The historical past as a means of shaping the cultural strategy and the international image of a country: Uses of the national narrative of Spain in the 20th century
This doctoral dissertation aims to explore the role of history in shaping the cultural strategy and the international image of a country. The importance of the historical past to the creation of nation-state and its effect on the effort of states to create their national identity is highlighted. Particular analysis is required regarding the involvement of the political scene to the transmission of the historical past to the future generations through the formation of the national narrative. The very interesting tendency of the last decades to approach the past also via a cultural perspective (termed as ‘‘cultural turn’’ in the relevant literature) is presented. In this context, a central point of analysis is the formation of a national cultural strategy in the contemporary international competitive environment since culture constitutes one of the three pillars of the “soft power” of the nations-states. The case of Spain in the twentieth century is examined and analyzed, as it suggests a case of a country having been shocked by great historical events during this period (civil war, dictatorships, etc.). A detailed analysis is presented regarding the way in which Spain handled its historical past in its attempt to build a prosperous, democratic future.
The aim of this thesis is to highlight the coordinated effort of nation-states to strengthen the concept of national element internally by exploiting the creation of the national narrative as well as to promote and disseminate externally their particular cultural characteristics through the development of cultural strategies, in order to ensure a promising and prosperous future.
Advisor: Christos MERANTZAS, Associate Professor, University of Patras