Last week the British Council published ‘The Art of Peace: the value of culture in post-conflict recovery’ as part of their Policy Insight series which is intended to further debate and understanding of the role of cultural relations in international affairs. The booklet is a summary document deriving from earlier work undertaken by CCSE which was commissioned on the basis of a successful response to a British Council tender opportunity. The full-length report ‘A Review of the Contribution of Arts and Culture to Global Security and Stability’ comprises a wide-ranging review of both academic and grey literature examining the ways in which arts and culture can be leveraged to address security, stability concerns and, feed into to processes of conflict resolution and reconciliation. In addition, 3 country case studies are discussed. These shed light on the practice-based approaches that have been utilised in the chosen settings (Rwanda, Columbia and Syria); here, we were able to draw upon the specific expertise and interests of two of the University’s doctoral researchers. Finally, we produced a mapping document, intended to function as a point of reference and insight into work ongoing globally in related areas.

This original report has been well received and we’ve been pleased to hear that it’s been widely distributed and positively impactful both within the British Council and across their network of colleagues, partners and collaborators. However, if we’re honest, we can also admit that the readership for this research is never likely to be particularly large. It is for this reason that we are very pleased that the British Council has produced ‘The Art of Peace’ which is presents a concise, accessible summary of our research work and situates it clearly within the context-framework of its own activities and remit.

This process is greatly beneficial, not only for us as researchers interested in ensuring an audience for our work; it also provides food for thought. For instance, what is the most appropriate way for us to package and present our work so that others might read, enjoy and engage with it (and, perhaps, with us)? And, what’s the most efficient and effective way for us to approach this conundrum? These questions are of significance for CCSE as co-production and partnership are very deliberate elements of our collaborative approach. These are questions that arise on a regular basis for us and, we’re always searching for ways to answer them. On this occasion, the British Council has highlighted one of the possible responses.

‘The Art of Peace’ can be downloaded here.