Velikaya Anna
Soviet public diplomacy // Place Branding and Public Diplomacy. 2020. DOI 10.1057/s41254-020-00193-0. URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057%2Fs41254-020-00193-0. Published online: 13.11.2020.
Publication Type:


DOI 10.1057%2Fs41254-020-00193-0

The research gives an overview of Soviet public diplomacy, and the expectations Soviet people have had for it. In this article we examine how Soviet public diplomacy has contributed to promoting the country’s policy priorities worldwide since the 1920s. In particular, we frst reveal how cultural diplomacy was used with the purpose of gaining international recognition and terminating starvation in the 1920s. Afterwards, we examine the practice of increasing the number of Soviet friends and proponents in the 1930s through friendship societies and cultural diplomacy tools. Additionally, the role of public diplomacy in WWII as anti-fascism resistance committees, friendship societies and international broadcasting cooperation of allied nations, including within the sphere of anti-Nazi disinformation, is discovered. Following this, the methods of Soviet public diplomacy during the Cold war confrontation are analysed through people-to-people diplomacy mechanisms, science diplomacy and development assistance to the "non-alignment" countries. Lastly, the target audience of Soviet public diplomacy is defned, along with the analysis of the main Soviet public diplomacy institutions under the lens of their activities. The article states that the Soviet Union had a strong centralized public diplomacy system aimed at the needs of foreign policy. During the Cold war, huge amounts of money were spent on the battle of two ideologies. Dogmatism, the impossibility of critical thinking within the framework of the existing system, closed borders did not contribute to the formation of a favorable image of the country. While internal problems undermined the image and attractiveness of the late USSR, for decades it was successful in winning the hearts and minds of foreign "movers and shakers".


Keywords: USSR | Soviet public diplomacy | Soviet cultural diplomacy | Science diplomacy | Development assistance | Cold war | VOKS | The state committee for foreign economic relations |



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