Session 1. The integration in the transnational academic networks of the interwar period

Art and art history as instruments of Catalan cultural diplomacy during the interwar period

Eva March, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

The interwar period marked, as is well known, a turning point in the use of cultural diplomacy as a means of projection abroad. Catalonia was no exception. Despite its sub-state character (or perhaps we should say because of it), Catalan public institutions, through the country's scientific and cultural elite, participated in scientific and cultural enterprises of great international impact. Some had already been explored in the immediately preceding years, others had not. We refer, first of all, to the holding of the Exhibition of Catalan Art in Paris in 1920, followed by the one in Portugal in 1921 and the one in Amsterdam in 1922. These three exhibitions were part of the very ambitious "Project for the Expansion of the Catalan Artistic Movement Abroad", which had little to do with art. The aim was rather to demonstrate that Catalan artists shared the same genetics, that they could organise themselves autonomously and, above all, that they did not need to be linked to any official state institution to present themselves to the world. Analysing the resources used by the Catalan political authorities both to offer a certain image of Catalonia to an enlightened public and to use these cultural events to link up with the scientific institutions of the countries visited will be one of the central themes of this proposal, which will also consider Catalan participation in the decisive International Conference on Art History in 1921. In this case too, although before a different audience, similar objectives were pursued: to make visible and give prestige to a scientific community that did not need state tutelage and which had its own resources and idiosyncrasies. An attempt will be made to answer the following questions: What were the main mediating actors? What role did political institutions play in the control and articulation of the discourses? What impact did they achieve?, and what profit did such enterprises obtain?


She is associate professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona). Her field of study is public and private art collections in Catalonia during the last years of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, as well as temporary exhibitions on Catalan and Spanish art held during the same period. She has mainly explored the history of collections, exhibition discourses, and transnational academic networks. Her current research focuses on cultural transfers and methodological issues related to the patterns of artistic reception. She has published articles and chapters in national and international journals and publishers and has participated in several research projects in Spain.



International Congresses and Cultural Diplomacy in the History of Art and Architecture: Josep Puig i Cadafalch in Bucharest (1924) and Stockholm (1933)

Lucila Mallart, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

During the 1920s and early 1930s, the Catalan architect, art historian and politician Josep Puig i Cadafalch (1867-1956) profusely participated in academic congresses and lecturing activities in Europe and the United States. He had been the President of the Mancomunitat de Catalunya (a federation of Catalan provinces) between 1917 and 1923, when he abandoned formal politics. This paper analyses the ways in which his participation in the First International Congress of Byzantine Studies in Bucharest (1924) and in the Thirteenth Congress of Art History in Stockholm (1933) may be read as a form of cultural diplomacy. The Bucharest and Stockholm congresses provide a privileged viewpoint to observe how intellectuals from the European periphery engaged with one another. In this paper, I use the term “periphery” being aware of the controversies that it has caused in the last decade, and drawing on the understanding that rejecting the term blurs the hierarchies and asymmetries that shaped the exchange of knowledge in early-twentieth-century Europe (cf. Kauffmann, Dossin & Joyeux-Prunel, 2015; Nygård & Strang, 2016). In Bucharest, Puig engaged with an academic environment that was prone to provide a space to substate nationalisms that fought to have their voices heard in the context of interwar discussions on national minorities (Maufroy, 2010). In Stockholm, Puig and the Swedish organiser of the Congress, Johnny Roosval (1879-1965), discussed ideas that grave pre-eminence to regional, supranational artistic landscapes and challenged the validity of the nation-state as a framework for the study of art history. Sometimes more explicitly than others, Puig’s interactions in the European periphery show that paradiplomatic strategies permeated academic interactions during a period in which national minorities became protagonists of post-war international discussions.


