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Polish cultural diplomacy and historical memory: the case of the museum of the second world war in Gdańsk

Clarke, David and Duber, Paweł 2018. Polish cultural diplomacy and historical memory: the case of the museum of the second world war in Gdańsk. International Journal of Politics, Culture and Society 10.1007/s10767-018-9294-x

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Abstract

This article examines the mobilization of historical memory as a resource for cultural diplomacy through the medium of the museum. Noting the increasing trend for states to incorporate “dark heritage” of conflict into their cultural diplomacy strategies, the article examines the recent case of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk, which has been heavily criticized by the current Polish government for its alleged failure to convey an adequately heroic account of the war to both domestic and foreign audiences. The article demonstrates that the current Polish government has placed great importance on historical memory as a means of persuading European partners of the validity of its vision of European history and of Poland’s place within the contemporary European project. However, in its approach to the Museum of the Second World War, we argue, the Polish government has not developed an effective strategy for mobilizing historical memory to influence others. This case study allows us to demonstrate the potential pitfalls of drawing on historical memory in the context of cultural diplomacy.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Modern Languages
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Springer
ISSN: 0891-4486
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 October 2018
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2019 10:54
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/115446

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