Public and Cultural Diplomacy
Soft power can be defined as an ability to obtain the desired outcomes through attraction instead of coercion or use of force. Soft power does not merely mean to influence others, rather it also involves the notion of attraction and appeal. Culture has been a powerful tool to achieve this target. Cultural diplomacy and soft power are closely associated with each other. A nation drives its soft power from three sources, culture, political values, and foreign policies.
The target of cultural diplomacy is to stimulate soft power by providing legitimization to the country’s foreign policy by adhering to the global cultural norms. Soft power does not only play a role in shaping public opinion or influencing others, but it also has economic implications. Firstly, the understanding or comprehension of other people or a country’s culture does not only promotes international cooperation but also becomes a source for establishing successful commerce in the competitive global market. Secondly, the cultural industry which spreads the cultural values and understanding among the foreigners is done through national branding. The national branding is stimulated through soft power, i.e. the ability to attract others to your services, values, practices, products, and this is advanced through cultural diplomacy. For instance, McDonald’s in the Middle East is a foreign fast-food chain, Coca Cola is also an international chain of beverage but around the world, there is huge consumer demand for these products. These products had their origin in the United States of America, and thus it can be said that they are tools of soft power, spreading the fast-food culture of the West around by the world.
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