She is a cultural historian of Modern Europe. She obtained her PhD in Modern European History from the University of Nottingham in 2016. In January 2023 she will be joining Pompeu Fabra University in Spain as a Ramón y Cajal Research Fellow. Prior to that, she worked as a Juan de la Cierva Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the same university (2018-2021) and was a Visiting Research Associate at New Europe College, Institute of Advanced Study of Bucharest (2021-2022). Her research focusses on the interplay between visual culture, urban planning, international exhibitions, knowledge devices and the construction of modern national identities in early-twentieth-century Spain. She is author of Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Visions, Identities, Cosmopolitism (2018) and has published articles and book chapters in journals and presses such as Nations and Nationalism, Cultural History, Urban History, Nuncius: Journal of the Material and Visual History of Science, Oxford University Press, Routledge, and Peter Lang. She currently researches transnational academic exchanges in Europe’s borderlands, as well as photo archives in the early twentieth century.


L’Oficina d’Expansió Catalana, cultural diplomacy  and Catalan Iberianism at the beginning of the 20th century

Jesús Revelles Esquirol (Universitat de les Illes Balears)

In my proposal, I will analyze the contacts of Catalan and Portuguese intellectuals, diplomats, politicians and writers around the hopes generated by Wilson’s points. Thus, the Catalan bourgeoisie —articulated by Francesc Cambó and his Regionalist League—— understood that the Castilian-centric leadership of the peninsula had surrendered its power to the peninsular peripheries. With a multilateral purpose, an attempt was made to internationalize the conflict created by the non-proclamation of the Catalan Statute of Autonomy in 1919. The interlocutor and peninsular ally of Catalonia was Portugal and its cultural intelligence. However, the travels of Catalan intellectuals and writers generated and consolidated cultural contacts that resulted in literary translations, anthologies and a large circulation of articles and lectures, as well as in matters of cultural diplomacy. These Luso-Catalan contacts had one of their main zeniths at the Catalan Art Exhibition in Lisbon in November 1921. The first level Lusitanian contacts took place with Leonardo Coimbra, Teixeira de Pascoaes, Augusto Casimiro, Jaime Cortesão, Pina de Morais or Humberto Pelagio, who sheltered the Exhibition and nurtured Iberianism as a cultural paradigm in order to rebuild and reformulate a new Spain. In my intervention, I will analyze the remaining position by this company and the reception it had in the Portuguese press at the time. We will also trace some later shades that lasted until the 1930s.

Degree in Humanities and Literary Theory (UAB) and doctor (with European mention) with the doctoral thesis "Direcció Lisboa. Portugal a la vida i obra de Josep Pla". The central theme of his research work is the luso-catalan contacts of the twentieth century. He is the author of research articles on Lusocatalanism and the work of Josep Pla, Francesc Cambó and Joan Estelrich. He is currently part of the research group of the "Càtedra Josep Pla" (University of Girona, Edicions 62 and Fundació Josep Pla".


‘Blood and Culture’. Expatriates as Constitutive Elements of Spanish Cultural Diplomacy, 1921-1936

Luis G. Martínez del Campo
Complutense University of Madrid

The growing body of literature on cultural diplomacy recognises the critical role of the state in the design of such foreign policy. On a practical level, however, a wide range of actors contribute to the projection of a national culture abroad. Associations, individuals, and other non-state agents intervene in cultural diplomacy practices and, consequently, influence them. My paper aims to shed light on this issue by examining the understudied role of Spanish expatriates in Spain’s foreign cultural policy over the interwar period. Previous research has established that Spanish cultural diplomacy emerged during Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship (1923-1930) to reinforce the country’s international position as them primary representative of the Hispanic world. The dictr kinship and linguistic ties to Spain — ‘blood and culture’ — made them not only recipients of Spanish culture, but also exceptional vehicles for its dissemination iator oriented his foreign policy toward those nations where previous colonisation or migration processes had made Spanish cultural heritage notable. Among other purposes, his diplomatic strategy aspired to maintain the identity of Spanish expatriates as members of a common cultural community: the Hispanidad. Thein their host countries. Until well into the 1930s, accordingly, the underfunded Spanish diplomacy often relied on expatriate organisations – e.g., the Institución Cultural Española de Buenos Aires – to enhance Spain’s cultural influence abroad. Although the successive governments of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1936) reorganised cultural diplomacy services to make them more effective, expatriate communities and institutions remained at the core of those strategies aiming to extend Spanish culture internationally. In this paper, therefore, I argue that Spanish expatriates were constitutive elements of Spain’s cultural diplomacy as both practitioners and recipients of such external action for the entire interwar period.

