The planning of nation branding campaigns poses several areas which are necessary to consider. One main point is considering which interests a country and its inhabitants have primarily. Even though nation branding campaigns could be designed to promote a country’s art or cultural activities, three main areas tend to be in focus when considering a nation branding campaign – namely the promotion of foreign direct investments, exports or tourism. The strategy aimed primarily at increasing export usually promotes a branding campaign which will increase the values of its major industries – be it cars, agricultural products or the entertainment industry. A campaign focused on attracting more foreign direct investments will likely be more state centered through advertizing campaigns using relevant media. Finally a tourism centered brand creation campaign will often have a very different approach than the export oriented campaign as it would want to signal other values. When considering how to orchestrate a nation branding campaign it will most likely be very unsuccessful if it is only based in state institution but should rather be planned by both the public and private sector alike as well as inclusion of any cultural venues/organizations will be of significant interest. (Olins 2007: 172-179)
The third and final communicative diplomatic approach to be explored is that of cultural diplomacy. Cultural diplomacy stands out from the other two concepts – public diplomacy and nation branding – in that it is not a fairly new concept like the others, but it is just as old as traditional diplomacy itself. When relations were maintained between states there would always have been an exchange of ideas, language, art and religion taking place to mention but a few. (Arndt 2005: 1-2)
Cultural diplomacy is in short the official effort to facilitate exchange and spread of culture around the world whether it is within music, art, philosophy or values. The effort to spread one’s culture can have several different causes such as economic promotion or the hope of transferring one’s values to people in other countries and thereby create better relations. Of this reason cultural diplomacy can be seen as overlapping public diplomacy significantly. (U.S. Department of State 2005: 1-7)
Different governments attribute very different importance to cultural diplomacy but often it has been a quite neglected niche area compared to the more traditional diplomatic activities. In the United States for example it has since the end of the Cold War been a much neglected area despite rhetoric stating otherwise – cultural diplomacy saw several significant budget cuts throughout the 1990s and the cultural diplomacy organization USIA was even closed down. Other countries have practiced a more successful cultural diplomacy than the United States – amongst these United Kingdom, Germany and the former Soviet Union. Most noteworthy though is France with an annual spending on cultural diplomacy of more than one billion US dollars and postions in the French cultural diplomacy is very prestigious. (Schneider 2007: 156-158)
An important note on cultural diplomacy and cultural exchange is that cultural exchange does not necessarily constitute cultural diplomacy. The key word in this relation is diplomacy – the cultural exchange has to take its basis in an official initiative for it to be classified as cultural diplomacy. The reason for this being that non-official cultural exchange might bring the same or better benefits than the officially planned and funded exchanges, but they are too erratic and unpredictable to include in measuring the success or failure of cultural rapprochement. (Andreasen 2007: 62-63)
Following quote finely describes the definition and importance of cultural diplomacy as follows:
“Cultural diplomacy may be defined as the use of various elements of culture to influence foreign publics, opinion makers, and even foreign leaders. These elements comprehend the entire range of characteristics within a culture: including the arts, education, ideas, history, science, medicine, technology, religion, customs, manners, commerce, philanthropy, sports, language, professional vocations, hobbies, etc. and the various media by which these elements may be communicated. Cultural diplomacy seeks to harness these elements to influence foreigners in several ways: to have a positive view of the United States, its people, its culture, and its policies…” (Lenczowski 2007: 196)
This signifies how very diverse the area of cultural diplomacy is and how vast an area it is used to influence. Furthermore it gives a better idea of how closely related this area is with that of public diplomacy. They do clearly overlap in several areas even if they are not the same.
After these presentations of public diplomacy, nation branding and cultural diplomacy an in depth presentation of the three theories used in the analysis will be presented – namely soft power, neorealism and constructivism.
In this chapter the three theories which will be used as tools of the analysis will be presented and discussed. The first neoliberalism will be presented and more specifically the concept of soft power, which has been developed by the prominent neoliberal theorist Joseph S. Nye. This section will explain how public diplomacy possibly can work as a tool of the state to promote its soft power – the power of attractiveness – and how this power is just as relevant as the hard power of military and economy.
The second theory which will be presented will be neorealism primarily on the basis of Kenneth Waltz. The use of neorealism is primarily intended as a way to keep a critical approach towards public diplomacy and maintain a counterargument towards the other two theories which are more positive to public diplomacy. Neorealism will not attribute much importance to public diplomacy – at best it will be a decent appendix to real power politics.
The third and final theory presented will be constructivism as it has been developed by Alexander Wendt. This theory will break away from both neoliberalism and neorealism and be able to deliver the most positive approach to public diplomacy as constructivism possibly is the most open theory of international relations towards potential change in the most basic mechanisms of international affairs.
After the presentation of the three theories the analytical chapter will follow where each theory will be attempted applied to the areas of public diplomacy, nation branding and cultural diplomacy.