Building peace through cultural and citizen diplomacy

Kyriakos Maridakis analyzes an approach to citizen diplomacy that includes his vision for all the countries with a universal spirit of unity.

It demonstrates the power of culture, particularly in collective settings such as festivals, forums “Salaminia international Commemorative event-battle of Salamis 480bc ” to engage citizens in countering violent extremism, against intolerance, antisemitism and all forms of violence, building peace  tolerance, and solidarity and fighting any kind of racism .

He has used a field-based approach. The conclusions presented here are based on his own experiences in Salaminia commemorative event  in 62 embassies as well as hundreds of meetings with Ambassadors,  presidents, royal families and officials. The cultural diplomacy/soft power/hard power framework for this article is based on his own experiences as Head of the diplomatic committee 2011-2024

Culture, especially the Ancient Greek values and ideals – Olympic spirit , has unparalleled and untapped capacity to bring people and nations together across differences in all over the world and to inspire them to envision a positive future for their country, and to work to achieve it.

These studies demonstrate that culture belongs at the center and not the periphery of peace-building. They also show the efficacy of the “leverage local voices” approach to cultural diplomacy. The findings here are based on his experiences.

Based on the findings from these “Salaminia” case studies, local cultural expression and actors should be integrated into efforts to build peace and counter violent extremism.