(image source: Cambridge Core)
Bilateral treaties are an age-old tool of diplomacy, but before the First World War they were only rarely applied to the world of intellectual and cultural relations. This article explores the process by which diplomatic agreements on intellectual and cultural exchange came instead to be a common feature of interwar European international relations by contrasting two types of agreements identified by period observers: ‘intellectual’ accords, typified by the agreements France signed in the 1920s, and ‘cultural’ treaties, advanced by fascist Italy in the 1930s. Comparing France and Italy's use of such agreements in Central-Eastern Europe reveals that Italy's fascist regime responded to the crises and opportunities of the interwar period by developing a distinctive model of ‘cultural treaty’ that applied state power to international cultural exchange, and mobilised the idea of ‘culture’ itself, in a new and influential manner.
Read more here: DOI 10.1017/S0960777321000023.