Cultural Diplomacy and Cultural Imperialism European Perspectiv

August 26, 2017 | Author: xujdai | Category: Soft Power, Public Diplomacy, Propaganda, Diplomacy, European Union
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Martina Topi´c is a research fellow at the University of Zagreb (Croatia), currently completing a PhD in Sociology of Nationalism. She worked on several research projects including FP7 IME (2009-2012) and UNESCO’ Media indicators research (2008-2009). Siniša 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.

ISBN 978-3-631-62162-2

Cultural Diplomacy and Cultural Imperialism

Martina Topic´  / Siniša Rodin (eds.)

Cultural Diplomacy and Cultural Imperialism European perspective(s)

Martina Topic´ (eds.) Siniša Rodin

This book aims to contribute to the debate on European cultural policy and cultural diplomacy as well as to fill in the gap that exists in this underresearched 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 introduction study outlines main features of the EU cultural diplomacy.


Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften

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Martina Topic´  / Siniša Rodin (eds.)

Cultural Diplomacy and Cultural Imperialism European perspective(s)

Peter Lang

Frankfurt am Main · Berlin · Bern · Bruxelles · New York · Oxford · Wien

Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at

Cover Design: © Olaf Gloeckler, Atelier Platen, Friedberg

ISBN 978-3-631-62162-2 (Print) ISBN 978-3-653-02520-0 (E-Book) DOI 10.3726/978-3-653-02520-0 © Peter Lang GmbH Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften Frankfurt am Main 2012 All rights reserved. All parts of this publication are protected by copyright. Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution. This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming, and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems.


Acknowledgements ..........................................................................................


Cultural diplomacy and Cultural hegemony: A Framework for the analysis .......................................................................... 9 Martina Topić 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 Miklós Székely 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 Ayşe 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 Chàlàniova Italian Cultural diplomacy: A Playboy’s Diplomacy? ..................................... 189 Diego Albano Section IV: Inside-Outside oriented cultural diplomacy ................................ 201 Greek Orthodox Church’s public discourse: Balancing between cultural hegemony and cultural diplomacy .................................................................. 203 Alexandros Sakellariou Culture and identity as tools for forging Europeanization ............................. 219 Martina Topić Authors ............................................................................................................. 239



This book is deriving from our work at the international, collaborative project Identities and modernities in Europe: European and national identity construction 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. Topić 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 Association’s mailing list, for their enthralling 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 Topić and Siniša Rodin Zagreb, August 2012


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


Cultural diplomacy and Cultural imperialism: A Framework for the analysis Martina Topić 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 cultural 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, sometimes, 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 connotations. 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; Schneider 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 associated 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 diplomacy 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 considers some of the problems of definition, some of the ways it is used, and scholarly work to differentiate between public diplomacy, cultural diplomacy and cultural 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 government-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 professors 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 government’s process of communicating with foreign publics in an attempt to bring about understanding for its nation’s 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 cultivating 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 communication is long-term in scope, aiming at the presentation of one’s own society (Signitzer 2008; Deibel and Roberts 1976; James 1955). Political information is disseminated with fast media—mainstream news media (newspapers, radio, television internet etc.) —in what James (1955) calls a “tough minded” school. Cultural communication he frames as “tender minded” slow media—academic 10

and artistic exchange, exhibitions, films, language instruction, etc.) (Frankel,1965). For Leonard (1997) and Sablosky (2003) it is the long-term relationship building 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 conceived as moving beyond the cultivation of mutual understanding, “to include sensibilisation of one’s own society as to how it is seen by the other society” (Signitzer, 2008). This concept of co-orientation is well established in the communication 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 française, the Società 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). According 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 governments to external cultural institutions and agencies. According to Signitzer (2008), who follows Mitchell (1986), “the goal of cultural diplomacy is to produce positive attitudes towards one’s own country with the hope that this may be beneficial to over-all diplomatic goal achievement. Scholars such as Fox, Lending, Cummings and Mitchell define a range of structural mechanisms through 11

which cultural diplomacy is administered—for 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 selective 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 development…that of building a country’s competence and capacity for its own artistic expression through international exposure and collaborations abroad with other artistic or cultural professionals. The Alliance Française, 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.

L’Etang (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 “positive 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 diplomacy as a means to act apart from politics; in this sense, collapsing into Mitchell’s category of cultural relations (Feigenbaum, 2008) and separated from governmental 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. Artists, 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 Mitchell’s (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 diplomacy 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 strategies of nations’ employment of cultural diplomacy. The question of state control and image projection raises the issue that has significantly contributed to cultural diplomacy’s historical marginalization: that it is, as Higham (2001) suggests, at the most basic level “self interested propaganda”. 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 people’s 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 ranging 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. Propaganda and crude forms of public diplomacy engage in the “rather primitive business of peddling one’s own views and narrowing other people’s minds. If experience 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 dialogical—and 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 political information, as a component of the public diplomacy (Signitzer, 2008) already 13

discussed earlier—where speed is the metric—news 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 relationshipbuilding characteristic of foreign cultural relations. At the same time, Lending’s (2000) proposal that propaganda is fundamentally “the dissemination of more or less doubtful truths for the purpose of influence and manipulation” does underline the challenge of untangling the practices of cultural diplomacy from propaganda. As Mark (2009) has stated, “one government’s cultural diplomacy ‘truth’ undertaken to influence could conceivably be another government’s ‘lies’ for the purposes of manipulation.” However, it should be clear enough that the terms of cultural diplomacy and propaganda are not synonymous. Melissen’s 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 audiences, 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 shifting 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 country—nation branding, tourism promotion, image production and management etc.—fall into the category of international relations. One of Szondi’s apparent objectives is to establish nation branding in a field where it has received little attention, compared to public diplomacy. To establish a stronger 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 practical implications of Szondi’s stress on separation in the interest of encouraging cooperation and mutual implementation between the two fields. Such mutual collaboration is especially relevant to the EU’s cultural diplomacy where the inter14

est is constructing a European identity in terms of a state or nation’s 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 powerful 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 borders 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 consider 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 communication.

Cull states that while the mobilization of digital technologies in the interest of cultural diplomacy may be daunting it could have major results. Among its potentialities 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 hearing 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 attaché 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 power—military or economic threats for example. Soft power is also more than a matter of persuasion 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 language—the power of attraction. For Verčič (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 publics of other countries, rather than at the high-level echelons of government. A range of strategies may be used to mobilize the power of attraction—broadcasting, cultural exports, exchanges and so on—but 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 another—for 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 communities (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 accessible 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 Afghanistan, 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 society—“from 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 sometimes bribed into shaping social institutions to correspond to, or even promote, the values and structures of the dominating centre of the system.” The EU’s well-known effort to counter this is evident in its search for a unifying European identity by pursuing “unity in diversity”. Searching for intercultural 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 years—among these the United Nations Educational, Scientific, 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 information 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 hegemonic 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 Valéry (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 EU’s 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 EU’s 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 complete 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.

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 contrast 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 civilisational claim then developed into the project that eventually constructed ‘Europeanness.’ 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” (Calhoun, 2003, p. 6). To this, we may add that much of the European colonization was concerned with asserting its civilisational superiority (see e.g. Fisher−Tiné, 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 Christianity. 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 European 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).


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 preoccupied 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 unification that was seen as having a dynamic nature and as open to every country that shares the same ideals and objectives. However, the Declaration specifically outlined that unification achieved until 1973 serves as a basis for further 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 reference 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 European 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 Europe’s place in the world after two large financial crises (Strath 2002; Boldt et



Article 3 of the Treaty of Rome formulated activities of the Community but there is no reference in creating a common European culture. Other articles also do not mention common culture. See Treaty of Rome, retrieved 8 July from European Commission’s Website:

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 European (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 American hyphenated identity of being, for example, Irish-American or Italian-American 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


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).


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 EU’s 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 pursued by many state-makers and nation-builders, the embrace of diversity in a good part of contemporary political discourses must be considered a very significant 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, collective identities in present Europe are those of the majority and ‘their’ state, indigenous minority population and that of immigration. Nonetheless, he correctly 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 certain 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 6


The term Nine refers to nine Member States of the EU. At the time this Declaration was introduced the EU had nine Member States. 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).

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 (Kundera, 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 (Topić et al, 2009). Nonetheless, 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 civilisation, 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 different 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 processes 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 cultural 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 European peoples; – conservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage of European significance; - non-commercial 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 European 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 Commission’s Website: 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 Commission’s Website: This was at first Article 128 but it became Article 151 after changes made in the Treaty of Amsterdam.

“entailed the protection of cultural expression against the pressures of Americanization 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 distinctive 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 present 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 October 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 11

EU Culture Programme. Retrieved 7 July 2012 from European Music Council Website: http:// 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


This document opens with a quotation from Denis de Rougemont who particularly 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 reality. 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 Calhoun’s (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 Calhoun’s (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 EC’s 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. “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 necessary not to divide, but to enrich culture even more. Europe is a culture or it is not.” (Communication, 2007, p. 2).

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 challenging the EU’s external relations by stating “Culture is recognized as an important part of the EU’s main cooperation programmes and instruments, and in the Union’s 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” (Communication, 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 majority of Europe’s 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” (Communication, 2007, p. 7).

The Document also states that enforcing of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection 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 international 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 difference is that this time it seems as if the EU’s 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 cultures 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 Europe’s identity and its ability to ensure intercultural, cohesive societies”. With this statement, the Document recognizes the problem of the European identity 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 UNESCO’s Convention, the EU has greatly contributed to this understanding, as stated in the Document. But, Europe’s role is then presented as a key factor on an international agenda: “Europe’s 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 expression, respect for diversity and intercultural dialogue, values which, provided they are upheld and promoted, can be of inspiration for the world of tomorrow. Europe’s 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 reducing 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 instrumentalized 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 EU’s 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 cultural policy by introducing the previously mentioned document entitled, “European 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 promoted 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, EU’s 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 EU’s 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 Europe’s language links with many countries. In this context, it is also important 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 EU’s desire to “reinvent itself as a privileged global site of arbitration and dialogue between civilizations” is the EU’s goal and this is in line with the Communication document that outlines the need for the EU’s global involvement. In line with this is the previously mentioned Fo’s 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 powerfully revived by forces of globalization” (Vidmar Horvat, 2012, p. 40). Another criticism that can be directed towards the EU’s 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 tensions are exposed in ‘selling’ diversity as a role model for countries of the socalled 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 project 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 opportunities 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 diversity. 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, strengthen13 14


For example, Johns (2003) wrote a critical article inspecting the EU’s 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. 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 European Agency for Fundamental Rights:

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 (Citymayors, 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 explanation from the European Commission’s website, the European Capital of Culture’s 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 other’s culture and promote mutual understanding • foster a feeling of European citizenship” (European Capital of Culture, European Commission, 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 Europe’s 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 Europe’s nations unthinkable. His vision was the creation of a supranational European institution 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. Schuman’s 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 EU’s institutions closer to the public, and the bloc’s peoples closer to one another”15.


Retrieved 8th July 2012 from European Commission’s Website: basic-information/symbols/europe-day/index_en.htm


Each year, to celebrate the Europe day a poster is issued, with an annually different 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 – It’s 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 EU’s new motto ‘United in diversity’ and posters started to promote the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue with a motto ‘It’s not them and us – It’s 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. Organization 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 (Räisä, 16 17 18


Retrieved 8th July 2012 from European Commission’s Website: basic-information/symbols/europe-day/index_en.htm Enlargement processes bear cultural connotation too because enlargement has been debated through the prism of ‘cultural transformations’ (Delanty, 2003, p. 10). Retrieved 8th July 2012 from European Commission’s Website: basic-information/symbols/europe-day/index_en.htm

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 UK’s 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 membership 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 EU’s most Euro-sceptic candidate ever (Eurobarometer 75, Topić et al 2009, Topić and Vasiljević 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” (Topić et al, 2011, p. 1)19. Although some authors, as already noted, claim Europe does not exist (Delanty, 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 European 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 identity (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 exter19

The European Commission is traditionally organizing a bus that is travelling throughout the country promoting the idea of European unification process (Topić 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 accession as a no-alternative option (Topić, 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).


nally oriented cultural diplomacy. However, the EU’s cultural diplomacy is compact 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 diplomacy. We assume that cultural diplomacy entails many aspects such as art, the media, externally oriented cultural policies and tourism and that cultural diplomacy 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 stereotyping 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 process, 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 European cases. We are also exploring whether cultural diplomacy often entails imperial 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 cultural relations while the EU policy makers clearly understand cultural diplomacy in both of its shapes, i.e. as international cultural policy enforced towards out34

