Academy for Cultural Diplomacy

President Message

A Message by Dr Emil Constantinescu

President of the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy

Dear students & participants,

I would like to warmly welcome all students and participants to the Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies, which is the educational arm of the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy, which I chair as President.

Why is cultural diplomacy so necessary today?

My answer: because the world is currently in a period of great transition; -the greatest transition ever. And if the world is changing, global politics, economics and other governance policies are therefore required to be changed and reformed as well, in order to better serve the interests of the people that they represent.

The famous Prussian strategic theorist Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz once stated that “war is a continuation of politics using other means”. By the same rationale, I believe that peace may also be a result of the politics led by a different kind of means and one of these means is cultural diplomacy.

Cultural diplomacy enriches traditional diplomacy between States, by adding a new element of dialogue based on “understanding of the other,” not only at a state level, but at a civil society level as well. Successful cultural diplomacy applications therefore, in a wider sense, can lead to a better understanding not only between different groups and peoples, but also of the world we live in, as a whole.

The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy defines cultural diplomacy as the following:

“Cultural Diplomacy may best be described as a course of actions, which are based on and utilize the exchange of ideas, values, traditions and other aspects of culture or identity, whether to strengthen relationships, enhance socio-cultural cooperation or promote national interests; Cultural diplomacy can be practiced by either the public sector, private sector or civil society.”

It is important to note however, that cultural diplomacy is only one aspect of building and strengthening relationships as well as enhancing cooperation and should be practiced in a harmonic way, together with the economic and political aspects.

Cultural diplomacy, when practiced over time, can assist at reducing the likelihood and even preventing conflicts and other crises. The repetitive conflicts around the world have demonstrated that unfortunately punctual preventive interventions are not enough and should be inserted into a comprehensive and systematic long term strategy including the use of cultural diplomacy practices in the framework of carefully measured combinations of soft and hard power.

Cultural Diplomacy can strengthen relationships and assist in preventing conflicts in the future due to its unique nature. Cultural Diplomacy is inherently creative and constructive in nature, as opposed to “hard power” which is inherently “destructive” in nature and therefore the more cultural diplomacy that is applied in strengthening relationships, the more cooperation will be possible and the chances for conflict in the world will be reduced. The European Union can be considered as a good example of this successful cultural, economic and political diplomacy, which has led to stable peace in a region that had been haunted by conflict and war for centuries.

The great contribution that preventive cultural diplomacy will bring to the architecture of world security will undoubtedly be of those wars that will have never occurred, due to the creation of democratic mechanisms for dialogue and strengthened cooperation with civil society.

The Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies is dedicated to the research and teaching of the theory and the practice of cultural diplomacy in the context of international relations. In the classrooms, as well as during other events and programs of the Center, we bring students and participants from all over the world together with high-level experts and practitioners from the fields of cultural diplomacy, international relations and politics, economics, and beyond, (ranging from Heads of State and Ministers, to academics and celebrities), which gives students and participants the chance to learn from their tremendous experience and diverse perspectives and opinions. In the context of the ICD, the exchange takes place in two directions; where, in addition to learning from the decision makers, the students and participants also have the opportunity to influence decision makers through their exchange and interaction with them at the ICD.

On behalf of the entire Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies, its faculty, staff and the entire institute for cultural diplomacy, I encourage you to look through the wide offering of educational opportunities of the Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies and to consider enhancing your educational and professional career by enrolling at the ICD. We wish you much success and enjoyment in participating in our educational programs and I look forward to shaping the future of our interdependent world together with you during your future academic and professional careers.

I look forward to meet you all in Berlin.

Dr. Emil Constantinescu