Friday, February 2, 2018

How Cultural Diplomacy and Radicalism Challenge the International Order

George Voskopoulos, Sharnoff's Global Views; see also, for a non-"theory" account of cultural diplomacy. 

uncaptioned image from article

Cultural diplomacy falls within the wider spectrum of soft power used by states to advance their national interests, although it is not easily defined

Cultural diplomacy consists of one of the communications and operational tools of the states when exercising foreign policy and interacting with other states with the final aim being to produce desired outcomes.

As an organizational concept, it is new. However, in practice, it is has been exercised for centuries. The means and the agents of applying cultural diplomacy have multiplied or boosted particularly in the western world, where further democratization and the firm belief in peacefully settling inter-state disputes acquired an institutional blueprint.

Academically there has been an effort to theorize and thus scrutinize the term trying to come up with alternative methodological tools. This is mainly the case in an effort to improve the overall framework of exercising public diplomacy, yet, without being able to come up with a widely accepted grand theory. ...

In the case of the EU that has traditionally and historically been defined as a normative power, cultural diplomacy may be a major assisting tool in intervening in the radicalization process. This requires policies of involvement, motivation and a number of independent variables that enhance effectiveness. Agents within target countries where radical ideas spread are expected to de-construct otherness-related hostile cognitive elements, a demanding task that still guarantees no success.

If cultural diplomacy in the past referred to the ontology of the ability to alter the way national interests were defined or re-defined (see Détente during the Cold War), today it reflects the degree to which it could operate in the long term as an ontological means of dealing with radicalism, particularly within an urban environment where marginalized or less socialized individuals live.

Transitional phases in the international system and/or the periphery constitute an opportunity not only for those intolerant powers operating on nihilistic motives, but also an opportunity for those able to go beyond the obvious (that is cultural and religious differences).

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