culture - peacebuilding & conflict transformationConflict, when dealt with by constructive peaceful means such as dialogue and cultural activities, can help to lead us towards liberty, rule of law, justice and respect for individual human rights. Building healthy relationships between states, as well as engaging with and promoting grassroots confidence and dialogue in conflict areas, is frequently one of the most inspiring sources of learning, development and change.

However, difference and change are often managed by means of physical violence. This is compounded by cultural violence: social exclusion; polarisation, e.g. in media; a distortion of historical facts portraying ethnic purity, e.g. in school textbooks; adopting a single language policy as a means of marginalisation and an attack on the very identity and values of non-dominant groups or individuals. Given these two sides of the coin, what can we do?

Our Expertise

  • identifying the practical impact of the ambivalence of culture on peace and conflict processes
  • reviewing contemporary strategies and the state of the art in cultural foreign diplomacy
  • providing orientation of current efforts and the broader field to diplomats and decision-makers
  • linking cultural foreign diplomacy policy with processes of reconciliation and dealing with the past
  • strengthening inter-cultural youth programmes