Cultural relations graphic design depicting icons of the world, buildings, speech bubbles and map points
The Cultural Relations Collection brings together thematic essays reflecting on the theory and practice of international cultural relations. Image ©

British Council


The Cultural Relations Collection includes a series of essays exploring the role of cultural relations in responding to global environmental challenges. Through these essays, academics and thinkers offer new insights and perspectives on the climate conversation, by viewing climate challenges and responses through a ‘cultural relations lens’. They also explore the various contributions that cultural relations can make to climate action.

Key insights

  • Climate change can be understood as a cultural relations challenge; viewing climate change through a ‘cultural relations lens’ can highlight new responses and solutions. 
  • The climate emergency cannot be addressed by technical responses and innovations alone; it requires a socio-cultural response, inclusive of culture and education.
  • International cultural relations programmes and interventions can foster the mutual understanding, trust and co-operation required to support global climate action.

Supporting young people

By collaborating directly with early-career researchers in the UK, the Cultural Relations Collection offers a platform for the next generation of academic leaders to share their ideas and perspectives on cultural relations and climate action.

Contributing to climate action

As part of public showcases and discussions, including policy roundtables and conferences at COP26 and beyond, the Cultural Relations Collection will support future dialogue between academics, practitioners and policy makers on how to bring new perspectives to the climate conversation. 

Reinforcing COP26 priorities

The collection showcases the valuable role the UK higher education sector can play in enhancing our understanding of the cultural aspects of climate change and in contributing to a holistic, global understanding of climate change issues. 

Who’s involved?

Contributions are provided by UK-based academics, including many early-career researchers. The series is edited by Michael Mikulewicz (Centre for Climate Justice at Glasgow Caledonian University) and Neil JW Crawford (School of Geography Priestley International Centre for Climate, University of Leeds).

Why the British Council?

The British Council can apply the questions, themes and challenges raised through the essays –  in relation to cultural relations and climate change and action – directly to our work across the arts, education and the English language, strengthening our impact and creating a direct link between research and cultural relations practice.

See also