Ben-Gurion University at REACTIK

Since October 2018 our research centre has participated in the REACTIK project. Overall, seven researchers from our centre are taking an active part in the project and its activities; Prof. Sharon Pardo, the chair of Simone Veil Research Centre who writes about EU’s cultural diplomacy;

Prof. Renée Poznanski, emeritus of the centre; Dr. Hila Zahavi, the director of the centre who also researches and writes about EU’s cultural and science diplomacy; Mr. Tal Rippa, a PhD candidate whose research focuses on Europe Day in Eastern Partnership states; Mrs. Sabina Gendler, a PhD candidate who is one of the researchers responsible for writing the final research/report of the project, and in her own research writes about theoretical aspects in cultural diplomacy, using the EU in Israel as a case study; Mr. Ido Rosenblum a PhD candidate who is one of the researchers responsible for writing the final research/report of the project, and who in his own research writes about cultural diplomacy regarding culinary aspects, focusing on Israeli immigrants to the EU and Ms Yasmin Kremer, a MA student whose research is focusing on the Eurovision in Israel as a cultural diplomacy phenomenon. The growing number of researchers that deal with cultural diplomacy research in our centre, even if not directly involved in RECTIK creates an atmosphere that allows us theoretical, empirical and practical discussions on this topic. This atmosphere helps those dealing directly with REACTIK to have a wide perspective and opportunities to share the research.

January 2019 – Jerusalem, Israel

As part of our engagement in the project, we have participated in the two workshops which took place in recent months. For the first workshop which took place in Jerusalem - we sent three members of our staff: Prof. Sharon Pardo, Mrs. Sabina Gendler and Mr. Ido Rosenblum. Mrs. Gendler presented a theoretical background regarding the topic of cultural diplomacy.

May 2019 – Copenhagen, Denmark

For the second workshop which took place in Copenhagen, we sent Mr. Ido Rosenblum who presented our part in the joint research, which is one of the project’s deliverables. As already mentioned, a joint research/report is one of the project’s deliverables and our staff is taking care of the theoretical-historical background of the Israeli report, covering the history of EU-Israeli relations.

June 2019 – Be’er Sheva, Israel

Our engagement with the REACTIK Research Network also led us to invite one of its members, Prof. Christopher Pokarier (from Waseda University, Japan), to participate as a speaker at a conference organized by Ben-Gurion University. This conference is an independent and leading initiative of The Cultural Diplomacy Forum by the Simone Veil Research Centre for Contemporary European Studies. Following the collaboration with Bezalel in the REACTIK Research Network, Bezalel was invited to take part in one of the panels, whose purpose was dedicated to the perspective of cultural actors regarding different aspects of cultural diplomacy. For this matter, the panel was held in cooperation with Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design ('Negotiating Culture between Local and International Spheres: insights from within' - moderated by Dr. Yoav Friedman and Ms. Rotem Ruff).

September 2019 – Wroclaw, Poland

A group of researchers from our research centre presented 4 papers in a joint panel in the annual ECPR conference that took place in Wroclaw, Poland. The panel titled ‘Power and Culture - Reconceptualizing Soft Diplomacy in European Studies and International Relations’. The 4 scholars that presented deals with different aspects of Cultural Diplomacy, a theory that stands (together with other new diplomacy theories) at the centre of our research thanks to our involvement in REACTIK, which comes together with the establishment of the Cultural Diplomacy Forum. A panel in such a prestigious conference was a great floor to present our recent evaluation in the field, to share knowledge, ideas, and to meet diverse scholars from the field. The panel itself held dozens of participants and the presentations were followed by a fruitful discussion.

The scholars and their papers:

  1. Cultural Diplomacy and Educational diplomacy – more of the same or a new wave in the diplomacy research field - Paper by Dr. Hila Zahavi (together with Mrs. Sabina Gendler that was in Maternity Leave)

  2. “Culinary Diplomacy – A Theoretical Inquiry: The Case of Israeli Chefs in Berlin and London,” Paper by Mr. Ido Rosenblum

  3. “Europe Day celebrations in Georgia – Conceptualizing the New European Public Diplomacy,” Paper by Mr. Tal Hasdai-Rippa

  4. “Israeli Celebrity Diplomats: Fame in Contemporary Israeli-European Affairs,” Paper by Prof. Sharon Pardo

 

December 2019 – Herzliya, Israel

A group of researchers from our research centre presented 4 papers in a joint panel in the annual Israeli Association for the Study of European Integration (IASEI) conference that took place in Herzliya, Israel. The idea was to expose our Israeli colleagues to our growing interest on the field of Cultural Diplomacy, a theoretical field which is less developed in Israel. Israel consider to be more conservative and Realistic, and such a panel was a great opportunity to raise a discussion on other aspects and perspectives of IR, power and diplomacy. Between the guests and participants, beside different scholars and students, we also found some local journalists.

The scholars and their papers:

  1. Education Diplomacy as Cultural Diplomacy: Perspectives on Defining Knowledge Diplomacy- Paper by Dr. Hila Zahavi

  2. “Culinary Diplomacy – A Theoretical Inquiry: The Case of Israeli Chefs in Berlin and London,” Paper by Mr. Ido Rosenblum

  3. “Europe Day celebrations in Georgia – Conceptualizing the New European Public Diplomacy,” Paper by Mr. Tal Hasdai-Rippa

  4. “Israeli Celebrity Diplomats: Fame in Contemporary Israeli-European Affairs,” Paper by Prof. Sharon Pardo

January-February 2020 - New-Delhi, India

For the third workshop which took place in New Delhi we sent Dr. Hila Zahavi and Mr. Ido Rosenblum who:

  1.  Presented Our progress in the joint research.  The presentation included a theoretical-historical background of the Israeli report, covering the history of EU-Israeli relations and primary data from the conducted research.

  2. Took part on the development of the methodological toolbox – one of the networks’ deliverables, an instrument that will help researchers to conduct research on the field of cultural diplomacy and to create common tools and language among researchers.

September 2020 – Belfast, Northern Ireland (online)

A group of researchers from our research centre presented 4 papers in a joint panel in the annual UACES conference that was supposed to take place in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but due to the COVID-19 went online. As on the ECPR conference the year before, such a panel was a great opportunity to discuss our ongoing research on the field of cultural diplomacy on the prestigious arena of UACES. The online panel was a great success with dozens of viewers that led to a fruitful discussion after the presentation. Some of the scholars that participated even continue the discussion and the knowledge sharing at the days after the panel.

The scholars and their papers:

  1. Re-branding cultural diplomacy? The case study of the EU in Israel 2014-2019 – Paper by Mrs. Sabina Gendler

  2. Education Diplomacy as Cultural Diplomacy: Perspectives on Defining Knowledge Diplomacy - Paper by Dr. Hila Zahavi

  3. Culinary Diplomacy – A Theoretical Inquiry: The Case of Israeli Chefs in Berlin and London, Paper by Mr. Ido Rosenblum

  4. Europe Day celebrations in Georgia – Conceptualizing the New European Public Diplomacy, Paper by Mr. Tal Hasdai-Rippa

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