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 historical events, the second chapter is discussing consequences of historical colonialism as found today. However, both chapters discuss the notion of cultural imperialism and hegemony where one culture imposed itself over another. M. Székely discusses Hungarian cultural diplomacy enforced via art exposures and presentations of Hungarian art in international exposures and pavilions in 19th century. Through in-depth discussion of Hungarian policy toward art exposures, the chapter outlines that the basis of the consciously build Hungarian 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 statehood. 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 cultural 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 countries that emphasize their European heritage and civilisation. The first chapter is written by A. Ichijo who examines British cultural diplomacy 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 activities 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 education 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 EU’s policy of keeping cultural 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 Turkish 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 Alliance 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 Turkey’s European integration, when activities are inspected it appears that Turkey is fos36

tering its hegemony rather than advocating Turkey’s 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 successful 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 promote 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 “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”. 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 Communist 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 Romanians, particularly in destinations where they often immigrate, occurred. Romanian 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 chapters discussing consequences of an inadequate cultural diplomacy. The first chapter is written by D. Chálaniova 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 Berlusconi’s rule and the influence his leadership, as well as a lack of cultural diplomacy, had on Italy and stereotyping of Italians. Berlusconi’s behaviour fostered stereotyping on Italians as sometimes passionate and irrational people. However, Berlusconi’s 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. Berlusconi’s 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 (European 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 EU’s 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 Archbishop, who was an international figure that could be considered as a part of the country’s cultural diplomacy since he often discussed civilisation and culture in his speeches, writes the first chapter. The Archbishop’s speeches were, nonetheless, 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 identity. Cultural diplomacy within Greek Orthodox Church apparently understands the role and significance of culture through cultural relations that will, if being successful, advance country’s reputation. On the other hand, culture is in internally oriented policies understood as a means to strengthen the feeling of national expressed in religious. Finally, M. Topić writes about Croatia’s tourist offer that belongs to cultural 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 Croatia’s historical discourse of Europeanism. In this, Croatia enforces (historical) unquestionable belonging to Europe and the European civilisation circle that is emphasized in the tourist offer. With this, Croatia 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 promoting itself but also Europe by aligning itself with the current European cultural 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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Section I: The Art

Rebuilding History: The Political Meaning of the Hungarian Historical Pavilion at the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition Miklós Székely

This study offers a case study analyzing an emblematic moment of the self-governed Hungarian cultural policy: the conception and the building itself of the Hungarian pavilion of the 1900 Parisian universal exhibition, as the most significant 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 exhibitions from the aspect of the changes in cultural diplomacy. Afterwards, it gives a short summary of the Hungarian cultural-political priorities that defined the country’s 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 Hungarian 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 world’s phenomena were describable and interpretable. Categorization and description meant the clue to understanding. In the case of universal exhibitions, 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, consumption, economy and culture through introducing the new industrial, scientific 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 architecture 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 creating 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 countries. The universal exhibition offered modern national states an exclusive opportunity 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 prominence 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 offensive was to restore the country’s 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 Revolution proves. Thus, one of the main purposes of the universal exhibition was trade development; that is, bringing more and more products to the circulation of commodities. The organizer country could utilize this opportunity the most: saving a significant 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 elements, 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, what’s more, officially propagated use of the features of modern national art and architecture. This was presented as an important 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 country’s recognition and its products’ success on the market. That is the explanation of the fact that organizers coming from the leading economiccommercial circles of some participating countries, Hungary included, wished to affect the modernization of their country’s 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 country: France, considering itself the pioneer of modernism, used the novelty of the Art Nouveau in its exhibited objects; while Italy, dealing with questions of identity 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 conquest’s time and pre-modern tendencies. This bore many traits similar to those of the young states of the Balkans, especially Serbia and Romania in the medieval-rooted Orthodox structured pavilions of which the features of modernism also appeared.

Hungary at Universal Exhibitions between 1851–1911 – A General Overview The aims and methods of the policy wishing to alter Hungary’s self-representation 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 political 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 economy’s and culture’s 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 rationality of political compromise were separated. Therefore, the virtual restoration of medieval Hungary, in all manifestations out of Hungary in terms of cultural politics, economics and culture, was a constitutionally justified historicizing experiment. The first period important from the aspect of the history of universal exhibitions, between 1851 and 1862, stretches from the international isolation of Hungary after the lost of the independence war in 1848–1849 to the 1862 universal 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 universal 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 country’s economic and cultural conditions as a sign of political relaxation. Hungary was still primarily represented by its raw materi54

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 exhibition. At the universal exhibition of 1867, the threefold arrangement, that is, a representation built on the trinity of architecture–applied art–fine art, typical of the universal exhibitions of the turn of the century already appeared. Parallel 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 universal exhibition’s 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 universal exhibitions should happen only after progress in the modernization of the country became general. According to the Hungarian government’s assessment, during the Millennium celebrations, the country’s economical and cultural standard 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 period’s universal exhibitions 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 organizations, 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 primarily 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 industry’s 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 Hungary’s catching up; their most important proceed 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 1896–1918 (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 historical past, what characterized the exhibition’s 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 country’s 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 Hungary’s 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 international 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 economic 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 Strausz’s, member of the Hungarian organizing committee, 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 Ministère des Affaires Etrangères. Letter No. 489. 16th September 1895.


make an impression abroad by the quality and quantity of our production and material talent. What’s more, the way of our participation at the Vienna exhibition contributed to Hungary’s 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 existence.” (Strausz, 1900, p. 29).

Following the millennium celebrations, the demand to make Hungary’s independent economy and culture known and recognized abroad grew stronger. Vienna stood up against the demonstration of independent Hungarian statehood, economy and culture before the foreign cultural elite or a wider audience with all devices provided. Such intentions had been successful once before: the 1896 millennium celebrations were realized not as a universal exhibition, but in a national sphere of authority, as a state exhibition (Vadas, 1996, p. 28–29). 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 Hungarian Secretary of State’s, Dezső Perczel’s positive standpoint already from the Budapest French consul’s telegram dated to 1st June 1896.3 The common Parisian Embassy sent the official notice about the acceptance of the invitation of Monarchy’s countries to Gabriel Hantaux, French Secretary of Foreign Affairs on 7th July 1896. The Budapest French consul’s 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 representatives 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 exhibition’s main French organizing com2 3 4


The French Secretary of Foreign Affairs’ informing letter to the French Ministry of Trade. Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Organisation. Hongrie. 3rd February 1897. 7957. Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. Commissariat Général. No. 4777. 1st June 1896. Archives des Ministères des Affaires Étrangères. 489/29. The importance of the report is indicated 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.

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 organizers. 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, Hungary’s self-representation based on the emphasis of national features became stronger, more thought over and conscious as far as highlighting aspects of national factors were concerned. By the time of the 1896 millennium exhibition, the idea of independence grew unmistakably, 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 independent 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 Austria’s buildings. The political viewpoint regarding the Hungarian historical pavilion has a history well retraceable from the documents. This building, moreover, mirrors the various opinions about the Hungarian nation’s political interests either hypothetical 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.


of Béla Lukácsi, Hungarian chief commissar dated to 3rd February 1897, sent to the chair of the French organizing committee. In this, Béla Lukácsi submitted the Hungarian government’s demand for an area of 35 000 square meters total, for the exhibitors. Here he also mentions a separate Hungarian pavilion of 600–800 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 16–18th 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 Hungarian art history of the 16–18th 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 country’s 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 Iparművészet (Hungarian Applied Art), in a commentary to the first known plan made in collaboration by Zoltán Bálint and Lajos Jámbor, architects of the Hungarian 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 Hungary’s 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.” (Párisi, 1900, p. 56).

The report of József Mihalik about the Hungarian pavilion emphasized the gist of the pavilion: “The Hungarian historical pavilion, which was designed by Bálint and Jámbor 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. 325–333). 6


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

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. 241–264). 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 Antwerp Universal Exhibition of 1885 and Austria’s 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. Lukácsi’s letter reported the situation as follows: “The Hungarian government considers the possibility to call attention to Hungary’s historical or other national art in the frame a special exhibition complementary to the Hungarian displays 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 country’s 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 organizers committee, the decision on the pavilion’s location at the bank of the Seine, between Great Britain and Bosnia and Herzegovina was already made, about which Lukácsi 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 various points in the exhibition pavilions, through characteristic and unique stylistic features. The Hungarian Applied Art Society recommended that such an architect should be given the commission, who “Has a mature, assertive personality (…) and can enforce his character in his works individually, 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 8

Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. 28th October 1897. 10727. A párisi kiállítás magyar csoportja egy részének installácionális tervei (1900). In. Magyarország, 1900, p. 55.


According to the suggestion, they made architects in charge not only of the installation’s 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 characteristic visual highlighting aimed to physically separate the exhibitors’ groups. Regarding the forms, they used elements referring to the nature of the exhibiting group, reflecting the idea of the architecture parlante: the telegraph poles and wires of the telecommunication group, or the wheels and tat of the transport group were clear visual signs guiding the visitors. These were mixed with solutions of ornamental Secession. This early work of the Bálint-Jámbor couple, seeking solutions of national Hungarian architecture, followed the way of putting folk ornamental motifs onto historical structure. This is what Ödön 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 unconventional 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 architectural monuments of the country, gave news of the nation’s 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 5–6000 visitors per day. It was awarded the universal exhibition’s grand prix “for the architectural solution and the unified conception of the historical exhibition.” (Miklós, 1903, p. 167–172) In spite of the official recognition and popularity, the international critical echo of the building was poor. The indifference of the contemporary critics is especially striking when compared to the international reception of Finnish pavilion of Eliel Saarinen, which embodied the architectural innovation between modern-



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

ism, historicism and vernacularism of the turn-of-the-century (Csáki, 2006, p. 200–230.). The universal exhibition of 1900 was also a watershed between historicizing 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 techniques considered Hungarian, which defined the design of the pavilions reflecting 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 nation’s 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 historical exhibition, from the retrospective material it secured place only for works from the 19th century.” (Párisi, 1900, p. 9).

The Hungarian historical pavilion in Paris and its material can be interpreted within the context of the universal exhibition’s 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 1889–1900, showed the year of the millennium itself (1896) and interpreted it as the end of a historical process in which Hungary reassessed its leading 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 political 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 Hungarian buildings of the universal exhibition. In Ödön Miklós’s summary describing 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 (Miklós, 1903, p. 155– 156). The folklore inspired Hungarian installation, which can be seen in parallel with the universal exhibition’s vernacular buildings and installations, differed considerably from Austria’s 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 character, in time, influenced even the Viennese court’s political representation: instead of the unified empire image, elements of Austrian folk art appeared in the representation of the imperial court (Houze, 2004–2005, p. 90–92). Getting over the decade-old topos of the Puszta wayside inn, the French-Belgian Art Nouveau featured building of the Hungarian Bakery (by József Fischer) mediated the self-picture of a modern, Hungarian urban culture. The Hungarian sections of the universal exhibitions between 1900–1911, as true mirrors of economy and cultural policy, showed everything the organizers considered displayable for the foreign audience in connection with the country’s actual economic and cultural state each time referring to the notions of “independent” 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 demonstrated the European embeddings of the country’s 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 progressiveness 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: Sinkó, 1993, pp. 132–146.

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) education 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 domestic 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 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.

References Sources Archives des Ministères des Affaires Étrangères. 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 Général. No. 4777. 1st June 1896. Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Organisation. Hongrie. 31st December 1896. 7469. Archives Diplomatiques du Ministère des Affaires Etrangères. Letter No. 489. 16th September 1895. Archives Nationales. F12 4245. Hongrie. Organisation. Archive with no reference. A párisi kiállítás magyar csoportja egy részének installácionális tervei (1900). In. Magyarország, 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.


Literature Csáki, T. (2006). A finn építészet és az “architektúra magyar lelke.” Kultúrpolitika, építészet, publicisztika a századelő Magyarországán, Múltunk, No. 1, p. 200–230. Farbaky, P. (2001) A budai királyi palota a historizmus korában. Tanulmányok Budapest Múltjából, XXIX. Budapest, p. 241–264. Hongrie à l’exposition universelle de 1900 à Paris (1900), Exposition des Beaux Arts. Catalogue illustré. Budapest: Hornyánszky. Houze, R. (2004–2005). National Internationalism. Reactions to Austrian and Hungarian Decorative Arts at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. Studies in Decorative Arts, Fall–Winter, p. 90–92. Magyarország (1900). Magyarország a párizsi világkiállításon. Budapest: Hornyánszky. Mihalik, J. (1900). A magyar történelmi pavilon, Magyar Iparművészet, No. 3/6. Miklós, Ö. (1903). Magyarország és társországai az 1900–ik évi Párisi Nemzetközi Kiállításon. Budapest: Athenaeum. Párisi (1900). A párisi kiállítás magyar csoportja egy részének installácionális tervei (1900). Magyarország a párizsi világkiállításon. Budapest: Hornyánszky. Sinkó, K. (1993). “A História a mi erős várunk.” A millenniumi kiállítás mint Gesamkunstwerk. In – Zádor, A. (ed.), A historizmus művészete Magyarországon (pp.132–146). Budapest: Akadémiai. Strausz, A. (1900). A párisi kiállítás magyar osztálya Páris és az 1900–iki világkiállítás. Budapest: Lampel. Vadas, F. (1996). Programtervezetek a Millennium megünneplésére (1893), Ars Hungarica, No. 24/1. Wesemael, P. (2001). Architecture of Instruction and Delight. A Socio–historical analysis of World Exhibitions as a didactic phenomenon (1798–1851–1970). Rotterdam: 010 Publishers.


