those with Eastern countries. Particularly in the Kemalist era, the
introduction of Roman alphabet-based Turkish alphabet (replacing the Ottoman
alphabet) and the establishment of the secular state (restricting the role of Islam
in the public sphere) changed the dynamics of the Turkeys relations with Mid-
dle-Eastern countries, and served to endorse the assumed superiority of Western
civilisations.17 However, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government
has emphasized the predicament regarding Turkeys role between Western and
Eastern worlds, thereby elucidating that being a modern country does not neces-
sarily require the said country to distance itself from the East and its Eastern
cultural elements. To that effect, Recep Tayyip Erdoan noted that Turkey has
responsibilities towards the Middle Eastern region stemming from historical ties,
and stated that:
Turkey is facing the West, but Turkey never turns her back on the East. We cannot be indif-
ferent to countries with whom we have lived for thousands of years. We cannot abandon our
brothers to their fate.18

More assertive foreign policy and the institution of cultural initiatives in Middle
Eastern countries also complement the revival of these discourses, emphasizing
the common history and heritage of the Middle Eastern region. To that effect, in
his speech at the opening of the Yunus Emre Institute in Cairo, Ahmet Davutolu
stated that:
It is not a coincidence that Cairo is selected for the third centre. The Cairo Yunus Emre
Centre is also the first institute we have opened in the Middle Eastern region and the Arab
world, because we consider Cairo the heart of the Arab world and believe that a culture active
in Cairo will be active in the Arab world (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 4, 2010, p.5).

All these political discourses indicate that Turkey is tempted to increase its
authority as a pivotal power in the region, which has been partially done through
increasing and strengthening cultural diplomacy instruments as a part of Turkish
foreign diplomacy. Turkeys changing role in the region, specifically in the Arab
world, is mainly shaped by the various kinds of drives it embraces: a) its political
drive, made obvious by Erdoans discourse on the Palestinian issue and AKPs
gradual distancing from Israel, b) its cultural-religious drive, visible in AKPs
cultural religious affinity with the Arab world rather than the Kemalist laicists,
c) its economic drive, springing from the willingness of AKPs electorate and
the newly-growing Anatolian bourgeoisie to open up to emerging markets in the
Middle East, Africa, the Caucasus, and Central Asia at a time of Euro scepti-
cism, growing since 2005, and d) its transformative drive, or EU anchor, making

17 See, Bozdaloglu, Ycel (2008). Modernity, Identity and Turkeys Foreign Policy. Insight
Turkey Vol 10, No. 1: 5575.
18 Daily Sabah, 08.04.2010, http://www.sabah.com.tr, entry date 13 June 2011.

106
it appear as a stable, democratic, liberal, peaceful and efficient country (Kirii,
2011).
Joseph Nye (2004, p. 5) defines soft power as the ability to shape the prefer-
ences of others. In other words, the ability to shape the ways in which the others
act, think, imagine and perceive by means of cohesive instruments such as the
ideological instruments of the state (popular culture, media, church, education
institutions). In abolishing visa requirements for neighbouring countries like
Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Iran, Turkey shows its desire to increase and intensify
its political and cultural impact in the region. When considered in combination
with political communication processes such as the hero worship of Prime Min-
ister Recep Tayyip Erdoan in the Muslim world after the now-famous Davos
meeting, and US President Obamas priority visit to Turkey, the effects of Turk-
ish popular culture definitely warrant investigation. It seems that Turkeys ruling
political elite have invested in a culturalist and religious discourse to promote
Turkey in the region as well as in the EU.
There is certainly a growing interest in Turkey among Middle Eastern coun-
tries. Turkey is considered an emerging soft power in the region. One might even
see evidence of Turkey turning its soft power into smart power. The Commission
on Smart Power constituted by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies
(CSIS) published a report co-chaired by Joseph Nye and Richard Armitage in
2007. In the report, the term smart power was used as meaning a combination of
hard power and soft power. The report puts forward the means for implementing
US smart power, and calls on the US to specifically focus on five critical areas
in order to become a smart power: 1) Alliances, partnerships and institutions;
2) Global development; 3) Public diplomacy; 4) Economic integration; and 5)
Technology and innovation.19 Drawing on these suggestions made by the Com-
mission on Smart Power, and considering Turkeys drives in the region, one could
argue that Turkey is following in the footsteps of the US in order to become a
hegemonic smart power in the region.
Using its role as a bridge between the continents, Turkey is becoming a trad-
ing country: Foreign trade volume was USD330 billion in 2008 and USD300
billion in 2010 compared to USD20 billion in 1985. Turkish entrepreneurs invest
in neighbouring countries, including Iraq, Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Central
Asia, Syria, Lebanon and Greece, through TUSIAD, MUSIAD, DEIK, TOBB,
TUSCON, and TIM. Turkey has also signed free trade agreements with Syria,
Jordan and Lebanon in line with European Mediterranean Policy and European
Neighbourhood Policy. Similarly, Turkish universities are also attracting stu-
dents from the Middle East, the Balkans and Central Asia. The newly-established

19 http://media.csis.org/smartpower/071105_CSIS_Smart_Power_Report.pdf

107
Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities20 attached to the Prime
Ministry is dealing with the growing number of international students coming
from the so-called related communities, a definition more or less culturally and
religiously loaded, and in line with the neo-Ottoman lebensraum specified by the
Yunus Emre Cultural Centres.21
The growing popularity of Turkish soap operas throughout the region is
another indicator of Turkeys soft power potential in the region. In addition to
the economic and political initiatives Turkey has recently undertaken, Turkish
soap operas broadcast in the Middle East, the Caucasus, the Balkans and North
Africa may also be viewed as a kind of soft power. According to Orhan, Turkey
constitutes an example of a Muslim society coexisting with Western political
values (Orhan, 2009). Turkish soap operas such as Noor (Gms), Sanawat
ad Dayyaa (Ihlamurlar Altnda) and Kurtlar Vadisi (Valley of Wolves) have
recently become very popular in the region in a way that has made Turkey a soft
power culturally in her immediate neighbourhood. Hakan Altnay (2008) defines
this new phenomenon with the following words:
Soft power is also about arousing interest, capturing imagination and causing admiration.
As the Arab media shows, Turkey does arouse interest in the Middle East. The Ankara Bureau
of Al Jazeera is second only to Al Jazeeras Washington Bureau among the news agencys
non-Arab offices in terms of the number of news stories filed. Evidently, viewers of Al Jazeera
care about what is going on in Turkey. Arab television stations frequently broadcast derby
football matches from Turkey. What is even more striking is the anecdotal evidence that
popular Turkish TV shows such as Televole a show depicting the lives of football players

20 The Presidency of Turks and Related Communities Abroad was established on 6 April 2010,
and it is affiliated to the Office of the Prime Minister. It was established in order to coordinate
Turkish citizens living abroad and to strengthen the ties with related communities. According
to the first section of Law 5978 declaring the formation of the department, the main objec-
tive of the organization is to work with Turkish citizens living abroad and to help solve their
problems. The second section of the law provides detailed information about the services and
the activities of the department. The organization manages new social, cultural and economic
activities with Turkish citizens and their descendents living abroad according to their needs
and demands. It is mentioned that the activities of the organization are directed not only at
Turkish citizens and their descendents abroad, but also at migrant organizations, non-govern-
mental organizations abroad and professional organizations. In addition, it is worth mention-
ing that even though the main focus of activities is the Turkish diaspora, the department also
concerns itself with foreign students coming to study in Turkey. It operates under three com-
missions: Consultancy Committee of Citizens Abroad (Yurtd Vatandalar Danma Kurulu),
Evaluation of Foreign Students Committee (Yabanc renci Deerlendirme Kurulu) and
Cultural and Social Relations Coordination Committee (Kltrel ve Sosyal likiler Egdm
Deerlendirme Kurulu). For further details see http://www.ytb.gov.tr, entry date 20 August
2011.
21 For a detailed analysis of the Presidency of the Turks Abroad and Related Communities see
etin (2011).

108
and fashion models enjoy a substantial following in places like Egypt, Iran and Syria in
spite of the obvious language barrier. This is significant because although they are considered
tacky by the Turkish elites, such programs seem to capture the imagination of the average
Middle Eastern person in respect to the good life (Altnay, 2008, p. 59).

Hence, it is not surprising to see that the image of Turkey has recently undergone
radical change in the Middle East. A 2010 survey conducted by TESEV in the
Arab world revealed that 61 % of Arabs interviewed agreed that Turkey could be
a model for the Arab World, 63 % agreed that Turkey sets a good example of the
coexistence of democracy and Islam, and 64 % agreed that Turkeys EU perspec-
tive makes Turkey an attractive partner for the Arab world (Akgn et al., 2010).
As we have previously established, modernity has been equated with Western
cultures and perceived as a transformative process in line with Europeanization
and Westernization. The Yunus Emre Centres and other institutions such as the
Presidency of Turks abroad and Related Communities contest the classical under-
standing of modernity and constitute a test for Euro-American hegemony over
modernization. In effect, the locations chosen and discourses expressed in the
establishment of these centres focus on the revitalization of Turkeys ties with
eastern and regional countries. This introduces a new phenomenon in Turkish
modernization where the Western model of modernization (also referred to as
the classical model of modernity) is no longer the status quo. Furthermore, this
phenomenon also raises questions about self-perceptions among ordinary Turks
at home, and state perceptions of Turkish culture while it re-emphasizes itself in
its role as modernizing agent.
In addition to Yunus Emre Centres in the Middle East and the Balkans, there
are also centres in Europe, and it is noted that there are plans to open more there
(Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 7, 2010, p.10). These centres, which serve as contact
points in various countries, also emphasize the importance of cultural interaction
and cultural representation in foreign policy and bilateral relations. To that effect,
Abdullah Gl, who performed the opening of the Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural
Centre in London, stated great countries exist not only with their diplomats but
also with their cultural assets (Turkish Presidency, 09.11.2010). This statement is
important in understanding the ways in which culture has become an important
aspect of international relations. Furthermore, as Gl indicates, the discourses
used in conjunction with the Yunus Emre Institutes rely on the protection and
dissemination of Turkish culture abroad. The use of cultural assets is impor-
tant because it is closely related to the use of certain selected cultural elements,
particularly language and religion, or in other words assets, as a means of appeal-
ing to the defined cultural heritages to be utilized in strengthening societal and
political ties.

109
In terms of the centres located in European countries, currently in London
and Brussels, one sees that there is an emphasis on how these centres will con-
stitute a home for Turks living in Europe. For instance, in his opening speech
in London, Gl noted that: This Centre will be a home for the four hundred
thousand Turks in England. Our Embassy is surely their home but these Centres
will be their civil homes (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No: 8, 2011, p. 5). As for the
centre in Brussels, this city is home to a large migrant population, and the centre
is expected to contribute to the efficient introduction of Turkish culture and arts.
Furthermore, the cultural bridges role of the centres in Europe will serve an
important purpose in the promotion of Turkish culture during the EU accession
process (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 8, 2011, p. 18). The Founding Chairman of the
Yunus Emre Board of Trustees, President Gl made a similar statement when he
maintained that:
These [Yunus Emre Centres] are Turkeys invisible power. Keeping her cultural heritage
alive is Turkeys greatest strength. We should appreciate our past and our history. In todays
modern world, we should carry out our activities using modern methods and disseminate our
solidarity and culture in the most favourable way (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 7, 2010, p. 6).

Similarly, in reference to the establishment of the Yunus Emre Cultural Centre


in Brussels, Egemen Bagis, Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, under-
lined that:
Opening up a Yunus Emre Institute in Brussels is a worthy step. I believe that we can over-
come the prejudices against the Turks in Europe. I wholeheartedly believe that we can revive
the culture of peaceful coexistence in Europe (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 11, 2011, p. 11).

Most importantly, Bas argument underlined that these centres do not only
function as cultural contact points but as means to transform Turkeys image
in Europe, thereby positively influencing European public opinion in favour of
Turkeys EU membership. Subsequently, it is possible to argue that Yunus Emre
Centres are embodiments of the new demand for cultural promotion.
In order to reveal the role of the Turkish foreign policy in the promotion of
Turkish culture abroad, it is important to note that Turkey does not have an offi-
cial foreign cultural policy.22 Cultural diplomacy is carried out within the scope
of Turkish foreign policy under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Within the scope of cultural promotion efforts, the Ministry enters into bilateral
and multilateral agreements based on various priorities and principles. The Min-
istry of Culture and Tourism is another important state institution taking part
in the promotion of Turkish culture abroad. These promotion efforts are highly

22 In saying official foreign cultural policy, we are referring to pre-determined course of action
carried out by the state.

110
dependent on political relations and foreign policy priorities and they are impor-
tant elements in the introduction of Turkish identity and culture abroad. In that
sense, Turkish modernity is in part shaped by Turkish foreign policy vis--vis
cultural policies and cultural diplomacy efforts.23
While there are embassies and in some cases cultural attachs in European
countries, recently the promotion of Turkish culture in the context of EU-Tur-
key relations has become an important aspect of the countrys approach to cul-
tural promotion and cultural diplomacy. For instance, Egemen Ba, Minister
of EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, notes that the Yunus Emre Institute is the
most important communications project in Turkeys EU accession process
(Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 9, 2011, p. 11). An analysis of Turkeys European
Union Communication Strategy (SGEUA, 2010) reveals that it is important to
establish a Turkish brand under which Turkish culture is presented, which is
in effect expected to shape the cultural diplomacy efforts of the Turkish state
vis--vis the formation of an organized and pre-determined form of identity
promotion.
However, at the end of the day, we should not forget that the essential aim of
the centres is to provide support for the Diaspora meaning that the central aim
is not appealing to non-Turkish nationals.24 As Abdullah Gl has highlighted sev-
eral times, these centres aim to appeal to the Turkish Diaspora and constitute a
home where they can experience cultural events as a collective community. As
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declares that:
The basis of Turkeys cooperation with the destination governments is the perception
of integration constituted on, firstly, giving the immigrants a strong background of their
native culture and, secondly, providing the mutual recognition by the immigrants and the
local societies of each others culture, traditions and characteristics. Within the framework
of this understanding, Turkey has been encouraging expatriate Turks and the destination
countries to establish new bonds with each other which will lead to the formation of pros-
perous societies enjoying cultural diversity (Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs).25

In this framework, Yunus Emre Centres in Europe are instrumental in reaching


out to the Turkish Diaspora in European countries and acknowledging their vital-
ity in representing Turkish culture.

23 For further information on Turkish cultural policy, see Ada (2011).


24 Full text of the European Union Communication Strategy is available at: http://www.abgs.gov.
tr/abis/?l=2 , entry date 15 June 2011.
25 Official Website of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Available at: http://
www.mfa.gov.tr , entry date 10 June 2011.

111
Conclusion

It is very obvious to see that the Turkish electorate has become more attracted
politically to AKP at a time when a culturalist and religious discourse has become
globally very popular. The timing of Turkeys European bid partly coincided with
the aftermath of September 11, when Turkey, with its orientation to so-called
moderate Islam, became instrumentalised by the USA and the EU as a role model
for Muslim nations. Turkey was then pointed to as a bridge, not only between
continents but also civilisations. Western countries in a way that also embraced
the ruling party in Turkey praised a moderate Islamic Turkey. The Turkish
political elite also welcomed the instrumentalization of Turkey as a model for
other Muslim countries. PM Recep Tayyip Erdoan and several other politicians
as well as academics played along with this new role expecting that it would
bring Turkey into a more favourable position in the European integration process.
Turkeys role as a mediator between Muslim and non-Muslim worlds was also
credited by the United Nations when, together with the Spanish PM Jos Luis
Rodrguez Zapatero, Prime Minister Erdoan was appointed by the UN to launch
the Alliance of Civilizations initiative.
Against this background, the Turkish states promotional activities in Euro-
pean countries and in its own region were discussed in this paper, referring to
the discourses of the ruling political party elite and of members of various insti-
tutions, primarily the Yunus Emre Cultural Centres. It was revealed that the AKP
government has recently generated a cultural/religious/civilisation discourse on
a parallel with the rhetoric of Alliance of Civilizations to promote Turkey in the
EU and other parts of the world, using a neo-Ottoman discourse. In promotion
activities in EU countries, Turkey has been emphasizing its differences, while
emphasizing its cultural and religious affinities with neighbours in the Balkans,
the Middle East, Africa, the Caucasus and Central Asia. In doing that, it seems
that the ruling party is more concerned with revitalizing its hegemony in the
region rather than advocating Turkeys EU entry.
Turkey is willing to become a middle power, and recently has been trying to
impose its hegemony in the region. However, it seems that there is a discrepancy
between the ways in which the ruling political party (AKP) and the pro-European
circles perceive the sources of Turkeys becoming a soft power in the region.
That is to say, AKP is likely to lean on the idea of Pax-Ottomana to become a
hegemonic power, while pro-European circles are likely to believe that Turkeys
growing regional influence derives from its European perspective, which since
1999, has been perceived positively by neighbouring countries, in a way that has
given Turkey a better appearance in terms of democracy, human rights, economy

112
and universal values. It seems that this will be the dilemma of the next decade,
and one that the Turkish political elite will have to resolve.

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Dutch and German International
Cultural policy in Comparison

Laurens Runderkamp

Cultural diplomacy is modern diplomacy.


Uri Rosenthal, Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs,
20 December 2011

Art and culture solely in the service of power are not art and
culture but propaganda. Thats why art and culture are also
indicators of how a society is developing.
Guido Westerwelle, German Minister of Foreign Affairs,
September 2011

Introduction

In this chapter similarities and differences of international cultural policies in


Germany and the Netherlands will be discussed. Thus, it is hoped to gain a better
insight in the history, structure, themes and future of this policy field in both
countries and in broader Europe. After some introductory notes on the notion
of cultural diplomacy, firstly I will discuss the history shortly. Development
and backgrounds that have led to cultural diplomacy in its present form will be
sketched in Germany and the Netherlands. Secondly, I will go into the different
structures of cultural policy: how is it organized, what organizations perform
what tasks and what budgets are involved? Also, thematic, disciplinary and geo-
graphic priorities will be discussed: What are the choices being made in cultural
diplomacy, which disciplines are preferred, what countries are prioritized and
which themes are leading?

Discourse on cultural diplomacy

Little theoretical research has been done in the field of cultural diplomacy. The
role that arts, culture and heritage can play in improving (or worsening) the
contacts between nations stays largely unclear. Also, the real aims of applying
the arts in international relations are rarely well defined. Both the arts field

117
and politics could benefit from a stronger discourse on what one wants from
employing arts and heritage, why you want it and how you are going to achieve
your aims. Cultural diplomacy is a concept that was mainly developed in the
United States (Cf. Arndt, 2005). It is generally seen in the context of public
diplomacy. In a globalizing world, countries are likely to be more attractive
in international relations when they help to frame issues and whose culture
and ideas are closer to prevailing norms and whose credibility abroad is rein-
forced by their values and policies (Melissen, 2005). This is not to say that the
active government distribution of norms and ideas has only started to play a
role recently. The rise of the nation states since the late Middle Ages has caused
a constant increase in trying to influence opinions abroad. The Venetians in the
fourteenth century, the kings in the French Ancien Rgime, Atatrk in Turkey
in the early 20th century, but also Communist and Fascist dictatorships in the
twentieth century had highly active international information policies indeed.
However, information distribution in modern day has come to unprecedented
levels and public opinion has become more influential worldwide. Governments
are quickly losing the stronghold on information they used to have. Embassies
and ministries often do not comprehend the effects these changes cause on their
international relations policy. The diplomatic services are still to a large extent
peer oriented and in many cases fail to grasp the complexity of the post-modern
world where interaction between various type of actors, pursuing collaborative
project and smart interplay with different media are paramount in achieving dip-
lomatic aims.
Culture, arts and heritage according to some authors can be a linchpin in the
field of public diplomacy, i.e. a device that holds different parts of the wheel
together (Report of the advisory commission, 2005, p. 12). According to this
excellent report of the Advisory committee on cultural diplomacy commissioned
by the United States Department of State there are a number of reasons why gov-
ernments should be engaged in cultural diplomacy. Their main findings are that
cultural diplomacy:
Helps create a foundation of trust with other peoples, which policy makers
can build on to reach political, economic, and military agreements;
Encourages other peoples to give the United States the benefit of the doubt on
specific policy issues or requests for collaboration, since there is a presumption
of shared interests;
Demonstrates our values, and our interest in values, and combats the popular
notion that Americans are shallow, violent, and godless;
Affirms that we have such values as family, faith, and the desire for education
in common with others;

118
Creates relationships with peoples, which endure beyond changes in govern-
ment;
Can reach influential members of foreign societies, who cannot be reached
through traditional embassy functions;
Provides a positive agenda for cooperation in spite of policy differences;
Creates a neutral platform for people-to-people contact;
Serves as a flexible, universally acceptable vehicle for rapprochement with
countries where diplomatic relations have been strained or are absent;
Is uniquely able to reach out to young people, to non-elites, to broad audiences
with a much reduced language barrier;
Fosters the growth of civil society;
Educates Americans on the values and sensitivities of other societies, helping
us to avoid gaffes and missteps;
Counterbalances misunderstanding, hatred, and terrorism;
Can leaven foreign internal cultural debates on the side of openness and toler-
ance.
Obviously, coming from the Unites States government, these are notions and
aims mainly valid for national governments. This paper argues that the majority
of these statements hold true for the aspirations of cultural actors too. The arts
and heritage sector have shared interests with politics. Not everybody agrees.
Professor John Pick claims, that there is no predictable link at all between a
countrys program of cultural diplomacy and the prevailing image or images
which citizens of other countries may hold of the country involved. Pick (2007)
thinks that reactions to the arts are too individual and malleable too serve any
diplomatic causes. Other researchers like Dragan Klaic are for different reasons
quite skeptic about the possibilities cultural diplomacy has to offer. They would
not benefit the cultural sector, especially in the sense of the general lack of foster-
ing continuing ties between different nations. (Klaic, 2007, p. 4142). Klaic does
not take into account the numerous fruitful connections between governments
and the cultural field, which could be considered cultural diplomacy.
Also, international trends show a renewed politicizing of the cultural field. The
differences between the disciplines are still sizeable: theatre and literature have
always been more engaged in political questions than music and design, but in
the arts there is a stronger sense of interacting with the world than in the eighties
and nineties, when intrinsic artistic values, independence of artists and lart pour
lart concepts were rampant.
When we look at the arguments given in the U.S. report, they come remarkably
close to what many artists would want the world to be. Do they not often strive for
and make work about communication and better understanding between nations,

119
people and faiths? Is culture not in the majority of instances about the creating
and dissemination of knowledge and values? Do artists not want to share with
people all over the world what they hold beautiful and important? But as a Dutch
novelist Willem Elschot put it:
Tussen droom en daad staan wetten in de weg en praktische bezwaren (Between dream and
deed, laws are in the way and practical drawbacks).

Artists and cultural operators tend to speak a very different language from civil
servants and politicians and not many interpreters are at hand. Also, when it
comes to making budgets available for culture, governments hardly ever put their
money where their mouth is. However, it is certainly worthwhile to strive for
more cooperation between artists and governments and render the arguments for
international cooperation better known on both sides.
In this paper, stress is put on the relationship between (national) governments
and the cultural field. Some scholars, notably Milton C. Cummings, also argue
that international exchange in the private sector and civil society should also be
included in research on cultural diplomacy. However, focusing is hard enough
in this broad subject matter, so that the interplay between governments and the
cultural sector will be the main theme in this paper. It is not claimed, though, that
culture should solely be a tool of public diplomacy: The value of cultural activity
comes precisely from its independence, its freedom and the fact that it represents
and connects people, rather than necessarily governments or policy positions.
(Bound, 2007, p. 12)

History of cultural diplomacy in the Netherlands

Government discussions on international cultural policy in the last decades in the


Netherlands can be viewed as a constant back and forth between two positions:
using exchange to enhance diplomatic relations on the one hand and increasing
the quality of cultural products through international interaction on the other.
The first official Dutch government report on cultural relations in the Nether-
lands was published in 1970. The immediate cause for this report was the many
cultural memorandums of understanding that had been signed since the Second
World War. These created financial obligations upon which parliament needed
to decide. The occasion was used to outline a policy on the subject of cultural
exchange. Here, as in the next decade he policy makers failed to come up with a
coherent image of international cultural policy. The credo was: business as usual.
Clearly, foreign policy rather than cultural objectives were leading. The minister
of culture in the early eighties infamously called international cultural exchange

120
personal lubricant. The large intervals between reports on the subject: in 1970,
1976 and 1985 that also hardly differ in content show that there was little
interest from the government side to alter its basic assumptions. This started to
change in 1987 when the influential Scientific Council for Government Policy
heavily criticized the government on lack of coherence in the question of cultural
exchange. Additionally, the Council argued that the primary goal of international
cultural policy should not be foreign policy, but the advancement of the position
of the Dutch cultural sector.
In the first place, the artists and cultural institutions should benefit from being
able to work internationally rather than fulfilling diplomatic and economic aims.
The report also offered hands-on solutions, for instance a central institute for
international cultural policy. The government initially did not follow this advice.
But especially from the early nineties onwards, the ministry of culture became
increasingly involved in shaping the framework for cultural exchange. This was
institutionalized in 1997 when the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of For-
eign Affairs assumed shared responsibility for this policy field. Thus, both for-
eign policy and intrinsic artistic values came to play a role in government policy.
The ministries started running a common budget to foster cultural exchange and
the SICA | Dutch Centre for International Cultural Activities was founded in 1999
(Minnaert, 2009, p. 710).
In the first decade of the 21st century, a better balance has come into place in
international cultural policy regarding it from both from an artistic and a diplo-
matic point of view. This has been reflected in government policy and the increas-
ing budgets specifically targeted at international promotion of Dutch arts, which
amounted to twenty to thirty million in this period (Hoekema, 2005, p. 7). It also
resulted in a much closer cooperation between the ministries in establishing aims
and priorities. However, these principles were largely abandoned after 2008 when
the ministries quit common decision-making on international cultural budgets.
These developments coincide with a rapid growth in the number of activities that
Dutch artists and institutions have performed abroad in the last two decades.
Unpublished research by Ton Bevers of the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and
analysis of the Off Shore database from SICA administers, show that between
1990 and 2010 the per annum number of activities (ranging from translations to
exhibitions to performances) more than quadrupled.

History of cultural diplomacy in Germany

International cultural policy or auswrtige Kulturpolitik is a much broader


notion in Germany than in the Netherlands. Whereas in the Netherlands inter-

121
national cultural policy purely is about the arts and does not even include media,
in Germany also language, science, German schools and societal debates form
an integral part. The policy field boasts a longer history than in the Netherlands.
In 1920, the cultural department within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was
established. In 1925, the direct predecessor of the Goethe-Institut, the Deutsche
Akademie was founded in Munich. In the same year, the Deutsche Ausland
Institut (German Foreign Institute) started its activities in Stuttgart. Out of this
organization the Institut fr Auenbeziehungen (Institute for Foreign Cultural
Relations) came into being after the Second World War. The Deutsche Akademie
was at its outset mainly responsible for providing German teachers to spread
German language and culture abroad, it continued to do so in the Nazi-era. The
Deutsche Ausland Institut worked for enhancing the reputation of Germany after
the First World War, especially focusing on German speaking minorities in East-
ern Europe. Under Hitlers rule, it denounced political opponents, was in close
contact with Gestapo and actively developed race politics. In spite of the less than
immaculate history of both institutions, they were revived under their new names
Goethe-Institut and Institut fr Auenbeziehungen (IfA) in the early fifties.
They grew out to be the main bearers of cultural exchange for Germany. His-
tory of the cultural diplomacy is mainly the history of these two institutions.
Cultural exchange in the narrow sense of the word culture, or kulturelle Program-
marbeit as it is know in Germany, developed gradually and reactively. The pre-
eminence in this field was not based on conscious decisions but soon it became
a core activity to be involved in art, archaeology, music, literature, film, theatre,
dance, theatre and architecture (Maa, 2005, chapter 4).
Germans foster the belief that the knowledge and practicing of culture in gen-
eral is a paramount in the elevation of human standards. It has been said that
culture for Germans is an Ersatzreligion (surrogate religion). Causes of this
belief are immensely complex historically, but certainly have to do with Ger-
many being a nation without a well-defined territory until quite recently. German
language and cultures have been binding factors in Central Europe for centuries,
but the scattered German states did not form a unity until Bismarck brought them
together in 1871, only to get an altered drastically again after the World Wars,
when the two German states (GDR and BRD) battled to be the exclusive heir to
the positive cultural heritage. The memory of the Holocaust left little to be proud
of, and culture filled part of the big void.
German international cultural policy after the Second World War served first
and foremost to show that Germany could be a reliable partner in Europe and the
world. The government coined the catchword the third pillar of the German for-
eign policy, besides security politics and economy. The problem in the execution
was twofold. There had been an extensive history of propaganda in the Third

122
Reich, personified by Joseph Goebbels that made all efforts to internationally
spread German culture suspicious.
Additionally, in Western Germany, culture has been the responsibility of the
provinces or Lnder. Only in 2005 did the federal government appoint a Sta-
atsminister for culture. Thus, the central government had a hard time getting
actively involved in cultural exchange. The responsibility has been in the hands
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that in turn delegated the responsibilities by
and large to independent institutions. It is characteristic for the German policy
that it consequently pursues an arms length approach. This is also shown in fields
related to culture.
For science, universities and schools, the ministry finances the Alexander-von-
Humboldt-Stiftung and the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) and
the Zentralstelle fr das Auslandsschulwesen (ZfA), respectively. The Deutsche
Welle commenced in the 1950s making multi-lingual radio and television for an
international audience. The main points of interest in this paper are the Goethe-
Institut and the Institut fr Ausenbeziehungen. The structure of these organ-
isations is the theme of the next chapter.
In the last two decades, Germany has gained self-confidence in international
relations and this also shows in the cultural field. German policy has been rede-
fined and given a theoretical base in the position paper Auswrtige Kulturpolitik
Konzeption 2000 (International Cultural Policy Conception 2000) (Schneider,
2008, p. 222226).
The paper takes into account the geopolitical changes after the fall of the Iron
Curtain and the media revolution. It states that international cultural policy is
contributory to the main priorities of foreign policy: security politics, conflict
prevention, human rights and partnership cooperation. Additionally, it declares
its international cultural policy not to be neutral, but to be value oriented and
actively taking a stance in questions of democratisation, human rights, sustain-
able development, economic growth and protection of natural resources. Con-
clusively, aims of German international cultural policy have turned essentially
instrumental. Culture has thus become mainly a tool to reach other policy objec-
tives. This has in part been caused by the absence of a federal ministry of culture
and consequently the Ministry of Foreign Affairs taking the lead1. As a represen-
tative of the latter put it in 2006:
Culture belongs in the toolbox of foreign policy [..] it follows the logic of foreign policy not
of cultural subvention (Schneider, 2008, p. 21).

