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In Europe we address community tensions and violence in the UK, and train European government officials on their role in peacebuilding and conflict prevention.

Promoting peace in Syria

Syrian Platform for Peace logoInternational Alert is helping to create a new diaspora network for promoting peace in Syria called the Syrian Platform for Peace.

In mid-2014, Alert commissioned research into the role that the diaspora plays in supporting peace in Syria, which highlighted a number of challenges faced by the community in fully realising their peacebuilding potential.

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Homerton and Hebdo: Thoughts on violence in and from the margins

On Wednesday last week, as the world knows, three men attacked the staff of the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, killing 12 people and wounding eight. The night before a 17-year-old was murdered just off the high street in Homerton, east London, about 15 minutes' walk from where I live. In and around Paris, by the end of Friday, the death toll had reached 20, including two of the three killers, plus a third man, who himself had killed five more.

Peacebuilding begins at home: Addressing rising tensions and insecurity in Europe

This prescient blog was written before the tragic events in France last week, sparked by a shooting at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, and suggests three pressing reasons for the European Union to re-establish itself as a peacebuilding instrument in the minds of the general public. It was originally published on openDemocracy.

A continent of peace?

In the latest edition of our Peace Focus series, A continent of peace?, we identify some of the factors underlining rising tensions and insecurity within Europe – in particular in European Union (EU) member states – and the challenges this poses to the resilience of citizens and communities.

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Telling the untold stories of good relations in England

International Alert, in collaboration with Talk for a Change (a community interest company), has been working on a project called ‘Building a Voice for Good Relations in England’ since 2013, funded by Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and Oxfam.

Building good relations in England

‘British values’, ‘too many migrants’, ‘Trojan horses’, ‘skivers versus strivers’. Heated national debates about issues such as identity, integration and fairness increasingly set one group against another in England.

But what goes on at the local level? Are good relations across different social groups and identities even possible? And who is doing the invisible ‘social glue’ work, strengthening social bonds and trust across differences, and developing a sense of shared place and purpose?

The price of human life after the MH17 tragedy in Ukraine

On the evening of 17 July I met up with an old friend and former colleague. We were enjoying the pleasant weather and anticipation of the weekend, dining on an open terrace in central London, chatting somewhat naively about this and that, including the crisis in Ukraine and how to address it. Oblivious to the breaking news, we had absolutely no idea that the context we were discussing had fundamentally changed.

Promoting positive diaspora voices

Download the toolkit hereInternational Alert and its partners have published a toolkit on the challenges and opportunities of working with young people from diaspora communities in the UK.

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How myths and narratives are dominating events in Ukraine

I have always admired the expressiveness of the Russian language. Popular turns of phrase that have become enshrined in everyday language reveal quite colourfully Russians’ attitudes towards themselves and ongoing events. In particular I am struck by the way Russians reflect on failure with easy humour, as captured in the phrase ‘they hoped for better, but it turned out as usual’. This particular phrase keeps coming to mind when thinking about the Ukraine crisis. Europeans, Russians and Americans alike all meant well, but what we got was something quite different.