The international order is changing. According to the UK’s Integrated Review intensifying competition between states over interests, norms and values is one of the key foreign policy challenges the world faces over the next decade.

A key question for the UK is how best to respond to these new conditions. In particular, how can it manage its international relationships in a way which minimizes tensions and keeps open channels for dialogue and co-operation?

Cultural relations emphasise building mutual trust and understanding between actors from different countries as the basis for securing positive, mutually beneficial, long-term, and sustainable transnational relationships.

New research commissioned by the British Council demonstrates how this approach builds a resilient platform for maintaining international dialogue and co-operation in the current geopolitical climate.

The research draws on the work of the British Council, the Goethe Institut, Institut Français, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State (ECA) in a range of countries, including Russia, China, Turkey, Indonesia and Libya.

A short podcast is available to listen to below. The podcast transcript, report and report summary are also available to download below. 

Authors: ICR Research and Partners