The ECP Monitor: Profiling External Cultural Policy

The External Cultural Policy (ECP) Monitor provides information on key data such as the economy and geopolitical position of selected countries and presents relevant information on their external cultural policy (ECP) measures. Concise country profiles and reports structure quantitative data and contextual information, e.g. on culture and art, language, education, science and research or media. Links to relevant documents, sources and websites complement the reports. Comparisons of individual measures between countries complete the ECP Monitor, whenever data quality and coverage permit. 

Who Produces the ECP Monitor?

The ECP Monitor is produced by a team at the Hertie School in close cooperation with ifa's Library and ifa's Research Programme.

What is External Cultural Policy?

The term External Cultural Policy summarises the ways and means by which states invest in culture and the arts, language, education, research, and media to exercise influence abroad to build networks for enhancing cooperation and to create mutual understanding. Understood in this sense, ECP can complement and substitute other economic, diplomatic, and military means of leverage, and can creatively cope with the complex and intertwined social and political realities of societies. It links to many other policy areas relevant to foreign affairs, including security, trade, technology and development cooperation, and domestic cultural and educational policy. ECP has become increasingly important, as more countries realise the benefits of a strong international cultural positioning. Indeed, the number of countries with explicit strategic ECP objectives has increased significantly.

Why is the ECP Monitor Needed?

The growing importance of external cultural policy, increasing number of countries with explicit ECP strategies, and more competitive geopolitical climate brings with it a greater need for more comprehensive, systematic and up-to-date information. Specifically, data and information are needed to cover a country´s ECP objectives, strategies, instruments and resources.

Unfortunately, current information and data systems have not kept up with these needs. There are major gaps in coverage across fields and countries, and serious issues of comparability remain. As a result, policymakers, analysts and practitioners alike face an incomplete evidence base, which limits the understanding of current ECP approaches and hinders effective policymaking.

The purpose of the ECP Monitor is to fill these glaring data gaps. The ECP Monitor, once fully developed, will enable policymakers in the conception, planning, implementation and evaluation of ECP strategies, and to do so with comparative and long-term perspectives in mind. It will also serve the data needs of researchers interested in the comparative analysis of ECP, and its relationship with other aspects of foreign policy and international affairs more broadly. 

Forum for International Cultural Relations

The reports of the External Cultural Policy Monitor are available on the Forum for International Cultural Relations.


Helmut K. Anheier

Senior Professor of Sociology at the Hertie School and member of the Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA

Friedrichstraße 180
D-10117 Berlin

Telephone: +49.30.259219.102

Sarah Widmaier

Scientific Coordinator of ifa’s Research Programme on Culture and Foreign Policy

Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart

Telephone: +49.711.2225.214