Building a Joint Approach in European Union Cultural Diplomacy: From Soft Power to Intercultural Cooperation?

Kerstin Martel, Ljiljana Simić

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European Union (EU) institutions in general and the European External Action Service (EEAS) in particular are working towards a new strategy on international cultural relations. How do European institutions and member states manage to cooperate, in a context of cultural and ideological difference, power discrepancies and national agendas? Our paper intends to analyse three main themes: history and evolutions of cultural diplomacy and external cultural relations in Europe, external cultural praxis of national institutes and the emergence of a shared vision and new practices in EU external relations through the EUNIC network (EU national institutes of culture. We are analysing conceptual coherence and consistency based on theoretical frameworks, underpinning it with empirical, qualitative research findings.
We are questioning the current approach of "adding up" national models to a common denominator. We wish to open up the discussion of a paradigm change in cultural diplomacy and intercultural action, beyond national perspectives.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRevista Chilena de Relaciones Internacionales
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)27-54
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018


  • Cultural diplomacy
  • European external action
  • Soft power
  • Intercultural relations

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