THE ROLE OF CULTURAL DIPLOMACY AS A TOOL FOR ADVANCING AFRICAN FOREIGN RELATIONS: A CASE STUDY OF KENYA

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This research project sets out to investigate the role of cultural diplomacy as a tool for advancing international relations using Kenya as a case study. Cultural diplomacy may best be described as a course of action(s), which are based on and utilize the exchange of ideas, values, traditions and other aspects of culture or identity, whether to strengthen relationships, enhance socio-cultural cooperation or promote national interests.  Cultural relations, is the mutual exchange of culture between peoples to develop long-term relationships, trust, and understanding for the purpose of generating genuine goodwill and influence abroad. The study aims to establish the role of cultural diplomacy as a tool for advancing African foreign relations using Kenya as a case study. Specifically the study seeks to answer the following questions: what is the role of cultural diplomacy in advancing foreign relations in Africa? What the role music as an aspect the culture, what the role sports as an aspect the culture and the role of cultural Diplomacy in advancing Kenya‟s foreign relations?

 

 

The justification for the study is that Cultural diplomacy has not been the subject of as much scholarly attention and Scholarship about diplomacy - a more traditional field - has paid little attention to cultural diplomacy, and despite the recent exponential growth in scholarship of the various schools of International Relations Theory, Cultural diplomacy has been almost entirely ignored by the discipline of International Relations.  The study will therefore contribute to knowledge and will be useful to policy makers, especially those in government to make better use of the practice of cultural diplomacy, to enhance effectiveness in reaching wider and diverse audiences.

 

 

The study employs soft power theory as the analytical framework. It posits that Soft Power lies in the ability to attract and persuade. Soft power arises from the attractiveness of a country's culture, political ideals, and policies. This study uses qualitative research approach and majorly utilizes secondary for data collection from books, journal articles and periodicals. For primary data is collected using a questionnaire.    The collected data is sorted and analyzed using document analysis and presented in narrative form as well as in tables and charts.

 

 

This study argues that cultural diplomacy is very important for Africa and concludes that Cultural diplomacy plays a crucial role in building relations among states in contemporary international relations, as it   serves  as an  effective instrument in supporting national foreign policy objectives or a constructive channel at times of political difficulty. Cultural diplomacy as a subset of public diplomacy supports Kenya‟s foreign policy goals, to combat stereotyping, develop mutual understanding, and advance national reputation and relationships across the board. Culture keeps doors open in difficult times, where cultural diplomacy provides  a safe and  constructive forum for relationship-building or easing relations when they get strained. Among others, the study recommendations that Prior to constructing a cultural diplomacy initiative, the government, relevant agencies, artists and other actors must fully understand the cultural identity of the nation.

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PROF. AMB. MARIA NZOMO
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