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Poland’s New Ways of Public Diplomacy

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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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6. Politics of Memory as a Core Element of Poland’s (New) Public Diplomacy

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6.   Politics of Memory as a Core Element of Poland’s (New) Public Diplomacy25

In 2015, Allegro, the biggest auction website in Poland, started a new advertising campaign. The company hired famous animated films’ director Tomasz Bagiński (who had been nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 for his “Cathedral” and who was the author of an animated short history of Poland prepared for the Shanghai 2010 Expo) to tell the most popular Polish legends in a new way, as short animated films that would advertise Allegro. The auction website’s chief officer expected from Bagiński a “new interpretation” of legends, full of universal truths that should be “transmitted from one generation to the next” (Poznaj na nowo polskie legendy, 2015). Bagiński’s first film was a fairy tale that every child in Poland knew, about an awful dragon who once upon a time lived below the King’s castle in Krakow, and who was fed on young girls that the city’s inhabitants were obliged to supply him. A certain shoemaker named Dratewka was the person who eventually beat the dragon, stuffing him with a sheep filled with explosives. In the twenty-first-century version film for Allegro, the dragon was a bad guy who flew a warship and the shoemaker a smart teenager whose hobby was designing robots. The name of the dragon, which was dressed in the film in a sort of green uniform, was Adolf Kamchatsky. In this popular version, which formed part of...

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