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Poland’s New Ways of Public Diplomacy


Beata Ociepka

This book analyzes when and how Poland implemented public diplomacy. The author explains it as a form of external political communication of governments conducted in cooperation with non-state actors to position the country internationally. The Polish case illustrates how a mid-size country in Europe attempts to impact the public opinion formation abroad while implementing soft power tools. Since 2004, when Poland joined the EU, the country has used public diplomacy to inform the world about its achievements. Poland’s public diplomacy has been strongly oriented on Europe and shaped by geopolitics. It integrated transmission and network models of communication. The Polish model reflects the relevance of public diplomacy domestic dimension and the focus on foreign politics on memory.

«The book (…) is the first monograph analyzing contemporary Polish public diplomacy written in English, being at the same time a methodologically sound piece of research, based on extensive primary source research.»

Professor Andrzej Mania, Chair of American Studies and the History of Diplomacy and International Politics, Jagiellonian University

«An excellent case study of public diplomacy. Ociepka systematically analyzed the Polish utilization of key public diplomacy instruments including cultural diplomacy, branding and Twiplomacy, and properly placed them within historical and theoretical contexts.»

Professor Eytan Gilboa, Director, Center for International Communication, Bar-Ilan University

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5. Cultural Diplomacy: From Paderewski to “Don’t Panic. We are from Poland”


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5.   Cultural Diplomacy: From Paderewski to “Don’t Panic. We are from Poland”

Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish pianist, composer, and Poland’s first Prime Minister after the country regained independence in 1918. As a famous artist, he also played the role of a celebrity. Paderewski had won much popularity while giving concerts in the United States in the 1890s. At that time, he also made numerous acquaintances, including Woodrow Wilson, who served as the 28th President of the United States. In 2013, when the Polish Institute of Diplomacy (PID), the governmental institution for training diplomats in Warsaw, was named after Paderewski, its website informed:

Paderewski was an ardent patriot, deeply involved in political and social activities at home and abroad. As a famous artist, he was able to influence public opinion in many countries to bring the Polish cause to attention. […] As a personal friend of President Woodrow Wilson, he influenced the formulation of the thirteenth point (which concerned Poland) of Wilson’s famous Fourteen Points speech of 8 January 1918 (Ignacy Paderewski, 2013)

This text explains how celebrities can influence the stakeholders abroad. Paderewski was on a tour in the United States in 1915–1917 during the First World War. His every concert was preceded with a speech on Poland’s independence. While meeting politicians, he used to emphasize that he was a Polish pianist (Wapiński, 2009: 66). He performed Chopin, whose music is enormously relevant in Polish cultural diplomacy,...

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