Companies of clouds : the development of multilateral cultural cooperation in western European international organisations
This thesis traces the development of styles and theories of cultural cooperation from the pre-World War II models developed by France and Britain in particular, through the post-WWII international cooperation structures which included cultural cooperation as part of their structures. Organisations considered include the International Committee for Intellectual Cooperation, the Brussels Treaty Organisation, the Council of Europe and the European Union, focusing primarily on the non-educational or scientific aspects of cultural cooperation. Sources used include documentation of the two latter bodies and the public records of the UK Foreign Office and Ministry of Education. Intellectual cooperation was launched under the auspices of the League of Nations as a separate entity from the bilateral cultural relations of governments. Its tradition continues to be powerfully felt in the activity of the Council of Europe, after WWII the fulcrum of multilateral cultural cooperation. The thesis shows how it moved away from acting as a counterpoint to political developments towards the creation of a programme based on sociological study, which contained a strong element of federalist ideology, developing its own orthodoxy of "cultural policy", until partly "repossessed" in the 1990s by political imperatives. The contrast with the tightly regulated European Union is marked, and shows in certain respects a return to earlier experiments in cultural cooperation, which developed most of its theory and practice in the pre-1992 era when the Community Treaty did not provide for action in the field of culture. The thesis argues that the EU's cultural programme is not a manifestation of a "Europeanisation" of cultural policy, although policies elsewhere in the organisation may well have that effect, but of multilateral cultural cooperation.