Keywords: Expatriates, Spanish cultural diplomacy, interwar period, Hispanidad, non-state

‘Ramón y Cajal’ Research Fellow in Contemporary History at the Complutense University of Madrid. After completing his Ph.D. at the University of Zaragoza, he held postdoctoral positions at the University of Concepción (Chile), the University of Essex (UK) and the University of the Basque Country (Spain). Martínez del Campo works primarily on Spain’s cultural relations with other countries from the early twentieth century to the present. He is the author of several peer-reviewed journal papers and three books, including Cultural Diplomacy: A Hundred Years of History of the British-Spanish Society (Liverpool: LUP, 2016).


Science diplomacy in a climate of nationalism: archaeology in Portugal between the wars

Elisabete Pereira IHC | NOVA FCSH, Lisboa /University of Évora

 Quintino Lopes IHC | NOVA FCSH, Lisboa /University of Évora

The aim of this paper is to analyse the strategies of the Portuguese state during the period between the wars for the promotion of academic studies carried out in Portugal in the field of archaeology. This study traces the trajectory of researcher Mendes Correia (1888-1960) and the Instituto de Antropologia da Universidade do Porto that he rose to become head of in 1911. It regularly received funding from the military dictatorship and the Estado Novo in the 1920s and 1930s and its contribution to science was recognised at the international level during this period. This support provided by the Portuguese State in the interwar period enabled archaeological excavations to be carried out, international archaeological congresses to be held in Portugal, and Portuguese representatives to attend archaeological congresses abroad, as well as providing funding for publications produced by Mendes Correia and the papers he delivered, in collaboration with leading scientific institutions such as the École d'Anthropologie in Paris and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften in Berlin. We therefore seek to extend our knowledge about the role of Mendes Correia and the University of Porto Anthropology Institute as agents for international science diplomacy in Portugal during the interwar period.

Researcher at the Institute of Contemporary History (Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities – NOVA University of Lisbon) where she integrates the research group, Science – Studies in History, Philosophy and Scientific Culture, at the University of Évora. In 2019, she was distinguished by the European Association of History Educators (EuroClio) and Evens Foundation for her inclusive pedagogical strategy for secondary school students: “Using object biographies to reveal how our pasts are interconnected” (project “Sharing European Histories“). She has published articles and chapters in national and international journals and publishers and has participated in several research projects in Portugal and abroad. She is part of the coordination team of the "Dictionary Quem é Quem na MUseologia Portuguesa”. Her research areas are the History of Science and Museology, within which she explores the history of collections, the biography of objects, and transnacional academic networks.




Session 2. Flirting with Fascism and National Socialism


The offer of a cultural mission for the European “New Order”: Spanish cultural and academic diplomacy with Nazi Germany

Marició Janué i Miret (UPF)

The paper will analyze the activity of cultural diplomacy in Francoist Spain, mainly in the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, in relation to Nazi Germany from the beginning of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 until the end of the Second World War. Recent research has shown that the Third Reich, in a context conducive to collaboration with European fascism, also attached importance to cultural diplomacy in its international relations. Specifically with regard to the case of Franco's Spain, the National Socialists invested considerable efforts to achieve their empathy through soft power. These same investigations have brought to light reliable evidence of the actions that, in turn, the Franco regime developed to encourage mutual cultural relations, at least until it had evidence that Germany could lose the Second World War. All in all, the cultural diplomacy initiatives of the Franco dictatorship have only occupied a very residual place in existing studies, based on the erroneous assumption of denying the country any agency due to its relative underdevelopment, which is supposed to have conditioned that its performance in the field of cultural diplomacy had a merely reactive passive character. This contribution aims to contribute to overcoming this deficit by analyzing, at the three individual, institutional and discursive levels, the objectives and strategies of the use of culture as a political resource in international relations by the Franco regime. At the level of individual analysis, figures such as Martín Almagro Basch, Alfonso García Valdecasas, Julio Martínez Santa Olalla, Fernando Valls Taberner, Antonio Tovar Llorente or Pedro Laín Entralgo will be considered. At the institutional level, the links established by the CSIC, the Institute of Political Studies, the Hispano-German Association (AHG), or the Universities of Madrid and Barcelona will be followed. Contacts, visits, exchanges and messages, dissemination in publications and other media, participation in congresses and exhibitions, political positions, etc. will be analysed. Changes and continuities at various levels will be studied. On a more general level, the research aims to contribute to elucidating the soft power strategies of the different fascist states of the first half of the 20th century.

