Research Project at the Centre
Culture as 'Relational Resource' for Conflict Resolution and Global Cooperation
Scholars and practitioners have begun to recognize the value of culture as a resource for resolving conflict, but current major ways of conceptualizing culture tend to either overstate cultural difference or subsume it within cosmopolitan schema. Such problems in part arise because culture is a paradoxical and puzzling phenomenon, and thus not particularly amenable to dominant ways of knowing or expectations about what knowledge should achieve. This project contributes to developing transcultural cooperation by theorizing the 'relational' dimensions of culture, beginning from the ways in which cultural difference is formed in relationship and yet is no less significant for being formed in this way. It recalibrates existing ways of knowing culture by turning its apparent unknowability to an advantage rather than a problem to be solved, including by engaging with non-western ways of knowing and world views. By doing so it shows that culture is a crucial yet frequently overlooked phenomenon in the pursuit of global cooperation, and extends the basis for viewing cultural difference as a resource rather than a problem in conflict resolution.