Florence Klauda



After studying economics and history in France and Austria, Florence Klauda completed the interdisciplinary master's program in Contemporary History and Media with a focus on communication studies at the University of Vienna in 2018. Since then she has been involved in the conception and realization of the iMoox course " Abbau von Vorurteilen und Nationalismus" as well as in a number of research projects before taking on her PhD studies in the fall of 2019. In her current position as a junior research fellow at the Department for Contemporary History, funded through a DOC-Fellowship of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Florence Klauda works on the completion of her dissertation project. She is also involved in the University’s research groups on the History of Human Rights and Democracy and on New Cold War Studies.

Research Interests: Florence Klauda works in the field of Contemporary European History. She primarily concerns herself with the study of democracies and their administrations, cultural history and the history of knowledge through actor-centered and comparative approaches.

Current Research Project: Actors and Structures of European Cultural Diplomacy: A comparison of French, Austrian and Spanish Cultural Institutes since 1945.
After 1945 a large number of rebuilt, renewed or newly created (western) European democracies established widespread cultural networks built around national institutions, such as national cultural institutes, as a part of their new approaches to international cultural diplomacy. In promoting cultural exchange bilaterally these institutions opened up an arena in which international relations were fostered and political agendas were pursued beyond the constraints of traditional politics. They, therefore, have to be considered as political environments that contributed to the forging of democratic norms and standards of post-War western cultural diplomacy. This project aims at investigating the extent to which national cultural institutes should be viewed as vehicles of western European democratization on the basis of the French, Austrian and Spanish examples: the Instituts Français, the Österreichische Kulturinstitute and the Instituto Cervanes. Comparing the roles that national cultural institutes played in the French, Austrian and Spanish trajectories towards their current democracies after 1945 confronts the popular fallacy that presupposes the unity of western conceptions of democracy – thereby shining a light on the asynchronicities and disparities of the European history of democracy. In acknowledging the diversity of these countries’ democratic experiences and concepts the inquiry focusses on the ways in which these institutions contributed to shaping their countries’ understanding of democracy in differing democratic environments. The present project therefore examines three separate but complementary aspects of these institutions’ functioning: the institutes’ administrative systems on an institutional level; their political outlooks on the policy level and the actors who worked within the institutes on the micro-level.