1 This is unusual in Europe. Out of 44 European countries only four do not have a ministry of
culture in the lead regarding international cultural relations (Wiesand, 2007, p. 5).

123
However, the instrumentalism in policy has been strongly counterbalanced by
institutes working independently. In their post-war history, the Goethe-Institut
and the IfA have represented the cultural sector and made sure artistic exchange
stayed in the forefront. The ministry has continued to shape the conditions and
German international cultural infrastructure has been able to thrive.

Structure of cultural diplomacy in the Netherlands

Dutch international cultural policy suffers from lack of priorities. There are sev-
eral reasons why Dutch policies have not been as successful as budgets suggest.
The structure of cultural diplomacy in the Netherlands has three specific features
that set it apart from most other Western European countries.
Firstly, the structure in the Netherlands of institutions dealing with inter-
national cultural relations is very much fragmented. As opposed to most sur-
rounding countries, responsibilities have been delegated per cultural discipline,
i.e. separate institutions exist for the architecture, music, theatre and dance, visual
arts, heritage, film, design etc. As a consequence, there are enormous numbers of
more or less independent stakeholders, which makes it hard to manoeuvre.
Secondly, the Netherlands only runs very few cultural institutes abroad. Only
Dutch institutes in Jakarta and Paris have a real cultural mandate. This means
that the official cultural agents of the Netherlands are almost exclusively based
within the Dutch embassies all over the world. Hardly any culture professionals
work as cultural attaches.
Thirdly, in other countries, employing culture, as a means of diplomacy is
much more obvious than in the Netherlands because Dutch national cultural
policy has generally been based on the assumption that culture and politics have
little to do with each other. It has long held firmly to the so-called Thorbecke
principle, whereby the government expresses no judgment about the artistic qual-
ity of a creative expression.
The Dutch international policy has been demand driven meaning that it basi-
cally fulfilled the expectations of the partners abroad. Government did little to
offer its services when it came to content. The independence and the development
of the quality of the arts have been the leading motives. Partly, this has been ben-
eficial for the cultural sector, but it also makes political decisions on questions of
art slow and political interest in the arts field is limited. These different specifics
by no means result in little international cultural exchange, taking place. Com-
parably, the Dutch budgets for performances, exhibitions, festivals abroad have
always been relatively large for a nation of its size. And, in line with its self-image
of international trading nation and outward looking stance, the Netherlands fea-

124
tures internationally competitive cultural field. The bulk of the budget for inter-
national projects has come via the Dutch Ministry of Culture. Little guidance has
been provided from that side. For a long time, no clear choices have been made in
terms of geography, themes or disciplines.
Geographically, priorities were according to the 2008 policy paper Art with-
out Borders: the 27 EU member states and the accession countries plus Canada,
Egypt, Indonesia, Japan, Morocco, the Russian Federation, Surinam, Turkey, the
US and South Africa. Brazil, India and China have been added as new political
and economic global players, as well as countries with which the Netherlands
share common cultural heritage coming from the colonial past like Ghana and
Sri Lanka. Also, the Mediterranean and Arab World joined the club. Besides, a
number of developing countries are eligible for culture and development schemes.
A majority of the 150 Dutch embassies and consulates abroad have a cultural
attach. There are fourteen Dutch consular representations with extra staff and
budgets for culture: Berlin, London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Prague, Budapest,
Moscow, New York, Ottawa, Pretoria, Tokyo, Jakarta and Beijing. In practice,
this means hardly any country is left out and no country gets the attention it
deserves.
Thematically, the Netherlands in the 21st century has had a hard time sending
a clear message. This has to do with the identity crisis from which the country
has been suffering. Until roughly 2001, the Dutch used to see their country as a
beacon of tolerance, a cosmopolitan society and a free harbour when it came
to exchange with artists from all over the world. Two political murders and the
steep rise of right wing xenophobic populism have shattered this self image. Fear
of migration and dread about loss of the Dutch identity in the European inte-
gration process are ubiquitous. The myth of the Netherlands being the most toler-
ant country in the world therefore holds no longer valid and as yet no other story
has come in its place. This also influences international cultural policy when it
comes to making choices about what story needs to be told.
In terms of disciplines, the Ministry of Culture roughly follows the same
scheme as in the national subsidizing structure. The division of means between
the different cultural disciplines for international work mirrors the so-called Basic
Infrastructure for a culture that provides for the structural funding of the field.
This slightly changed only recently when the government initiated a new funding
structure for the creative industries in a scheme supporting Dutch design, fash-
ion and architecture. The creative industries have come to the forefront more as
economic incentives gained importance. This also shows in the budget decrease
in the performing arts field.
The international policy meanwhile is designed in cooperation with the Min-
istry of Foreign Affairs. This ministry manages a much smaller budget, which it

125
distributes partly via the embassies, for which local cultural partners can apply
and partly via the Netherlands Culture Fund, from which in turn only the national
funding bodies and sector institutes specific disciplinary information and coor-
dination centres can benefit. There is the special theme ambassador for cultural
cooperation that heads the cultural department within the ministry. This depart-
ment is much more actively involved in deciding on cultural projects than the
Ministry of Culture that leaves the decision-making principally in the hands of
the cultural sector. It stays largely unclear what budgets are involved in inter-
nationalization of culture, because there are so many players in the field: different
funds for all cultural disciplines and for cultural development aid, foundations
called sector institutes for a number of disciplines serving as information centres.
Also, there are international budgets within festivals, performing arts groups and
publishers. The last available number spoke of nearly 44 million EUR, but this
was about 1998 accounting for all of the above (Ministry of Education, 2003, p.
203).
International cultural policy has gained momentum in the last decade, so it is
likely that budgets have increased, but I expect them to have shifted especially
within the budgets of cultural organizations and funds designated for culture,
since the sole amount really earmarked for international cooperation (the Neth-
erlands Culture Fund) only increased from euro 7.7 million in 1998 to euro 8.8
million in 2008, whereas overall government expenditure on culture grew by
57 % from 1996 to 2006.

Structure of cultural diplomacy in Germany

The international cultural policy is mainly executed by the Goethe-Institut and


the Institut fr Auslandbeziehungen (Institute for External Relations). They have
a large degree of independence from the government when it comes to program-
ming. The Goethe-Institut boasts 137 institutes in 92 countries. About 3.000
people work for the Goethe-Institut. The Institut fr Auslandbeziehungen deals
with distributing exhibitions, organising conferences and publications about cul-
tural exchange.
The Goethe-Institut offers language courses, libraries and supports local edu-
cational facilities by providing content for lessons. Also, the branches abroad
include exhibition spaces, they organise readings and film presentations and work
with local partners in the field of literature, theatre etc. A big handicap for a lot of
branches of the Goethe-Institut is their lack of project money. Most of the money
is earmarked for housing and personnel, leaving little space to manoeuvre in the

126
high seas of culture. The Goethe-Institut follows a humanistic trend; its mission
statement is dialogue as assignment, partnership as principle.
Also, the Goethe-Institut strives to obtain an intense cooperation with Euro-
pean partners to the extent that in the long term European cultural institutes will
replace the national ones outside Europe. The Goethe-Institut does not like to
present itself as a tool of cultural diplomacy. Its director Klaus-Dieter Lehmann
stated in an interview in 2011:
I do not like to use the word diplomacy at all, because it implies something formalized and
consensus oriented. The advantage of culture is precisely to be purposeless, idiosyncratic
and surprising.

In September 2011 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented the policy report
describing the latest developments and changes in the culture and education
policy. The European Union is still the main pillar for German international cul-
tural policy. In the report Strengthening Europe is still the first of the three pro-
gramme lines. In the speech the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guido Westerwelle,
gave presenting the report he puts it as follows:
I want to emphasize the fact that Europe is not Western Europe [] German reunification
has always been the reunification of Europe as well. For me, Warsaw is Europe, Prague and
Bratislava and Budapest are Europe.

Thus, he legitimizes cutting budgets in Italy and France that both boast seven
Goethe Institutes and investing more in Poland and the Czech Republic. Also
South East Europe and the Mediterranean should get more attention. The second
programme line Securing Peace stresses the transformation processes in the
Arab world: 20 million euro is reserved for cultural and educational projects in
the region. The third programme line Nurturing old friendships and establishing
new partnerships stresses that while the traditionally strong ties with Western
Europe and the U.S. should not be ignored, it is vital to build a new partnership
with emerging economies: India, Vietnam, China, Latin America, Turkey and
Russia are mentioned. The policy paper says little about preferred art disciplines.
It sticks to the broad concept of culture:
In its cultural relations work abroad, Germany presents itself as a cosmopolitan, pluralis-
tic, liberal and tolerant country committed to democracy and the rule of law. Our culture is
coloured by the ideals and values of the European Enlightenment, reason, honesty, the ability
to level criticism and to criticize oneself, innovation and a commitment to progress.

The government does want to start new ways of cooperation with cultural diplo-
macy. It wants to create Years of Germany, which offer an integrated programme
of German culture, economy, research, education and civil society in public pri-
vate partnerships.

127
Firstly, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are
targeted, then the G20 countries. Additionally, Germany will design more large-
scale exhibitions expressly to foster foreign relations; The Age of Enlighten-
ment which was shown in Beijing serves as an example. Westerwelle described
this as an excellent way to convey German values.
The international cultural and education policy is financed first and foremost
through the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ministry spends almost a
quarter of its budgets on this policy field, which is almost 0,5 percent of the federal
budget and totalled almost 1,5 billion Euros in 2011. The budget of the Goethe-
Institut meanwhile was 334 million euro in 2010 of which 223 million euro came
for the ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Institut fr Aussenbeziehungen receives
about 14 million funding from the federal government. The annual reports of the
ministry and the Goethe-Institut are not clear on the division of the expenditure.
Education through German schools abroad and support for spreading the German
language in different forms take up the largest part of these budgets by far. Sup-
porting the arts and cultural exchange is only a relatively small factor.

Conclusions

In this paper, an outline was given of the Dutch and German international cul-
tural policies. Also, a broad discourse about the notion of cultural diplomacy was
sketched.
Germany and the Netherlands have a lot in common. The priority countries are
similar and international projects are supported in all the arts disciplines. They
both have significant European stance. There are also big differences: the many
foreign institutes characterize German international cultural policy, a broad inte-
grated understanding of culture and strong guiding principles.
The Netherlands policy is more practical, cultural institutes play a negligible
role, culture is defined in its narrowest sense and there is a make it up as you go
along mentality.
Both approaches have their advantages: the Dutch are more flexible and prag-
matic and because of the lack of institutes always have to work with local part-
ners, from which much real cooperation stems.
The Germans have much bigger budgets and more qualified staff, and through
the institutes run a lot of high quality projects. Generally, the importance attached
to arts and culture is bigger in Germany.
If one wants to cooperate on a cultural project with either country, it helps to
take into account the particular structures and history of their cultural diplomacy.

128
Hopefully, this paper helps to provide insight into the different backgrounds in
Germany and the Netherlands.
In addition, both countries could benefit from a stronger dialogue amongst
each other: the Germans might pick up some of the Dutch flexibility and the
Netherlands could take advantage of the profound and integrated approach of the
Germans. Some beautiful international cultural projects might come out.

Recommendations

Cultural diplomacy is met with much distrust in the cultural sector. Cultural prac-
titioners and artists are reluctant to be used for diplomatic aims. They tend to
want to work more internationally though.
On the other hand, the field of culture is frequently not taken seriously
within ministries of foreign affairs. Budgets are limited and understanding of
the functioning of the cultural sector by many diplomats and civil servants is
paltry. As argued above however, there is a lot of common ground both sides
can cover. The effectiveness of cultural cooperation depends on the quality
input and engagement of the cultural organisations. They need to be stronger
involved not only in the implementation, but also in the planning procedures
and writing of policies. A lot of the argumentation in lobbying for more cul-
tural cooperation lies in the economic and political benefits. There is a lot of
truth in these points of view, but we must not forget that culture should in the
first place be valued for its own merits: offering experience and pleasure, inno-
vating and challenging artistic processes and aesthetic contentions and foster-
ing imagination.
For all parties involved, professional development in both the cultural and
administrative field should be a main concern. Training programmes might be
an excellent possibility, but learning on the job and implementing projects might
even be a greater learning experience. In supporting these forms, governments
could profit from the enhanced knowledge of its own staff as well as the increased
skills of the professionals they need to work with.
International cultural networks also deserve special support from governments
and multilateral organisations, as they provide the rudimentary infrastructure for
information flows, communication and partnership development among the cul-
tural operators. More long-term alliances need to be supported as well as more
complex forms of cooperation, including information processing, training, debate
and reflection and technical assistance. When cultural diplomacy is increasingly
seen in these terms, the quality of the programming might increase and relations
and communication skills of people and governments bettered.

129
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Bound, K. et al. (2007), Cultural diplomacy. London: Demos.
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Klaic, D (2007). Mobility of Imagination: A companion guide to international
cultural cooperation. Budapest: Center for Arts and Culture, Central Euro-
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Maa, K-J (ed.) (2005), Kultur und Auenpolitik. Handbuch fr Studium und
Praxis. Baden-Baden: Nomos.
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erlands, Den Haag.
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(ed.), Lying Abroad, A critical Study of Cultural Diplomacy, pp. 8395. Buf-
falo: University of Buffalo Arts Management & Policy.
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linchpin of public diplomacy, Washington D.C. 2005.
Schneider, W. (ed.) (2008), Auswrtige Kulturpolitik. Bonn: Kulturpolitische
Gesellschaft.
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tureller Austausch. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag.
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http://www.ericarts.com

130
Losing Focus:
an Outline for Romanian Cultural Diplomacy

Ovidiana Bulumac and Gabriel Sapunaru

Introduction

Arguing about Romanian cultural diplomacy requires first of all attaining the
historical dimension of its modern existence. If culture is about values, social
cohesion and identity, then the causality between time and space (Bernea, 2005)
is the relationship that can best explain the outcome of a national specificity in
cultural terms and further on the diplomatic channels it chooses to develop. In
the Romanian case, since the earliest political medieval writings, collective iden-
tity, ethnicity and statehood were closely linked with Christendom, all integrated
within Europe.
There are three major timeframes relevant to the modern cultural diplomacy
theme in the case of Romania that we will look upon in these forthcoming pages:
1) the interwar period (from the 1918 until the WW2), the communist era (1945
1989), and 3) the two decades of transition towards democracy and market econ-
omy (1989 2012).
The long and complicated history covered a transition from the periphery of
the Empires (Ottoman, Hapsburg, Russian) towards the periphery of the modern
world system with the 1829 moment of the Adrianople Treaty, followed by the
starting era of the Romanian Kingdom (1881) which set off the modernizing era
of the state, the 1918 Great Romania unification, followed later by the forced
instatement of the communist regime in 1947 (Baltasiu et al, 2009b). All these
events managed to somehow determine a rather troubling problem in the post-
communist Romania that of its past.
The `nationalist` or `patriotic` terms have received negative connotations in
the Romanian public sphere after the fall of communism (Baltasiu et al, 2009a).
This term has been so problematic that any reference stipulating an event, public
figure or a social phenomenon in relation to common (national) truth is immedi-
ately being discredited and labelled as nationalist, for example. Moreover, fiercely
cleansing of myths and de-valorisation tendencies of the past events and person-
alities were considered to be the most efficient manner in which public and cul-
tural legitimacy was acquired, especially in front of the Westerns eyes (Baltasiu
et al, 2009a).

131
The ideal-type cultural diplomacy

Cultural diplomacy is about the relationship between the state and its most
valuable personalities. Dimitrie Gusti and Traian Braileanu were in the inter-
war period the creators of powerful sociological theories that were absorbed by
important schools of thought of the time (Chicago, Berlin, or Wien) and that tried
to explain this particular relationship. Gusti focused upon the idea of the cultural
state, a sociological and geopolitical concept launched as a solution for identify-
ing Romanias correct path towards development and modernization. Basically,
it has three important elements at its centre: the hierarchy of competencies in a
society, the social justice it promotes within the layers of the society and the insti-
tutional encouragement for the development of cultural personalities (Baltasiu,
2007, p. 177250). In the same manner, the response of Braileanu was similar
by promoting the great man as a model of social, moral, elitist and professional
personalities.
Secondly, cultural diplomacy is about the self-perception of a state. It is about
the image that it supposes it has in the international environment. Here, Cooleys
`looking glass self` concept (1902, 183184) comes in the middle of our under-
standing. The idea is that cultural diplomacy, as it is an international exchange
pattern between states, results in creating perceptions between these exchanging
partners. Although this is basically social psychology, it proves to offer some very
interesting results when one applies it as a filter for cultural policies. We consider
this theoretical approach to have a great value for the continuity of cultural diplo-
macy, as a state always has the necessity to improve its public perception, to make
the other think better of oneself.
Thirdly, cultural diplomacy is a tool initially emerged from the soft power
mechanism of a state. This idea reaches the theoretical justification of cultural
diplomacy, with Joseph S. Nye dividing the power of a state between hard and
soft. He argues that a state has two major capabilities: hard power (military and
economical means) and soft power (mainly cultural and social abilities). Formu-
lating this thesis towards the ending of the Cold War with the nuclear crisis
and military competition mainly between the US and the Soviet Union (Gould-
Davies, 2003), Joseph Nye saw the necessity of re-aligning the means for doing
international relations. And in this context he saw the opportunity and necessity
of soft power first of all as a peace promoter and second maybe as a conflict man-
agement tool.
An ideal type cultural diplomacy needs to be able to represent the interests of
a nation by concentrating on common cultural patterns in a dialogue between two
or more parts. In the same time it requires keeping possible conflict generating
aspects aside. These are the required tactics of cultural diplomacy. But the society

132
and the state need to act as integrated parts. Therefore, cultural diplomacy needs
to lie down upon primary layers such as: a) an internal cultural policy strong
enough to sustain cultural exchanges with other states, b) openness towards all
international partners, c) emphasis on reciprocity and mutual recognition, d) and
last, but very important, clear objectives and a constant message.

Methodology

In our analysis, we utilized the neo-interpretative methodology (Baltasiu et al,


2011), a new kind of approach that proved to be efficient in terms of recompos-
ing the local social reality, under serious financial or time related constrains. The
working technique is built around the idea that the focus must be on whatever the
individual believes to be essential for him. In such an approach, the instrument
of recommendation (of places, people and moments) gained a significant weight
due to the engagement of the subjectivity within the process of unveiling what is
relevant and what is not.
The analysis was conducted in a double manner. On the one side, the data
gathered from the national and international literature, together with the infor-
mation obtained by content analysis of the most important Romanian newspa-
pers, have shaped what one identifies as objective data. The second part con-
sisted in conducting semi-structured interviews (in average around one hour per
interview) with personalities of the Romanian space involved in the domain of
cultural diplomacy, both with native origins as well as foreigners familiarized
with the Romanian cultural environment. From this perspective, the technique of
recommendation `from-man-to-man` has managed to portray an active network
of professionals from very different domains, this network being meant to recom-
pose the overall image of the investigated periods. Thus, for conducting the inter-
views we have structured three groups of respondents (see the complete list in the
Annex): 1) representatives of cultural and academic environment (12 interviews),
2) representatives of state policies (from external affairs, culture, economy and
education) (10 interviews), 3) other relevant personalities (5 interviews). As well,
to attain the proposed objective, we chose to structure the investigated period
(19182012) in three timeframes: 1) the interwar period (19181939), 2) commu-
nist period (19451989), 3) post-communist regime (19892012).
The moments of immediate interest were the last two. Nevertheless, both the
literature as well as the ideas derived from some conducted interviews obliged
us (in a scientific manner) to introduce the interwar period given the very high
social growth in this timeframe and as well the strong character of the Romanian
cultural diplomacy manifested then.

133
The interviews were semi-structured and in-depth, and focused on the follow-
ing objectives: 1) identifying the meaning of cultural diplomacy, in view of the
respondent, 2) identifying the purpose of cultural diplomacy in general, deter-
mining the representative actors with thinking, implementing and promotion of
Romanian cultural diplomacy, 3) identifying some possible changes in the way of
doing cultural diplomacy according to the historical period, 4) identifying on a
historical or eventful scale a period that comes closest to the promotion of a good
international image, given both the frequency and quality of a states cultural
diplomacy.
Given the infrastructure offered by these interviews, we were able to concen-
trate on public data from the significant moments (as they were signalled by the
interviewed). Thus, the next phase was the analysis of most important (avail-
able) newspapers. For the communist period over 600 numbers from Scinteia and
Romania Libera were covered, while for the post 1989 period over 200 numbers
from the newspapers Adevarul, Romania Libera, Jurnalul National and Dilema
Veche were researched.
The key moments that were taken into account were selected mostly due to
their length in time, their impact experienced within the Romanian society and
the type of discourse they shaped. As far as the newspapers go, the choices were
influenced by the significant sales, by the editorial board that encompasses a high
journalistic profile in the case of the 19892012 period; whiles for the communist
regime the two most important sources of information for the larger public were
automatically included.
Cultural diplomacy is a very restricted niche in Romania, although there are
some personalities that try to enlarge the attention brought upon it on an inter-
national level. In this sense, the Romanian literature on cultural diplomacy has
proven rather poor. The curious case is that almost everyone can talk on the
subject, but very few actually understand the meaning and know more about its
policies. For these reasons, we saw the necessity for conducting interviews with
representative personalities of Romania who understand the urgency of cultural
diplomacy.

Theory and Literature

In the case of internet sources for research, over 90% of the available material is
reporting activities based on American initiatives, one of the few continental ref-
erences being John Holdens DEMOS publication. Moreover, on an institutional
level, the dominant and explicit reference to a place of cultural diplomacy train-
ing is the Cultural Diplomacy Institute in Berlin (which, in fact, is also a US ini-

134
tiative). This is not surprising since cultural diplomacy, as it has been considered,
has been shaped during the Cold War by US actions meant to contain the Soviet
Unions expanding influence in Europe (Donfried andGienow-Hecht 2010; Bu
1999). However, on an international scale, things are developing gradually, by
the emergence of BA or MA programs in the cultural diplomacy field, as well as
conferences and workshops on these matters. Also, in the same manner, on the
Romanian Internet channels, few references are made regarding this particular
subject, showing that the domain is seriously underdeveloped/yet to be developed.
For the written literature, there are entire series of works that are focused upon
case studies (Aguilar 1997; Alden 2005; Alden Soko 2005; Hugon 2005; Akami
2008; Lee 2008;Young 2008; Lam 2009; McGiffert 2009) or pieces that tangen-
tially address the cultural diplomacy area (Eban 1983; Barston 1988; Kissinger
1994; Bissard and Chossudorsky 1998; Hamilton and Langhorne 2000; Boot
2004; Baylis and Smith 2005; Domett 2005; Curtin 2007). However, the theoreti-
cal approach and framework in the sense of shaping a definition and an operation-
alizing of the concept is still poor because cultural diplomacy is still hard to
define (Schneider, 2006).
In the same sense, on the Romanian side, an extremely reduced number of
books cover the niche of the cultural diplomacy. Moreover, the entire field of
study is somehow overlapping other areas such as propaganda, branding or adver-
tising (Elliot and Percy 2006; Anholt 2007; Clifton 2009; Govers and Go, 2009),
diplomacy per se (Eban 1983; Barston 1988; Kissinger 1994; Bissard and Chos-
sudorsky 1998; Hamilton and Langhorne 2000) or intercultural communication
(Dodd 1995; Gudykunst 2005). However, cultural diplomacy is much more than
that. It is the cultural dimension of the public diplomacy that is in charge with the
dissemination of a countrys message outside its borders (Adelman, 1981).
Cultural diplomacy can be defined as a track II, non-conventional diplomatic
practice, aimed at identifying cultural patterns of behaviour as well as the com-
monalities of two or more competing groups in order to find a common ground
of dialogue, while preserving culturally sensitive aspects, says professor Vasile
Puscas (2011), also former Romanian Minister of European Affairs, and ICD
Advisory Board Member. Also, in one of the reports made public by the Advisory
Committee on Cultural Diplomacy of the U.S. Department of State (September
2005), it is considered to be `the linchpin of public diplomacy`. In other words, for
a proper representation of the national idea abroad, the cultural dynamics is the
best channel to use.
Cultural diplomacy appears as an area of expertise that, if properly exercised,
has the power to recalibrate international relationships in this new interconnected
world (Baylis and Smith, 2005) that is constantly changing its paradigm of power.
In fact, metaphorically speaking, `cultural diplomacy reveals the soul of a nation`;

135
because it implies a wider and more connective network of human values of cul-
ture that form the basis of any negotiation between parties. Why the need for
cultural diplomacy? The truth is that there are several reasons.
For powerful countries such as the USA, it can be the propagation of a counter-
balancing image to the one created by its military actions that attracted an entire
phenomenon of anti-Americanism (Bohas, 2006). For emerging economies such as
India is the idea of projecting its modernity and, thus, investing heavily to self-con-
sciously develop its cultural diplomacy instruments all over the world. For China a
way of promoting itself has to do with the censorship of Internet data and activity,
thus a security related reason. And for Romania the issue is (or it should be), the
idea of showing the world who we truly are and not who we are not and neither who
we are supposed to be. In this sense, the positioning of culture domestically deter-
mines the degree and the way culture can be used for national purposes abroad. As
well, one prior investment of this concept is given by the state.
Cultural diplomacy is first of all a matter of states, diplomacy (in its classical
form) being inevitably linked with negotiations between states. Nevertheless, cul-
tural diplomacy has extended both to non-governmental organizations or insti-
tutions, the third party in these state-to-state relations, and to individuals as such.
We will introduce the issue of personality, in close relation with the cultural
aspect of the state. This issue is of high importance for the cultural belonging
and international recognition of the state. Personality is thus mainly a project of
the state that invests in one of its primary potentialities population. Education
comes here as an important factor, shaping each individual according to his own
potential. In this logic, personality consists of two aspects: it is about knowing
and about character (Baltasiu, 2007). Each timeframe that we proposed for analy-
sis in the current material bears the hallmark of its created personalities. What
are the means one must take in order to correctly and clearly transmit and control
(Sevin, 2010) the intended message? Recent developments of this area try to focus
upon the idea of finding commonalities on a cultural level with the Other, in order
to attain peace and progress (Constantinescu, 2010), trying to direct cultural
diplomacy towards the idea of mutuality and reciprocity. However, this particular
tendency did not yet create a clear-cut paradigm, where the notion of gaining,
conserving and expanding power is still dominant (Barrett, 2002), and easier now
with the help of a new instrument at hand called cultural diplomacy (Wein, 2012).

Cultural diplomacys recent developments

Nowadays, with the 24-hour news channels of communication (both official


and informal), pure information is disseminated without a proper cultural or

136
official processing. This is the moment in which governments are no longer
able to dominate in communication and is no longer the primary actors of com-
munication. And to close the loop, this is why culture and cultural diplomacy
become a significant part in the international relation area. In this manner,
cultural diplomacy, if properly utilized and promoted, successfully assures the
open doors policy extension, especially well rated in the case of two parties that
share a history of cultural clashes. Moreover, a long run cultural policy assures
not only the conservation of an own cultural background, but also creates a
cultural profile for the future that can prevent any misunderstandings, misfires
or offences as well as prepare for new cross-boundary elements such as music
or visual arts productions.
Thus, a final definition of the cultural diplomacy can be considered the one
given by the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy as the exchange of ideas, infor-
mation, values, systems, traditions, beliefs and other aspects of culture, with the
intention of fostering mutual understanding. And this mutual understanding
must be based upon a cultural transfer (Droste, 2006) made in a universal lan-
guage that can serve as a cultural bridge. And in the last decades, we noticed a
widening of the range of cultural diplomacy that jointly developed peaceful agen-
das (Randall, 2005), activities such as sports (Black 2007; Defrance and Chamot
2008; Redeker 2008), arts (Chapman, 2007) or music (Adlington 2009; Gienow-
Hecht 2009).
Another dimension of the cultural diplomacy is represented by a two-folded
branding concept: `nation branding` and `national brands` (Anholt 2007; Clifton
2009; Govers and Go 2009; Sevin 2010). Basically, this is part of cultural diplo-
macy that represents the economizing part of national identity, specific to the age
of globalization and market economy. This is the moment when the value-based
culture transforms itself into the commercial based culture (e.g. cultural tourism).

