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Call it “cultural diplomacy” or “soft power,” the blockbuster show was just one half of the major Russian cultural initiatives that debuted in Paris during the week, seeking to burnish Moscow’s reputation abroad as a year dedicated to “cultural tourism” has been overshadowed by political disputes.

Cultural diplomacy is accepted as a powerful instrument of soft power whose outreach is often underestimated. It has been found to be the most effective way of influencing foreign audiences. Other countries reach out to the youth, non-elite and other audiences outside the traditional embassy circuit because this form of diplomacy derives its credibility when it is seen as being independent of government institutions. 

At a time when Islamic State militants around the world have sledgehammered antiquities, French President François Holland helped launch a cultural heritage initiative at the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting. [...] The French President announced the creation of a $100 million public/private fund, with the United Arab Emirates, to safeguard endangered cultural heritage sites. 

The embassy tours will take place this weekend on a first-come, first-served basis and are part of Heritage Open Days, England’s annual festival of history, which will see thousands of places open their doors. [...] As well as the embassy tours, the trust has launched Europe and Us in 99 Objects and on 17-18 September will hold a weekend of events at Mount Stewart [...] exploring the history and politics of British diplomacy. 

The France-based leg of the yearlong South Korea-France cultural exchange project has drawn the curtains with a colorful flourish, celebratory of the 130th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties. As of the end of August, the events of the “Years 2015-2016 of Korea-France Bilateral Exchanges” have hailed about 2.26 million visitors in France, which ran from September 2015.

Real power in global governance requires intellectual input into the international financial and economic agenda, policies and rules — the effective exercise of ‘soft’ power. [...] The major substantial outcomes of the G20 to date, including updating international financial regulatory rules through Basel III and international tax cooperation on tax havens, have been mostly led by the Atlantic countries.

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