cultural exchange

First started in 1983, the Chevening programme is touted by the UK government as a prestigious international scholarship scheme that fully or partly funds some 1,000 individuals from over 130 countries to pursue postgraduate studies in British universities every year.

Nearly 200,000 students are now choosing to spend a year abroad as part of the European Union's Erasmus programme, one sign of increasing integration across the EU, new figures show.

In Belarus, the most productive kind of political protest these days has less to do with flag-waving an chanting in public squares than with hoarse voices, heavy chords, and a dance-friendly rhythm.

October 1, 2009

Why good razor wire doesn't make good neighbors

The United States Embassy in Islamabad is a wary and reluctant piñata. Scheduled to meet the embassy's cultural affairs officers at 2 pm on a weekday afternoon in late May, I found myself running at least twenty minutes behind as I navigated a labyrinth of razor-wire-topped walls, car inspectors, metal detectors and interrogators.

Understanding and influencing public attitudes and those who shape them, beyond the traditional diplomacy of government-to-government contact, is the "work" of public diplomacy in our globalized world.

More than ever, almost daily improvements in communications technology and the ability to have a true transnational flow of ideas and information, has transformed the conduct of public diplomacy. It has made it both more important and more challenging for the successful formation and execution of foreign policies by governments and a range of multi-national authorities.