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Cultural Diplomacy in a Multipolar World

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Cultural Diplomacy in a Multipolar World

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Web Based
20 Feb 2017 to 12 Mar 2017
Duration of event:
3 Weeks
Programme Area:
Peace Security and Diplomacy, Multilateral Diplomacy
Specific Target Audience:
Event Focal Point Email:
Event Focal Point Contact Number:
+41 (0)22 917 87 16
Other Event Details:

Cultural diplomacy has long been the Cinderella of foreign ministries. But, as with its close relation, public diplomacy, interest in cultural diplomacy has increased with growing understanding of the significance of soft power in achieving states’ objectives in the international realm. 

This course examines the role of cultural diplomacy in the 21st Century. After first defining cultural diplomacy, the course discusses the concept of soft power and how this has informed the development of both public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy. There follows an account of the history of cultural diplomacy and of the influence of technological and societal change on its practice. Current practice in the field of cultural diplomacy will be analysed, along with the varied institutional arrangements in key countries. Finally, there will be an examination of cultural diplomacy as conducted in multilateral fora.

This online course aims to enhance participants’ knowledge of the theory and practice of cultural diplomacy and understanding of its relevance to their own work.

By the end of the course, students will be able to: 

(a) Define cultural diplomacy and the concept of soft power;
(b) Explain the relationship between public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy;
(c) Describe the historical development of cultural diplomacy and the impact of technological and societal change on its practice and analyse the current issues in the field of cultural diplomacy;
(d) Identify the varying institutional arrangements of a representative sample of states practising cultural diplomacy;
(e) Describe the practice of cultural diplomacy in the multilateral environment.

 e-Learning: The course is internet-based, moderated by senior international experts, asynchronous, and places emphasis on online discussions and self-paced learning. The participants will be primarily responsible for their own learning over the three-week span of the course. The course will consist of the following components:

  • Compulsory and optional reading material, intended to teach the basic concepts and principles of the lesson's subject-matter;
  • External links to additional books, articles, documents, and websites related to the lessons;
  • Quizzes and case studies at the end of each module. To be eligible for the course certificate, a passing grade of 80% on both quizzes and case studies is required;
  • A Community Discussion Board will be available for participants to post questions or comments visible to the instructor and other participants. This discussion board will be moderated by the course director and UNITAR;
  • Estimated learning time: 20 hours approximately;
  • Participants will be eligible to receive a certificate after the successful completion of the course. 

The course targets government officers in line ministries as well as staff of intergovernmental / nongovernmental organizations. It also targets entry-level and mid-career diplomats working in a multilateral setting. Private sector specialists and students whose work or studies relate to this subject are also encouraged to apply.


The course fee is 500 USD. You will receive an invoice by email after registration.
Participants applying for this course and the course on Cosmopolitan Communication: Connecting across Diplomats, Business Leaders and Civil SocietyThe course fee for these two courses is: 950 USD
Please note that the discount can only be applied for bank transfer payments.

Participants from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are eligible to apply for a fellowship. Please click here for more details. Registration will be closed as soon as the course is full and your place will be secured once your payment is confirmed.

Technical Requirements

UNITAR recommends the following as a minimum in hardware and software to take our e-Learning courses. Please consult your Network Administrator or Systems person to ensure that you have the following:

  • Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP or superior; MacOS 9 or MacOS X; Linux
  • Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space
  • Software:
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader (click here to download for free)
    • Adobe Flash Player (click here to download for free)
    • Microsoft Office (Windows or Mac) or Open Office (click here to download for free)
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or higher (click here to download for free); it works better with Firefox 3.6 or higher (click here to download for free) 
  • Note that JavaScript, Cookies and Pop-ups must be enabled
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