Author ORCID Identifier 0000-0002-0807-8465

Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.7 SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY, Cultural and economic geography

Publication Details

Event Management, Vol. 25, pp. 363–380


This article assesses whether or not a cultural event can play a peacebuilding role during the postviolence phase of conflict. Cultural expression has long been a contentious issue in Northern Ireland, no more so than in Derry/Londonderry, the city at the center of this study. Adopting a qualitative approach, the authors used the city’s Fleadh Cheoil (2013) event as a case study and found that it served three of the seven peacebuilding functions outlined by Paffenholz and Spurk: social cohesion, in-group socialization, and intermediation/facilitation. The findings suggest that the event enabled positive change by building “bridges” and developing intercommunal trust and cross-culture understanding. This did not happen by chance and nor was it unproblematic. However, inclusivity was a core objective and the event was planned and managed accordingly. This required strong leadership, risk taking, sensitivity, and a willingness to negotiate and compromise. In turn, this created the conditions for cross community dialogue that had ramifications beyond the cultural realm. Although this article has demonstrated how a cultural event can play a role in peacebuilding, it does not suggest that culture events are a panacea for sectarianism, bias, or conflict in Northern Ireland or elsewhere. However, if planned properly they can contribute to the peacebuilding process by providing an opportunity for people to navigate difficulties and develop shared experiences in complex and challenging conditions. These can help build trust, t


Available for download on Sunday, January 12, 2025