Unit cultural diplomacy and soft power

International relations
Study-unit Code
Cooperazione internazionale e state building
Lorenzo Medici
  • Lorenzo Medici
  • 42 ore - Lorenzo Medici
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Attività formative affini o integrative
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Opzionale (Optional)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
Fundamentals of the history of cultural relations and governmental cultural diplomacy, with particular reference to Italy.
Reference texts
Reference text:
- Nicholas J. Cull, Public Diplomacy. Global Engagement nell’era digitale, Olivares, 2020;
- Gaetano Castellini Curiel, Soft power e l'arte della diplomazia culturale, Le Lettere, 2021.

Specified text:

- Michel Conil Lacoste, Chronique d’un grand dessein: UNESCO 1946-1993. Les hommes, les événements, les accomplissements, Paris, Unesco, 1993.
- Fernando Valderrama, A History of Unesco, Paris, Unesco, 1995.
- Walter L. Hixson, Parting the Curtain: Propaganda, Culture, and the Cold War, 1945-1961, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1996.
- Benedetta Garzarelli, «Parleremo al mondo intero». La propaganda del fascismo all’estero, Alessandria, Edizioni dell’Orso, 2004.
- Joseph S. Nye Jr., Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics, New York, Public Affairs, 2004.
- Kenneth Alan Osgood, Total Cold War: Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda Battle at Home and Abroad, Lawrence, University Press of Kansas, 2006.
- John Cull, The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American Propaganda and Public Diplomacy, 1945-1989, Cambridge-New York, Cambridge University Press, 2008.
- Simona Tobia, Advertising America: The United States Information Service in Italy (1945–1956), Milano, LED, 2008.
- Francesca Cavarocchi, Avanguardie dello spirito. Il fascismo e la propaganda culturale all’estero, Roma, Carocci, 2010.
- Chloé Maurel, Histoire de l’UNESCO, Les trente premières années. 1945-1974, Paris, l’Harmattan, 2010.
- Arturo Marzano, Onde Fasciste. La propaganda araba di Radio Bari (1934-43), Carocci, 2015.

Mandatory choice for not attending students:
- Lorenzo Medici, Dalla propaganda alla cooperazione. La diplomazia culturale italiana nel secondo dopoguerra (1944-1950), Padova, Cedam, 2009.
Educational objectives
The course teaches the role of culture in the context of international relations, political-diplomatic foreign policy, and in trade relations between states. It intends to develop communication abilities and independent judgment in evaluating the past and present role of culture in international relations and cultural policies of states, and to apply the knowledge acquired in both institutional and entrepreneurial context. The student should therefore be able to make judgments on their own, develop original ideas and expose clearly their knowledge and positions conclusions in a professional context addressed to specialists and non-specialists.
The passing of Contemporary History and History of International Relations exams is a prerequisite for understanding the topics of the class, and to enable the students to follow the course with profit.
Teaching methods
Face to face classes. There will be seminars with the showing of films and documentaries to understand the cultural context of the Cold War and the tools used by states to promote its image abroad. There will also be the preparation of term papers by students in order to improve their methodological and judgment skills on the role of non-institutional actors in the international cultural relations, governmental actors in the promotion of a cultural policy abroad, the instruments they use, and the importance of multilateral diplomacy in favor of international cultural cooperation.
Other information
The attendance of the course is optional but advised.
Learning verification modality
The final exam consists of an oral examination aimed at establishing: the level of acquired knowledge of theoretical and methodological implications listed in the program; the understanding and application to current issues; the communication skills and the language expertise; the independent judgment in processing issues; the ability to deepen the knowledge obtained in the future.
Extended program
Theoretical introduction to the history of international cultural relations; definition of international cultural relations, cultural diplomacy, public diplomacy and propaganda; moments and problems of Italy, United States, Britain and France promotion of their image abroad made, from the end of the nineteenth century. The role of international organizations in the field of international cultural cooperation.
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