Perspectives review: German soft power
New research article: "Time, Space & German Soft Power: Toward a Spatio-Temporal Turn in Diplomatic Studies?" Author: James Pamment (post-doc at the University of Texas at Austin and a research fellow at the Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California; his research addresses issues related to communication and diplomacy) Review by: Kateřina Krejčířová
You might remember the billboards with naked Claudia Schiffer draped in a German flag with captions ranging from: “Invest in Germany, boys” and “Interested in a serious relationship?” to “Discover the beauty of the deal in Germany”. This time, the blonde supermodel was not representing any fashion or beauty brand as usual, but rather a nation brand. The ad campaign shot by a star photographer Peter Lindberg was a joint initiative of the German government and industry and was trying to present Germany as “inventive, innovative, cosmopolitan, creative and visionary.” Germans invest massive amounts of money in their soft power strategy with the 2013 soft power budget reaching €1,6 billion. What do they expect in return?
Soft power is “a form of communicative influence capable of eliciting cooperation across borders.” James Pamment points out the parallels of the study of the soft power with some topics of the Media & Communications research field. He proposes adopting a new concept from this field to enrich the study of soft power: the so-called “spatio-temporal turn”. Usefulness of this approach lies in the fact that it “supports a foregrounding of the roles of communication, power and attraction underlying the soft power concept.” Pamment goes on to demonstrate the relevance of this approach with a case study of German soft power strategies from the promotion of culture after the creation of the modern German state in 1871 to The Year of Germany in India (2011-2013).
This article will make a valuable read for anyone interested in Diplomacy, International Relations, Media & Communication studies, and the issues of international communication and globalization.
Read the whole article in the latest issue of Perspectives (Vol. 21, No. 2, 2013) in your library or order one online today!
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