Cultural imperialism and Cultural communication: Example of France and Corsica Margarita Kefalaki

Introduction ‘Culture’ has many different significances and meanings. In this study, it represents a set of shared practices that characterizes people from a certain group. The context here is the case of Corsica’s 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 are in 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” or the “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


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 integration of peripheral areas into greater France. This process could also be named “colonialism”, as France established a form of political control over areas it incorporated in the French territory.


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 Italian 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 island’s 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 island’s 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 island’s character. The above, put an obstacle for the inclusion of dance in the island’s cultural values. Dancing implies bodily expression and free movement, whilst polyphonic singing involves a static and stable position. The consequence of this music’s 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 island’s nationalism. Andreanni J.-J., specialist of Corsican traditional music and musi2 3 4


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

cian, use the expression «l’affaire 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 island’s inhabitants’ reacted? To understand Corsica’s cultural situation an ethnographic fieldwork technique was chosen. Primary data collection included observation, active participation 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 Corsica’s cultural patrimony. Interviews took the form of an open dialogue, between researcher and informants, as close to a normal conversation as possible (Bernard 1995; Jacob 2009). In the course of the interview, questions included data about Corsica’s dance condition, particular details of the associations9, following up statements made by 5 6 7 8 9

Andreani Jean-Jacques, Interview with Margarita Kefalaki, Corte 09 août 2004 (PhD Thesis research). In French, “la période noire”‘ ‘Cultural expressions’ include music, dance, and oral expressions in general (fables, fairy tales). ‘Key informants’ in this research are considered people who maintained a central role in the cultural activity of the island. 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.


the informants, as well as previous statements integrated into the continuouslydeveloping 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 interviews, addressed to the dance association’s 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 à 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 BittonAndreotti 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 practiced…11” (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 realization 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 11 12


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 à Ochju’. Pazzoni B. (2004) I Balli in Corsica (non édité), Conférence au musée d’Anthropologie de la Corse dans le cadre d’u saltu di San Ghjuvà (06 Juin), Corte. Castelli Louis is founding member of the most ancient dance association in Corsica, named ‘I Macchjaghjoli’. Interview to the writer, October 2004, Bastia, Corsica.

Dance associations in Corsica Dance associations were mostly situated in Corsica13 (table 1). Their projects concerned research, promotion and transmission of the island’s dance and music patrimony. The associations’ members had learned how to dance in a related environment. 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 considered 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




Inside Corsica

93,75 %


Out of Corsica

6,25 %


Research, Promotion, Transmission

100 %


Use of mouth to mouth communication

100 %


No costumes

81,25 %


No adequate place to rehearse

100 %


Problem with recourses

100 %

Table 1. Interview data from the 17 dance associations

13 14 15

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). 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. Data of dance associations, discussed in this paragraph, figure in table 1. More details can be found in Kefalaki (2010).


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 practice used to be transmitted orally from one generation to the other. Nevertheless, where transmission is no longer in practice in a society, it becomes extraordinarily difficult to even find written or recorded traces which can prove the existence 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 precise, 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 Corsica’s 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 life…18 » (Andreani, 2001).

16 17 18


Interview à M. Kefalaki, Bastia, October 2004. Observation was the research method used to understand associative communicative condition. Translation from French to English by the author.

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 different 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 everyday, natural use of Corsican language. When primary education became compulsory (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 are continually 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 today’s condition of non-transmission, not forgetting that communication’s cultural advantages are always accompanied by economic and general social benefits. 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 (Pettigrew, 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 projection 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 20

The group has a common ‘personality’, with rules and functions. The way that others see the group.


reduced anxiety, though independently from one another, result in improved outgroup attitudes21. 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 membership 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 community (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 ethnocentric 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 existence of communication problems among the different dance groups in Corsica. Most of them followed their own dance rules and figures and had their own tactics 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 propose 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 intercultural 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.

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 methods of this transmission22’. On the other hand, France certainly had an impact on Corsica’s cultural situation. 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. 13–33. Andreani J.J. (2001). Quand la Corse mène le bal (interview of Bitton- Andreotti Alain), Magazine Méditerranée, numéro Spécial, Milan Presse, Toulouse, p. 128. Bernard, R. H. (1995). Research methods in anthropology: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Chevalier D.; Chiva I. (1990). L’introuvable objet. In Chevallier Denis (Eds). Savoir faire et pouvoir transmettre, cahier No. 6, Paris: Maison des sciences de l’homme. Kefalaki Μ. (2010). L’identité culturelle en Méditerranée: musiques et danses de Corse et de Naxos. Berlin: éditions universitaires européennes.

22 23

Translated from French to English by the author. e. g. France would not benefit from Corsica’s dance tradition loss. Popular dances of the island could be considered to add to the uniqueness of French culture.


Pettigrewa T. F.; Christ O.; Wagnerb U.; Stellmacherb, J. (2007). Direct and indirect intergroup contact effects on prejudice: A normative interpretation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 31, pp. 411–425. Stathi S.; Crisp R. J. (2010). Intergroup contact and the projection of positivity. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Vol. 34, pp. 580–591. Thiers J. (1989). Papiers d’identité(s). Genova: Albiana Tsui, A. S.; Egan, T. D.; O’Reilly, C. A. (1992). Being different: Relational demography and organizational attachment. Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 37, pp. 549–579. 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 Developments: An Introduction, In Communicating with Customers: Trends and Developments. Athens: ATINER.


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 contemporary 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 British Council, a body which operates at arm’s 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, attributes 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 interchangeable with cultural diplomacy: ‘public diplomacy, international cultural relations, international cultural policy and a state’s foreign cultural mission’ (Mark 2010, p. 62–63). 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 political 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 concepts in adjacent fields such as propaganda, nation-branding and foreign cultural relations (Mellison, 2005, p. 16–23). As a concept, both cultural and public diplomacy 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. Therefore 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 nation’s image abroad. … Cultural, or Public, Diplomacy is an arm of diplomacy itself, the business 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 nation’s 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 presupposes involvement of non-state actors, which suggests that in the context of cultural 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 intellectual is widely noted while the adoration of public intellectuals is often attributed to continental countries such as France and Germany in the postwar period. The difference in the colonial management style has also widely been acknowledged: 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 identity 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 state’s externally-oriented attempt at constructing 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 Council’s 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 today’s 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 arm’s 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 UK’s International Priorities, another White Paper published in 2006, as ‘firmly incorporated in the current British government’s 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 Council’s overall aims according to the aforementioned Management Statement are ‘to build mutually beneficial relationships between people in the UK and other countries and to increase appreciation of the UK’s 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 ‘British values, ideas and achievements and strengthens relations between the UK and other countries’ and as playing a vital role in ‘maximising the UK’s international 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 Commons Foreign Committee has also been generally favourable in their assessment of the British Council’s work.


An inherent contradiction: the British Council’s ambiguous position In examining policy documents concerning the British Council, the recent emergence 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 Commission’s understanding and assessment of the British Council’s 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 Council’s 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 UK’s public diplomacy. Clearly, there is an inherit tension in situating the work of the British Council in the overall structure of the government’s 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 over83

seas, in order to improve understanding of and influence for the United Kingdom in a manner consistent with governmental medium and long term goals.” Government 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 promotes arts, science, education and understanding, which are intrinsically universal 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 UK’s 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 Parliament 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 Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, which is on the whole favourably disposed to the British Council’s work and show a large degree of understanding of its precarious position in between the state and the private, once censured it publicly in a 2004 report. The issue was the British Council’s 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 mistake as British Airways, in underplaying its ‘Britishness’. The Union Flag is the most well-known and widely recognised symbol of Britain and, as British Airways 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 completely fail to reflect the Council’s mission, “to increase appreciation of the UK’s creative ideas and achievements”. 207. We conclude that the British Council’s 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 Committee 2004, p. 81) The British Council, whose declared values are internationalism, professionalism 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 Council’s remit to represent Britain while it is deemed to be in line with the British Council’s self image as a leading cultural institution. While emphasising the necessity of aligning the British Council’s 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 operating 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 government’s point of view, therefore, the British Council is an asset in influencing the people’s view of Britain though it is an institution which needs some supervision to ensure public funding provided to promote the UK’s 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 2009–2010, 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 UK’s 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 British 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 Council’s concern with accountability echoes the government’s 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 UK’s friendly relationship with other countries. Here enters another inherent problem: how to evaluate culture. Measuring economic effects of culture is difficult enough; measuring culture’s 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 indicators such as customer satisfaction, engagement and reach (British Council, 2011). All of these, unsurprisingly, tend to present the British Council in a favourable 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 British Council pursues in promoting the UK abroad. The British Council, a partly publicly funded organisation that focuses on culture, has to negotiate various constraints 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 government, 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 influ86

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 guarantee 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 country’s fundamental values, it is reasonable 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 countries, 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 contemporary 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 attracting 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. Furthermore, in the British Council’s 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 today’s world is also another device through which the idea of the British representing ‘the good’ is pursued. The British Council’s work in providing English language education across the world is repeatedly commended by the government (for instance, House of Commons 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 today’s 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 UK’s ability to provide high quality English language teaching represents numerous opportunities for the government and the British Council to gain economic profit. It also represents a unique opportunity to influence elites across the world. The British Council’s 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 English 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 government’s 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 wanting 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 broadcast communications. 88

We will be broadening the UK’s 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 customary 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 reference 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 Council’s 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 Council’s efforts to project an accurate and modern image of the UK to the outside 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 ‘different 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 UK’s 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 (Retrieved 20 August 2011)


to suggest that cultural diplomacy in the postcolonial environment is profoundly incluenced by multiculturalism in which the unquestioned assertion of superiority of a particular nation is heavily checked. Cultural diplomacy in the contemporary 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 nation’s image and identity.

Conclusion The foregoing examination has shown that cultural diplomacy in the UK is pursued 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 cultural diplomacy are often in receipt of state funding, the obligation of accountability necessitates a degree of alignment between the government’s objectives and that of the organisation involved as seen in the practice of scrutiny of the British Council’s operation by the UK government. Consequently, national identity 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 nation’s 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 nation’s 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 justice – may well be projected together with concrete images of the Statute of Liberty, 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 nation’s superiority does not cause existential agony amongst policy officials. In the case of the British Council, while reference to English language teaching is abundant, no tangible or visual images are provided in emphasising freedom 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 multiculturalism 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 cultural 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 nation’s 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 flattening as in the case of the British Council? Among the post-communist countries, Poland’s 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 Poland’s 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.

References British Council (2011). Annual Report 2010–2011. London: British Council. British Council (2010). Annual Report 2009–2010: Working for the UK Where It Matters. London: British Council. British Council (2008). Corporate Plan 2008–11. London: British Council. British Council (2006). Annual Report 2005–06: Measuring Success. London: British Council. British Council (2004). Strategy 2010: Our Vision for Future. London: British Council. Crown Copyright (2006). Active Diplomacy for a Changing World: the UK’s International Priorities, (CM6762). London: HMSO. Crown Copyright (2003). UK International Priorities: A Strategy for the FCO (CM6052). London: HMSO. 91

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (2005). Public Diplomacy Review. London: TSO. Foreign and Commonwealth Office/British Council (2007). Foreign and Commonwealth Office/British Council Management Statement. London: FCO and British Council. Fox, R. (1999). Cultural Diplomacy at the Crossroads. London: British Council. Glaser, B. (1992). Basics of Grounded Theory Analysis: Emergence vs Forcing. Mill Valley, Ca.: Sociology Press. Glaser, B.; Strauss, A. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago: Aldine. Hemsley-Brown, J.; Goonawardan, S. (2007). Brand harmonisation in the international higher education market, Journal of Business Research, Vol. 60, p. 942–948. House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Committee (2007). Foreign and Commonwealth Office Annual Report 2006–07: First Report of Session 2007–08 (HC50). London: The Stationery Office Limited. House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Committee (2006). Foreign and Commonwealth Office Annual Report 2005–06: Eighth Report of Session 2005–06 (HC1371). London: The Stationery Office Limited. House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Committee (2004). Foreign and Commonwealth Office Annual Report 2003–2004: Eighth Report of Session 2003–2004 (HC745). London: The Stationery Office Limited. House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Committee (2003). Foreign and Commonwealth Office Annual Report 2003: Twelfth Report of Session 2002–2003 (HC859). London: The Stationery Office Limited. House of Commons, Foreign Affairs Committee (1999). Foreign Affairs: Fifth Report: Session 1998–99. London: The Stationery Office. Ichijo, A. (2010). Identity Construction Programme by the State and the EU: Case Study Phase I: British Case, a research report prepared for the FP7 project, ‘Identities and Modernities in Europe’. Mark, S. (2010). Rethinking cultural diplomacy: The cultural diplomacy of New Zealand, the Canadian Federation and Quebec, Political Science, Vol. 62, No. 1., p. 62–83. Melisson, J. (2005). The new public diplomacy: between theory and practice. In – Jan Melisson (ed.) The New Public Diplomacy: Soft Power in International Relations. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 3–27. Parsons, A. (1985). “Vultures and philistines”: British attitudes to culture and cultural diplomacy, International Affairs, Vol. 61, No. 1, p. 1–8. Pidgeon, N.; Henwood, K. (2004). Grounded theory. In – Hardy, Mellisa and Bryman, Alan (eds.) Handbook of Data Analysis. London: Sage, pp. 625–648. 92

Sun, H. (2008). International political marketing: a case study of United States soft power and public diplomacy, Journal of Public Affairs, Vol. 8, p. 165–183. Wodak, R. (2001). What CDA is about – a summary of its history, important concepts and its developments. In – Wodak and Mayer (eds.), Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis. London: Sage, pp. 1–13.


