Research Article

The EU’s Dualistic Regime of Cultural Diversity Management
The Concept of Culture in the Creative Europe Program (2014–2019; 2021–2027) and in the Strategy for International Cultural Relations (2016–)


The link between international cultural management and policy scholarship remains underdeveloped. This article addresses this gap. Based on a triangulation of textual analysis and interviews, it examines how culture is understood in Creative Europe (2014–2019; 2021–2027) and in the Strategy for International Cultural Relations (2016–). Firstly, it provides an overview of debates around the deployment of culture by the Union. Secondly, it examines changes in the term culture in the aforementioned programs. The analysis reveals that the EU’s recognition of the importance of culture within and beyond its borders is not accompanied by a univocal understanding of the term – leading to a dualistic regime of diversity management. Thirdly, it reflects on the challenges that are likely to emerge if – as is planned – Creative Europe funding is used to implement the International Cultural Relations strategy, and stresses the limits of ambiguity in the international management of cultural diversity.


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