Understanding Musical Diplomacies

Understanding Musical Diplomacies

Call for Proposals
  • Rembrandt, The Music Party, Rijlsmuseum Amsterdam. Common domainRembrandt, The Music Party, Rijlsmuseum Amsterdam. Common domain

Sounds and Voices on the International Stage : Understanding Musical Diplomacies

International Conference organized by CERI Sciences Po, CERLIS - Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3-CNRS-Paris Descartes.

20/21 APRIL 2016


In international relations, music and diplomacy are strongly interrelated. Diplomats have gathered for musical events and musicians served as representatives. Whatever political unit is under consideration (city-states, empires, nation-states), music is a component of diplomacy, its ceremonies, and its strategies. There is a new interest for this dimension of international reality in History (Flechet & Marès, Gienow-Hecht), Musicology (Ahrendt et al, Fosler-Lussier), and International Relations (Dillon, Bleiker, Street) – beyond the aesthetic and cultural turns that marked these disciplines.

The main aim of this conference is to contribute to the debate by fostering a comparative approach (across time, cultures, arts, and polities) to the following themes:

- Change in diplomatic practices relating to music. Can we identify turning points concerning the designs and the uses of music as a diplomatic resource by states? Does the training of diplomats still relies on an awareness of musical practices?

- The uses of music in non-governmental diplomacies. Does multi-track diplomacy integrate a musical component and what are its effects on international interactions?

- The specificity of musical diplomacy. Does musical diplomacy differ from other types of cultural diplomacy (museums, ballets, theatres)?

- The goals of musical diplomacies. Does cooperation in the field of music present specific attributes that make it more effective to foster multilateral rather than bilateral negotiations, for example?

All these issues are part of a commitment to the renewal of diplomatic studies around a reading of the sensible and the role of symbols (Neumann, 2012). They are also in resonance with the idea of plural diplomacy (Cornago, 2013).

Proposals (200 words maximum) should be sent to musicaldiplomacies@gmail.com before September 20th, 2015.

Scientific committee: Christian Lequesne (CERI Sciences Po), Cécile Prévost-Thomas (CERLIS Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3-CNRS-Paris Descartes), Frédéric Ramel (CERI Sciences Po)

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