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Popcorn Diplomacy: American Blockbusters and World Order
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

Popcorn Diplomacy: American Blockbusters and World Order

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2022-3-76-90
© Uliana Z. ARTAMONOVA, 2022
Received 20.07.2022.
Revised 06.09.2022.
Accepted 20.10.2022.
Uliana Z. Artamonova (, ORCID: 0000-0003-1825-9291
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation
About a conflict of interest.

The text is the Russian version of the article published earlier in English: Artamonova U.Z. ‘Popcorn Diplomacy’: American Blockbusters and World Order. Russia in Global Affairs, 2022, no. 20(2), pp. 105-128. DOI: 10.31278/1810-6374-2022-20-2-105-128

Tensions in U.S-Russia relations have been on the rise over the last years. This article attempts to examine them through the prism of the clash between two different world order paradigms. While Russia has been promoting the concept of multipolarity as the next step from unipolarity, the U.S. abides by the concept of a ‘rule-based order built after the WWII with the American singular leadership’. The author argues that among public diplomacy instruments one of the most powerful in terms of promoting the American-centric paradigm of the world order are blockbusters – ‘popcorn diplomacy’. The paper offers an insight into how Hollywood movies are linked with Washington’s narrative of the world order. First of all, author explains why cinema should be considered a part of the U.S. public diplomacy’s arsenal, presenting several examples of both official and unofficial collaboration between American government and movie pictures’ industry. Using the methods of the popular geopolitics theory and cultural hegemony theory and applying content-analysis to several American popular blockbusters (chosen on the basis of their global popularity and popularity in Russia in particular), the author identifies certain techniques that help advance the American perception of the world and manipulate the public opinion in U.S. national interests. Specifically, article pays attention to what kind of picture is being presented to audience through movies via multiplication of geopolitical clichés, manipulation of historical facts and exploiting the symbolism of fictional plots that can be easily interpreted in terms of the U.S. national interests and foreign policy doctrine. In conclusion, the article discusses what risks and opportunities this policy poses for Russia.

For citation:

Artamonova U. Popcorn Diplomacy: American Blockbusters and World Order . Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2022, no 3, pp. 76-90.

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