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Reputation by Committee? Finland’s Committee for International Information, 1988-1990

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SummaryIn October 1988, an ordinance of the Finnish government created the Committee for International Information (Kansainvälisen tiedottamisen neuvottelukunta, or Kantine). Kantine came as the last of a series of Cold War efforts to centrally define an image of Finland fit for foreign consumption, and to establish the communication methods through which state authorities and their partners could use this image as an economic and political asset. Established under the coordination of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kantine acts as a window into the evolution of Finnish national image management and its state at the end of the Cold War. However, the context of the late 1980s and the desire of Kantine’s members to use the committee as the platform for a ‘wide societal debate on Finland in the twenty-first century’ gave it a broader scope than other ‘national image committees’ that had preceded it since 1945. This article will place Kantine in the evolution of Finland’s national image management and image policy, and will summarize its work and consequences.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Political Science and Contemporary History, University of Turku20014


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