Grincheva, N. and Stainforth, E. (2024). Geopolitics of Digital Heritage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 9781009182089,

Geopolitics of Digital Heritage analyzes and discusses the political implications of the largest digital heritage aggregators across different scales of governance, from the city-state governed Singapore Memory Project, to a national aggregator like Australia's Trove, to supranational digital heritage platforms, such as Europeana, to the global heritage aggregator, Google Arts & Culture.
These four dedicated case studies provide focused, exploratory sites for critical investigation of digital heritage aggregators from the perspective of their geopolitical motivations and interests, the economic and cultural agendas of involved stakeholders, as well as their foreign policy strategies and objectives.
The Element employs an interdisciplinary approach and combines critical heritage studies with the study of digital politics and communications. Drawing from empirical case study analysis, it investigates how political imperatives manifest in the development of digital heritage platforms to serve different actors in a highly saturated global information space, ranging from national governments to transnational corporations.

Grincheva, N. (2020). Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age. Routledge.
ISBN 9780815369998,

Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age explores online museums as sites of contemporary cultural diplomacy.
Building on scholarship that highlights how museums can constitute and regulate citizens, construct national communities, and project messages across borders, the book explores the political powers of museums in their online spaces. Demonstrating that digital media allow museums to reach far beyond their physical locations, Grincheva investigates whether online audiences are given the tools to co-curate museums and their collections to establish new pathways for international cultural relations, exchange and, potentially, diplomacy. Evaluating the online capacities of museums to exert cultural impacts, the book illuminates how online museum narratives shape audience perceptions and redefine their cultural attitudes and identities.
Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age will be of interest to academics and students teaching or taking courses on museums and heritage, communication and media, cultural studies, cultural diplomacy, international relations and digital humanities. It will also be useful to practitioners around the world who want to learn more about the effect digital museum experiences have on international audiences.

Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy

Grincheva, N. (2019). Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy: Post-Guggenheim Developments. Routledge.
ISBN 9780367787943,

Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy traces the transformation of museums from publicly or privately funded heritage institutions into active players in the economic sector of culture. Exploring how this transformation reconfigured cultural diplomacy, the book argues that museums have become autonomous diplomatic players on the world stage.
The book offers a comparative analysis across a range of case studies in order to demonstrate that museums have gone global in the era of neoliberal globalisation. Grincheva focuses first on the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which is well known for its bold revolutionising strategies of global expansion: museum franchising and global corporatisation. The book then goes on to explore how these strategies were adopted across museums around the world and analyses two cases of post-Guggenheim developments in China and Russia: the K11 Art Mall in Hong Kong and the International Network of Foundations of the State Hermitage Museum in Russia. These cases from more authoritarian political regimes evidence the emergence of alternative avenues of museum diplomacy that no longer depend on government commissions to serve immediate geo-political interests.
Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy will be a valuable resource for students, scholars and practitioners of contemporary museology and cultural diplomacy. Documenting new developments in museum diplomacy, the book will be particularly interesting to museum and heritage practitioners and policymakers involved in international exchanges or official programs of cultural diplomacy.

'Psychopower' of Cultural Diplomacy in the Information Age

Grincheva, N. (2013). "Psychopower" of Cultural Diplomacy in the Information Age. Figueroa Press.
ISBN 9780182155897

"Psychopower" of Cultural Diplomacy in the Information Age focuses on the phenomenon of digital diplomacy, critically analyzed from the perspective of philosophical psychoanalysis. The study aims to elaborate the theoretical underpinnings of digital diplomacy through employing the conceptual framework of collective individuation and psychotechnologies developed by French critical philosopher Bernard Stiegler.
Stiegler’s philosophical conception of contemporary politics under the condition of globalized cultural and economic capitalism is employed in this work to explain the dramatic changes in diplomatic relations taking place on the international arena at the beginning of the new century.

Journal Articles

  1. Grincheva, N. (2023). K11 alternative diplomacies: Penetrating the global arts markets. Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, 10(3), 371–88.

    This article explores structure, motivations and cross-cultural mechanics of operations of alternative cultural diplomacy in China, performed by K11. The K11 Art Mall franchise, opened in Hong Kong in 2008 by Chinese billionaire Adrian Cheng, has established its visible presence in the global arts markets by supporting contemporary Chinese artists and sponsoring major international arts residencies and large-scale events and exhibitions. Deconstructing and exploring the neo-liberal multilateral nature of K11 diplomacy, the research questions how K11 operates and navigates the international communication complexities within the global arts market. It analyses how this diplomacy is different from government-led bilateral cultural diplomacy of China and why it creates less frictions and contradictions on the international level.

  2. Grincheva, N. (2023). The past and future of cultural diplomacy. International Journal of Cultural Policy,

    This article is based on a comprehensive overview of the evolution of the academic literature on cultural diplomacy since its official inception during the midst of the Cold War, in 1959. It draws on mapping, chronology building, and thematic analysis of all scholarship published on cultural diplomacy in the Scopus database, the largest academic database in the world. The research explores how the discipline has evolved, what geographies and thematic areas it covered in the past, and what is the future of this discipline. These explorations start a conversation on cultural diplomacy as an independent academic discipline that most recently has gained a wider and stronger attention and reached a higher stage of scholarly maturity. This article is evidence that the research on CD is rapidly progressing with time, incorporating new thematic areas for exploration as well as covering wider cultural and political geographies. The research findings suggest further trajectories for the development of cultural diplomacy as an academic enquiry, focusing on different diplomatic channels, modes of operation, structures, actors, meanings, and implications.

  3. Grincheva, N. (2022). "Contact zones" of heritage diplomacy: transformations of museums in the (post)pandemic reality. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 29(1), 76–93.

