What did you think of Public Diplomacy Magazine’s latest issue, “Gastrodiplomacy”?
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Food brings people together. Throughout time, national cuisines have spread organically through migration, trade routes, and globalization. Others have been deliberately packaged and delivered to foreign audiences—both by state and non-state actors—as a means of expressing a country’s culture and values. This form of cultural diplomacy, whether deliberate or unintentional, has been coined “gastrodiplomacy.”
Gastrodiplomacy is the practice of sharing a country’s cultural heritage through food. Countries such as South Korea, Peru, Thailand, and Malaysia have recognized the seductive qualities food can have, and are leveraging this unique medium of cultural diplomacy to increase trade, economic investment, and tourism, as well as to enhance soft power. Gastrodiplomacy offers foreign publics the …
By Paul Rockower
It is fitting that a magazine devoted to studying innovations and trends in the field of public diplomacy has turned its focus on an increasingly popular forms of cultural diplomacy: gastrodiplomacy.
Public Diplomacy Magazine’s Summer 2009 issue on Middle Powers explored the behavior of middle powers and the contours of “middlepowermanship.” Articles in this issue outlined how emerging countries are using public diplomacy more prominently to break out of a crowded field of competing nations. Meanwhile, the issue on cultural diplomacy looked at the various means that countries used to communicate their idiosyncratic cultures, ranging from Japan’s use of Anime cartoons to conduct cultural diplomacy, to how Nigeria made their culture a continental phenomenon, through …
By Yelena Osipova
“I don’t think the war strategy has ever worked for humanity, but after thousands and thousands and thousands of years of earth controlled by humans, war still seems to be the answer? I hope one day, food will be the answer.”
– José Andrés
Dolma is a simple, albeit time-consuming, dish to prepare. Grains or ground meat, rice, tomato paste, spices, and …
By Johanna Mendelson Forman, with Sam Chapple Sokol
It is a Washington cliché: you can always tell where in the world there is a conflict by the new ethnic restaurants that open. From Vietnam to the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, to the Central American wars, to the civil war in Ethiopia, diasporas have come to this city in search of freedom. With them, they bring a sense of keeping the culinary culture of their country alive in the numerous eateries that landscape Washington’s suburbs.
Teaching about war and conflict requires an ability to analyze current global upheaval. Yet if there is one thing I have observed from my experience as a policy expert on conflicts and transitions, and my academic research and …
By Braden Ruddy
Nation, Identity, Food as Power, and the Theory and Practice of Gastrodiplomacy
Last year, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proclaimed that “food is the oldest form of diplomacy.” This is just one recent claim of the power of food and its use in diplomacy, both today and through the ages. In the last ten years, gastrodiplomacy has emerged as a way for countries to use their unique culinary histories to promote themselves on the global stage. Gastrodiplomacy is essentially a subfield of cultural public diplomacy that was first mainstreamed and perfected by Thailand through their 2002 “Global Thai Program.” Since then, other countries such as Taiwan, Korea, Peru, Malaysia, and Indonesia have sought to use …
By Carly Schmitt
Food is one of the oldest forms of exchange. Our mutual dependence on food is often cited as the most basic element that connects people all over the world. Moreover, the various different processes of cooking and preparing things to eat are seen as an easily identifiable characteristic that sets us apart.
Many of the different conflicts and challenges we currently face on both local and international levels play themselves out in gastronomy. In the late 1990s the simple act of bringing people together was recognized as an art form. Since then, artists around the world have begun working with food as an artistic medium, because of the inherent abilities it has …