Cultural Diplomacy: waging war by other means?


Cultural Diplomacy: waging war by other means?
Footprints of the 20th century - Part I
F.A.M. Alting von Geusau
Pages: 182 pages
Shipping Weight: 260 gram
Published: 07-2009
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789058505200

Product Description

The peaceful collapse of the Soviet totalitarian, communist system has been a watershed of historic proportions in Europe and the world. In 1989, unexpectedly, Communism and the Cold War were behind us, they were bad and should be forgotten. The immediate post-1989 world presented itself as a new era of organised forgetting, as neither East nor West were interested in examining the prolonged period of acquiescence in absurdities. The Berlin Wall, paramount symbol of absurdity, had to be erased from the face of the earth and the memory of the people.Only much later have we become aware how much the heritage of repression and division still dominates our thinking. The principal organisations of Western and European cooperation have been enlarged Eastward, but the fruits of peaceful, spiritual revolution have turned sour. Far too little has changed for the better and far too many old habits have survived.

For the question asked in this volume: Is bilateral cultural diplomacy waging war with other means? There still is no good answer. The surprise of 1989 has apparently paralyzed policies thereafter. Despite resounding declarations and non-binding resolutions on a new order, there was no vision, no strategy and no clear purpose. The basic approach was “more of the same”. Cultural diplomacy had no priority and budgets were cut in Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. All attention was directed towards bringing the former communist countries in conformity with Western standards of law, market economy, secularism and permissiveness. The agonizing re-appraisal and re-orientation of cultural diplomacy has not taken place, despite the changed landscape. The bipolar rigidities have gone, but cultural diplomacy has remained. The selfcontainment of cultures within national frameworks has shifted to self-defence against the impact of globalization – which in the domain of culture is the same as Americanization.The spirit of 1989 was an eminent example of culture restored through great civil courage. We drastically failed in making it the spirit of Europe in the new era. We equally failed in transforming bilateral cultural diplomacy into a truly multilateral instrument for enabling creativity and diversity as the living sources of cultural development. Major changes in the cultural landscape happen despite our cultural diplomats. The very political objectives of cultural diplomacy are bound to marginalize the cultural diplomat in an increasingly open world society.

Published in this Series; Footprints of the Twentieth Century

1. Cultural Diplomacy: Waging War With Other Means? 2009
2. The Illusions of Détente, 2009.
3. Western Cooperation. Origins and History, (second edition) 2009.
4. European Unification in the Twentieth Century (second edition) 2012
5. Forthcoming: Neither Justice nor Order

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