Policy Reports

UNU-GCM 01/01. A Historical Overview of the Relationship Between 'Intercultural Dialogue' and Associated Terminology in UN-level Documents in the Mid to Late Twentieth Century

This report takes an overview of the UN-level discourse in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) relating to the notion of 'intercultural dialogue', with a primary focus upon UNESCO and UNAOC. It examines the development of the notion of intercultural dialogue alongside that of the connected concepts of 'Dialogue of Civilizations', 'Dialogue Among Civilizations' and 'Alliance of Civilizations'. It examines printed documents and speeches to trace the evolution of the term through the bodies in question. It proposes that the development of the use of 'intercultural dialogue' in the speeches of the leaders of the organizations being considered is closely connected to the introduction of each of these other key phrases. This report argues that it is crucial, therefore, to examine other core terminology development and its role in the construction of context when using the term 'intercultural dialogue' in international discussion. It is also important to consider which countries are involved in discussion labeled as 'international'

icon UNU-GCM 01/01 (223.76 kB)

Author: Tendayi Bloom | Date: 2013 |Reference: UNU-GCM 01/01

UNU-GCM 01/02. A historical overview of the relationship between 'intercultural dialogue' and associated terminology in UN-level documents in the Twenty-First Century

The development of the 'Alliance of Civilizations' concept in the Twenty-First Century is the latest phase in the evolving discussion of 'intercultural dialogue' at the UN-level. Indeed, three main phases can be observed, from the Dialogue of Civilizations in the early 1990s to the Dialogue Among Civilizations at the start of the Twenty-First Century, and most recently embodied as the Alliance of Civilizations since mid-2000. This report builds upon the discussion in (Bloom 2013a) to locate the Alliance of Civilizations discourse within this wider tradition of intercultural dialogue.

icon UNU-GCM 01/02 (170.56 kB)

 Author: Tenday Bloom | Reference: UNU-GCM 01/02 | Year: 2013

UNU-GCM 01/03, "Intercultural Dialogue" as it developed in the Security Council of the United Nations (2000-2012)

This report presents the results of both discourse and contents analyses of 75 Security Council documents in which the concept of "Intercultural Dialogue" appeared. The decision to examine the SC documents was driven by how the concept of intercultural dialogue developed in the UN context.

This report analyzes the concept of "Intercultural dialogue" (ICD) as it developed within the United Nations (UN) Official Documents since 2000, and particularly within those produced by the Security Council (SC). From this analysis, we would recommend carefully taking into account the different positions that have emerged, within both the European and other contexts, such as Latin America, Africa, China, Russia, and the US. In fact, those differences, which can appear to be merely different formulations of the same concept, instead brought with them different interpretations of the very problematic: that is to say, where the roots of the inter-cultural "clash" lies.

icon UNU-GCM 01/03 (241.13 kB)

Author: Valeria Bello | Reference: UNU-GCM 01/03 | Year: 2013

UNU-GCM 01/04. Culture, Religion and Civilization in Selected UN Documents on Cultural Dialogue

This report analyzes the various forms of interaction, conflation and distinction between the concepts of culture, tradition, civilization and religion in a selection of the principle documents produced on these topics within the UN community. Documents elaborated by UN General Assembly, UNESCO and UNAOC after 2001 are examined. The analysis shows that, although the concepts of "dialogue" and "alliance" are meant to counter contemporary representations of "Western" and "Islamic" societies as distant and incompatible wholes, the debate remains often conditioned by a static and a-historical view of cultural and religious traditions. Particularly, the frequent overlapping of terms such as 'culture', 'religion', 'identity' and 'tradition' and the use of the general notion of 'civilization' contribute to reproducing a view of culture and religion as closed entities, making the effort to overtake divisions harder.

icon UNU-GCM 01/04 (152.25 kB)

Author: Francesco Vacchiano | Reference: UNU-GCM 01/04 | Date: 2013

UNU-GCM 01/05. Analyzing the Phrase 'Intercultural Dialogue' in the Six UN Official Languages in the UNGA Resolution 62/90 and its Relation to the 'Dialogue Among Civilizations'

This report examines the meaning of 'intercultural dialogue', considering both practical implications of the phrasing adopted and underlying value and compositional implications. It draws upon the meanings of the phrases adopted in the six official languages in the UNGA Resolution 62/90. This report also examines the now powerful notion that there must be civilizational parties to the dialogue. Finally, it notes an oft-ignored thread of discussion at the theoretical and high political level, in which the groupings need not be fixed and distinct. This report submits that when the meaning of 'intercultural dialogue' is left unclear, hidden borderings can remain under-examined, and underlying value and compositional judgments unexposed. Further, the report argues that, through the linguistic differences in the definition of the dialogue itself, a potential problem to be encountered in the functioning of the initiative can be perceived.

