Giorgio Andrian (Università degli Studi di Padova)
Alberto Lanzavecchia (Università degli Studi di Padova)


Course description
The growing numbers of conflicts affecting various parts of the world require a more structured diplomatic approach to properly face them. No longer States (and their traditional approaches) alone are capable to manage a growing geopolitical complexity; in fact, new actors (e.g. NGOs, Universities, large companies) are becoming relevant stakeholders.
In particular, cultural and natural heritage are becoming stakes of growing importance and, in many places also reasons of potential conflicts.
The course will combine an initial part dedicated on the main theoretical and operational frameworks on human right-based approach to the international relationship and their conflict resolution role.
The central part of the course is designed to provide students with a series of four case studies of international relevance for the cultural diplomacy and human rights. Each of them will be illustrated with the help of international experts and analyzed from a critical point of view, considering alternative solutions and their respective relevance for the local economies.
The final part will guide students to work within groups, each of them focused on a self-selected different case study.

Structure of the course
The course is structured in three modules, dedicated to specific cases.
After a general introduction on the main principles of the Cultural Diplomacy and Human Rights (module I), a central part of the course (module II) is dedicated to the analyses specific case studies from different parts of the world, namely: (1) the City of Bethlehem (Palestine) and its tangible and intangible heritage; (2) the Omo Valley (Ethiopia) and how damming the Omo River could stop the flow of Ethiopia’s cultural diversity;
(3) the Mount Moroto (Karamoja), a pilot project for a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; (4) Yasuni UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (Ecuador) and the Murchison Falls National Park (Uganda), where the fatal trade-offs between economic development and the destruction of bio-diversity and climate change drivers emerge.
The final module (III) is focused on the students' working groups and the presentation of their assignments.

Course organization and supervision
The overall structure of the course and its thematic organization has been designed by Alberto Lanzavecchia and Giorgio Andrian (University of Padova). For each of the specific module, external experts will be invited to share her/his own experience with the students.

Course Requirements
Students will be expected to do the required readings and to attend class regularly. Attendance is compulsory for all students. Required readings will be designated on each module basis according to the themes listed in the course outline. Students will be also encouraged to find additional material for their final project by searching the Internet and accessing suggested websites.
Co-curricular activities: Additional thematic seminars will be organized (e.g Venice as World Heritage site). Field trips to visit nearby World Heritage sites (e.g. Padova) will be organized.

Class participation – Overall class participation, in terms of both attendance and interaction, will count for 30% of the final grade.
Midterm assignments will be given on individual basis – 30% of the final grade
Final project – There will be a group project to develop, to present in a written group report and through an oral presentation in class – 40% of the final grade.


Last updated: May 11, 2023


Isola di San Servolo
30133 Venice,

phone: +39 041 2719511
fax:+39 041 2719510

VAT: 02928970272