The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy 2010:

Culture, Globalization, and International Relations over the next Two Decades

(Berlin; May 23rd - 30th, 2010)

Symposium Agenda

The International Symposium 2010 will be split into three complementary parts. The program will begin by looking in greater detail at “culture” and “identity” and how these terms are used and understood today. During this part of the program participants will have the opportunity to experience Berlin’s famous "Carnival of Cultures".

The second part of the program will build on these components by considering the role that culture plays in contemporary international relations and the process of globalization. During these three days the concepts of “cultural diplomacy” and “soft power” will also be explored in more detail.

The final part of the program will apply these discussions to one of the key issues that will determine global politics over the coming years – Afghanistan and stability in Central Asia.

The Symposium will be split into the following three parts:
  • "Defining and Understanding Culture in an International Context"
    (23rd - 25th May) more »
  • A Three Piece Puzzle - "The Relationship between Culture, International Relations and Globalization"
    (26th - 27th May) more »
  • "Understanding Afghanistan and Central Asia: Supporting Democracy and Stability - The Path Ahead"
    (28th - 30th May) more »

Symposium Components

Each of the three parts of the International Symposium 2010 will include the following components:
  • Lectures - will allow participants the opportunity to hear the perspectives of prominent figures in the field. Following each lecture there will be an interactive question and answer session.
  • Panel Discussions - will bring together selections of the speakers for interactive discussions on key program issues. Audience members will be able to address questions to the panelists at the end of each discussion.
  • Traditional Debates - will encourage academic discussion on controversial issues as teams of speakers debate salient issues amongst each other.
  • Participant Papers - will be delivered during the program. An independent panel of judges will review submitted papers and select the best to be delivered during the conference. More »
  • Cultural and Social Activities - will provide an opportunity to experience Berlin’s rich cultural heritage and network with other like-minded individuals. The ICD will be holding “Strength in Song: A Concert Series for Global Betterment” during the Symposium evenings, which will showcase a diverse range of musicians and a broad selection of music genres from across the world.

Symposium Aims

The International Symposium 2010 will pursue the following aims:
  • To explore and define the key challenges that will be faced by global society over the next two decades.
  • To consider the importance of intercultural understanding as a foundation for international activity to address these challenges and promote global stability
  • To consider the role of supra-national organizations in building consensus between governments and promoting intercultural understanding at the grassroots level
  • To raise awareness of the concepts of cultural diplomacy and soft power and their role in generating cross-cultural consensus and bridging religious divides
  • To consider the role that intercultural relations will play in determining the future shape of global politics and to provide clear policy recommendations to decision-makers and other influential stakeholders in politics and civil society regarding the role of culture in international relations
  • To analyze the process of nation-building in Afghanistan and the importance of the country to stability in Central Asia over the next two decades

Symposium Issues

The International Symposium 2010 will cover a diverse, inter-disciplinary range of issues throughout the program.
These will include:
  • Global Politics: The Shape of the New World Order
    (Focus: The BRIC Countries, Regional Organizations, the UN)
  • Global Processes: Globalization and Interdependence
    (Focus: Economic Interdependence, the Digital Revolution, State Sovereignty)
  • Global Challenges and Global Public Goods: Generating Intercultural Understanding
    (Focus: Human Rights, Climate change, Terrorism, International Crime)
  • Evaluating Culture: Defining and Exploring Cultural Differences and Identity
    (Focus: Religion, Nationality, Language, Identity)
  • New Strategies: Cultural Diplomacy and Soft Power Policies
    (Focus: Cuba, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, the Middle East, North Korea)
  • Understanding Afghanistan: Case Study of Afghanistan and Central Asia
    (Focus: Islam and the West, Democracy, Nation Building, Culture)