International Cultural Relations Research Alliance (ICRRA)

This network set up in 2019 brings together international and scholarly institutions on the initiative of ifa in close collaboration with the British Council. ICRRA sees itself as a bridge builder between practical cultural work, scholarly reflection, policy advice and the media. The goals of the network are the transfer of research-based knowledge in politics and society, and the promotion of international knowledge exchange and cooperation in cultural relations.

An International Research Network

ICRRA seeks to connect institutions that are practically or theoretically concerned with issues of international cultural relations and thus promote international, evidence-based discourse on issues of international cultural relations and foreign cultural policy.

The activity of the network consists in

  • annual network meetings to discuss fundamental issues in the field of international cultural relations with international actors, focusing on a global engagement of participants, i.e. from the Global North and South;
  • a digital platform managed by ifa that collects, structures and continuously updates open-access research literature on international cultural relations in cooperation with the ifa repository.

In this way, ICRRA aims, on the one hand, to create a digital forum for international and publicly accessible discussion at a time when the concept of  'culture' is once again becoming the centre of increased political debate worldwide. On the other hand, ifa focuses on institutionalising and consolidating the theoretical discussion between actors in the field of international cultural relations.

Statement of intent (PDF)

Cooperation Partner

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. 

© British Council

Members of ICRRA


Become a Member

  • Criteria


    ICRRA is a network to foster knowledge exchange and discussion around international cultural relations. View current membership and Statement of Intent.
    ICRRA does not hold interests other than supporting research-based discussion and knowledge exchange. It is not a political association, policymaking or governmental body, and does not advocate for a particular political programme or direction. The network supports the sharing, dissemination and discussion of rigorous and ethical research and policy work that has been undertaken for the public good.

    1. It is possible to become a member by application only
    2. Membership is open to researchers and practitioners of cultural relations
    3. Membership may be applied for on an institutional or individual basis:
      → Institutions can apply for membership if they are not-for-profit academic institutions, or departments, or relevant not-for-profit cultural relations organisations
      → Individuals can apply for membership if they can provide evidence of an affiliation to a not-for-profit research institution (examples include a university, research centre, or a public body that is involved in international cultural relations)
    4. Depending on capacity and format, limits may be placed on the number of delegates per institutional member that are able to be present at ICRRA meetings and events
    5. In terms of regional spread and representation the network aims to particularly welcome members from the global south
    6. Individuals that do not meet the criteria for membership may still be invited to participate in ICRRA meetings and events as guests.


  • Expectations of members
    • ICRRA members must be open and transparent about the drivers, aims and objectives of any research that is shared or publicised through the network (including through the ifa online Research Repository) – noting that ICRRA exists to promote research for the public good only, and not to support commercial or political objectives.
    • Members are expected actively to contribute to the development of the network through some or all of the following activities:
      → Identifying other potential candidates for membership, particularly from regions of the world that are currently under-represented in the network
      → Recommending research outputs for inclusion in the ifa online Research Repository
      → Providing and/or checking English translations of abstracts/summaries of research outputs by other researchers that are written in languages other than English and that have been suggested for inclusion in the ifa Research Repository
      → Supporting the programme development, organisation and delivery of the annual ICRRA conference
      → Providing the Steering Committee with feedback and advice on the future development of the network via email and in person at (online) network meetings
      → Sharing relevant research news, outputs and opportunities with fellow members (via email and/or through any other digital platforms that may be developed by ICRRA for this purpose)
    • Members must alert the Steering Group to any interests or other commitments that may conflict with the ICRRA objectives and Statement of Intent
    • Members whose activities or interests are deemed by the Steering Group to conflict with or undermine the ICRRA objectives and Statement of Intent will have their membership withdrawn
    • Steering Group members will be appointed at an annual network meeting and nominated by current ICRRA members; the Group shall include representatives from the initiating partners of ICRRA, the British Council and the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa)
    • These appointments are expected to last for 12 months, though members may be re-appointed for an additional 12-months term should there be no objections


  • How to apply
    • Complete the online Application Form 
    • Applications will be reviewed by the Steering Group .
    • Applicants will receive a response within 21 days of receipt of the application if possible.

      For more information on the application procedure, see dialogundforschung(at)


Recommended reading

'There is a Strong Need to Develop New Narratives that are African Specific'

Avril Joffe heads the Cultural Policy and Management Department at the Wits School of Arts, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. In an interview with ifa, she explores whether ...

Continue reading

ICRRA-Conference, October 2021

Cooperation in a fragmented world

What are 'good' cultural relations practices under the current global circumstances? How do different cultural actors and academic disciplines conceptualise processes of (re-)ordering? What is the price of our values? What do core cultural relations concepts such as trust and knowledge pluralism mean for the postcolonial situation? What is fair cooperation – and with whom should we be cooperating? What kind of alliances do cultural cooperations need to tackle global challenges? These and more questions will be discussed in October 2021 at the ICRRA-conference 'Cooperation in a fragmented world. International cultural relations at the crossroads of climate, health and political crisis'.

To the ICRRA conference

ICRRA online conference in October 2020

Cultural Relations and Crisis: Results, Impact, New Questions

How should cultural relations researchers and practitioners respond to the COVID-19 pandemic? What can we learn from each other? And what are the emerging themes for future research? In October 2020 the ICRRA conference 'Cultural Relations and Crisis: Results, Impact, New Questions' examined the state, shape and role of international cultural relations at a time of global crisis.

Conference summary
by James Perkins


Dr. Odila Triebel

Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart

Telephone: +49.711.2225.146