European cultural diplomacy
Education, culture, youth, sports, and EU foreign policy
Cultural diplomacy is a topic of growing interest among EU policy makers and scholars alike. Leaders of great powers have traditionally used culture to influence publics across borders, and still do it, from the US and Russia to China or Iran. Europe is no exception in this regard. European leaders have also used culture not only to support the internal cohesion of their nations, but also to advance their interests abroad, in conjunction with other foreign policy tools. The EU itself has also started to use culture to promote its strategic interests abroad as part of its external action.
A major branch of public diplomacy, cultural diplomacy has certain interesting features that make it different from other forms of public diplomacy. This course will combine historical and contemporary empirical detail with an analytical perspective in order to understand how cultural diplomacy works. What makes cultural diplomacy different from other forms of public diplomacy? Why is good cultural policy almost always bad politics? What are the limitations of EU cultural diplomacy? The course will cover key concepts such as culture, popular culture, public diplomacy, propaganda, exchange, and mutuality, and major cases of the use of art, sport, music, cinema and TV, video games, or educational exchanges, in public diplomacy.
The course will start by analysing the cultural diplomacy of great powers such as the US or Russia, European powers such as the UK, France, Germany, Italy or Spain, and emerging powers such as China or Iran. It will then move on to the main part of the course, which will contain a detailed analysis of the emerging public diplomacy of the EU in the fields of education, culture, youth and sports. The course will examine each of those fields separately with special attention to how they contribute to the promotion of EU interests abroad. Finally, it will conclude by analysing co-operation and competition in cultural diplomacy, the potential and limitations of international organizations such as UNESCO, and the changes that cultural diplomacy is experiencing in the digital age.
By the end of this course students should be able to understand the key concepts and issues involved in culdiplomacy; analyze the policies, institutions, achievements and limits of individual nations or organisations; and design a European cultural diplomacy project.