Culture and International History

Culture and International History

Jessica C E. Gienow-Hecht
Frank Schumacher
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Culture and International History
    Book Description:

    Combining the perspectives of 18 international scholars from Europe and the United States with a critical discussion of the role of culture in international relations, this volume introduces recent trends in the study of Culture and International History. It systematically explores the cultural dimension of international history, mapping existing approaches and conceptual lenses for the study of cultural factors and thus hopes to sharpen the awareness for the cultural approach to international history among both American and non-American scholars.

    The first part provides a methodological introduction, explores the cultural underpinnings of foreign policy, and the role of culture in international affairs by reviewing the historiography and examining the meaning of the word culture in the context of foreign relations. In the second part, contributors analyze culture as a tool of foreign policy. They demonstrate how culture was instrumentalized for diplomatic goals and purposes in different historical periods and world regions. The essays in the third part expand the state-centered view and retrace informal cultural relations among nations and peoples. This exploration of non-state cultural interaction focuses on the role of science, art, religion, and tourism. The fourth part collects the findings and arguments of part one, two, and three to define a roadmap for further scholarly inquiry. A group of" commentators" survey the preceding essays, place them into a larger research context, and address the question "Where do we go from here?" The last and fifth part presents a selection of primary sources along with individual comments highlighting a new genre of resources scholars interested in culture and international relations can consult.

    eISBN: 978-1-78238-797-8
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. viii-viii)
  4. Editors’ Preface
    (pp. ix-ix)
    Jessica C. E. Gienow-Hecht and Frank Schumacher
  5. List of Contributors
    (pp. x-xiv)
  6. Part I: Methodology
    • Introduction On the Division of Knowledge and the Community of Thought: Culture and International History
      (pp. 3-26)
      Jessica C.E. Gienow-Hecht

      This collection of essays seeks to broaden the study of international history: its individual contributors retrace the merger between international history and cultural studies (both in terms of theory and methodology) within and outside of the United States. In particular, this volume addresses three premises: first, we wish to facilitate the exchange among international scholars who are interested in cultural approaches. Many of the recent U.S. publications extolling conceptually and empirically interesting and cutting-edge reflections have focused on the post-World War II period (notably the Cold War) and on research along the North-South axis rather than schools and thoughts emerging...

    • Chapter 1 The Power of Culture in International Relations
      (pp. 27-42)
      Beate Jahn

      Theories of international relations have traditionally found culture a difficult concept to deal with. Recently, however, it appears as if there is a “return” of culture in international relations.¹ But if “questions of culture and identity have been always part and parcel of our analysis of the social world,” as Friedrich Kratochwil suggests, this raises questions not only about the meaning and potential of their explicit “return(s)” to the discipline of international relations but also about previous periods of “amnesia.”²

      In this essay I will first demonstrate that culture does, indeed, lie at the heart of traditional international relations theories...

  7. Part II: Culture and the State
    • Chapter 2 The Great Derby Race: Strategies of Cultural Representation at Nineteenth-Century World Exhibitions
      (pp. 45-59)
      Wolfram Kaiser

      Of the first world exhibition in London in 1851, the English newspaperThe Timeswrote: “After ages of mutual alienation and distrust, we this day witness a ceremonial and a work which … may be called the act of all mankind.… Happily that act is an act of peace, of love, and of religion.”¹ The satirical magazinePunchwas more scathing in its comments on the exhibition. One cartoon presented it as “the great derby race for 1851.” In front of a large crowd of spectators assembled around the Crystal Palace, representatives of all nations scrambled in wild panic toward...

    • Chapter 3 Manliness and “Realism”: The Use of Gendered Tropes in the Debates on the Philippine-American and on the Vietnam War
      (pp. 60-78)
      Fabian Hilfrich

      Was this outburst by Lyndon Johnson just one of the most drastic examples of the Texan’s brusque and vulgar style? Or did the president’s idiosyncratic use of gender stereotypes indicate a more important pattern of thought that may even have had an impact on the formulation of U.S. policies in Vietnam? In this essay, I will argue that the use of gender stereotypes, particularly of certain ideals of masculinity, did have a measurable influence, if not on policy making, then at least on the acrimonious debate that accompanied America’s war in Vietnam. By enlarging the scope of the inquiry to...

    • Chapter 4 A Family Affair? Gender, the U.S. Information Agency, and Cold War Ideology, 1945-1960
      (pp. 79-94)
      Laura A. Belmonte

      On 12 September 1947, the State Department’sAir Bulletincontained an article entitled “Mr. and Mrs. America.” Drawn from eleven years of Gallup polls, the profile depicted the “typical” American man and woman. The average U.S. male, the study noted, “spends fifteen minutes traveling two miles to work, gambles occasionally, and says he loses more than he wins.” Six-tenths preferred brunette women, only three-tenths blondes, the rest redheads. “Mr. America” considered married men happier than bachelors and valued his wife’s companionship, intelligence, and homemaking talent more than her beauty. He thought women nagged too much, and opposed the idea of...

