Representing Cultural Diplomacy : Soft Power, Cosmopolitan Constructivism and Nation Branding in Mexico and Sweden
Abstract: This study aims at understanding how representational theories can substantiate the field of Cultural Diplomacy by looking at three models: Cosmopolitan Constructivism, Nation Branding and Soft Power. This study aims at understanding how representational theories can substantiate the field of Cultural Diplomacy by looking at three models: Cosmopolitan Constructivism, Nation Branding and Soft Power. The aim of the study is to provide a theoretical framework to under-stand, reformulate and develop the field of Cultural Diplomacy by analyzing and comparing the three main representational models. Using Hanna F. Pitkin’s discussion of political representation as a background, the author assesses the relevance of the three models in terms of the contemporary discourses of Cultural Diplomacy. The author also presents a discussion of cultural representations and formulates an analysis of how indexical, symbolic and postmodern representations can be appropriated in Cultural Diplomacy terms. The main theoretical contribution of the text lies in its analysis of Cosmopolitan Constructivism and its sources: multilateral diplomacy, cosmopolitan theory and constructivist politics. In the debate between identities and alterities, the thesis suggests that the fixed cultural representations of nations in terms of friends and competitors is continually melding with representations about enemies and exotic-others. Two specific cases are chosen to illustrate the underlying theories of representation as a response to cultural global pressures: the idea of Soft-Power in the international exhibition “Mexico: Splendors of Thirty Centuries” and the idea of “Nation-Branding” in Sweden. In sum, this thesis shows the nations’ possibilities, in Cultural Diplomacy terms, of representing their own stories to the world, while being capable of understanding what others have to express about themselves.
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