Virtual Programming


The Cultural Relations Approach to Diplomacy – Summit III

May 25 – 27, 2022

Organized by the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative, Universidad Iberoamericana, Queen’s University and University of Southern California

Experience: Summit hosted as a hybrid (in-person and virtually) experience mainly

Languages: English (main), Spanish and Mixtec

Partners: Universidad Panamericana, CECUT and CEX-Ibero

3rd Summit organizers: César Villanueva, Eduardo L. Tadeo, Amanda Rodríguez

Policies as Discourses is the last in a series of three research summits organized by the North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative as part of the SSHRC-funded research project The Cultural Relations Approach to Diplomacy: Practice, Players, Policy.

Policies as Discourses proposes a way of ordering the strategies of performing cultural diplomacy through the lenses of “policies,” seen as discourses that produce (uneven) effects and outcomes in the practices and in the players. Also, this summit is an opportunity to revisit the conversations initiated in the first two summits regarding “practice” and “players” of cultural diplomacy.

In keeping with the particular angle of critical cultural diplomacy, we focus on understanding how the policies of cultural diplomacies act discursively to both interact with and challenge the primacy of state-based policymaking. This undertaking can be achieved by foregrounding the contributions of non-state actors, different agendas and approaches, as well as a range of policymakers. This approach rests on the commitment to broaden the concepts, agendas and actors understood as contributing to cultural diplomacy and suggests its role is best understood through discourses and discursive practices, i.e. policies and polities. In other words, we are aiming at de-centering state-based cultural diplomacy, which is one part of a larger complex field of diplomatic activity. As such, this summit opens critical space for multiple converging and dissenting voices to engage with different representations and discourses on cultural diplomacy.

On this, we are interested in discussing new meanings to concepts such as soft power, city brand, public diplomacy, cultural cooperation, educational exchanges, cultural broadcast, art exhibitions, public relations and propaganda, among many others. For this closing summit, we aim at developing a fresh discussion on how policy discourses condition (and/or liberate) the resources and capacities of cultural diplomacy to advance power agendas and fulfill its own (self-imposed teleological) discourses.

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