Friday, 18 March 2011

Contemporary Notions of Public Diplomacy

Based off the discussions that we have had both in seminar and lecture as well as the independent readings I have done myself, I am learning that Public Diplomacy cannot be carried out without some notion of Cultural Diplomacy involved. In today’s society it is every hard to get away from the fact that we are living in a multi-cultural world no matter where in the world you come from. With that being said, how can you conduct diplomacy without taking those cultural differences into account. The more that I study the topic of Public and Cultural Diplomacy the more that I am seeing the undeniable links that the two share with each other rather than perhaps being two separate entities.

Public Diplomacy is meant to have an impact on those peoples in other countries in order to influence their thoughts on the country which is approaching them. When looking at London for example, there are so many different cultures represented that a diplomatic campaign that was successful and well thought out could have wide-spread implications for Britain with many other countries. The problem is too often that the people in charge of such campaigns and those higher above them are thrown into a tight window of opportunity and are told to perform at the best with what they have. This makes you wonder, what if anything, what these people expect to get done.

Public Diplomacy, with Cultural Diplomacy enveloped in that term, is becoming an increasingly important field in which more money and attention should be paid because of the potential benefits that could result from a long-term, well financed plan of action. Perhaps with a long-term plan, more people would come to understand each other, their home countries and boundaries would be broken down between states. This in the even longer term could pose benefits for avoiding conflict and for better relationships overall.
In conclusion, I believe that Public and Cultural Diplomacy go hand in hand and each needs to account for the other when carrying out diplomatic plans. The study of these two topics can only further benefit the field of diplomacy simply because they are still very new and complex topics. 

-Meghan H.

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