Culture as an Important Component of the International Business and Relations
The research title of this paper is “role of the cultural diplomacy in promoting economic development of a country and international relations, particularly the UK ”.
Culture is thought in the sense of cultural symbolism and identity, which implies varied issues that ranges from tangible to the intangible cultural heritage and customs and traditions. It is understood an identity of a country, which can serve to strengthen relationship with the other countries by establishing friendly relations. Promoting national culture in foreign country can help in generating various benefits for the nation, such as enhancing the country’s image. In this sense, the culture can be served as a tool for carrying out diplomacy by national in their international relations. It is referred as a cultural diplomacy (Clarke 2016).
It is argued that presently, culture plays most significant role in the international relations more than ever before. Cultural contact helps in providing a platform for the unofficial building of political relationship, since it helps in keeping open the channel of negotiations with nations where political relationships are in jeopardy, and assists in recalibrating the relationship for the changing periods with the developing powers or controls, such as China and India. In the coming period, the relationships are predicted to be build up along the lines of the cultural considerate, since they are economic or geographic ones. In this regard, there are various historical benefits of the UK (Rivera 2015).
The UK is truly blessed with highly performing entities, respected cultural and highly skilled professionals, as the UK is the home to the remarkable artists, its culture, and the heritage of this country act as the center of an attraction for business and tourism, and its industries are day-by-day thriving. Through the presence of the British Council all across the globe and also through the wide global network of diaspora communities and national cultural institutions, the UK asserts a strong tradition of the exchange of international culture.
However, the UK cannot just afford to rest on its glories of culture. This country does not make enough investment in its cultural entities and infrastructure, which creates a gap. It still lacks behind more systematic and strategic approach towards the cultural diplomacy compared to the other countries that highly focusses on the cultural diplomacy, such as India. The UK finds itself at the significant crossroads, as it fights against the issues of relating to the communities and nations in the new ways and using the old belief of making distinction between the soft and hard power (Ang, Isar and Mar 2015). There is still quite less research done in this area.
Maximizing the Competitive Advantage of the Country through Culture
Hence, this paper purposes to discuss and analyze the relationship between about the role of cultural diplomacy and a country’s economic development. For this, this research paper will assess the value represented by the country’s culture for the international relations. Different theories will also be reviewed to examine the benefits and uses of the cultural diversity and outcomes that can be achieved through the practices. The overall aim will be to analyze the impact that the cultural diplomacy make contribution towards the country’s development, particularly analysis of the cultural diplomacy of the UK.
International business not only deals with the cross borders, but they also deal with the cross cultures. From the ancient rulers’ reciprocal gifts to the contemporary day Expos, the culture has always been the means for the nations and leaders to demonstrate who they are actually, building lasting relationships, and assert their power. A culture has a profound impact on the way people use to think, behave, and communicate; and it can also have huge impact on the kinds of transactions they are making as well as the manner in which they are negotiating. Diplomats use culture in various different ways (Johanson and Vahlne 2017).
Despite omnipresence of the culture on the international relations and business, its significance has still not been well recognized. Different nations use to develop the public diplomacy models that suits their overall global capacity, outlook, and pre-existing profile. A popular culture is considered as a starting point, which helps in increasing the cultural visibility and it can sometimes assist in opening closed doors of international trade (Stahl and Tung 2015).
The UK is the world’s leading player in the cultural aspect. This country is at the forefront of practicing culture. The cultural sector of the UK generated direct and the indirect economic benefits for the country. For instance, when considering the overall revenue of antiques and art, the UK makes around 20% of the global art market. The art and cultural industry have now grown 10 percent and it contributes to £8.5 billion to the economy of the UK. The heritage and culture are main drivers of the international tourism and business. It is important for not only economic impact, but also for creating impression and international relations of a country (Acharya 2014). The tourism industry of the UK generates 9% of the national GDP, which contributes to £127 billion in the GVA to the economy (Files.londonandpartners.com. 2022). However, over the years, because of the increased globalization and technologies, new players come into place and become dominant, which is posing significant risk to the UK. Hence, culture is mainly reinforced by the strong international relationships network, practices, structures, and agreements. It is important to maintain a competitive advantage through sustaining the credibility and influence (Haseeb et al. 2019).