Empirical Analysis

Cultural policies in a state have two components. The first is given by the internal
policies approach, while the second regards external aspects of culture. It is rather
easy to see that cultural diplomacy focuses mostly on international relations of
culture between states. Nevertheless, the internally promoted values are of vital
importance to cultural diplomacy. We mentioned earlier this idea stating that
each period has the imprint of the personalities it created. In this sense we will
notice two types of promoting Romania in the international environment: first,
there is the policy of the state and second, the personalities outside the state bor-
ders. And the difference between these periods is also the way Romanian cultural

137
diplomacy is centred (interwar period) or not (during communism and after 1989)
around these important personalities.

First timeframe: 19181945

Even though the Romanian diplomacy has old roots in history, its modern devel-
opment started with the Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia and their
openness towards Western Europe (Giurescu et al, 2011). Given the geopolitical
position of the Romanian states, the great powers of that time became interested
in these territories. Thus, foreign consulates started to be opened and financed,
to sustain the flow of information in the international arena, by powers such as
Russia (1782), Austria (1783), Prussia (1786), France (1795), Great Britain (1800)
thus connecting the Romanian society to the European models (Stroia, 2007).
Inevitably, in 1862, the Romanian Ministry for Foreign Affairs was officially
instated (Giurescu et al, 2011) with all its sub-structures that had a busy activ-
ity, trying to make contact not only with European power, but also Asian ones
such as China (since 1880 Budura, 2005). The Romanian diplomacy in the Old
Kingdom (18781914) was the outcome of the successful war for independence
(1877/1978), when it was able to manifest itself truly and for the first time as a
freestanding actor on the international arena (Giurescu et al, 2011).
The international relations Romania had in that timeframe were partly due to
the fact that King Carol I was of a royal origin and also a German (the family of
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen). This ensured him from a diplomatic perspective a
higher protocol status, which had positive echoes not only in Europe, but also in
Istanbul (Scurtu, 1991, p. 1819). The followers on the throne, King Ferdinand
I (that was married to Queen Mary, niece of Queen Victoria of England and of
Tsar Alexander 2nd) and King Carl 2nd continued these special relations with
the West until the 1940 Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact that divided the unity of the
Romanians once again.
But this particular freedom of diplomatic expression was also a result of the
internal cultural and infrastructural development. `Romania lives on the heritage
left from King Carol the First. Wherever you go, in the mountains, at the seaside,
down the valley or up the hill, roads, harbours, railways, public constructions,
they are all build in his time` (Vulcanescu, 1996), along with the University,
National Bank, Romanian Athenaeum, etc. As a consequence, an entire series of
national expositions in Bucharest and Iasi were held at the beginning of the 20th
century with the participation of prominent European countries, meant to show
the world who Romania is and what were its accomplishments in the last decades
(Jurnalul National, 10th May 2006).

138
The end of the first world conflagration allowed Great Romania, the first
national state whose borders overlapped the ethnic map of the Romanians, to be
possible and also to be confirmed at the Paris Peace Conference 19191920 due to
significant efforts of the national diplomacy. And the timeframe which followed
was one of the most effervescent periods in the Romanian history, when the elites
of the society were no longer focused upon national survival, but were now able
to involve and evolve at en entire new level: the international sphere. In the case
of the Romanian cultural policy, after the territorial reformation of 1918, it was
allowed once again the usage of the terms `Romanianship` and `Romanian` as its
main message for external affairs. Resorting to spiritual-material integrity, the
cultural diplomacy had become subordinated to the grander geopolitics of the
state.
In July 1919, the League of Nations was created, and Romania was a founding
member. This was the year was the one in which the Romanian foreign policy
shifted towards France, Great Britain, and Italy, creating intense collaboration
relationships, both politically and culturally (Burcea 2005; Giurescu et al 2011).
Moreover, through several key figures of that time, Romania succeeded in step-
ping outside the box and making history. As an expression of the appreciation of
the Romanian foreign policy, Nicolae Titulescu was appointed two years in a row,
an exception never encountered since (Titulescu European Foundation, 2002) as
the President of the General Assembly (1930, 1931) he was also the promoter of
the European collective security concept.
Consequently, in the interwar timeframe, cultural diplomacy was conducted
but not with the same objective as it is used nowadays. In fact, the type of atti-
tude the Romanian elite had at the time and the will and power of the state were
pointed into the direction of Europe as a necessity for the national affirmation
and cultural legitimacy. This was the moment in which the Romanian culture
was freed from the historical imperatives and was able for the first time to put its
history and future in order.
Moreover, the Crown allocated significant financial support for the cultural
development of the Romanian society, both internally and abroad. This efferves-
cence led to the externalization (through Cultural Institutes, publishing in foreign
languages and organizing global congresses etc.) of the most valuable Romanian
elites in the West. Whatever the domain of expertise (technology and mathemat-
ics, medicine, arts, religion, sociology, philosophy, history, geography and geo-
politics, music etc), the elites that were connected to the West were part of the
most renowned professional networks in Europe.
Not surprisingly, the most well known Romanians in the West nowadays
remain the interwar cultural personalities that had the chance to develop until the
instatement of the communist regime in Romania or chose to live in exile and fight

139
against it (Manolescu, 2010). In this period, cultural diplomacy was understood
as the mixture between politics and culture, potentiated by a third propaganda.
`Culture is the attractive form of politics, and propaganda is the instrument which
offers them cohesion` (Burcea, 2005, p. 11). Nicolae Iorga defined propaganda
as a `systematic action of an organized group of disseminating a doctrine or an
idea for the purpose of convincing and wining adepts and allies, and to produce
actions convenient to the pre-established political objectives` (Iorga, 1926, p. 259).
Thus, keeping in mind the particular type of the poque, the cultural organisation
was made under the Propaganda Ministry, which held under control the National
Tourism Bureau, the Radio and Telephone Broadcasting Company, the Cinema
Service, Department of Press, Radio Orient Company (Rador), the Romanian
Sports Federation Union (Burcea, 2005, p. 1819).
Additionally, the relationship between the state and the personalities was obvi-
ous, the first being responsible for the recruitment of the latter, which made the
cultural network of all the most influential institutions to be run by those signifi-
cant personalities, on the basis of the hierarchy of proven competencies (Baltasiu,
2007). Also, the diplomatic offices and consulates were doubled by the activity
of those particular personalities that occupied the higher positions in the cultural
institutions (press attachs, business men, students, cultural personalities, profes-
sors) and that had the responsibility to counter-balance the adverse propaganda
messages and to `conquer` the West in order to create a new image of Romania
abroad. This was mostly done starting with the bibliographic repertoire put at the
disposal for any foreign citizen thus, greatest works created by the Romanian
elites was written directly in Italian, French or German languages (Burcea, 2005,
p. 24) and through the instatement of Romanian Cultural Institutes.
In 1920, the Romanian Parliament approved Nicolae Iorga and Vasile Parvans
law that stated the foundation of Romanian academies abroad: the Romanian
School of Fontenay aux Roses (Paris) and Accademia di Romania (Rome)
(Lazarescu, 2002). These were followed by the Istituto Storico Artistico Romeno
di Venezia in 1930, and the Romanian Institutes in Berlin and Madrid, opened
around the time of the beginning of the Second World War (Jora, 2010) with
documentation offices, libraries, courses and conferences for the foreign public,
cultural and academic exchanges etc (Jora, 2010).
Thus, the Romanian cultural diplomacy expanded towards West, organizing
and participating to numerous congresses and conferences (the Congresses of
Byzantine Studies from Bucharest (1924) and Rome (1937); the International
Congress of Historical Studies in Cluj and Bucharest 1936), concerts, trans-
lation activities and cultural expositions (e.g. Popular Art Expos in Venice 1943;
the Biennale in Venice, the Triennial in Milano, Fiera del Lavante de la Bari; the
Universal Parisian Exposs), radio transmissions (e.g. one hour offered by the

140
Italian state to the Romanian one on the national station), tourism agencies (four
offices in Berlin, Paris, Rome and Istanbul, and in Bucharest a Commission for
the systematization of foreign travels, instated in 1925), cultural societies (Societa
Accademica Dacia Traiana Roma; Unione culturale italo-romena Milano;
Associazione culturale Italia-Romania Roma; Istituto di cultura Italo-Romeno),
students exchange etc. (Burcea, 2005, p. 3842). Basically, the promoted image
of Romania was a rural European society, with historical continuity, character-
ized by a unique duality of the national specificity: Latinity and Orthodoxy (Jora
2010; Vlad 2004).
Another important figure of the interwar Romania was Queen Mary, wife of
King Ferdinand I. After her coronation, she began a series of international tours
in which she promoted Romanias interests, probably the most well known being
the one in the United States (1926). Although at the time women and politics
represented a weak link, Queen Mary was the closest advisor of King Ferdinand
and the person to which Romania owes her 1918 unification, the outcome of her
personal diplomatic game with the French, American and British public opin-
ion. In conclusion, this was the first poque in which the national elites had the
favourable context to reach their potential, an atmosphere kept until the commu-
nist regime forced instatement that threw the Romanian culture and society in the
`terror of history` (Blaga, 2010).

Second timeframe: 19451989

The end of WW2 brought about, more or less, a cease of the national (cultural)
states prominence and a shift towards material affairs, which were now under
the patronage of socialist internationals. This was the era of the great communist
oppressions and terrors, a sudden interruption of any type of contact with the
West, a time when the Romanian identity and culture was crippled and subor-
dinated to the Soviet ideology. One of the first political (and cultural) actions of
the communist regime was the one of Ana Pauker, which in 1948 closed all the
Romanian schools from the Balkans (over 100 units built from 1864 to 1939).
Thus, the cultural power of the newly instated regime was concentrated primar-
ily on the conquest of the society and on the implementation of the new man
type of philosophy that would preserve the levers of power. And that particularly
involved two types of activities: (internal) censorship and (internal and external)
propaganda.
Between 19471949 an efficient cleansing of mass-media, army, police and
gendarmerie, public administration, diplomatic staff of the Ministry of Exter-
nal Affairs, education, judicial system, religion and peasantry was pursued,

141
at the same time with the rapid elimination from the equation of the political
opposition. In 1948, 80% of the professors from University of Bucharest were
removed and more than a 1/3 of the students around the country are expelled
(Cretzianu, 1956, p. 207). In a single night (15th-16th of May 1948) 4,000 students
all over the country were arrested (Brasoveanu, 2004). Between 19461953 and
19561959, numerous arrests took place among Romanian writers and scholars,
as at the beginning of the 60s, there were hundreds of writers, simultaneously, in
communist prisons (Stoenescu, 2005).
Simultaneously, a symbolic black out started with Article 16 of the armistice
signed with the USSR in 1944 that stipulated the introduction of censorship on
the press, books, printings, radio and postal services (Gabany, 2001, p. 14). Any-
thing that posed any kind of threat to the new ideology was censored. For exam-
ple, in 1948, the law banned over 8.700 writings and after that the annual bro-
chures containing 1.000 titles each were banned as well (PCACDA 2006, p. 488;
Badescu and Ungheanu, 1999, II, p. 194). This led to the removal from the public
sphere all the significant figures that culturally dominated the Romanian soci-
ety (18481947). A reduced number of intellectuals and elites of the Romanian
society managed to escape the regime, creating the exiled Romanian commu-
nity that, in time, became responsible for the Romanian cultural diplomacy pro-
jections abroad. Several movements were started with the purpose of sensitizing
the Western powers in relation to the physical and symbolical cleansing started by
the communists (the Geneva Group, the Romanian National Committee, the Free
Romanians League etc.). However, the response received was useless, thus the
movements started to lose their strength. Thus, they gradually integrated within
the adoptive societies, gaining social and professional recognition and continu-
ing to draw the attention through numerous works (thus culture) and diplomatic
means to the situation in the Romanian society (Coroama 2005; Manolescu 2010).
The 60s brought a shift from the internationalist orientation and brutal cul-
tural suppression towards the export of ideologically controlled culture. However,
the ways in which the information was delivered and its very own substance were
altered, being part of what former secretary of state within the Ministry of Cul-
ture Mihai Ungheanu termed the Holocaust of the Romanian culture (Ungheanu,
1999).
Once Nicolae Ceausescu came to power, a rupture from the cause of the
International appeared for the first time since the kings exile, the accent being
more on the national set of values and interests. Also, starting from now, access-
ing financial loans, political assistance and technological transfers, official visits
made to London or New York, president Nixon visiting the country, the instal-
ment of the Fulbright scholarship system, etc. were actions that spoke of a closer
relationship with the West. The policies for culture within the state carried the

142
influence of the soviet cultural doctrine, i.e. that of mass-culture that lasted up to
1984 with serious consequences on the internal social environment. One of the
interviewed personalities argued that `mass-culture was a stupid thing thinking
that the poor fellows needed one certain type of culture. Bad, poor songs warped
the folklore, promoting texts that vitiated the peasants values and the way of
living`. The effects of such a low culture doctrine affected the way Romania
directed its cultural diplomacy. One can observe in Tables 1 and 2 (Annex) some
rather expected percentages that show how in communism the focus was on the
internal policies of culture in the first part (until 1964): `until then one could go
only to USSR for studies and (with great difficulty) in GDR and Czechoslovakia`.
With the 1964 Declaration of independence, then Ceausescus 1967 accession
to power, followed by the opposition to the Czechoslovak invasion by the soviet
troops in 1968 and later, President Nixons visit in august 1969, Romania redi-
rected itself to Western international relations. Actually, the visit of US president
in Romania came as historical presence and an ideological breach in the commu-
nist world and it marked a type of diplomacy that Larry L. Watts refers to as non-
ideological. Thus, one finds the connecting bridge with the anterior (interwar)
period. Either liberal or not, the cultural diplomacy of Romania after 1964 saw an
abundance that according to some of our interviews reached all countries: `after
1965, cultural exchanges happened with all countries`. However, all the exits were
controlled by the communist state, through institutions such as the Union of the
Composers, the Union of Writers, Central Committee, the Commission of Cul-
ture, etc. (Popescu 2006; CISC 2003, p. 205217).
Going back to the data gathered in Tables 1 and 2 we see that after 1975 the
trend towards external cultural policy is accentuated. And as economy and diplo-
macy of any kind go hand in hand (according to one interview `cultural diplo-
macy is connected to the resources you have money you do, but if you dont`),
Romania strengthened its cultural ties with the western states. According to
another interview, while the Fulbright and Humboldt scholarship programs were
offered after 1964 they did not last very much, ceasing in between 19721975.
This effect was due to development cult of personality and the containment poli-
tics of the West towards the Ceausescus regime. Actually, the communist period
used cultural diplomacy of omission, censoring almost every (great) personality
that was outside the ideology of the communist party.
In other words, the cultural diplomacy was of a coherent, but highly ideologi-
cal substance that highlighted only the mythical side of history. This was in com-
parison to the post 1989 timeframe, which is found at the other extreme, an inco-
herent strategy highly concentrated upon the de-valorisation of national culture,
being focused upon attacking the greatest historical and cultural personalities of
Romania (Badescu and Ungheanu, 1999).

143
Third timeframe: Post 1989

After the `fall of communism` in Romania, the subject of cultural diplomacy


appears to be minimal or even absent from the public sphere and agenda. The
lack of public debates, the inconsistency of policy decisions, the overlapping of
significant institutional actors and the inefficient way in which the archives were
recorded or stored can be considered as a giveaway for the kind of strategic think-
ing the Romanian state has on this area. In theory, they are prime carriers of the
Romanian culture on foreign soil, but in practice, they mostly built an internal
image of formalism and inefficiency. This could be the case of the re-branding of
the national identity with a pure green leaf as a symbol that caused serious media
scandals in the last two years, an image promoted with enormous sums of money
allocated (28 million only in 2012) by the Ministry of Regional Development
and Tourism (Jurnalul National, 2nd of February 2012). A first tool of understand-
ing the meaning of cultural diplomacy in contemporary Romania is the insti-
tutional network responsible for creating/promoting cultural diplomacy policies.
For this, we analyzed the official statements and information that is made public
and created the following visual tools.

Figure 1. The institution responsible for cultural diplomacy (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

144
Fig. 2. The institutional partners in charge with cultural diplomacy

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the ability to create policies of cultural diplo-
macy through a solitary subdivision of another substructure1: the Cultural, Edu-
cational and Scientific Relations Division. Moreover, since 2005, the activities
of the General Directorate for Public Diplomacy focused upon reconstructing
the institutional image of the Ministry, and not the cultural message of the
Romanian society (Romania Libera, 11th of June, 2010). The lack of long-term
vision in the field of cultural diplomacy can be observed also in the case of the
training programs offered to the employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and to the individuals that wish to enter in the diplomatic sphere of expertise. The
institution in charge with the professional education is the Romanian Diplomatic
Institute that offers 8 different types of training programs comprised of over 100
courses. What is intriguing is that none of the lectures held is directly related to
cultural diplomacy, the only one closest to the theme being Intercultural com-
munication. The only course of cultural diplomacy officially held by a state insti-
tution is integrated in the program of a MA in Diplomatic techniques, at the
University of Bucharest (approved since 2011). Also, at the public opinion level,
the cultural diplomacy is non-existent on the agenda. The only initiative within
the civil society was recorded also in 2011, when `Romania of the 21st Century`
summer school was held on the subject.
The main institutional partner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cultural
diplomacy is the Romanian Cultural Institute that has 19 institutes all over the
world, created on the basis of the legacy Nicolae Iorga left in the interwar period.
The identity promoted by these institutes is curiously separated from the idea of

1 A strategy that is highly contrasting the interwar period initiatives, such as the one of Minister
Camil Petrescu who tried to create a Ministry of Culture especially for foreign relations and
promotion abroad Interview with Prof. Gheorghita Geana, anthropologist

145
historical continuity with the sole exception of Academia di Roma (for instance,
in the About us area, there are no references to the pre-communist legacy, the
institutes being presented as a creation of the recent years).
After the 1989 Revolution a lot of reforms and institutional changes were done
in order to shift towards a liberal structuring of the society. And these changes
were `an essay to avoid what was done wrong in communism`2. Somehow, the
results of these reforms were not at all those envisaged. Nicolae Mares for exam-
ple, argues in Political Diplomacy, Cultural Spirituality that Romania has a
diminished diplomatic presence outside its borders. And he exemplifies it with
New York where, in opposition to Romania, Hungary and Poland have a very
good representation. As well, he argues that Romanian cultural institutions either
do not know or do not want to promote themselves and Romania on foreign
soil, putting it on incompetence and personal financial motives. For example,
Brancusi is known in America as coming from the French culture (Mares, 107).
Moreover, the Romanian Cultural Institute was since 2006 involved in a series
of scandals that affected the image of the institution regarding the questionable
credibility of the promoted personalities due to their communist regime linkages
(Jurnalul National, 28th July 2008), the type of depraved and valueless art pro-
moted on public expense (Gandul, 10th August 2008), or the Romanian literary
works translation (`Publishing Romania`) that promote unknown individuals with
little impact abroad or close acquaintances of the leading board of the Institute3.
And all, in fact, are subjected to the tendency that emerged after the 1989 of per-
sonal legitimization in the eyes of the West by adopting a hyper-criticizing atti-
tude towards national values and historical personalities that turn into a critical
de-valorisation process4. Especially around the time of the European Union acces-
sion (2007), the identity labelled before as Romanian became a serious subject of
debate amongst the cultural elites in the public sphere. They are to understand
and promote the Europeanization process as a rapid and far-reaching imitational
mechanism of the entire Western paradigm. This is the time when the educational
system and the religious beliefs are under public attack due to the fact that the
Romanian identity is considered in opposition to the European one. As a result,
the public attitude towards Europe started to change (see the Figures 3-7 below5).

2 Prof. Emilian Dobrescu, economist and Scientific Secretary of the Department Of Economics,
Law And Sociology (Romanian Academy)
3 Interview Prof. Adrian Severin, Member of the European Parliament, former Minister for
Foreign Affairs
4 idem
5 Data produced by Sabine Trittler and Slawomir Mandes for the Multiple Modernities and
Collective Identities. Religion, Nation and Ethnicity in an Enlarging Europe project financed
by the Volkswagen Foundation (20082012).

146
Figure 3: National and European identifications

Figure 4: Proudnes of being Romanian

147
Figure 5: Proudness of being European

Figure 6: Importance of different characteristics of national identity (2009)

148

Figure 7: Important elements to make up European identity (2009)

Here is a very important idea that we emphasized from the beginning, that cul-
tural diplomacy is done by keeping track and putting in front the Romanian per-
sonalities who can create a cultural hallo around themselves. To support this:
`on the European scale, we are present through the 4 million Romanians who are
working in other countries`6. Therefore, cultural diplomacy is also about whom
represents you outside the borders. So it is important why those Romanians are
present there. Is it a cultural matter or is it an economic need? In this context
when people leave the country in order to make money and Romania faces an
external discrediting of its image, whom can you rely on to reposition the desired
perception of Romania? Isnt the case with Italy and Frances long lasting cam-
paigns against Romania an important setback for the states cultural diplomacy?

6 Prof. Emilian Dobrescu, economist and Scientific Secretary of the Department Of Economics,
Law And Sociology (Romanian Academy)

149
Started in 2006 and still ongoing, these campaigns have triggered an inter-
national rebound for the image Romania has today. For example, in November
2007, a Romanian newspaper wrote how the `anti-Romanian bombing conducts
to a huge manipulation`, citing Le Monde: `in the Italian media the word Roma-
nian has become a synonym with Roma (Ziua, 9th of May, 2007).
A whole series of labels were applied afterwards to Romanians: thieves, ban-
dits, rapists, beggars, `gypsies` `corrupt` etc., labels that are hard to erase from
the mental mapping of the audience since instruments that are in charge with the
promotion of the Romanian message abroad are considered to be weak and inef-
ficient.
Thus, the only remaining tool at hand is the dialogue initiated by represen-
tative personalities in the name of the state with stronger ties to the Western
elites7 that have the power and discourse to express the values of the cultural
background they belong to. And that background is of an `atypical cultural sub-
stance` shaped in between the Western and Oriental civilisations that in the EU
still creates rejection responses and reactions8 . Moreover, this type of attitude
reached a peak in 2011/2012, with the opposition of Netherlands to Romanias
accession to the Schengen Area (Adevarul, 16th September 2011/21st March 2012),
an `unsanctioned attitude that violates the obligation of the good-will treaty
implementation`9.
The way diplomacy is done nowadays consists not so much on state affairs, but
rather on the externalization of cultural promoting. Take for example the sum of
non-state institutions, organizations or individuals that are continuously exchang-
ing cultural experiences with other countries or institutions. To give a specific
case, the cultural department of Romanian National Commission for UNESCO,
or the active presence of President Emil Constantinescu, Minister Adrian Severin
or Minister Vasile Puscas in the Board of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy.

Conclusions

Our analysis encompassed three periods of Romanian cultural diplomacy, iden-


tifying the historical pattern of what one may call Romanian external cultural
policies.
The objective of this case study was to give a short indication on what or how
cultural diplomacy was in the past and in present times. And, inevitably, it points
7 Interview Prof. Adrian Severin, Member of the European Parliament, former Minister for
Foreign Affairs
8 idem
9 idem

150
to the differences specific in each timeframe, given mainly by the group of per-
sonalities promoted. Having in mind the tool of ideal-type cultural diplomacy,
one can identify now the specific of each period, the pluses and minuses.
Going backwards on a time scale, the post-communist period brings a more
and more economized cultural diplomacy. Its services are no more mostly con-
centrated in the powers of the state, but they are externalized towards non-state
actors (mainly institutions). But the point is that cultural diplomacy somehow
losses the focus, due to its unclear objectives, slow institutional mechanisms and
de-valorisation tendency of the past figures and values. And while it is open to
international partners, it has a poor internal management of cultural policies and
specific diplomatic objectives.
The communist period, although it had an ideological position and aggressive-
ness mainly before 1964, it developed a strong internal cultural policy. However,
the separation made between high culture and mass-culture, and its policies
that neglected any social and cultural potential that posed a threat to the new
instated philosophy of the `new man` created a Romanian culture by omission.
Last, for the interwar period one can identify most of the ideal type charac-
teristics of an efficient cultural diplomacy: strong internal policy, international
exchange policies, cultural power projection outside the borders, mutual recog-
nition and clear objectives. As a matter of fact, this period was identified in most
of our interviews as the most effervescent in terms of culture and cultural diplo-
macy. However, one sensitive aspect can be considered the affluence of the major
personalities that took the forefront of the national state. Thus, Romanias image
was created more out of the efforts and responsibility of those particular person-
alities than at the states initiative. Thus, due to the short timeframe at hand, the
cultural policies and diplomatic contacts did not have the chance to mature/ripen
enough so that the image of the communist and post-communist Romania could
reach and remain in the collective consciousness of the Europe. Also, in this time-
frame, a too greater focus was brought over the cultural and political relations to
the Western hemisphere, to the Orients cost.
Also, these historical eras generated equivalent patterns in the evolution of
the meaning of Europe within the Romanian space. Thus, in the interwar period,
being Romanian meant being European, but an atypical one (both of a Latin and
Orthodox structure). During the communist regime, the Romanian cultural iden-
tity was fractured through censorship and the elites imprisonment, thus pushed
away from the European one, being forcedly integrated within the Soviet ideol-
ogy. Next, after 1989, the Romanian society tried to get closer to Europe (its
western hemisphere), considering that the reason for the backwardness of the
society is due to the cultural differences in relation to Europe, differences that

151
must be eliminated in order to have a proper development. And this particular
type of attitude generated mixed feelings in the public opinion towards Europe.

Annex 1. Salience10

Of these, nr of internally Of these, nr of inter-


Scinteia addressed articles (plus COM- national addressed
ECOM10) articles

Total nr of
articles on cul- 411 264 (64%) 147 (36%)
tural issues

Before 1964 171 (41%) 148 (86.5%) 23 (13.5%)

Between 1964- 103


34 (33%) 69 (67%)
1975 (25%)

After 1975 137 (33%) 35 (25.5%) 102 (74.5%)

Table 1. Salience Scinteia. Cultural issues in communism

Of these, nr of internally Of these, nr of inter-


Romania
addressed articles (plus COM- national addressed
Libera
ECOM) articles

Total nr of
articles on cul- 178 112 (63%) 66(38%)
tural issues

Before 1964 63 (35%) 50 (79%) 13 (21%)

Between 1964-
55 (31%) 19 (34.5%) 36 (65.5%)
1975

After 1975 60 (34%) 19 (32%) 41 (68%)

Table 2. Salience Romania Libera. Cultural issues in communism

10 Council for Mutual Economic Assistance.

152
Of these, nr of Of these, nr of inter-
Adevarul internally addressed national addressed
articles articles

Total nr of articles
71 28 (40%) 43 (60%)
on cultural issues

Romania Of these, nr of inter- Of these, nr of inter-


Libera nally addressed articles national addressed articles

Total nr of articles
37 16 (34%) 21 (66%)
on cultural issues

Jurnalul Of these, nr of inter- Of these, nr of inter-


National nally addressed articles national addressed articles

Total nr of articles
73 26 (36%) 47 (64%)
on cultural issues

Dilema Of these, nr of inter- Of these, nr of inter-


Veche nally addressed articles national addressed articles

Total nr of articles
18 6 (33%) 12 (67%)
on cultural issues

Table 3. Salience Adevarul, Romania Libera, Jurnalul National, Dilema Veche, Cultural issues
after 1989

Annex 2. List of interviewed personalities

A. Representatives of cultural and academic environment (12 interviews)


1 Former Director of the Romanian National Theatre
1 Member of the Cultural Department (Romanian National Television)
1 Director of Cultural Media Newspapers
2 Professors of Sociology (University of Bucharest, University of Iasi)
1 Professor of Anthropology and Cultural Studies (University of
Bucharest)
1 Professor of Intercultural Studies (University of Bucharest)
2 Professors of History (University of Bucharest, University of Iasi)
1 Professor of Economics (The Bucharest University of Economic Studies)
1 Professor of Law (University of Bucharest)
1 Professor of Romanian Language (University of Iasi)
B. Representatives of state policies (10 interviews),
1 Former President of Romania

153
1 President of the Romanian Academy
1 Member of the European Parliament
1 Former Minister of Culture
1 Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
1 Scientific Secretary of the Department Of Economics, Law And
Sociology (Romanian Academy)
1 Director of the European Centre for Ethnic Studies (Romanian
Academy)
2 Former consulships (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
1 Expert (Romanian Cultural Institute)
1 Expert on Cultural Issues from the Romanian National Commission for
UNESCO
1 Director of UNESCO Department (University of Bucharest)
C. Other relevant personalities (5 interviews).
2 Descendants of interwar timeframe personalities
2 Survivors of the communist imprisonment (detainees on political
reasons)
1 President of a culturally focused NGO

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SECTION III:
STEREOTYPING
Cultural Diplomacy and Stereotypes in Present-Day
Czech-Slovak Relations Breaking with the Past?
Hetero-stereotypes of Czechs and Slovaks Twenty Years
from the Velvet Divorce

Daniela Chalniov1

Stereotypes are barriers to be demolished.


motto of Entropa

The opposite of every idiocy is idiocy.


