By Nick Cull
This originally appeared on Huffington Post. It is gladly cross-posted here at Nick’s request.
Recent years have seen a welcome resurgence in U.S. Cultural Diplomacy, which after honorable service in the Cold War, sailed into the doldrums in the mid-1990s. Today, the State Department is reaching out to foreign publics in partnership with major private sector partners including Jazz at the Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Academy of Music as well as maintaining its own program of visits, exhibitions and tours. While the new initiatives began under the administration of George W. Bush as a ‘soft power’ response to the challenges of the Global War on Terror, they seem an ideal fit for the priorities of the Obama administration, with its emphasis on ‘engagement’ and rebooting the global perception of the United States. At such a moment it is perhaps well to take stock and consider the nature of cultural diplomacy and how best to harness its strengths to advance America’s international priorities.