BEACON SOFT POWER AND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY SERIES:DAY 4
For Thursday's segment of the series, Paul Kretkowski's Beacon
features a post by Dr. Nancy Snow
. Professor Snow is a senior fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. An excerpt:"Soft Power: Fulbright’s International Character Keeps Paying Dividends
As for soft power, I am eternally biased in favor of the Fulbright program. I knew Senator Fulbright personally and I've yet to come across an octogenarian who could elicit Rock Star status with international Fulbright scholars as I saw on many occasions during my graduate school days living in Washington, D.C. Fulbright was very realistic about his namesake's appeal: it must not come across as propaganda or appear too linked to government public diplomacy goals. It must stand on its own attractiveness (beauty for beauty's sake) as an important tool in building mutual understanding. That's soft power at its best, for I do believe that the United States still holds great pulling power as a seat of outstanding education and openness in the pursuit of ideas. (Or at least I would hope so!)
The beauty of Fulbright is that it is a truly international program that works with nongovernmental organizations and governments throughout the world in the furtherance of such openness. Its very mutuality in structure is what makes it a soft power all-star for a multitude of countries but with an American heritage."
Read Professor Snow's post in full here
I have to add that a recently retired colleague of mine was a Fullbright scholar and I observed that her overseas experience was less a snapshot in time than the establishment of ongoing relationships. Not certain if that was typical of the Fullbright program but I strongly suspect it is.