Keywords: Spanish Cultural Diplomacy, Spanish-German cultural relations, Francoist Spain, National-Socialism, Fascist soft power

Associate Professor, Department of Humanities, UPF. Her current research interests focus on Spanish-German relations in the period 1870-1959; particularly, the ties between cultural relations and political interests.  She has recently published (with Albert Presas): Science, Culture and National Identity in Francoist Spain, 1939-1959, Palgrave, 2021.She is currently working on two monographs respectively on the  role of culture in Spanish-German relations in the period of National Socialism and on the re-establishment of Spanish-German cultural diplomacy in the post-war period.


International References in the Intellectual Appropriation of Technology and Science in Interwar Greece

Vassilios A. Bogiatzis (Panteion University. School of Political Sciences, Athens)

The ‘Asia Minor Catastrophe’ cast its heavy shadow over Greek interwar era developments in two fundamental ways: first, there was the terror of the ideological void after the bankruptcy of the Hellenic ‘Great Idea’ due to the military defeat in Asia Minor; and second, the physical arrival in Greece of an almost 1,500,000 refugee population after their expulsion from Turkey. This paper argues that against the background of Greek interwar crisis, the intellectual appropriation of Technology and Science was strongly connected with the themes of national reconstruction/refugees’ rehabilitation, and a new cultural orientation for the Greek nation. Leading politicians, intellectuals, technocrats, and engineers posed Technology and Science at the center of their various –conflictual as well as converging– discourses and projects, which had as a common denominator the ‘modernist ethos’ of a ‘new beginning’ which was necessary for the nation and society’s regeneration to be achieved. Moreover, this paper argues that international trends played major role in this intellectual appropriation. Indicatively, Eleftherios Venizelos, the liberal Prime Minister, invoked Lui Pasteur’s example for the justification of his post-First World War visions, while the leading Marxist thinker Dimitrios Glinos looked for inspiration in certain thinkers of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, such as Mitin and Adoratsky. Moreover, conservative intellectuals such as Constantinos Tsatsos and Panayiotis Kanellopoulos, politicians, such as the dictator Ioannis Metaxas (1936-1941), who strongly flirted with fascism, and prominent technocrats and engineers explicitly adopted key-ideas of the so-called “Conservative Revolution”. Many of them expressed their insincere admiration for Fritz Todt’s Autobahns, Mussolini’s foundries, and Julius Dorpmüller’s trains. By exploring these international references in the Greek interwar appropriation of Technology and Science and by posing it against the theoretical frame of Science and Technology, Fascist, and Modernity Studies, this paper attempts to explore how the above-mentioned actors wedded their appropriations to their cultural and political projects, as well as to their conceptions concerning the “proper” mission of Technology and Science and of the Greek people

Historian and member of the Research and Teaching Staff at the Department of Political Science and History at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Athens-Greece). Also, he teaches as adjunct lecturer at Hellenic Open University (Humanities, European Civilization Studies). His books (in Greek) include Ambivalent Modernism: Technology, Scientific Ideology, and Politics in Interwar Greece (1922–1940) (Athens: Eurasia Publications, 2012) and Seekingmfor a Sacred Canopy: Alexandros Delmouzos and his ContemporarymGreek Intelligentsia, co-authored with Giorgos Kokkinos (Athens: Taxideftis Publications, 2017). His research interests include the sociology of modernity and the sociology of intellectuals, the history of technology and science, and the diffusion and circulation of fascist ideas in the Greek interwar context.


