Oleg Mashevskyi. The British Council’s activities in the Eastern and Central Europe at the beginning of XXI st.

Oleg Mashevskyi, Doctor of Science (history), Professor, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Annotation

The article analyses the activity of the British Council (BC) in East Europe, in particular that of education, science, fine arts and social sphere. The activity of the BC in Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary in the early XXIst has been outlined. These countries have been chosen for special analysis given their complicated process of transforming and adopting their respective institutions and social sphere towards the democratic standards within the framework of their joining NATO and the EU. A series of the BC’s successful projects in the spheres of culture and education have been investigated. Some serious issues blocking the further operational activity of the organization have been outlined.

The activity of the BC has been presented as that exemplifying successful cultural diplomacy aimed to ameliorate the international image of the UK, as well as to spread its influence in the key regions of the globe and thus strengthen its international position.

On the other hand, the activities taken by the BC to popularize the British standards of culture and education motivates the youth worldwide to enter British universities and to attend language courses both in the UK and abroad. A problematic issue of the BC’s activities is a certain mistrust of public thereto. Thus, the latter together with the British House of Commons have been criticizing the prices for services provided by the BC and therefore accusing it of giving special touch to the British Council.

Due to the operational activities of the BC, the UK successfully partakes in resolving both regional European issues (i.e. migration issues, worldviews conflicts etc.) and those of global nature.

Key words

The British Council, cultural diplomacy, east Europe, education, science, the arts.

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DOI: http://doi.org/10.17721/2524-048X.2018.09.96-126

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