Public diplomacy has become a significant instrument of foreign policy and is used by states to influence public opinion and the ruling class. In essence, public diplomacy is the promotion of ideas and national interests by informing and educating people around the world through cultural activities, exchange programs
Saudi Arabia’s priorities are increasingly focused on enhancing its public image by becoming more transparent in the international arena. In this respect, the Kingdom broadly uses several tools of public diplomacy in its foreign policy to promote and shape international public opinion. In this regard, non-profit foundation MISK is devoted to cultivating and teaching leadership skills in Saudi Arabia’s youth.
The foundation uses cultural exchange programs to create ties with other cultures around the world. Moreover, the primary goal of this program focuses on the country’s youth and provides different means of fostering talent, creative potential and innovation in a healthy environment that paves the way toward opportunities in the arts and sciences. In so doing, Saudi Arabia projects a better image of its modernization to the world.
The role of women is also at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s public diplomacy efforts, as evidenced by the Kingdom lifting the ban on women
Saudi Arabia is also utilizing the most popular social media platforms as public diplomacy tools. The respective amounts of Saudis using these platforms
Cultural diplomacy is also used by the state to influence other countries. The main aim of Saudi Arabian cultural diplomacy toward the Muslim world is to ensure and promote the Saudi position as the leader of Muslim states and solidify its cultural influence that naturally inheres in a Kingdom that is the capital of both the Muslim and Arab worlds. This power explains why Saudi Arabia has stood firm in the face of the shock waves that have hit the Middle East. This soft power articulates much of the leverage that Saudi Arabia boasts in this region and around the world.
Saudi Arabia is also employing cultural diplomacy in the US, with 55,000 Saudi students studying in American colleges and universities, along with robust cultural and educational ties through scores of exchange visitors each year.
With Saudi Arabia’s recent modernization efforts, the Kingdom’s public diplomacy practices have increased to a level that should be appreciated. It has gauged the openness of Saudi society to concerts and various forms of entertainment and is actively molding a new image for the country through public diplomacy.
The sports industry is also rapidly growing in Saudi Arabia and becoming a strategic pillar of the Kingdom’s global PR. In December, the nation hosted a three-day Formula E event that included motorsport, live music by international artists, entertainment, and cultural activities. Saudi Arabia’s transition from a traditional community to
The Kingdom needs new means to make its foreign policy more effective.