Cultural diplomacy represents a facet of diplomacy that has not been utilized completely in building better diplomatic relations and, although it could serve as a linking bridge toward better relations, it has been underestimated, if not neglected. Foreign positive perceptions of the United States declined considerably especially during the George W. Bush administration, as a result of various actions taken by the United States in the international arena that were unpopular. Anti-Americanism reached its peak in Europe because of the unilateral decision to proceed with the war in Iraq while the transatlantic rift between traditional partners such as the United States and the Franco-German axis seemed irreparable. Increasing America's soft power by more effective cultural diplomacy has seemed to be the only way to remedy U.S. negative perceptions since national image and perceptions are better managed through culture. American culture is not only prominent but it also contributes to U.S. attractiveness. U.S. world attractiveness is undoubtedly facilitated by the rapid spread of the English language as the international common language. But how is the power influence exerted by the U.S. culture and the English language (Anglophony) formulated in France and Germany? Is U.S. cultural diplomacy effective? This article, while it sets out to explore U.S. cultural diplomacy in France and Germany, also reflects on important aspects and challenges that culture in diplomacy faces.



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