Session 3. Adaptation and integration in the West in the aftermath of the Second World War and the first phase of the Cold War


Spanish science policy as soft power: a permanent discontinuity 

Albert Presas i Puig (UPF)

After analyzing the different current considerations of science as a relevant element in the international political agendas of the countries, this presentation will consider the performance throughout the 20th century of actors in Spanish science and technology in their attribution of representatives of the state in international scenarii. The political consequences and their instrumentalization by the Spanish authorities in the different political regimes will also be analyzed. In an exemplary way, the international relations of representatives of the medical disciplines during the first decades of the 20th century; the performance of optical engineers and their participation in international organizations in the 1930s; the leading role of certain groups and prominent actors during the early stages of Francoism (physics, physiological optics, nuclear technology) will be considered. Considering the contributions of the history of science and technology on Spain, this communication is based on 3 theorical approaches: Mitchel Ash's proposals for understanding the relationship between science and politics; the approach of 20th century  Spanish international policy on Fernando Morán's "substitution policy," and Peter Haas's theories on epistemic communities. The conclusion of the presentation is the verification that (unlike other neighboring nations) and due to the lack of a clear national science policy until the 1980s in Spain, there was no determined policy during the 20th Century to use science and technology as a political instrument to present internationally a supposedly modern country regarding scientific and technological vanguard.


Ash, Mitchel G. (2002) Wissenschaft und Politik als Ressourcen für einander. In: vom Bruch R, Kaderas B (eds) Wissenschaften und Wissenschaftspolitik. Bestandsaufnahmen zu Formationen, Brüchen und Kontinuitäten im Deutschland des 20. Jahrhunderts, Steiner, Stuttgart, pp 32–49.

Morán, Fernando, (1980). Una política exterior para España. Una alternativa socialista, Barcelona: Planeta,

Haas, Peter (1992). Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination, International Organization 46:1, 1-35.

Sánchez Ron, José Manuel (2020). El país de los sueños perdidos: Historia de la ciencia en España. Barcelona: Taurus.

Associate Professor, Department of Humanities, UPF (PhD Technische Universität Berlin). His research career has been mainly focused on the study of knowledge transfer mechanisms from the generating countries to countries located on the periphery and the role of science and technology in international settings. Likewise, a central aspect in his work has been the consideration of individual actors in the establishment of dynamics and policies that generate scientific development, for which he has coined the term "Science makers." His publications are collected in journals as Minerva, Technology and Culture, Annals of Science, Palgrave, etc. and cover topics on the history of Spanish science, science and politics, international relations as well as the history of the nuclear energy. Presas i Puig has been the IP of the interdisciplinary project History of Nuclear Energy and Society (HoNESt) (2015-2019)


Lost in translation: No soft power for the Spanish version of Von Neumann´s Quantenmechanik

José-Miguel Pacheco (Real Academia Canaria de Ciencias) 

Between 1939 and 1950 Spain went through two painful and consecutive post-war episodes. A first one (1939-1945), the dark post-civil war years; then, the aftermath of WW2 (1945-1950). Spain had remained neutral, but the regime never hid its sympathy for the Axis powers.  Therefore, in addition to the Spanish postwar, the country met an even worse second postwar, a side result of WW2. Though from 1943 onwards the Spanish diplomacy slowly switched to the allies’ side, that was not enough, the official obstacle being  the regime’s fascist style. During those two periods the battered international status of Spanish science and culture -excellence was out of question- was difficult to repair: many advances obtained before the civil war (say, the period 1920-1936) and relevant people involved in them had been forgotten, punished  and/or officially disdained during the early postwar. As a result, mediocrity was the rule, moreover, a surviving fascist regime could not be homologated with the victors of WW2, and the new UNO soon  decreed political and commercial sanctions (1946-1950) against the Spanish regime. Therefore, any internationally aimed scientific and cultural initiatives took place in a twilight zone where soft diplomacy -usually exerted via individuals and private contacts- became the rule. In applied Physics and Mathematics, two prominent Spanish scientists close to the regime high spheres, Esteban Terradas (1883-1950) and José-María Otero (1907-1983), suggested in 1946 their assistant Ramón Ortiz Fornaguera (1916-1974) a translation of Von Neumann’s Mathematische Grundlagen der Quantenmechanik. Most possibly, they were not aware that a permission should be granted by the US, based on a war spoils regulation passed after WW1. There are letters between Ortiz and Von Neumann on some mathematical aspects of the translation, but not on those legal questions. The mathematician Tomás Rodríguez Bachiller (1899-1980) visited Von Neumann in Princeton, and wrote to Ortiz by mid 1947, without any news on the translation bureaucratic status.  Though ready,  it appeared in 1949.


