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The definition and understanding of Cultural Diplomacy are changing; and they are doing so at a moment when the European Commission is rethinking its own external representation in cultural terms.
The joint ifa/EUNIC conference in April 2016 brought together thinkers to contribute to debate on what the closer integration of culture and diplomacy means in practice: what opportunities it offers, what risks it holds and – above all – how we should see the potential scope of culturally-framed actions to influence problems traditionally seen as political.
Cultural Relations, in other words, are seen as more potent than previously understood – but with this understanding comes the need to integrate Cultural Relations with diplomacy in search of solutions to challenges that are culturally, as well as politically, rooted. This input seeks to outline an approach to the New Cultural Diplomacy (NCD).
Martin Rose is a specialist in Cultural Relations, with a focus on the Middle East.
He is a Visiting Fellow at the Cambridge's Alwaleed bin Talal Centre for Islamic Studies, and Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.