Stephen Gross - Export Empire: German Soft Power in Southeastern Europe, 1890-1945

Modern America Workshop
Event date: 
November 10, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
Stephen Gross
Assistant Professor of History, European and Mediterranean Studies, NYU
Seminar Series: 
Modern Europe Workshop
History Department

My first book project—Export Empire: German Soft Power in Southeastern Europe, 1890–1945—explores the relationship between imperialism, economic development, and cultural exchange from the perspective of non-state actors such as trade fairs, research institutes, and professional exchange programs. It traces how German business leaders and academics established commercial hegemony in Southeastern Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. Where scholars have used the concept of soft power to describe the foreign policy of liberal states, I conclude that authoritarian Nazi Germany was also able to exercise its own type of soft power, so long as its private institutions retained the space to operate in the interstices of state power.

Area of Interest: 
Economic History
Imperial History
Political History
19th Century
20th Century