Dr Carla Figueira

Staff details

Position Director MA Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy | Director MA Cultural Policy and Tourism
Email c.figueira (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7553
Dr Carla Figueira

Carla Figueira, BA MA PhD FHEA FRSA, is an academic in the field of international cultural relations and cultural and linguistic policies. She is the Director of the MA in Cultural Policy, Relations and Diplomacy and of the MA in Tourism and Cultural Policy at the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Carla is an international relations graduate of the Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Políticas, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa (Portugal), she moved to London after a career in arts management. In the UK, she went on to gain an MA in Arts Management (City University, UK, Chevening Scholar) and a PhD in Cultural Policy and Management (City University, UK, Praxis XXI Scholar).

Carla is a member of ENCATC, the leading European network on Cultural Management and Cultural Policy education and a member of the British International Studies Association. She is a Chevening Alumna and Buddy.

Academic qualifications

  • PhD in Cultural Policy and Management (City University, UK, Praxis XXI Scholar)
  • MA in Arts Management (City University, UK, Chevening Scholar)
  • Bachelor’s degree (Licenciatura) in International Relations, with specialisation in Cultural and Political Relations (ISCSP, Lisbon, Portugal)

Teaching and Supervision

Research interests

In parallel with her academic career, Carla Figueira is a researcher at the cultural consultancy International Intelligence on Culture and a trustee of Arts Cabinet – Art and Enquiry, a charity raising awareness of the critical state of cultural production through arts and culture exchange programmes that draw on challenges posed by global issues.

She is also an experienced arts manager, having worked, for almost a decade, for the Department of Culture of the Municipality of Lisbon, Portugal. Her last position there was Director of the Municipal Sound Library, heading a team of 13 staff. From 2009 to 2011, Carla was the Co-ordinator of the UK Committee of the European Cultural Foundation.

Carla is involved in different networks and platforms related to international cultural relations and cultural policy.

She initiated in 2011 the JISCmail open listing International Cultural Relations Multidisciplinary Forum currently with over 200 international subscribers; as well as the more recent Cultural Tourism and Policy Forum. (Please subscribe to the listings and contribute with your posts if you are interested in these areas.)

Besides being a member of ENCATC’s Europe International group, through which she delivers annually cultural relations and diplomacy academies since 2012, Carla has close associations with other cultural policy and arts management networks worldwide: the Association of Arts Administration Educators; ANCER, the Asia Pacific’s Network for Cultural Education and Research; and the Taiwan Association of Cultural Policy Studies TACPS.

She is also a member of two networks interested in cultural diplomacy, which originated in the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council funded programme Translating Cultures: Understanding the Role of Cultural Products in Cultural Diplomacy and Diplomatic Cultures.



Figueira, Carla. 2013. Languages at War: External Language Spread Policies in Lusophone Africa: Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau at the Turn of the 21st Century. Peter Lang GmbH. ISBN 978-3631644362

Book Section

Figueira, Carla and Fullman, Aimee. 2019. Rethinking Cultural Relations and Exchange in the Critical Zone. In: Victoria Durrer and Raphaela Henze, eds. Managing Culture: Reflecting on Exchange in our Global Times. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave, pp. 319-339. ISBN 9783030246457

Figueira, Carla. 2018. Cultural policy between and beyond nation-states: the case of Lusofonia. In: Victoria Durrer; T Miller and David O'Brien, eds. The Routledge Handbook of Global Cultural Policy. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 133-147. ISBN 9781138857827

Figueira, Carla. 2015. Cultural Diplomacy and the 2005 UNESCO Convention. In: Christiaan De Beukelaer; Miikka Pyykkönen and J P Singh, eds. Globalization, culture and development: the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137397621


Figueira, Carla. 2020. Indigenous Peoples as Non-State Diplomatic Actors in the Public/Cultural Diplomacy of Taiwan: A Case Study of Dispossessions: Performative Encounter(s) of Taiwanese Indigenous Contemporary Art. International Journal of Taiwan Studies, 3(1), pp. 62-92. ISSN 2468-8797

Figueira, Carla. 2018. You may say I am a dreamer. Alliance for Global Cultural Relations,

Figueira, Carla. 2017. Policy Perspective: A Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council: Towards an EU Strategy for International Cultural Relations (2016) by the European Commission. Cultural Trends, 26(1), pp. 81-85. ISSN 0954-8963

Figueira, Carla and Fullman, Aimee. 2016. The role of higher education in the professionalization and education of future leaders in international/external cultural relations. "Cultural Management Education in Risk Societies - Towards a Paradigm and Policy Shift?!” Conference Proceedings 2016, pp. 151-167.

Figueira, Carla. 2016. Would you vote for a Eurovision Brexit? The Conversation,

Figueira, Carla. 2015. Persuasion and power in the modern world (Review). Cultural Trends, 24(2), pp. 178-182. ISSN 0954-8963

Figueira, Carla. 2014. Cultural diplomacy and cultural imperialism: European perspective(s) (Review). International Journal of Cultural Policy, 20(4), pp. 513-515. ISSN 1028-6632

Conference or Workshop Item

Figueira, Carla. 2015. 'A cultura nas relações externas: reflexões sobre política e prática'. In: Seminário sobre Ação Cultural Externa. Portugal.


Figueira, Carla; Edney, Kingsley; Wastnidge, Edward; Yablokov, Ilya and Grayson, Kyle. 2016. Soft Power in World Politics: discussion at the Political Studies Association 2016 conference in Brighton (22 March 2016).


Raj Isar, Yudhishthir; Fisher, Rod; Figueira, Carla; Helly, Damien; Schneider, Mirjam and Smits, Yolanda. 2014. Engaging The World: Towards Global Cultural Citizenship. Project Report. European Union.

Further profile content

Grants and awards

2018: Goldsmiths Student-Led Award for Challenging and Inspiring Teaching
This award recognises someone who encourages self learning, debate and critical thinking amongst students.

Featured Work and Areas of Supervision

Includes the participation in a EU project mapping the use of culture in external relations, informing the future EU strategy: Preparatory Action Culture in EU External Relations.
Carla is committed to celebrating Goldsmiths’ culturally and linguistically diverse community. She runs the Learn a Language initiative, with her colleague Dr Sarah Maitland, and in collaboration with the Goldsmiths Students’ Union International Students’ Officer. Learn a Language is a tandem / buddy language learning and language development scheme aimed at cementing, augmenting and enhancing the foreign language skills of students and staff at Goldsmiths. It also develops intercultural competencies and celebrates Goldsmiths’ super-diverse community.
The initiative builds on an ICCE language board launched by Carla in 2013 that encouraged the students in the department to improve language skills in foreign languages and make new friends. Since March 2017, the initiative was broadened to the whole of the Goldsmiths student and staff community.

Carla is interested in international cultural relations as a transdisciplinary field, as well as being interested in the areas of cultural policy and arts management and in language policy.
Her research interests encompass several academic disciplines, including international studies, history, cultural studies, sociology, linguistics and psychology. Keywords she has used to describe her work include: cultural diplomacy, cultural relations, sociolinguistics, language-spread policies, international cultural policy, international organisations, hegemony, soft power.
Carla is available to supervise postgraduate students in the above areas. She is currently supervising PhD candidates working on the cultural policy and cultural diplomacy of Taiwan and on translation as a tool of cultural diplomacy.