The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy 2010:

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

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

"The Relationship between Culture, International Relations and Globalization"

(26th – 27th May)


The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy will run from Sunday, 23rd - 30th May 2010 and will consist of three related, component parts. The second component part will run from 26th - 27th May and will focus on the relationship between culture, international relations, and the process of globalization.

Having looked in detail at the terms “culture” and “identity” during the first part of the program, the second part will begin by considering the influence that culture has on international relations. Academics, politicians, experts, and informed commentators will reflect on the extent to which culture influences a country’s foreign policy, its foreign policy priorities, how it works to achieve these, and the partners it will work with. Integral to this part of the program is a focus on the concepts of "smart power" and "cultural diplomacy"; the meaning of these terms and their application in contemporary international relations.

In addition to analysis of the extent to which culture is instrumental in global politics, the second part of the program will also consider how globalization is understood and shaped by culture. The term “globalization” has a wide variety of competing definitions, and is viewed differently in different regions of the world. We will consider the challenges and opportunities that globalization brings for intercultural relations, and will explore the similarities and differences in the process as it occurs in different regions.


In addition to cultural and social activities during the evenings, the second part of the program will consist of lectures, debates, panel discussions, and roundtable discussions that will look at the following issues, and will be followed by a variety of social and cultural activities:

Culture, globalization, and international relations over the next two decades:
  • The role of culture in global politics
  • Is globalization building or burning the bridge between culture and politics?
  • The new global competition for winning hearts and minds
  • Do diasporas serve as cultural ambassadors or as political agitators?
  • Cosmopolitanism and the rise of global citizenship
  • Cultural relativism and the concept of universal human rights
  • The challenges ahead in culture, globalization, and international politics
The role of global governance organizations in strengthening intercultural relations:
  • Is cultural globalization accelerating or restricting the development of a global governance regime?
  • Cultural solidarity and international security
  • The role of the United Nations in promoting global stability
  • The European Union: a model for global governance?
  • The relationship between regional and global governance organizations
  • The role of culture in regional integration
The future of soft power:
  • The application of soft power in the modern era of global politics
  • “Smart” power as a model for the future?
  • Soft power and the media: assessing new forms of cultural expression
  • The emerging role of civil society in promoting intercultural exchange
  • The potential for soft power and cultural diplomacy in fragile regions: Sudan, the Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan
The role of culture in tackling global challenges:
  • Cultural understanding as a prerequisite for sustainable cooperation on climate change
  • Culture as a gateway or barrier to conflict resolution
  • Cultural obstacles in the path of China’s “peaceful rise”
  • Will culture smooth the transition towards the “New” New World Order?
  • Disaster relief as cultural diplomacy
  • How can culture and the arts be best utilized to address socio-economic inequalities, both within and between states? Cultural dissonance as the catalyst for international terrorism
  • Can intercultural relations and dialogue serve to prevent the spread of AIDS in Africa?
The political power and the role of music in building cultural bridges – from Russia, Northern Ireland to Georgia