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AN ASSESSMENT OF SOFT POWER AND CULTURAL DIPLOMACY: PROMOTING NIGERIAN INFLUENCE ON THE GLOBAL STAGE

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AN ASSESSMENT OF SOFT POWER AND CULTURAL DIPLOMACY: PROMOTING NIGERIAN INFLUENCE ON THE GLOBAL STAGE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the study

In the field of international relations, soft power and cultural diplomacy have become prominent instruments, enabling governments to exercise influence and mould views without relying on coercive or military methods. Globalisation has led to greater interconnection between states, highlighting the significance of cultural interchange and the exertion of soft power (Adebajom, 2018). Nigeria, as a very populous and culturally diverse nation in Africa, has a unique opportunity to use its cultural history and soft power assets to strengthen its impact in the international arena. 

Nigeria has a multifaceted cultural milieu, distinguished by its dynamic music, literature, art, film industry, and many customs. Nigerian music, namely Afrobeats, has garnered significant international reputation, as seen by the global acclaim and widespread appeal of singers like as Fela Kuti, Wizkid, and Burna Boy (Adedeji, 2016). The literary works of Nigeria, exemplified by prominent writers like Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Wole Soyinka, have made noteworthy contributions to the global literary landscape, providing valuable perspectives on Nigerian culture and society. 

Furthermore, it is worth noting that Nigeria's Nollywood film business has emerged as the second-largest film industry on a worldwide scale. This sector has successfully created a diverse range of films that have garnered significant appeal not just among African viewers but also among a global audience (Akinola & Ogunnubi, 2020). Cultural exports have a significant role in asserting Nigerian ideals, narratives, and viewpoints on the international platform, hence augmenting the nation's soft power. 

The Nigerian government has acknowledged the strategic significance of cultural diplomacy and soft power in promoting its national objectives and enhancing its worldwide reputation in recent years. The Nigerian Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (NCDI) has been implemented with the aim of advancing Nigerian culture, cultivating foreign collaborations, and bolstering the nation's reputation on the global stage (Chatin, 2016). Nevertheless, despite these efforts, there are still unexplored possibilities and obstacles in efficiently using Nigeria's soft power assets to advance its worldwide influence. 

The objective of this research is to investigate the impact of soft power and cultural diplomacy on the advancement of Nigerian influence in the international arena. Through a comprehensive analysis of Nigeria's cultural assets, encompassing music, literature, film, and traditional arts, alongside an evaluation of the efficacy of current cultural diplomacy endeavours, the primary objective of this study is to offer valuable perspectives on how Nigeria can enhance the utilisation of its soft power resources in order to effectively attain its foreign policy goals (Macdonald, 2018). Moreover, this research seeks to provide suggestions for improving Nigeria's soft power projection and strengthening its influence in the international arena by identifying challenges and possibilities in the country's cultural diplomacy endeavours. Therefore, the researcher sought to assess soft power and cultural diplomacy: Promoting Nigerian Influence on the Global Stage.

Statement of the problem

The objective of this research is to examine the impact of soft power and cultural diplomacy on Nigeria's worldwide influence. Soft power, a term introduced by Joseph Nye, pertains to a country's capacity to allure and influence others by means of its culture, political principles, and international strategies, rather than by coercion or military might. In contrast, cultural diplomacy is the intentional utilisation of cultural resources and interactions to cultivate connections and promote comprehension across states (Ogunnubi, 2017). 

Nigeria has recently acknowledged the growing significance of soft power and cultural diplomacy as formidable means to advance its goals and bolster its international reputation. Nigeria boasts substantial assets that may be used to exert influence and alter worldwide views, owing to its rich cultural past, diversified population, and rising creative economy (Vidalon, 2017). 

Nigeria strategically uses soft power and cultural diplomacy approaches in order to promote its interests and enhance its international reputation. The analysis will explore many endeavours and undertakings carried out by the Nigerian government, cultural institutions, and civil society organisations to advance Nigerian culture, values, and ideals on a global scale (Tella, 2017). 