Jorge Semprn

Introduction

As one popular joke has it: heaven in Europe is when the police are British, lovers
are Italian, cooks are French, engineers are German and it is all organized by the
Swiss. Hell, on the other hand, is when the police are German, lovers are Swiss,
cooks are British, engineers are French and everything is organized by the Ital-
ians. We might ask ourselves now: why exactly is this joke funny? It is doubtful
that most of us laughing now had been detained by the British law enforcement,
had an Italian lover or own a German car, in other words, have personal experi-
ence with either of the nations in situations suggested by the joke.
If we agree that perceptions of groups are important for people to understand
their social world, individually as well as collectively, then the study of stereo-
types becomes relevant not only for social psychologists but also for political
and social scientists. For example, in the joke above, particular stereotypes are
associated with national characters and identity, thusly adding to the construction
of countrys external image and its perception by others. By attributing character
traits to groups of people we unwittingly delineate social borders between the
in-group and the out-group, between us and them; distinctions that are of cru-

1 The author is a Slovak living in Prague, Czech Republic for five years now. A note on trans-
lations: all the translations from Czech/Slovak to English are mine including the mistakes I
might have made. I also would like to thank Martina Topi for her patience and encourage-
ment, Benjamin Tallis for his linguistic advice and my Czech and Slovak friends who were
brave enough to weather my opinions and share their own.

161
cial importance especially for young nation-states, such as the Czech Republic
and Slovakia. Traditionally, it has been the prerogative of public diplomacy to
promote a countrys image abroad through export of ideas and of course through
culture. In other words, public diplomacy, in its broadest definition that involves
non-state actors, is responsible for building international profile of a country and
positively influencing opinions of the target populations. Naturally, it is the goal
of any diplomatic effort to promote positive associations and images of the coun-
try, including positive stereotypes.
On January 1st 2013, the Czechs and Slovaks will commemorate the twentieth
anniversary of the peaceful dissolution of the common Czech and Slovak Federal
Republic. Twenty years ago, the two nations living in a common federal home
decided to walk on the path of independence, and pursue their interests as separate
political units. While to this day the dissolution process, sometimes also referred
to as the velvet divorce, puzzles historians and political scientists alike as to its
speed, absence of public consensus (and popular referendum), its execution and
most importantly reasons given in favour of division, today, the two nations are
reunited once again within the integrated European Union (EU) an entity that
is itself organised around common values and principles and share membership
in a long line of international and regional organisations such as the UN, NATO,
Council of Europe, OSCE, OECD or the Visegrad Four. Present day relations
between the two nations can without a doubt be described as above standard: the
two nations are not only culturally and linguistically close to each other, having
shared a significant amount of common history whether in the Austro-Hungarian
empire or within the boundaries of a common state since 19182. The two nations
are further intertwined by a rich network of contacts including common organ-
isations, clubs and associations uniting Czech and Slovaks at home and abroad,
common sports leagues and competitions, scientific cooperation and exchange,
television, theatrical and musical productions and even family ties among the
middle and older generations.
In light of such thick common historical, social and cultural ties, even in the
turbulent times of post Cold War transformation, the 1992 decision of politi-
cal elites to split the state in two seemed to have caught everybody by surprise,
including the Czech and Slovak populations themselves. Whatever the reasons,
lack of society-wide discussion and hectic circumstances provided room for lay
explanations of the events complemented by re-emergence of national stereotypes
of Slovak inferiority vis--vis Czechs, and Czech cunningness and untrustwor-
2 The common state of Czechs and Slovaks, of course, did not have a continuous and uninter-
rupted existence with WWII being the biggest exception: then Czech Republic was under the
name of Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia officially annexed to the Third Reich and Slo-
vakia declared an albeit independent but still short-lived clerical-fascist state from 19391944.

162
thiness. At present, questions about reasons for and inevitability of the dissolution
remain merely the subject of historical discussions, and it is not the aim of this
chapter to resurrect the topic and seek answers to these past events.
Instead, this chapter takes the velvet divorce as a starting point from which
the two nations set forth on their respective paths to redefine themselves anew,
re-construct their identities as independent nations, and redefine relations to each
other in the context of a rapidly transforming Europe. How did the two young
nations perceive each other at the time of dissolution and how do they see each
other today, twenty years later? What national characteristics do they attribute to
each other and are these national stereotypes strong and distinct enough to help in
construction of a clear line between Czechs and Slovaks, in other words, are these
hetero-stereotypes radical enough to maintain a difference between the Self and
the Other in terms of collective identity formation? And lastly, what is the role of
cultural diplomacy in promoting positive stereotypes and mutual understanding
between Czechs and Slovaks?
To this end, this chapter will examine mutual stereotypes (hetero-stereotypes)
of both Czechs and Slovaks, and their significance in the process of national iden-
tity re-building in the aftermath of the velvet divorce. The goal is to assess
whether there has been a change in perception of the other nation over the past
twenty years of independence, assuming that in the immediate years of, and right
after the federal dissolution, the stereotyping would be more differential in con-
tent and more separatist in concept, as the two young nations tried to establish
themselves as independent entities, while today twenty years later, once the two
nations have settled, the stereotyping would be less aggressive/separatist as
there is no such dire need for differentiation.
To reach this goal, the chapter will first introduce a theoretical framework
informed by the social constructivist perspective. Within the framework, col-
lective identities, stereotypes and public cultural diplomacy will be conceptual-
ized in the context of transition countries and relations between the concepts will
be outlined. Next, the empirical part will first give a historical analysis of the
formation and status of Czech and Slovak nations within the Austro-Hungarian
monarchy as well as within their marriage in the common republics, with a
view to provide a background as to the standing of the two nations in the post-
1989 era leading to the divorce.
Second empirical part will focus directly on the era of federal dissolution and
opinions about the self and the other as documented by the period public opinion
surveys.
The third, and final, empirical part will focus on the present-day views of each
other: this section will present an interpretative single case study of a piece of art
entitled Entropa a sculpture displayed at the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels

163
for the duration of the Czech presidency of the Council of the European Union
as part of the customary cultural diplomatic effort and the ensuing reactions
of both Czechs and Slovaks as to its stereotype-inspired contents communicated
across the media.
Two decades are a time long enough for reflection on the Czech-Slovak
relations. We should not take the unprecedented good relations for granted,
assuming we know each other too well, and be lulled into disinterest by relying
on stereotypes. We should never resign in our efforts to learn about our neigh-
bours, and most importantly, we should never resign on thinking critically about
ourselves, how we see others, how others see us and what difference does it make.

National Character Stereotypes in National Identity


Construction and Public Diplomacy

People are social beings, and as social beings they have a need for identity, indi-
vidual as well as collective, to help them establish who they are, where they
belong and where are they going. In her review of social psychology literature,
Janice Stein posits that individual people reduce their uncertainty by identifying
with a group:
[t]his need for collective as well as individual identity leads people to differentiate between
we and they, to distinguish between insiders and outsiders [moreover] In an effort to
establish or defend group identity, groups and their leaders identify their distinctive attributes
as virtues and label the distinctiveness of others as vices (Stein, 2002[2008], p. 298).

Such radical differentiation and negative labelling can sometimes even lead to
the creation of enemy stereotypes (Stein 2002[2008], p. 298). This mechanism of
identity construction through differentiation is what social constructivist theories
on collective identities refer to as othering, that is, a process in which a conceptual
pair of Self/Other is established (Neumann 1996; 1999; Hansen 2006). Accord-
ing to Hansen poststructuralisms relational conception of identity implies that
identity is always given through reference to something that it is not (2006, p. 6,
my emphasis). In other words, through an eternal construction of an out-group,
the Other. How, then, is this Other established? And how is the Self differentiated
from the Other?
Collective identity construction of the Self (and Other), then, is partially based
on such stereotypical descriptive characterization of both the Self and the Other
as radically different. For instance Hansen (2006, p. 42), in her study of the Bos-
nian War, includes an example of collective identity construction through differ-
entiation on the case of Balkans and Europe characterized as anthropomorphic

164
entities: while the Balkans is discursively described as barbarian, violent, under-
developed and irrational, Europe in contrast is described as the opposite, i.e. civi-
lized, controlled, developed and rational. The divergent characteristics construct
the Balkans and Europe as two distinct social entities.

Stereotypes and the national character

Why do national character stereotypes a form? What is their function? How big
role do stereotypes play in identity construction? And how true are they, really?
Before theorizing the origin of national stereotypes, let us first look at what they
are and what functions they perform in a social group. McGarty, Yzerbit and
Spears theorize that stereotyping is guided by these three principles:
Stereotypes serve as aids to explanation because stereotyping is an instantiation of the cat-
egorization process. We cannot have an impression of a group unless we can tell the differ-
ence between that group and some other group (2002[2004], p. 23).
Stereotypes are energy-saving devices: treating people as group members saves energy
because it means that we can ignore all of the diverse and detailed information that is associ-
ated with individuals (2002[2004], p. 4).
Stereotypes are shared group beliefs: Stereotypes are normative beliefs just like other
beliefs. They are shared by members of groups not just through the coincidence of common
experience or the existence of shared knowledge, but because the members of groups act to
coordinate their behaviour (2002[2004], p. 6).

The functions of group stereotypes described above already hint at the reasons
for stereotype formation, their role in collective identity construction and relation
to objective (not social) reality. Stereotypes might either form to accentuate dif-
ferences between groups, by selectively crystallizing important differences
from the vantage point of the perceiver, or to self-promote positive images associ-
ated with the in-group by magnifying differences with respect to the out-group,
and thus contribute to positive social identity construction, or they might form to
maintain the present status quo, i.e. gender inequality (Oakes et. al. 1994; Spears
et. al. 1997).
The perennial question pertaining to stereotypes is their accuracy, or put dif-
ferently, their correspondence to reality. Why are stereotypes important for iden-
tity research if they are just folk wisdom? The answer is precisely because they
are folk wisdom. Stereotypes are how we imagine our selves and others. Power
of these imagination stems from the conviction that there is a grain of truth to
them. Early research on stereotypes indeed implied such a connection to real-
ity by treating stereotype as an exaggerated belief associated with a category
(Allport 1954[1978], p. 191; Realo et. al. 2009; Hebkov and Kouilov 2009).

165
However, modern research into stereotyping has somewhat surprisingly found,
that national stereotypes generally do not correspond to aggregated personality
traits (Realo et. al. 2009, p. 230). A 49-nation study of personality traits con-
ducted by Terracciano and associates (2005) have shown no significant corre-
lation between mean personality ratings and mean national character profiles.
If, then, national stereotypes do not actually correspond to the personal traits of
the population, how come they are still around and contribute, even in small, to
national identity construction?
First of all, it is still widely believed that stereotypes actually contain factual
observations, the proverbial grain of truth. However, as research has shown,
more often than not they consist of assumed, unverified information, in other
words, a myth. This is why stereotypes are difficult to find in serious sources
but typically they are all around us, in jokes, popular myths, childrens stories,
folk wisdom tales, word-of-mouth stories and other narratives involving national
character (Rkos, 2001, p. 10).
In accordance with this, John Armstrong observes that just as the purpose
of the identity myth is not to present history but to arouse intense awareness of
the group members common fate (1996, p. 48, my emphasis), we can say too,
it is a function of stereotypes to save us the trouble of direct experience and
opinion formation, and boost the feeling of belonging by associating some valued
characteristics with the in-group, and to differentiate from the in-group from the
out-group. In other words, it is not relevant how accurate the stereotype actually
is, what is crucial, is how successfully it is able to establish perceptions/images of
us (author-stereotype) and them (hetero-stereotype), and to what extent it is
able to animate people3. Stereotypes are as true as they are believed to be.
However, as already hinted above, it has to be acknowledged that stereotypes
constitute only a relatively small and complementary piece in the rich tapestry
that is the construction of national identity4 (Rkos, 2001). Therefore, for the pur-
poses of this chapter, stereotypes could be defined as collectively shared norma-
tive beliefs held by a social group of people about the character of self and other
groups of people that contribute to identity construction by differentiation.

3 Even if the stereotype does not correspond to objective reality, we might never know, because
we might never test for ourselves, and even if we do experience the opposite, one individual
can only hardly change social reality.
4 See for example paper on methodology of identity research in political cartoons discourse,
which breaks down the cartoon into individual components relevant to meaning-making and
in consequence to identity construction. Stereotypes are just one out of fifteen categories that
allow us to make sense of the political cartoon (Chalniov 2011, p. 68).

166
Diplomacy, Culture and Identity

The role of public diplomacy in the post-Cold War Central Europe was slightly
different from public diplomacy, as we know it. The countries in the region were
undergoing simultaneous political, economic and social transitions that involved
also an external image transformation and identity change. According to Szondi,
public diplomacy has played a significant role in this process. He particularly
identifies six functions of public diplomacy in transitional countries:
To distance the country from the old economic and/or political system, which existed before
the transition.
To position the country as a reliable and eligible candidate of the new system that the
transition is aiming for, or that of the international community.
To change negative or false stereotypes or reinforce some positive stereotypes associated
with the country and its people.
To support and justify this move and demonstrate that these countries are worthy of the
centre nations support.
To position the country as the centre of the region or as a regional leader.
Public diplomacy can also facilitate re-defining and re-constructing national identities as
identity is also changing during transition (Szondi, 2009, p. 294295, my emphasis)

If one of the purposes of public diplomacy is to present a positive image of a


country to the publics of foreign countries (Btora 2005; Melissen 2005; Peter-
kov 2006, Snow and Taylor 2009; Btora and Mokre 2011) to win the hearts
and minds of foreign populations, so to speak then culture is most often the
vehicle to do so. Films, music, concerts, art exhibitions, theatrical productions,
student exchange programs, and many more are employed officially as well as
by non-governmental actors with an aim to positively influence public opinion
abroad, to create a positive image of the Self in the minds of others. Political enti-
ties readily use culture to support their soft power potential, generate goodwill,
to frame international agenda in particular ways, to erect and re-enact boundaries
and/or to create societal linkages across them (Btora and Mokre, 2011, p. 1).
Thus cultural public diplomacy, besides being a common ground for communi-
cation with the out-group, becomes at the same time an important site for identity
construction through differentiation, and stereotypes are one mode of that dif-
ferentiation.
What national stereotypes did Czechs hold of Slovaks and vice versa twenty
years ago, in a situation of the overall transformation including identity shift
from totalitarianism to democracy, from federation to independence? What were
the typical stereotypical images of the other? And what stereotypes do the two
nations use today to describe each other, once the dust of the divorce has settled?
Stereotypes, of course, may be positive, neutral, or negative and harmful. To
assess the level of differentiation, the chapter will investigate the national charac-

167
ter stereotypes i.e. what characteristics are attributed to the self and to the other,
and how dissimilar are they (lazy vs. hard-working etc.).
Second, stereotypes will be examined as concepts beliefs about others that
do not directly pertain to the national character, but describe the relationship as a
whole and the meaning they have for national identity construction. Separatist
stereotypes will be considered as strengthening independent national identities,
on the other hand, brotherhood stereotypes will be considered as weakening inde-
pendent identities. As stated in the introduction, the assumption is that stereotyp-
ing will have been more radical in content and more separatist in concept in the
years preceding and immediately following the federation dissolution in times
of intensive identity-building of the new independent states while today, the
stereotypes communicated in public cultural diplomacy and held by the public
are assumed to be less disparate and less separatist.

With or Without You: Common and Separate


Histories of Czechs and Slovaks

In his introduction to Imagined Communities, Benedict Anderson explicates the


three paradoxes of nationalism: first, nations objective modernity to the histo-
rians eye vs. its subjective antiquity in the eyes of nationalists, second, its uni-
versality (everyone should have a nationality) vs. the uniqueness of a particu-
lar nation, and third, its political power vs. its philosophical poverty and even
incoherence (1983[1991], p. 5, see also Hol 1996[2010], p. 129). Narratives of
the nations first ancestors, centuries-long journey through toil and trouble, sub-
jection and domination finally culminating in a longed-for independence become
a driving force of any nation-creation effort. History is often recruited for a cause,
and specifically modern national histories have a history of being written and re-
written in the name of the nation (Agnew 2000; Hol 1996[2010], p. 119, Findor
2011). Common and separate histories of the Czech and Slovak nations only tes-
tify to these paradoxes and to the significance of the past in national stereotypes
reification.
Common pre-history of the two nations includes the Samo empire5 and more
importantly the empire of Great Moravia6 in the 9th century A.D. that united the
principalities of Nitra present day Western Slovakia and of Moravia present
day Moravia in East Czech Republic.
5 Samo the Frankish merchant is supposed to have established one of the first centralized
Slavic state formations in the region of Central/Southern Europe in the 7th century A.D.
6 Historical maps place both state formations within and beyond the borders of present day
Czech and Slovak Republics.

168
The new millennium meant parting ways for the two ethnic groups. While
Bohemian and Moravian lands were allowed to form a rather autonomous admin-
istrative state unit Lands of the Bohemian Crown/Czech Crown Lands as
part of a personal union with Austria and Hungary under the reign of Habsburgs,
and could boast a line of Czech kings including Karel IV and Vclav (Charles IV
and Wenceslaus), Slovaks were gradually outnumbered by the arrival of Huns
(Magyars) in the 9th century and later continuously integrated into the Kingdom
of Hungary with no autonomous self-administrative status. Only during the Otto-
man expansion Pressburg (present day Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia) became
the capital of Habsburg Kingdom of Hungary and a coronation town, however
no form of autonomy was granted. Slovak National Movement of the mid-19th
century marked a chance at self-government, but it too ended in disappointment,
when the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 granted autonomy to Hungar-
ians only. Moreover, after the Ausgleich, Slovak population was subjected to
intensive magyarization. In late 19th/early 20th century, Slovaks recognized the
need to ally themselves with others in their struggle for freedom from oppression.
As Henderson (2002, p. 4) observes:
In light of the overwhelming Hungarian threat to Slovak identity, joining with the Czechs to
form Czechoslovakia in 1918 was an attractive option.

A Marriage of Convenience: Czechoslovak Republic 19181938/1939


and 19451992
End of the World War I finally granted the two nations the right to self-determi-
nation and, thus, the Republic of Czechoslovakia was born in the shambles of the
Habsburg monarchy in October 1918. While on the outside Czechoslovak Repub-
lic the only true democracy of the interwar era was beloved by the Allies, on
the inside the ethnic situation was far from idyllic. The first Czechoslovak Repub-
lic was almost as multiethnic as the empire it replaced, with a prevalent Czech
ethnicity of roughly seven million, followed in second place by the German
population of three million, Slovaks two and a half million, Hungarians over
seven hundred thousand, Ruthenians almost half a million, and some smaller
minorities such as Jews of almost two hundred thousand and Poles seventy-five
thousand (korpil 1930; Hol 1996[2010], p. 101). Despite its multiethnic char-
acter Czechoslovakia was conceived as a centralized nation-state formed by the
Czechoslovak nation. As the preamble to the Czechoslovak constitution of 1920
states:
We, the Czechoslovak nation, desiring to consolidate the perfect unity of our nation, to
establish a reign of justice in the Republic, to assure peaceful development of our Czecho-
slovak homeland, to contribute to the common welfare of all citizens of this state [] At the
same time we, the Czechoslovak nation, declare that we will endeavour, to carry out this

169
constitution and all the laws of this country, in the spirit of our history as well as in the spirit
of the modern principles embodied in the slogan of self-determination; because we want to
associate ourselves with the community of nations as a cultivated, peaceful, democratic and
progressive member.
(stavn listina eskoslovensk republiky 1920, my emphasis)

Admittedly, designation of Czech and Slovak ethnicities as one state-forming


Czechoslovak nation had its pragmatic perks: together Czechoslovaks comprised
a near two-thirds majority of the total population, while the remaining twenty-
three percents were German and six percents Hungarian7:
Since the Slovaks comprised a mere 15 per cent of the population, if they had been recog-
nized as a separate nation, any advantages or autonomy that they enjoyed would logically
also have had to be afforded to the more numerous Germans, and Czechoslovakia would
demonstrably have been a multinational state (Henderson 2002, p. 6).

By uniting into one nation, the two ethnic groups ensured their supremacy in the
new republic.
The idea of Czechoslovakism, revisited the era of Great Moravia seen a
common state of Czechoslovaks in the 9th century (who then have been his-
torically torn apart under the Habsburg and later Austro-Hungarian rule) and
installed Czechs and Slovaks as two branches of one nation (Henderson 2002,
p. 6; Agnew 2000, p. 623; Hol 1996[2010], p. 102). However, differences between
within the new state were not only ethnic in nature but they were structural in
essence, and stemmed from the two territories separate evolution within the
Austro-Hungarian Empire. Traditionally the Czech Lands were more urbanized
and industrialized than agrarian Slovakia, where majority of the population was
rural and worked on the land (Henderson 2002, p. 7). Differences could also be
found in religious denomination: while the majority of Slovaks was of Catholic
persuasion, Czechs were either Protestants or emphasized secularity, also for the
sake of the new Czechoslovak nation8.
A major issue, later translated into stereotype, was Slovakias lack of admin-
istrative capacities in 1918, i.e. Slovakias perceived backwardness. Since Slovak
nation never experienced autonomy, it lacked, simply put, human resources. As
Henderson explains, in the early years of the Czechoslovak Republic, Czechs
occupied many official positions (2002, p. 8; see also Bakke 1999). In other words,

7 According to the 1921 census, Czechs comprised 50.8 percent, Slovaks 14.7 percent, Ger-
mans 23.4 percent, Magyars 5.6 percent, Ruthenians 3.5 percent, Jews 1.4 percent, and Poles
0.6 percent (Stn lidu v republice eskoslovensk ze dne 15. nora 1921, 1924, p. 60, 66 in
Bakke 2002, p. 1, fn 1)
8 An issue of content was for example the proclamation of 6th July day of Jan Hus was burnt at
stake a national holiday. For Czechs Jan Hus was a national figure and a hero, for Slovaks as
a Protestant Jan Hus had no signification and was considered a heretic (Bakke 1999, p. 516).

170
Czechs took on the responsibility for matters of state-creation that seemed to be
beyond Slovak capabilities and many Czechs took jobs in public administration
or as teachers, physicians, lawyers, policemen or employees of the railroad or the
post office. Rumour has it that in 1918 Slovakia, there were only ten physicians
and twelve high school teachers (Hol 1996[2010], p. 103). Harshly put, Czechs
run the Slovak territory.
A shock to the system came with the World War II. Rise of the Nazi Germany,
unrest and open declaration of support to Germany by the German minority in
the Czech lands, ripening of the Slovak (elite) aspirations for independence is
what ultimately tore the first Republic apart. After German invasion of the Sude-
tenland (North-west Czech Republic) in 1939, the remainder of the historical
Czech Lands became the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia while the Slo-
vaks declared independence, paradoxically as a puppet state of the Third Reich.
Those fateful events of 1939 were almost unanimously perceived by the Czech
population as a double betrayal: on the one hand, betrayal of the Western powers
who never came to the rescue and rather sacrificed Czechoslovakia to appease
Hitler the Munich betrayal and any similar situation is to this day desig-
nated as o ns bez ns (about us without us) on the other hand, a betrayal
of Slovaks who gave priority to nationalist/fascist independence. The post-
war execution of Jozef Tiso, the president of the war Slovak state, certainly did
not contribute to improvement of mutual relations, as it was considered, on the
Slovak side at least, an act of retribution by the Czechs (Henderson 2002, p. 11;
Svatuka 2003, p. 2). Although the post-war Czechoslovak Republic was created
in the pre-Munich borders, the renewed republic still lost a part of its population,
as the German minority was expelled, after losing citizenship, from the Czech
Lands, and it lost a piece of territory, Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia, to Ukraine. Any
attempts at a Czech-Slovak compromise were effectively frozen solid by the
1948 Soviet army invasion and installation of socialism until 19899,10.
In retrospect, the relationship of Czechs and Slovaks towards the Czechoslovak
Republic was, and indeed still is, very different. While Czechs clearly consider the
Czechoslovak Republic their own, and view it as a continuation, a restoration of

9 It needs to be added that in 1968, formally the republic changed into a federation of the Czech
Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic, but on the ground it did not make much
difference. The post 68 Federation was still based on an asymmetric model with a Czechoslo-
vak parliament and a quasi-autonomous Slovak national council. However, power was central-
ized in Prague.
10 Sedov (1997) describes a so called freezer hypothesis as the authoritative regime suppress-
ing problems connected to modernization where the ideology officially served as an integrat-
ing force in society, officially there was no room for national ideology. Thus after 1989, the
suppressed issues re-emerged with new insistency.

171
the historical Czech Lands, the Czech Crown (Agnew, 2000, p. 635), Slovaks are
much more critical (Svatuka, 2003, p. 1). As for the Slovaks, the brotherly help
was tolerated in early 1920s, however, by late 1920s, once the Slovak intelligentsia
has grown enough to support the state, this situation became an issue of content
between the two nations, and Slovak elite demanded a more balanced representation
in public affairs alongside Czechs. Some extreme right views even compared Prague
to Budapest suggesting that the centre of Slovak oppression has only moved further
to the West (i.e. Anton Jurovsk 1943 in Rkos 2001, p. 7778). Although Slovaks
do agree that this marriage of convenience allowed the Slovak nation to escape
their millennial connection with Hungarians, and in spite of certain frictions, the
two decades of Slovak development within Czechoslovakia before the Second World
War left the Slovak nation with more of the cultural and material necessities of even-
tual state independence that they had ever enjoyed before (Agnew, 2000, p. 627).
Still, in 1990s more than half of Slovaks believed that the era of the Czecho-
slovak Republic marked an era of national oppression by the Czechs (Fri et al,
1992). In this sense, theres not much left but to agree with Hol, and conclude
that the construction of one Czechoslovak nation or construction of Czechs
and Slovaks as two branches of one nation, albeit based on great cultural and
linguistic kinship, was guided, before and after the creation of Czechoslovakia,
above all by pragmatic reasoning of the Czech and to extent Slovak political
elites (1996[2010], p. 102).

Stereotypical Concepts of Czech and Slovak Relations

Looking back at the first Czechoslovak Republic and the images Czechs and Slo-
vaks had about themselves as a Czechoslovak nation and as individual nations,
it becomes clear that the idea of Czechoslovakism did not succeed in smoothing
out the differences between the two nations. Rather, the Czechoslovak Republic
re-introduced two nations with two different historical experiences that mani-
fested themselves in different perceptions of each other, as the Other. The experi-
ence of living together for almost seventy years in a common state provided
a plethora of opportunities to get to know each other, and proved to be a rich
ground for stereotype creation. Petr Phoda, writing on mutual perceptions of
Czechs and Slovaks, has identified the four stereotypical concepts11 that roughly
categorize how people see each other (see Rkos 2001, p. 77; Svatuka 2003, p. 7).

11 Concepts, because they do not have much in common with the stereotype of national charac-
ter, however, they reveal opinions about the relationship itself, see theoretical part Diplomacy,
Culture and Identity.

172
First stereotype of the Slovak inferiority speaks of the shortcomings to the
Slovak nation: Slovaks are always seen as the poorer ones, the less educated
etc. Second stereotype stereotype of mutual complementarities is firmly
rooted in the ideology of Czechoslovakism propagated in times of the first Repub-
lic that spoke of the two ethnic groups as two branches in a tree. The third
stereotype is one of the Czech superiority and untrustworthiness. According to
Petr Phoda, it stems from the Slovak conviction that Czechs tried to assimi-
late them in the common state. The stereotype is backed up by the image of
overall Czech cultural and civilisation dominance (1993 in Svatuka 2003, p. 7).
Fourth stereotype, pertaining to relations between the two nations, is linked to
the previous one and speaks of the Slovak betrayal. This stereotype is fuelled by
the Slovak national dissatisfaction with its status within the common state, and
their repeated attempts at autonomy and equalization with the Czech nation since
the late 1930s: the events include the betrayal of the Slovak state in 1939, and
attempts at redesign of the common state in 1945, 1968 (creation of an asym-
metric federation) and post 1989 (so called hyphen war), leading up to the dis-
solution of the federation in December 1992.

The Velvet Divorce: Inventing Modern Czech and Slovaks

The end of the Cold War and the dismantling of communism not only initiated
an avalanche of far-reaching changes in the political, economic, social and cul-
tural spheres, but it also thawed national passions frozen in the classless society
imposed on Central-Eastern European countries by the communist ideology. The
dawn of the new post-Cold War era thus found the two nations bickering over the
form of common federation12 epitomized by the so called hyphen war about
the proper name for the Czechoslovak Socialist Republics successor state. How-
ever, the hyphen war was but an introduction to the things to come. The velvet
revolution was followed shortly by a velvet divorce. And almost overnight,
the Czech and Slovak populations were faced with a decision to part the common
state, and elites as well as publics faced a challenge of redefining themselves
anew.
On the 1st of January 1993 left both nations muted rather than euphoric
(Henderson 2002, p. 35). After the split of the federation, among the turmoil
of the transition, both nations were faced with an uneasy task of redefining
their identities, including the relationship to each other. So how did the two

12 Also the population levels evolved and the ration of Czechs to Slovaks was two to one in the
1990s.

173
nations perceive each other in these turbulent times? What kind of stereotype
was associated with the other nation? Could these stereotypes have contributed
to national identity construction through the process of othering? Early 1990s
saw a series of public opinion surveys conducted with an aim to find out about
peoples opinions on federal arrangement/dissolution, relations between the two
nations, national pride and view of self and each other. The following national
stereotypes represent the results of these studies conducted from 1990 until
1993.

