1st Edition

Cultural Cold Wars and UNESCO in the Twentieth Century

By W. John Morgan Copyright 2025
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    Cultural Cold Wars and UNESCO in the Twentieth Century addresses the now considerable interest in the concept of cultural cold war as a means of advancing ideologies. 

    The book charts the development of the concept in the 20th century. Structured in two parts, the book first considers the League of Nations idealist attempts at international intellectual cooperation. It discusses also the first cultural cold war with the Communist International’s attempts to advance communism. Also analyses the ideological and cultural appeal of Italian fascism, German national socialism, and Japanese nationalist militarism; and the transition from a wartime alliance to a new cold war. Part Two examines the renewal of international intellectual cooperation through the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in the context of a second cultural cold war between the capitalist democracies and the communist bloc. The book shows that UNESCO became a site of this ideological competition and an example of its tensions.

    Based on original research and a comprehensive review of the literature including in Russian, German, and French, the book will appeal to academics, postgraduate researchers, advanced undergraduates, and others interested in recent international history and the comparative politics of ideas.

    Introduction Part One: Cultural Cold Wars 1. Cultural and Intellectual Internationalism Between the Wars; 2. The First Cultural Cold War: International Communism; 3. The Cultural and Intellectual Appeal of Fascism; 4. From Wartime Alliance to the Second Cultural Cold War Part Two: UNESCO and the Cultural Cold War 5. UNESCO and the Politics of International Cooperation after 1945;  6. UNESCO and the Early Cultural Cold War; 7. Conclusion: UNESCO and the Politics of Ideas in the late Twentieth Century; Bibliography; Index


    W. John Morgan is an Honorary Professor, at the School of Social Sciences, and a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellow, at the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research and Data, Cardiff University, Wales, UK. He is also a Professor Emeritus at the School of Education, University of Nottingham, where he was UNESCO Chair of the Political Economy of Education. A Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and the Royal Historical Society, he also was a Commonwealth Scholarship Commissioner for the UK and a Chairman of the United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO. His previously published works with Routledge include Civil Society, Social Change, and a New Popular Education in Russia (with I. N. Trofimova and G.A. Kliucharev), Philosophy, Dialogue, and Education: Nine modern European philosophers  (with A. Guilherme), Buber and Education: Dialogue as conflict resolution (with A. Guilherme), Chinese Higher Education Reform and Social Justice (edited, with B. Wu) and Higher Education Reform in China: Beyond the expansion (edited, with B. Wu).