  8. Part III: Cultural Transmission, Nongovernmental Organizations and Private Individuals
    • Chapter 5 France and Germany after the Great War: Businessmen, Intellectuals and Artists in Non-governmental European Networks
      (pp. 97-114)
      Guido Müller

      The mental attitudes and social structures at work in the networks of European integration today result from a process that began in the aftermath of the Great War of 1914-1918. The cultural and ideological roots of this process are embedded in Franco-German and European nongovernmental relations between 1923 and 1933. Socially and ideologically, the representatives of official institutions and NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) acting on the European level in the 1950s had largely the same background as their forerunners between the two world wars in elitist and nondemocratic organizations. Any history of the process of European integration after World War II...

    • Chapter 6 Small Atlantic World: U.S. Philanthropy and the Expanding International Exchange of Scholars after 1945
      (pp. 115-134)
      Oliver Schmidt

      Since the dawn of civilization until the modern era, travel for the sake of erudition was the privilege of a select group. Fewer still were those scholars receiving stipends to study abroad. This old exclusive world of learning has all but vanished. Today, thanks to a burgeoning educational exchange industry, thousands upon thousands of students crisscross the globe. Study-abroad programs and modern conference circuits, as the British novelist David Lodge writes inSmall World, “resemble the pilgrimage of medieval Christendom in that it allows the participants to indulge themselves in all the pleasures and diversions of travel while appearing to...

    • Chapter 7 Atlantic Alliances: Cross-Cultural Communication and the 1960s Student Revolution
      (pp. 135-156)
      Philipp Gassert

      For students of international relations, revolutionary crises provide excellent opportunities for analyzing the effects of cross-cultural communication. The 1780s and 1790s, the late 1840s, the post-World War I years, as well as the 1960s, witnessed a mobilization across cultures, national borders, and political systems. In particular, the events of 1968, the climactic year of the 1960s protest cycle, have often been described as an example of “global revolution.”¹ During that year, protest movements became a critical factor in the social and political fabric of the advanced capitalist societies of the West. They also disrupted the Socialist nations of Eastern Europe...

    • Chapter 8 Forecasting the Future: Future Studies as International Networks of Social Analysis in the 1960s and 1970s in Western Europe and the United States
      (pp. 157-172)
      Alexander Schmidt-Gernig

      Due to their peculiar developmental dynamic, modern societies are in general future- and progress-oriented.¹ However, this does not mean that during the last two centuries public discourses were above all determined by a steady orientation toward the future. On the contrary, recent research has discovered a fascinating story of changing trends between euphoria and depression, between an intense belief in ”utopian” projects on the one hand and a deep skepticism toward the future in general on the other. According to the historian Lucian Hölscher, four different periods of an intense future orientation can be distinguished: the 1770/1780s, the 1830/1840s, the...

  9. Part IV: Comments and Criticism or Where Do We Go From Here?
    • Chapter 9 Cultural Approaches to International Relations A Challenge?
      (pp. 175-197)
      Volker Depkat

      Shortly after NATO started bombing Kosovo in the spring of 1999, left-wing as well as conservative politicians, journalists, and other representatives of the politically interested public accused Germany’s foreign minister, Joschka Fischer (born in 1948), a member of the Green Party, of having betrayed his own party’s pacifist viewpoints by helping to bring about the decision for war. Asked in this context whether there was a specifically Green foreign policy, Fischer responded: “Of course there is a Green foreign policy.… However, the German foreign minister does not pursue aGreenforeign policy.”¹

      Fischer’s political biography is inseparably connected with Germany’s...

    • Chapter 10 States, International Systems, and Intercultural Transfer: A Commentary
      (pp. 198-205)
      Eckart Conze

      The exploration of the role of “culture” in international relations is a relatively recent approach to diplomatic history, international history and the history of international relations.¹ In their analyses, historians of international relations have preferred—and still prefer—to examine political power relations and international economic structures instead of the significance of culture for the evolution of international and transnational relations and the structures of the international system.

      If we take a closer look at the international, and even global, trends of the last decades, we can hardly ignore the increasing relevance and importance of cultural issues in international affairs....

    • Chapter 11 “Total Culture” and the State-Private Network: A Commentary
      (pp. 206-214)
      Scott Lucas

      “Culture” has not been a term that figures prominently in the history of international relations. It is far easier to deal with the tangibles of policy making, diplomacy, and economics than it is to consider a construction that, in Raymond Williams’ phrase, is no less than “the organization of all experience.”¹ In my own field of interest, the Cold War, this has led to historians endlessly restaging the battle between defending US foreign policy as the quest for national security and criticizing it as the quest for economic hegemony. “Culture” has been absent or restricted to a cameo appearance such...

    • Chapter 12 Gender, Tropes, and Images: A Commentary
      (pp. 215-220)
      Marc Frey

      Over the last two decades, a large number of studies broadly situated in the field of international history have employed approaches that stress the importance and value of perceptions and images for the study of foreign relations. Likewise, an increasing number of studies employ the category of gender, either to highlight the contributions of women to the history of foreign relations or to gain a more nuanced understanding of how and why male-dominated decision-making processes define interests, ideas, and policy strategies.

      The reasons for these developments are complex and can only be briefly mentioned here: in the wake of the...

