The Syria-Iran Axis: Cultural Diplomacy and International Relations in the Middle East

Vortrag, OI Beirut

Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, the close alliance between Syria and Iran has endured for over three decades, based on geopolitical interests between the two states and often framed in the language of resistance. In view of their strong relationship at a state-level, what have Syria and Iran each been doing to foster popular exchange and employ cultural tools to build an image in the other country? In my new book “The Syria-Iran Axis: Cultural Diplomacy and International Relations in the Middle East” I examine the motivations, content and reach of cultural diplomacy between Syria and Iran to determine to what degree the two partners have been successful in bridging the cultural divide between the two peoples. Through use of rich empirical data collected in both Syria and Iran, it will be demonstrated that despite the efforts invested particularly from the Iranian side, cultural diplomacy’s reach remains limited and relations continue to be strongest on the official level. Some of the main findings of my book will be presented in this seminar.

Nadia von Maltzahn is Research Associate at the Orient-Institut Beirut. Her main research interests lie in cultural policy research, modern history and international relations of the Middle East. Her new research project deals with questions of governance of culture in a comparative perspective. Nadia holds a DPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.

OI Beirut