Soft power: the arts of diplomacy (from the archives)

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Cultural diplomacy helps advance Australian influence and fund global arts engagement but also puts political pressure on artists.

In the late 1980s, and in a series of subsequent publications, US political scientist Joseph Nye articulated the ability of nation-states to win allies and gain influence by non-violent means instead of through military force and economic might. What he called ‘soft power’ – the ability to co-opt people rather than coerce them – has today become the common practice of governments everywhere, as well as NGOs and other organisations.

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