Promoting the Socialist Community: Efforts and Effects of the Socialist Camp’s Cultural Diplomacy


  • Oksana Nagornaia



transnational history, Cold War, socialist camp, socialist integration, Eastern Bloc, cultural diplomacy


Based on an analysis of modern Cold War historiography, the article considers current discussions, topics, and perspectives in the chosen research landscape. Taking into account the modern circumstances, the author concludes that in the latest publications, there is a tendency to reconsider the dichotomic model “Sovietisation vs Americanisation” and, instead, take a closer look at the representations of socialism and the structures and actors of cultural diplomacy in Eastern Europe. Referring to propaganda projects of socialist integration and intercultural spaces, the author demonstrates what was specifically socialist about the forms and instruments of representations of the Eastern Bloc, the conflicting spheres of collaboration, and independent initiatives of people’s democracies in the sphere of cultural diplomacy. The author concludes that at the end of the Second World War, the propaganda system in the Soviet Union was integrated into a larger scheme of presenting the world system of socialism where the Eastern European states became symbolically appropriated spaces and promising symbolic resources. The cultural initiatives of the socialist countries of Eastern Europe at the international level testify to the cultural pluralism in the Eastern Bloc. The independent steps the countries of the socialist camp took for self-realisation on the international arena testify to this cultural pluralism. The effectiveness of their symbolic messages was facilitated by the geographical proximity to borders, integration into the contexts of western culture, and better developed information resources. In the article, the author’s own analysis is preceded by a review of materials thematically related to the section of the journal on the cultural diplomacy of socialism. Articles referred to in the study and devoted to the projects of the socialist camp prove the thesis that the Eastern Bloc that emerged during the Cold War and the hybrid identities developed under its influence survived the breakdown of the bipolar order and are important for modern culture.

Author Biography

Oksana Nagornaia

Dr. Hab. (History), Professor, Yaroslavl State Pedagogical University named after K. D. Ushinsky.

108/1, Respublikanskaya Str., 150000, Yaroslavl, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0001-8476-4400


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How to Cite

Nagornaia, O. (2020). Promoting the Socialist Community: Efforts and Effects of the Socialist Camp’s Cultural Diplomacy. Quaestio Rossica, 8(5), 1597–1611.



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