Moroccan Cultural Diplomacy: Challenges, Opportunities and Levers of a New Model of Influence and Soft Power
Keywords:Cultural Diplomacy, Challenges, Opportunities, New Model, Influence, Soft Power
Cultural Diplomacy has emerged as a vector of influence and a potent tool for soft power in international relations. Nowadays, the realm of cultural diplomacy has become fiercely competitive. It leveraged by many countries aware of its pivotal role in increasing their soft power and expanding their sphere of influence. Morocco, a secular kingdom and one of the oldest States in the world, is also keen on investing in the field of cultural diplomacy to bolster its soft power, increase its influence and assert its position as a regional and continental leader in this area. This paper presents a new conceptual model of a Moroccan Diplomacy which takes into account the extremely rich and distinctive cultural heritage of the Kingdom of Morocco, the various achievements in this cultural field. This model is designed to be more integrated, synergistic, well-governed in order to address internal and external challenges and capitalize on the strengths and new opportunities. The paper identifies the main challenges facing Moroccan Cultural Diplomacy that impact its proficiency, including in particular the lack of a global and integrated strategic vision and thinking, limited financial resources, lack of coordination between the different stakeholders and, weak involvement of the private sector and weak culture of assessment and performance measurement. However, the paper also identifies great opportunities, such as its impressively rich cultural heritage, characterized by its multidimensional cultural diversity, which requires a new and innovative approach based on a global and integrated strategic vision. The proposed Model is designed as a new framework based on a benchmark of international best practices of several pioneering countries in the field of cultural diplomacy and combined with a documentary approach and the results of interviews carried out with professionals, managers and experts in this field. It focused on several levers of influence and counter-influence that emphasizes the importance of a global and strategic vision, strong governance standards and structures involving Regions, Cities, Non-Governmental Organizations, Moroccan Diaspora. It focused also on enhanced evaluation and measurement, and a more proactive and innovative approach to promoting Moroccan soft power by investing cultural marketing, Public-Private Partnerships, digitalization and new technologies for networking, cultural creativity and strategic cultural partnerships. The paper argues that a renewed and more strategic approach to cultural diplomacy should be guided and steered by a specialized national agency that would perform the various functions of study, research, monitoring, influence, coordination, policy convergence, control and evaluation at national and international level. Thus, by institutionalizing this strategic, synergistic and holistic approach, we can lay the foundation of a new and innovative model that could help Morocco strengthen its soft power and promote its rich and unique cultural assets and values on the global stage in a more effective manner, and strengthen so its international reputation and influence.