Berlin NPR – Soft Power Discussed by Expert Panal at ICD Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy

Berlin NPR ( German News Radio) - July 29th, 2009; The NPR reports on the ICD's Soft Power Discussion.
  July 29th, 2009

Soft Power Discussed At The ICD

Experts from academia, politics and the private sector meet in Berlin for the annual International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy.

This year’s focus is the role of soft power in regards to the global environment. Harvard Professor Joseph Nye was in attendance at the conference.

Nye teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Nye introduced the subject of soft power by video at the Amerika Haus.

“Look at the inaugural statement that president Obama made. He said that our power comes not simply from our military might, but from our values. That’s a good example of soft power,” Nye said.

Such theoretical and practical approaches of soft power and cultural diplomacy are being discussed in different locations around Berlin.

At the German Foreign Office, Dr. Gunter Pleuger, former German Ambassador to the United Nations, spoke about the use of soft power in German foreign policy.

“terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, lack of development, failing states with large amounts of refugees, hunger all these problems cannot be solved by hard power. They can only be solved by an agreement of the international community on what to do,” Pleuger said.

The week long event, organized by the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy, aims to build an international network. Participants come from different fields and levels of experience.

Twenty-year old student Andrew Chapman from the Cambridge Union Society says he’d like to hear about how inter-cultural can be conducted with soft power.

“It’s a much more subtle point then it’s often made out to be,” Chapman says.

The day-time lectures and discussions are being complimented by evening concerts of jazz and traditional African music.