smart & soft power
There’s still plenty of charm in the streets of La Habana Vieja and on all those unblemished beaches that necklace the Caribbean island. But tapping it will depend on the ability of Havana’s floundering regime not just to adapt to the disruptive global economy, but also to write a new narrative that promotes the island’s future as much as its past. This is not the first time Cuba has tried soft power to rescue the revolution.
Over the past few years, the UAE’s multitude of diplomatic initiatives have included cultural diplomacy — such as an exhibition of Emirati art that toured nine US cities over two years and was titled Past Forward. This was in addition to major artistic events the UAE hosts including the Sharjah Biennial, Art Dubai and Abu Dhabi Art that bring thousands of people together. [...] However, very few of us know about the UAE’s historic role in sports diplomacy.
Top Central and Eastern European diplomats came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to support nonmilitary and military means to counter Russian influence in the region. Representatives of Poland, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Ukraine accused Russia of waging hybrid warfare against them: cyberattacks, propaganda, threats of force and other means just shy of conventional warfare.
Russia worked to take down Hillary Clinton in 2016, but it may have been Cuba that delivered Donald Trump the White House. Cuba brought the world Trump? It’s hard to imagine Cuba had anything to do with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Contemporary America seems so far away for anyone sitting on a Havana tourist rooftop overlooking renovations of its Capitol, listening to the street sounds of rhythmic music, or watching lumbering ’50s Chevys cruise down seaside boulevards.
Chinese universities “stand to gain” from the “anti-global” atmosphere in the US under Donald Trump, especially if they introduce reforms to make academic culture “more lively and open”. That is the view of Gerard Postiglione, chair in higher education at the University of Hong Kong, who said that some academics and students may look to universities in China instead of those in the US in the near future.
If America can be said to have a public diplomacy — that is, government-directed outreach to international publics — then someone needs to throw it a lifeline. In only the last few weeks, we have seen evidence of a coming crisis for defenders of America’s international image: The State Department budget, as previewed by the President in his speech to Congress this week, is set to take a serious hit.
The training topics include China’s political, cultural, media and economic studies amongst others. Other activities will include touring China, covering major political activities at the National People’s Congress and other major events like the BRICS economic summit slated. The development studies and media exchange is being organized by Renmin University of China (RUC) based in the capital, Beijing.
Bad guys can possess soft power. I know—I wrote a book about it. But over most of the past century the U.S., as the soft power hyperpuissance, has largely set the standards of what constitutes effective national image projection. The United States has drawn its soft power, the “ability to shape the preferences of others,” as put by Joseph S. Nye, who devised the term.