Music Diplomacy in Practice: The Eurovision Song Contest

The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is notable for its ability to bring different nations together through music. However, many authoritarian states have used it in the past to enhance their international image, according to Dean Vuletic of Universität Wien in Austria.

Vuletic uses case studies of Portugal and Spain in the 1960s and 70s (Yugoslavia during the Cold War; and Azerbaijan, Belarus and Russia after 1989) to examine "why authoritarian states have used Eurovision in their public diplomacy to assert national distinctiveness, express geopolitical alliances and whitewash their international image."

The chapter, "The Eurovision Song Contest in the Musical Diplomacy of Authoritarian States," published in International Relations, Music and Diplomacy, is available here.

Photo by Okras I CC BY-SA 4.0 (Image was cropped)


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