    Tracing transformations in the museum agency under the pressure of the pandemic crisis in 2020, the article conceptualizes museums as dynamic "contact zones" of heritage diplomacy. It explores two foundational components of a contact zone, such as building a social space for a cross-cultural encounter, negotiation and debate as well as offering a platform to address transnational concerns on the heritage decolonization agenda. Drawing on desk research, document analysis and semi-structured interviews with museum professionals, it analyses the case studies of the livestreaming bilateral museum diplomacy and metaverse live heritage pandemic diplomacy, followed by a discussion on the processes of museums decolonization that started to unfold in response to the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement. The research argues that the impact of the digitalization pressures did not only affect the ways, forms, and structures of cross-cultural communications in museums, but also moved them a bit forward in their decolonization processes.

  4. Grincheva, N. (2022). Beyond the scorecard diplomacy: From soft power rankings to critical inductive geography. Convergence, 28(1), 70–91.

    The article interrogates if data visualization, despite its inherited subjectivity, can be used not only as a tool for data representation but also as a research platform to facilitate an iterative exploratory process to identify new themes, raise new questions, and generate new knowledge. It addresses this task by pursuing a twofold research goal. On the one hand, it confirms previous findings that have documented the political power of data visualization specifically in the field of scorecard diplomacy. It critically discusses Portland Soft Power 30 Index that measures soft power of selected countries on the annual basis to reveal how the scorecard diplomacy works through the ranking dashboard. On the other hand, the article reflects on the experience of designing a geo-visualization system that, by contrast, intended to overcome shortcomings of data visualization’s politics to build a platform for an inductive academic research. It discusses a new deep mapping framework of soft power visualization that intended to address several critical problems of Portland’s measurements and shares research insights from the project "Deep Mapping: Creating a Dynamic Web Application Museum Soft Power Map".

  5. Grincheva, N. (2022). City museums in the age of datafication: could museums be meaningful sites of data practice in smart cities?. Museum Management and Curatorship.

    The article documents connections and synergies between city museums’ visions and programming as well as emerging smart city issues and dilemmas in a fast-paced urban environment marked with the processes of increasing digitalization and datafication. The research employs policy/document analysis and semi-structured interviews with smart city government representatives and museum professionals to investigating both smart city policy frameworks as well as city museum's data-driven installations and activities in New York, London and Singapore. A comparative program analysis of the Singapore City Gallery, Museum of the City of New York and Museum of London identifies such sites of data practices as Data storytelling, interpretation and eco-curation. Discussing these sites as dedicated spaces of smart citizen engagement, the article reveals that city museums can either empower their visitors to consider their roles as active city co-makers or see them as passive recipients of the smart city transformations.

  6. Grincheva, N. (2022). Cultural diplomacy under the "digital lockdown": pandemic challenges and opportunities in museum diplomacy. Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, 18(1), 8-11.

    The article analyzes the case of museum diplomacy during the Covid-19 global outbreak to illustrate two important trends that were reinforced in the condition of the pandemic. First, it argues that digital innovations achieved by cultural institutions in their international communication in the conditions of mass closures and national lockdowns significantly accelerated and even further legitimized digital diplomacy. During the Covid-19 crisis, for instance, the volume of digital cultural production and its global consumption rate have dramatically increased, paving more reliable avenues for digital communication and even diplomacy. Second, the pandemics prompted cultural actors to take institutional initiatives and complement official cultural diplomacy exchanges, which due to the travel boundaries either temporarily ceased to exist or considerably slowed down.

  7. Grincheva, N. (2020). Glocal diplomacy of Louvre Abu Dhabi: museum diplomacy on the cross-roads of local, national and global ambitions. Museum Management and Curatorship, 35(1), 89-105.

    Cultural diplomacy has traditionally been a strategic instrument of national governments to achieve foreign policy objectives. Nation states have supported the international missions of museums to promote national cultural ideas and values abroad to pursue strategic geopolitical interests. However, in the twenty-first century the complex process of neoliberal globalisation and political decentralisation have transformed traditional cultural diplomacy based on exclusively national projections. There are new forms, channels and narratives of cultural diplomacy that emerge with the appearance of new types of cultural institutions, such as franchise museums, like Guggenheim Bilbao, Hermitage Amsterdam or Louvre Abu Dhabi. This article explores the case of Louvre Abu Dhabi to exemplify the phenomenon of "glocal" museum diplomacy that rests on global ambitions of the local Abu Dhabi government and at the same time draws on national aspirations of France to strengthen its geopolitical presence and influence in the Middle East. The article identifies multiple museum narratives that transform museum diplomacy from a bilateral, state-initiated strategic activity into a multilateral and multidirectional endeavour engaging stakeholders and audiences on local, national and global levels.

  8. Grincheva, N., & Kelley, R. (2019). Introduction: Non-state Diplomacy from Non-Western Perspectives. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 14(3), 199-208.

    The primary ambition of this special issue of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy1 is to approach a certain segment of the diplomatic universe that has been heretofore overlooked, and yet one could argue it is also more than ever pertinent to the effort to understand geopolitical and cultural impacts on governance in contemporary diplomacy.2 The articles that form "Non-State Diplomacy from Non-Western Perspectives" are foremost joined by their challenge to two prevailing tendencies in diplomatic studies scholarship: first, the interpretation of non-Western practices through a predominantly Western lens; and, following from this, that diplomatic action in these contexts is largely confined to state institutions.

  9. Grincheva, N. (2019). Beyond State versus Non-state Dichotomy: The State Hermitage Museum as a Russian Diplomacy "Hybrid". The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 14(3), 225-249.

    This article explores the overlooked role of museums in the international arena as playing a dual role in cultural diplomacy. It explores the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, to illustrate an emerging "hybrid" form of diplomacy that cannot be strictly defined as "state" or "non-state". Although the article documents strong ties between the Hermitage Museum and the Russian government, it also reveals the Hermitage’s growing capacity to build productive bilateral cultural relationships with foreign partners, bypassing governmental control. Specifically, the article looks at the international network of Hermitage Foundations as a successful museum international outreach and fundraising campaign that significantly contributes to the Russian government’s efforts in cultural diplomacy. This case offers new empirical findings from the non-Western context, exposing the growing role of museums in contemporary diplomacy.

