New Directions and Creative Approaches in Cultural Diplomacy

Partner: Antall József Knowledge Centre
Event date: Nov 12, 2015
Deadline for registering: Nov 08, 2015
Venue: Danubius Hotel Gellért, Hungary
Category: Roundtable

New Directions and Creative Approaches in Cultural Diplomacy

New tendencies and strategies in Hungary and Europe in light of the geopolitical and technological developments

In 2015, for the second time, the Antall József Knowledge Centre is organizing a round-table discussion on cultural diplomacy, including its new directions and main challenges.

After the regime change, the importance of cultural diplomacy increased considerably all over Europe, as the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, having had their sovereignty restored, had to redefine their political identity on an international scale. Cultural diplomacy served as a bridge between Western and Eastern Europe. During the first 15 years after the regime change, the two main goals that Central and Eastern European countries wished to achieve by cultural diplomacy were membership in the European Union and NATO. However, once the Eastern enlargement of these international organisations was accomplished, bilateral diplomatic relations were partially replaced by multilateral ones, bringing with it a partial change in the role of cultural institutions, as well as a shift in geographical priorities and target countries.

Beyond the evolution of the geopolitical context, cultural diplomacy has been effected by the increasingly widespread use of the internet, as habits of distribution and consumption of cultural products was radically changed by the advent of the digital age. On one hand, online tools now allow cultural institutions to address wider audiences in a more direct and interactive way, facilitating the distribution of cultural content on an international scale. On the other hand, the expansion of the Internet also represents a challenge, as conducting cultural diplomacy in a top-down manner has become less viable, and the capability of the State to shape culture, as well as its dissemination and the dialogue surrounding it, has considerably decreased. Cultural institutes and other institutions of cultural diplomacy constantly have to adapt to these new phenomena by reconsidering and modernising their strategy.

In light of the challenges of the 21st century, what are the new directions and strategies that shape cultural diplomacy in Hungary and other European countries? How has the role of cultural institutions changed over the last 25 years, and what are their main goals and priorities today? How and by what means can cultural diplomacy serve a certain country’s foreign policy ambitions? Is the internet an asset or a liability for cultural institutions? What kind of online strategies do cultural institutions apply in order to bring national culture to an international audience? How are bottom-up strategies put into practice in the field of cultural diplomacy? These are some of the questions that the speakers of the round-table discussion will seek to find answers to.


Detailed Programme: TBA



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Keywords: Europe, V4, Education, Media, Democracy, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, EU


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