• Book Reviews,  Psychological Struggle,  Public Diplomacy

    Behavioral Economics Go to War: reviewing Behavioural Conflict, Why Understanding People and their Motivations Will Prove Decisive in Future Conflict

    By Amy Zalman Review of Behavioural Conflict, Why Understanding People and their Motivations Will Prove Decisive in Future Conflict, by Andrew Mackey and Steve Tatham I cannot think of any books about warfare’s future that come across as hard-hitting, full of actionable pragmatism, and deeply humane all at the same time.  But Behavioral Conflict: Why Understanding People and their Motivations will Prove Decisive in Future Conflict is all three.  The authors, both career members of the British military, Major General Andres Mackey (Ret) and Royal Navy Commander Steve Tatham (who I count as a friend, having met him in Ankara a few years ago), make their case by drawing on a combination…

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Psychological Struggle

    Conflict Resolution and Prevention: The Role for Culture Relations

    Earlier this year, the British Council co-hosted an event in Brussels with Security Defence Agenda and NATO to discuss how “cultural” projects facilitate dialogue between groups, play a part in preventing conflict, healing post-conflict wounds, and potentially avoid conflicts based on misunderstand or mistrust. The video below are the highlights from this conference that I attended. It includes a post-event interview with British Council Chief Executive Martin Davidson. I strongly recommend it to those interested in creating and supporting culture-based engagement pathways that to some may be “alternative” but are ultimately fundamental. One cannot hope to successfully engage in a struggle of minds and wills if one does not understand…

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Public Diplomacy

    Refurbished approach to cultural diplomacy by Martin Rose of the British Council

    In a July 2010 issue of Layalina Productions’ Perspectives, British Council officer Martin Rose argues for the West, particularly Europe, to be more “culturally literate” and refurbish its approach to cultural relations. Rose discusses the social and cultural marginalization of immigrant minorities in Europe, who recently have been lumped into the category of “Muslims” to the detriment of their national identities. He argues the need for Europe to be more open-minded and accepting of the “huge multiplicity of rivers that flow into our sea.” Urging non-Muslim Europeans to break the “Us vs. Them” mentality when approaching cultural differences, Rose advocates building trust, understanding and personal relationships to “live well in…

  • Cultural Diplomacy,  Public Diplomacy

    Culture and conflict: is there a role in conflict prevention, resolution for culture?

    What role does culture have in conflict prevention and resolution? Recently, the British Council organized an interesting and enlightened discussion on this very question. What made this even more interesting was the British Council’s partners in the venture: NATO and Security Defence Agenda, a European security and defense think tank. At a time when public diplomats to psychological operators are coming to terms with their lack specific cultural capacities to understand and properly engage audiences, this was a timely discussion.