A Call for Focus in Cultural Diplomacy, Tom Wein

In February 2012, Tom Wein of the Behavioural Dynamics Institute attended the Berlin Freedom of Expression Forum at the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy. There, he presented a brief paper on Western use of cultural diplomacy – a key tool in promoting freedom of expression. Drawing on work by Dr Lee Rowland and Gaby van den Berg, he suggested that it is largely deficient, and offers some principles for a more focused, more effective cultural diplomacy.

He writes:

“Plenty of governments have tried to get involved in cultural diplomacy. Many of these efforts have been directed by Western states at the populations of autocracies, with the specific aim of increasing access to unbiased information and thereby fighting restrictions on freedom of expression. This is crucial work. It is therefore a problem that such efforts so often fairly disastrously. This paper examines some of the flaws in the practice of government-directed cultural diplomacy at present, and proposes a new research-led approach. It is hoped that this approach will improve government efforts to communicate information to populations whose governments deny it to them.”

The full article is available here: CulturalDiplomacy.

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