Revisiting EU Member States’ international cultural relations

Rod Fisher with Dr. Carla Figueira

Subject category: 
Date of publication: 
Friday, April 1, 2011

This research was to update a study undertaken by Rod Fisher in 2009 on whether there was evidence of a paradigm shift in European Union Member States' relations with Third countries from traditional cultural diplomacy policies towards more strategically focused international cultural co-operation. Revisiting the research was necessary before its publication in a book on cultural diplomacy in Autumn 2011, to probe anecdotal and other evidence suggesting that the economic situation was beginning to impact on cultural relations budgets, as well as to take account of new policies and structural change that had occurred in the two years since the initial study. The new research revealed once again that the terminology was often applied in a loose way in policy statements and political pronouncements, with terms such as cultural diplomacy, cultural co-operation, cultural exchange and cultural relations used interchangeably without appreciation of the subtle, but important, difference in meaning.

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