The Role of Yunus Emre Cultural Centres in Turkish Cultural diplomacy Ayhan Kaya and Ayşe 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 TurcoIslamist 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 economic 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-


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 religion” (SSH-CT-2009–215949) where Yunus Emre Cultural Centres were investigated as elements of Turkey’s 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 figures as well as providing an overview of the activities of the Yunus Emre Institute. 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 researchers 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 Turkey’s modernization process as of the early 2000s. In addition to the introduction of these concepts as reference points for understanding 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. 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 cultural centres’, Istanbul: Istanbul Bilgi University, Working papers of the European Institute, No. 4/EU/4/2011. 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 pertaining to the Turkish case are available at: For further information on Turkey’s 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). Please note that the Yunus Emre Institute’s official bulletins are published only in Turkish, thus quotations from these in this study were translated by the authors.

approach by these Centres, with particular emphasis on the reinforcement of cultural ties with neighbouring countries based on Turkish language and Islam and the rising significance of cultural representation as a positive reinforcement in Turkey’s 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 diplomacy 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 teleological 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 oneway process, experienced by all nations being transformed from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft. Auguste Comte, Georg Wilhelm Fredrich Hegel, Ferdinand Tönnies, Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss, Max Weber, Bronislaw Malinowski and several other social scientists assumed and claimed that all societies 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 metanarratives 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 civilisation, 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 Arnasson, 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 contemporary political, societal and dynamics via case studies.


idea of multiple modernities. The idea of multiple modernities opposes classical 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 manifest themselves in different institutional and ideological patterns, and are carried 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-àvis secularization or rationalization, but as a story of continual constitution and reconstitution of a multiplicity of political and cultural programmes (see interalia Eisenstadt 2000, 2001, 2005; Delanty 2006; Arnasson 2006; Martinelli 2007; Boldt, Bozec, Duchesne, Ichijo, Salvatore and Strath (2009)). Eisenstadt summarizes the idea of multiple modernities as follows: “The idea of multiple modernities presumes that the best way to understand the contemporary 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 reconstructions 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. 37–39) 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-interpretations to be expressed openly, and it is for this reason that the field in which human beings live necessarily becomes a field of tensions. Modernity’s 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 Nilüfer Göle, İbrahim Kaya, Ferhat Kentel and Ayhan Kaya. The works of Nilüfer Göle (2003, 2009) and Kaya and Kentel (2005, 2007) provide 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 globalization, and their participation in public life. Furthermore, it is cultural association 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 selfreflexivity 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 modernity 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 participation 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 7

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. 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: 395–396).


over the process of modernity vis-à-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 citizens in their adaptation to the country in which they live”8 Turkish Cultural Centres are located in several cities abroad such as Berlin, Hannover, Köln, Frankfurt, 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 established, 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 Turkey’s 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).



Official Website of the Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Available at: http://



Opening Date




18 October 2010




17 October 2010




11 December 2009




03 March 2010




26 March 2010




01 March 2010




09 November 2010




13 December 2010

Middle East


Pristine Prizren

27 August 2011 26 August 2011



Bucharest Constanza

14 November 2011 14 November 2011


In progress


Serbia Japan


In progress




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 Institute and the cultural centres have been given an important role in Turkish foreign policy. For instance, while Ertuğrul Günay, 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 Davutoğlu, 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 policy’s strategic dimension and popularization of Turkish language, protection of Turkish cultural heritage, and the dissemination of Turkish culture to the outside


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 Gül emphasized that: “These centres are Turkey’s invisible power. I mean preserving the vitality of her cultural heritage is Turkey’s 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 challenge 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 Erdoğan stated that: “For thousands of years, we have been the carriers of a unique civilization, history and heritage 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, Karacaoğlan, Fuzuli, Baki, Nazım Hikmet, Necip Fazıl” (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 1, 2010, p. 4).

Similarly, Ertuğrul Günay noted that: “We will establish a Yunus Emre Institute to tell the world about Yunus Emre…We 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).

philosophy. We will show the world the riches of the Turkish language. Today, maybe belatedly 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. 7–8, 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 language 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-testing component, which is the Turkish Proficiency Examination System (Türkçe Yeterlilik Sınav Sistemi). This system anticipates the establishment of an examination, 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 businessmen 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 communications. President of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (Türk İşbirliği ve Kalkınma İdaresi Başkanlığı, TİKA), Prof. Dr. Musa Kulaklıkaya, further indicates that Turkish businessmen and their economic investments, hence the economic ties that they forge, require Turkish language education.13 TİKA14 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

11 12 13 14

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 Agreement Concerning the Joint Administration of Turkish Culture and Arts (TÜRKSOY) 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, TURKSOY’s aims and activities revolve around identifying and promoting the common values of those countries, which is in line with the state’s growing emphasis on Turkish language and literature, Anadolu Ajansı, 21.12.2010,, entry date 10 May 2011. Daily Zaman, 19.01.2011,, entry date 13 May 2011. Daily Zaman, 07.02.2011,, entry date 12 June 2011. For further information on TIKA, visit:


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. Kulaklıkaya explains the aims of TIKA as follows: “Initially we are providing aid to countries with mutual historical, political and cultural backgrounds. 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 Kulaklıkaya focus on the economic and developmental motivations 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, Ertuğrul Günay, 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 opening 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 Institute’s goals, a close analysis of the Yunus Emre Bulletins reveals that there are repeated references to the cultural heritage of Turkey, with particular emphasis 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 Davutoğlu 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



Anadolu Ajansı, 20.12.2010,, entry date 15 June 2011.

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 Turkish cultural diplomacy. For instance, during his speech at the inauguration of the Yunus Emre Institute in Sarajevo, Davutoğlu 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. Başçarşı and Kapalı Çarşı, Gazi Hüsrev 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, Davutoğlu 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-à-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, Davutoğlu 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 Davutoğlu’s statement, during the opening of the cultural centre in Astana, President Abdullah Gül 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 Turkey’s ties with the West and a 16

Anadolu Ajansı, 26.05.2010,, entry date 13 June 2011.


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 Turkey’s relations with Middle-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 Turkey’s role between Western and Eastern worlds, thereby elucidating that being a modern country does not necessarily require the said country to distance itself from the East and its Eastern cultural elements. To that effect, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 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 indifferent 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 Davutoğlu 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. Turkey’s 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 Erdoğan’s discourse on the Palestinian issue and AKP’s gradual distancing from Israel, b) its cultural-religious drive, visible in AKP’s cultural religious affinity with the Arab world rather than the Kemalist laicists, c) its economic drive, springing from the willingness of AKP’s 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 scepticism, growing since 2005, and d) its transformative drive, or EU anchor, making 17 18


See, Bozdağlıoglu, Yücel (2008). Modernity, Identity and Turkey’s Foreign Policy. Insight Turkey Vol 10, No. 1: 55–75. Daily Sabah, 08.04.2010,, entry date 13 June 2011.

it appear as a stable, democratic, liberal, peaceful and efficient country (Kirişçi, 2011). Joseph Nye (2004, p. 5) defines soft power as “the abil­ity to shape the preferences 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 Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Muslim world after the now-famous Davos meeting, and US President Obama’s priority visit to Turkey, the effects of Turkish popular culture definitely warrant investigation. It seems that Turkey’s 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 countries. 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 Commission on Smart Power, and considering Turkey’s 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 trading 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 students from the Middle East, the Balkans and Central Asia. The newly-established 19


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 Turkey’s 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” (Gümüs), “Sanawat ad Dayyaa “(Ihlamurlar Altında) 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 Altınay (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 Jazeera’s Washington Bureau among the news agency’s 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 objective 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-governmental organizations abroad and professional organizations. In addition, it is worth mentioning 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 commissions: Consultancy Committee of Citizens Abroad (Yurtdışı Vatandaşlar Danışma Kurulu), Evaluation of Foreign Students Committee (Yabancı Öğrenci Değerlendirme Kurulu) and Cultural and Social Relations Coordination Committee (Kültürel ve Sosyal İlişkiler Eşgüdüm Değerlendirme Kurulu). For further details see, entry date 20 August 2011. For a detailed analysis of the Presidency of the Turks Abroad and Related Communities see Çetin (2011).

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” (Altınay, 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 Turkey’s EU perspective makes Turkey an attractive partner for the Arab world (Akgün 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 understanding 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 Turkey’s 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 Gül, 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 Gül 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 important 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 appealing 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 constitute a “home” for Turks living in Europe. For instance, in his opening speech in London, Gül 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 Gül made a similar statement when he maintained that: “These [Yunus Emre Centres] are Turkey’s invisible power. Keeping her cultural heritage alive is Turkey’s greatest strength. We should appreciate our past and our history. In today’s 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, underlined that: “Opening up a Yunus Emre Institute in Brussels is a worthy step. I believe that we can overcome 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, Bağış’s argument underlined that these centres do not only function as cultural contact points but as means to transform Turkey’s image in Europe, thereby positively influencing European public opinion in favour of Turkey’s 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 official 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 Ministry 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.

dependent on political relations and foreign policy priorities and they are important elements in the introduction of Turkish identity and culture abroad. In that sense, Turkish modernity is in part shaped by Turkish foreign policy vis-à-vis cultural policies and cultural diplomacy efforts.23 While there are embassies and in some cases cultural attachés in European countries, recently the promotion of Turkish culture in the context of EU-Turkey relations has become an important aspect of the country’s approach to cultural promotion and cultural diplomacy. For instance, Egemen Bağış, Minister of EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, notes that the Yunus Emre Institute is “the most important communications project” in Turkey’s EU accession process” (Yunus Emre Bulletin, No. 9, 2011, p. 11). An analysis of Turkey’s 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-à-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 Gül has highlighted several 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 Turkey’s 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 other’s 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 prosperous 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 vitality in representing Turkish culture.

23 24 25

For further information on Turkish cultural policy, see Ada (2011). Full text of the European Union Communication Strategy is available at: tr/abis/?l=2 , entry date 15 June 2011. Official Website of the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Available at: http:// , entry date 10 June 2011.


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 Turkey’s 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 Erdoğan 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. Turkey’s role as a mediator between Muslim and non-Muslim worlds was also credited by the United Nations when, together with the Spanish PM José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Prime Minister Erdoğan was appointed by the UN to launch the Alliance of Civilizations initiative. Against this background, the Turkish state’s promotional activities in European 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 institutions, 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 Turkey’s 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 Turkey’s 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 Turkey’s 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. That’s 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 geographic 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 reinforced 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 Régime, Atatürk 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 diplomatic 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. 1–2). 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 governments 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 government; • 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 tolerance. 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 country’s 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 fostering continuing ties between different nations. (Klaic, 2007, p. 41–42). 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 l’art pour l’art 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 Netherlands 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 Foreign Affairs assumed shared responsibility for this policy field. Thus, both foreign 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. 7–10). 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 diplomatic point of view. This has been reflected in government policy and the increasing 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 ‘auswärtige Kulturpolitik’ is a much broader notion in Germany than in the Netherlands. Whereas in the Netherlands inter121

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 für Außenbeziehungen (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 Eastern Europe. Under Hitler’s 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 für Außenbeziehungen (IfA) in the early fifties. They grew out to be the main bearers of cultural exchange for Germany. History of the cultural diplomacy is mainly the history of these two institutions. Cultural exchange in the narrow sense of the word culture, or kulturelle Programmarbeit as it is know in Germany, developed gradually and reactively. The preeminence 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 (Maaß, 2005, chapter 4). Germans foster the belief that the knowledge and practicing of culture in general 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 Germany 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 foreign 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 Länder. Only in 2005 did the federal government appoint a Staatsminister 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 arm’s length approach. This is also shown in fields related to culture. For science, universities and schools, the ministry finances the Alexander-vonHumboldt-Stiftung and the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD) and the Zentralstelle für 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 GoetheInstitut and the Institut für Ausenbeziehungen. The structure of these organisations 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 redefined and given a theoretical base in the position paper Auswärtige Kulturpolitik Konzeption 2000 (International Cultural Policy – Conception 2000) (Schneider, 2008, p. 222–226). 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, sustainable development, economic growth and protection of natural resources. Conclusively, aims of German international cultural policy have turned essentially instrumental. Culture has thus become mainly a tool to reach other policy objectives. 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 representative 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).


