Germany's Foreign Cultural and Educational Policy: Review of 2018

The German Federal Foreign Office has just published the 22nd Annual Report on its foreign cultural and educational policy, the “AKBP”. Germany has a unique history in having had a strong and continuing commitment to cultural relations as the “third pillar” of its foreign policy for many years. The policy stresses the roles of many “arms length” or intermediary actors, reflecting the federal and devolved structure of German governance and civil society. There are lessons to be learned from the German approach for other countries, particularly the way the strategy explicitly address foreign policy goals of peace promotion through free exchange between civil society actors.

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2019Stuart MacDonald
Cultural Diplomacy in Europe: Words Matter

Our new article (Chapter 3 in the book) looks at the extent to which culture really is ‘part and parcel’ of the EU’s foreign policy, as claimed by High Representative Mogherini. Is culture really strategically embedded into the EU’s external relations? What are the prospects for the strategic approach to international cultural relations? Will cultural relations really become a ‘third pillar’ of the EU’s Global Strategy, and if so, what will that mean at a time of rising nationalism and populism in Europe. As the article says, the jury is still out on all of these questions, but we believe there are some grounds for optimism. Time will tell…

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2019Stuart MacDonald
Brexit, Populism and Nationalism

The Brexit process is today at a crucial stage. In the UK, it is polarising opinion and creating divisions across a number of fault lines in British society between generations, geographies of inequality, cosmopolitan liberals and more rural conservatives, communities divided by historical conflicts of religion or nationality. In the European Union, similar tensions are everywhere – at the time of writing in France, above all, with the gilets jaunes, in Andalusia with the reappearance of far‐right politics in Spain, not to mention in Hungary with the Central European University forced out of Budapest.

I am grateful to ifa for supporting this publication. The full text can be found here: https://www.ifa.de/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/ifa_input_Brexit-Populism-Nationalism.pdf

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2019Stuart MacDonald
Brexit, arts and culture

This article, first published in Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft https://www.kupoge.de/kumi/kumi163.html considers the potential impacts of Brexit on art and culture. The article is also available in German on request.

This article was a contribution to the project Impact of Brexit on International Cultural Relations in the EU carried out as part of IFA’s Research Programme Culture and Foreign Policy.

First published: Kulturpolitische Mitteilungen, No 163, IV/2018, ed. Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft

Translated by Carmen Eller.

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2018Stuart MacDonald
Computers are useless. They only give you answers. (Pablo Picasso)

This blog is a review of  the report “Optimizing Engagement, Research, Evaluation and Learning in Public Diplomacy”.[i]  The report addresses the perennial question of how to measure the effectiveness and impact of public diplomacy by looking at “how approaches to Research, Evaluation and Learning (REL) are executed by major players in the Public Diplomacy (PD) sector around the globe.” (p.8).

[i] Report by M&C Saatchi for the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD) at the US Department of State, April 2018 https://www.state.gov/pdcommission/reports/281372.htm

 

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2018Stuart MacDonald
Culture in the EU's external relations

Paris, June 2018. SYM Consulting presented an outline strategy for how the National Institutes of Culture in the EU (EUNIC) could add value to the EU’s Global Strategy and strategic approach to culture in external relations. The presentation to the EUNIC General Assembly, in the amazing Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, was preceded by an address from Françoise Nyssen, French Minister of Culture (pictured).

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2018Andrew Moore
Digital Index of Global Influence

Ongoing: interest continues to grow in the proposal for an AI-driven Index that can measure flows of influence in the global digital conversation. This project has the potential to be genuinely disruptive to the theory and practice of diplomacy, strategic communications, and all aspects of soft power in the years ahead. Looking forward to further discussions with international partners.

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2018Andrew Moore
CPD: Professionalising Practice

SYM Consulting is very excited to be developing Professional Development for practitioners of International cultural relations through Stuart MacDonald's appointment as Visiting Professor at Vesalius College and Senior Fellow at the Global Governance Institute, Free University of Brussels. Brussels is home to the world's largest community of diplomats and representatives of international organisations, the European Institutions and other multilateral bodies such as NATO.  Watch this space for further news!

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2018Andrew Moore