Knowing Me, Knowing You: Czech Perceptions of Themselves and the Slovaks

According to the public survey from October 1990, Czechs tend to see themselves
rather critically, even more critically than others (Slovaks) see them; 66% of the
respondents were critical of their national character. Among the negative national
characteristics they attribute to themselves are:
enviousness, pettiness and vanity;
egoism, greediness and caginess;
conformability, subordination, cowardice and prudence;
discord i.e. the ability to unite only in a dangerous situation;
falsity, hypocrisy, insincerity.
(Fri et al, 1992, p. 54)

Only rarely do Czechs describe themselves as cunning or lazy characteristics


often attributed to them by Slovaks. On a positive side, Czechs often see them-
selves as hardworking (zlat esk ruiky literally golden Czech hands),
clever, industrious and resourceful with Schweikian sense of humour (Fri et al,
1992, p. 54). Speaking of the Good Soldier Schweik, it is an issue of content
among the literary critics as well as the general population, whether he really was
just a simpleton, or in fact, was clever and only faked his dim-wittiness. As Hol
posits:
Did [Schweik] really believe in what he was doing, or did he only pretend to believe (a sign
of his shrewdness and natural intelligence)? However tenuous, torturous, and unconvincing
the proofs may be, the consensus tends to be that Schweik was an intelligent man who simply
put up a great show. It could hardly be otherwise: Schweik was a Czech and therefore he must
have been intelligent. Those who say otherwise virtually brand themselves as national trai-
tors (1996[2010], p. 78).

As for the Slovaks, Czechs see them rather negatively too (41% of respondents
saw Slovaks solely in a negative light). In the same public opinion survey of Octo-
ber 1990, Czechs described Slovaks as:

174
offensive brawlers, impulsive bordering on aggression;
nationalistic and chauvinistic;
arrogant, too self-confident and stuck-up;
on the other hand, to a lesser degree, [Czechs think Slovaks suffer from] inferiority
complex and grievances;
are cagy, selfish and greedy;
intolerant and quarrelsome.
(Fri et al, 1992, p. 53)

As the authors of the quoted study observe, Czechs presented these views in
a rather expressive language, formed by a conviction of Slovakias economic,
political and cultural backwardness, and the high price they had to pay for living
together with Slovaks (Fri et al, 1992, p. 53). Such a view is fully in line with the
stereotypical concept of Slovak inferiority. Anthropologist Ladislav Hol even
includes a comparative table of Czech and Slovak characteristics as imagined by
the Czechs. Furthermore, Hol quotes a couple of headlines from Czech dailies
implying Slovakias belonging to the East, suggesting that while Czechs belong to
Europe, Slovakia belongs to the Balkans and, as a popular joke has it, that Asia
starts just East of Luhaovice (a city in East Czech Republic) (Hol 1996[2010],
p. 110).

Czechs Slovaks

Modern society Traditional community

History No history

Statehood Lack of statehood

Development Backwardness

Adult Young

Culture Nature

Rationality Emotionality

West East

Table 1. Czech and Slovak characteristics as imagined by the Czechs adapted from (Hol
1996[2010], p. 111)

Such a view suggests that indeed, in the early 1990s Czech stereotyping of
Slovaks would support the theory of identity construction through differentiation
of the Self from the Other. While Czechs saw themselves still quite negatively,
according to the study (Fri et al, 1992, p. 54), they could not find much that is

175
positive about Slovaks. The only positive characteristics they mention are Slovaks
sense of national pride, temperament and/or rampancy, hoverer these characteris-
tics too are more often used in a negative context. Stereotypes of Slovak inferior-
ity/Czech superiority are invoked (Svatuka, 2003), Slovaks are seen as the more
primitive nation giving in to emotional impulses such as offensiveness, chauvin-
ism or even aggression, whilst Czechs give in to more sophisticated vices such as
envy, pettiness or egoism. As Petr Rkos concludes it is typical that search for
identity has lately become so important for Czechs, it can bear a connection to
feelings of frustration in situations of double confrontation with jeopardy (in 1938
encounter with the Third Reich and in 1968 with the Soviet intervention, but to
a certain extent, the 1948 February coup detat trauma belongs here as well), the
strongest impulse, however, was given by the long-ripening crisis of co-existence
with the Slovaks and the dissolution of the common state (2001, p. 59).

Knowing Me, Knowing You: Slovak Perceptions of Themselves and the Czechs

To balance out the Czech opinions, this section is dedicated to Slovak perceptions
of their national character and that of their neighbours, the Czechs. In the same
public opinion survey of October 1990 (Fri et al, 1992), Slovaks showed more
forbearing than Czechs towards their national character. A whole third of the
respondents saw the Slovaks in strictly positive terms. The most appreciated
characteristics were:
diligence (Slovaks describe themselves as hardworking five times more often than
Czechs);
hospitality;
friendliness, good-nature and kindness;
integrity, square dealing and honesty.
(Fri et al, 1992, p. 55)

On the negative side, Slovaks reproach themselves for low national self-esteem,
conformability, subjection; envy, meanness; and excessive drinking (Fri et al,
1992, p. 55). Slovaks see themselves as having a particularly strong bond with the
land and especially the nature epitomized by the Tatras mountain ranges in the
North of the country (compare Table 1.). As Michal Vaeka observes, Slovaks
too have an idealized image of what makes Slovaks Slovak. The so-called core
Slovak is a
folklores imagination represented by a rural Slovak with all the appropriate attributes such
as: rural sentiment, being anti-minority and anti-Western oriented, jovial and bit uncivilized
(2009, p. 255).

176
And how did Slovaks see Czechs in the early 1990s? First of all, according to
the October 1990s survey, only one third (31%) of Slovaks saw Czechs in purely
negative terms (compared to the 41% of Czechs who saw Slovaks negatively).
Slovaks attributed to Czechs mainly these characteristics:
cunningness, foxiness (very frequently the answers involved a slogan nedlat a vydlat
[loosely translated as do nothing and still earn money];
snobbery, dominance;
laziness and indolence;
materialism, randiness;
volubility, great talkativeness;
egoism and greed.
(Fri et al, 1992, p. 54)

Deeper analysis revealed that these opinions stem from the feelings of underes-
timation and grievance, untrustworthiness and suspicions of Czechs, negative
stances on common history and future, and from support of independence of the
Slovak nation. Positive characteristics attributed to the Czechs include breadth of
views, cultural intelligence, civilisation, cohesion and sociability; and sense of
humour (Fri et al, 1992, p. 55).
To conclude, the 1990s were the time of heightened emotions on both sides of
the border. While most citizens did not wish for a divorce (Btorov, 2004), the
incompatible views on federal design and economic reform are what ultimately
brought the elites to cut the cord and divide the state. Parallel to the negotiations
a blame game was played by the populations and politicians on both sides of the
barricade: While many Slovaks resented what they saw as the Czech domi-
nation of the common state, many Czechs were angered by what they considered
Slovak ingratitude. From a Czech point of view, Slovakia was ungrateful for all
the help the Czechs had rendered it through the century. Furthermore, in 1938
and 1968 the Slovaks had in Czech eyes carelessly exploited difficult times for
Czechoslovakia to further their petty nationalist ambitions (Hilde 1999, p. 659).
Such statements clearly point towards the stereotype of the Slovak betrayal.
The problem of mutual exploitation had often been and issue of public survey-
ing (Fri et al 1992; Btorov 2004) and corresponds neatly with the stereotypes
of Czech superiority and cunningness/Slovak inferiority. It is supported by the
survey results from this era:
Negative stereotype of a typical Czech portrayed as a cunning egoist, who prefers specu-
lation to hard work and feels superior to Slovaks, was embraced by a third of Slovak citi-
zens [on the other hand] the negative stereotype of an aggressive, nationalistically excited
Slovak suffering from an inferiority complex, backed up by a largely sceptical interpretation
of the Slovak position throughout history, and the conviction of Slovaks backwardness was
embraced by 40% of Czech citizens (Fri et al 1992, p. 56; Svatuka 2003, p. 8).

177
The complementarities stereotype, characteristic of Czechoslovakism, seems to
be long forgotten.

Breaking with the Stereotypes? Entropa13

At the beginning, this chapter posited that cultural diplomacy could be utilized as a
tool to promote positive stereotypes associated with a country. Czech cultural diplo-
macy pulled an extraordinary stunt when it presented Entropa to the astonished
public, to mark the beginning of its presidency of the European Union in January
2009. Only rarely caused a piece of art such upheaval as Entropa did in January
2009.
Entropa is a super-sized satirical sculpture, supposedly created by twenty-
seven artists from all over the EU, and it is depicting national stereotypes of the
member states. At least, it was presented in this way. In reality, the story behind
Entropa was a hoax as the media soon found out: twenty-six of the said artists do
not exist in reality, and the whole artefact was in fact, created by the controversial
Czech artist David ern and his crew.
As an amused British journalist Michael Archer described it, work is a lavish
combination of toilet jokes, jaded national stereotypes, mild offensiveness, post-
colonial jingoism presented in the form of an outdated schoolboy hobby, Entropa
ticks all the boxes we could want. A large-scale Airfix kit of Euro-parts, it pro-
vides us with everything we need to assemble, if not the Europe we may wish for,
at least the one were presently saddled with (Archer, 2009).
While ern described his piece as a playful analysis of national stereotypes
(ern 2009, p. 1), others predominantly the parodied countries were not so
open-minded about it, especially not Bulgarians represented in the sculpture by
a labyrinth of squat Turkish toilets. The ensuing reactions from the national
capitals have clearly shown that national stereotypes are a sensitive topic. Espe-
cially, if they are presented by an out-group person, they can be understood as
an attempt at humiliation (Kouilov and Hebkov, 2009). In this sense, ern
and his artwork hit the bulls eye. And although most of the stereotyped countries
took it in good spirit, the Czech minister of foreign affairs was apologizing the next
day to appease several countries, including Bulgaria and Slovakia. Only the British
seemed to appreciate the peculiar sense of humour, as the United Kingdom was
nowhere to be found in the sculpture literally it was missing from Europe. In the

13 For images of Entrope see Draghicis blog (2010) or the official catalogue (ern 2009, p. 1).
The illustrations in the catalogue, however, do not correspond a hundred percent with reality.

178
end, the Bulgarian toilets were not removed from the sculpture, as demanded,
but remained covered with a black cloth for the duration of the Brussels exhibition.
In Entropa, the Czech stereotype was represented by a smooth display in the
shape of the Czech Republic showing a constant stream of Vclav Klaus14 quotes.
Words of wisdom that deserve to be etched in stone [because] Hes not just a skier,
hes a great guy! (ern 2009, p. 10). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the display aroused
a wave of public disagreement, but quite surprisingly not for the same reasons as
in other countries: Czechs seemed almost disappointed and largely disassociated
themselves from the Klaus quotes stating that one man does not represent the
whole nation. Instead they offered their own suggestions as to what should be
presented as a Czech stereotype: Czech Republic in the form of a pt (suggesting
Czechs are cheapskates who save on food when travelling abroad and rather eat
their own cheap pts than spend money on the local cuisine), prostitutes on the
highway to Germany, Czech Republic in the shape of a dumpling with the Sude-
tenland15 carved out in German tricolor (Kroulk and Turek, 2009) or Czechs
depicted as Schweiks taking a bath in a tub of lager.
Artists from abroad also responded to the Mlad Fronta DNES cartoon stereo-
types challenge, and contributed their own pieces of Czech stereotypes as they
see them: the Austrians pictured Czech historical figures with a naked bum, the
Bulgarians in response drained the premium Czech lager down the infamous
squat toilets and Slovaks responded with a cartoon of Truhlk, the Bug a world
class know-it-all (Sodomkov, 2009).
The Slovak stereotype, in the sculpture, was presented as uherk (derived
from the word Ungarn/Hungary) the Hungarian salami tied up with a string of
Hungarian tricolor (for image see Draghici, 2010). The salami representation
obviously hinted at Slovakias past as Upper Hungary and its subordination
to Hungarian authorities, and to extent, to the present-day occasional falling out
with the Slovak Hungarian minority. The representation managed to aggrieve
particularly the Slovak National Party, as it humiliated Slovak independence. As
Dan Bilefsky of the NY Times put it:
It was a stinging humiliation for many Slovaks, who have spent centuries struggling to
assert their own sense of nationhood, first as serfs under the Hungarian Kingdom in the 19th
century and then as the poorer segment of the former Czechoslovakia (Bilefsky, 2009).

In reaction to the sculpture, the Slovak minister of foreign affairs demanded an


apology from the Czech government (SME 15th January 2009). In the end, the
Slovak salami has not been covered with a black cloth.

14 The same Vclav Klaus who helped divide the federation.


15 Area historically populated by the German minority, at least until the forced exile in 1945.

179
Not So Smart After All? The Czech Tourist Stereotype

Slovaks know Czechs the best. They tell stories about them. Compared to Czechs,
the Polish and even the Hungarians are just a shade of grey. So what do Slovaks
really think of Czechs? What is the usual stereotype? In response to the revenge
of the cartoonists orchestrated by the Czech daily Mlad Fronta DNES in the
aftermath of Entropa, Slovak renown cartoonist Martin Shooty tovec sent
his cartoon of a typical Czech portrayed as Truhlk the Bug (see Image 1.) with
a big fat beer belly, dressed in the Czech folk costume of the 20th and 21st century:
comfy clothes and those things (!) a.k.a. white socks in leather sandals with a
finger poking out through a hole. Truhlk is red in the face (as alcoholics usually
are) holds a beer in one hand and his shopping in the other, from the cheapest
supermarket, with a fitting inscription Cheap, youve got to buy it! The differ-
ence between a Czech and Slovak is according to Shooty the following:
Suppose a Czech has an unlimited amount of money, he would still speculate if its a bargain
and how much he would save. A Slovak is precisely the opposite and behaves more like a
Balkan. He would act as a boss even if he were penniless. And the beer belly? Well, you cant
get one from drinking spirits, no discussion there! (tovec in Smatana, 2012, p. 28).

Image 1. Art and copyright Martin Shooty tovec, Mlad Fronta DNES, 26th January 2009

180
Truhlk the Bug (in Czech Brouk Pytlk) is infamously known for his annoying
know-it-all wisdom. And Slovaks have stories to prove it. As Martin tovec
continues to explain,
every Slovak, when he sees a Czech, imagines a person who knows everything better than
the rest. If, for example, the mountain rescue says to a Czech tourist no, dont go there,
theres avalanche alert so a Czech tourist thinks to himself that hes wiser than that, and
goes there anyway, because it just cant happen to him. A typical Truhlk the Bug tovec
concludes (in Smatana 2012, p. 2829).

The stereotype of a Czech tourist has become something of a legend in Slovakia,


but also back home in the Czech Republic. In the summer of 2011 a Slovak sitcom
Ho sviom made use of the tourist stereotype in a trailer for their show (Ho
sviom, 2011). A singing marmot (a svi) raps about Czech tourists in the high-
est Slovak mountain rage The High Tatras:
The stereotype of a Czech tourist has become something of a legend in Slova-
kia, but also back home in the Czech Republic. In the summer of 2011 a Slovak
sitcom Ho sviom made use of the tourist stereotype in a trailer for their show
(Ho sviom, 2011). A singing marmot (a svi) raps about Czech tourists in the
highest Slovak mountain rage The High Tatras:
Dobrej den, ptel, j iju v Praze,jsem prvn v Tatrch a mte tu draze!
Ve stanu s rodinou vak bude blaze,na trbskm plesu je zadarmo bazn!

Jsem mistr v peit a mistr s buzolou,nen tady msto, kam esi nemohou!

Zsadn nikomu nekm, kam jedu,vyrm do hor a ztrcm se v dohledu.


Nevm tomu, e j Gerlach nesvedu,v bglu mm peclky a zky k obdu!

Na nohou sandly, kvalitn fusakle,nebojte se, dti, dobe to dopadne!

Turistick chodnk je pro lidi blb,my jdeme zkratkou a jsme na to hrd!


A kdy u tet den bloudme po lese,pijede vrtulnk zadarmo svezem se!

Good day, my friends, I come from Prague,


Its my first time in Tatras, and its not cheap!
In a tent with my family, it will be cool,
And trbsk pleso, thats a free pool!

Master of survival and skilled with a compass,


theres no place [in Tatras] a Czech cannot pass!

On principle I don tell anyone where will I climb,


Off into the mountains, I leave everybody behind.
I cant believe, not to conquer the Gerlach,
Ive got pretzels and schnitzel in my backpack!

181
Sandals on my feet, and quality socks,
Dont worry kids, Im as solid as a rock!

Tourists trail is for the dumb,


Well take a shortcut, and make daddy proud!
On the third day, lost in the pines,
Wait for a heli, we hitch a free ride!

(Ho sviom 2011; Nevyhotn 2011; my translation)16

Actually, statistics of the Slovak mountain rescue show quite consistently that
it is Slovaks who die most frequently in the mountains, however, it is also true
that people are not interested to hear about a dead Slovak, whereas dead Czechs
in the holiday season are always sensational news. On top of that, close to a mil-
lion Czechs visit Slovakia every year and spend roughly a billion Czech crowns
(Smatana, 2012, p. 29).

End of the Slovak Inferiority Complex?

After overcoming the authoritarian tendencies of the Meiar government, Slova-


kia successfully caught up with the rest of the Central European countries, and
today is a regular member of all international organizations. Also is it the first of
the Visegrad Four countries to have joined the euro (since 2009), also the Slovak
economic growth has been impressive in the pre-crisis years of the Euro zone.
Slowly but steadily, Slovakia is earning the respect of international observers as
well as its neighbours. As Jan ttka observes in his column, 20 years after the
breakup is Czech contempt for Slovaks turning into respect (2012). The Czechs
are not only impressed by Slovakias economy, but also find inspiration in its
political system as Petr Just ponders in his article on direct presidential elections,
a change of principle which has actually been adopted by the Czech legislative
only very recently (2011).
Slovaks themselves acknowledge a form of complex towards the Czechs. Say,
if a top manager in a Slovak company is Czech, some interpret it as a form of
dominance. However, this is considered a thing of the past. On the other end
of the extreme, the Slovak inferiority complex presents itself as an exaggerated
admiration for Czechs. Some Slovaks are proud to read only Czech newspapers,
read only Czech translations, watch only films with Czech dubbing (Uliianska,
2009). Michal Vaeka has a similar view on the issue: The outlanders are much
better informed about Slovakia than in 1989, and most of them consider the

16 Translation has been done literally to capture the true meaning of stereotypes.

182
Slovak story a success. The Slovak inferiority complex, according to Vaeka,
is a myth, amplified above all by the Czechs and Hungarians (2009, p. 248). Neu-
mann confirms this observation, with an argument on finding the East in Europe:
In Hungarian discourse [] Ukraine and Romania have tended to be categorized as Asian,
whereas Hungary is a European bulwark. In Slovakia, similar tendencies may be found,
whereas if we turn to Czech discourse, it is rife with references to Czech Europeanness and
Slovak backwardness (Neumann, 2011, p. 34).

Conclusion

Next year, Czech Republic and Slovakia will commemorate twenty years of
going it alone. Even though the two countries have so much in common besides
linguistic similarity, the task of living together in one federation proved too
complex to tackle, and once the velvet revolution has melted the national griev-
ances frozen by communism, the elites finally decided to split the state in two.
The whole process, although heated at times, remained peaceful and the post-
divorce relations remain above standard.
The goal of this chapter was to examine the stereotypes the two nations hold
of each other (hetero-stereotypes) and assess their relevance to national identity
formation in relation to the Other. The initial assumption was that at the height
of the split in 1990s, the stereotyping would have been more negative, aggressive
and separatist to maintain the new identities, than twenty years after, one the
identities had time to settle.
Looking at the hetero-stereotypes now and then, it can be concluded that as to
their content the national characteristics they have not changed that much, not
only in the past twenty years, but throughout the past hundred years. Slovaks are
still seen by the Czechs as temperament, slightly irrational and emotional, and
not as civilized. Slovaks since the first Czechoslovak republic view Czechs with
suspicion, because of their cultural and political dominance and attribute them
cunningness, laziness and know-it-all-ism.
More interestingly, stereotypes as concepts seem to be firmly related to the
modern nation-state formation and the beginnings of the national narrative.
The concepts that emerged in the era of the first Czechoslovak Republic (1918
38/39) (Slovak inferiority/Czech superiority, Czech and Slovak complementari-
ties, Slovak betrayal) framed the debated as late as in the 1990s throughout the
divorce.
Although during the divorce era emotions were indeed running high in both
countries, precise opposites of national characters could not easily be established
in line with the Self/Other theoretical framework. However in concept, stereo-

183
types of Slovak inferiority and Czech dominance were widely spread. At the
same time, as the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic died, the stereotype of
mutual complementarities seems to have died along with it.
Today, Czechs see Slovaks as slowly overcoming their historical backward-
ness. While Slovaks are still seen as being more passionate about their nation, the
betrayal stereotype does no longer figure in the present-day discussion of mutual
relations. On the other hand, Czechs in Slovakia are seen with more humour than
in the 1990s. With the issues of common state arrangements out of the question,
the mutual views seem to be less harmful and more open-minded. The national
characters are not perceived with grievance, but rather with humour and only
some of the nationalists are offended.
In conclusion, the Czechs and Slovaks did represent the significant Other to
each other, as part of the process of identity creation, since the 1930s to the peak
in early 1990s, although this is mostly supported by persistence and support for
conceptual stereotypes of Czech superiority on the Slovak side, Slovak inferiority
and-or betrayal on the Czech side. In terms of the national stereotypes national
characteristics the traits observed do not really form opposites, thus based on
national characters only Slovaks and Czechs are not different enough to support
the theory of identity construction through differentiation and othering.

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Italian Cultural diplomacy: A Playboys Diplomacy?

Diego Albano

Introduction

The present chapter deals with Silvio Berlusconis cultural diplomacy and its
implications for the European Union. It opens with an overview of how the inter-
national press welcomed his peculiar attitude on the European and world stage,
focusing on the notorious Schulz case (2003), which marked the debut of Berlus-
conis EU presidency. The chapter goes on to outline a brief history of the former
prime ministers media empire, assessing its role in maintaining Berlusconis
hold on the Italian electorate for a considerable length of time. Attention is then
focused on how Europe has dealt with media concentration to date, and how the
creation of a clear set of rules is fundamental to the success of the Union, as Ber-
lusconis political career demonstrates.
The chapter is based on three core arguments. Firstly, it stresses how Ber-
lusconis cultural diplomacy (or lack of it) was essentially misunderstood, being
downplayed as buffoonery and linked with a stereotypical view of Italians.
Secondly, it shows that underestimating the reasons for this apparently erratic
behaviour had heavy consequences for the Union at a time of dire financial crisis.
Thirdly, it argues that a comprehensive analysis of Berlusconis cultural diplo-
macy highlights the need for more stringent regulation of media ownership and
pluralism on a European level, which in turn supports a more cultural and politi-
cal approach in the building of the Union.

The playboy and the press

The front cover of Time magazine on 21 November 2011 pictured a smirking Ber-
lusconi under the title the man behind the worlds most dangerous economy. At
the time, Italy was under special surveillance by the EU, as its financial collapse
at that point would have meant a serious, if not fatal, crisis for the Euro zone.
The inadequacy of Berlusconis leadership was finally revealed, leading the third-
largest economy in Europe to the verge of financial bailout, which in turn threat-
ened to affect Europe as a whole. International pressure for the prime minister to
resign grew. Thanks to mounting internal divisions, Berlusconis fourth govern-

189
ment eventually fell apart in December 2011, paving the way for a government of
technocrats led by former commissioner of the European Union and professor of
economics Mario Monti.
Before Italys weakness became undeniable, only the British magazine The
Economist had regularly challenged the legitimacy of Berlusconis power. It
did so for the first time in 2001, when it ran a feature on the prime ministers
obscure past as a businessman titled Why Silvio Berlusconi is unfit to lead
Italy. Further such stories appeared in 2003, 2006 and 2008, and in 2011, the
magazine dedicated its front cover to The Man Who Screwed an Entire Coun-
try. Although not isolated (concerns were expressed repeatedly in Le Monde
and El Mundo), the Economists attacks were notably bitter and direct, span-
ning over a decade that saw Berlusconis leadership virtually unchallenged
in the Italian political arena, where the media mogul, protected by the cosy
embrace of his empire, had been successful in muffling international ridicule.
When it came to Continental Europe, the Italian prime ministers attitude
never ceased to attract attention from the press. A first taste of Berlusconis
attitude towards the media had been given as early as 1994, when during the
run up to the parliamentary elections he announced that there were commu-
nists among foreign journalists. The situation did not get any better in sub-
sequent years, as his personal approach to diplomacy, marked by a penchant
for buffoonery, made the headlines on more than one occasion. His debut as
president of the European Union was marred by the Schulz scandal, which
began when Berlusconi nicknamed a German deputy kap. While address-
ing the European Food Safety Authority in Parma in 2005, he claimed that he
had to employ his playboy skills in order to win over the competition of Tarja
Halonen, president of Finland a country that was willing to host the same
authority. On the occasion of the election of Barack Obama as president of the
United States, Berlusconi hailed the historical result by describing Obama as a
man who was young, handsome and tanned.
The Schulz case is of particular interest, as the quarrel unfolded within the
walls of the European Parliament. Schulz, then deputy head of the Social Demo-
crats, attacked the Italian prime minister on two grounds. First, he contested the
presence of the Lega Nord, a party with a clear xenophobic background, in Ber-
lusconis majority, as they had made declarations that contradicted the European
Charter of Human Rights.
Secondly and most importantly he pointed out that Berlusconis conflicts
of interest were Europe-wide, and as such were a matter for the European Par-
liament. It was at this point that Berlusconi answered by comparing Schulz to a
kap, a Nazi concentration camp guard:

190
Signor Schulz, so che in Italia c un produttore che sta montando un film sui campi di con-
centramento nazisti: la suggerir per il ruolo di kap. Lei perfetto! [Mr Schulz, I know a
producer in Italy who is making a film about Nazi concentration camps. I will suggest you for
the role of a kap. You would be perfect!].

Berlusconis reply to his critics in parliament was to downplay his aggression to a


mere ironic joke. I said what I said ironically, he stated. If you are not able to
understand irony, I am sorry.
Downey and Koenig (2007) showed that the case was widely reported by
the world press. In the attempt to estimate whether a European public sphere
is shared, Downey and Koenig analysed a sample of news related to the Schulz
case as reported by the leading European and American newspapers. They found
national differences in the reports, while distinct European framings in national
public spheres are largely absent. More interestingly, in the countries surveyed,
the conflict was framed as a clash of (ethnic) nations. Further proof of this
attitude is the fact that the case was more widely reported in the two countries
involved, namely Italy and Germany. Just as this nationalisation of the incident
points at the absence of a European public sphere, it also underlines how the for-
eign press mistakenly depicted the incident as a consequence of stereotypically
Italian traits taken to the extreme; the fact that Italians are at times passionate
and irrational was considered to be among the causes of the conflict, and Ber-
lusconis reputation placed him squarely in this predictable role as the Italian
playboy figure.
Over the years, European leaders and international public opinion came to
think of Berlusconis premiership as amusing, while his commercial and politi-
cal relations were kept running under a faade of Italian joviality. As stressed by
Bulmier and Lequesne (2005), he brought the personalization of foreign policy
to the limit; often giving the impression that personal friendship mattered most,
regardless of institutional and national interests. Leaked US diplomatic cables
provide a telling portrait of the diplomatic approach of the Italian prime minis-
ter. On the occasion of Berlusconis first official visit to Washington, the Ameri-
can ambassador in Rome prepared a scene setter report for President Obama,
describing Berlusconi as a useful ally, more likely to second US requests than
previous leaders. Yet the report provided an unflattering portrait of Berlusconi,
whose diplomatic relations with US officials were euphemistically defined as
complex. His unorthodox governing style, coupled with his frequent verbal
gaffes and high profile scandals [] have caused many, including some inside
the US government, to dismiss him as feckless, vain, and ineffective as a modern
European leader.
On the other hand, American diplomats made clear to President Obama how
precious Berlusconis enduring influence over Italian politics could be, thanks to

191
his willingness to approve unpopular demands such as the enlargement of Ameri-
can military bases in Italy or increasing the number of Italian troops in Afghani-
stan. The report also highlights the tendency of the prime minister to carve out a
visible [] and frequently unhelpful role for himself. For Berlusconi, such dip-
lomatic efforts had paramount importance domestically; thanks to news cover-
age provided by his own television networks, they were vital tools for a virtually
permanent electoral campaign.
Even though feckless and vain might be considered apt adjectives to
describe Berlusconis leadership, they miss the point. Berlusconis gaffes, so well
broadcasted by the international press, eventually overshadowed crucial issues of
freedom of expression, conflict of interest and monopolies at the core of Italian
politics. Such issues, but particularly Berlusconis monopoly of the media and
personal background, lie at the bottom of his cultural diplomacy.
As a prime minister, he treated Europe as a personal playground for his busi-
ness, as he did with Italy. On the whole, this approach has been frequently down-
played to mere poor taste. Underplaying the implications of his behaviour on
the European political arena has, in the end, damaged Europe at the peak of an
unprecedented financial crisis.