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).


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 several 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 international cultural relations is very much fragmented. As opposed to most surrounding 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 quality of a creative expression. The Dutch international policy has been demand driven meaning that it basically 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 beneficial 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. Comparably, 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 fea124

tures internationally competitive cultural field. The bulk of the budget for international 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 without 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 attaché. 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 integration process are ubiquitous. The myth of the Netherlands being the most tolerant 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, fashion 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 Ministry 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 coordination centres – can benefit. There is the special theme ambassador for cultural cooperation that heads the cultural department within the ministry. This department 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 internationalization 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 Netherlands 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 für Auslandbeziehungen (Institute for External Relations). They have a large degree of independence from the government when it comes to programming. The Goethe-Institut boasts 137 institutes in 92 countries. About 3.000 people work for the Goethe-Institut. The Institut für Auslandbeziehungen deals with distributing exhibitions, organising conferences and publications about cultural exchange. The Goethe-Institut offers language courses, libraries and supports local educational 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 European 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 cultural policy. In the report ‘Strengthening Europe’ is still the first of the three programme 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, pluralistic, 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 diplomacy. It wants to create Years of Germany, which offer an integrated programme of German culture, economy, research, education and civil society in public private partnerships. 127

Firstly, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are targeted, then the G20 countries. Additionally, Germany will design more largescale exhibitions expressly to foster foreign relations; “The Age of Enlightenment” 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 GoetheInstitut meanwhile was 334 million euro in 2010 of which 223 million euro came for the ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Institut für 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. Supporting 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 cultural 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 integrated 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 pragmatic and because of the lack of institutes always have to work with local partners, 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 practitioners 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 cultural 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, innovating and challenging artistic processes and aesthetic contentions and fostering 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 cultural 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

References Arndt, R. T.(2005). The first resort of kings: American Cultural Policy in the Twentieth Century. Virginia: Potomac Books. Auswärtiges A. (2011). Cultural relations and education policy in an age of globalization. Gaining partners, spreading values, representing interests. Berlin. Bound, K. et al. (2007), Cultural diplomacy. London: Demos. Hoekema, J. (2005). International cultural politics: Tradition of innovation. In – Hurkmans et al. (eds.), All that Dutch: International Cultural Politic. Amsterdam: SICA. Klaic, D (2007). Mobility of Imagination: A companion guide to international cultural cooperation. Budapest: Center for Arts and Culture, Central European University. Maaß, K-J (ed.) (2005), Kultur und Außenpolitik. Handbuch für Studium und Praxis. Baden-Baden: Nomos. Melissen, J. (2005). Wielding Soft Power: The new public diplomacy. Den Haag: Clingendael Publishers. Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (2003). Cultural policy in the Netherlands, Den Haag. Minnaert, T. (2009). Drang naar samenhang: Het internationaal cultuurbeleid van Nederland. In -Boekman, tijdschrift voor kunst, cultuur en beleid 80, p. 6–14. Pick, J. (2007). Britain, Its ‘Image’ and ‘Cultural Diplomacy’. In – Bereson, R. (ed.), Lying Abroad, A critical Study of Cultural Diplomacy, pp. 83–95. Buffalo: University of Buffalo Arts Management & Policy. Report of the advisory committee on cultural diplomacy, Cultural diplomacy, the linchpin of public diplomacy, Washington D.C. 2005. Schneider, W. (ed.) (2008), Auswärtige Kulturpolitik. Bonn: Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft. Schreiner, P. (2011), Außenkulturpolitik: Internationale Beziehungen und kultureller Austausch. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag. Wiesand, A. (2007), National policies influencing cultural cooperation and mobility in Europe. Retrieved 27 December 27 2011 from Ericarts Website:


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 identity, 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 economy (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 postcommunist 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 immediately being discredited and labelled as nationalist, for example. Moreover, fiercely cleansing of myths and de-valorisation tendencies of the past events and personalities were considered to be the most efficient manner in which public and cultural legitimacy was acquired, especially in front of the Western’s 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 interwar 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 identifying Romania’s 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 institutional encouragement for the development of cultural personalities (Baltasiu, 2007, p. 177–250). 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, Cooley’s `looking glass self` concept (1902, 183–184) comes in the middle of our understanding. 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 diplomacy, 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). Formulating this thesis towards the ending of the Cold War – with the nuclear crisis and military competition mainly between the US and the Soviet Union (GouldDavies, 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 management 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 recomposing 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 information obtained by content analysis of the most important Romanian newspapers, have shaped what one identifies as objective data. The second part consisted 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 recompose the overall image of the investigated periods. Thus, for conducting the interviews 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 (1918–2012) in three timeframes: 1) the interwar period (1918–1939), 2) communist period (1945–1989), 3) post-communist regime (1989–2012). 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 following objectives: 1) identifying the meaning of cultural diplomacy, in view of the respondent, 2) identifying the purpose of cultural diplomacy in general, determining 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 concentrate on public data from the significant moments (as they were signalled by the interviewed). Thus, the next phase was the analysis of most important (available) 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 1989–2012 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 international 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 references being John Holden’s DEMOS publication. Moreover, on an institutional level, the dominant and explicit reference to a place of cultural diplomacy training is the Cultural Diplomacy Institute in Berlin (which, in fact, is also a US ini134

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 Union’s 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 tangentially 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 theoretical approach and framework in the sense of shaping a definition and an operationalizing 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 advertising (Elliot and Percy 2006; Anholt 2007; Clifton 2009; Govers and Go, 2009), diplomacy per se (Eban 1983; Barston 1988; Kissinger 1994; Bissard and Chossudorsky 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 country’s 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 commonalities 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 culture 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 counterbalancing 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-consciously 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 determines 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, cultural diplomacy has extended both to non-governmental organizations or institutions, 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 analysis 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 diplomacy’s 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 communication. 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, information, 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 language 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 agendas (Randall, 2005), activities such as sports (Black 2007; Defrance and Chamot 2008; Redeker 2008), arts (Chapman, 2007) or music (Adlington 2009; GienowHecht 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 diplomacy 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 borders. 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: 1918–1945 Even though the Romanian diplomacy has old roots in history, its modern development 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 activity, 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 (1878–1914) 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. 18–19). 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 1919–1920 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 stepping 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 attitude 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 effervescence 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 mathematics, medicine, arts, religion, sociology, philosophy, history, geography and geopolitics, 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 époque, 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. 18–19). Additionally, the relationship between the state and the personalities was obvious, 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 significant 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 attachés, business men, students, cultural personalities, professors) 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 Parvan’s 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, translation activities and cultural expositions (e.g. Popular Art Exposé in Venice 1943; the Biennale in Venice, the Triennial in Milano, Fiera del Lavante de la Bari; the Universal Parisian Exposés), 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. 38–42). Basically, the promoted image of Romania was a rural European society, with historical continuity, characterized 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 Romania’s 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 opinion. In conclusion, this was the first époque in which the national elites had the favourable context to reach their potential, an atmosphere kept until the communist regime forced instatement that threw the Romanian culture and society in the `terror of history` (Blaga, 2010). Second timeframe: 1945–1989 The end of WW2 brought about, more or less, a cease of the national (cultural) state’s 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 subordinated 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 primarily 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 1947–1949 an efficient cleansing of mass-media, army, police and gendarmerie, public administration, diplomatic staff of the Ministry of External 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 1946–1953 and 1956–1959, 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). Anything that posed any kind of threat to the new ideology was censored. For example, in 1948, the law banned over 8.700 writings and after that the annual brochures 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 society (1848–1947). A reduced number of intellectuals and elites of the Romanian society managed to escape the regime, creating the exiled Romanian community that, in time, became responsible for the Romanian cultural diplomacy projections 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 continuing to draw the attention through numerous works (thus culture) and diplomatic means to the situation in the Romanian society (Coroama 2005; Manolescu 2010). The 60‘s brought a shift from the internationalist orientation and brutal cultural 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 Culture 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 king’s exile, the accent being more on the national set of values and interests. Also, starting from now, accessing financial loans, political assistance and technological transfers, official visits made to London or New York, president Nixon visiting the country, the instalment 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 peasant’s 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 Ceausescu’s 1967 accession to power, followed by the opposition to the Czechoslovak invasion by the soviet troops in 1968 and later, President Nixon’s visit in august 1969, Romania redirected itself to Western international relations. Actually, the visit of US president in Romania came as historical presence and an ideological breach in the communist world and it marked a type of diplomacy that Larry L. Watts refers to as ‘nonideological’. 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 Culture, etc. (Popescu 2006; CISC 2003, p. 205–217). 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 diplomacy of any kind go hand in hand (according to one interview `cultural diplomacy is connected to the resources – you have money you do, but if you don’t…`), 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 1972–1975. This effect was due to development ‘cult of personality’ and the containment politics of the West towards the Ceausescu’s 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 ideological substance that highlighted only the mythical side of history. This was in comparison to the post 1989 timeframe, which is found at the other extreme, an incoherent 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 thinking 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 understanding the meaning of cultural diplomacy in contemporary Romania is the institutional 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)


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

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the ability to create policies of cultural diplomacy through a solitary subdivision of another substructure1: the Cultural, Educational 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 communication. The only course of cultural diplomacy officially held by a state institution 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


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 example, 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 promoted 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 personal legitimization in the eyes of the West by adopting a hyper-criticizing attitude towards national values and historical personalities that turn into a critical de-valorisation process4. Especially around the time of the European Union accession (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 (2008–2012).


Figure 3: National and European identifications

Figure 4: Proudnes of being Romanian


Figure 5: Proudness of being European

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


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

Here is a very important idea that we emphasized from the beginning, that cultural diplomacy is done by keeping track and putting in front the Romanian personalities 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? Isn’t the case with Italy and France’s long lasting campaigns against Romania an important setback for the state’s cultural diplomacy?


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


Started in 2006 and still ongoing, these campaigns have triggered an international 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 «Romanian» has become a synonym with «Roma»” (Ziua, 9th of May, 2007). A whole series of labels were applied afterwards to Romanians: ‘thieves’, ‘bandits’, ‘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 inefficient. Thus, the only remaining tool at hand is the dialogue initiated by representative 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 substance` 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 Romania’s 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 exchanging 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, identifying 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


to the differences specific in each timeframe, given mainly by the group of personalities 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 concentrated 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 aggressiveness 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 characteristics of an efficient cultural diplomacy: strong internal policy, international exchange policies, cultural power projection outside the borders, mutual recognition 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 diplomacy. However, one sensitive aspect can be considered the affluence of the major personalities that took the forefront of the national state. Thus, Romania’s image was created more out of the efforts and responsibility of those particular personalities than at the state’s 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 timeframe, a too greater focus was brought over the cultural and political relations to the Western hemisphere, to the Orient’s 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 identity was fractured through censorship and the elites’ imprisonment, thus pushed away from the European one, being forcedly integrated within the Soviet ideology. 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 Scinteia

Of these, nr of internally addressed articles (plus COMECOM10)

Of these, nr of international addressed articles

Total nr of articles on cultural issues


264 (64 %)

147 (36 %)

Before 1964

171 (41 %)

148 (86.5 %)

23 (13.5 %)

Between 19641975

103 (25 %)

34 (33 %)

69 (67 %)

After 1975

137 (33 %)

35 (25.5 %)

102 (74.5 %)

Table 1. Salience Scinteia. Cultural issues in communism

Romania Libera

Of these, nr of internally addressed articles (plus COMECOM)

Of these, nr of international addressed articles

Total nr of articles on cultural issues


112 (63 %)

66(38 %)

Before 1964

63 (35 %)

50 (79 %)

13 (21 %)

Between 19641975

55 (31 %)

19 (34.5 %)

36 (65.5 %)

After 1975

60 (34 %)

19 (32 %)

41 (68 %)

Table 2. Salience Romania Libera. Cultural issues in communism



Council for Mutual Economic Assistance.

Total nr of articles on cultural issues

Total nr of articles on cultural issues

Total nr of articles on cultural issues

Total nr of articles on cultural issues


Of these, nr of internally addressed articles

Of these, nr of international addressed articles


28 (40 %)

43 (60 %)

Romania Libera

Of these, nr of internally addressed articles

Of these, nr of international addressed articles


16 (34 %)

21 (66 %)

Jurnalul National

Of these, nr of internally addressed articles

Of these, nr of international addressed articles


26 (36  %)

47 (64  %)

Dilema Veche

Of these, nr of internally addressed articles

Of these, nr of international addressed articles


6 (33  %)

12 (67  %)

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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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 Chalániová1

Stereotypes are barriers to be demolished. motto of Entropa The opposite of every idiocy is idiocy. Jorge Semprún

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 Italians. 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 experience 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 stereotypes 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 country’s 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 cru1

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


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 country’s 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 country, 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 organisations, 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 political 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-à-vis Czechs, and Czech cunningness and untrustwor2


The common state of Czechs and Slovaks, of course, did not have a continuous and uninterrupted 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 Slovakia declared an albeit independent but still short-lived clerical-fascist state from 1939–1944.

