This report contributes a significant addition to existing research. It deepens our understanding of the role of Eurovision and mega-events more broadly in international relations, peace, place, and too in 'soft power', and it explores the special moment of Liverpool and Ukraine collaborating to host Eurovision 2023.
In partnership with Liverpool City Council and the UK's Department for Culture, Media and Sport, we commissioned this research to respond to a series of questions:
- The story of Eurovision 2023 and what was learnt from the UK hosting on behalf of Ukraine?
- What is Eurovision’s role in developing and crystallising shared values?
- What is the role of culture in conflict and does Eurovision play a contributing role?
- Which brands (such as the BBC) are pivotal in adding credibility when we talk about values?
- Does Eurovision create ‘soft power’ effects such as future visits, new business opportunities, and reputation uplifts?
The research project was led by the University of Hull in collaboration with consultants from the University of Brighton, the University of Glasgow, and Royal Holloway (University of London).
Read the research reports
For a quick overview, read the executive summary.
Read the accompanying literature review
About the research
When commissioning this research, we knew there was more existing research on the soft power uses of sports events than the role of cultural events, or of their cultural relations potential. This is a rich research project contributing to the evidence in this area, responding to the broad questions listed above which take you from questions about the story of Liverpool hosting with Ukraine, to the role of Eurovision (and mega-events) during times of conflict.
The report focuses in on Eurovision 2023, and includes an analysis of stakeholder interviews, an international survey in five countries, and an overview of the literature review. The accompanying literature review is available as a separate document and is an excellent resource looking back through the history of the Eurovision Song Contest to explore themes of soft power, cultural relations, nation/city branding, international politics, art and peacebuilding, and the role of mega-events.
As conveyed in the title of the report 'culture, place and partnership' a key legacy of Eurovision 2023 is its place-based approach, commitment to community engagement and authentic UK/Ukraine co-creation in ways that signal a new way forward for the event. The report also celebrates EuroFestival — a two week cultural programme which engaged with local communities, and showcased UK/Ukrainian partnerships, facilitated by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute as a legacy of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture.
The report suggests recommendations for Liverpool and the culture sector, future Eurovision hosts, participating broadcasters and for future research.
We hope you enjoy the research. We welcome any comments or feedback — share them with us by completing this online form.