Importance of Cultural Diplomacy

By Selmo Cikotić (Former Minister of Defense of Bosnia & Herzgovina – ICD Advisory Board Member)


Cultural diplomacy plays an important role in the modern world.

We live in a world which is very dynamic and comlex.

All positive globalization effects (free flow of people, ideas, goods, informations, technologies etc) brought with them a number of new security challenges and threats (global terrorism, organized crime, illegal trafficing of people, drugs, and weapons, proliferation of WMD, illegal migrations, piracy, environmental treats, economic and finacial crises, ethnic conflicts  etc) creating a kind of security environment that had existed never before - no country, regardless of its size and power can provide its security on its own - therefore, interdependance has become a major feature of modern international relations.

The speed of overall global changes has become higher than ever before, with a trend of further acceleration, which made the modern global environment even more complex.
The world is no longer only a geographic entiity. Recently it has become a virtual and networked one (the 2010 year marked a moment when a total number of devices conected to the network reached a number higher than the number of all world's population).

The strength of a modern country is no longer measured by the size of population, territory or economy - but, by the level of the country's integration in different international structures and by the number and quality of relationships and links established with friends, allies and partners. The quality of a country's politics and its diplomacy is often measured by its capacity to make new friends and partners, and the capability of making friends out of former enemies is considered the highest level of politics and diplomacy.
Civilizational and cultural gaps and differences seem to play more important role in present and coming times. Modern countries are having increased pressure from lacking resources to meet all challenges and threats that are more and more hard to predict and mutually interconected.
Given the need of modern countries to cooperate with each other in meeting these new threats and challenges there is no better platform of communication than the cultural diplomacy.

Cultural diplomacy has got another unique quality - it can help people ajust faster to the demands of quick and comprehensive changes and with the increased speed of change, which is very important esspecially in light  of fact that in time of change everything else is easier to change than the mindset of people - it is easier to change a constitution or a law than the habits and routines of the people.