Instrumentation and International Relations: Music as a Major Key in Cultural Diplomacy




Williams, Madalyn Marie

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Cultural diplomacy is a well-understood aspect of international relations, but music’s integral role in geopolitics is not as thoroughly studied and generally accepted. Music and international relations are usually not thought of in the same realm; interacting perhaps, but not with a causal effect. However, when viewed through the lens of cultural diplomacy, one can explore political events not only as they relate to music, but as music affects them. My thesis examines the use of music as a tool of cultural diplomacy in international relations, both in a historical and contemporary context, and contends that music has had concrete effects in geopolitics. By using both primary and secondary texts to study events such as the Americanization of post-World War II West Germany, the political implications of the Eurovision Song Contest, and the emerging effects of a music conservatory that exclusively accepts students from the Middle East, my thesis reveals the clear effects that music has had and is having in international relations – and how music can be used in the future of the field.



international relations, cultural diplomacy, foreign affairs, music, jazz, Rock 'n' roll, Eurovision, Barenbo, Honors College


Williams, M. M. (2020). Instrumentation and international relations: Music as a major key in cultural diplomacy (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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