In this week’s culture segment we take a look at a term used in international relations: soft power’. Soft power is the power to influence in the gentle way and culture is one of the best assets to develop its strategy of influence abroad.
We take the example of the United States. If America is a world power, it is primarily thanks to its army and its economy but also to its soft power. Films, music, food, have served to establish American domination. And if a country’s public opinion has a good image of the United States and American culture, it will be more likely to appreciate the American position on diplomacy for example
In France, President Macron multiplied initiatives to increase his country’s influence abroad, especially in Africa. But France has a heavy colonial past and the country has trouble getting rid of the term. So to restore the image of his country Emmanuel Macron goes through soft power, with culture as his weapon. Last November he promised that France would return the looted cultural property to Africa, which is now in French museums.
In Africa, Morocco has been seeking to develop its cultural soft power in the rest of Africa. In particular through its religious influence with a training programme for imams. The country has also increased festivals, exhibitions and conferences in Africa. All this to promote Morocco’s image on the continent.
Barbara Loundou tells us more on soft power in this week ‘This is Culture’ segment.