Model of a globe with chessboard pattern and chess pieces
The world globe with chess pieces. Symbol of geopolitics, photo: Orla via iStock.

New Geopolitics, Soft Power and International Cultural Relations

ifa study on Germany's foreign cultural policy from a comparative perspective

14 Dec 2023
18:00 - 19:30
Hertie School
Friedrichstraße 180
10117 Berlin

Have the recent significant shifts in geopolitics changed the role of soft power strategies and activities among leading world powers? What are the challenges and opportunities that present themselves for cultural exchanges, language programs, educational institutions, universities, science diplomacy and communication & media in a changed system of international relations? These questions will be discussed on the basis of a systematic study of eight world powers (Germany, USA, France, United Kingdom as liberal democracies; China, Russia, Saudi Arabia as autocracies; and India as an emerging economic power with an ailing democracy) by comparing their soft power strategies and activities from the 2010s with what they are today and in the context of changing economic and security policy considerations. 

Following a short presentation of the new ifa study, the event will examine the challenges and opportunities for German foreign cultural and educational policy.

The discussion will be followed by a reception.

Please register to confirm your on-site participation. 

The link to the livestream will be made available on this page (no registration is necessary). 


Portrait of Helmut K. Anheier

Helmut K. Anheier Anheier

Senior Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School

Helmut K. Anheier is Senior Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School. He served as President of the Hertie School from 2009 to 2018. He is also a member of the faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Luskin School of Public Affairs and visiting professor at LSE Ideas, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Portrait of Iain Begg

Iain Begg

Research Fellow at the London School of Economics

Iain Begg is a Professorial Research Fellow at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. His main research work is on the political economy of European integration and EU economic governance. Recent research projects include work on policy co-ordination under EMU and the social impact of globalisation.

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Portrait of Michelle Müntefering

Michelle Müntefering

Member of the German Bundestag

Michelle Müntefering is a member of the Bundestag for Herne-Bochum II since 2013. She is also Chair of the Subcommittee on Foreign Cultural and Education Policy.  From 2018 to 2021, Michelle Müntefering was the Minister of State for International Cultural Policy at the Federal Foreign Office.

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Portrait of Gitte Zschoch

Gitte Zschoch

Secretary-General of ifa

Gitte Zschoch is ifa Secretary-General. She was Director of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) in Brussels and worked previously for the Goethe-Institut in a number of different positions in Seoul, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Kinshasa and as Deputy Head of the Communications Division at the head office in Munich.

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Portrait of Melinda Crane

Melinda Crane

Journalist and Political Commentator

Dr. Melinda Crane studied history and political science at Brown University and law at Harvard. She wrote her dissertation on the political economy of development assistance at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Crane has given speeches and moderated events and discussions for a wide range of international organizations. She is a frequent guest and commentator on German television and radio and regularly analyzes US policy for the news broadcaster n-tv. Her areas of expertise include transatlantic politics, climate and environment or integration and urbanization.

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External Cultural Policy Monitor

The External Cultural Policy (ECP) Monitor provides information on key data such as the economy and geopolitical position of selected countries and presents relevant information on their external cultural policy (ECP) measures. Concise country profiles and reports structure quantitative data and contextual information, e.g. on culture and art, language, education, science and research or media.
The ECP Monitor is a collaborative project of the Hertie School with ifa's Library and ifa's Research Programme.

More information on the ifa website and the Forum for International Cultural Relations.

Cooperation with


Ivana Utami Putri

Research Programme "Culture and Foreign Policy"

Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart

Telephone: +49.711.2225.219