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Public Diplomacy

European and Latin American Perspectives

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Edited By María Luisa Azpíroz Manero

Public diplomacy is a diplomatic and international communication activity aimed at foreign publics and seeking to create a positive image and/or political influence, contributing to the achievement of foreign policy goals.
On June 9 th , 2015, public diplomacy scholars and practitioners coming from Europe and Latin America gathered in a research seminar organised by the Centre for International Relations Studies (CEFIR), at the University of Liège. They contributed their works on public diplomacy from the perspectives of its cultural, communicative and image components. The result of that seminar is this book, which reflects the current diversity of theoretical aspects and practices of public diplomacy.
Taking the European Union, some Latin American countries (Venezuela and Mexico) and even civil society organisations as the actors whose public diplomacy actions are studied, this book provides both reflections and empirical analysis of public diplomacy strategies developed from different angles.
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The New Narrative for Europe and the Culture-Identity Nexus in European Union Public Diplomacy

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Steffen Bay RASMUSSEN

Professor and researcher at University of Deusto (Bilbao)

Abstract

Although culture and public diplomacy have not been given priority in the design and functioning of the European External Action Service, the communicative potential of culture is nevertheless interesting to an actor such as the EU that largely relies on soft power resources and has the diffusion of its ideas and values as a central foreign policy objective.

This article considers the possibilities and limitations of culture as a tool for EU public diplomacy, in particular with respect to communicating to foreign audiences an EU identity that is distinct from those of the Member States. After conceptualising culture and identity as elements of public diplomacy in the first section, the article considers the two dominant auto-biographical narratives of the EU in section two. The central analytical focus of the article is in section three, on the New Narrative for Europe currently being formulated. Further limitations and possibilities of recent EU initiatives are discussed in section four, where also a possible way forward is pointed out. The article finishes with a general conclusion in section five.

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No general consensus exists, but public diplomacy is typically analysed in terms of the intent of a given country to influence the perception of foreign publics so that these come to hold a positive view of that country and increasingly share its founding values and, perhaps, political priorities. As...

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