  10. Grincheva, N. (2019). The Form and Content of "Digital Spatiality": Mapping the Soft Power of DreamWorks Animation in Asia. Asiascape: Digital Asia, 6(1-2), 58-83.

    The article explores a series of blockbuster exhibitions of DreamWorks Animation developed by the Australian Centre of the Moving Image (ACMI) in collaboration with one of the largest Hollywood producers. Curated by ACMI, this blockbuster exhibition was designed to provide a behind-the-scenes look into collaborative processes involved in DreamWorks animations. This exhibition travelled across the Asia-Pacific in 2015-2017 and was hosted by a number of museums, such as the ArtScience Museum in Singapore, the Te Papa Museum in New Zealand, the Seoul Museum of Art in South Korea, and the National Taiwan Science and Education Centre in Taiwan. It displayed over 400 unique objects from the studio’s archive "of rare and never before displayed material", such as drawings, models, maps, photographs, posters, and other artworks. The article explores the highly favourable reception to the DreamWorks Animation blockbuster in different cities in Asia. It employs a geo-visualization of Asian engagement with the blockbuster exhibit to reveal and explain local and global mechanisms of "attraction" power, generated by DreamWorks in different Asian countries. Contributing to the special issue, this article engages with two aspects of it: the form, cultural digital mapping; and the content, the nature of media pop culture exemplified through the traveling blockbuster.

  11. Grincheva, N. (2018). Mapping museum "Soft Power": Adding geo-visualization to the methodological framework. Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, 34(4), 730-751.

    The article proposes, justifies, and tests a new methodological framework to measure museum "soft power" by employing geo-visualization as a new method empowered by the rapid development of digital humanities. This research not only demystifies the buzz term of "soft power" that is frequently applied in relation to contemporary museums and their international cultural engagements but also develops an evaluation framework to assess museum capacities to exert global impacts. Specifically, the article draws on the academic scholarship outlining a plethora of approaches for "soft power" evaluation, including Resources, Outputs, Perceptions, and Networks evaluation models. It argues for a new integrative approach that can comprehensively combine different methods to construct a more advanced tool to measure museum "soft power". The article draws on preliminary results of developing a digital mapping system to assess museum soft power. It shares findings from the pilot project, Australian Center of the Moving Image (ACMI) on the Global Map, designed in collaboration with the ACMI in Melbourne.

  12. Grincheva, N. (2018). The "Guggentube" Phenomenon: Breaking the Boundaries of a "Digital Museum" Space. Museum International, 70(1-2), 166-175.

    This article explores the "GuggenTube" phenomenon, which was the result of a collaboration between Google and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to celebrate the five‐year anniversary of YouTube. It proposes a case study of the 2010 YouTube Play creative video contest, which featured worldwide user‐generated content to promote pop video culture in museums. Although it was implemented almost a decade ago, YouTube Play remains one of the few online museum projects with such a large global scope and outreach. The online platform attracted thousands of online participants and millions of followers from around the world. It engaged online audiences in numerous debates on the roles and responsibilities of contemporary museums as well as the meaning and function of art. Through digital ethnography, I will analyse the communicative space of YouTube Play, so as to understand the expectations of online users as to their museum experience in the age of digital interactivity. I will argue that the experimental nature of YouTube Play raised much concern among audiences and questioned its cultural value while involving online visitors in truth‐seeking conversations on contemporary arts. In addition, the facilitating role of YouTube Play, which posed important questions for deliberation and led to thought‐provoking dialogue among international online audiences, will be highlighted in the present article.

  13. Grincheva, N. (2016). Sustainable development in cultural projects: mistakes and challenges. Development in Practice, 26(2), 236-250.

    This article reports on research that analysed a number of sustainable development reports by international organisations which consolidate findings from different countries, to produce evidence of the powerful role of culture in sustainable development of various communities. The research looked at reports on sustainable development through cultural activities published between 2010 and 2013, which together provide an overview of about 80 sustainable development projects. Drawing on analysis of the development indicators approaches utilised by the reports’ authors, this article identifies the main challenges that cultural practitioners and policymakers face when trying to measure changes achieved through cultural support in developing communities. The paper illuminates various inconsistencies in the employment of qualitative and quantitative indicators of development, confusions between development indicators and cultural activities, and misunderstandings of cultural sustainability. These key mistakes lead to incorrect measurement of development changes. This article provides recommendations for how to address these problems in order to develop a more robust framework for development evaluations.

  14. Grincheva, N., & Lu, J. (2016). BRICS summit diplomacy: Constructing national identities through Russian and Chinese media coverage of the fifth BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa. Global Media and Communication, 12(1), 25–47.

    This study identifies, analyses and compares media content produced by Russian and Chinese TV channels surrounding the events of the fifth BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, in 2013. The study utilizes a comparative frame analysis to deconstruct and explain media messages communicated by Russian and Chinese media representing national identities of the countries through the BRICS summit diplomacy. The study discusses important questions with regard to the cultural, political and economic contexts that shape the perceptions of the roles and ambitions of Russia and China on the world stage. The major findings clearly demonstrate that Russian and Chinese media adopted different rhetorical frames to portray their national identities through the media coverage of the fifth BRICS summit. These positions imply an interior (in the case of China) or a straightforward (in the case of Russia) approach to communicate a form of "collective resistance" to the global arena, where the countries seek larger global recognition and appreciation.

  15. Grincheva, N. (2015). "The World Beach Project" Going Viral: Measuring Online Influence - Case Study of the Victoria and Albert Online Museum Project. Journal of Creative Communications, 10(1), 39–55.

