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Julia Bethwaite

Doctoral Researcher
Tampere University
phone number+358505099259
City Centre Campus

About me

Julia Bethwaite is Doctoral Researcher in International Relations at Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University, Finland. Her research interests focus on the role of art in international relations and world politics, practices of cultural diplomacy and museum diplomacy, transnational cultural relations, elite networks and interaction of state and non-state actors within the transnational field of art. In her doctoral dissertation, she examines art institutions such as the Venice Biennale and fine art museums from the perspective of power, focusing on Russian actors. Besides her doctoral research, she has been working as Academic Coordinator of the Master’s Degree Programme in Leadership for Change at the Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University (2017–present).


Doctoral Researcher in International Relations and Academic Coordinator of the Master's Degree Programme in Leadership for Change.

Research fields

Forms of power, transnational elite networks, transnational field of art, cultural diplomacy, museum diplomacy, international and transnational cultural relations, the role of art in international relations and world politics, art biennials, art museums, Russia 

Research career

‘Cultural Statecraft in International Relations: The Case of Russia’, funded by the Academy of Finland at Tampere University, Finland (2017–2020), Principal Investigator: Tuomas Forsberg. Participating as Doctoral Researcher from 2017 until present. 

‘Making Spaces of Justice Across the East-West Divide’, funded by the Kone Foundation (2016–2018), Principal Investigator: Anni Kangas. Participated as Doctoral Researcher 2016–2017. 

‘The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies – Choices of Russia Modernisation’, funded by the Academy of Finland (2012–2017). Participated as Research Assistant (2014–2015) and Doctoral Student (2015–2017) in the clusters ‘Foreign Policy’ and ‘Diversification of Economy’ 2014–2015.  

Selected publications

Bethwaite, J. (2021). Fine arts and International Relations: Russian museum diplomacy. In T. Forsberg & S. Mäkinen (Eds.), Russia's Cultural Statecraft (pp. 50–74). Routledge: London. 

Bethwaite, J. (2021, April 27). The Forum of Young Global Leaders and overlapping fields of power. The Global. [Blog post]

Bethwaite, J., & Kangas, A. (2018). The Scales, Politics, and Political Economies of Contemporary Art Biennials. Arts & International Affairs, 2(3), pp. 73–90. Available at  

Bethwaite, J., & Kangas, A. (2019). Parties, Pavilions and Protests: The Heteronomous World Politics of the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. New Perspectives, 27(2), pp. 29–61. Available at 

Bethwaite, J. & Kangas, A. (2020). Paradoxes of the Biennale. OnCurating, 46, pp. 494–502. Available at

Kangas, A., & Bethwaite, J. (2019). Venäjän Venetsian-paviljongin paradoksaalinen valta. Idäntutkimus, 1, pp. 23–44. Available at 

Kangas, A., Kujala, J., Heikkinen, A., Lönnqvist, A., Laihonen, H., & Bethwaite, J. (Eds.). (2019). Leading Change in a Complex World: Transdisciplinary Perspectives. Tampere: Tampere University Press. Available at: