Different Perceptions of Cultural Diplomacy

A dive into the operational theories of cultural diplomacy practitioners


By Foivos Voulgaris

Submitted as part of his internship at the Hellenic Institute of Cultural Diplomacy Belgium

Supervisor: Maria Nerantzaki


Brussels, 16 January 2023



What are the perceptions about the nature of Cultural Diplomacy and why is the answer to this question pertinent? This concept merits closer examination because of the academic discourse around it. There are different definitions for the term according to the objectives for which culture is instrumentalised - national interests or mutual exchange. The present effort explores this conversation from the side of practitioners of cultural diplomacy, through a series of in-depth interviews with representatives of National Institutes of Culture. It aims to present the different perceptions around Cultural Diplomacy and understand the reasoning behind them.


In order to unravel all these issues, the paper will be split into six sections. In Section Two there will be a literature review so as to present the discussion that exists in the academia on the topic of Cultural Diplomacy. In Section Three the present effort will go into detail on the methodology that has been followed - from the research questions and the collection of primary data and the limitations of the study to the analysis of the data using grounded theory and their interpretation. In Section Five the most pertinent findings will be expanded upon. Finally in Section Six the research questions will be answered and their contribution of this research on the academic discussion as well as on the practice of cultural diplomacy will be pondered.