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by on April 4, 2014


A case study of Cultural Diplomacy on the relations between Germany and Brazil


Cultural Diplomacy is described by Dr. Emil Constantinescy, President of the academy for Cultural Diplomacy, as “a course of actions, which are based on and utilise the exchange of ideas, values, traditions and other aspects of culture or identity, whether to strengthen relationships, enhance socio cultural cooperation or promote national interest. I can be practiced by the public or private sector or civil society

A recent example of bilateral Cultural Diplomacy was established between Germany and Brazil over the past year. It is called ‘Germany and Brazil 2013-2014’ and it has organised over four hundred events between May 2013 and April 2014 in both countries. Under the slogan “When ideas meet”, those events are classified in eight different categories that include, culture, education, science, sustainable development, politics, economy, sports and society.

Photo: Berlin Global: Germany and Brazil to Intensify Economic and Cultural Relations</p><br />
<p>From May 2013 to June 2014, several Brazilian and German institutions have organized an array of different programs in order to intensify relations in the framework of the ‘Alemanha+Brasil’ event.</p><br />
<p>Read more at Berlin Global:

The year started with a series of events organised by the platform in charge of the programme, but private and civil participation was encourage so the number and variety of events increased. Examples of events include a full display of Brazilian carnival in Berlin, Sustainable Development workshops in Rio or sports events that focused in passion that is common to both countries, football.

Photo: Berlin Global: "Sport and Sustainable Development: Harnessing the Positive Effects of Sporting Events"</p><br />
<p>The upcoming FIFA World Cup to be held from June 12th to July 13th in Brazil has raised the question of how major, high-cost sporting events can be held within the scope of sustainable development.</p><br />
<p>Read more at Berlin Global:

This ‘festival of ideas for a common future’, as described by organisers, is part of an strategic partnership for bringing together both nations in order to face the challenges of the 21st Century with particular focus on sustainable development and green economies. Brazil is a global leader in the fight against climate change and global warming while advocating for sustainability options for the region; at the same time Germany is one of the first countries in the world developing the necessary technology for renewable energies and a strong defender, at home and outside of it, of new and reliable economic models.

The project was presented with a video in which we are able to see the different perspectives of the idea, from politicians and CEOs of German companies in Brazil to public figures such as Claudia Schiffer or Michael Schumacer who laud Brazilian food, Brazilian people and their openness and the natural environment.

When considering the reasons for bilateral partnerships such as these, economic relations are usually at the top of the list. This case is no exception, while German companies look for expanding their target market into Latin America, Brazil looks to further develop while creating jobs. There are also political reasons to be considered, both countries are regional leaders so Brazil can be the door to the Latin American for Germany and viceversa, while they defend similar positions on important issues at the global arena; including climate change, as explained above, but also security since both Brazil and Germany seek permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council.

To conclude, the ‘Germany and Brazil 2013-2014’ project is a successful example of cultural diplomacy on bilateral basis that achieved a more comprehensive understanding within the two nations at the same time it encouraged citizens of both states to explore the other’s culture and ideas. Moreover, it adds to the examples we have been seeing throughout the module on countries such as China, the United States or the United Kingdom (in Portuguese) (in German)



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  1. Thank you this very interesting example of bilateral cultural diplomacy, of which I was previously unaware. It is nice to have a case study not involving the Anglophone world and you do a good job of setting out the various dimensions of the project as well as nicely illustrating your post.

    Perhaps you could say a little bit more about what the countries hope to achieve by deepening their cultural ties. In your view is the concern to boost trade paramount or are political ambitions (e.g., both seek permanent membership of the UN Security Council) also at play here? You have provided a description of the initiative. I should have liked more analysis. For example, how does this case study illuminate the concepts and theories you have been reading about on the module? And I’d like to hear a bit more about the public-private partnerships behind these developments, to address the role of non-state actors in cultural diplomacy.

    There are a fair number of typographical errors for you to address when revising this entry for inclusion in your portfolio (e.g., warning should be warming, defendant should be defender, and load should be laud I think).

  2. carlacds permalink

    Thank you for your comment, I have edited the post and try to incorporate your suggestions

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