Professor of Applied Mathematics (retired), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Academician, Royal  Canarian Academy of Sciences. I work in the History of Sciences since 2005, and have published in Archive for the History of Exact Science, Science in Context, Boletim da Sociedade Portuguesa de Matemática… I collaborate with the UPF group led by Marició Janué and Albert Presas. Last contributions: Chapter 10 in Science, Culture and National Identity in Francoist Spain, 1939-1959 (Palgrave / Macmillan, 2021, 9783030586454), and a presentation with Marició and Albert in the 2022 ESHS congress.


Spanish Health and Welfare Experts on the World Stage 

David Brydan (King's College London)

This paper will explore the international activities of Spanish health and welfare experts, and their contribution to Spanish cultural diplomacy, during the 1940s and 1950s. It will focus in particular on questions of gender, drawing on case studies of Spanish women involved in international nursing, welfare and humanitarianism. The period of the Second Republic and the Civil War had offered certain Spanish women increased opportunities to become involved in political, scientific and cultural forms of international exchange. But the gender policies of the Franco regime and the National Catholic ideology which underpinned it appeared to limit these opportunities. Nevertheless, women continued to play prominent roles within certain areas of Spanish scientific and cultural life which offered continued opportunities for international work. This was particularly evident in the fields of nursing, welfare and humanitarianism, where the continued prominence of women and female-dominated organisations at the domestic level offered a platform for international activity, including work in Spain’s African colonies, involvement with Ibero-American networks and international Catholic groups, and participation in international scientific conferences and expositions. This paper will explore who these women were and what role they played within Spanish cultural diplomacy at the time, how their work differed from their male counterparts, and how their international activities were understood both by themselves and by the Spanish government.

Lecturer in the Modern History of International Relations at King’s College London. He works on the history of internationalism and humanitarianism in the 20th century, and on the history of modern Spain. His recent works include Franco’s Internationalists: Social Experts and Spain’s Search for Legitimacy (2019), and the edited volume Internationalists and European History: Rethinking the Twentieth Century (2021). He is the co-editor of Bloomsbury’s Histories of Internationalism book series, and reviews editor for the journal Contemporary European History.


Between Dictatorship and Democracy: frameworks and dynamics of Portuguese cultural diplomacy between 1929 and 1986

Maria Fernanda Rollo (NOVA University of Lisbon)

In the early twentieth century, in a context of growing recognition and appreciation of science with effects on the creation and affirmation of national institutions in the international context, was born the idea of ​​creating an independent agency designed to promote and organize scientific funding in Portugal. The Junta Nacional de Educação (JEN), created in 1929, was the first Portuguese institution whose mission was to promote and support science development and organization. A few years later, in 1936, already under the Estado Novo (dictatorial regime that lasted until the Revolution of 25 April 1974), JEN was transformed into the Instituto para a Alta Cultura, a title it kept until 1952, when its name was changed to Instituto de Alta Cultura. This Institute came to be extinct after the Revolution and the Institute de Cultura Portuguesa was created in its place. It was succeeded in 1981 by the Institute of Culture and Portuguese Language, which in 1992 was replaced by the current Instituto Camões. From a historical perspective, one understands the dimension and importance of these successive instituiçoes which, over time, have been given responsibilities both in terms of the policy to support scientific research – a mission that is currently the responsibility of the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia – and in the policy of promoting cultural development, artistic improvement and external cultural relations, playing an essential role in terms of cultural and scientific diplomacy. This communication will highlight the fundamental aspects of JEN/IC's performance in the fields of cultural and scientific diplomacy, including the successive political frameworks (authoritarianism versus democracy) and the challenges that were posed in terms of the internationalization of scientific and cultural activity, namely in the context of Portugal's European integration.

