Public and cultural diplomacy, international cultural relations
EU External Action
Russia’s foreign policy
Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus
PhD, Political Sciences, Ghent Institute for International and European Studies, Ghent University and UNU-CRIS
MSc, Russia in Global Systems, Russia Institute, King’s College London (UK).
MA, European Studies, Université Paris 8 Saint Denis (France) and Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium).
BA, Communication Studies, Department of Humanities, University of Catania (Italy).
Dr Domenico Valenza is an Associate Research Fellow at UNU-CRIS. He is a practitioner and researcher in the areas of public diplomacy, cultural diplomacy, international cultural relations and strategic communication. In his current position as a cultural officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, he has contributed to the implementation of several public and cultural diplomatic events, supported the activities of the network of the Italian Institutes of Culture and led the preparation of a foresight document on Italy’s cultural diplomacy. Prior to joining the Italian MFA, Domenico worked at No Peace Without Justice as a Program Officer and at the College of Europe as an Academic Assistant (2016-2018).
In 2023, he completed a PhD in Political Sciences at the Ghent Institute for International and European Studies, Ghent University and UNU-CRIS. In his doctoral dissertation, Domenico analysed Russian and EU cultural diplomacy in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus and the role of identities and affect in the making of onstage foreign policy. To this end, Domenico developed a qualitative framework based on multi-sited physical and digital ethnography, with participant observation and in-depth interviews, and conducted fieldwork in Russia (2019), Moldova (2022) and Armenia (2022-23). Through his double ‘hat’ of practitioner and researcher, Domenico brings specialised insight in the areas of public and cultural diplomacy as well as an interest in the ‘listening’ side of foreign policy practices. He holds a Master of Arts in European Studies from Université Paris 8 and Université libre de Bruxelles as well as a Master of Science in ‘Russia in Global Systems’ from King’s College London.