The North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (nacdi) is a transdisciplinary partnership that includes academics, policymakers and practitioners from North America and beyond.
Our objective is to establish cultural diplomacy as a critical practice: by interrogating and advancing cultural diplomacy, we aim to raise its profile as a valuable tool to foster international and transcultural relations—that is, to measure it and mobilize it to inform public policy development and implementation. Specifically, the strategically-important network of networks we are establishing seeks to demonstrate the value and use of cultural diplomacy to government bodies, cultural institutions, and cultural practitioners.
In addition, we aim to advance new scholarship and research that provides greater understanding of how cultural diplomacy functions to connect North America globally; not merely as part of the “soft power” tool-kit of nation states, but as a multi-directional and potentially activist practice that encompasses a broad range of non-state actors, including cultural institutions, managers, producers, consumers and communities seeking to imagine counter-hegemonic possibilities and inclusive futures.
In order to explore the uses of culture and arts in international relations and diplomacy we are developing a vibrant research community that advances cultural diplomacy as a critical practice, generates new research, trains students and practitioners to create effective cultural initiatives and linkages, and engages in outreach through activities accessible to diverse constituencies and broader publics. By mobilizing the diverse and complementary resources of diplomats, policy makers, cultural practitioners, and the public in the North American context, and by establishing linkages with adjacent organizations whose work focusses on other geopolitical imaginaries, nacdi will leverage the knowledge and expertise of its partners, raise the profile of its research and scholarship, and create a unique and dynamic forum through which to advance cultural diplomacy.
As the focus of nacdi’s activities, “North America” serves as a vital geopolitical imaginary. In this capacity, it intersects with and links to other geopolitical regions and imaginaries (including but not limited to the global indigenous community, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Anglosphere, and the French-speaking world), and thus provides a means to engage with their cultural diplomacy networks and organizations.
Meet Our Team
We are advancing nacdi as a vibrant and dynamic partnership and community including leaders from universities, cultural organizations, governments and NGOs. We are keen to hear from individuals and organizations who have an interest in cultural diplomacy.