April 2011: The View from CPD

Pervasive global communication and global travel are changing diplomacy, making it more “public” in the sense that publics around the world are more easily reached than ever before, and they increasingly expect this outreach.

This means diplomacy must become more creative if it is to be effective, and this opens the door to a variety of “hyphenated diplomacies” – gastro-diplomacy, sports-diplomacy, literary-diplomacy, rock-and-roll-diplomacy, language-diplomacy and so on.  These approaches are not gimmicks.  They can reflect the source country’s culture and values, and they can engage the interest of people to whom the diplomatic effort is directed.

The diplomatic toolbox must keep expanding, which requires creativity and innovation on the part of those who make foreign policy.  This issue of PDiN Monitor examines some of the hyphenated diplomatic approaches that we may expect to see become even more popular and useful during the coming years.  There are ample precedents for this, among them the American “Jazz Ambassadors” project during the Cold War, which was one of the most successful U.S. efforts to extend its diplomacy beyond conventional politics, and the British Council, which has long been an exponent of the United Kingdom’s cultural diplomacy in its numerous forms.

These facets of a nation’s overall public diplomacy can gain attention and win friends.  They deserve careful study and wider use.

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