    This study aims to explore the influence of social media platforms employed by the internationally recognized museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, in the development and implementation of its famous online participatory project - the World Beach Project. The research looks at the behaviour, size and geographic distribution of international audiences present in various social media spaces of the V&A, particularly in relation to the project. The research intends to assess the influence of social media on the global audience by evaluating online audience engagement with the project through quantitative research, behavioural study and qualitative enquiry. The article consists of two major parts. The first section proposes and explains a theoretical model of online influence-understood in this project as international audience’s engagement with and in the social media spaces of the museum. Drawing on traditional museum visitor studies research and emerging methodological approaches utilized in the online world, this part of the article tries to identify and explain the main metric components of the online audience’s engagement. The second part of the article tests this model and provides detailed analysis of the online project explored in this study through its online outreach across different social media platforms.

  16. Grincheva, N. (2015). Democracy for Export: Museums Connect Program as a Vehicle of American Cultural Diplomacy. Curator, 58(2), 137-149.

    Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and facilitated by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) through the Museums Connect program, Identities: Understanding Islam in a Cross-cultural Context is an exercise of community development and public inclusion from the perspective of cultural diplomacy. The 2009–10 project was a cooperative endeavor between the Museum of History and Holocaust Education (MHHE) at Kennesaw State University, Georgia, USA and the Ben M'sik Community Museum, Hassan II University, Casablanca, Morocco. Drawing on interviews conducted with the AAM managers and project participants, as well as relevant literature, the discussion considers the more important mechanisms of American museum missions and practices as means of achieving American foreign-policy objectives.

  17. Grincheva, N. (2015). BRICS Diplomacy within and beyond Russia: The Fifth BRICS Summit through the Screens of Three Russian Television Channels. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 10(1), 35-69.

    This article explores the discourse around the events of the Fifth brics Summit, as constructed through Russian media coverage across three channels: Russia Today (rt); Channel One Russia (1tv ru); and Russian Television International (rtvi). Through comparative analysis of how the brics Summit was portrayed by different channels, the article aims to highlight the influence of the Russian political discourse, the national media ecology, and the television companies’ missions and agendas in shaping Russia’s image within the brics Summit’s media coverage. The study explores this image through the lens of Russian public diplomacy and tries to evaluate the Russian government’s effectiveness in communicating its political messages to national and international audiences.

  18. Grincheva, N. (2014). Cultural Diplomacy beyond Governmental Control: A Museum Voice in seeding "Imperial" Cosmopolitanism. Political Science Graduate Student Journal, 3, 32-55.

    In this paper I would like to consider Foucault’s critique of institutions as a form of political power by looking at museums, which claim to operate independently on a global scale and indeed seem to be driven exclusively by institutional logic and interests outside the control of their nation states. However, their international communication and global public relations activities have significant implications in international politics and contribute to the official governmental efforts in cultural diplomacy. For example, the Guggenheim museum revolutionized the professional world of museums with new corporate politics of “global” museum franchise, based on the late capitalism logic. Though the Guggenheim has remained quite controversial in the professional museum world in terms of programming, exhibitions, and audience development, it brought significant transformations to the historical development of museums agency around the world through introducing such new processes as corporatization and global expansionism.

  19. Grincheva, N. (2014). The Online Museum: A "Placeless" Space of the "Civic Laboratory". Museum Anthropology Review, 8(1), 1-21.

    Building on Tony Bennett’s (1995) understanding of a museum as a "civic laboratory", this study advances this framework by researching a museum space in a virtual world. It shows that an online museum can be understood as a "placeless" space of a "civic laboratory" by analyzing visitor research methodologies that are utilized online. Through comparison of traditional museum-visitor research tools and methods with the ones that online museum spaces employ, this article seeks to demonstrate that the online museum environment is equipped with a plethora of tools that make it a laboratory-type research setting where visitor studies are conducted. The analysis reveals that the historical development of online museum-audience research has gone through methodological stages similar to those of traditional visitor research.

  20. Grincheva, N. (2014). Epistemological Clashes in Digital Preservation: Virtual "Hospitals for Objects" Versus Online "Meeting Houses". The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, 12(2), 13-22.

    Drawing on the Virtual Museum of the Pacific case study, my research explores epistemological differences between Western and Indigenous Pacific cultural systems of understanding and conceptualization of cultural memory and identity. The article critically analyses the digital repatriation and preservation project "The Virtual Museum of the Pacific", developed by the Australian Museum in 2010. The main goal of this research is to identify and explain some major epistemological problems and cross-cultural misunderstandings which emerged as a result of an attempt to preserve in electronic format the largest ethnographic collection of Pacific cultures.

  21. Grincheva, N. (2013). Scientific Epistemology versus Indigenous Epistemology: Meanings of "Place" and "Knowledge" in the Epistemic Cultures. Logos & Episteme, 4(2), 145-159.

    The article is based on a synthetic comparative analysis of two different epistemic traditions and explores indigenous and scientific epistemic cultures through close reading and exploration of two books. The first book, Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge, written by Austrian sociologist Karin Knorr-Cetina (1999), serves as an excellent foundational material to represent scientific epistemic tradition. The second book by cultural and linguistic anthropologist Keith Basso (1996), Wisdom Sits in Places: Landscape and Language among the Western Apache, opens a wide perspective for exploration indigenous epistemic culture. Both of the books deal with questions of knowledge production and social-cultural mechanisms that surround these processes. The article seeks to explain how the differences between methodological approaches, in their distinct questions, and the variance in research subjects eventually leads the authors to completely dissimilar understandings of such shared notions as "place" and "knowledge". Through the comparative exploration of both texts, the present analysis uncovers the meanings of these notions as articulated and presented in each of the books.

  22. Grincheva, N. (2013). Cultural Diplomacy 2.0: Challenges and Opportunities in Museum International Practices. Museum and Society, 11(1), 39-49.

