European Leadership in Culture, Science and Innovation Diplomacy (EL-CSID)

The European Union has made a major start articulating the relevance of cultural and science for its external relations. What has yet to be done, however, is to make explicit the assumptions underpinning much of this work on cultural and science diplomacy and to codify and articulate it as part of a systematic and strategic approach to understanding the direction of travel of science and cultural diplomacy that locates developments in these fields within the evolving global and EU external relations context. EL-CSID will do this, with the added ambition to identify how the Union and its member states might collectively and individually develop a good institutional and strategic policy environment for extra-regional culture and science diplomacy. Hence, the over-arching objectives of this proposed project are threefold:

1) To detail and analyse the manner in which the EU operates in the domains of cultural and science diplomacy in the current era; comparing its bilateral and multilateral cultural and science ties between states, regions, and public and private international organisations.

2) To examine the degree to which cultural and science diplomacy can enhance the interests of the EU in the contemporary world order and to identify:

  • How cultural and science diplomacy can contribute to Europe’s standing as an international actor;
  • Opportunities offered by enhanced coordination and collaboration amongst the EU, its members and their extra-European partners; 
  • Constraints posed by economic and socio-political factors affecting the evolving operating environments of both science and cultural diplomacy.

3) To identify a series of mechanisms/platforms to raise awareness among relevant stakeholders of the importance of science and culture as vehicles for enhancing the EU's external relations.

The research will generate both scholarly work and policy-oriented output, which will be disseminated through an extensive and targeted dissemination programme.

The project is coordinated by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and involves eight partner institutions, namely: UNU-CRIS, the University of Warwick (UoW), the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB), the Evro-Sredozemska Univerza (EMUNI), the Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques Turkiye (CEDS), the Joint Institute for Innovation Policy (JIIP), the National University of Singapore (NUS), and the Nazarbayev University (NU).

Within the project, UNU-CRIS leads a work package on "Exploring the Effectiveness of the EU’s Promotion of Regional and Inter-Regional Processes in the South through Science, Cultural and Economic Diplomacy".

For further information, please vist the EL-CSID website or contact UNU-CRIS Project Researchers Riccardo Trobbiani or Elke Boers.