Economic crisis! Greece and the quest for cultural diplomacy

Maria Kouri

March 5, 2013 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Harris School of Public Policy
1155 E. 60th St.
Lecture Hall, room 142

Maria Kouri, Lecturer at the University of the Peloponnese (Greece)

The current economic crisis represents a crash test for the "unity in diversity" policies of the European Union (EU), meant to promote the unification of its member states by respecting their cultural diversity. The cultures of financially frail member states become ever more susceptible to marginalization, rendering culture one of the crisis's first victims.

Greece's negative media (mis)representation supports the above. At the same time it reflects the country's inefficient efforts to promote a positive international image, despite its significant soft power potential stemming from the country's rich, world-acclaimed cultural assets. Accordingly, this presentation will explore the cultural and public diplomacy policies of state and grassroots agents. It will then discuss Greece's potential in developing a proposal to support EU integration as it was originally planned; namely, depending on socio-cultural rather than solely on economic values.

Offering a European perspective on the effects of the economic crisis, particularly on the integrational cultural policies of the EU, this presentation will shed light on aspects which are seldom communicated by the media. Hence, it aspires to engage the audience in an interesting discussion that may allow participants to form a more comprehensive view on the subject.

A Lecturer at the University of the Peloponnese (Greece), Dr. Maria Kouri has taught courses on cultural policy, arts administration, and regional/local regeneration in academic institutions around Greece. She has carried out a number of research projects and has worked for non-profit arts organizations in Austria, Greece, and England. She has also served as Expert Counselor to the Secretary General of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture on international cultural policy and contemporary culture. Currently she is researching the Chicagoan Greek American community at the Cultural Policy Center, supported by a Fulbright research award.


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