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What is 'Culture' in Public and Cultural Diplomacy?: The case of Sweden and Japan on the Governmental Level
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology. Institute for European Studies, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland .
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Today, the power of culture has been recognized more in International Relations, and culture becomes one of the important aspects for nation’s diplomacy. Since culture establishes own national image and plays a significant role to introduce the nation by interacting with other nations. Thus, Public and Cultural Diplomacy are paid particular attention by nations, and nowadays this tendency becomes stronger. Sweden and Japan are good example nations that positively utilize culture through Public and Cultural Diplomacy nowadays. In fact, several world surveys show both nations gained high results of good national images, and their organizational structure and main goals are apparently similar. However, there also seems to be differences between Sweden and Japan even though they use the same term “Public and Cultural Diplomacy”. That is, their perception of culture and the implementation of culture in Public and Cultural Diplomacy are different. Based on this hypothesis, this thesis explored the different attitudes and ideas toward culture revealed by Swedish and Japanese Public and Cultural Diplomacy. The background of the different perspectives on culture between the two nations was hidden in each country's International Cultural Relations history, particularly post-WWII. During the half century after WWII, both nations’ identities have developed and formulated by the world situation. Sweden, as a neutral country, consistently trod down a path as a progressive world leader/model, while Japan, as a defeated country, dedicated itself to eliminate its former negative image and inconsistently needed to change its foundation of identity. Moreover, Sweden found out its strength in industrial, political and social aspects, not in cultural aspect. On the other hand, culture was necessary for Japan to symbolize peace. Thus, there were fundamental differences between the two nations. Having these fundamental differences, the thesis examined both nations’ contemporary Public and Cultural Diplomacy in order to investigate how the different perspectives affect their current diplomacies. The comparison of organizational structure and strategies clarified that Swedish main actors for Public and Cultural Diplomacy show strong consideration on commerce. There, culture is regarded as secondary tool for marketing, whereas Japanese main actors do not emphasize the commerce aspect of culture rather pays attention to disseminate Japanese unique culture abroad. Thus, historical identifications vividly affect current Public and Cultural Diplomacy policy. The case study analysis of Cultural Diplomacy in Iraq as development support clarified the differences in the style of implementation of culture and the message that they aim to disseminate through culture. Sweden aims to disseminate the international cultural values (invisible culture) that Sweden significantly stresses on and provides substantial/technical development support. Thus, Sweden strongly figures out own position as an international role. Meanwhile, Japan supports by more concrete Japanese cultural objects (visible culture) in order to increase Japan fans and positive attitude toward Japan. Simultaneously, Japan expects to the role of culture as people’s mental support. Moreover, the relationships with other country in the development support can be seen vertical in Swedish Cultural Diplomacy, while flat in Japanese Cultural Diplomacy. Thus, Sweden and Japan distinctly show different styles and attitudes of Public and Cultural Diplomacy and aims to disseminate different messages. Although there are fundamental and actual differences in their perceptions and implementations of culture in Public and Cultural Diplomacy, Japan gradually begins to shift to Swedish style. The commercialization of culture is the common trajectory for Sweden and Japan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 95 p.
Keyword [en]
Culture, Cultural Diplomacy, Sweden, Japan, Governemnt
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208993OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-208993DiVA: diva2:655591
Subject / course
Educational program
Master Programme in Euroculture
2013-09-20, ul. Jodłowa 13, 30-252, Kraków, 14:00 (English)
Available from: 2013-12-02 Created: 2013-10-12 Last updated: 2013-12-02Bibliographically approved

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