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Cultural diplomacy: The linchpin of public diplomacy Report of the advisory committee on cultural diplomacy: US department of state

by on May 15, 2012

Cultural diplomacy: The linchpin of public diplomacy

 

Report of the advisory committee on cultural diplomacy: US department of state

 

The report of the advisory committee on cultural diplomacy, which was published by the U.S. department of state in 2005, seeks to advise US secretary of state on how to employ cultural diplomacy in the most effective way possible.

In order to practice effective cultural diplomacy the report recommends the US secretary of state to listen to the recipients in other countries and engage themselves with “curators” and writers or filmmakers. The report highlights America’s lack of use of cultural diplomacy, moreover that its image has been damaged by events such as the invasion of Iraq and scandals about the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib. Furthermore, it points out that the US needs to reconstitute its “trust and credibility” within the international community with culture, rather than with military and economic power to influence others abroad. “Cultural diplomacy reveals the soul of a nation”, but the US only employs it when they are at war, therefore the report advises the US to create an effective cultural diplomacy in order to maintain the security of the country. One of the many recommendations for the US secretary of state from the report on how to achieve its goals is the “international exchange of persons, knowledge and skills”. The people who participate in such exchanges “carry to other nations information, knowledge and attitudes” and in reverse they bring those back to their own countries and this can only be achieved through personal experience and personal influence, which helps to sell a better image of the US abroad. Influential and important politicians from the past and today have all experienced such exchange programs.

However, the reports criticized the US that they do not cultural diplomacy enough, moreover after the cold war cuts have been made, which led to the closures of many cultural centres and libraries. Additionally, between 1995- and 2001 the attendees of the exchange programs decreased from 45000 to 29000, which left an enormous gap in the use of cultural diplomacy.

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