The media empire

The monopolistic position of Berlusconi in the Italian broadcasting market dates


back to the early 1980s. After making his name in the building sector during the
1970s, the future prime minister established a local broadcasting station called
Telemilano in Milan, managed by Berlusconis company Fininvest (now Medi-
aset). In 1979 he added Canale 5, also buying a relevant share of Europrint and
of the Societ Europea Edizioni (now Silvio Berlusconi Editore), which publishes
Il Giornale, known as the family newspaper by his political opponents. Ber-
lusconi further enlarged his broadcasting network in 1983 by buying the Italia 1
channel. He finally acquired another television channel, Rete 4, a network belong-
ing to leading publishing house Mondadori, which Berlusconi would also pur-
chase in 1985. Finally, he dominates the advertising market with Publitalia80.
His media empire, however, is not confined to Italy; in 1985 he acquired Estu-
dios Cinematograficos Roma of Madrid (now Videotime Espaa), which has a
25 per cent share in the French network Le Cinq, along with a majority stake in
Societ Europea Edizioni and a 21 per cent share of the KMP-Kabel Media Pro-
grammGesellSchaft network.
Berlusconi built this empire out of an outstanding ability to lobby and choose
political allies. His main achievement at the end of the 1970s was to secure the

192
backing of the secretary of the Socialist Party, then an emerging force on the
Italian political landscape. His relationship with Bettino Craxi who would later
be charged with corruption, and subsequently fled the country, seeking refuge in
Tunisia was personal, more than purely political.
Bettino Craxi became secretary of the Socialist Party in 1976. Under his
friends wing, the future prime minister was able to expand his business in the
building and broadcasting sector thanks to cheap credit obtained from banks
controlled by the socialist party. Berlusconi returned Craxis favours by granting
him extensive media coverage during the 1983 run-up to the general elections.
Craxi won, becoming the first socialist leader to become prime minister in the
history of Italy. The newly elected prime minister promoted the legge Mamm,
an act that produced a duopoly de facto between the three main state-owned
channels and the three larger private ones, the latter being owned by Berlusconi.
The Mamm law also redefined the shape of the Garante per la radiodiffusione
e leditoria,1 a public broadcasting control body. The Garante (guarantor) is
chosen among outstanding persons by the president of both the Chamber of
Deputies and the Senate, and then appointed by presidential decree. Unfortu-
nately, the Garante has a limited power of intervention in modes of financing,
organization, structure, ethical and professional codes of the enterprises working
in the field all values, as noted by Eusepi (2005), strictly linked with media
pluralism and freedom of expression.
When Craxis power was swept away by the 1992 judicial inquiry dubbed
clean hands, which decimated the Italian political class, new political forces
were born, and Berlusconi took his business destiny into his own hands. He cre-
ated a brand new political party from nothing, one that was ready to fill the void
left by the socialists for conservative voters. At the time, he was already under the
magistracys fire as a successful entrepreneur. It was then, at the very beginning
of his political career, that he called critical foreign journalists communists,
revealing what would be his attitude throughout the twenty years that followed.
Such an early incident contains, in a nutshell, Berlusconis entire political make-
up: his notorious refusal of confrontation, as well as his tendency to appeal to the
dangers of imminent communism, coupled with an extreme self confidence at
least in public.

1 An institution firstly introduced in 1981. At the time, the garante could only be chosen only
among judges of high ranking

193
A likeable figure

The Constitutional Court declared the Mamm law illegitimate in 1994, making
it necessary to create a new anti-trust regulation. Thus, in 1997 a new law (Legge
Maccanico) replaced the Garante per la radiodiffusione e leditoria with the Auto-
rit per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCOM). Although the Garante
never gained strong controls over media pluralism, the Maccanico law finally put
a cap on broadcasting ownership in the Italian market. As a legal consequence,
Berlusconis latest acquisition, television channel Rete 4, had to be transferred to
satellite frequencies. However, once back to power, Berlusconi stopped this mea-
sure from becoming effective by enforcing a new broadcasting law, the Legge
Gasparri, which modified the allowed market quotas, putting Mediaset back into
a safe position on terrestrial channels.
With his media empire intact, Berlusconi occupied the office of prime minister
from 2001 until his final demise in 2011, with the exception of a two-year hiatus
in 20068. During his time as head of government, he also exerted consider-
able control over the state-owned broadcasting company, RAI. Radio Televisione
Italiana has been kept under the parties control since its birth, through a process
defined as lottizzazione (literally, divisions into lots, to be assigned to the main
parties on a proportional basis). As head of Forza Italia, the major party of the
Italian political landscape for nearly two decades, Berlusconi kept RAI in par-
ticular its news programs under strict surveillance. With the help of his own
broadcasting system, he kept his image as the self-made, reliable politician clean.
However, to dismiss Berlusconis hold on Italian society as fabricated via
his hold on the nations television programming would fall short of considering
other factors. These factors include the likes of the disruption of the old politi-
cal system (the first republic), which left a gap that Berlusconi filled before
any other political alternative was available, and the lasting authoritarian thread
that runs through Italian society. A recent study on the psychology of political
preference by Caprara (2007) demonstrated that there is a strong correlation
between likeness and political preference. The study was carried out between
2004 and 2006, focusing on the leaders of the two main Italian coalitions, Silvio
Berlusconi for the centre-right and Romano Prodi, a university professor of eco-
nomics and later president of the European Union, for the centre-left. Results
showed that the electorate tends to vote for the candidate that they feel resembles
them the most. Given that in Italy, centre-right voters main traits are associated
with dominance, competitiveness, activity (energy/extraversion), precision, and
persistence, Berlusconi scored a match to their personal traits. What is more
intriguing in the light of his control of the media, is that according to the study,

194
some Berlusconi voters considered sincere, unselfish and loyal to be apt
adjectives to describe their candidate.
That said, fewer centre-right voters saw themselves as being similar to Ber-
lusconi than centre-left voters considered themselves to be like Prodi. Accord-
ing to Caprara, it is likely that Berlusconis role as one of the worlds wealthiest
men may weaken followers sense of identification with this candidate. Perhaps
it is precisely this super-human figure with which the Italian electorate fell in
love. The image that Berlusconi sold to the Italian electorate, with no significant
change throughout his twenty-year-long reign, was one of a political outsider, an
entrepreneur who entered the world of politics out of sheer love for his country
as opposed to professional politician who had been depredating Italy since the
birth of the republic.
Deep distrust for the political class is what distinguishes the Italian electorate
from the rest of Europe. Ironically, in Italy support of the process of European
integration corresponds to a lack of confidence in the Italian institutional and
political system. This attitude eventually led the electorate to vote for a candi-
date who would not have met any standard of accountability in key European
states such as Germany or France. The narrative proposed by Berlusconi was
successful precisely because he managed to present himself as a new and fresh
alternative, a self-made man who built an empire on the back of his laudable busi-
ness skills. In a country where knowing the right people [] is very important
for success, Berlusconi succeeded in presenting himself as a leader who truly
reached success as a result of his own merits. In this narrative of success, his abil-
ity to lead an industrial empire made him a reliable guide for the country.
The media certainly contributed to the unusual endurance of this narrative. On
the other hand, Berlusconi embodied an ideal of manhood that, even in its dark
aspects, appealed to the average Italian more than centre-left leaders were willing
to admit. Alessandro Cavalli (2001) questioned the existence of an Italian char-
acter, arguing that in the two decades prior to 2000 Italians had become more
like other European citizens. For instance, he argues, there had been a consider-
able improvement in the sense of national pride, as well as a more general accep-
tance of the democratic system. This might have been too optimistic a view
for a study written in 2001, on the eve of ten years of Berlusconism, with its
corollary of scandals, corruption and constant institutional conflict. What Cavalli
rightly notices, however, is the lack of concern that such a large number of Ital-
ians showed regarding Berlusconis conflict of interest. The exaggerated dis-
trust in the republican state and its institutions (such as the magistracy), a macho
attitude towards women or a contempt for rules are all evident in Berlusconi. The
Italian electorate recognised itself in these traits, consciously or not.

195
Finally, the Italian centre-left parties share great responsibility in the stability
of Berlusconis power throughout the first decade of the 2000s, as Berlusconis
monopoly in the media sector has never been fully tackled. The weakness of the
opposition coalition, as well as a cultural coyness of the main post communist
party (now the Partito Democratico), never let the ephemeral Prodi government
of 199698 consider the issue of curbing the monopoly of an entrepreneur who
had become one of the most, if not the most, popular politicians in the country.
Europe did not either.

Media pluralism in Europe

In 1993, one year before Berlusconis first government, the European Commis-
sion issued a Green Paper on possible communitarian regulations on media titled
Pluralism and Media Concentration in the Internal Market: an Assessment of the
Need for Community Action. Unfortunately, the paper did not address strategies
for the protection of freedom of opinion and plurality, but focused more on how
to regulate media ownership without interfering with the EU internal market.
As argued by L.P. Hitchens (1994), the gap between this approach and the need
to take heed of the demands of pluralism [] produces a tension which pervades
the whole of the Green Paper. The Green Paper established that the protection of
pluralism was a concern of the member states. However, when enforced in order
to protect freedom of expression, restriction of ownership was not incompat-
ible with community law. The Green Papers outcome was summarised in three
main options for the regulation of the media market in the EU. While the first
two options proposed, at best, a co-operative action to ensure transparency
in media ownership and control, the third proposed the application of a set of
common rules, along with the establishment of a regulatory body. Conversely, the
first option proposed that the EU should take no action. Overall, the Green Paper
did not produce any relevant conclusion on whether or how the EU should control
media competition within its member states, an approach that, if different, might
have had a profound impact on Italian politics.
Only after the EC Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997 was a protocol referring to
media pluralism was annexed to the text of the treaty. As noted by Barzanti (2012),
the charter of fundamental rights of the European Union also states freedom and
pluralism of the media shall be respected. However, the attitude of the charter
is characterised by a predominantly negative/non-interference/ non harming
stance rather than a proactive approach to actually and directly guarantee and
promote media pluralism in member states. What is to be achieved by the cur-
rent EU regulations, as noted above, is a free media market among the boundaries

196
of the Union, leading to the creation of an internal market in turn leading to the
creation of a European public sphere.
Barzanti rightly states that in order to achieve pluralism of information on a
European level, qualitative policy choices must be made, as market and compe-
tition laws alone cannot protect media pluralism. The only serious attempt made
in this direction came in 1996, in the wake of the 1992 Green Paper on media con-
centration and pluralism. The European Commission then proposed a directive
on concentration and pluralism in the media market. The Commission never
approved it. Apart from obvious political obstacles that certainly hindered this
legislation (notably the likely obstructionism from Italian representatives), there
were more profound problems of sheer legal legitimacy. In this respect, Barzanti
concludes that the regulatory gaps at European level are probably due to the
lack of an explicit competence in that respect from that part of the community.

A European public sphere

Berlusconis lack of cultural diplomacy had been, during his years on the inter-
national scene, a potent reminder of how dangerous such a leader might have
become in the heart of Mediterranean Europe. That his political trajectory was
even possible in a fully developed democracy such as Italy has been rightly con-
sidered as an anomaly. However, it was also a European anomaly, which the polit-
ical and economical project of the European Union had failed to manage. National
sovereignty allowed Italy to choose its prime minister freely. Nonetheless, had
the European project been built on different grounds less economical and more
political, in its broadest meaning it is arguable that the fortunes of the playboy
of western Europe could have been different.
The exchanges of ideas, information, values, systems, traditions, beliefs, and
other aspects of culture, with the intention of fostering mutual understanding,
define cultural diplomacy. During Berlusconis era, at least at the top level, cul-
tural diplomacy between Italy and the rest of Europe broke down and was replaced
by a mutual misunderstanding. On one side was a political figure that treated Ital-
ian institutions, as well as Europe, as a personal playground to foster his own
commercial interests. On the other side, European and foreign institutions did not
have an impact on Italy. They also frequently downplayed Berlusconis danger-
ousness as head of the third-largest economy of the EU. Again, the scene-setter
for President Obama examined above is revealing:
It might be tempting to dismiss Berlusconi as a frivolous interlocutor, with his personal
foibles, public gaffes an sometimes unpredictable policy judgment, but we believe this would
be a mistake. Despite his faults, Berlusconi has been the touchstone of Italian politics for the

197
last 15 years, and every indication is that he will be around for years to come. When we are
able to successfully engage him in pursuit of our common objectives, he has proved an ally
and friend to the United States. He respects and admires the US, and is eager to build a strong
and successful relationship with you.

Concerns of the United States focused mainly on Berlusconis potential longev-


ity as a European partner. They did highlight, however, his inability to pursue a
coherent political agenda since 2009, when scandals were already weighing on
his public persona.
Overall, during the 2000s, the increasing pressure of the Italian magistracy
gradually switched the governments priority to containing judicial power, a
strategy that still dominated the government agenda at the peak of the 2011 eco-
nomical crisis. When the depth of the crisis finally revealed itself, Berlusconis
image as a political buffoon in the European context became less acceptable.
Finally, the Economists judgment on the man who was not fit to lead Italy was
borne out, ten years after the magazines first front page on Berlusconi, when
the third-largest European economy had been plunged into deep recession, and a
European domino effect had become a distinct possibility.
This is why the promotion of a European set of regulations is essential, not
only as a means to safeguard media pluralism in Italy, but for the creation, in
the long run, of a European public sphere. The Berlusconis epic was born and
lived within the small, Berlusconi-owned Italian public sphere. As already
noted, his peculiar cultural diplomacy was understood in Europe on solely ethnic
terms, whereas the consequences of his staying in power did matter, ultimately,
to the whole Union. The history of the Italian cultural and economic failure calls
for joint efforts towards the definition of common cultural tenets as a basis for
a different idea of Europe. In political terms, this means the creation of a set of
regulations that must deal with issues such as freedom of speech, corruption and
the monopoly of the media.

Conclusions

Berlusconis cultural diplomacy was rooted in the overwhelming power he still


holds on the Italian broadcasting system. His long political career profoundly
damaged Italian international credibility, as well as the countrys culture and its
economy. His career has been made possible not only by a lack of real opposition
within the country, but also by the absence of regulations particularly in the
media sector on a European level.
It is arguable that in a wider public sphere Berlusconis career might have
been different, and that a true European public sphere would eventually benefit

198
countries such as Italy, where the absence of media pluralism covers widespread
political corruption. The Berlusconi epic, which sank the third-largest economy
in Europe amid scandals and institutional conflicts, is a reminder of how impor-
tant is for the EU to lay its foundations on a different ground: perhaps a new
political constitution, which could truly foster a common ethical and political
horizon where freedom of expression can not be easily silenced.

References

Sources

Embassy of Rome (2009). Scene-setter For Italian Pm Berlusconis. June 15


Visit ToWashington, Cable Reference 09ROME 649. Retrieved 5 Febru-
ary 2012 from Cablegatesearch Website: http://cablegatesearch.net/cable.
php?id=09ROME649&q=berlusconi%20washington

Literature

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Barzanti, F. (2012). Media Pluralism and EU Law: the Limits of the Traditional
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200
SECTION IV:
INSIDE-OUTSIDE CULTURAL
DIPLOMACY
Greek Orthodox Churchs public discourse:
Balancing between Cultural hegemony and
Cultural diplomacy

Alexandros Sakellariou

Introduction

Cultural imperialism, cultural hegemony and cultural diplomacy are three con-
cepts, which during the last years are in the centre of the public debate about inter-
national relations between states and nations. Furthermore, within every society
worldwide many discussions are taking place regarding the cultural imperialism
of the west or of the USA more specifically, i.e. its westernization or American-
ization, and this is something that takes place in Greece too. However, it is not
my purpose here to discuss and analyze these terms. My goal is to highlight some
different but at the same time interesting aspects of the issues raised by these
terms in Greek society from another perspective.
The Greek state as it was formed after the revolution of 1821 against the Otto-
man rule was never a colonial or imperial power. It is true that the region of
Greece was part of the Byzantine Empire, but it is not easy to call this Empire
exclusively as a Greek one and I do not intend to enter this discussion at this point.
On the other hand someone could argue that Greece in ancient times, during the
reign of Alexander the Great, was an imperial power, but this seems to me an
anachronistic argument and I am not going to examine it here either. As far as
the issue of subordination is concerned, Greece was subordinated to the Ottoman
rule for approximately 400 years and after its liberation was influenced or even
controlled by the major powers of the time, i.e. Russia, England and France.
In the following years, Greece was not subordinated, but obviously influenced
from England and after the WWII from the United States. As a consequence,
focusing on the modern history, after the formation of nation-states, the Greek
state was mainly a subordinated power. However, this does not mean that the
glorious ancient past and the Byzantine Empire are not two central points of the
public discourse in Greek society nowadays regarding Greeces cultural superior-
ity from every other nation and country all over the world. In that sense the past is
always present in Greek states cultural diplomacy and every state action into that
direction is directly or indirectly influenced from this glorious past. As a con-

203
sequence, the contemporary Greek state bases its cultural diplomacy on the two
pillars of the Greek past: the ancient Greek civilisation and the Orthodox religion
as this was expressed from the Byzantine Empire until nowadays.
In this chapter I focus on the public discourse of a state organization, the Ortho-
dox Church of Greece (hereafter OCG), which acts in the public domain within the
Greek borders and abroad in an autonomous from the state way. My purpose is to
study the official public discourse of the OCG during the recent years in order to
find out how the Church views Greeces relation with what we call the West in
general and of course Europe in particular and in what way this public discourse
is addressed within the Greek society and in European meetings and international
arena. As a consequence, through the discourse analysis that will follow, I will try
to find out if and how the OCG uses cultural diplomacy, what is the purpose of
this discourse and what does that mean for Europe. The main scheme here is the
cultural dilemma the good and moral East vs. the bad and immoral West and
this will be quite obvious from the following analysis. The hypothesis is that the
OCG takes for granted Greek cultures hegemony throughout the world and tries to
support that. On the other hand, the OCG is totally against every kind of cultural
imperialism coming from the West, either from the U.S.A. or Europe. However, in
order to support its arguments uses different kinds of strategies inside and outside
Greeces borders and that is the reason why I call this attempt as a way of balanc-
ing between cultural hegemony and cultural diplomacy. In addition, it should be
stressed that the OCG does not neglect ancient Greeces importance. On the con-
trary, in its public discourse, and not only in this specific case, it underlines the fact
that Christianity and Orthodoxy saved ancient Greek civilisation and that is the
reason why the Church focuses on the religious factor, as it was expected.
Consequently, in this paper I focus on the official public discourse of the OCG
during the years 19982008 and more precisely the public discourse of Archbishop
Christodoulos, who was the leading figure of the Orthodox Church during this
period. The purpose of the paper is to focus on the Archbishops worldview regard-
ing the relations between East and West. The main goal is on the one hand to dis-
cover if the aforementioned anti-western ideology is present and dominant in the
public discourse of a so-called modern Archbishop and on the other hand, how the
cultural dilemma authentic/ moral East (e.g. Helleno-Orthodoxy, localism, tra-
dition, solidarity) versus immoral West (e.g. globalization, individualism, capital-
ism, enlightenment, atheistic ideas) is crystallized in his discourse. The research
material consists of all the published books and articles of Archbishop Christodou-
los from the day of his election, as the head of the OCG till today and the method
that is going to be applied is classic thematic discourse analysis.
The main research questions of my paper are: How does the Archbishop per-
ceive and incorporate globalization in his discourse? Under which forms does

204
the relation between East and West emerge in his discourse? Is there any pos-
sibility of co-operation between these conflicting worlds? What kind of ideology
is reproduced via this Manichean scheme (East versus West)? In what way is the
Greek Orthodox identity influenced by globalization according to Christodoulos?
My hypothesis is that apart from the obvious discovery that the public discourse
of the Archbishop is characterized by anti-western rhetoric, something that is
going to be proved, there is another equally interesting and basically ignored find-
ing: that his discourse differs according to his audience, meaning that he is more
anti-western, if I could use such a term, when he addresses a Greek audience and
less anti-western, if not at all, when he has to speak to international audiences like
the European Parliament, and in my view that is very interesting. That means that
cultural hegemony is dominant in his speeches within the Greek borders, while
cultural diplomacy is dominant towards international audiences.

Status and role of the Orthodox Church in Greek society

The Orthodox Church of Greece was and still is a powerful social (and political)
institution, which historically influences Greek society in many aspects and acts
as the countrys main cultural backdrop and reservoir (Makrides and Moloko-
tos-Liederman, 2004, p. 467) and that is why I chose to study it in this paper.
After the formation of the Greek state in 1830 the Orthodox Church became a
national Church (1833) against the Patriarchates will, and was transformed in the
states ideological apparatus reproducing the national ideology. This ideological
function continued during the 20th century especially after the emergence of
socialist and communist ideas within the Greek society. It was during that period
that the Church became more important for the state as a mechanism against
communism and helped in the formation and the propagation of the ideology
of Helleno-Christianity or Helleno-Orthodoxy (Gazi, 2004), which is dominant
even nowadays. This ideology combines the history of ancient Greece, Byzan-
tium and Modern Greece, arguing that the Greek nation is unique, blessed by
God, characterized by historical and biological continuity and that a true Greek
must be Orthodox, implying that religion and nation are inseparable and that the
real Greek identity contains both these elements.
The Orthodox Church of Greece is a state Church and this is proved by the
existing legal regime, which defines the relations between the two institutions
and the legal status of the Church. According to the third article of the Greek
Constitution, the dominant religion in Greece is the religion of the Eastern
Orthodox Church of Christ. Some insist that as long as there is such a state-
ment in the constitution we cannot talk about religious freedom and a secular

205
state (Manitakis 2000; Paparizos 2007), while others argue that this article is
not substantial and is not actually in practice (Venizelos, 2000). In addition to
the third article, we must stress some more crucial points concerning the con-
stitution, which will support the argument that the Orthodox Church of Greece
is a state Church.
Finally, we should add that in the second article of the first chapter of the law
(no 590/28.5.1977 Official Gazette A 146) regarding the function of the Orthodox
Church of Greece and its relationship with the state, we read that:
The Church of Greece cooperates with the state on subjects of common interest; for example,
the Christian education of the youth, religious service in the army, the upholding of the insti-
tution of marriage and family, [] the protection of the holy relics and Ecclesiastical and
Christian monuments, the establishment of new religious holidays, and asks for the protection
of the state whenever our religion is insulted (emphasis added).

To present and comment on every aspect and on all the historical and legal
details of the relationship between the state and the Orthodox Church of Greece
is not an easy task and there are many interesting studies examining this con-
troversial relationship (Troianos and Dimakopoulou 1999; Zaharopoulos 1985;
Stathopoulos 1993; Dimitropoulos 2001; Venizelos 2000; Manitakis 2000;
Karagiannis 1997). The almost common conclusion is that the Church played
and still plays a crucial role in Greek society and in the Greek political sphere
functioning as a state apparatus. The relationship between the two institutions
apart from any different opinions or even conflicts could be characterized as a
relationship of mutual appropriation and exploitation. This means that on the
one hand, the state uses the Church apparatus in order to propagate the national/
state ideology or to put it in G. Hegels terms religion and the Church are a
necessary state need for the good of society and they are used for the moral edi-
fication of citizens and society in general (Hegel 1992, p. 9798); on the other
hand the OCG uses the state in order to retain its privileges and perhaps gain
some more. However, regardless of the importance of laws and the constitution,
it is not necessarily legislation which is at issue, but practices which derive from
both the historical relationship between Orthodoxy and national identity and
the constitutionally informed church-state link; the constitutional provisions
in themselves are not as important as the reasons why such Church privileges
remain in place (Focas, 2009, p. 359360).
However, the issues of religion and politics and state-church relationships must
also be examined in the light of the relationship between East and West within the
European context and Orthodoxys anti-western attitude, which is a common ide-
ological element of all the Orthodox Churches and not only of the OCG (Makrides
and Uffelman 2003, p. 87120). Furthermore, according to C. Tsoukalas (1999, p.

206
11) the foundation of the Modern Greek state came almost instantly to coincide
with the debate over whether its culture was essentially Western European or
Eastern European and this is a debate that continues until the present day and
which has taken various political and ideological forms.
Western Europe was always considered Greek Orthodoxys enemy not only
from ecclesiastical circles (Metallinos, 1998), but from theological or philosophi-
cal circles as well (Yiannaras 1992, esp. p. 94100; 210239; Eleftheriadis 1999,
p. 5254, Begzos 1996, p. 3747). This negative confrontation is based on two
historical facts: The ecclesiastical schism of 1054 and the attack and siege of
Constantinople by the crusaders in 1204. These two historical incidents stigma-
tized Greek Orthodoxy, which since then reacts against any political or social
innovation coming from Western Europe. This stance, of course, is also empow-
ered by the fear that the Enlightenment brought to all the religious authorities of
Europe and which is seen by the Orthodox Church as a western accomplishment
far from Greek Orthodox tradition and quite harmful for it. As a consequence,
even though Greece belongs to the E.U., especially the Church and some circles
of intellectuals, who consider themselves protectors of the Greek tradition and
particularity, see Western Europe with suspicion.

Archbishop Christodoulos: Combining modernity and tradition?

The basic question is why I chose to study and analyze the public discourse of this
specific Archbishop of the OCG. There are two reasons for that. The first one has
to do with the administrative system of the OCG, which even though it seems to
be quasi-democratic, because it is ruled by the Holy Synod of almost 80 bishops;
however the truth is that it is basically Archbishop-centred. That means that the
Archbishop plays a crucial role in the Holy Synod, being actually the represen-
tative of the Church as an institution, and of course he is the head of the Synod
and its President. As a consequence, the way he acts and how he talks is of high
importance.
A second reason, is that when Christodoulos was elected in 1998, after the
death of the former Archbishop, everybody referred positively to the relatively
young (59 years old) Archbishop, with the innovative ideas, who was close to his
flock and especially the young people and everybody hoped that this would be
a modern turn in Orthodox Churchs history. From the first days of his election,
Christodoulos enjoyed a privileged relationship with the media, allowing TV cam-
eras inside the temples, where he was addressing the flock on social and national
issues. Christoudoulos expressed his opinion on every subject, from the inter-
national relations of Greece with Turkey and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of

207
Macedonia to the immigration issue, the construction of a mosque in Athens and
the history textbooks of the Greek elementary schools, to mention just a few. As
a consequence, he produced a quite large discursive material: interviews, public
speeches, letters, public addresses at conferences, etc., to the point that some
researchers called his activity communicational secularization, verbal routine
of religious discourse and TV-religiosity (Demertzis, 2002, p. 159, 1634, 173).
Christodouloss public activity actually led to the formation of two different
groups within Greek society, as it always happens in such cases: His supporters
and his adversaries; those, who actually loved him and those, who hated him.
However, everybody recognized that during his era the OCG passed to another
level of public activity and presence, utilizing the media in order to propagate its
ideas, opinions and views in every aspect of social and national domain.
This, of course, gave the opportunity to many scholars to study his public
activity and discourse (Prodromou 2004; Focas 2006; Focas 2009; Stavrakakis
2002; Vassilakis 2006; Oulis et al 2010). Christodouloss era acted as a catalyst
for a more systematic dealing with Greek Orthodoxy, particularly for scholars
beyond the narrow theological domain (Makrides and Roudometof 2010, p. 2)
and this is accurate. As it is evident from the above, even though Christodou-
los was accused of being a populist, nationalist, media-addicted, etc., he was an
important figure, because in the ten years of his rule, he managed to bring about
such controversial debates that no other Archbishop did in the past. Of course,
this paper does not intend to provide a final answer regarding his activities and
his public discourse. My purpose is to read his discourse through another prism
by avoiding categorizing it as black or white. Furthermore, my intention is to find
out the explicit or implicit uses of cultural hegemony and cultural diplomacy in
his discourse.

The method and the material

The method that is going to be applied is the classic discourse analysis, based on
thematic categories. As it is argued, discourse contributes to the composition of
the rules and regulations of social life as well as of relations, identities and insti-
tutions (Fairclough, 199, p. 65), meaning that discursive practices contribute both
to reproduction and change in a society.
Therefore, discourse has become a very important tool for social scientists in
their effort to study and understand society and social relationships. The task of
discourse analysis is thus to examine this dialectical relationship between dis-
courses and the social systems in which they function and expose the way in
which language and meaning are used by the powerful to deceive and oppress

208
the dominated (Howarth 2000, p. 4). Obviously, the discourse of the oppressed
is of equal research interest. Discourse analysis treats a wide range of linguistic
or non-linguistic material speeches, reports, manifestos, historical events and
interviews as texts and writings that enable subjects to experience the world
of objects, words and practices (Howarth 2000: 10). Discourse analysis is there-
fore a creative abuse of the concept of discourse which is now used in a much
wider than its original linguistic sense. It is a technique for studying any mean-
ingful social practice, and thus any human practice, since, for discourse analysts,
any human practice is meaningful.
The material that is being used for this analysis consists of all the published
speeches, lectures, and public messages of Christodoulos from the day of his
enthronement until today (19982012). This material is derived from many occa-
sions, for example national and religious holidays, scientific conferences (with
legal, medical, historical, etc. content) and assemblies of institutions, associations
and organizations. What should be stressed, though, is that Christodoulos wrote
many books and articles and made many speeches also while he was serving as
Bishop in Volos, before his election in the Archbishops throne. In this material
we can also find his critical view against the West, but it is not my purpose here
to analyze this content. I just make this clarification to certify that no one can
assume that Christodoulos changed his way of thinking when he became Arch-
bishop. The thematic categories of the analysis are going to be the following: The
decay of the West; The threat of globalization; the light from the East will save
the West; changing the content.