Building and Maintaining Relationships with the Help of Culture
The growth of the new and dominant powers is now creating a challenge for the western hegemony and the balance of power and structure all across the globe. The traditional truth of the Cold War and division between the competing superpowers no more exist, rather it has now been substituted with more fluid of the multi-lateral associations and relationships. The traditional power of the countries is required to renegotiate their position in the world, which could be done through changing their continuing relationships with the key nations. Culture plays important role in this process. The benefit of which cannot be completely realized unless there is much coherent and stronger structure to coordinate the activities, which contributes towards the cultural diplomacy. There is intimate and long relationship between the culture and politics. The right relationship between culture and politics can help in delivering the real results (Samaha, Beck and Palmatier 2014).
Cultural diplomacy has helped in setting out the practical objectives of combining the work of cultural institutions into the present structures as well as the public diplomacy’s working practices that is mainly derived through the British Council and FCO. Although the world never stands to be same always, in the coming period, public diplomacy’s dividend will essentially go to the nations that will highly respond to the opportunities as well as challenges posed by the current stage of the globalization (Kone 2019).
The new set of possibilities offered by the technologies and internet, proliferation of the low-cost international travel, and increased global communication are now providing the people with the tools and techniques to influence the politics from much ease and comfort. The nations that are going to be tomorrow’s leaders are those who are having sufficient infrastructure and resources to link with these new technological platforms, equip the people of their nation with the capacity and tools to come out of any adverse outcome, as well as put their governance structure in place, so as to manage the likely adverse effects (Zhang 2014).
One should not try to underestimate the huge overall impact of the likely changes, as they may confront the foundation of the present public diplomacy practices and policies, and need a systematic adaptation and change. The UK cultural institutions and the British Council should respond to the changes. It is essential to change the institutional mindsets, ensure that the new technologies drive these institutions’ mindsets, and embrace the new working partnership models, compared to just be treated as the extras added to their present activities. Hence, playing around the boundaries will just not be sufficient, as it will need proper investment in money, time, and energy (Kim 2020).
Rise of New Technology and Cultural Diplomacy
Research questions are referred as the questions that the research paper purposes to answer. The questions are framed to addresses the issues or problems raised in the paper. Hence, the main research questions to be answered are as follows:
- What is cultural diplomacy and how it facilitates the country’s economic development and international relations?
- What is the role and impact of the cultural diplomacy in promoting economic development in the UK and its international relations?
In 1990, Joseph Nye developed a concept of the Soft Power to explain the ability to co-opt and attract rather than by hard power, giving money or using force as a way of persuasion. This term brought the new ways of studying the international relations, and it became important to make distinction between soft power and the other practices, such as coercion or hard power (Zamorano 2016).
Soft power implies the power of setting the agenda and influencing others in the politics world. Cultural diplomacy purposes to enable soft power with the help of legitimizing their international policy in combination with the global cultural standard. It is attained through utilizing constitutive and transformative cultural power to target the foreign citizenry. However, with the close relationship between foreign ministers and cultural diplomacy, interest in the cultural diplomacy has been increased with the growing insights of the importance of soft power in meeting the objectives of states in the international realm. The bipolar public diplomacy’s quality during the period of Cold War has been now replaced with the extensive number of states practicing the public diplomacy, since their key interest in the soft power have been increased (Sterling 2018).
Joseph Nye highlights the soft power concept as the international image, particularly outlined the values that underlies the interests of the government. For instance, the soft power of the UK is its ability of attracting others through legitimacy of the actions. The relationship with the public diplomacy exists between the theoretical foreign relations concept of the various forms of the power and practical elements of the way states improve or expand their capacity of their soft power (Rusakova et al. 2018).