Moreover, the research will assess the efficacy of these endeavours in augmenting Nigeria's soft power and influence, both at the regional and global levels (Osinubi, 2017). This study aims to evaluate the reception of Nigerian cultural exports, including music, cinema, literature, and food, across various global regions. Additionally, it seeks to examine the influence of cultural exchanges, festivals, and diplomatic missions in creating international views of Nigeria. 

The study seeks to gain insights into the strengths, problems, and opportunities related to Nigeria's soft power and cultural diplomacy programmes by using quantitative research methodologies such as interviews, surveys, and content analysis (Pogratz, 2021). This study aims to provide ideas for boosting Nigeria's global participation and advancing its impact in an increasingly linked world by comprehending the dynamics of cultural influence and diplomacy.

1.3 Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to assess soft power and cultural diplomacy: Promoting Nigerian Influence on the Global Stage. The specific objectives is as follows

Analyze the level of Nigerian soft power resources  for global influence.

Explore the effectiveness of cultural diplomacy initiatives undertaken by Nigeria to enhance its global presence.

Examine the strengths of Nigeria's cultural diplomacy initiatives in terms of promoting its influence internationally

Propose strategic recommendations for maximizing Nigeria's soft power and cultural diplomacy efforts to promote its influence on the global stage.

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared to guide the study

What is the level of Nigerian soft power resources  for global influence?

How  effective is the cultural diplomacy initiatives undertaken by Nigeria to enhance its global presence?

What are the strengths of Nigeria's cultural diplomacy initiatives in terms of promoting its influence internationally?

What are the strategic for maximizing Nigeria's soft power and cultural diplomacy efforts to promote its influence on the global stage?

1.5 Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to the following

Government: Nigeria is a significant regional power in Africa with aspirations for broader global influence. Analyzing its cultural diplomacy initiatives can provide insights into how the country can leverage its cultural heritage, media, education, and other soft power resources to enhance its standing on the global stage. This understanding can inform policymakers and diplomats on effective strategies for promoting Nigeria's interests internationally. Soft power and cultural diplomacy are increasingly recognized as essential components of modern diplomacy. For Nigeria, a country with diverse cultural traditions, languages, and a rich heritage, understanding how these assets can be harnessed to project its image positively abroad is crucial. The study can highlight specific strategies and tactics that Nigerian policymakers and cultural ambassadors can employ to achieve diplomatic objectives.

Academia: the study will be of benefit to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study focuses on assessing soft power and cultural diplomacy: Promoting Nigerian Influence on the Global Stage.  Empirically, the study will analyze the level of Nigerian soft power resources  for global influence, explore the effectiveness of cultural diplomacy initiatives undertaken by Nigeria to enhance its global presence, examine the strengths of Nigeria's cultural diplomacy initiatives in terms of promoting its influence internationally and propose strategic recommendations for maximizing Nigeria's soft power and cultural diplomacy efforts to promote its influence on the global stage.

1.7 Limitation of the study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.8 Research Methodology

Research methodology deals with the different ways or methods the researcher applied in order to carry out the research as well as the instrument used for gathering the data. There are several research methodologies appropriate for answering the research questions. The type of research methodology used in this research to gather data and relevant information is the historical research and the study will adopt descriptive method of data collection. This will involve the collection of materials from secondary sources, such as books, journal articles, magazines, internet sources, international and national conference proceedings, published and unpublished articles.

1.9 Definition of terms

Soft Power: Soft power refers to the ability of a nation or entity to influence others through non-coercive means such as culture, political values, policies, and diplomacy. 

Cultural Diplomacy: Cultural diplomacy is a form of diplomacy that utilizes cultural exchanges, arts, language, education, and other cultural elements to foster understanding, build relationships, and promote a positive image of a country or entity on the international stage.

Global Stage: The global stage refers to the arena of international relations where countries, organizations, and individuals interact, negotiate, and compete on various issues such as politics, economics, culture, and security, encompassing both formal and informal channels of influence.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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