The decay of the West

One of the basic characteristics of Christodouloss public discourse is the moral


decay of Western civilisation. According to his opinion, Europe, the E.U. and
generally what we call the West is facing serious social, political, religious and
moral problems. He stresses that nowadays frustration is dominant throughout
Europe, because of the degenerative phenomena that Europe is facing and which
put in great danger Europes own future (Christodoulos 1997a, p. 31; Christo-
doulos 2000a, p. 81). Europe is faltering and shaking due to the many problems,
which all came out of the dead ends of its own rationalism (Christodoulos 2000a,
p. 151) and its totally materialistic, stupefying and decadent way of life, which
insults human beings and abolishes spirituality (Christodoulos 2000a, p. 166).
Another important factor of Wests moral decadence is the absence of God. In
his view, today we are living the fall of a whole world and a whole civilisation,
because human life was subjected to impersonal forces and not to God. The fall-

209
ing civilisation (i.e. the Western civilisation) tried to be founded on the denial of
God, which proved to be the denial of the human being (Christodoulos 2000a, p.
20910). This is the end of a civilisation that promised to make this world a para-
dise through the power of knowledge, science and technology. This is a civili-
sation that steadily denied God and deified rationalism (Christodoulos 2000a, p.
193194) and as a consequence this Godless humanism of our European brother
has led him to a psychological dead end (Christodoulos 2000a, p. 176). As he
analytically put it:
Godless humanism made the mistake of making man independent from God and nominating
him as an independent being based on his own power. The result was the violation of human
image and the demolition of the human idol into the chaos of denial of every human value. []
Godless humanism built walls between people and divided them into classes; it took away
from them the gift of freedom; it threw them into the Gulags of slavery and into the Apart-
heids of race discrimination; it twisted them through the disfiguring mirror of materialism
and prosperity (Christodoulos, 2006, p. 2021).

According to this view the West and western humanism especially are respon-
sible for many evils, from the Soviet Gulags to South Africas apartheid. In one
of his more interesting extracts from a book, which was published before his
enthronement as an Archbishop, but which was re-published after his election
with the title of his new public office on the front page, meaning that he was not
feeling any repentance over it, he argues that:
Nowadays Europe and the West in general are going through a deep moral crisis, which is
delimited, by syncretism or relativism. Catholicism and Protestantism have passed from sec-
ularization to alienation that ravages human souls. What is taking place today in Europe gives
birth to melancholic thoughts regarding Western civilizations future. When some Churches
play the leading part in homosexualitys recognition and they bless lesbianism; when some
Christian states forbid public praying in schools; when Christian universities are teaching
Theology along with Satanism and Occultism; when someone watches the extent of child
prostitution in Christian societies, then it is evident that the instilment of Christianitys
pure blood in the alienated western societies is an immediate need (Christodoulos, 1997a,
p. 5455).

And on another occasion he underlines the contemporary conditions with the


following words:
The environment we live in is known to us. We belong to the European Union of 500 million
people and society is evolving at breakneck speed towards the transformation of the human
being into a simple living machine, with no transcendental questionings. Furthermore, infor-
mation tends to replace the knowledge. Having all these in mind, we face the danger of a
forthcoming syncretistic ideology and the transformation of our society into a robotic unity
with human beings simply as one of its components. We see societies closed to ideas and not
at all willing to conduct dialogue with the other, the different; societies with no respect for
difference. We see societies in which might is right will be dominant, but these societies will
be technological and not cultural achievements (Christodoulos, 2006, p. 173).

210
As is evident from the above analysis Western civilisation is falling apart and
this is taking place because of many reasons: consumerism, atheism, syncre-
tism, materialism, immorality, selfishness, etc. Christodoulos is highly critical of
the way Europeans and westerners live, but his criticism will not remain in this
descriptive level regarding the causes of European civilisations decay, which in
any case highlights his anti-western view. In the following section I am going to
present the way he actually thinks of globalization and Europe in general and the
threats that according to his view are menacing Greek society.

The threat of globalization

According to Christodoulos, this social and moral decadence of Europe and the
West in general is a major threat for the Greek Orthodox society, because through
the vision of a globalized world, attempts are made to infiltrate Orthodoxy and
to enforce a pan-religion (i.e. syncretism) in favour of the so called unity of the
people (Christodoulos 2000a, p. 257; Christodoulos 2006, p. 161). In his view,
even though globalization is presented as ecumenism, this is not true. On the con-
trary, globalizations intention is to abolish all the cultural differences between
people and to enforce uniformity (Christodoulos 2007, p. 48; Christodoulos
2000a, p. 172). That means that globalization threats to flatten everything in our
societies (Christodoulos 2000, p. 63) and that at the end an amorphous and freak-
ish entirety will be enforced, which as a consequence will lead to the final decay
of human civilisation (Christodoulos 2000a, p. 172; Christodoulos 2006, p. 112).
The major threat of course is the abolishment of national identities. However, it is
not very clear who wants to achieve this goal and for what reason:
Globalization will destroy national identities, national languages and tradition in order to
give the rule of the world not to the nave [i.e. people] in Washington [i.e. the U.S.A.), but to
the godfathers of global crime, into the hands of those who get rich from the biological and
moral annihilation of human beings (Christodoulos 2000a, p.180).
[]
It is easy to imagine that this extinction of national identities will transform Europe into a
cemetery of civilizations. [] And it is easy to imagine what will be the fate of Hellenism.
[] However, globalization is not the goal, but the mean to achieve another goal that is syn-
cretism; and syncretism is being promoted by the same powers that promote globalization
(Christodoulos 2000a, p. 293294).

But how is this going to take place? In his opinion this is taking place through the
recognition of heretical movements as Churches, for example through the rec-
ognition of a satanic brain washing technique (i.e. scientology) as a Church in
the name of so called religious freedom. Furthermore, another crucial point is the

211
elimination of the notion of sin. By that he means that behaviours which deviate
from the Law and the will of God (i.e. homosexuality), are not characterized as
sins, but as peculiarities, which the Church should respect in the name of human
rights, which in his opinion became the main regulator of human life (Christo-
doulos 2000a, p. 294).
The main finding in the Archbishops public discourse regarding globalization
is that this concept is pictured with dark colours and is considered as totally nega-
tive and menacing for Orthodoxy and Greek society. The names Christodoulos
gives to globalization vary: New Order, New Age, age of syncretism, disaster, etc.
Globalization is threatening every aspect of our society from the family (Christo-
doulos, 2006, p. 110) to religion and the Greek nation in general.
However, Christodoulos is unable to name who are these people who want to
promote globalization and destroy each nations special civilisation and identity.
He refers to some invisible and multinational centres, that produce consumerism
and indolence, which will transform us into irrational and consequently illib-
eral human beings (Christodoulos, 2000a, p. 170), but as was expected, he is not
providing any specific references. Globalization is presented as the major evil of
our times against which the Orthodox Church and all the nations forces should
react, because otherwise the forthcoming New Order will lead to the formation
of a global mush as well as in the formation of a nightmarish future where only
individualistic post-human beings will live (Christodoulos, 2000b, p. 44).

The light from the East will save the West

From the above analysis it is evident that according to Christodoulos the decadent
Western civilisation and above all globalization are threatening the Greek Ortho-
dox society. However, Christodoulos acknowledges that the West is not pure evil,
because it is Christian in its essence. Furthermore, he stresses that Europe would
not exist if it werent for Greece, because Europes name and culture are Greek
(Christodoulos, 1997, p. 25).
Orthodoxy is Greeces great wealth and Hellenism survived for centuries under
multi-cultural states (i.e. The Byzantine and the Ottoman empires), because Hel-
lenism was always the centre of a civilisation and all other peoples needed and
wanted this civilisation. That means that at the spiritual and cultural level Greece
is Europes instructor (Christodoulos 1997a, p. 4647; Christodoulos 2000a, p.
167, Christodoulos 2003b, p. 424) and the Greeks should be really proud of their
ancestors, because their contribution to the civilisation of the East and West is
unique (Christodoulos, 2006, p.158).

212
The superiority of Orthodoxy and Hellenism is evident not only in Christodouloss discourse,
but in the ecclesiastical discourse of the OCG in general. The interesting point here is that
Christodoulos is not limiting his arguments to the superiority of the Greek-Orthodox civili-
zation. He also believes that because of Europes decay, Orthodoxy in particular could and
should help the West. That is why he contends that nowadays Europe expects the reliable
word of the East and more precisely of Orthodox Greece, because Greece is responsible for
Europe (Christodoulos, 1997a, p. 49). But what this idea is based on?
The values of the East, values that are universal and redeeming have as their base Jesus Christ
and not the man of Humanism. These values are expressed through the Greek language and
they are the only values that can help the desperate human being of the West (Christodoulos,
2000a, p. 8182).
[]
For this psychological condition of the human being in Western Europe and in North America
we also feel responsible and we are willing to get close to him. With all the love of our soul,
we have to make him familiar with the spirituality of Orthodoxy and to invite him to rethink
from the very beginning some crucial issues of his own existence and at the end his position
as an heir of the European civilization (Christodoulos, 2000a, p. 113114).
[]
Nowadays, educated Europeans feel the urgent need to receive from us, the Orthodox, mes-
sages of ecclesiastical, social and community morality, which will teach and puzzle them.
Europe has come to a deadly deadlock (Christodoulos, 2003b, p. 440)

As a consequence, the West in general and Europe in particular are in great need
of Hellenism and Orthodoxy, not only in order to fight the moral decay they live
in, but also for the formation of their European consciousness (Christodoulos,
2000a, p. 151152). Greek civilisation could teach the westerners that technology
should go hand in hand with Education, Virtue and Self-awareness, which are
presented as the great values of the Greek-Orthodox civilisation (Christodoulos,
2006, p. 146). So, the Orthodox Church of Greece has to play a crucial role within
the European Union for two reasons. On the one hand the OCG is responsible for
the protection of the Greek nation and the preservation of its tradition and on the
other hand is obliged to try to save the European civilisation whose foundation,
(apart from the Ancient Greek civilisation), is Christianity.

Changing the content

Since the beginning of this analysis it is pretty clear that the Archbishop of the
OCG uses a Manichean scheme, which is crystallized as the moral East against
the immoral and decadent West. This is true and I tried to present it as thor-
oughly as I could. But there is one crucial point that is very interesting. All the
analyzed and presented material is derived from texts and public speeches for
Greek audiences. That means that his discourse is addressed to people who more
or less agree with his opinions or at least they are closer to his views. However,

213
Christodoulos should not be characterized as anti-western or anti-European, or
as a fanatic, a fundamentalist who is against social, scientific and technological
evolution. One of his first initiatives after his election was the foundation of an
OCGs office in Brussels in order to have some trustworthy people near the deci-
sion making centre of the E.U. Furthermore, in 2001 he met with the Pope John-
Paul II in Athens, even though many ultra-orthodox members of the Church and
religious associations reacted to that visit and accused Christodoulos as a traitor
to Orthodoxy. In addition, a member of a fundamentalist group slapped him in
front of the cathedral of Athens a few days later, because of the Popes visit. In
2006 Christodoulos returned the visit by visiting his successor Pope Benedict the
16th in the Holy See in Vatican City. All these and some other activities prove
that it is not easy to characterize Christodoulos as a nationalist fundamentalist,
at least not only that.
Apart from the aforementioned activities, Christodouloss public discourse
changes when he addresses European audiences. On such occasions he never
refers to the immorality and decay of the West and he is not so strict against
globalization. In these speeches, which are basically published in a separate book
entitled Europes Soul (2004), his main interest and theme of discussion is the de-
Christianization of Europe and the threat of Islam and especially Islam through
Turkey; his focus is on Europes new constitution and he discusses extensively the
inclusion of Christianity in its preamble (Christodoulos, 2003a, p. 6164).
Christodoulos accuses those people (some of them are characterized as anti-
Christians of the European Parliament), who want to abolish the Christian iden-
tity from Europes character (Christodoulos, 2004, p. 18, 33). He also stresses that
Byzantium was the founder of Christian Europe (Christodoulos, 2004, p. 35), but
his main argument is that Europe was born within the Churchs yard and Christi-
anity formed what we nowadays call Europe (Christodoulos, 2004, p. 2829). As
he puts it, speaking at the University of Iasi,
Without Christianity Europe would be nothing more than a well organized unity of people
who are interconnected through the cold logic of human rights. [] Without Christianity
spiritual life will not have any kind of destination and will be identical with fun, pleasure and
relaxation (Christodoulos, 2004, p. 3940).

In all of his European public addresses, Europe as a unity and Christianity dom-
inate in his discourse. He does not use not even once the word Orthodoxy in a
sense of superiority, as he usually did in his speeches within the Greek borders
and he sees Christianity as a whole and Europe as Christianitys cradle. In my
view, Christodoulos differentiates the content of his speeches depending on his
audience. When he is addressing the European community he tries to avoid the
fanatical and nation-centred arguments he uses when he talks to a Greek audi-

214
ence. Of course, his Greek identity is clear and always present, but he tries to put
to in the service of the common European good.

Conclusion

The conclusion from the previous analysis of Christodouloss discourse is that


almost all the articles, which criticized his stance during his rule as fanatic,
nationalist and anti-western are in some sense nave, and not well grounded. Of
course, as I pointed out in the first three categories of analysis, Christodoulos
understood globalization and the decedent Western civilisation as a threat to the
Greek Orthodox society. He seemed to have a missionary idea according to which
the East can and should save the West by purifying Western Christendom. How-
ever, I think that in the fourth category of analysis it was pointed out that this
was just the one side of the story. Christodoulos would change the content of his
speech when he was addressing Europeans and he was transferring the idea of the
enemy from the immoral west to Islam and anti-Christian worldviews. As a con-
sequence, the cultural dilemma Immoral West vs. Moral East in the Greek con-
text was transformed into Christian Europe vs. anti-Christian powers (i.e. Islam
and atheistic ideas), with no other details, in the European context. Furthermore,
in the European context the solid Greek-Orthodox identity was transformed into
European-Christian identity. In that sense, it could be argued that cooperation
between East and West or in other words cultural diplomacy was not out of the
question for Christodoulos and in fact this was one of his major goals. On the
other hand, he also wanted to preserve the traditional Greek-Orthodox identity
from any Western European threats (cultural hegemony). This, in my opinion,
means that Christodoulos acted more as a politician and not as an Archbishop
of the Orthodox Church of Greece and this is the only accusation that someone
could address to him.
As a consequence, I think that the OCG on the one hand favours Greek cul-
tures hegemony and renounces every kind of American or western cultural
imperialism on the grounds of its cultural superiority. On the other hand, through
the public discourse analyzed above it is obvious that the Church, as a state insti-
tution, uses a different kind of discourse inside and outside Greece and this gives
the idea of an effort to balance between the need to strengthen Greek peoples
national and cultural identity and the states international relations. This also
means, that the Church does no want to be characterized as an anti-modern and
closed organization and this explains the Archbishops efforts to meet with the
European leaders, to discuss with the Vatican and to promote Christianity in gen-
eral at least when he addresses to a European audience.

215
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218
Culture and identity as tools for forging1 Europeanization2

Martina Topi

Introduction

Before debating the issue of intertwined nature of culture and identity and cul-
tural diplomacy that is usually the means for enforcing identity and culturally ori-
ented policies, one has to (or at least try to) determine what the culture is. When
looking into academic literature, it is obvious that there is no wider agreement on
what the culture is however culture can be seen as a set of rules for everyday lives
that we absorb during the socialisation process (Haralambos and Holborn, 2002).
The question is what culture entails, and it is common to believe culture
encompasses a variety of practices, traditions and customaries, as well as other
characteristics. For example, Merriam Websters dictionary offers a variety of
meanings for culture:
2 : the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education
3 : expert care and training
4 a : enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training
b : acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as dis-
tinguished from vocational and technical skills

1 The term forged in the title is inspired with the book Mark Thompson wrote on the war in
former Yugoslavia entitled Forging War: The Media in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herze-
govina, Luton: University of Luton Press, 1995 (Croatian translation).
2 This paper is deriving from Identities and Modernities in Europe project funded by the Euro-
pean Commission under the 7th Framework Programme (FP7). Research on national tourist
offer in Croatia has been conducted for a work package five (WP5) in May 2010 solely by the
author of this paper, and this paper is based on that part of the WP5 report. However, this part
is an extended version of part of the report on which it is based. Remaining part of the research
for WP5 has been conducted by the author of this paper and two other researchers (S. Rodin
and S. Vasiljevi). First version of this paper has been presented at Euroacademias conference
The EU and the politicization of Europe held in Vienna in December 2011. That version of
the paper (non-quotable) has been published on Euroacademias official conference website,
and I have published it on my personal Academia website. Some parts of this paper were used
for discussion during the dissemination event of the FP7 IME project results held in February
2012 in the European Commission in Brussels. I am grateful to David Pollock, president of
the European Humanist Federation (EHF) who was the discussant on the dissemination event,
for his helpful comments as well as to Michela Codutti from University of Udine, Italy who
participated in Brusselss dissemination event and who also (voluntarily) sent me helpful com-
ments.

219
5 a : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behaviour that depends upon the
capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
b : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social
group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life}
shared by people in a place or time
c : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterize an institution or
organization
d : the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity,
or societal characteristic.

On the other hand, it can be said that:


Culture can be the glue that binds civil societies; it can provide for the common assumptions
which undergird markets, laws and regulations. Conversely, cultural division can tear a soci-
ety apart, and make its markets, laws and regulations unworkable, at least in part. Thus,
the configuration and production of culture is a legitimate concern of public policy, for it
comprises both public and private goods. Additionally, understanding the culture of other
peoples and nations is essential to international cooperation and successful commerce in
todays increasingly global markets (Feigenbaum, 2001, p. 7).

This second definition largely centers on marketing and influence the culture has
on the international market. Although this may seem as odd, when looking into
the importance of culture in the world and particularly when it comes to the issue
of cultural diplomacy, then indeed we can look into the culture and its importance
through the market-oriented prism.
However, what is obvious is that culture is an issue on the agenda of public
policy that is, indeed, often the case. In that sense, cultural diplomacy enforces
culture and cultural policies.
Cultural diplomacy entails an exchange of ideas, information, values, tra-
ditions and beliefs and this can include fields such as art, sport, literature, music,
science and economy, and the goal is fostering mutual understanding (Milton,
2003).
Public, civil and, private sector promote cultural diplomacy. Public sector
promotes domestic values and culture, often with the influence from politics
while civil society promotes national interests mostly in the fields of academic
exchange, protection of rights and tourism and, private sector exchanges infor-
mation on a personal basis.
Cultural diplomacy is also commonly understood through nation branding3
and cultural tourism. On the other hand, when it comes to the notion of nation

3 Anholt (2004) states that nation branding is apparently happening whether we notice it or
not and in this, state has a significant role as well as tourism. He states: Hardly a week goes
by without a new story in the media about how a countrys negative image is damaging its
trade, how a city is launching a new campaign to attract investors, tourists or a major inter-
national sporting event or how a region is promoting its own separate identity from its parent

220
branding and public diplomacy these two activities are being used in the same
context although these two concepts are not identical to each other (Szondi, 2008,
p. 1). Public diplomacy is therefore, something attached to the United States
public policy (Laqueur 1994; Szondi 2008) while nation branding is something of
British and European roots with Anholt and Olins being the champions of advo-
cating the nation branding (Szondi, 2008)4.
Public diplomacy is a policy that can serve as a means of influencing other
countries but it is tightly intertwined with the nation branding. In a sense, nation
branding has appeared as a policy through the combination of the country-of-
origin studies and from the interdisciplinary literature on national identity, which
incorporates political, cultural, sociological and historical approaches to iden-
tity (Szondi, 2008, p. 4). Dinnie (2008) adds that public diplomacy and nation
branding interact in the field of economic globalisation and this then results with
homogenisation of markets as well as with the increase in sentiments expressed
toward the national identity. Another aspect of branding, as Szondi (2007) argues,
is the destination branding that represents the most developed form of place
branding and its primary goal is fostering tourism.
Apparently, as Szondi (2007) argues, destination branding and nation brand-
ing are not synonyms because nation branding is a much broader concept remain-
ing in the marketing sphere while the public diplomacy remains within the inter-
national relations and international communication sphere.
Hence, when it comes to theory and practice, a question of the apparent dichot-
omy appears. Mark (2010) points out that because cultural diplomacy is not a
common field of study in the academia, there is no clarity on what the practice
entails. In this sense, cultural diplomacy can be understood as a whole set of state
practices such as public diplomacy, international cultural relations, international
cultural policy and a states foreign cultural mission (Mark, 2010, p. 6263).
Cultural diplomacy, enforced in this way or another, seems to have a purpose
to project national images (Sun, 2008) or, more specifically, to serve for nation-
branding and foreign cultural relations (Mellison, 2005).

country. And we are faced every day by tourism campaigns on television, on billboards and
in magazines, advertisements in the business press which glorify the technological and indus-
trial achievements of countries and regions, advertorials listing the prestigious multinationals
which have built new factories there, websites extolling the favourable tax environments and
skilled workforces and so on (Anholt, 2004, p. 4).
4 Public diplomacy is something immanent to the US policies. In that, the US primarily adver-
tised itself towards the European Communist countries and then, after the collapse of Commu-
nism the diplomacy declined whereas it increased again after the tragic events of 9/11 (Szondi,
2008, p. 23).

221
As Fox (1999) points out, whether the diplomacy mostly takes a public or
cultural scope it always presents an arm of diplomacy itself, the business of
winning friends and influencing people (Fox, 1999, p. 3). However, cultural
diplomacy often has something to do with the identity and in particular national
identity and, as outlined above, with branding of the national towards the outside
of the national border.
Croatia is famous for its sports and tourism and thus presents an intriguing
case of the European oriented politics. Croatian national tourist offer typically
falls within the scope of the cultural tourism. Whereas normally the civil soci-
ety promotes the tourism, in Croatias case it is the state sector that manages
that activity. The policy Croatia is leading can also fall within the nation brand-
ing but, this relates to the nation branding in terms of its identity and not what
nation branding usually entails5. However, since nation branding is also com-
monly understood through the identity creation process and thus this concept
has to be discussed within the discussion of the Croatian tourism6. Nonetheless,
Croatia frames its tourist offer by calling it a cultural tourism and this particularly
applies to the coastal counties where the tourist offer is largely relying on, what
appears to be, the culture. The culture is presented through the la longue dure
policy proving the historical legacy of Croatian statehood and unquestionable
Europeanism of Croatia.
This paper explores discourses surrounding culture, identity and the European
in Croatian national tourist offer in an attempt to answer in what way the cul-
ture and identity are understood in Croatia. The paper also seeks to answer the
question whether Croatian policy in tourism and promotion of Croatia falls within
nation branding or in cultural tourism, the latter proposed by the Croatian Tourist
Board itself. Finally, can we consider Croatias efforts as cultural diplomacy and
if so, how this relates to Europe?

5 Nation branding usually refers to the broad set of efforts by country, regional and city govern-
ments, and by industry groups, aimed at marketing the places and sectors they represent. The
intent of such efforts typically is to achieve one or more of four main objectives: enhance the
places exports, protect its domestic businesses from foreign competition (for sub-national
places this may include those from other regions in the same country), attract or retain factors
of development and generally position the place for advantage domestically and internation-
ally in economic, political and social terms. The other is product-country image (PCI, also
commonly referred to as country-of-origin image and used to include places other than coun-
tries), which can have significant effects on how the product is viewed by its intended target
market and on the buyers willingness to consider it for purchase (Papadopoulos, 2004, p. 36).
6 Gudjonsson (2005, p. 285) argues: nation branding occurs when a government or a private
company uses its power to persuade whoever has the ability to change a nations image. Nation
branding uses the tools of branding to alter or change the behaviour, attitudes, identity or
image of a nation in a positive way.

222
Croatian context: Interplay of national and European

Croatia has not been united in its present form until the creation of the second
Yugoslavia after WW II. However, regions that now belong to Croatia including
historical Croatia (Roy Croatia) were subordinated inside Austrian-Hungarian
Monarchy. Although the level of subordination varied, because Croatian prov-
inces had certain rights inside different periods but for any significant decision
Croatian provinces needed permission from the Austrian king. In this context,
struggles of those who were active during history centred on unification and
higher political rights as well as to language standardization and recognition
among European nations. One of the arguments for necessity and legitimacy of
Croatias unification and higher political position was its European civilisation
and culture (Stani 2002; 2000).
Therefore, national and European are inextricably linked in the Croatian con-
text. In this, Croatia always used rather instrumental approach when it comes to
the notion of European. Main discourses surrounding the notion of European in
the Croatian context relate to the notions of antemurale christianitatis. According
to that notion, Croatia defended Christianity from the Ottoman Islam by serving
as the outer wall for Europe but, Europe never properly thanked Croatia for its
efforts and thus, Europe betrayed Croatia. There is also the notion of unquestion-
able Europeanism of Croatia and, when necessary, the need to return to Europe
(Topi 2011; Topi 2011a; Topi 2011b; Topi 2011c; Topi and Vasiljevi 2011;
Topi and Vasiljevi 2011a; Topi et al 2009; ani 2003). The latter was always
enforced when Croatia was a member of a certain state union7 and it particularly
got emphasized during the 1990s when Croatia gained independence.
During the 1990s, the ruling regime (Croatian Democratic Union8) led by the
late F. Tuman who became the first president of independent Croatia enforced
a policy of necessary return to Europe and unquestionable belonging of Croatia
to the European civilisation circle (Topi et al, 2009). However, policies enforced
by the regime could hardly be considered as European due to the enormous vio-
lations of human rights that occurred (female but of the national minorities as
well) and due to the fact the country got economically devastated (Bijeli 2006;
Mati 2006; Topi et al 2009; Topi 2009).

7 The exception was the period before creating the second Yugoslavia when a group of left-
oriented intellectuals gathered around journal Nova Evropa (New Europe) in Croatia. They
were seeking Europeanization of a whole future Yugoslav federation that would be led by
Croatia due to its unquestionable Europeanism (for more details see Roksandi 1989; Topi et
al 2009).
8 Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica in Croatian.

223
The regime also flirted with Croatias notorious Nazi regime from the WW
II (Pavlakovi, 2008). Traditional became the foundation of the society and its
proposed development. The regime presented this policy through the so-called
return to tradition that implied return to the Croatian tradition supposedly
oppressed by the Yugoslav regime but, in practice this meant radicalization of
traditionalism in both ethnic and gender sense.
Women were placed on a position of those who should serve merely to give
birth to ethnically cleansed nation whereas the newly established national minor-
ity corpus (primarily Serbs) found themselves in the position of other (Bijeli
2006; Topi, 2009). However, these policies were, paradoxically, framed as mod-
ernization and Europeanization of Croatia. This is because Croatia was as it was
enforced, meant to return to its national tradition to be able to join the European
community also consisted of diverse and nationally aware and sovereign member
states (Bijeli 2006; Mati 2006; Topi et al 2009; Topi 2009).
This attitude largely came from the historical work of F. Tuman (1969; 1981)
who, in all of his work, advocated membership in the larger European commu-
nity as a means of maintaining national sovereignty for small states and who
enforced reconciliation process between partisans (who fought against Croatian
Nazi regime in WW II) and the Ustashas (who were the leaders of Croatias noto-
rious WW II regime). This reconciliation was unacceptable to the partisans due
to the fact it advocated rehabilitation of the Ustasha regime (Pavlakovi, 2008).
When these policies did not meet the approval in Europe that was in the pro-
cess of strengthening its unification process (in what is today United in diver-
sity), the regime shifted from Europhoria to Euro-scepticism claiming Europe
again betrayed Croatia (Topi et al, 2009).
At the same time, the regime kept seeking membership in the EU that became a
representative for that envisaged Europe. All this confusion eventually resulted with
the present situation where large (the largest number of all candidate countries in
any enlargement of the EU thus far) number of the population opposes to member-
ship in the EU (see e.g. Eurobarometer 75, 71). Although Euro-scepticism grew to
the highest level in any candidate country thus far (Topi et al 2009; Eurobarometer
75; 70), due to the media campaign and the campaign from the politicians the refer-
endum for joining the EU (in January 2012) successfully passed. However, certain
NGO media complained that the media took too much role in fostering membership
in the EU as a no-alternative option (see e.g. Politika.hr 2011; Udarno media 2012).
Certain reluctance toward a positive future after joining the EU remained within the
public opinion, and it is reasonable to state this is because of so many shifts from
Europhoria to European betrayal that eventually lead to the present situation.

224
Methodology

A set of large brochures from Croatian tourist board has been analyzed in order
to point to some conclusions toward where Croatia stands in terms of identity cre-
ation process via tourist promotion of the country and, what is the role of culture
and how state projects culture. This is a weighty question concerning the grow-
ing number of tourists considering Croatia for their vacation destination. In this
sense, it is reasonable to assume that potential tourists consult (at least certain)
brochures.
The research was conducted under the postmodernist epistemological
assumption according to which all knowledge is a valid knowledge (Lyotard
1984; 1979) and; it did not seek objective results that would be generalized on
the population or any of the strict methodological requirements for conducting
research. On the other hand, the research has not been of pure postmodernist
nature, and it did not make the research technique relative (as many critiques
claim postmodernists do).
Therefore, the analysis deployed qualitative approach and used the critical
discourse analysis (Wodak, 1999) and critical discourse studies (Van Dijk 2007,
2009). In the latter, a problem oriented approach determined policies Croatia
is enforcing while promoting Croatia across its borders9. In analysis, attention
was given to the historical context outlined above. In other words, a particu-
lar attention was pointed towards: a) discourses on national versus European in
shaping of the Croatian identity in tourist promotion of the country; b) depict-
ing where brochures place Croatia in terms of civilisation circles (e.g. Central
European, Mediterranean, etc.), and c) a relationship of traditional versus modern
identity and culture.

9 Van Dijk (2007) outlines (and this applies to the author of this paper as well) that critical
discourse studies (CDS) are characterized not only as a method but also as a critical perspec-
tive that does not belong to one discipline only. CDS thus characterizes academics using the
approach rather than their methods. This means that CDS academics are devoted to justice
and to the corrections of wrongdoings, and this appears in their research where they formulate
specific goals, select and construct theories and this then particularly occurs in their studies of
societal problems and political issues. CDS academics are in this sense particularly interested
in how one group is abusing power over empowered groups.

