Research focus

Started from the events of 1989 and observed today the extinction of phase of democratic euphoria,transformation of international relations system, that is denoted as "new cold war", put the need to reviewthe existing models of uni- or multi-polar world on the agenda, a thorough re-evaluation of the historicalrole of the communist regimes, studying the experience of the integration of the Soviet Union in thesystem of intra-bloc and inter-block communication in the second half of the twentieth century. Inconditions of geopolitical, economic, and ideological confrontation existing in the modern world, in whichprimarily Russia and European countries are involved, the identification of historically proven channelsand instruments of influence, so-called alternative "Traditional diplomacy" and relevant to the modernlevel of development of the media environment channels become topical. Nowadays one of the perspective conceptions is "soft power", which necessarily imply the breaking of economic, political and cultural spheres of a state's function through online-media, increase the role of visual content in policy, the use of informal channels of communication, cooperation in educational and cultural spheres, the active role in public organizations. It is expected that the research will not only contribute to the incrementof the fundamental knowledge in the field indicated by the theme, but will also contribute to the developingconcepts of public history and diplomacy, cultural marketing and cultural transfer.

The topicality of the problem for this branch of knowledge is the necessary change of the angle of research from a deterministic approach, evaluating the second half of the twentieth century and based on research from a deterministic approach, evaluating the second half of the twentieth century and based on the knowledge of an imminent collapse of the Eastern Bloc, to more dispersed representation of its functioning mechanisms, including the external environment, the rejection of a monolithic image of the "Soviet empire" based solely on the violent methods in favor of more flexible explanatory models of its functioning, the study of the role of the Soviet Union in the stabilization and development of international relations, the aspiration of a combination of national and global perspectives.

It seems that the study of postwar Soviet diplomacy will make the necessary contribution to the further development of the terminological debate and allow to include so-called "perspective from below" -participatory claims and cultural activities of citizens and community groups in the concept of "cultural diplomacy".

The scientific importance of solving this problem is the need to create a plastic explanatory model of successful positioning of the USSR in the international arena, the relative stability of the Eastern Bloc, the variability of intra-bloc and inter-bloc of communication and also the developing phenomenon of (n)ostalgia by detecting and systematic description of "non-violent" aspects of relations between the USSR, the other countries of the Eastern Bloc and the so-called "third world", methods and techniques of cultural diplomacy, as well as informal social contacts.

The novelty of the research lies in the reconsideration of sustainable research and public submissions and in the establishment of a new research perspectives of studying  ransnational communication and Soviet cultural diplomacy cooperation in the field of propaganda, culture and education in the context of the Cold War.

Using the latest methods of socio-humanitarian analysis will contribute to the adjustment of ideas about "invented friendship" with the USSR, established in Western literature, in favor of a more flexible and ambivalent models. Through the introduction of an extensive complex of not previously unstudied sourcesinto the scientific usage the research could submit a verifiable confirmation, that the population of theforeign countries (including not only the "People's Democracies countries" and "Third World", but alsoincluding capitalist states) also took seriously the cultural offer transmitted by the USSR and tried to usethe created structures as a channel of implementation of personal or cultural interests. In general, the study of post-war Soviet cultural diplomacy makes it possible to reach a broad research contexts - specifics of communication between the Soviet Union and other countries within and outside the socialist camp, the self-representation of Soviet elite and the production of certain political practices, the specifics of the Soviet version of participatory state, institutionalized contacts with international organizations during the period studied. Taking into account the latest trends in the development of an international research landscape the research will contribute to the current debate and the development of plastic explanatory model of the relative stability of the socialist camp, the phenomenon of the construction of the "Soviet" positive narratives of memory of the socialist past, including their successful commercialization.

Review of research landscape as a whole and the state of research in selected thematic fields once again confirm the novelty of the scientific objectives of the research project and a little number of detailed studies on postwar spaces of cross-cultural contacts and occurred within their framework transnational communication actors, professional associations, non-government organizations. The lack of theoretical research emphasizes the importance of reflection and analysis of existing experience, the development of conceptual apparatus and classification tools, and formulation of recommendations for its use in the current international environment.

The specific objective of the research is to identify the specificity and the effectiveness of the Sovietcultural diplomacy during the Cold War (1949-1989): channels, mechanisms and instruments of cultural transfer, non-cross-border contacts between functional elites, NGOs and ordinary citizens, the role of historical memory in international public policy, structures and codes of (n)ostalgic collective memory of the "socialist past".