We have just published our latest report: We need to talk about….can discussing controversial issues strengthen community relations?
This details the findings from our JRCT funded research project with organisations across England who are involved in strengthening community relations; and of our experiences of having worked as specialist cohesion advisers in 65 Local authorities for over 10 years. Our research has shown that controversial issues are often avoided, ignored or not dealt with in a timely and effective way. This means that sometimes misleading and potentially divisive local narratives continue to prevail, escalating community tensions and corroding community resilience.
The report outlines some of the challenges of good relations work including effectively addressing hot topics to reduce community tensions and building community resilience, in a time of increased pressure on individuals and communities. We describe the range of organisations active in this area of work, and the types of approaches and methods they use to address controversial issues. Drawing on the latest academic research, we also examine the evidence for whether or not talking works, and discuss the skills needed to address difficult topics in local areas.
You can download a copy of the report from our Publications page.
We will be presenting and discussing our findings at the following events:
At the Young Foundation Wednesday 4th July 12:30 – 1:30
At the Northern Friends Peace Board Conference on 14th July
At the Conflict Research Society Conference 18th – 19th September