The next theory that assists in understanding cultural promotion abroad or cultural diplomacy is nation branding. Further, the nation branding concept is strongly linked to marketing and economics. The scholar- Keith Dinnie developed the nation branding concept and stated that a nation brand must derive from the country’s culture rather than just taking the form of campaign or a superficial advertising logo. It is in this particular sense; the nation branding concept is different from the soft power concept (Dinnie 2015). A culture plays main role in the theory of nation branding and the author defined it to be essential for creation of a well-designed strategy on the branding of a country. Under the nation branding scope, the cultural diplomacy work determines a stronger direct association with the economic development, compared to the soft power theory. The cultural diplomacy has become part of the strategies of a state in the promotion of its image (Hurn 2016).
Cosmopolitan constructivism is the recent theory developed by Cesar Villanueva- a Mexican scholar that seeks for a deeper study of the cultural diplomacy in the international relations’ field. It bases its analysis on three fundamental concepts, which are cosmopolitan theory, constructivist politics, and multilateral diplomacy. It comprises the aspects such as humanism, universal values, and inclusion. The cosmopolitan constructivism theory states that the states’ community matters and the government collaborate in the inter-cultural dialogue through the cultural diplomacy (Rodríguez Morató and Zamorano 2018).
As per Villanueva, practicing this kind of diplomacy helps in generating exchanges among the countries. There are various nations whose strategies aligns with the main objective of the cultural diplomacy. For instance, the UK having its long tradition of the cultural diplomacy in the country, has an evident and determined state intervention for the purpose. This country recognizes the significance of cultural diplomacy and hence, the effort has been made by the State to provide the global public goods on the basis of the stance of impartiality and independence, since these are the good ways to reach a good understanding with other countries (Clarke 2016).
Villanueva provided six components that he thinks should be included in the theory. Although these components indirectly make contribution to the development of a country, less emphasis is given on the economic development of the individual country in this particular approach compared to the soft power theory and nation branding theory. The cosmopolitan constructivism mainly emphasizes the significance of friendly and peaceful relations among nations based on understanding, cultural appreciation and exchange, and respect. This kind of the cultural diplomacy is mainly mutually beneficial and it contributes towards all nation’s cultural, social, and economic development (Jamnongsarn 2014).
Research methodology is referred as the way through which research activities is carried out by the researcher. It involves tools and techniques used to conduct the research work. For analyzing the role of cultural diplomacy in the economic development of a country, this research paper employed the strategy of qualitative research by using the UK as a case study. The qualitative research will be carried out through the deductive approach. It is believed that a qualitative approach is deemed more suitable for gaining more varied insights of the issue based on the experiences and perspectives of the research carried out by the academics and experiences of diplomats. This method will help the researcher to address and explore the research questions framed on the role played by cultural diplomacy in the economic development (Pandey and Pandey 2021).
Although the group of the research participants is quite small to be thought as a representative sample in the quantitative terms, selection of the participants for the qualitative study is mainly aimed to show a diversity of the relevant perspective, comprising practitioners and academics working in the different kinds of institutions in various regions of the world. The total number of participants involved in this research paper will be nine, which includes 3 people from the group of academics, cultural attaches, and directors of the UK cultural institutes. The main aim is to include specialists on the cultural diplomacy and scholars who have published the research paper on the issue.
The data were mainly collected through the secondary sources. Different research articles, books, government websites, news articles, and other significant and relevant sources will be assessed from the different database. The criteria to select documents or to focus on the particular extracts must indicate the issues that is to be addressed in this paper. Further, during the entire research study process, it will be ensured that the ethical consideration have been followed.