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 identity 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 content 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, collective identities, stereotypes and public cultural diplomacy will be conceptualized 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 post1989 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 neighbours, 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, individual 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). According to Hansen “poststructuralism’s 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 Bosnian War, includes an example of collective identity construction through differentiation on the case of Balkans and Europe characterized as anthropomorphic 164

entities: while the Balkans is discursively described as barbarian, violent, underdeveloped and irrational, Europe in contrast is described as the opposite, i.e. civilized, 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 categorization process. We cannot have an impression of a group unless we can tell the difference between that group and some other group” (2002[2004], p. 2–3). 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 associated 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 differences between groups, by “selectively crystallizing important differences” from the vantage point of the perceiver, or to self-promote positive images associated 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 differently, their correspondence to reality. Why are stereotypes important for identity 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 reality by treating stereotype as “an exaggerated belief associated with a category” (Allport 1954[1978], p. 191; Realo et. al. 2009; Hřebíčková and Kouřilová 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 conducted by Terracciano and associates (2005) have shown no significant correlation 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, children’s stories, folk wisdom tales, word-of-mouth stories and other narratives involving national character (Rákos, 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 (Rákos, 2001). Therefore, for the purposes of this chapter, stereotypes could be defined as collectively shared normative 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 4


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. 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 (Chalániová 2011, p. 6–8).

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. 294–295, 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 (Bátora 2005; Melissen 2005; Peterková 2006, Snow and Taylor 2009; Bátora 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 entities 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” (Bátora and Mokre, 2011, p. 1). Thus cultural public diplomacy, besides being a common ground for communication with the out-group, becomes at the same time an important site for identity construction through differentiation, and stereotypes are one mode of that differentiation. 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 charac167

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 independent identities. As stated in the introduction, the assumption is that stereotyping 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, nation’s objective modernity to the historian’s eye vs. its subjective antiquity in the eyes of nationalists, second, its universality (everyone should have a nationality) vs. the uniqueness of a particular nation, and third, its political power vs. its philosophical poverty and even incoherence (1983[1991], p. 5, see also Holý 1996[2010], p. 129). Narratives of the nation’s first ancestors, centuries-long journey through toil and trouble, subjection 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 rewritten in the name of the nation (Agnew 2000; Holý 1996[2010], p. 119, Findor 2011). Common and separate histories of the Czech and Slovak nations only testify to these paradoxes and to the significance of the past in national stereotypes’ reification. Common pre-history of the two nations includes the Samo ‘empire’5 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 6


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. Historical maps place both state formations within and beyond the borders of present day Czech and Slovak Republics.

The new millennium meant parting ways for the two ethnic groups. While Bohemian and Moravian lands were allowed to form a rather autonomous administrative 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 Václav (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 Ottoman 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 Hungarians 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 1918–1938/1939 and 1945–1992 End of the World War I finally granted the two nations the right to self-determination and, thus, the Republic of Czechoslovakia was born in the shambles of the Habsburg monarchy in October 1918. While on the outside Czechoslovak Republic – 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 Republic 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 (Škorpil 1930; Holý 1996[2010], p. 101). Despite its multiethnic character 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 Czechoslovak 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


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.” (Ústavní listina Československé 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 twentythree percents were German and six percents Hungarian7: “Since the Slovaks comprised a mere 15 per cent of the population, if they had been recognized 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 historically 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; Holý 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 nation”8. A major issue, later translated into stereotype, was Slovakia’s lack of administrative capacities in 1918, i.e. Slovakia’s 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, Germans 23.4 percent, Magyars 5.6 percent, Ruthenians 3.5 percent, Jews 1.4 percent, and Poles 0.6 percent” (Sčítání lidu v republice československé ze dne 15. února 1921, 1924, p. 60, 66 in Bakke 2002, p. 1, fn 1) 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).

“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 (Holý 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 Sudetenland (North-west Czech Republic) in 1939, the remainder of the historical Czech Lands became the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia while the Slovaks 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 designated as “o nás bez nás” (about us without us) – on the other hand, a betrayal of Slovaks who gave priority to nationalist/fascist “independence”. The postwar 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; Svatuška 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 Czechoslovak parliament and a quasi-autonomous Slovak national council. However, power was centralized in Prague. Sedová (1997) describes a so called “freezer” hypothesis as the authoritative regime suppressing problems connected to modernization where the ideology officially served as an integrating force in society, officially there was no room for national ideology. Thus after 1989, the suppressed issues re-emerged with new insistency.


the historical Czech Lands, the Czech Crown (Agnew, 2000, p. 635), Slovaks are much more critical (Svatuška, 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 Jurovský 1943 in Rákos 2001, p. 77–78). 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 eventual 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 Czechoslovak Republic marked an era of national oppression by the Czechs (Frič et al, 1992). In this sense, there’s not much left but to agree with Holý, 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 Slovaks 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 manifested themselves in different perceptions of each other, as the Other. The experience 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 Příhoda, writing on mutual perceptions of Czechs and Slovaks, has identified the four stereotypical concepts11 that roughly categorize how people see each other (see Rákos 2001, p. 77; Svatuška 2003, p. 7). 11


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

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 Republic 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 Příhoda, it stems from the Slovak conviction that Czechs tried to assimilate them in the common state. The stereotype is backed up by the image of overall Czech cultural and civilisation dominance (1993 in Svatuška 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 asymmetric federation) and post 1989 (so called “hyphen war”), leading up to the dissolution 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 cultural 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 Republic’s successor state. However, 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.


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 people’s 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. (Frič 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 themselves as hardworking (“zlaté české ručičky” – literally “golden Czech hands”), clever, industrious and resourceful with Schweikian sense of humour (Frič 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 Holý 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 traitors” (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 October 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. (Frič 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 Slovakia’s economic, political and cultural backwardness, and the high price they had to pay for living together with Slovaks (Frič et al, 1992, p. 53). Such a view is fully in line with the stereotypical concept of Slovak inferiority. Anthropologist Ladislav Holý even includes a comparative table of Czech and Slovak characteristics as imagined by the Czechs. Furthermore, Holý quotes a couple of headlines from Czech dailies implying Slovakia’s 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 Luhačovice” (a city in East Czech Republic) (Holý 1996[2010], p. 110). Czechs


Modern society

Traditional community


No history


Lack of statehood











Table 1. Czech and Slovak characteristics as imagined by the Czechs adapted from (Holý 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 (Frič et al, 1992, p. 54), they could not find much that is 175

positive about Slovaks. The only positive characteristics they mention are Slovak’s sense of national pride, temperament and/or rampancy, hoverer these characteristics too are more often used in a negative context. Stereotypes of Slovak inferiority/Czech superiority are invoked (Svatuška, 2003), Slovaks are seen as the more primitive nation giving in to emotional impulses such as offensiveness, chauvinism or even aggression, whilst Czechs give in to more sophisticated vices such as envy, pettiness or egoism. As Petr Rákos 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 d’etat 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 (Frič 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. (Frič et al, 1992, p. 55)

On the negative side, Slovaks reproach themselves for “low national self-esteem, conformability, subjection; envy, meanness; and excessive drinking” (Frič 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 Vašečka 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).


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 “nedělat a vydělat” [loosely translated as do nothing and still earn money]; • snobbery, dominance; • laziness and indolence; • materialism, randiness; • volubility, great talkativeness; • egoism and greed. (Frič et al, 1992, p. 54)

Deeper analysis revealed that these opinions stem from the feelings of underestimation 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 (Frič 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 (Bútorová, 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 domination 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 surveying (Frič et al 1992; Bútorová 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 speculation to hard work and feels superior to Slovaks, was embraced by a third of Slovak citizens [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” (Frič et al 1992, p. 56; Svatuška 2003, p. 8).


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 diplomacy 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 twentyseven 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 Černý 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, postcolonial 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 provides us with everything we need to assemble, if not the Europe we may wish for, at least the one we’re presently saddled with” (Archer, 2009). While Černý described his piece as a “playful analysis of national stereotypes” (Černý 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. Especially, if they are presented by an “out-group” person, they can be understood as an attempt at humiliation” (Kouřilová and Hřebíčková, 2009). In this sense, Černý and his artwork hit the bull’s 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



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

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 Václav Klaus14 quotes. Words of wisdom that deserve to be etched in stone [because] He’s not just a skier, he’s a great guy!” (Černý 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 pâté (suggesting Czechs are cheapskates who save on food when travelling abroad and rather eat their own cheap pâtés than spend money on the local cuisine), prostitutes on the highway to Germany, Czech Republic in the shape of a dumpling with the Sudetenland15 carved out in German tricolor (Kroulík and Turek, 2009) or Czechs depicted as Schweiks taking a bath in a tub of lager. Artists from abroad also responded to the Mladá Fronta DNES cartoon stereotypes 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 Truhlík, the Bug – a world class know-it-all (Sodomková, 2009). The Slovak stereotype, in the sculpture, was presented as “uherák” (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 Slovakia’s 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 15

The same Václav Klaus who helped divide the federation. Area historically populated by the German minority, at least until the forced exile in 1945.


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 Mladá Fronta DNES in the aftermath of Entropa, Slovak renown cartoonist Martin “Shooty” Šútovec sent his cartoon of a typical Czech portrayed as “Truhlík 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. Truhlík 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, you’ve got to buy it!” The difference 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 it’s 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 can’t get one from drinking spirits, no discussion there!” (Šútovec in Smatana, 2012, p. 28).

Image 1. Art and copyright – Martin “Shooty” Šútovec, Mladá Fronta DNES, 26th January 2009


Truhlík the Bug (in Czech Brouk Pytlík) is infamously known for his annoying know-it-all “wisdom”. And Slovaks have stories to prove it. As Martin Šútovec 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, don’t go there, there’s avalanche alert – so a Czech tourist thinks to himself that he’s wiser than that, and goes there anyway, because it just can’t happen to him. A typical Truhlík the Bug” Šútovec concludes (in Smatana 2012, p. 28–29).

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 “Hoď svišťom” made use of the tourist stereotype in a trailer for their show (Hoď svišťom, 2011). A singing marmot (a svišť) raps about Czech tourists in the highest Slovak mountain rage – The High Tatras: 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 “Hoď svišťom” made use of the tourist stereotype in a trailer for their show (Hoď svišťom, 2011). A singing marmot (a svišť) raps about Czech tourists in the highest Slovak mountain rage – The High Tatras: Dobrej den, přátelé, já žiju v Praze,
jsem prvně v Tatrách a máte tu draze!
 Ve stanu s rodinou však bude blaze,
na Štrbským plesu je zadarmo bazén! Jsem mistr v přežití a mistr s buzolou,
není tady místo, kam Česi nemohou! Zásadně nikomu neříkám, kam jedu,
vyrážím do hor a ztrácím se v dohledu. 
Nevěřím tomu, že já Gerlach nesvedu,
v báglu mám přeclíky a řízky k obědu! Na nohou sandály, kvalitní fusakle,
nebojte se, děti, dobře to dopadne! Turistický chodník je pro lidi blbý,
my jdeme zkratkou a jsme na to hrdí!
 A když už třetí den bloudíme po lese,
přijede vrtulník zadarmo svezem’ se! Good day, my friends, I come from Prague, It’s my first time in Tatras, and it’s not cheap! In a tent with my family, it will be cool, And Štrbské pleso, that’s a free pool! Master of survival and skilled with a compass, there’s 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 can’t believe, not to conquer the Gerlach, I’ve got pretzels and schnitzel in my backpack!


Sandals on my feet, and quality socks, Don’t worry kids, I’m as solid as a rock! Tourists’ trail is for the dumb, We’ll take a shortcut, and make daddy proud! On the third day, lost in the pines, Wait for a heli, we hitch a free ride! (Hoď svišťom 2011; Nevyhoštěný 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 million 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 Mečiar government, Slovakia 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 Štětka 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 Slovakia’s 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 (Uličianska, 2009). Michal Vašečka 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.

