French Scientific and Cultural Diplomacy

French Scientific and Cultural Diplomacy

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French Scientific and Cultural Diplomacy

French Scientific and Cultural Diplomacy

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FREE for a limited time

Synopsis

France has long been engaged in a very active cultural and scientific diplomacy. It aims both at ensuring and valorising the international presence of France in the domains of language, culture, communication, or higher education and research. This diplomacy is backed by a network of cooperation services in embassies and cultural institutions, as well as by numerous operators and specialised agencies in various sectors. This book asks whether cultural diplomacy, invented by France in the 18th century, is in danger. It asks whether the present system, aimed at helping artists and creators, professionals of teaching and culture, researchers and intellectuals, can be improved. And it argues that a diplomacy of influence needs coherent foreign policy connecting sectors and promoting partnerships.

Excerpt

A philosopher must undertake three journeys: first the encyclopaedic journey, second a journey around the world (a philosopher who would not have seen the oceans, the poles and the equator would ignore the world). The third journey is one amongst mankind … This third journey goes two ways: one has to have friends everywhere, have talks with all, and one has to journey within the various social classes.

(Interview with Michel Serres, June 2003)

French cultural and Scientific initiatives are very topical, judging by the number of parliamentary reports and studies, as well as recent announcements by government on their organization and future.

Reports and Opinions on the Foreign Activities of the French Government

During the last decade or so, several parliamentary reports have highlighted the themes of French cultural and Scientific influence, from Patrick Bloche, Le désir de France: la présence internationale de la France et la francophonie dans la société de l’information: rapport au Premier ministre (1999) to François Rochebloine and Geneviève Colot, Rapport d’information sur ‘le rayonnement de la France par l’enseignement et la culture’ (2010).

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