Text topic: Culture and Diplomacy
Text author: Александра КолаковићBased on a research study (Questionnaire Scientists and Cultural (Scientific) Diplomacy of Serbia, conducted among employees in research, scientific and teaching positions at faculties and institutes in the Republic of Serbia from November 1-15, 2021), analysis of available documents of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia, as well as literature, the paper analyzes the place and the role of scientists (scholars) in the cultural (scientific) diplomacy of Serbia. Recalling the historical significance of scientists in the political and social development of Serbia since the beginning of building a modern Serbian statehood, the place of scientists in society is emphasized and the possibilities to apply good examples in the present are analyzed as well. Based on data on the participation of Serbian scientists in international projects and networking with scientists in Europe and the world, the paper will provide recommendations for better use of these ties in (re)positioning Serbia in bilateral and multilateral relations. The paper presents current attitude of scientists in Serbia on the need and importance of cultural (scientific) diplomacy to answer the following questions: How many of them participated in cultural-diplomatic actions? Do they perceive themselves as actors of cultural (scientific) diplomacy? In what ways Serbian cultural diplomacy can be organized? Finally, this paper, in addition to analyzing the possibilities and scope of engaging scientists to promote Serbia and its interests in international relations, also gives specific recommendations for strengthening and developing cultural diplomacy of Serbia. International projects, conferences, guest appearances and study stays are an excellent training ground for improving and presenting results, as well for establishing contacts and connections, but they also can and must be developed into a powerful tool of Serbian public diplomacy. The results of this research showed that a significant part of Serbian scientists have a clear awareness of their role in scientific and cultural exchange, as well as that they have a desire to participate in it. This, along with the scientific elite of this country in the diaspora, is a huge untapped potential of Serbia. This potential has to be systematically organized and shaped in accordance with the goals of Serbian diplomacy. It is very important that actors of cultural (scientific) diplomacy and useful individuals be recognized and financially supported, which should be followed by better coordination design of activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development. Cross-sectoral cooperation can be strengthened through joint coordination bodies or by building a system of institutions that would deal with: (additional) education of new staff (master studies, specialized courses in cultural and scientific diplomacy), lifelong learning of existing staff in diplomacy or recruitment of experts in certain fields, with a single list (base) of potential experts, who would create proposals for the development of diplomatic strategies and / or, if necessary, be sent abroad for longer or shorter missions.