International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution

Article

A Reformulated Model of Narrative Mediation of Emerging Culture Conflict

Keywords narrative mediation, ethnic and cultural conflict, psychoanalysis of communal violence, peacekeeping
Authors Patrick J Christian
Author's information

235795 Patrick J Christian
The author, Lt Colonel, is a doctoral candidate in ethnic and cultural conflict. He is assigned to the US Department of Defense, Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. As a US Army Special Forces officer with the United States Special Operations Command, he has researched the sociological breakdown and psychological devolvement of tribes and clans in conflict for over 20 years. As part of the department’s larger engagement of ethnic and cultural conflict, he has worked with communities caught up in violence in Ecuador, Colombia, Iraq, Sudan, Ethiopia, and most recently, Niger.
  • Abstract

      This article describes the theory and practice of narrative mediation as a primary resource in the engagement and resolution of communal cultural violence by military and development advisors operating in under-governed conflict zone. The praxis adopts the narrative therapy practice of Michael White and the narrative mediation model of Winslade & Monk to create an approach to engage rural, tribal communities caught in cycles of violence as perpetrators, victims and bystanders. Because the praxis is employed cross-culturally in sociocentric communities, I have added elements of conflict story discovery and joint mediation therapy to the existing model of deconstruction, externalization and restorying – thus creating a reformulated model. The employment of this narrative therapy and mediation approach was done through my practical field application during 20 years of violent, intra-state conflict in Sudan, Niger, Iraq and Colombia. The implications of continuing narrative mediation as a primary resource would serve to advance the larger praxis of conflict resolution in cultural and ethnic violence.

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