Intercultural Education as a “Soft power” Tool
This article provides a historical background and analysis of Turkey soft power policy, its concept and tools. Turkey’s use of soft power in Eurasian countries is facilitated by its history and position at the intersection between Europe and Asia, as well as ethnic, religious and linguistic communities on its territory. Over the last two decades, complex internal and external factors have transformed its soft power policy and enhanced its influence in the countries where it has geopolitical interests, especially in Caucasus and Central Asia. The main external factor was the formation of new independent states after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. Turkey’s foreign policy approach was transformed by the rise to power of the centre-right conservative Justice and Development Party in 2002. Democratic reforms reduced the military’s influence over foreign policy, strengthened civil society and increased the active participation of actors such as business and civil society organizations in foreign policy. In addition foreign affairs minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s new approach of “Zero Problems with Our Neighbours,” based on the doctrine of strategic depth (Stratejik Derinlik) and using political dialogue, economic interdependence and cultural harmony, reinforced Turkish soft power. Moreover, protests in the Middle East and North Africa led to a consideration of the Turkish state model as an example to be followed. Another important factor was Turkey’s participation in various international institutions.
The efficient use of soft power strategies, tools and activities in language promotion, education and scientific cooperation, business collaboration and development assistance by Turkish diplomats and experts in international relations has resulted in a positive and attractive international image of Turkey. Turkey implements its soft power policy through bilateral and multilateral cooperation. For example, it established the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States (CCTS), the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-Speaking Countries (TURKPA) and the Joint Administration of Turkic Culture and Art (TÜRKSOY) to increase collaboration with target countries.
Despite of the positive outcomes from soft power, Turkey needs a multidimensional strategy to promote its influence abroad that takes into account key foreign policy objectives such as negotiations with the European Union and decreasing tensions with Syria and Cyprus.
This paper attempts to ascertain the role of public diplomacy in the East Asian region and focuses on the civilization potentials of Russia and China in the region. Dialogue of civilizations, based not on conflict of cultures, values, but on movement to mutual understanding, collaboration and even to the process of harmonization of civilization, is becoming a major requirement of our time. All efforts to solve difficult international problems by “hard power” are not successfully completed – use of military force provokes a counter response. In the light of this, the role of public diplomacy and foreign-policy propaganda is increasing. Despite the fact that the world’s financial and economic crises dispelled the myth of universality of the Western liberal-economic model, USA still continues to impose her ideology – “the new rules of the world ” – on the world. Under these conditions, Russia and China are facing a challenge – consolidating their positions in the world economy and politics. Nowadays, without doubts, both Russia and China are interested in the integration approach. This study explores the possibility of working out the paradigm of political and diplomatic cooperation between the two countries.
The present world order that restricts the possibilities of individual civilizations causes reaction from East-Asian and other developing countries. China in particular, is taking the lead among developing countries, disputing regional and recently global positions. While China assumes responsibility as a regional leader, Russia has interests in her age-old region – Commonwealth of Independent States.
In the article the value of educational tourism in the university education system is considered as a technology of educational, scientific and cultural development of a student. International educational tourism as a technology of development of a student is investigated on the basis of personal experience of the author, received thanks to the participation in the academic cooperation project between Mari State Technical University (Russia) and Concord University (USA) in the sphere of service and tourism. International educational tourism is considered as an additional resource of the educational process.
The EU as a model of soft power has a powerful attraction in the world and even a much more influential one in its near abroad. The EU has an interest in promoting its model as a contribution to good governance, democracy, economic prosperity and security, which are essential pre-requisites to and effective regional cooperation framework. It also has a major interest in continuing to preach the merits of sharing sovereignty as a necessary condition to tackling many of today's global problems such as sustainable development, poverty, the environment, transnational crime, and more recently, the economic crisis. Since its inception, the EU has also become the largest trading block and aid provider in the world which gives even more weight to its international role.
European Union is on the crossroad in its relationship with BRICS. It must not fail to make a good choice. Different scenarios of relationship are feasible. The most probable are discussed in the paper. The author shows that the competition scenario will damage interests of the European Union and its member-states. She strongly lobbies a choice for cooperation scenario, showing it benefits for the both sides and world development. At the same time she urges to overcome existing prejudices, disbelieves and lack of trust.
The article examines the main trends in the study of the Stalinist period and the phenomenon of Stalinism in connection with the mass opening of the archives.