Sweden, Europe and the return of the 18th century during the 1990s crisis
Keywords:Swedish identity, cultural diplomacy, Gustavianism, return of history, Paris
The early 1990s saw Sweden severely hit by financial crisis, electoral upheaval and a swift reorientation within political elites resulting in an application to join the European Union (EU). Focusing on the Swedish blockbuster exhibition project Le Soleil et l’Etoile du Nord (The Sun and the North Star) in Paris during spring 1994, this paper argues that the early 1990s represent a key transition period for the renegotiation of the relationship between business, politics and culture in Swedish foreign promotion and cultural diplomacy. In a wide-ranging campaign launched in France ahead of the EU membership, political communication, cultural heritage narratives, and export promotion were brought together in an ambitious national identity political project that showcased a new, liberal-conservative and inherently European Sweden.
Copyright (c) 2021 Andreas Mørkved Hellenes
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