Slovak story a success. The Slovak inferiority complex, according to Vašečka, is a myth, amplified above all by the Czechs and Hungarians (2009, p. 248). Neumann 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 grievances frozen by communism, the elites finally decided to split the state in two. The whole process, although heated at times, remained peaceful and the postdivorce 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 complementarities, 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, stereo183

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 backwardness. 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 Playboy’s Diplomacy? Diego Albano

Introduction The present chapter deals with Silvio Berlusconi’s cultural diplomacy and its implications for the European Union. It opens with an overview of how the international press welcomed his peculiar attitude on the European and world stage, focusing on the notorious Schulz case (2003), which marked the debut of Berlusconi’s EU presidency. The chapter goes on to outline a brief history of the former prime minister’s media empire, assessing its role in maintaining Berlusconi’s 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 Berlusconi’s political career demonstrates. The chapter is based on three core arguments. Firstly, it stresses how Berlusconi’s 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 Berlusconi’s cultural diplomacy highlights the need for more stringent regulation of media ownership and pluralism on a European level, which in turn supports a more cultural and political 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 Berlusconi under the title “the man behind the world’s 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 Berlusconi’s leadership was finally revealed, leading the thirdlargest economy in Europe to the verge of financial bailout, which in turn threatened to affect Europe as a whole. International pressure for the prime minister to resign grew. Thanks to mounting internal divisions, Berlusconi’s fourth govern189

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 Italy’s weakness became undeniable, only the British magazine The Economist had regularly challenged the legitimacy of Berlusconi’s power. It did so for the first time in 2001, when it ran a feature on the prime minister’s 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 Country”. Although not isolated (concerns were expressed repeatedly in Le Monde and El Mundo), the Economist’s attacks were notably bitter and direct, spanning over a decade that saw Berlusconi’s 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 minister’s attitude never ceased to attract attention from the press. A first taste of Berlusconi’s 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 “communists” among foreign journalists. The situation did not get any better in subsequent 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 “kapò”. While addressing 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 Democrats, 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 Berlusconi’s majority, as they had made declarations that contradicted the European Charter of Human Rights. Secondly – and most importantly – he pointed out that Berlusconi’s conflicts of interest were Europe-wide, and as such were a matter for the European Parliament. It was at this point that Berlusconi answered by comparing Schulz to a kapò, a Nazi concentration camp guard: 190

“Signor Schulz, so che in Italia c’è un produttore che sta montando un film sui campi di concentramento nazisti: la suggerirò per il ruolo di kapò. Lei è 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 kapò. You would be perfect!].

Berlusconi’s 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 foreign 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 Berlusconi’s 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 Berlusconi’s premiership as amusing, while his commercial and political relations were kept running under a façade 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 minister. On the occasion of Berlusconi’s first official visit to Washington, the American 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 Berlusconi’s enduring influence over Italian politics could be, thanks to 191

his willingness to approve unpopular demands such as the enlargement of American military bases in Italy or increasing the number of Italian troops in Afghanistan. The report also highlights the tendency of the prime minister to “carve out a visible […] and frequently unhelpful role for himself”. For Berlusconi, such diplomatic efforts had paramount importance domestically; thanks to news coverage 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 Berlusconi’s leadership, they miss the point. Berlusconi’s 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 Berlusconi’s 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 business, as he did with Italy. On the whole, this approach has been frequently downplayed 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 Berlusconi’s company Fininvest (now Mediaset). In 1979 he added Canale 5, also buying a relevant share of Europrint and of the Società Europea Edizioni (now Silvio Berlusconi Editore), which publishes Il Giornale, known as the “family newspaper” by his political opponents. Berlusconi further enlarged his broadcasting network in 1983 by buying the Italia 1 channel. He finally acquired another television channel, Rete 4, a network belonging to leading publishing house Mondadori, which Berlusconi would also purchase in 1985. Finally, he dominates the advertising market with Publitalia80. His media empire, however, is not confined to Italy; in 1985 he acquired Estudios Cinematograficos Roma of Madrid (now Videotime España), which has a 25 per cent share in the French network Le Cinq, along with a majority stake in Società Europea Edizioni and a 21 per cent share of the KMP-Kabel Media ProgrammGesellSchaft 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 friend’s 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 Craxi’s 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 Mammì”, 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 Mammì law also redefined the shape of the Garante per la radiodiffusione e l’editoria,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. Unfortunately, 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 Craxi’s 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 created 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 magistracy’s 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, Berlusconi’s entire political makeup: 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.


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


A likeable figure The Constitutional Court declared the Mammì 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 l’editoria with the Autorità 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, Berlusconi’s latest acquisition, television channel Rete 4, had to be transferred to satellite frequencies. However, once back to power, Berlusconi stopped this measure 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 2006–8. During his time as head of government, he also exerted considerable 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 particular 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 Berlusconi’s hold on Italian society as fabricated via his hold on the nation’s television programming would fall short of considering other factors. These factors include the likes of the disruption of the old political 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 economics 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 Berlusconi than centre-left voters considered themselves to be like Prodi. According to Caprara, it is likely that Berlusconi’s role as one of the world’s 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 candidate 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 business 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 ability 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 character”, 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 considerable improvement “in the sense of national pride, as well as a more general acceptance 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 Italians showed regarding Berlusconi’s conflict of interest. The “exaggerated distrust” 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 Berlusconi’s power throughout the first decade of the 2000s, as Berlusconi’s 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 1996–98 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 Berlusconi’s first government, the European Commission 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 incompatible with community law”. The Green Paper’s 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 current 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 competition 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 concentration 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 Berlusconi’s lack of cultural diplomacy had been, during his years on the international 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 considered as an anomaly. However, it was also a European anomaly, which the political 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 Berlusconi’s era, at least at the top level, cultural 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 Italian 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 Berlusconi’s dangerousness 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


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 Berlusconi’s potential longevity 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 government’s priority to containing judicial power, a strategy that still dominated the government agenda at the peak of the 2011 economical crisis. When the depth of the crisis finally revealed itself, Berlusconi’s image as a political buffoon in the European context became less acceptable. Finally, the Economist’s judgment on the man who was not fit to lead Italy was borne out, ten years after the magazine’s 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 Berlusconi’s 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 Berlusconi’s 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 country’s 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 Berlusconi’s 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 important 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   Berlusconi’s. June 15 Visit To Washington, Cable Reference 09ROME 649. Retrieved 5 February 2012 from Cablegatesearch Website: php?id=09ROME649&q=berlusconi %20washington Literature Albertazzi D.; Clodagh B.; Ross, C.; Rothenberg, N. (2009). Resisting the Tide. Cultures of Opposition Under Berlusconi (2001–2006). New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group. Barzanti, F. (2012). Media Pluralism and EU Law: the Limits of the Traditional Approaches Between Respect and Promotion (Unpublished Draft Paper). Retrieved 10 February 2012 from University of Edinburgh, School of Law’ Website: %20pluralism %20and %20eu %20law.pdf Eusepi, G. (1995). Broadcasting System in Italy: Evolution and Perspectives. Public Choice, Vol. 82, p. 307–324. Gilbert, M. (2004). ‘A Fiasco but not a Disaster:’ Europe’s Search for a Constitution, World Policy Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1, p. 50–59. Nelken, D. (1996). The Judges and Political Corruption in Italy, Journal for Law and Society, Vol. 23, No. 1, p. 95–112. Hitchens L.P. (1994). Media Ownership and Control: A European Approach, The Modern Law Review, Vol. 57, No. 4, p. 585–601. Caprara, G. V.; Vecchione M.; Barbaranelli, C.; Fraley, R. C. (2007). When Likeness Goes with Liking: the Case of Political Preference, Political Psychology, Vol. 28, No. 5, p. 609–632. 199

Bulmier, S.; Lequesne, C. (2005). The Member States of the European Union, Oxford. Oxford University Press. Berselli, E. (2001). Crisis and Transformation of Italian Politics, Dedalus, Vol. 130, No. 3, p. 1–24. Cavalli, A. (2001). Reflections on Political Culture and the “Italian National Character”, Dedalus, Vol. 130, No. 3, p. 119–137. Schmidt, V. A. (2005). Democracy in Europe: the Impact of European Integration, Perspectives on Politics, Vol. 3, No. 4, p. 761–779.



Greek Orthodox Church’s public discourse: Balancing between Cultural hegemony and Cultural diplomacy Alexandros Sakellariou

Introduction Cultural imperialism, cultural hegemony and cultural diplomacy are three concepts, which during the last years are in the centre of the public debate about international 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 Americanization, 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 Ottoman 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 Greece’s cultural superiority from every other nation and country all over the world. In that sense the past is always present in Greek state’s cultural diplomacy and every state action into that direction is directly or indirectly influenced from this ‘glorious’ past. As a con203

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 Orthodox 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 Greece’s 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 culture’s 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 Greece’s borders and that is the reason why I call this attempt as a way of balancing between cultural hegemony and cultural diplomacy. In addition, it should be stressed that the OCG does not neglect ancient Greece’s importance. On the contrary, 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 1998–2008 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 Archbishop’s worldview regarding the relations between East and West. The main goal is on the one hand to discover 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, tradition, solidarity) versus ‘immoral West’ (e.g. globalization, individualism, capitalism, enlightenment, atheistic ideas) is crystallized in his discourse. The research material consists of all the published books and articles of Archbishop Christodoulos 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 perceive and incorporate globalization in his discourse? Under which forms does 204

the relation between East and West emerge in his discourse? Is there any possibility 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 finding: 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 country’s main cultural backdrop and reservoir (Makrides and Molokotos-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 Patriarchate’s will, and was transformed in the state’s 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, Byzantium 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 statement 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 constitution, 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 institution 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 controversial 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. Hegel’s terms religion and the Church are a necessary state need for the good of society and they are used for the moral edification of citizens and society in general (Hegel 1992, p. 97–98); 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. 359–360). 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 Orthodoxy’s anti-western attitude, which is a common ideological element of all the Orthodox Churches and not only of the OCG (Makrides and Uffelman 2003, p. 87–120). 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 Orthodoxy’s enemy not only from ecclesiastical circles (Metallinos, 1998), but from theological or philosophical circles as well (Yiannaras 1992, esp. p. 94–100; 210–239; Eleftheriadis 1999, p. 52–54, Begzos 1996, p. 37–47). 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 stigmatized Greek Orthodoxy, which since then reacts against any political or social innovation coming from Western Europe. This stance, of course, is also empowered 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 representative 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 Church’s history. From the first days of his election, Christodoulos enjoyed a privileged relationship with the media, allowing TV cameras inside the temples, where he was addressing the flock on social and national issues. Christoudoulos expressed his opinion on every subject, from the international 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, 163–4, 173). Christodoulos’s 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). Christodoulos’s 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 Christodoulos 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 institutions (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 discourses 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 therefore 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 meaningful 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 (1998–2012). This material is derived from many occasions, 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 Archbishop’s 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 Archbishop. 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 Christodoulos’s 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 Europe’s own future (Christodoulos 1997a, p. 31; Christodoulos 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 West’s 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 fall209

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. 209–10). This is the end of a civilisation that promised to make this world a paradise through the power of knowledge, science and technology. This is a civilisation that steadily denied God and deified rationalism (Christodoulos 2000a, p. 193–194) 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 Apartheids of race discrimination; it twisted them through the disfiguring mirror of materialism and prosperity (Christodoulos, 2006, p. 20–21).

According to this view the West and western humanism especially are responsible for many evils, from the Soviet Gulags to South Africa’s 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 secularization to alienation that ravages human souls. What is taking place today in Europe gives birth to melancholic thoughts regarding Western civilization’s future. When some ‘Churches’ play the leading part in homosexuality’s 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 Christianity’s pure blood in the alienated western societies is an immediate need (Christodoulos, 1997a, p. 54–55).

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, information 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).


As is evident from the above analysis Western civilisation is falling apart and this is taking place because of many reasons: consumerism, atheism, syncretism, 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 civilisation’s 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 contrary, globalization’s 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 freakish 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 naïve [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 syncretism; and syncretism is being promoted by the same powers that promote globalization (Christodoulos 2000a, p. 293–294).

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 recognition 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 (Christodoulos 2000a, p. 294). The main finding in the Archbishop’s public discourse regarding globalization is that this concept is pictured with dark colours and is considered as totally negative 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 (Christodoulos, 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 nation’s 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 illiberal 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 nation’s 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 Orthodox 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 weren’t for Greece, because Europe’s name and culture are Greek (Christodoulos, 1997, p. 25). Orthodoxy is Greece’s great wealth and Hellenism survived for centuries under multi-cultural states (i.e. The Byzantine and the Ottoman empires), because Hellenism 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 Europe’s instructor (Christodoulos 1997a, p. 46–47; 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 Christodoulos’s 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 civilization. He also believes that because of Europe’s 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. 81–82). […] 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. 113–114). […] Nowadays, educated Europeans feel the urgent need to receive from us, the Orthodox, messages 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. 151–152). 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 thoroughly 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 OCG’s office in Brussels in order to have some trustworthy people near the decision making centre of the E.U. Furthermore, in 2001 he met with the Pope JohnPaul 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 Pope’s 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, Christodoulos’s 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 Europe’s Soul (2004), his main interest and theme of discussion is the deChristianization of Europe and the threat of Islam and especially Islam through Turkey; his focus is on Europe’s new constitution and he discusses extensively the inclusion of Christianity in its preamble (Christodoulos, 2003a, p. 61–64). Christodoulos accuses those people (some of them are characterized as ‘antiChristians of the European Parliament), who want to abolish the Christian identity from Europe’s 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 Church’s yard and Christianity formed what we nowadays call Europe (Christodoulos, 2004, p. 28–29). 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. 39–40).

