Monday, July 27, 2015

Soft Power, Smart Power Or Public Diplomacy? Australia Fumbles By Alison Broinowski

Alison Broinowski,

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As traditional diplomacy is complemented by emerging concepts such as public diplomacy, soft power and more recently ‘smart power,’ Australia is grappling with how best to shape and alter perceptions of the country and extend its influence, writes former Australian diplomat Alison Broinowski. Despite many initiatives, it has a long way to go to catch up with efforts being made by other countries. ...
Australia’s foreign policy establishment seems unclear about whether to opt for European-style collaborative public diplomacy or US-style persuasive soft power, but it is unlikely to attempt interventionist, manipulative smart power techniques. For Australia, other initiatives are more likely to work: it could host an Asian regional Institute for Public Diplomacy, for example, and establish a free-standing Australia Foundation to present a more coherent, interesting narrative to the world.
Alison Broinowski, formerly an Australian diplomat, was Cultural Attaché in the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, and Director of the Australia-Japan Foundation in the 1980s. She is currently researching soft power and public diplomacy as Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University’s Faculty of Asian Studies.

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