Knowledge Quarter is delighted to announce the launch of the book ‘Cities, Museums and Soft Power’ at the British Library on 8th of October 2015 at 18.30.
In this volume museum planners Gail Lord and Ngaire Blankenberg discuss soft power from the vantage point of museums and cultural institutions demonstrating how they are quietly changing the world describing 32 practical strategies for museums and cities to activate soft power.
“Soft power” emerged as a concept in the late twentieth century to describe international relations based not on military or economic strength, but on influence. While the resources of “hard power” are tangible—force and finance—soft power resources include ideas, knowledge, values, and culture, as well as the ability to persuade.
With contributions by thirteen experts from ten countries, Cities, Museums and Soft Power reveals the world’s 80,000 museums to be sleeping giants. Two major characteristics of soft power—the rise of cities and the role of civil society—are pushing museums from the margins toward the center as these institutions serve as education hubs, employers, magnets for creative industries, and engines of economic development. Meanwhile, the growth of technological networks and connectivity has enabled this soft power to spread even farther and deeper across the Internet and groups of people. Whether cozy and local or internationally renowned, museums possess a cultural strength that extends far beyond their walls.
Fourteen of the world’s leading museum and cultural experts explore examples from six continents of the many facets of soft power in museums: how they amplify civic discourse, accelerate cultural change, and contribute to contextual intelligence among the great diversity of city dwellers, visitors and policy-makers. The authors urge city governments to embrace museums which so often are the signifiers of their cities, increasing real estate values while attracting investment, tourists and creative workers.
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