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In October 1988, an ordinance of the Finnish government created the Committee for International Information (Kansainvälisen tiedottamisen neuvottelukunta, or Kantine). Kantine came as the last of a series of Cold War efforts to centrally define an image of Finland fit for foreign consumption, and to establish the communication methods through which state authorities and their partners could use this image as an economic and political asset. Established under the coordination of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kantine acts as a window into the evolution of Finnish national image management and its state at the end of the Cold War. However, the context of the late 1980s and the desire of Kantine’s members to use the committee as the platform for a ‘wide societal debate on Finland in the twenty-first century’ gave it a broader scope than other ‘national image committees’ that had preceded it since 1945. This article will place Kantine in the evolution of Finland’s national image management and image policy, and will summarize its work and consequences.

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
Representing the Periphery
Histories of Public Diplomacy and Nation Branding in the Nordic and Baltic Countries provides an historical perspective on public diplomacy and nation branding in the Nordic and Baltic countries from 1900 to the present day. It highlights continuity and change in the efforts to strategically represent these nations abroad, and shows how a self-understanding of being peripheral has led to similarities in the deployed practices throughout the Nordic-Baltic region.

Edited by Louis Clerc, Nikolas Glover and Paul Jordan, the volume examines a range of actors that have attempted to influence foreign opinions and strengthen their country’s political and commercial position. Variously labelled propaganda, information, diplomacy and branding, these constant efforts to enhance the national image abroad have affected how the nation has been imagined in the domestic context.