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Department of Political Science and Public Administration


Doctoral Dissertation in progress

"Public diplomacy and economic reconstruction in early Cold War era: Greece through international exhibitions (1948-1962)"

Commencement date: November 22, 2022


In contrast to most of the cultural means used within the framework of the Cold War confrontation, international exhibitions had the particularity tο constitute a live means of communication and give the opportunity for direct dialogue with the people who visited them. However, did Greece realize the dynamics and influence that its national pavilions could have? Starting with Greece's participation in the Smyrna exhibitions in the late 1940s and reaching up to 1962 and the ratification of the agreement to connect the country with the EEC, all Greek participations of the period will be explored. The aim is not to simply record or map the international exhibitions in which Greece participated or organized, but to conduct a thorough examination of them, taking into account the broader context within which they took place. International exhibitions were a first-rate opportunity for Greece to shape and construct its new image in the post-war world, an image which had been affected by all sides. The end of World War II found Greece exhausted both economically and socially, while the civil war that followed postponed the country's economic and institutional reconstruction until the beginning of the next decade. Through the examination of the archives and the press of this particular period, it is evident that the Greek state had a burning desire to declare that it was part of the Western world. Whether it is trade and industrial fairs or art and tourism exhibitions, Greece's aspiration to emerge as a country that is economically developed with a plethora of high-quality consumer goods and industrial products, an attractive emerging tourist destination open to foreign visitors, and a Western state which defends freedom and democracy on every occasion is always apparent.