Pacific Council Communications Officer Justin Chapman recently traveled to Iceland with his USC Master of Public Diplomacy class to meet and discuss the country’s place branding efforts with government officials.
Greenland’s national assembly is to vote during its spring session next month on a measure that would see Nuuk open a representative office in Reykjavík. Nuuk already has such offices, which function in a similar capacity to embassies, in Copenhagen, Brussels and Washington. Iceland opened its own consulate in Nuuk in 2013, making it the first country to do so since the Second World War.
In addition to the various groups of indigenous people who reside in the Arctic, eight countries Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Canada, and the United States have claimed interest in the Arctic. Diplomacy between the different groups is required for cooperation and organization in the complicated region. Due to its importance in environmental security, sizable natural resource reserves, and remote location, the Arctic incentivizes cooperation through science diplomacy.
Set for March 25, the game – Kosovo against Iceland – is part of the first round of qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. But it is much more than a simple football match. Sports diplomacy has been the most successful strategy implemented by Kosovo to garner international recognition. It’s been nine years since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, after Kosovo Albanians sought independence during the Yugoslavian wars.
The soccer soft power contrast between Qatar and Iceland speaks volumes. A comparison of the strategies of both countries demonstrates that it takes more than money to leverage soccer to create political, geopolitical and economic opportunity. Money and world soccer body FIFA’s desire to take one of the world’s foremost sporting events beyond Europe and the Americas helped Qatar win the right to host the 2022 World Cup.
The newest issue of Place Branding and Public Diplomacy looks at the Nordic states.