13 Feb 2018

Cultural Relations in Societies in Transition: A Literature Review

The British Council and the Goethe-Institut have partnered in a joint research project called The Cultural Value Project. In January 2018 they have published a literature review on a detailed investigation of the existing academic literature on cultural relations in German and English. It forms the introduction to on-going work deploying a new mixed-methodology approach to investigating the value of cultural relations, with a focus on their impact in societies in transition.

By defining and explaining the terms “cultural relations”, “cultural diplomacy”, “public diplomacy”, “soft power” and more, this publication aims to build a better understanding of the impact and value of cultural relations in terms of their ability to make a difference, in particular to supporting stability and prosperity in societies going through substantial change.

It is also the occasion to see the different strategies and practices behind the actions of Germany and the UK via their cultural institutes. While German cultural relations are founded on a ‘strong’ conception of culture (where culture is closely tied to national history, language and identity), the British cultural relations are based on a ‘weak’ conception of culture, emerging from a tradition of liberal individualism and British empiricism. However, both systems in deploying cultural relations to assist societies in transition.

You can find the publication here