Books as Cultural Diplomacy, A Case Study of The British Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD), 1948–1956

Igrek, Musa. 2020. Books as Cultural Diplomacy, A Case Study of The British Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD), 1948–1956. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

No full text available
[img] Text (Books as Cultural Diplomacy, A Case Study of The British Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD), 1948–1956)
ICCE_thesis_IgrekM_2020.pdf - Accepted Version
Permissions: Administrator Access Only

Download (50MB)
[img] Text (Books as Cultural Diplomacy, A Case Study of The British Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD), 1948–1956)
ICCE_thesis_IgrekM_2020_copyright-material-redacted.pdf - Accepted Version
Permissions: Administrator Access Only until 31 August 2023.
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (14MB)

Abstract or Description

This dissertation aims to demonstrate how books functioned as a form of cultural diplomacy during the early years of the Cold War, between 1948 and 1956. This is achieved using the Information Research Department (IRD) of the UK Foreign Office (FO) as a case study. This thesis analyses the UK’s early Cold War foreign policy and examines how books have promoted national identity.

The examination of the IRD’s activities during the early Cold War period reveals how the UK government developed specific strategies of cultural representation and narrative to inform and influence both domestic and foreign audiences and to maintain and enhance its attractive image. In order to develop a theoretical framework linking power relations to the promotion and construction of national identity through public and cultural diplomacy activities, the research has applied Gramsci’s concept of hegemony based on moral and intellectual leadership.

This thesis contributes to a stronger understanding of: how the IRD’s funding and distribution of books were used to promote and (re)construct the UK’s national identity in the early years of the Cold War; how books promoted a favourable national image abroad; how these books functioned as an effective tool for the UK to carry out its ‘role’ as a global power both at home and abroad – to maintain and reproduce its hegemony; how these books helped the political elites disseminate their preferred messages; and how intellectuals and private organisations were involved in this book-publishing strategy. The thesis has demonstrated how foreign policy preferences were organically and fundamentally connected with elite-constructed conceptions of national identity and that public and cultural diplomacy played a substantial role in projecting, promoting and protecting these conceptions. The study also provides an example of how public and cultural diplomacy projects were designed and worked upon both by official and non-official actors.

The data used in this thesis comes primarily from the archival collection of the IRD’s files covering the period of 1948–1956, which are available at the National Archives in London. Additionally, a small but significant amount of data comes from newly released (April 2018) material from the University of Reading's Special Collections of Archives and Rare Books.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.25602/GOLD.00030133

Additional Information:

Redacted version of thesis made available. Full version is embargoed.

Full version is 274 pages. Redacted version with copyright material removed is 257 pages.

Keywords:

cultural diplomacy, public diplomacy, hegemony, cultural cold war, information research department, the British Foreign Office, foreign cultural policy, cultural policy, Cold War, national identity, national image, cultural relations, Cold War publishing

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)

Date:

31 August 2020

Item ID:

30133

Date Deposited:

08 Jun 2021 09:30

Last Modified:

08 Jun 2021 09:30

URI:

https://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/30133

View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)