Slifka Program Executive Director Contributes Chapter


September 24, 2007

Cynthia Cohen, executive director of the Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexistence and director of Coexistence Research and International Collaborations, is one of the contributors in the new book Music and Conflict Transformation: Harmonies and Dissonances in Geopolitics.

In a chapter called "Music: A Universal Language?" Cohen examines the power of music to create and strengthen feelings of affinity and group cohesion. Drawing on examples from practitioners working in different conflict regions, she shows that in many instances, it is not music's universal appeal that gives it much of its power as a peacebuilding resource, but rather recognition of the distinctive meanings that emerge from its place in historical events and cultural traditions.

The chapter ends with a discussion of some of the ethical issues that arise when people bring musical elements from one culture into another. The author also offers a set of questions to consider in order to enhance the efficacy and minimize the ethical risks inherent in musical work for peace.

For more information on the book, click here.