225
Tourism as a cultural diplomacy10

Tourism is seen through culture where tourists meet locals and in their inter-
action, a cultural clash occurs. Cultural contacts in a global world develop new
identities seen through traditional roots along with new knowledge on different
cultures (Jagi 2004; Jelini 2006; Boovi 2009). In this sense, there is growing
importance of tourism and tourist offers for both tend to advance stereotyping if
not managed properly.
Looking this way, relationship between tourist and local residents is tempo-
rary, unequal and any societal relation that is transitional, shallow and unequal
represents a nest for cheating, exploitation, mistrust, unfairness and shaping of
the stereotypes (MacCannel, 1984, p. 387388 in Jelini 2006, p. 166). In this
process, the impact of tourist view of the local host can be devastating for it
attributes to the stereotyping upon returning to their countries of origin. This is
why the tourist promotion of the country bears relevance for creating acceptable
global identity of the host.
On the other hand, Cultural tourism is a powerful force and tourism is the
largest employment sector (Lord 1999, p. 2). Lord (1999, p. 3) defines cultural
tourism as:
Visits by persons from outside the host community motivated wholly or in part by interest in
the historical, artistic, scientific or lifestyle/heritage offerings of a community, region, group
or institution11.
In Lords view, this means that the cultural tourism can be all consuming and
applicable to 15 per cent of tourists but it can also come up to 80 per cent. The

10 This part is mostly deriving from the WP5 report. Although some parts of this part have been
newly written some parts had to remain the same as in the actual report due to the impossibil-
ity of changing them so that the original analysis would not be distorted. Analysis in this paper
relies on a set of tourist brochures published by the Croatian Tourist Board in 2010 (that were
the material for analysis for WP5 conducted during 2010) and the analysis is shortened due to
the lack of space in both the report and this paper. Quotations from tourist brochures were not
included in the WP5 report. In the draft version of this paper, I said I would analyze the bro-
chures from 2011 in the longer version of this paper, that is this paper. However, National Tour-
ist board changed their brochures and published entirely new ones while some brochures from
2010 remained entirely the same. Therefore, I do not have a set of new brochures on exactly the
same theme published in the subsequent year that I could analyze comparatively, as I expected
to have. However, the discourses presented here did not change and the foundation is the same
in all brochures that are in use now and I am using my 2010 analysis for this, extended, version
of the paper.
11 As Lord (1999, p. 3) himself points out, this definition is similar to the one of the Heritage
Tourism Programs that defines cultural tourism as the practice of traveling to experience
historic and cultural attractions to learn about a communitys heritage in an enjoyable and
educational way.

226
impact of Internet is also significant due to the possibility of worldwide commu-
nication and the exchange of ideas. The emphasis also shifted towards meaning
(Lord, 1999, p. 7).
However, a countrys promotion largely depends on the view of the authori-
ties on how to present a country or, where they think that country belongs to and
ultimately, what they think it should be enforced as a countrys identity.
Tourism bears significant relevance in terms of its participation in Croatias
GDP for it stands for more than 22 % of the total GDP12. Apart from that, only in
2009, 10.934,474 tourists visited Croatia and out of that non-Croatian guests par-
ticipated with 85 % (State Bureau for Statistics 2010; Ministry of tourism 2010).
Croatian tourist offer largely fits into cultural tourism, and this particularly
applies to Dalmatia that Croatian tourist offer, general as well as cultural, heavily
relies on13.
A whole separate brochure discusses the origin of Marco Polo, born in the
island of Korula, Dalmatia, which was at that time the territory of Illyria. Marco
Polo is mentioned as a great contributor to Europe as a whole and Croatia as a
jewel of Europe, diverse with mixed and rich cultural heritage.
Croatian tourist offer exceedingly heavily relies on UNESCOs protection of
its monuments and places. With this, brochures are emphasizing particular cul-
tural importance of Croatia. The country is overwhelmingly presented through
its history and culture with a slogan Treasury of impressive history. In that, the
culture bears significant role. For example, the introductory part of one brochure
reads:
If you are interested in antics, start from glorious monuments of Roman Pula towards the
largest researched forum on the eastern side of Adriatic in Zadar through glorious Diocletian
palace in Split. Progressing through time, from pre-Roman Zadars Saint Donat from 9th
century and walk in to the world of romance of the magnificent town-monument Trogir or the
islands of Krk and Rab. After the chapter of gothic in Zagreb, Pazin or, for example, Ston on
Peljeac, discover the Renaissance of Ocor on Cres, ibenik cathedral, islands of Hvar and
Korula and then, finally, unforgettable and unique Dubrovnik. Baroque glow can be found
in Varadin, Bjelovar and Vukovar and heritage of the 19th century in Rijeka, Osijek and
unavoidable Zagreb. If you are, however, a fan of less exposed monuments and one of those
who enjoy in wondering and discovering the beauty of mystique places that, intimately, share
their thousands year old history, walk in to the world of hundreds medieval churches ()
From world known medieval philosopher Herman Dalmatin native of Istria, world traveller
and researcher Marco Polo born at Korula, Croatian Michelangelo-miniaturist Julije Klovi,

12 For the first nine (9) months in 2008, tourism participated in total GDP with 22 % (Croatian
National Bank 2009; Ministry of tourism 2009).
13 Tourist brochures are framing Croatia through its culture and call Croatian tourism as cultural
tourism. This is obviously different from the scholarly discussion on what culture and cultural
tourism is and how to define them. In scholarly discussions, there is still no consensus on what
constitutes culture and cultural tourism.

227
the greatest physician, mathematician and astronomer of his time, native of Dubrovnik Ruer
Bokovi all the way towards Nikola Tesla, one of the most brilliant inventors of the world
born in Lika; this is a space that proudly enjoys the reputation of the country of a distin-
guished history and great people (Brochure Croatia-Mediterranean as it once was 2010, p.
9, my translation).

Cultural tourism starts with the county of Zadar whose sub-slogan is Where
Croatian culture starts. Zadar, former Dalmatian capital, is framed as three thou-
sand years old town with an impressive history, culture and architecture. Bro-
chures also emphasize that Zadar is the place where first University in Croatia
was founded (1396) and where first Croatian novel and newspapers were printed.
For example, the brochure with part on Zadar starts with a lead:
With its centre in three thousand years old Zadar, city with the highest researched Roman
forum on the eastern side of Adriatic and unforgettable Roman churches such as Saint Stoija
and Saint Krevan, as well as the oldest Croatian royal city-nearby Nin proud of its smallest
cathedral in the world (Church of Saint Cross is only 36 steps long!), the area of the Zadar
region will tell you, better than any book, a rich history of the foundation of Croatian cultural
identity (Brochure Croatia-Mediterranean as it once was 2010, p. 29, my translation).

County of ibenik is also framed through culture and thus through cultural heri-
tage of the Millennium town. Additionally, ibenik has been firstly mentioned
in 1066 in documents of Croatian king Petar Kreimir, and it is also underlined
that ibenik has been before more than a millennium, founded by Croats. With
this, brochure is also underlining Croatism of Dalmatia, questioned many times
through out the history because of which Dalmatia remained outside of Croatian
state until the creation of the second Yugoslavia.
County of Split, also noted as the heart of Mediterranean, is framed through
the Roman emperor Diocletian who in the year 305 built his palace in Split (lat.
Aspalathos). Emphasis is placed on Splits short distance to old Salona (todays
Solin), and its importance, history and culture are strongly underlined.
The UNESCOs protections of the city centre and Roman palace of Diocletian
also have their pivotal place in brochure. Emphasis is also on the smallest street
in the world called Let me pass that in its Croatian version also represents a
common Dalmatian slang for Let me be used in many aspects of everyday life
in Dalmatia. This term also represents a Dalmatian easygoing mentality and life-
style. Finally, small town of Trogir is also briefly mentioned in the section on Split,
and this is because Trogir is under the UNESCO protection due to its cultural
importance.
County of Dubrovnik is framed through its beauty underlining that it is pro-
tected by UNESCO and through a slogan Where words are not enough. When
describing Dubrovnik, brochures heavily rely on quotes from George Bernard
Shaw who has written on Dubrovnik. County of Dubrovnik is also framed with

228
Mediterranean reference of the most southern point in Croatia. The emphasis is
also on the fact that it was the Dubrovnik Republic to be the first to acknowledge
the United States of Americas independence. With this, the brochures are under-
lining old Croatian statehood. Rich history of Dubrovnik as a small trade harbour
with historical importance on Mediterranean coast and its rich cultural heritage
and monuments are present in a particular form too.
Unlikely for four Dalmatian counties, Slavonian counties are framed through
belonging to the Pannonian circle. Slavonia is framed mostly through its tradition
and agricultural importance and old folklore culture. However, Slavonian presen-
tation does not heavily rely on culture and history as the Dalmatian one.
The same accounts to the Central Croatia that is framed through green fields,
rivers and castles that are at the same time showing preserved nature and rich
history of nobleness.
The capital of Zagreb is presented as the heart of Croatia although this view
can hardly be found within the rest of Croatian population burdened with regional
animosities and identity fragmentation (Katunari 2007; Topi et al 2009).
Zagreb is also framed through its history dating from 1094 and as a Central
European city with the spirit of former Austrian-Hungarian state union. Zagreb
is also mentioned through patents such as pen invented by Slavoljub Penkala who
resided in Zagreb and, as the brochure suggest, perhaps found his inspiration
while walking through Zagreb, also presented as an emerging sport destination
on the European sports map.
Finally, Istria is, apart from multicultural mentality (shown in slogans outlining
diversity), framed as the highest point of the Mediterranean with a unique culture
and preserved autochthonous architectural heritage that makes it a magic land.
Kvarner, a bay between Istria and north of Dalmatia, often noted in language as
Istria and Kvarner, is framed through its eco systems seen as truly European.
Kvarner is framed as a region where Mediterranean and Central Europe meet
because of which Kvarner can be considered as a region of different contrasts in
its culture and climate.
The region of Lika is framed through its stunning nature and placed in Pan-
nonian Croatia seen as diverse and inhabited by ancestors warriors.
After reviewing the brochures, an apparent conclusion is that Croatia mainly
enforces Europeanism and thus places Croatia in Europe and European cultural
circle and heritage. Croatia is described as a European country belonging to three
cultural and geographical entities: Pannonian, Central European and Mediter-
ranean. The discourse is heavily framing Croatia as a Mediterranean country
whereas the other two discourses appear as additional. This is against the domi-
nant political and academic mainstream insisting on Central European character
of Croatia that oppresses Mediterranean character of southern regions of Croatia.

229
However, this is apparently not the case when it comes to the Croatian tourist
offer.
The tourist offer, when describing Croatian multiple identities, only briefly
mentions Balkan in certain footnotes that the reader can easily oversee. This is
in line with the dominant Croatian discourse to deny any connection between the
Balkan and Croatia (Topi et al, 2009).
The dominant Mediterranean discourse primarily appears in the main slogan
of Croatian tourist offer: Mediterranean as it once was. This slogan contains the
main taught of Croatian tourist offer and thus Mediterranean discourse but also
the preserved natural beauty and preservation of traditionalism which is enforced
through out the tourist offer and promotion.
However, what appears is that the strength of national versus European is bal-
anced in a sense that Croatia is framed as European and typically Mediterra-
nean country with its own specialty inside Europe. It seems as if Croatian tourist
authorities do not worry for losing national identity if being strongly favourable
for Europe unlikely for the public opinion, as expressed in pollsters (e.g. Euroba-
rometer 75 and earlier).
Historical discourse also appears through out the offer for it heavily enforces
thousand years old statehood of Croatia entirely denying history, which reads
slightly different story (e.g. that Dalmatia is integrated with Croatia only in 20th
century and that Croatian national movement got its first victory in Split at the
end of the 19th century). Thus, it can be affirmed that Croatian tourist offer is for
the most part Croato-centric and enforces Croatian statehood agenda.
In terms of relationship between traditional and the modern, large attention
has been given to traditional and especially to history, historical habits, culture,
food and wine. It seems that Croatia had never left the discourse implemented
during 1990s when traditionalism became a means of enforcing the so-called
modernization and Europeanization. However, tourist offer at the same time
enforces multiculturalism in one of Croatian tourist regions, Istria that is framed
through multiculturalism, diversity and Mediterranean spirit as well as the spirit
of Central Europe.
It is always emphasized that Croatia scores high on the UNESCOs list of pro-
tected cultural objects. With this, the brochures are underlining that Croatia bears
cultural significance for the world in general and Europe in particular.
General impression coming out from brochures is Europeanism and Mediter-
raneanism so to say, and then national specialty. In that sense, Croatian authori-
ties that are largely EU optimistic enforce European discourse. Since this is exter-
nally oriented, the message that foreign visitors are supposed to receive is that
they are coming to an old, historically relevant, European state with preserved
history, culture and cultural habits. The identity image of Croatia sent abroad is

230
largely European, Mediterranean and then national. However, with this discourse
the state is apparently enforcing la longue dure policy as explained by ethno-
symbolic theory of nationalism (see e.g. Smith, 2009)14. This means that the state
is claiming its long statehood by underlining its long historical presence as a state
(located unquestionably in Europe and being a part of the European civilisation
circle) and legitimacy of that state (questioned during the war from the 1990s) as
well as its unquestionable Europeanism.
It seems there is a certain dichotomy in the state policies in regard to the iden-
tity creation process. Therefore, when it comes to externally oriented identity
creation processes such as tourism, the state enforces Europeanism as a dominant
discourse (relying on national) whereas in internally oriented processes, such as,
for example, secondary and primary education (Rodin et al 2010; Topi 2011c),
the state largely influences nationally oriented policies masked under the Euro-
peanization reform.
Either way, Croatia is unquestionably forging Europeanization and legitimizes
itself on the European map not only in geographical but also in the cultural sense
through its unquestionable Europeanism and cultural and historical importance
as well as its European civilisation.

Concluding remarks

Culture in Croatia is apparently understood as a historical treasure and history


is seen as a legitimizing aspect of the Croatian statehood. A lot of emphasis is
placed on the historical statehood of Croatia. However, a lot of stress have also
been placed on the unquestionable Europeanism of Croatia and its belonging to
the European civilisation circle. In the latter, culture plays a crucial role because
Croatian culture is presented as a legitimizing aspect of the Croatian European-
ism and necessity of Croatias belonging to Europe and European civilisation
circle.
What is intriguing is that, unlikely for the internally oriented policies where
Croatia is enforcing Europeanism but with a clear goal to preserve and enforce
the national (see e.g. Rodin et al, 2010), when it comes to the tourist offer then
Croatia is primarily enforcing Europeanism founded on the national. This is done
through the exposition of the national (culture, history, heritage), but the national
is presented as uniquely European and necessary to Europe for its culture and

14 It has to be clearly noted that this does not mean that whole Croatian policies through out his-
tory fall within this theory of nationalism (see e.g.| Mati 2006; Topi, 2009).

231
heritage. In this sense, national is used as an instrument for the purpose of achiev-
ing the European and for the purpose of presenting Croatia as a European jewel.
Additionally, this policy can be considered as corresponding to the policy
from the 1990s mentioned above, when Croatia enforced national tradition as a
means for achieving Europeanization and modernization. In that, the emphasis
was clearly on the national. In this case, Croatia is apparently enforcing national
history and culture as resources for founding its unquestionable Europeanism
just that in this case, the emphasis is on the European. A quotation from Thomas
Jefferson from 1785 demonstrates these policies pretty well:
You see I am an enthusiast on the subject of the arts. But it is an enthusiasm of which I am not
ashamed, as its object is to improve the taste of my countrymen, to increase their reputation,
to reconcile to them the respect of the world and procure them its praise (Thomas Jefferson
1785 in Schneider 2003, p. 1).

However, in the Croatian case, the state is forging Europeanism, and not only
on the international but also on the national agenda and in that sense, increasing
the reputation as in the above quotation is applying to this case but in a way of
increasing the reputation of existence of the (forged) Europeanism.
If looking into academic definitions of cultural tourism, it appears that Croatia
is indeed enforcing cultural tourism but with a clear agenda of forging Euro-
peanization that is present in all of Croatias policies (e.g. education, see Rodin
et al 2010). In this sense, tourism is just another instrument to enforce what is
enforced anyway but the difference is in the intensity of enforcing Europeanism.
In that, Europeanism is pointed towards the outside of the board while, inside the
board, Europeanism serves as an instrument to foster the national, and it is used
in accordance to the current need, but inside the board the national still bears
more relevance (Rodin et al 2010; Topi and Vasiljevi 2011; Topi and Vasiljevi
2011a).
If looking into nation branding, Croatia does appear to make an attempt to
brand itself as a European cultural jewel and as unquestionably European. How-
ever, since nation branding usually serves to attract investors, tourists or prin-
cipal international sporting events (Anholt, 2004) in this context Croatia does
not fit in entirely because it tries to attract the tourists via this tourist offer but
not the others, e.g. investors. To estimate whether and how Croatia brands itself
one would have to conduct an in-depth analysis of all of these features. It is also
notable to state that nation branding relates to the making of an image that is not
entirely the case in the Croatian tourist offer analyzed in this paper. Addition-
ally, since nation branding is also often attached to economic globalisation and
market-oriented policies, Croatia does not fit in either.

232
However, Croatia is forging its European identity through the notion of its
national identity but in an entirely different way than the one recognized in the
literature. This is because Croatia is using its national culture and history to legit-
imize its Europeanism and unquestionable belonging to Europe, as well as the
importance of Croatia for that same Europe.
On account of identity related debates, it appears that Croatia is strongly build-
ing European identity towards the outside of its board and culture and history
serve in legitimizing process of this. On the other hand, in internally oriented pol-
icies Croatia strongly builds national and then European, the latter again mostly
being an instrument for fostering the national. Croatia is, therefore, building its
identity through the combination of diverse characteristics of three mentalities
such as Central European, Mediterranean and Pannonian and diversity is one of
the key factors that describe Croatia in the tourist offer.
With this, Croatia is trying to project its identity towards the outside of the
board as a country combining three regional identities in one small landscape but
all of the three identities being unquestionably European. In this, Croatia is still
treating Balkan as other and denies any connection with it. With the way Croa-
tia treats Balkan it appears that Croatia does not consider Balkan and its men-
tality as European. Therefore, it is apparent that, for Croatian state authorities,
Balkan does not come as a synonim for Europe. If Balkan is not Europe, then it is
obvious that Europe in Croatia is seen through a specific mentality, identity, cul-
ture and history and not through geography or any other characteristic. Balkan,
in Croatias view, does not fit in here.
Looking in sum, Croatia is constantly enforcing one same policy just that its
shape and intensity are different depending on the situation and the issue that is
being in stake. In that, Europe and the European always served, as a reference
point, and the notion of European have never left Croatian public discourse. La
longue dure projection of the Croatian statehood and Europeanism is still a main
discourse in Croatian public policy including its cultural diplomacy enforced via
its cultural tourism.

References

Sources

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Croatia: Homeland of Marco Polo, 2010, Croatian Tourist Board
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Croatia-image catalogue, 2010, Croatian Tourist Board
Croatia: Mediterranean as it once was, 2010, Croatian Tourist Board
Croatian wines, 2010, Croatian Tourist Board
Slavonia: Glow on the horizon, 2010, Croatian Tourist Board
The Wondrous heritage of Croatia, 2010, Croatian Tourist Board
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Authors

ALEXANDROS SAKELLARIOU holds a PhD in Sociology of Religion from


the Department of Sociology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sci-
ences of Athens (Thesis: Dictatorships and Orthodox Church in Greece during
the 20th century: political, economical and ideological relations under regimes of
emergency). He has also studied at the School of Philosophy of the University of
Athens (19962000), and in 2003 he obtained an M.A. from the Department of
Sociology, Panteion University of Athens. He is currently working as a scientific
associate at the Greek Historical Evangelical Archive, a non-profit organization
focused on the collection and the preservation of archival material regarding
Protestantism in Greece. He is also participating in a four-year (20112015) Euro-
pean Commission Research Project (FP7) entitled MYPLACE (Memory, Youth,
Political Legacy And Civic Engagement) as a member of the Panteion University
team. His academic interests include Sociology of religion (politics and religion,
Church-State relations, religious communities in Greek society, religious free-
dom, religion and globalization), sociology of youth, political sociology and soci-
ology of gender. He has presented, and published papers on these issues in Greece
and abroad and he has extensively published in Greece and abroad.

ATSUKO ICHIJO is a Senior Researcher, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences,


Kingston University, UK. She holds the first PhD in Ethnicity and Nationalism
awarded by the University of London and her main research interests are nation-
alism and modernity. She co-ordinated an FP7 project Identities and Moderni-
ties in Europe and is a member of the editorial team of Nations and National-
ism. Her publications include Scottish Nationalism and the Idea of Europe (2004,
Routledge); The Balancing Act (2008, Imprint Academic); When is the Nation?:
Towards an Understanding of Theories of Nationalism (co-edited with Gordana
Uzelac, 2005, Routledge), Entangled Identities (co-edited with Willfried Spohn,
2005, Ashgate). She has also edited Europe, Nations and Modernity (2011, Pal-
grave Macmillan). Her recent journal articles include Sovereignty and national-
ism in the twenty-first century: the Scottish case, (2009), Ethnopolitics, Vol.8 No.
2, pp. 155172.

AYHAN KAYA is a Lecturer at the Department of International Relations,


Istanbul Bilgi University; Director of the European Institute; specialised on Euro-

239
pean identities, Euro-Turks in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands,
Circassian diaspora in Turkey, and the construction and articulation of modern
diasporic identities. He received his PhD and an MA degree at the University
of Warwick, UK. His forthcoming book is Europeanization and Tolerance in
Turkey (London: Palgrave, 2013); his latest book is on the comparison of con-
temporary integration, citizenship and integration regimes of Germany, France,
Belgium and the Netherlands (Islam, Migration and Integration: The Age of
Securitization, London: Palgrave, 2009 April). His other recent books are as fol-
lows: Contemporary Migrations in Turkey: Integration or Return (Istanbul Bilgi
University Press, in Turkish, co-written with others), Belgian-Turks, Brussels:
King Baudouin Foundation, 2008 (co-written with Ferhat Kentel), Euro-Turks:
A Bridge or a Breach between Turkey and the EU (Brussels: CEPS Publications,
2005, co-written with Ferhat Kentel, Turkish version by Bilgi University). He also
wrote another book entitled Sicher in Kreuzberg: Constructing Diasporas, pub-
lished in two languages, English (Bielefeld: Transkript verlag, 2001) and Turkish
(Istanbul: Bke Yaynlar, 2000). He has published various articles, and he has
co-edited a book entitled Majority and Minority Politics in Turkey: Citizenship
Debates on the way to the European Integration (Istanbul: TESEV, 2005) while
his latest edited work (with Bahar ahin) is Roots and Routes: Migratory Pro-
cesses in Turkey (Kkler ve Yollar: Trkiyede G Sreleri) (Istanbul Bilgi
University Press, 2007). He participated in two FP7 projects: Modernities and
Identities in Europe and Pluralism and Tolerance in the EU, as well as a project
called Social Impact of Emigration and Rural-Urban Migration in Central and
Eastern Europe.

AYSE TECMEN graduated from Emory University (USA) with a BA degree in


Political Science. She received her MA degree in European Studies with highest
honours from Istanbul Bilgi University. She currently works at Istanbul Bilgi
University as an FP7 Programme project assistant under the supervision of Prof.
Dr. Ayhan Kaya where she is co-writing research reports for the Turkish case.
She actively takes part in the organization of Summer Academies on EU-Turkey
relations and the organization of Seminar series on sustainable development in
the Black Sea region. Her field of interest includes culture, identity formation,
cultural tourism and transport policy with reference to air transport liberalization.
Some of her publications include Turkish Modernity: A Continuous Journey of
Europeanization (in: Europe, nations, modernity, edited by A. Ichijo, Palgrave
Macmillan, 2011).

CASSANDRA SCIORTINO earned her BA degree in art history at the Univer-


sity of California, Berkeley. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Califor-

240
nia, Santa Barbara in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture. She
is completing her doctoral dissertation, based in Berkeley, on the development of
taste for fifteenth-century Florentine art in nineteenth-century Britain. She was
a Samuel H. Kress Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut-Max
Planck-Institut in Florence. She has lectured in art history at the University of
California, Santa Barbara, Pratt Art Institutes program in Italy, and taught art
as cultural diplomacy to undergraduate and graduate students at the MCI Man-
agement Center in Innsbruck, Austria. She has published on nineteenth-century
French symbolist art, and is currently preparing an edited volume on art as cul-
ture diplomacy. She has organized panels on Art as Culture Diplomacy for
the Euroacademia conference, The European Union and the Politicization of
Europe in Vienna, and spoken on the topic at the University of Istanbul, and for
the annual academic conference on cultural diplomacy at the Institute of Cultural
Diplomacy in Berlin.

DANIELA CHALNIOV is a PhD candidate at the Metropolitan University


Prague and the Institute of International Relations in Prague. She is a lecturer in
European Studies at the Metropolitan University Prague and Anglo-American
University Prague. Her areas of interest include European Studies, European
identity, European Foreign Policy, discourse analysis and political cartoons. She
has published with journals Mezinrodn vztahy and Central European Journal
of International and Security Studies, and she has presented her papers at inter-
national conferences.

DIEGO ALBANO completed a BA in modern history at the University of Verona,


Italy and in 2011 he completed a PhD in History at Trinity College Dublin with a
PhD thesis in modern history. He has worked as a journalist in Italy from 2003 to
2006 covering politics and crime news for regional newspapers. He has published
on Irish and Italian history in academic journals and international conference
proceedings. He also presented his work in academic conferences in the UK,
USA, Ireland and, Greece.

GABRIEL SAPUNARU is a sociological researcher and a PhD candidate at the


University of Bucharest, Romania. His field of interests includes international
relations, geopolitics and political economy. Currently he is involved in a three-
year international research project financed by the Volkswagen Foundation called
Multiple Modernities and Collective Identities Religion, Nation and Ethnicity
in an Enlarging Europe.

241
LAURENS RUNDERKAMP is a Senior Policy Advisor in SICA Dutch Centre
for International Cultural Activities based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He is
specialized in cultural policy and he worked and coordinated numerous projects
on cultural diplomacy of Germany and the Netherlands. Runderkamp was born
in Amsterdam, and he read History and German linguistics in Amsterdam and
Berlin. He worked on numerous film projects, and he was Head of the Cultural
Department at the Goethe Institut Rotterdam.

MARGARITA KEFALAKI holds a PhD in Cultural communication (Univer-


sity Pascal Paoli, Corsica, France) and MSc in Communication and Journalism
(University Pascal Paoli, Corsica, France) and a Diploma in Art and Culture
(University Paul Valerie, Montpellier, France). She is a member of the collabo-
rating personnel of Greeces Open University, supervising Master theses of the
cultural administration department and also an instructor at the Technological
Institute of Athens teaching the course Communication, publicity and public
relations of tourism enterprises and institutions. Margarita is also a researcher
and P. R. responsible of Athens Institute of Education and Research (ATINER).

MARTINA TOPI is a Research fellow at the Faculty of Political science, Uni-


versity of Zagreb, Croatia. She completed two Master degrees (in Political sci-
ence and Journalism) at the Faculty of Political science, University of Zagreb
(2003) and a postgraduate course in Media and Globalization, City University
London, UK (2007). Currently she is in the last stage of a PhD in Sociology with
thesis on Nationalism. She worked on a research project on media development
indicators funded by UNESCO (20082009), and she has also worked as a main
researcher in the Croatian team on the FP7 project Identities and modernities
in Europe (20092012) where she co-authored research reports on identity and
modernity in Croatia. So far she has extensively published in the fields of nation-
alism, identity studies and media studies in Croatia and abroad. She is regularly
presenting her work at international conferences in Europe, and she is also cur-
rently co-editing a volume on religious identities in Europe (with S. Sremac, Uni-
versity of Amsterdam).

MIKLOS SZEKELY, PhD is an art historian in Budapest, Hungary. From


2003 to 2008 he wrote his dissertation on the cultural representation of Hun-
gary at universal exhibitions between 1896 and 1918. He is working in Ludwig
Museum Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest as a member of the Col-
lections Department and also as a University lecturer specialized in turn-of-the-
century Hungarian art at Pzmny Pter Catholic University.

242
OVIDIANA BULUMAC is a PhD candidate at the University of Bucharest
where she has teaching activities in domains of Sociology, Geo-economics,
International Relations, Universal History of Sociology and Social History. She
is also affiliated with the Geopolitics and Visual Anthropology Centre, and she
is currently involved in an international research project Multiple Modernities
and Collective Identities Religion, Nation and Ethnicity in an Enlarging Europe
financed by the Volkswagen Foundation.

SINIA RODIN is a Jean Monnet professor at the Faculty of Law, University


of Zagreb. He received his BSc degree in Law from the University of Zagreb
in 1986; MA in Law from the University of Zagreb in 1991; LLM in Law from
Michigan State University, USA in 1992 and PhD in Law from the University of
Zagreb in 1995.Since 2006,he is a chair of the Jean Monnet cathedra at the Fac-
ulty of Law, University of Zagreb. He has published extensively in Constitutional
Law, European public law and Bologna changes of Higher Education in Croatia
as well internationally. He has participated in various international project includ-
ing Jean Monnet projects and FP7 Identities and modernities project coordinated
by Kingston University, UK where he was the team leader of the Croatian team.

243
Peter Lang Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften
Cameron McCarthy / Aisha S. Durham / Laura C. Engel /
Alice A. Filmer / Michael D. Giardina / Miguel A. Malagreca (eds.)

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