    This study discusses several issues that museums face when utilizing social media in their international communication. This discussion is framed within the discourse of the new cultural diplomacy and this paper proposes a specific role for museums in cross-cultural diplomatic relations. This new model for contemporary museums as vehicles for a "trans-cultural encounter", or a "forum" is based on the shift within museum institutional structures across communication, educational and political dimensions. Drawing on empirical materials, this study identifies three specific ways in which museums can use social media in their international diplomatic endeavours. The first section discusses how social technology can aid museums in responding to issues and concerns originating from foreign communities. This is followed by a discussion of how social media can connect foreign audiences to the cultural content of museums through direct participation activities. Finally, social media can enhance cultural exchange among people from different cultural communities by bringing them together online for collaborative activities.

  23. Grincheva, N. (2012). Psychotechnologies of Digital Diplomacy. International Review of Information Ethics, 18, 211-216.

    The study outlines the problematic framework of the emerging field of digital diplomacy in the social, cultural, and economic dimensions through a close reading of Stiegler’s philosophical concept of the techno-culture. The research intends to raise important questions regarding international communications in a new light of phenomenology of collective individuation. Stiegler’s philosophical conception of contemporary politics under the condition of globalized cultural and economic capitalism is one way to explain the dramatic changes in diplomatic relations taking place on the global arena at the beginning of the new century. Stiegler’s techno-cultural project has significant implications for digital diplomacy as a practical discipline and can be successfully utilized to improve its future development based on the more productive engagement with social, economic, and political issues in a theoretical context. The study tries to deepen the understanding of the political and economic mechanisms in the international communication and diplomatic activities complicated and challenged with the advance of digital technologies in the global capitalism system.

  24. Grincheva, N. (2012). Digital Diplomacy Rhetoric: International Policy Frame Transformations in Diplomatic Discourse (The Case Study of the UK Digital Diplomacy). ENCATC Journal of Cultural Management and Policy, 2(2), 12-29.

    The research explores the UK digital diplomacy through rhetorical lenses of the European discourse on cultural agenda. The paper utilizes frame analysis to investigate the nature and objectives of digital diplomacy in the political context of the UK. The study argues that the UK as a part of the European Community successfully employs in its diplomatic discourse five rhetorical policy frames developed and promoted by UNESCO and European Commission. These frames help the UK to identify its own diplomatic goals with the international priorities of cultural development and, as a result, aid the country to project its positive image to the outside world. These policy frames include: preservation of cultural heritage, access to creative content, protection of cultural diversity, strengthening intercultural dialogue, as well as fostering development and the creative economy. The study reveals that despite the interactive and participative potential of digital diplomacy to facilitate cross-cultural cooperation, the UK digital diplomacy hardly goes beyond traditional cultural promotion.

  25. Grincheva, N. (2012). How Far Can We Reach? International Audiences in Online Museums Communities. The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, 7(4), 29-42.

    In recent years, museums have added social media to their toolbox of online communication in order to establish interactive two-way contact with their audiences. Social media has become very popular in museums’ online communities because it allows people to interact around ideas conveyed through texts, images, video, audio, and multimedia applications. This interaction creates deeper connections to the cultural content of museums and moves the audience to greater appreciation of museums as social venues. Though social media potentially presents a strong opportunity to reach new audiences and to create communities around museums’ content on a global scale, there is no clarity so far as to how instrumental social media can be to truly engage international audiences. For those museums claiming in their mission statement to serve international audiences, it might be instrumental to track their online visitors from an international perspective. "Who is coming to museums' online communities?", "Where are they from?", "What motivations or goals do they have?", "Do they stay within those communities and how engaged are they?" "What do they bring to the communities from their cultures?"– all these questions and many more can be a meaningful part of the discourse around the use of social media by museums in their international online communities. This study explores the international component of the online museum community by measuring the engagement level of foreign audiences in a participatory online project. The research presents major findings from the analysis of the "Bedroom Secrets" Blog Project, developed by the Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam, Netherlands).

  26. Grincheva, N. (2010). U.S. Arts and Cultural Diplomacy: Post-Cold War Decline and the Twenty-First Century Debate. The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, 40(3), 169-183.

    Within the last years, the U.S. government significantly cut funding for cultural and arts diplomacy. While arts exchanges constitute a core component of public diplomacy in many countries, recently, the U.S. arts diplomacy has not been carried out properly by the government, nor by private or public sectors. Although the international image of the U.S. has shattered, the public is reluctant to urge the government to take a lead in arts diplomacy again. A unique perception of arts in American society, prevalence of democratic and "free market" principles, and dominance of international cultural trade policy keep the debate about the governmental role in arts diplomacy in progress.

Special Issues

  1. Grincheva, N., & Kelley, R. (2019). Non-Western Non-state Diplomacy. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 14(3)
    ISSN 18711901, 1871191X

    The primary ambition of this special issue of The Hague Journal of Diplomacy1 is to approach a certain segment of the diplomatic universe that has been heretofore overlooked, and yet one could argue it is also more than ever pertinent to the effort to understand geopolitical and cultural impacts on governance in contemporary diplomacy.2 The articles that form "Non-State Diplomacy from Non-Western Perspectives" are foremost joined by their challenge to two prevailing tendencies in diplomatic studies scholarship: first, the interpretation of non-Western practices through a predominantly Western lens; and, following from this, that diplomatic action in these contexts is largely confined to state institutions.

Book Chapters

  1. Grincheva, N. (2023). Digital cultural diplomacy: from content providers to opinion makers. In Bjola, C. and Manor, I. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Digital Diplomacy. Oxford University Press.
    Part of ISBN 9780192859198

    The chapter identifies and describes major transformations of cultural diplomacy in the conditions of increasing digitalisation and platformization to propose a new typology of cultural diplomacy actors. Focusing on the roles they play in the global digital space and the power they can accumulate to exert impact, the chapter explores cultural diplomacy actors from the perspective of their involvement in the processes of digital cross-cultural communications. It argues that traditional government actors of cultural diplomacy in the digital realm increasingly become more dependent on cultural institutions and communities who serve as key cultural content providers. Furthermore, their activities in the digital domain are shaped by interfaces, digital capabilities, and algorithms of dominant communication platforms, designed by transnational corporations as main digital infrastructure builders. Finally, they operate in a very dynamic communication space populated by various opinion makers, including individual influencers, who accumulate a significant diplomatic power to shape global discourses. Providing provocative illustrations to describe major functions of each actor, the chapter exposes a highly saturated, heterogeneous, and complex nature of global cross-cultural communications that requires a more nuanced actors’ typology to help its deeper analysis.

