Monday, 7 February 2011

Soft Power at the core of Public and Cultural diplomacy

In previous areas of history, seen to full effect by the use of propaganda during wartime, predominantly during the second world war, propaganda which can be defined as the distribution of information of a biased or misleading nature in order to promote a political cause or point of view, has been used in an attempt to influence groups of people. With the establishment however of the concept of soft power by Joseph Nye in the publication Bound to lead: The changing nature of American power in 1990 the focus on the old form of influence, propaganda, changed or perhaps became obsolete.

As Nye stated, the view on influence or promotion now focused on a greater number of aspects, what have been labelled as a states 'primary currencies', these being values, culture, policies and institution. The aim of which, through their exportation in the context of Public and cultural diplomacy being to make other states and their people to "want what you want" (Nye, Soft Power: The means to success in world politics p31).

This change can be seen to have altered the attitude of the distributor state as it embraces different methods of attaining their goals, namely to attempt to establish an image which will carry favour. Soft power is therefore highly influential as it does not tell people what to think, as propaganda did, but instead allows them to formulate and act upon their own opinion based on what they have been told or what they have seen.

To relate this to Public and cultural diplomacy, it exists as a core as public and cultural diplomacy due to the fact that they include aspects such as the exportation of culture and ideas and communication with foreign public's, the aim of which being to influence and most importantly inform them.

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