[Hard Talk on] Soft Power

  • Rijksmuseum 1 Museumstraat Amsterdam, NH, 1071 Netherlands

Soft Power
In today’s globalized world, the need for cultural understanding and constructive relationships between countries and cultures is perhaps more important than ever. Museums and cultural institutions can play a crucial role as agents of social change. More and more countries and governments are beginning to understand this - as evidenced by the museums, art fairs and biennials that are popping up everywhere in the world. At the same time this development raises a number of questions: Can we still call the arts a form ‘soft power’ when they are used to achieve other goals (military, economic, geopolitical)? What exactly are the motives behind these soft power strategies? Another aspect that is addressed during the symposium is the role of women in this power play. Soft power is based on seduction and negotiation, on cooperation and mutual understanding – a leadership style that fits well with women. But is soft power actually feminine? Is there a “feminine” way to exercise power?

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