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The Anomaly Of The Cold War: Cultural Diplomacy And Civil Society Since 1850

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the history of cultural diplomacy since the 19th century to ask a simple question and to conclude with a central thesis. The question: how does contemporary cultural diplomacy, notably after 9/11, compare to previous cultural strategies run by the state? The answer: complicated as this history may be, cultural diplomacy today resembles increasingly the structures developed in the 19th century. The chapter addresses the differences between the cultural diplomacy of the nineteenth and the twentieth century with an eye to the post 9/11 world. The government should not mess with culture, least of all sponsor its export. Next to language, the fine arts constituted another venue for informal French cultural diplomacy. In many ways, the Cold War and its propaganda battles represented a continuation of the clashes between empires in the realm of ideas and culture.

Keywords: civil society; Cold War; cultural diplomacy; language; nineteenth century; public diplomacy; twentieth century



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