ARKHIPOVA E.V., PARUBOCHAYA E.F., C. KOLIOPOULOS. Role of the Contemporary Russian University in Public Diplomacy (The Case of Volgograd State University)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.2.18 

Ekaterina V. Arkhipova

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of International Relations, Political Science and Area Studies, Volgograd State University,

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1891-5586 

Elena F. Parubochaya

Candidate of Sciences (History), Associate Professor,

Department of International Relations, Political Science and Area Studies, Volgograd State University,

Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2115-6595 

Constantinos Koliopoulos

Ph.D. (Strategic Studies), Associate Professor in International Politics and Strategic Studies,

Department of International, European and Regional Studies, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences,

Prosp. Syggrou, 136, 176 71 Athens, Greece

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9954-1274 


Abstract. Introduction. The contemporary university in the conditions of globalization has enriched its traditional functions to educate and create new elites with attracting not only domestic students but also the foreign youth to the educational and research process. In some cases it can maintain public diplomacy held by the domestic government still influencing it via the requests made by research professionals. This influence may come through the collision of interests of both researchers with students and the government. A Russian university represents mainly the government, that’s why it’s important to discover its role in public diplomacy.

Methods and materials. The neoliberal approach to J. Nye’s concept of “soft power” gives the possibility to consider the university as a public institute enriching state’s soft power through public diplomacy. Official speeches of Russian government representatives, publications of Russian researchers, university web-sites give the ground to understand the Russian approach to the methods of public diplomacy.

Analysis. First of all, it’s important to reveal the ways to interpret the word combination “public diplomacy” in Russian. There are several possible terms: “publichnaya”, “obshchestvennaya” , “narodnaya” diplomacy. The ways to use the word show different gradations of its meaning in research and political discourses which determine possible actors of public diplomacy in the Russian language. However, Russian officials in contrast to Russian researchers accept the term “obshchestvennaya” to describe the activity of government institutions in public diplomacy. That’s why a university can be considered as an actor of “obshchestvennaya” diplomacy. Secondly, we reveal the ways to implement public diplomacy by Volgograd State University as one of regional universities.

Results. Russian researchers following the English-language studies differentiate the concepts of “obshchestvennaya” and “publichnaya” (public) diplomacy according to the actors that implement this policy: the state cannot implement “obshchestvennaya” diplomacy, because it is a prerogative of social movements or non-governmental organizations (NGOs). At the same time, the concept of public diplomacy covers both the work of NGOs and the work of the state in creating its favorable image. However, Russian officials, trying to avoid the use of the Russian term “public diplomacy” incorrectly sounding in Russian, give preference to the phrase “obshchestvennaya diplomacy”, implying that NGOs carry out public diplomacy with the help and on the initiative of the state. Moreover, they are not only public organizations who can conduct policies in this area. In other words, officials suppose that in comparison with research discourse, the circle of participants in “obshchestvennaya” diplomacy enlarges at the expense of state funds and platforms. Thus, a university that implements educational, research and publishing projects is involved in “obshchestvennaya” diplomacy. The position of the university in society, the authority of specialists whom it manages to attract, their international activity provide the soft power of the state.

Key words: “soft power”, “obshchestvennaya” diplomacy, public diplomacy, Russia, Volgograd State University, education.

Citation. Arkhipova E.V., Parubochaya E.F., Koliopoulos C. Role of the Contemporary Russian University in Public Diplomacy (The Case of Volgograd State University). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 241-252. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2020.2.18.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Role of the Contemporary Russian University in Public Diplomacy (The Case of Volgograd State University) by Arkhipova E.V., Parubochaya E.F., Koliopoulos C. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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