Arts, cultural diplomacy and soft power

Arts, Cultural Diplomacy and Soft Power

This theme includes:

  • major and mega events as vehicles of cultural diplomacy
  • sport diplomacy

The Centre will develop further a key area of expertise around cultural diplomacy. Two members of our staff Profs McPherson and Kosmala are members of the European Cultural Parliament. The University runs three Masters programmes in Cultural Diplomacy and International Events, International Music and Global Governance in conjunction with the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin.  We also have 6 PhD students working in Cultural Diplomacy and sport, arts and post conflict. Our work to date in this area has included commissioned work for the British Council examining whether and how the arts contribute to the aims, aspirations and delivery of soft power and what the arts value and contribution is to this agenda. What are the conditions for change the arts can create within a soft power agenda and how do we develop a creditable evidence base and framework or Theory of Change to measure the impact of the arts in the delivery of soft power outcomes. We have presented to the UK Government’s Committee on Soft Power and contributed to Kings College London workshop on Cultural Diplomacy.  

We have recently been commissioned to undertake further work for the British Council examining the contribution of art and culture in global security and stability (July 2018). 


PhD students who are currently undertaking research around this theme include Solomon Ilevbare, whose research includes examining sport as a tool for promoting closer dialogue and integration in a multicultural society, a tool to surge for development and the promotion of a peaceful relationship in the international community.  Find out more about Solomon and our other PhD students on our Associates page.