Get an introduction to cultural diplomacy, learning what it means, how it works, and its importance in today's polarised world.

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Cultural Diplomacy

Explore the definitions and methods of cultural diplomacy

What does cultural diplomacy mean? How does it work in practice? What effect does it have in today’s world? Get the answers with this introduction to cultural diplomacy.

You will explore whether cultural diplomacy is about intercultural dialogue and engagement between different countries or whether it could be understood as one type of public diplomacy. You will consider the role of state actors and international organisations as well as that of non-state actors (including types of cultural and educational institutions). You will also consider the emerging EU strategy of cultural diplomacy.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds What is cultural diplomacy? Come with us, and together we will address this question and the many others that arise when looking at the role that culture plays in international relations. We will travel through time and space to see how culture has been used as a diplomacy tool, and analyse the many cases where it has been successful, as well as some where it has been less so. We will also examine cultural diplomacy governance and the many actors involved from international organisations and cities to civil society and private actors, discussing also the strategies they put in place. For example, for what concerns the creation of international culture cooperation networks and the privatisation process of culture.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 second Finally, we will explore the role of culture in the EU external strategy, especially with neighbouring countries. Join us and a group of renowned experts for engaging discussions, and explore the potential of culture for building strong international relations and supporting development.


  • Week 1

    Concepts of cultural diplomacy

    • Week 2

      Governance of cultural diplomacy

      • Week 3

        European cultural diplomacy

        When would you like to start?

        Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

        Learning on this course

        You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

        What will you achieve?

        By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

        • Explain relevant terms and notions such as those of soft power, cultural cooperation and public diplomacy
        • Discuss current geopolitical and economic contexts, and the role that cultural diplomacy plays in the G8 and in the G20 world
        • Identify the main actors involved in cultural diplomacy today
        • Explore the nascent EU strategy of cultural diplomacy
        • Assess specific examples where cultural diplomacy has worked and examples where it has not

        Who is the course for?

        This course is an introduction to cultural diplomacy for people working in foreign policy, public policy, arts, culture and heritage.

        Who will you learn with?

        Jeremie Molho is Research Fellow at the European University Institute and the National University of Singapore

        Anna Triandafyllidou is Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

        Who developed the course?

        European University Institute (EUI)

        The European University Institute offers doctoral and post-doctoral training in the social sciences. It hosts the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and the Historical Archives of the EU.

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        • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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