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Main page / "Knowledge. Understanding. Skill" Journal / Contents / 2014 / No. 1

Kosenko S. I. Soft Power as a Factor of Frances Cultural Diplomacy

(The Honorary Consulate of the Russian Federation in Lausanne, Switzerland)

Abstract ♦ The article covers some relevant aspects of French foreign cultural policy in the context of its “soft power”. The historically distinct place of the cultural diplomacy is emphasized as part of the French strategy aimed to preserve and, ideally, to extend its influence as a great power during the globalization era and, in particular, within the context of its traditional opposition to the U.S. pursuit of spiritual leadership in the world.

Being recognized as “spiritual beacon” of Western civilization for about two centuries, France, as the American hegemony was developing — after the setting up of the Versailles Treaty system in 1918 and especially after the Second World War — gradually started to lose this role. However, due to its steady and efficient cultural policy used as a state-supported soft power, France succeeded, to a certain degree, to preserve its national identity, prestige and influence in the international affairs. It is namely the “soft power” that nowadays permits France to defend and promote its priorities and positions under conditions of a stiff international competition.

France, aptly using the tools of its cultural diplomacy, has been still continuing to keep its inimitable national identity and to protect its national interests, while some other former “great cultural nations” (for instance, Italy or Germany) have got obediently run by the American cultural “road roller”, which emasculates any national culture. That is why the experience and the example of France’s external cultural policy, especially of the last decades, represent an obvious scientific, practical and universal interest, inter alia for Russia.

Keywords: France, soft power, puissance douce, diplomacy of influence, cultural diplomacy, world policy.

Kosenko Sergei Ivanovich, Candidate of Science (political science), diplomatic advisor to the Russian Federation Honorary Consul in Lausanne, Switzerland. Postal address: Av. Rumine 13, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland. Tel.: +41 (021) 623-85-85. E-mail:


Citation: Kosenko, S. I. (2014) «Miagkaia sila» kak faktor kul'turnoi diplomatii Frantsii [“Soft Power” as a Factor of France’s Cultural Diplomacy]. Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie, no. 1, pp. 114–125. (In Russ.).

Submission date: 6.10.2013.



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