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The ENCATC Academy on “Cultural Relations and Diplomacy” will take place from 5-7 December 2012 in Brussels

ENCATC opens registration for its first Academy on Cultural Relations and Diplomacy: Have you really heard it all before?

The ENCATC Academy on “Cultural Relations and Diplomacy” will take place from 5-7 December 2012 in Brussels. This intensive 3 day learning programme on cultural relations and diplomacy is a joint initiative of ENCATC, the European network on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy Education and Goldsmiths, University of London, a leading higher education organization, delivering postgraduate programmes in this field.
The aim is to deliver an intense learning opportunity to participants to further develop their knowledge and expertise in this field and prepare them to deal with challenges in cultural relations and diplomacy. The Academy combines a range of learning formats, that includes presentations, interactive discussions and sharing of views with key speakers and expertise between all participants. This cooperative programme will also offer practitioners and decision makers an opportunity to expand their personal and professional networks and establish future project partnerships. This is a time of rapid change for cultural relations and diplomacy given technological developments that shrink time and space and open participation in international exchange to a wide range of actors (individuals, NGOs, corporations, governments and international organisations).

At the same time, the present financial crisis places constrains on the funds available for international cultural activities. Reflection on the present state of affairs and its future evolution is important for all those concerned with or involved in cultural relations and new international strategies.
The Academy provides participants with the opportunity to explore and discuss some of the important concepts used in the area of cultural relations and diplomacy, as are the cases of public diplomacy and soft power. However, more than terminological nuances, our aim, with the collaboration of invited speakers and the experience and insights of the participants, the agendas, arenas, processes and structures involving international actors and how and why this is changing.
In this edition of the Academy, one of the main foci is governmental policy and activity in cultural relations, as despite the increasing importance of non?state actors participating in the international arena states largely remain the most important actor in international relations. However the role of the commercial sector has grown and in some interactions has far greater resources.
However, the way states develop cultural diplomacy is changing radically due to: ICT and (mobile) social media; there is a need to engage and network with a wide range of other actors on an increasing variety of issues that involve cultural relations, such as development and security; the acknowledgement of the importance of the actions of other actors, such as those from the Media and the Commercial sector.
Increasingly non?governmental actors operate transnationally at international, regional and local level (for example in the case of BOZAR, a hub of cultural activity), and further contribute to the blurring of the domestic/foreign divide. Times are changing for all those involved in international activity and the future is uncertain, however the potential in the area through technology will be outlined by wearefuturegov.com

In this first edition of the ENCATC Academy, Europe and the European Union will be used as a case study to illustrate the complexity and the broadening of areas characterizing contemporary cultural relations and diplomacy. The importance of culture in external relations has been recognized in the EU – but how will this be achieved? The case of EUNIC, the network of EU national cultural institutes, operating internationally, will be analysed as an example of the increasingly collaborative work being developed between national governments. At the same time, the tensions between old and new ways in cultural diplomacy will be focused on by examining the engagement of the EU and its member states with China. More information?

To register for this event: www.encatc.org/register/
ENCATC Academy webpage: www.encatc.org/pages/index.php
For specific questions about the ENCATC Academy, please contact Giannalia Cogliandro Beyens at g.cogliandro@encatc.org

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