A huge banner with a photo of David Plouffe festooned a media conference I attended in Croatia last week. The former Obama campaign manager is coming to Zagreb later this year and those running local election campaigns are eager to welcome “the unsung hero” who “helped restore the trust in the United States of America.”
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good patriotic cry. Russians and like-minded Ukrainians are lining up these days to see a movie, “Taras Bulba”, that allows them this public pleasure while undercutting Ukraine’s separate national identity. A real “twofer” for the movie’s sponsors, the Russian government.
What’s changed about the climate for cultural relations between the peoples of the world? Pretty obvious, the global economic crisis. On the eve of the G20 summit, cultural relations might seem marginal, irrelevant or a luxury we can’t afford. All the answers surely lie with international institutions, diplomats and politicians, not international education and cultural links. And as for international consensus on climate change, can we afford to care any more?
Scholars, practitioners, and witnesses to the peace process in Northern Ireland capture the transition in a series of essays.