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Soft culture, cold partners
Author: Carla Konta

The book represents the first comprehensive account of the public and cultural diplomacy campaigns carried out by the United States in Yugoslavia during the height of the Cold War. Based on extensive multinational archival research, as well as private papers and personal interviews, this book charts the reasoning behind the US campaign and the impact it had on specific Yugoslav communities and individuals. American soft power, as a form of cultural power, deliberately sought to ‘open up’ a relatively closed society through the provision and diffusion of liberal traditions, ideas, and ideals. Tito and his Party allowed USIA and State Department cultural programs to enter Yugoslavia, liberated from Soviet control, to open cultural centres and pavilions at its main fairs, to broadcast Voice of America, and have American artists tour the country. Exchanges of intellectual and political personnel helped foster the US–Yugoslav relationship, but posed severe ideological challenges for both countries. By providing new insights into porous borders between freedom and coercion in Tito’s regime, the book shows how public diplomacy acted as an external input for Yugoslav liberalization and dissident movements. Meant for students, scholars, and general readers interested in the cultural Cold War, international relations, and diplomacy, this book fills a gap in the literature by looking at the political role of culture in US–Yugoslav bilateral relations, analysing the fluid links between information and propaganda, and the unintended effects propaganda can produce beyond the control of producers and receivers.

Tim Aistrope

THIS CHAPTER EXAMINES the practical manifestation of the War of Ideas strategy in United States (US) State Department public diplomacy, as well as more recent counter-radicalisation efforts under the Obama administration. It does so by focusing on several programmes involved in direct engagements with anti-Americanism and extremist ideology: the

in Conspiracy theory and American foreign policy
Suetyi Lai and Li Zhang

5 Public diplomacy of the European Union in East Asia Suetyi Lai and Li Zhang Introduction When public diplomacy broadly refers to attempts by one government to influence foreign publics, governments from Europe have been among the first to practise it, for example with the establishment of the Alliance Française in 1883 and of the British Council in 1934. Yet the public diplomacy of the EU as a collective institution appeared much later, while studies of public diplomacy itself focus mostly on the country level. This chapter is devoted to understanding the

in The European Union in the Asia-Pacific
Abstract only
Carla Konta

Gamal Abdel Nasser, Tito signed the Declaration of Brioni in July 1956, giving birth to the Non-Aligned Movement organization (NAM). 8 Yugoslavia became a top priority for Washington’s public diplomacy creators after 1950. First the Truman and then the Eisenhower administrations adopted a policy of ‘keeping Tito afloat.’ The State Department policymakers coined the term ‘wedge strategy’ to indicate the foreign relations approach to Yugoslavia. The strategy consisted in supporting Yugoslav nationalism to instigate divisions between the Soviet Union and other

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
Carla Konta

for Party members, and admission of foreigners, stressed the report, were ‘all point[ing] to a general liberalization.’ While partly inaccurate and partly overestimating the chance for the regime’s prompt liberalization, Project TROY emphasized how the United States should give Yugoslavia ‘every possible support in developing an economic and political life independent of Russia.’ 7 The third aspect of US involvement in Yugoslavia – its public diplomacy strategy and soft-power policies – worked to increase Yugoslav orientation, especially in ‘official circles

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
Abstract only
Carla Konta

and writer 1 I never quite understood why the Yugoslavs allowed us to do that. USIS PAO Walter Roberts 2 We live in an era of soft skills. Soft skills – namely the personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people – are cooperative features of soft power. There is no soft power without personal ascendance, the attraction of who you are, and who you speak for. As this book shows, US public diplomacy in Yugoslavia was a story of soft skills rendered soft-power endeavours. The USIA mission flourished in the

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
Carla Konta

suggested, the Yugoslav Party leaders used foreign jazz or rock concerts to create consent and show how liberal the regime was, 81 it also emerges from the latter evidence that at lower cultural echelons there were authentic interests in Yugoslav–US artistic cooperation motivated by reasons of cultural prestige, creativity, and public demand. Voice of America speaks… Voice of America played a special role in the public diplomacy endeavour, specifically promoting and widely disseminating what the CPP was doing on Yugoslav stages across the country. VOA focused on

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
Abstract only
Carla Konta

reading rooms into places of political influence and activism, sometimes even dissent. 2 When, in 1942, the Biblioteca Benjamin Franklin opened in Mexico City under the Good Neighbour program, it settled on ‘a fine line between promoting dialogue and simply promoting the United States.’ Like others that followed, these libraries, sponsored by the American Library Association and operating under the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, would embrace the methods of public diplomacy by beginning to care ‘about the image the [US] nation projected to the

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
Abstract only
Carla Konta

’ continued Scott-Smith, ‘fell into a gap between quantitative analysis (statistical assessments and hard data) and qualitative analysis (personal judgment).’ 4 The exchange programs were just an aspect of US public diplomacy in Yugoslavia, and as a soft-power medium they attached to many other forms of cultural persuasion: the USIS libraries, personal contacts policies, cultural events, exhibitions, and information dissemination, all indirectly putting more irons in the fire. The late 1960s: dissidents on fire As Croatian historians Tihomir Cipek and Katarina Spehnjak

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
Carla Konta

organizing American exhibitions at Yugoslav trade fairs, this ingredient remained an essential incentive of the US public diplomacy agenda. Much of American mass culture consumption took place in private: people watched television in their living rooms, the youth paid to see Hollywood movies in quasi-private places of darkened movie theatres, the majority consumed American music via radio or records in homes or dance clubs. Outside private homes, the entertainment industry served effectively and successfully ‘as a site of exposure to American mass culture’ and

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70