icon UNU-GCM 01/05 (562.11 kB)

Author: Tendayi Bloom | Reference: UNU-GCM 01/05 | Date: 2013

UNU-GCM 01/06. Intercultural Studies, Interculturalism and the Practice of "Intercultural Dialogue"

Following a review of the literature in the field of intercultural studies, the main objective of this report is to summarize how debates on interculturalism and the related concept of "Intercultural Dialogue" have developed recently. Different approaches to intercultural research can lead to the development of different practices towards "others" or outsider cultures. Similarly, intercultural practices take place at different political levels and as a result different interpretations can emerge, both in terms of the use of facts, and also in the pursuits of political intentions. These will depend on particular cultural backgrounds. Consequently, the discussion developed in this report aims to raise consciousness among policy-makers about the sensitive nature of discourses surrounding this topic. The main aim of this report is to contribute to the development of positive intercultural relations between different UN Member States. The analysis of the literatures intends to provide a scientific and informed foundation in order to discuss the case and the practice of "Intercultural Dialogue", as it developed within the Security Council of the United Nations. It also aims to formulate suggestions for avoiding critical mistakes which can arise in the practice of intercultural relations.

icon UNU-GCM 01/06 (149.85 kB)

Author: Valeria Bello | Reference: UNU-GCM 01/06 | DATE: 2013

UNU-GCM 01/07. An analysis of the UNAOC Media Program: the 'Global Experts' project and the 'Multimedia Projects and Videos on Cross-Cultural Issues' Initiative

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) has, from its inception, considered media to be central to the promotion of intercultural dialogue. This report examines the UNAOC's Media Program in the light of both: its preparatory documents and media analyses, and the way in which the strategy has been enacted. This report proposes that the UNAOC needs to be explicit about the purpose of the dialogue it is intending to engender, and about who are the intended participants to it. This will enable a better analysis of the success and importance of the initiatives undertaken. It will argue that the way in which the Media Program has in fact been enacted thus far could be construed as being insufficiently representative.

icon UNU-GCM 01/07 (224.61 kB)

Author: Tendayi Bloom | Reference: UNU-GCM 01/07 | Date:2013

UNU-GCM 01/08. Intercultural Dialogue or Intercultural Soliloquies?

This report examines how the different UN Members States have interpreted and consequently implemented "Intercultural Dialogue". In particular, this study explores how different platforms developed, how media are used to cover their activities and how civil society has been involved. Its main objective is to interpret the different conceptions of "Intercultural Dialogue", in order to suggest ways to improve this practice across policy-makers and political leaders of the UN Member States.

icon UNU-GCM 01/08 (140.87 kB)

Author: Valeria Bello | Reference: UNU-GCM 01/08 | Date: 2013

UNU-GCM 01/09. Understanding Global Intercultural Dialogue Initiatives Within the Logic of State-Based Multiculturalism

This report uses the lens of the state-based multiculturalism literature to provide an insight into global intercultural dialogue initiatives. It argues that the draw-backs within outdated forms of mosaic multiculturalism persist in global intercultural dialogue. It is proposed that these problems derive from a mentality of engagement that mirrors that of mosaic multiculturalism at a state level (which sees society as a mosaic of discrete cultural groups). Within the multiculturalism literature, there has already been a move away from mosaic-like forms of the theory, and it is proposed that a movement similar to that evident in the multiculturalism literature is necessary with regard to the development of further intercultural dialogue initiative.

icon UNU-GCM 01/09 (171.76 kB)

Author: Tendayi Bloom | Reference: UNU-GCM 01/09 | Date: 2013

UNU-GCM 01/10. Attitudes Towards Immigrants in European Societies. A Comparison Between the Perceived Group Threats Theory and the Intercultural Values Theory through a Multi-level Analysis

The emergence of prejudice and attitudes towards immigrants more generally is not only a domestic issue but is now entering the field of international relations. The way immigrants are received, integrated into and regarded in host countries and societies has also become an object of discussion within the UN Security Council. UN Member States recognize complications in these questions as root causes of terrorism and other problems arising in the field of international security. This report investigates attitudes towards immigrants by comparing the Perceived Group Threats Theory with the Intercultural Values Theory. It will first introduce the theories developed in the scientific debate and then summarize the findings of a multilevel analysis carried out on the data pertaining to the European countries most affected by the economic crisis.

icon UNU-GCM 01/10 (233.06 kB)

Author: Valeria Bello | Reference: UNU-GCM 01/10 | Date: 2013

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