  2. Grincheva, N. (2023). "Contact zones" of heritage diplomacy: transformations of museums in the (post)pandemic reality. In Lähdesmäki, T. and Čeginskas, V. (eds) Heritage Diplomacy: Discourses, Imaginaries and Practices of Heritage and Power (pp. 76-93). Routledge.
    Part of ISBN 9781032535029

    Tracing transformations in the museum agency under the pressure of the pandemic crisis in 2020, the article conceptualizes museums as dynamic "contact zones" of heritage diplomacy. It explores two foundational components of a contact zone, such as building a social space for a cross-cultural encounter, negotiation and debate as well as offering a platform to address transnational concerns on the heritage decolonization agenda. Drawing on desk research, document analysis and semi-structured interviews with museum professionals, it analyses the case studies of the livestreaming bilateral museum diplomacy and metaverse live heritage pandemic diplomacy, followed by a discussion on the processes of museums decolonization that started to unfold in response to the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement. The research argues that the impact of the digitalization pressures did not only affect the ways, forms, and structures of cross-cultural communications in museums, but also moved them a bit forward in their decolonization processes.

  3. Fensham, R., Grincheva, N. and Sumner, T. (2023). More Than a Lab: Infra-Structuring the Humanities in the Digital Studio. In Pawlicka-Deger, U. and Thomson, C. (eds) Digital Humanities and Laboratories (pp. 89-104). Routledge.
    Part of ISBN 9781003185932

    This chapter articulates the formation of a responsive epistemic culture of research as “infra-structuring”. It identifies three interrelated components of humanities research practice that (re)define infrastructure in the context of the Digital Studio at the University of Melbourne. This digital laboratory produced an epistemology that became manifest through the critical assemblage of resources, architecturally inflected interdisciplinary research, and a connected intelligence approach that was able to empower sustainable cross-institutional knowledge creation. The chapter also examines a novel case study, its experimentation, and alliances, and in so doing, advocates for the agential and ethical demands of research in the 21st-century humanities.

  4. Grincheva, N. (2023). Cultural Diplomacy. In Gilboa, E. (ed.) A Research Agenda for Public Diplomacy (pp. 205–218). Edward Elgar Publishing.
    Part of ISBN 9781802207316,

    Exploring major focus and key topics of cultural diplomacy current literature, the chapter outlines the future research agenda of this growing academic discipline. First, the chapter explores alternative geographies and agencies of diplomacies that have not been extensively covered in scholarship. It proposes new areas for focused research on macro and micro geographical levels which pertain to diplomacies going beyond states-driven bilateral relationships. Second, understanding cultural diplomacy as a dynamic practice that brings together artists, policy makers, governments and civil society, the chapter conceptualizes transformations caused by the emergence of new technologies, artistic expressions, cultural trends, and arts practices. It demonstrates that while cultural diplomacy is dynamically changing to cope with the pace of all these new developments, there is a growing need to explore more closely new hybrid models and digitally mediated environments of international cultural communications which increasingly engage non-human actors.

  5. Grincheva, N. (2022). The future of cultural diplomacy: From digital to algorithmic. In Jung, Y., Vakharia, N. and Vecco, M. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Arts and Cultural Management (pp. C11.S1-C11.S6). Oxford University Press.
    Part of ISBN 9780197621615,

    This chapter conceptualizes changes in arts management practices from the perspective of cultural diplomacy, which has experienced significant transformations in the age of increasing digitalization. It explores and illustrates how new media technologies and data practices recalibrate the context in which cultural diplomacy operates by reshaping the medium of artistic communication, empowering new actors and equipping them with new tools to establish, deliver, maintain, and assess their global communication campaigns. The chapter identifies and describes three key aspects of cultural diplomacy transformations: virtualization, algorithmization, and datafication. Exploring the current cultural diplomacy activities reflected through institutional and government reports and press releases, the chapter offers a bird’s-eye view of global arts practices to critically reflect on the new dimension of cultural diplomacy.

  6. Grincheva, N. (2022). Making museum global impacts visible: Advancing digital public humanities from data aggregation to data intelligence. In Schwan, A. and Thomson, T. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Digital and Public Humanities (pp. 397–419). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
    Part of ISBN 9783031118852,

    The chapter pursues two goals: first, it aims to situate big data analysis within the growing field of digital humanities; second, it employs an empirical exploration of the project "Deep Mapping" to discuss and demonstrate challenges and opportunities of the recent advancements in the big data digital humanities, specifically in the field of cultural geo-visualization. It identifies and examines three foundational levels of digital humanities research practices which include (1) Data Aggregation, (2) Data Visualization, and (3) Data Intelligence. Each of these levels forms a progression of the digital public humanities research from the mere capture of cultural data to its strategic employment for generating new insights to forecast development of a specific digital phenomenon, object, or process. Drawing on this framework, the chapter conceptualizes big data curation within digital humanities as an area of research and practice that entails a strong engagement with the wider public beyond academia.

  7. Grincheva, N. (2020). Is there a Place for a Crowdsourcing in Multilateral Diplomacy? Searching for a New Museum Definition: ICOM versus the world of museum professional. In Bjola, C. and Zaiotti, R. (eds) Digital Diplomacy and International Organisations (pp. 74–98). Routledge.
    Part of ISBN 9781003032724,

    This chapter explores the practice of crowdsourcing in global governance as a tool of multilateral diplomacy to interrogate its exact role and place in the decision-making processes. It investigates the case of the online cultural diplomacy of the International Commission of Museums (ICOM), focusing on the 2019 crowdsourcing campaign delivered by the ICOM’s Standing Committee for Museum Definition, which aimed to collect public contributions to re-define the museum agency in the 21st century. The chapter draws on media discourse analysis of the public debates concerning the new definition and applies content analysis of the 268 definitions submitted by the public to the ICOM’s official online platform. It also features interview insights from the MDPP Committee Chair. Based on key findings, the chapter argues that in the context of ICOM, multilateralism 2.0 remains a desirable vision rather than a reality.

