Transatlantic Cultural Diplomacy

Mai'a K. Davis Cross has published the chapter 'Transatlantic Cultural Diplomacy' in a book on the role of European cultural products and services in a global world. She explains why the US-American approach towards public diplomacy and spreading its culture cannot serve as a role model for Europe.

The book Exporting Culture: Which role for Europe in a Global World? is edited by Raphaela Henze and Gernot Wolfram, and was published with Springer in 2014.

About the book

Is European culture visible enough in the globalized world? Why is culture from this continent often perceived as ‘old-fashioned’ or even worse as ‘out-dated’? Is the export of national cultural products and services – in most European countries subsidized by the taxpayer – no longer relevant, or more relevant than ever before? Is it a huge waste of money, time, and effort or an attempt to create another form of globalization? Culture – in its broadest sense – is often viewed and accepted in ways that differ completely from those of other internationally traded goods. This might be one of the reasons why so many institutions, foundations and cooperations invest time, power, and money in cultural projects. Is this an exaggerated approach or an intelligent recognition of the genuine values of the 21st century – creativity and cultural sensitivity? These and several other questions concerning the export of culture are addressed by authors from different countries in order to initiate a debate about the role European cultural products and services are able to play globally.

Transatlantic Cultural Diplomacy

Mai'a K. Davis Cross in her chapter grapples with the question of whether the EU can project a coherent image to the outside world through public diplomacy given its significant cultural diversity. Has this been an impossible task or has the EU over time managed to create successful and legitimate ways of augmenting its soft power through the export of its cultural products?

To shed light on this issue, she first considers the United States as the target audience for European cultural products, and evaluates successes and failures on a practical level. To what extent and why are Americans aware of European cultures? Second, Cross compares American public diplomacy approaches to European ones. Given that both the EU and US have high-levels of cultural diversity, she concludes by drawing out the lessons and drawbacks of adopting an American approach to public diplomacy, especially in light of the changing geo-political landscape.

Full info

Mai'a K. Davis Cross
‘Transatlantic Cultural Diplomacy’ (full text available)

In: Exporting Culture: Which role for Europe in a Global World?
Raphaela Henze and Gernot Wolfram (eds)

Springer, 2014
ISBN 978-3-658-01921-1

Published Jan. 27, 2014 12:22 PM - Last modified Jan. 27, 2014 12:22 PM