After the completion of the research work, it is expected to get the clear insights on the role and impact of the different kinds of diplomacy in promoting the economic development in the UK. An understanding will be gained on the role of the cultural diplomacy in the overall economic development of the country, particularly the UK. The insights will be gained on the strategies that the diplomats adopt to foster effective economic development from time-to-time. By reviewing the different literatures, the gap will be found out on the research done by the different researchers on the issue. This research study will prompt various areas, which could be explored in the further research by the researchers. This will also help the policymakers to review the current policies and make some changes. Hence, the results of this research paper will provide various scope.
Acharya, A., 2014. Global International Relations (IR) and Regional WorldsA New Agenda for International Studies. International studies quarterly, 58(4), pp.647-659.
Ang, I., Isar, Y.R. and Mar, P., 2015. Cultural diplomacy: beyond the national interest?. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 21(4), pp.365-381.
Clarke, D., 2016. Theorising the role of cultural products in cultural diplomacy from a cultural studies perspective. International journal of cultural policy, 22(2), pp.147-163.
Clarke, D., 2016. Theorising the role of cultural products in cultural diplomacy from a cultural studies perspective. International journal of cultural policy, 22(2), pp.147-163.
Dinnie, K., 2015. Nation branding: Concepts, issues, practice. Routledge.
Files.londonandpartners.com. 2022. [online] Available at: <https://files.londonandpartners.com/l-and-p/assets/london_tourism_vision_aug_2017.pdf> [Accessed 16 January 2022].
Haseeb, M., Hussain, H.I., Kot, S., Androniceanu, A. and Jermsittiparsert, K., 2019. Role of social and technological challenges in achieving a sustainable competitive advantage and sustainable business performance. Sustainability, 11(14), p.3811.
Hurn, B.J., 2016. The role of cultural diplomacy in nation branding. Industrial and Commercial Training.
Jamnongsarn, S., 2014. Interaction of Music as a Soft Power in the Dimension of Cultural Diplomacy between Indonesia and Thailand. International Journal of Creative and Arts Studies, 1(1), pp.58-69.
Johanson, J. and Vahlne, J.E., 2017. The internationalization process of the firm—a model of knowledge development and increasing foreign market commitments (pp. 145-154). Routledge.
Kim, S., 2020. Curating Culture, Exhibiting Nation: The Development of South Korea’s Cultural Diplomacy and Korean Exhibitions in ‘Universal’Museums (Doctoral dissertation, University of Leicester).
Kone, D., 2019. Issues in Cultural Diplomacy: The Changing Communications Paradigm between the US and Muslim World.
Pandey, P. and Pandey, M.M., 2021. Research Methodology Tools and Techniques.
Rivera, T., 2015. Distinguishing cultural relations from cultural diplomacy: The British Council’s relationship with Her Majesty’s Government. USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School, p.12.
Rodríguez Morató, A. and Zamorano, M.M., 2018. Introduction: cultural policies in Ibero-America at the beginning of the XXI century. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 24(5), pp.565-576.
Rusakova, O., Kovba, D., Gribovod, E. and Popova, N., 2018, November. Cultural diplomacy as the intellectual capital of soft power exercised by the Shanghai cooperation organization member states. In Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management & Organisational Learning ICICKM (pp. 277-284).
Samaha, S.A., Beck, J.T. and Palmatier, R.W., 2014. The role of culture in international relationship marketing. Journal of Marketing, 78(5), pp.78-98.
Stahl, G.K. and Tung, R.L., 2015. Towards a more balanced treatment of culture in international business studies: The need for positive cross-cultural scholarship. Journal of International Business Studies, 46(4), pp.391-414.
Sterling, D.P., 2018. A new era in cultural diplomacy: Promoting the image of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative in Asia. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 6(2), pp.102-116.
Zamorano, M.M., 2016. Reframing cultural diplomacy: the instrumentalization of culture under the soft power theory. Culture Unbound, 8(2), pp.165-186.
Zhang, Y., 2014. The standard of ‘civilisation’redux: towards the expansion of international society 3.0?. Millennium, 42(3), pp.674-696.