Keywords: Scientific policy; Cultural and scientific diplomacy; Dictatorship; Democracy; Europeanization

Historian. PhD and Aggregate in Contemporary History. Full Professor at the History Department of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities NOVA University of Lisbon. Coordinator of the Ph.D. program in History. Coordinator of the post-graduation course Management and Policy in Science and Technology. Member of Research Council of Europen University Institut. Researcher at History, Territories and Communities - CFE. State Secretary for Science, Technology and Higher Education (2015-2018). Researcher of the UNESCO Biodiversity and Conservation Chair for Sustainable Development and the of TERRA Associated Laboratory. Administrator of the Mário Soares and Maria Barroso Foundation. Research areas include the history of Portugal in the 20th century, history of the economy, society and innovation; Europe, cooperation and integration movements; history and organization of science; open science. [email protected]


Techno-diplomacy and the making  of the Telecom State in Greece from the1930s to the 1970s

Yannis Fotopoulos; Stathis Arapostathis   (National & Kapodistrian University of Athens)

The aim of this presentation is to study how technological infrastructures have reconfigured the Greek techno-scientific state materially, politically, and ideologically. The emphasis is on telecommunication infrastructures during a critical period of Greece's reconstruction following WWII and the civil war, as well as the country's technopolitics during the Cold War era, which was marked by political instability and a military dictatorship. We would like to address the following research questions: What role did foreign technical expertise and managerial advice play in the development of the telecommunications infrastructure, and how did technological transformation shape the Greek State's governance culture? How have technological infrastructures functioned politically and shaped national politics as assemblages of material, technical, knowledge, social, and cultural components? What was the role of technological infrastructures and the imaginary built around them in shaping the transnational politics and the geopolitical place of the country in South Europe. To begin, we examine Greece's reconstruction and the role of foreign corporations, international aid organisations, and campaigns such as the United Nations or the Marshall Plan, as well as the role of foreign experts in the reconstruction and expansion of telecoms infrastructure (mainly for telephony). We argue that local experts in conjunction and collaboration with foreign experts promoted techno political agendas that were deemed critical for the integration of Greece in the group of capitalist European countries. Second, we examine the period of the Greek dictatorship (1967–1974) in order to decipher the role of the country's first satellite communication station and its role in both domestic and international politics. We argue that satellite infrastructures functioned politically in promoting junta's imaginary of the transformation of Greece into a technological hub (telecom, energy and transportation) in East Mediterranean and the Balkans.

 Stathis Arapostathis: Associate Professor in the History of Science and Technology, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Other positions (previous and ongoing) 04/2015-01/2020 Assistant Professor in the History of Science and Technology, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. 01/2019-05/2019, Seeger Fellow, University of Princeton, Princeton. 02/2016-05/2016, Fulbright Fellow, Law School, Centre for Science and Innovation Studies, University of California at Davis, USA. 01/2012- 04/2015, Lecturer in the History of Science and Technology, Department of Philosophy and History of Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. 2/5/2011- 20/1/2012, Research Associate-Cardiff University, Welsh School of Architecture, Low Carbon Research Institute, EPRC Project: Transition Pathways in Low Carbon Economy. 1/5/2011- 31/8/2011 ‘Scholar in residence’ in the Marconi Collection and the History of Science Museum, Douglas Byrne Fellowship, Oxford University. PI in the project Wireless at the Bar: Marconi’s Intellectual Property Management and Patent Disputes.  10/2010- 1/5/2011, Technology and Innovation Studies Researcher University of Edinburgh, School of Geosciences, UKEC Project, Sociotechnical Assessment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) system. 9/2007- 9/2010, Research Fellow in University of Leeds, Philosophy Department- Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science. AHRC funded Project: ‘Owning and Disowning Invention: Intellectual Property and Authority in Science and Technology in Britain, 1880-1920’