Conference Locations:


The German Parliament
The German Foreign Ministry
ICD House

In cooperation with:

The 2012 International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy & Human Rights

Social & Cultural Inequality: Innovative Strategies to Promote Access to Human Rights and Equalize Globalization

(Berlin; June 1st - 4th, 2012)

Symposium Agenda

In the interdependent context of contemporary international relations, the process of globalisation has had many positive effects in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres such as the global integration of the movement of goods, capital and jobs, which promotes economic prosperity and opportunity across the world. The process however is increasingly attributed with other challenging effects on societies and groups, including fostering social and cultural divides and stalling progress in human rights enforcement worldwide. Furthermore, with the expansion of global trade and investment, the gap between the rich and the poor has widened both in developing and developed countries and globalisation appears to have intensified social and cultural impoverishment worldwide by increasing the poverty, insecurity and fragmentation of society.

The protection and enforcement of human rights, while having gained recognition as a universal set of standards and norms that impact all aspects of our relations as individuals and as collective members of groups are often compromised during the pursuit of liberalisation. The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy and Human Rights will provide a forum to explore past and current social and cultural inequalities, with a particular emphasis on how access to human and civil rights have been affected by globalisation. The role of cultural diplomacy in mitigating social and cultural inequalities, which stem from globalisation processes, will be a central focus of the conference. In particular, we will explore how future cultural diplomacy policies can incorporate issues of human rights into their programs and practices and, by doing so, pioneer new opportunities for the field of cultural diplomacy worldwide.

During the conference, the following themes and issues will be explored:

Social & Cultural Inequality: Worldwide Historical Overview & Current Issues
  • Examples of extreme social inequality in the past and the challenges it posed to society
  • Cultures of inequality: is there increasing tolerance for inequality in general populations across nations?
  • How has globalisation affected the way in which we respond to inequality in society?
  • The interplay between globalisation, social inequality and education
  • Education as an effective policy means of increasing social and economic opportunities for disadvantaged communities
  • Theories on the roots and causes of social inequalities
  • Case studies of activism in different kinds of social inequality 
Globalisation & Human Rights: the Relationship between Globalisation, Development and Human Rights
  • Globalisation & human rights: the relationship between globalisation, development and human rights
  • Human rights as an integral part of the process of globalisation: the right to development as an inalienable human right
  • Is there a connection between violations of human rights and the pursuit of economic liberalisation in developing countries?
  • What is the Western world’s role in prioritising respect for human rights alongside economic progress?
  • Can one apply the same norms and expectations for human rights in developing and developed countries?
The Role of Cultural Diplomacy in Promoting Human Rights and Addressing Social and Cultural Inequalities
  • Intercultural dialogue as a means of furthering respect for and protections of human rights worldwide
  • Increasing awareness of human rights violations and social and cultural inequalities through public discourse
  • Cultural diplomacy as a bridge between universal inalienable human and civil rights and individual customs, beliefs, traditions and priorities
  • Can Cultural Diplomacy bring us closer to understanding Globalisation in every corner of the planet?
  • Globalisation and Capitalism: New solutions and best practices for the use of Cultural Diplomacy as a mediator
  • A three-step-solution: Cultural Diplomacy as a tool to influence the respect of Human Rights worldwide and its consequences on the equalization of social inequalities
  • Media Representatives as Cultural Diplomats between tradition and new media
  • Should Cultural Diplomacy be implemented in State policies for international issues?
Balancing the effects of globalisation: innovative strategies and policies
  • Why we should value equality both within and between societies on a global level
  • How to ensure that global economic liberalisation is accompanied by respect for human and civil rights
  • Social inequalities and Human Rights: do we need a global set of rules on human rights to challenge social inequalities?
  • Sustainable globalisation: how does one preserve cultures and traditions, but simultaneously increase economies through trade?
  • Despite the fact that citizens experience globalization at a local level, how can citizens conceptualize and participate in globalization process through the continuously changing web of social networks across the world and the social media?
  • For many citizens, “modernization” is a synonym for “westernization.” Is this true and can one have modernisation without industrialisation?
  • Globalisation and its negative effects such as: pollution of the environment, cultural violation, mass tourism - how to find the right balance?
  • Worldwide migration: rights of immigrants, policies, governance and social aspects of the diasporas from countries that do not respect Human Rights