    • Chapter 13 Internationalizing Ideologies: A Commentary
      (pp. 221-230)
      Seth Fein

      As the conference that produced this book convened in December 1999, elite and popular forces converged in Seattle to rock the discourse of globalization. Although the outdoor protests that challenged neoliberalism’s “inevitable” progress gained the most television time, they had little to do with the collapse of the intergovernmental talks indoors. There, the problems were long-standing ones that revealed both the lack of international elite consensus about the form “free trade” should take and competing desires to use the World Trade Organization more to preserve or gain comparative advantages than to enact “universal” principles. This volume’s contributions by Guido Müller,...

  10. Part V: Annotated Sources
    • Chapter 14 The Invention of State and Diplomacy: The First Political Testament of Frederick III, Elector of Brandenburg (1698)
      (pp. 233-242)

      The state is the condition of possibility of all diplomacy and international relations. Yet the state as we know it is itself the product of a particular political culture—Europe‘s political culture, to be precise. Statehood is neither an anthropological constant nor a cultural necessity, let alone the fulfilment of history, as Georg Friedrich Wilhlem Hegel (1770-1831) thought in the first half of the nineteenth century. Rather, it was the Europeans who invented the modern state roughly between 1500 and 1750. The notion of the state is in itself a system of meaning that is both the result of power-structured...

    • Chapter 15 The Rat Race for Progress: A Punch Cartoon of the Opening of the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition
      (pp. 243-249)

      World exhibitions were imminently important in the nineteenth century because they created global public spaces through the mass visits of people from all sorts of social backgrounds and from many different countries. They were also extensively reported on in newspapers and journals worldwide. Initially, world exhibitions were mainly industrial exhibitions, with international participation. However, the second exhibition in Paris in 1855 already had a special pavilion for works of art, and the scope of subsequent exhibitions was progressively extended to include sections on common development issues in an age of internationalization, such as education, the future role of women, and...

    • Chapter 16 Race and Imperialism: An Essay from the Chicago Broad Ax
      (pp. 250-257)

      The following published appeal to “colored voters” represents a source on both domestic politics and foreign policy. Issued before the presidential elections of 1900, the letter sought to convince African Americans to withdraw their political allegiance from the Republican Party. The reason the three writers mentioned for their advice was located in the foreign policy realm—in their opposition to American “imperialism” or, to be more precise, opposition to the annexation of the Philippines in the wake of the Spanish-American War of 1898.

      The cultural paradigm of race furnishes the link between foreign policy and domestic politics. Placed within its...

    • Chapter 17 A Document from the Harvard International Summer School
      (pp. 258-263)

      The following document on the origins and development of the Harvard University International Summer Seminar of the 1950s illustrates that “culture,” academia, and foreign policy cannot be separated in the Cold War. Indeed, the U.S. Government recognized from 1948 that the battle with Soviet Communism was not just for military superiority or economic advantage but also for the supremacy of U.S. values and “way of life.”¹ To win this battle, the state had to rely on the promotion of its campaign through private outlets such as universities, but to maintain the illusion that freedom of the individual was behind this...

    • Chapter 18 Max Lerner’s “Germany HAS a Foreign Policy”
      (pp. 264-272)

      Max Lerner belongs to the outstanding personalities in American intellectual life of the twentieth century. Born in Minsk in 1902, the son of Russian Jews, Lerner went to the United States to become an important journalist, columnist, and author. As a liberal, he backed Roosevelt’s New Deal policy in the 1930s when he wrote for theNation. In 1943-1948, his influential columns appeared inP.M. Later on, he worked as syndicated columnist for theNew York Post. Lerner, who backed Henry Wallace in his unsuccessful campaign for the American presidency in 1948, still held on to his political convictions in...

    • Chapter 19 Excerpt from Johan Galtung’s “On the Future of the International System”
      (pp. 273-281)

      In early autumn 1967, over seventy participants from more than twelve countries and three continents gathered, at the initiative of newly formed European think tanks such as Mankind 2000 (London), the International Peace Research Institute (Oslo), and the Institut für Zukunftsfragen (Vienna). The meeting consisted of what was, at that time, a unique experiment of a “World Future Studies Conference“ to discuss the future of humankind in the shadow of the Cold War on an interdisciplinary basis. At this conference, the Norwegian sociologist and peace researcher Johan Galtung held the talk partially reprinted here, on the future of the international...

    • Chapter 20 The “Children and War” Virtual Forum: Voices of Youth and International Relations
      (pp. 282-288)

      The 1999 conflict in Kosovo, coinciding with the Internet’s adolescent growth spurt, generated a gamut of virtual communities discussing the war from diverse religious, political, and cultural perspectives. The “Children and War” interactive discussion facilitated by UNICEF’sVoices of Youth(VOY)¹ created a generational perspective, allowing young people, from elementary school through university, to submit over 1700 messages about war. Their entries came from ninety-seven countries, in French, English, and Spanish languages, but the youth represented one common interest: bringing peace to Kosovo.

      The “Children and War” site exemplifies the capacity of United Nations agencies (such as UNICEF), as well...

  11. Index
    (pp. 289-306)