  8. Grincheva, N. (2020). Museums as Actors of City Diplomacy: From "Hard" Assets to "Soft" Power. In Amiri, S. and Sevin, E. (eds) City Diplomacy. Palgrave Macmillan Series in Global Public Diplomacy (pp. 111-136). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
    Part of ISBN 9783030456146,

    Historically, museums have earned their dedicated role as important agents of cultural diplomacy. In the age of increasing urbanization, museums have become important center of urban soft power and actors of city diplomacy. This chapter argues that museums are vital actors of city diplomacy, because of a high cultural and economic value of their "hard" or tangible resources and "soft" power of their social activities that engage global audiences and facilitate international cultural relations. This chapter discusses this framework of museum diplomacy resources and outputs in two main sections. The first section focuses on "hard" assets of museums such as collections and facilities. It explains why and how the cultural infrastructure offered by museums play an important role in city diplomacy, especially in place making and city branding. The second section explores soft power generated by museums through their social activities and programming that help activate cultural resources and transform them into diplomatic outputs.

  9. Grincheva, N. (2020). Deep Mapping: Creating a Dynamic Web Application Museum "Soft Power" Map. In Jacobs, H. and Fischer, B. (eds) Visualizing Objects, Places, and Spaces: A Digital Project Handbook. The MIT Press Online.

    The project employs Geographical Information Technologies to develop a pilot version of the digital mapping system "Museum Soft Power Map". This digital system offers a new computation research method to explore contemporary museums and geography of their influence. It geo-visualises museum "soft power", defined as an institutional ability to mobilise global public, generate economic activity, and attract international investments.

  10. Grincheva, N. (2018). Researching Online Museums: Digital Methods to Study Virtual Visitors. In levenberg, l., Neilson, T. and Rheams, D. (eds) Research Methods for the Digital Humanities (pp. 103–128). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
    Part of ISBN 9783319967127,

    Digital ethnography can be used to study online audiences and virtual communities built around museum content. Virtual museum visitors can participate in online museum spaces, including interactive online galleries, virtual three-dimensional museum simulators, or museum profiles on social network sites or blogs. These online environments can include recording tools, to trace all of the activities of the users and to display all of the visible records. This chapter discusses challenges, ethical implications, and online research opportunities of the digital ethnographic methodology employed to study online museum audiences. It illustrates the method through empirical studies of online communities at internationally recognized museums. Digital ethnographic research conducted in online museum communities can inform Digital Humanities and incorporate perspectives from visitor studies.

  11. Grincheva, N. (2018). Global PR that works: The Case of the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia. In Stevenson, D. (ed.) Managing Organisational Success in the Arts (pp. 127-146). Routledge.
    Part of ISBN 9781315185729,

    This chapter offers a case study of the Hermitage International Network of Foundations analysed through the lens of Bourdieu's theory on bonding, bridging and linking social capital. It illustrates how nurturing long-term social connections at an institutional and personal levels helps the Hermitage to generate economic revenue in support of its development programs. It is important to stress that the success of the Hermitage's global public relations (PR) should first of all be attributed to the institutional focus on establishing strong relationships with different types of constituencies, rather than merely seeking new sources of revenue. The chapter discusses the conceptual framework and environmental context, three key sections identify, explore and explain various types of constituency of the Hermitage's international PR. Organizational PR is usually based on communication with internal and external publics in order to achieve positive long-term relationships that can help to reach organizational goals and satisfy societal expectations.

  12. Grincheva, N. (2017). Museum Ethnography in the Digital Age: Ethical Considerations. In Zimmer, M. and Kinder-Kurlandan, K. (eds) Internet Research Ethics for the Social Age (pp. 187-194). Peter Lang.
    Part of ISBN 9781433142673

    As a digital museum ethnographer, I would like to devote this chapter to sharing my personal experience in addressing ethical considerations while conducting research on museum visitors’ behavior in online spaces. My research looks at online museums as important sites of cross-cultural communication. These sites project powerful political and cultural messages across borders and engage not only local but predominantly international audiences. Captivated by the diversity of online museum programs that connect people across the globe, opening up virtual spaces for cross-cultural learning, and immersing online visitors into educational experiences, I traveled the world to conduct a number of case studies. I researched digital spaces of large international museums in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Singapore. My ethnographic research revealed that museum online communities as social interactive worlds can be powerful tools of cultural representation or mis-representation, sites of memory and identity construction, and building citizenry or political battlegrounds of resistance and social riots. Online museums can build unique "bridges" among communities for improving intercultural competence and tolerance or, in contrast, can invoke religious and cultural wars. These insights and findings were possible due to immersive ethnographic research within different digital museum spaces. I explored various online museum communities and collected and analyzed a large amount of textual and visual data demonstrating various behaviors of online "museum goers".

