Explaining Spain’s Casas: An Instrument of Networked Public Diplomacy

In: The Hague Journal of Diplomacy
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  • 1 DG Strategic Communication and Public Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Spain

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Spain has created an innovative foreign policy instrument: its network of public diplomacy Casas, comprising Casa América, Casa Asia, Casa Árabe, Casa África, Casa Mediterráneo, and Centro Sefarad-Israel. The network of Casas is, today, an essential asset of Spanish foreign policy, one with an ever-increasing international projection. Located in landmark buildings in different Spanish cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Alicante and Córdoba), the Casas have a threefold advantage. First, they are much more than a cultural space — they are institutions that help strengthen relations with a region or group of countries in many aspects (scientific and economic, among others). Second, they are spaces for collaboration, both among public administrations (national, regional and local) and with private partners. Last but not least, they were created and function as a public diplomacy instrument, to keep in touch — through an increasing use of new technologies — with civil society representatives from different countries.

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    Joseph S. Nye, Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (Cambridge: Perseus, 2004).

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    Peter van Ham, ‘Place Branding: The State of the Art’, The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 616, no. 1 (March 2008), pp. 126-149.

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