This project aims to investigate the role of cultural diplomacy in international relations. Cultural diplomacy is seen as a way to influence the elites as well as the masses both in a domestic and international context. It affects its international status and image and can be used to promote political and economical relations.

Through research seminars and other activities we will discuss how national states and international organizations promote themselves through cultural diplomacy, public diplomacy and propaganda. Cultural diplomacy focuses on the reciprocity of cultural exchanges, which is why it is also often termed cultural cooperation. In contrast, public diplomacy favors unilateral communication, and is primarily addressed to the masses. Propaganda, in its negative connotation, is a means to influence and manipulate public opinion through the distortion and falsification of information and data. These distinctions are not clear-cut, and are often relative to the observer’s viewpoint and influenced by historical and ideological factors.

We will also  examine  the role played by international cultural relations, which do not necessarily involve only international legal entities but also the crossover of  cultural products or events by means of private actors, with no specific aims linked to their government’s foreign policy.  Further attention will be given to the strong interdependence between home politics and foreign politics, which is a core element when studying international relations in general, and cultural ones in particular.

Topics that will be addressed are: multiculturalism (examined through the study of the discrepancies between political structures and cultural areas); transnational solidarity founded on the same principles of identity (such as language communities); the question of the existence of a cultural ethnocentrism in connection with an alleged Western cognitive domain.

Lorenzo Medici

Group Members:
Regina Lupi, Dario Biocca, Valentina Sommella, Francesca Piselli, Fausto Proietti