  13. Grincheva, N. (2017). Sustainable Fundraising in the 21st Century: Behind the Scenes of the Global Guggenheim Success. In Jung, Y. and Love, N. (eds) Systems Thinking in Museums: Theory and Practice (pp. 181-190). Rowman & Littlefield.
    Part of ISBN 9781442279230

    While much has been written already about the Bilbao effect in terms of economic impacts,11 there is no dedicated research yet that would explain why the Guggenheim Bilbao phenomenon came into existence and what external forces and consequences directly contributed to its development. Moreover, it is even more fascinating to find out how this successful economic experiment influenced the Guggenheim’s further development. Did the Bilbao effect have an essential impact on the Guggenheim’s global growth? If so, how exactly did this phenomenon aid the museum to pursue its mission on the global scale? Applying a systems thinking approach, this chapter looks at the Guggenheim Foundation as an open system that continuously interacts with the external environment and constantly "adjusts to a new equilibrium if a change occurs in the way the parts are arranged" within a larger context.12 Understanding global economic reality as external environment in which museums operate, the chapter looks at the Guggenheim as a complex system within a larger economic reality, going far beyond the US context. It explores how stepping outside the local borders by developing a franchising network across different countries expanded the Guggenheim’s opportunities and brought fundraising practices to a new global level. The chapter analyses the Guggenheim example to demonstrate that staying attuned to global economic changes, or in other words, adequately adjusting the museum’s system to changes in a larger environment, has a profound impact upon institutional development. The Guggenheim case illustrates how a strategic reconfiguration of fundraising approaches in the twenty-first century can help large and internationally known museums to tap into resources available for them in the global context.

  14. Grincheva, N. (2016). Museum dimension of American "Soft Power": Genealogy of cultural diplomacy institutions. In Chambers, M. (ed.) "Hearts and Minds": US Cultural Management in Foreign Relations in the 21st Century (pp. 125-164). Peter Lang.
    Part of ISBN 9783631667309

    Through a genealogical analysis of such a phenomenon as an American museum this chapter traces the core philosophical ideals of the American democratic tradition and a national belief in the institutional destiny of the U.S. museums. Drawing on the genealogy, as a Foucauldian method (1984) to trace "origins" and to question them on deeper levels, my work looks at the origins of the foundational principles that made American museums powerful projectors of philosophical ideals of American democracy, exceptionalism, and cosmopolitanism.

  15. Grincheva, N. (2015). Singapore Memory Project: Producing Public Memory Through Social Media. In Gordon, E. and Mihailidis, P. (eds) Civic Media Project. The MIT Press Online.

    Drawing on the Habermas theory of public sphere and communicative action, the paper looks at the Singapore Memory Project as an online social space representing two different communicative rationales, describing the social dimension of the online mass communication processes: strategic "colonization" and public "emancipation". On the one hand, the "democratic" participative nature of the social media platform enacts the "communicative action of the life world" (emancipation), which contains ethical rationality, enabling participation of various social and cultural groups in "uncontrolled" media representation. In this regard, the social media space of the Singapore Memory Project can be understood as a cultural public sphere, where representatives of various cultural communities and traditions can share their identity, contest their cultural voice, and get an access to the media tools for cultural self-representation.

  16. Grincheva, N. (2012). Canada’s Got Treasures! Constructing National Identity through Cultural Participation. In Austen, S., Bishop, Z., Deventer, K., Lala, R. and Ramos, M. (eds) The Cultural Component of Citizenship. (pp. 79-99). Brussels: European House for Culture.
    Part of ISBN 9789081140461

    Digital diplomacy is widely accepted in Canada and has been extensively utilised through building and sustaining the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) . The network offers a wide variety of online programs and provides interactive resources such as the Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) . "Canada’s Got Treasures" is an online portal developed by the VMC in cooperation with national heritage institutions including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Canadian War Museum, the National Gallery of Canada, and others. Using popular social media networks, such as YouTube and Flickr, the project aims to build an online interactive repository of Canadian national heritage through contributions by national cultural institutions, as well as by ordinary Canadians. Interested individuals are invited to take part in the project by contributing their own personal photos and videos to the online collection of national treasures and thus share their personal understanding of Canadian heritage. This paper argues that the "Canada’s Got Treasures" web portal is an interactive communication tool of the CHIN for national identity construction and promotion of the ideas of Canadian collective culture, as well as national citizenship and patriotism. Through a detailed content analysis and rhetorical discourse analysis of this cultural heritage portal, this project seeks to identify and examine social and political mechanisms of national identity construction employed by the VMC.

Media Articles & Research Blogs

  1. Grincheva, N. (2024). Digital "history machines" are never politically neutral. Pursuit. January 29.
  2. Grincheva, N. (2023). Cultural analytics: Machine learning and understanding the Korean Wave (Hallyu). The Academic. September 19.
  3. Grincheva, N. (2023). What’s in a name? Political euphemisms around Cultural Diplomacy. ENCATC Magazine, Issue 5. July 28.
  4. Grincheva, N. (2023). Translating data into soft power. Pursuit. January 9.
  5. Grincheva, N. (2020). "Connected intelligence" for gender equity: Enhancing teaching through research and industry engagements in the pandemic crisis. Academia Letters, Article 2632.
  6. Grincheva, N. (2020). Museums in Cyberspace. Pursuit. May 18.
  7. Grincheva, N. (2019). Treading softly in power diplomacy. Pursuit. September 13.
  8. Grincheva, N. (2019). The Geo-Visualisation of Australian Soft Power: From Measuring to Forecasting. Australian Outlook. July 14.
  9. Grincheva, N. (2019). The Soft Power of Smart Cities: The Giant Missing Bit. Australian Outlook. May 15.
  10. Grincheva, N. (2019). Digital Sensations: New generation of innovative solutions advancing digital curation. Guest video blog post for the Digital Curation Center. February 24.
  11. Grincheva, N. (2019). Understanding Museum Soft Power. Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network Case Studies. February 5.
  12. Grincheva, N. (2018). Putting museum power on the map. Pursuit. December 5.
  13. Grincheva, N. (2018). Turning Geo-Spatial Museum Data into a Soft Power Evaluation Tool. Guest post for the American Alliance of Museums, Center for the Future of Museums Blog. December 5.
  14. Grincheva, N. (2018). Demystifying museum soft power: geo-visualizing museums' influence. Guest post for the Center on Public Diplomacy Blog. October 18.
  15. Grincheva, N. (2017). Looking back to move forward: Museum technology in the age of the BIG data. Award Scholar Post for the Museum Computer Network Blog. December 18.
  16. Grincheva, N. (2012). Canada’s Got Treasures. MM Nieuws. December 25.