Reactik Project


Culture as a resource in International Relations and EU Foreign Policy

REACTIK Network is an international consortium which unites scholars from Israel, Poland, Denmark, India, Japan and New Zealand.

The overall goal of the REACTIK project is to broaden the field of European integration studies by incorporating the domain of European Cultural Diplomacy (ECD) and European Culture Policy (ECP) in the research and activities of European Study Centers and Academies for Art and Design. The project develops an inter-regional, collaborative academic space to enhance the study of ECD and ECP.



About the project

As culture policy is bonded with economic growth, CP has a great influence on the so called “creative economy”. Based on ideas rather than physical capital, the creative economy straddles economic, political, social, cultural issues and is at the crossroads of the arts, business and social forces (Van der Pol, 2007). The CP and Creative Economy are derived from an unlimited resource – that of human creativity. From that perspective it is to assume that the common European cultural agenda seek to utilize the endless growth potential and resources found at the core of every European society. For this purpose, the EU establish ties with many agents in the field of culture such as national cultural institutions, museums, orchestras, festivals and industries via various funding mechanisms.

Globalization, and other economic and social developments in the 21st century have brought the EU to the understanding that a common culture policy should not be applied solely on its MSs, but rather be used as an instrument in its external relations that will enable the EU to promote its interests, economy, norms and values around the world. Article 167 of TFEU stipulates that the Union and its MS shall foster cooperation with third countries and the competent international organizations in the sphere of culture. In other words, the EU grasps culture as an instrument equal in its importance to political or economic power, hence wish to endeavor its cultural and creative assets to better assert its influence on a global scale.

Under the titles of “European Agenda for Culture in a Globalizing World” and “Engaging the World: Towards Global Cultural Citizenship” The EU promotes a supernational “cultural diplomacy” aiming at achieving its external relations strategic objectives in third countries. The EU perceives culture as a key element of sustainable development, as it believes that the creative industries can promote reconciliation, growth and freedom of expression on which other fundamental freedoms can be built. Therefore, the ECP has been shaped to achieve a dual mission: first, to foster the social and cultural cohesion within Europe itself and second, an external dimension designed to reach out and influence third countries. For that aim, an EU Cultural Diplomacy Platform has been established, envisioned to strengthen the EU ability to engage with its partners across the globe: from international organisations, national governments, local authorities, civil society organisations and individual citizens. And indeed, it is evident that the EU has long become a prominent international “partner” to hundreds of cultural endeavors and became an enthusiastic promoter of the “creative industries” and their role in economy.

Based upon state of the art research in EU studies, the network wishes to raise the awareness for this under studied domain in the European Integration studies, and to provide answer for the following questions: What is the role of Cultural Diplomacy in the EU external relations? How can Cultural Diplomacy could be measured and evaluated? How does the EU implement its cultural strategic agenda? What are the tools and instruments used? What is the impact of these actions on non-EU countries? How does the ECP affect the perceptions of non-EU countries on the EU? How does the target countries react to the power put on them, if at all? All these questions and more will be discussed during a 3 years long project, aiming at establishing a new sub-discipline within the EU studies: European culture diplomacy research.

Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem | Israel
Jawaharlal Nehru University | India
UC University of Canterbury | New Zealand
University of Copenhagen | Denmark
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev | Israel
Jagiellonian University in Kraków | Poland
Waseda University | Japan


Network’s specific objectives

• To develop the academic field of Cultural Diplomacy as a sub discipline of EU studies and evaluate ECP in the European integration process within Europe and beyond.
• To develop research methodologies in the field of ECP/ECD.
• To create a wide inter-regional network of institutional Resource Centers (RC) in which researchers and practitioners will engage in collaborative research, mutual learning and cross-fertilization processes.
• To assess the European influence on CP in each of the non-EU partner institutions.
• To enhance awareness in non-EU partner countries of the ECP and familiarity with its practical tools.
• To foster exchange of ideas and sharing of best practices among EU and Non-EU European Study Centers.

Main activities

• Network meetings combining management sessions and workshops approximately every 6 months.
• Establishment of institutional ECP resource centers.
• Assessing national CP and developing local strategy plans in non-EU partner countries.
• Conducting 4 national academic conferences in non-EU partner countries.
• Establishing a network that will generate a close cooperation between partner institutions and conduct joint study of the ECP and related issues.
• Establishing a secretariat at Bezalel for the REACTIK Network.
• Establishing a project website and portal for the network.
• Developing a QA mechanism for the network.
• Disseminating the networks activities and outputs through conferences, policy papers, exhibitions, events and a project website.

PD-PCF experts collaborating: Professor Natalia Chaban (UC, NZ), Professor Sharon Pardo (BGU, Israel), Dr Hila Zahavi (BGU, Israel)

Early career researchers at UC: Alexander Malkov (PhD Candidate, NCRE, UC, NZ), Daniela Grimberg (PhD Candidate, Department of Media and Communication, UC, NZ), Dr Suvo Bandopadhyaya (Department of Media and Communication, UC, NZ)

Reactik website