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The Problem Of Power In Modern Public Diplomacy. The Netherlands Information Bureau In World War II And The Early Cold War

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Chapter Summary

The essential predicament of Dutch public diplomacy was first perceived in a prescient memo written in 1942 by James Huizinga, Assistant Director of the Netherlands Information Bureau (NIB) located in New York City. While he concerned himself with the particular case of the Netherlands East Indies, Huizinga identified one of the essential paradoxes in all modern public diplomacy efforts. Whereas the U.S. effort was burdened to carry a globalist vision and to advance American hegemony in a multilateral world, the public diplomacies of other "free world" nations, especially after World War II, generally carried less grandiose tasks, such as the promotion of economic reconstruction. Understanding the power realities in which non-American public diplomacies functioned contributes both to understanding the manifold challenges that all modern public diplomacies shared, while at the same time highlighting the complex foreign policy challenges at work among the free world allies during the early Cold War.

Keywords: Dutch public diplomacy; early Cold War; James Huizinga; modern public diplomacy; Netherlands Information Bureau (NIB); power realities; World War II



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