In all of his ‘European’ public addresses, Europe as a unity and Christianity dominate 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 Christianity’s 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 audi214

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 Christodoulos’s discourse is that almost all the articles, which criticized his stance during his rule as fanatic, nationalist and anti-western are in some sense naïve, 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. However, 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 consequence, the cultural dilemma Immoral West vs. Moral East in the Greek context 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 culture’s 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 institution, 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 people’s national and cultural identity and the state’s 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 Archbishop’s efforts to meet with the European leaders, to discuss with the Vatican and to promote Christianity in general at least when he addresses to a European audience. 215

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Culture and identity as tools for forging1 Europeanization2 Martina Topić

Introduction Before debating the issue of intertwined nature of culture and identity and cultural diplomacy that is usually the means for enforcing identity and culturally oriented 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 Webster’s 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 distinguished from vocational and technical skills 1 2

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 Herzegovina, Luton: University of Luton Press, 1995 (Croatian translation). This paper is deriving from ‘Identities and Modernities in Europe’ project funded by the European 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. Vasiljević). First version of this paper has been presented at Euroacademia’s 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 Euroacademia’s 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 Brussels’s dissemination event and who also (voluntarily) sent me helpful comments.


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 society 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 today’s 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, traditions 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 information 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 country’s negative image is damaging its trade, how a city is launching a new campaign to attract investors, tourists or a major international sporting event or how a region is promoting its own separate identity from its parent

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 advocating 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-oforigin studies and from the interdisciplinary literature on national identity, which incorporates political, cultural, sociological and historical approaches to identity” (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 branding are not synonyms because nation branding is a much broader concept remaining in the marketing sphere while the public diplomacy remains within the international relations and international communication sphere. Hence, when it comes to theory and practice, a question of the apparent dichotomy 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 state’s foreign cultural mission” (Mark, 2010, p. 62–63). 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 nationbranding 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 industrial 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). Public diplomacy is something immanent to the US policies. In that, the US primarily advertised itself towards the European Communist countries and then, after the collapse of Communism the diplomacy declined whereas it increased again after the tragic events of 9/11 (Szondi, 2008, p. 2–3).


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 society promotes the tourism, in Croatia’s case it is the state sector that manages that activity. The policy Croatia is leading can also fall within the nation branding 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 commonly 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 durée 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 culture 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 Croatia’s 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 governments, 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 place’s 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 internationally 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 countries), which can have significant effects on how the product is viewed by its intended target market and on the buyer’s willingness to consider it for purchase” (Papadopoulos, 2004, p. 36). 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 nation’s 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”.

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 provinces 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 Croatia’s unification and higher political position was its European civilisation and culture (Stančić 2002; 2000). Therefore, national and European are inextricably linked in the Croatian context. 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 unquestionable Europeanism of Croatia and, when necessary, the need to ‘return’ to Europe (Topić 2011; Topić 2011a; Topić 2011b; Topić 2011c; Topić and Vasiljević 2011; Topić and Vasiljević 2011a; Topić et al 2009; Žanić 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. Tuđman 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 (Topić et al, 2009). However, policies enforced by the regime could hardly be considered as European due to the enormous violations of human rights that occurred (female but of the national minorities as well) and due to the fact the country got economically devastated (Bijelić 2006; Matić 2006; Topić et al 2009; Topić 2009). 7


The exception was the period before creating the second Yugoslavia when a group of leftoriented 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 Roksandić 1989; Topić et al 2009). ‘Hrvatska Demokratska Zajednica’ in Croatian.


The regime also flirted with Croatia’s notorious Nazi regime from the WW II (Pavlaković, 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 minority corpus (primarily Serbs) found themselves in the position of ‘other’ (Bijelić 2006; Topić, 2009). However, these policies were, paradoxically, framed as modernization 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 (Bijelić 2006; Matić 2006; Topić et al 2009; Topić 2009). This attitude largely came from the historical work of F. Tuđman (1969; 1981) who, in all of his work, advocated membership in the larger European community 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 Croatia’s notorious WW II regime). This reconciliation was unacceptable to the partisans due to the fact it advocated rehabilitation of the Ustasha regime (Pavlaković, 2008). When these policies did not meet the approval in Europe that was in the process of strengthening its unification process (in what is today ‘United in diversity’), the regime shifted from ‘Europhoria’ to Euro-scepticism claiming Europe again betrayed Croatia (Topić 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 membership in the EU (see e.g. Eurobarometer 75, 71). Although Euro-scepticism grew to the highest level in any candidate country thus far (Topić et al 2009; Eurobarometer 75; 70), due to the media campaign and the campaign from the politicians the referendum 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. 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.


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 creation 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 growing 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 particular attention was pointed towards: a) discourses on national versus European in shaping of the Croatian identity in tourist promotion of the country; b) depicting 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.


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 perspective 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.


Tourism as a cultural diplomacy10 Tourism is seen through culture where tourists meet locals and in their interaction, a cultural clash occurs. Cultural contacts in a global world develop new identities seen through traditional roots along with new knowledge on different cultures (Jagić 2004; Jelinčić 2006; Božović 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 temporary, 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. 387–388 in Jelinčić 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 institution”11.

In Lord’s 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 impossibility 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 brochures from 2011 in the longer version of this paper, that is this paper. However, National Tourist 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. As Lord (1999, p. 3) himself points out, this definition is similar to the one of the Heritage Tourism Program’s that defines cultural tourism as “the practice of traveling to experience historic and cultural attractions to learn about a community’s heritage in an enjoyable and educational way”.

impact of Internet is also significant due to the possibility of worldwide communication and the exchange of ideas. The emphasis also shifted towards meaning (Lord, 1999, p. 7). However, a country’s promotion largely depends on the view of the authorities 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 country’s identity. Tourism bears significant relevance in terms of its participation in Croatia’s 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 participated 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 Korčula, 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 UNESCO’s protection of its monuments and places. With this, brochures are emphasizing particular cultural 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 Zadar’s 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 Pelješac, discover the Renaissance of Ocor on Cres, Šibenik’ cathedral, islands of Hvar and Korčula and then, finally, unforgettable and unique Dubrovnik. Baroque glow can be found in Varaždin, 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 Korčula, Croatian Michelangelo-miniaturist Julije Klović, 12 13

For the first nine (9) months in 2008, tourism participated in total GDP with 22  % (Croatian National Bank 2009; Ministry of tourism 2009). 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.


the greatest physician, mathematician and astronomer of his time, native of Dubrovnik Ruđer Bošković 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 distinguished 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 thousand years old town with an impressive history, culture and architecture. Brochures 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 Stošija and Saint Krševan, 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 Šibenik is also framed through culture and thus through cultural heritage of the ‘Millennium town’. Additionally, Šibenik has been firstly mentioned in 1066 in documents of Croatian king Petar Krešimir, and it is also underlined that Šibenik 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 Split’s short distance to old Salona (today’s Solin), and its importance, history and culture are strongly underlined. The UNESCO’s 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 lifestyle. 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 protected 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 America’s independence. With this, the brochures are underlining 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 presentation 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 (Katunarić 2007; Topić 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 Pannonian Croatia seen as diverse and inhabited by ancestor’s 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 Mediterranean. The discourse is heavily framing Croatia as a Mediterranean country whereas the other two discourses appear as additional. This is against the dominant 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 (Topić 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 balanced in a sense that Croatia is framed as European and typically Mediterranean 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. Eurobarometer 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 UNESCO’s list of protected 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 ‘Mediterraneanism’ so to say, and then national specialty. In that sense, Croatian authorities that are largely EU optimistic enforce European discourse. Since this is externally 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 durée policy as explained by ethnosymbolic 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 identity 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; Topić 2011c), the state largely influences nationally oriented policies masked under the Europeanization 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 Europeanism and necessity of Croatia’s 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


It has to be clearly noted that this does not mean that whole Croatian policies through out history fall within this theory of nationalism (see e.g.| Matić 2006; Topić, 2009).


heritage. In this sense, national is used as an instrument for the purpose of achieving 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 Europeanization that is present in all of Croatia’s 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; Topić and Vasiljević 2011; Topić and Vasiljević 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. However, since nation branding usually serves to attract investors, tourists or principal 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. Additionally, since nation branding is also often attached to economic globalisation and market-oriented policies, Croatia does not fit in either.


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 legitimize 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 building 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 policies 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 Croatia treats Balkan it appears that Croatia does not consider Balkan and its mentality 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, culture and history and not through geography or any other characteristic. Balkan, in Croatia’s 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 durée 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’.

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ALEXANDROS SAKELLARIOU holds a PhD in Sociology of Religion from the Department of Sociology, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences 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 (1996–2000), 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 (2011–2015) European 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 freedom, religion and globalization), sociology of youth, political sociology and sociology 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 nationalism and modernity. She co-ordinated an FP7 project ‘Identities and Modernities in Europe’ and is a member of the editorial team of Nations and Nationalism. 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, Palgrave Macmillan). Her recent journal articles include ‘Sovereignty and nationalism in the twenty-first century: the Scottish case’, (2009), Ethnopolitics, Vol.8 No. 2, pp. 155–172. AYHAN KAYA is a Lecturer at the Department of International Relations, Istanbul Bilgi University; Director of the European Institute; specialised on Euro239

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 contemporary 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 follows: 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, published in two languages, English (Bielefeld: Transkript verlag, 2001) and Turkish (Istanbul: Büke Yayınları, 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 Şahin) is Roots and Routes: Migratory Processes in Turkey (Kökler ve Yollar: Türkiye’de Göç Süreçleri) (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 University of California, Berkeley. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Califor240

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 Institute’s program in Italy, and taught art as cultural diplomacy to undergraduate and graduate students at the MCI Management Center in Innsbruck, Austria. She has published on nineteenth-century French symbolist art, and is currently preparing an edited volume on art as culture 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 CHALÁNIOVÁ 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 Mezinárodní vztahy and Central European Journal of International and Security Studies, and she has presented her papers at international 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 threeyear international research project financed by the Volkswagen Foundation called Multiple Modernities and Collective Identities – Religion, Nation and Ethnicity in an Enlarging Europe.


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 (University ‘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 collaborating personnel of Greece’s 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 TOPIĆ is a Research fellow at the Faculty of Political science, University of Zagreb, Croatia. She completed two Master degrees (in Political science 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 (2008–2009), and she has also worked as a main researcher in the Croatian team on the FP7 project ‘Identities and modernities in Europe’ (2009–2012) where she co-authored research reports on identity and modernity in Croatia. So far she has extensively published in the fields of nationalism, identity studies and media studies in Croatia and abroad. She is regularly presenting her work at international conferences in Europe, and she is also currently co-editing a volume on religious identities in Europe (with S. Sremac, University 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 Hungary at universal exhibitions between 1896 and 1918. He is working in Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest as a member of the Collections Department and also as a University lecturer specialized in turn-of-thecentury Hungarian art at Pázmány Péter 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. SINIŠA 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 Faculty 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 including Jean Monnet projects and FP7 Identities and modernities project coordinated by Kingston University, UK where he was the team leader of the Croatian team.


Globalizing Cultural Studies Ethnographic Interventions in Theory, Method, and Policy New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2007. XXXIV, 541 pp. Intersections in Communications and Culture: Global Approaches and Transdisciplinary Perspectives. Vol. 16 General Editors: Cameron McCarthy and Angharad N. Valdivia ISBN 978-0-8204-8682-6 · pb. € 36,20* The contributors to Globalizing Cultural Studies: Ethnographic Interventions in Theory, Method, and Policy take as their central topic the problematic status of „the global“ within cultural studies in the areas of theory, method, and policy, and particularly in relation to the intersections of language, power, and identity in twenty-first century, post-9/11 culture(s). Writing against the Anglo-centric ethnographic gaze that has saturated various cultural studies projects to date, contributors offer new interdisciplinary, autobiographical, ethnographic, textual, postcolonial, poststructural, and political economic approaches to the practice of cultural studies. This edited volume foregrounds twenty-five groundbreaking essays (plus a provocative foreword and an insightful afterword) in which the authors show how globalization is articulated in the micro and macro dimensions of contemporary life, pointing to the need for cultural studies to be more systematically engaged with the multiplicity and difference that globalization has proffered. Contents: Jennifer Logue / Cameron McCarthy: Shooting the Elephant: Antagonistic Identities, Neo-Marxist Nostalgia, and the Remorselessly Vanishing Pasts · Michael D. Giardina: Consuming Difference/Performing Hybridity · Charles Michael Elavsky: Moving Beyond the Wall(s): Theorizing Corporate Identity for Global Cultural Studies · Susan J. Harewood: Masquerade as Methodology…or, Why Cultural Studies Should Return to the Caribbean · Miguel A. Malagreca: Writing Queer across the Borders of Geography and Desire · and many more Frankfurt am Main · Berlin · Bern · Bruxelles · New York · Oxford · Wien Distribution: Verlag Peter Lang AG Moosstr. 1, CH-2542 Pieterlen Telefax 00 41 (0) 32 / 376 17 27 E-Mail [email protected]

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