Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Changing foreign public perceptions through culture Comparative study of the Cultural Diplomacy of France and China in the Mekong sub-region
by Mutsaka, Chiedza Michelle, M.A., Webster University, 2013, 92; 1525312
Abstract (Summary)

As the 2lst century world continues to evolve, globalisation continues to alter the nature of the relations between states and the balance of power amongst them. Both globalization and the dominance of liberal thought have created a global appeal for values, culture, inclusive policies and regional and international cooperation through institutions. Within this context, the dynamic of power has transformed. The legitimacy of hard power and coercion has been questioned and in its place, the importance of international relations built on soft power (especially through cultural cooperation) has emerged. The model of soft power that is centred on cultural diplomacy is now a priority for many states because it forges stringer bonds between them, thus softening the potential threat that is inherently present in hard power. Through cultural diplomacy, states can improve upon relationships that were once oppressive and hard-power based. Cultural diplomacy has provided states with a less-threatening way of exerting influence on each other.

This study examines aspects of the cultural diplomacy of France and China in order to investigate how and if cultural diplomacy constitutes a better national image as perceived by the publics and governments of the Mekong sub-region. By using Waltz's levels of analysis and empirical examples from the Mekong sub-region, the effects of France and China's cultural diplomacy are examined. Specific attention is paid to Viet Nam because of its distinctively temperamental relationships with France and China in the past.

The study concludes that although cultural diplomacy proves favourable for France's influence in the Viet Nam and the Mekong sub-region, China is not enjoying the same benefits, specifically in reference to Viet Nam. Cultural diplomacy is only a valuable tool when it is coupled with several mitigating factors like the legitimacy of France and China, the coherence of their foreign policy actions, and the willingness of Viet Nam to receive outside influence. Unfortunately for China, the tenacity and inflexibility that it has displayed towards regional states in territorial disputes has negated the potential benefits of its cultural diplomacy in Viet Nam.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Houston, Kennth
Commitee:
School: Webster University
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: MAI 52/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Political science
Keywords: China Cultural Diplomacy, China Soft Power, Cultural Diplomacy, France Cultural Diplomacy, France Soft Power, Soft Power
Publication Number: 1525312
ISBN: 9781303934971