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Article

The Drafter’s Role in the Drafting Process

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Keywords drafter, drafting process, techniques, scrutiny
Authors Mico Augustin
AbstractAuthor's information

    Every government needs legislation to cover all issues transposing obligations in the manner required by the initiator and with respect to constitutional obligations and rules that provide for the conduct of society.
    Every legislative drafter should strive to achieve a law that is people oriented. The idea is to serve by extending legislative benefits to them in the best possible manner. Drafting is not a simple transcription or translation of administrative or executive guidelines, but is the command of legislative intent. It is a mixture of vision, mission and design, which brings out a workable proposition considering the background of a problem and foreseeing the ramifications of the legislative action. Drafting always supposes precision, brevity and clarity. Drafting should be compared to a focus of technical knowledge of a special kind that put together minds to produce a unity of thought enunciated as a command.
    In order to produce quality legislation, drafters need undergraduate law training, followed by specialised postgraduate training in legislative studies, combined with hands on experience in a drafting office with an experienced senior drafter.


Mico Augustin
Legislative Drafter and Advisor of the Rwanda Parliament/Chamber of Deputies. Email: micog2009@yahoo.fr
Article

Legislative Techniques in Rwanda

Present and Future

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Keywords legislative drafting, law-making, drafting techniques, Rwanda, quality of legislation
Authors Helen Xanthaki
AbstractAuthor's information

    This report is the result of the collective work of 26 Rwandan civil servants from a number of ministries, who set out to offer the Ministry of Justice a report on legislative drafting in Rwanda. The work was undertaken under the umbrella of the Diploma in Legislative Drafting offered by the Institute for Legal Professional Development (ILPD) in Nyanza under the rectorship of Prof. Nick Johnson. The authors have used their experience of practising drafting in Rwanda, but have contributed to the report in their personal capacity: their views are personal and do not reflect those of the Government of Rwanda.
    My only contribution was the identification of topics, which follows the well-established structure of manuals and textbooks in drafting; the division of the report into two parts: Part 1 on the legislative process and Part 2 on drafting techniques; and the methodology of each individual entry to our report: what is current Rwandan practice, what are international standards, what is the future of Rwanda, and a short bibliography to allow the readers and users of the report to read further, if needed.
    The strength of this report lies both in the methodology used and in the content offered. The breakdown of topics, their prioritization and their sequence allow the reader to acquire a holistic view on how legislation is drafted in Rwanda, but there is nothing to prevent its use in the context of surveys on legislative drafting and legislative quality in other jurisdictions. The content offers a unique insight into the legislative efforts of a jurisdiction in transition from civil to common law: both styles are assessed without prejudice, thus offering a unique fertile ground for critical assessment and practical impact analysis.
    June 2013


Helen Xanthaki
Senior Lecturer and Academic Director, Centre for Legislative Studies, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Lawyer (Athens Bar).
Article

Statutory Interpretation in Multilingual Jurisdictions

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Keywords drafting, multilingual, translation, interpretation, authenticity
Authors Odethie Birunga
AbstractAuthor's information

    Considering that every piece of legislation is subject to legal interpretation, its practicability depends highly on successful interpretation. In any legislation drafted in more than one language, divergence in meanings of versions is not only possible, but inevitable. It is not a simple task to draft in a way so that contexts are translated and included in all different language versions so that it becomes one meaningful legislation. While relying on one version only in the course of interpreting a piece of legislation may sound a lot easier, there could be ambiguous passages which may be clarified by consulting other versions. The existence of discrepancies between the versions of legislation is neither a smooth sail in multilingual environment.


Odethie Birunga
Odethie Birungi Kamugundu is a Principal State attorney in the ministry of Justice Rwanda since 2010 in the Legislative drafting department which drafts, coordinates and oversees the drafting of laws in Rwanda. Prior to that, she worked in the National Public Prosecution as a prosecutor from 2002 to 2010. She graduated in Law (LLB) from the National University of Rwanda in 1999, and in Legislative Drafting (LLM) from the University of London- Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2012.
Article

The Principle of Ultra Vires and the Local Authorities’ Decisions in England

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2013
Keywords ultra vires, administrative decisions, legislative drafting, validity and invalidity of local authority administrative decisions, misuse of discretion
Authors Charles Aguma
AbstractAuthor's information

    The hypothesis of this article is that valid administrative decisions from local authorities are guaranteed via clear and precise enabling clauses in the primary legislation. The article argues that the style of drafting local authorities’ legislations influences decisions taken by local authorities. First, legislations need to be drafted in a style that clearly and precisely spells out the limits of powers of the local authorities in order to provide sufficient guidance to local authorities’ administrators to act lawfully. In attempting to exercise implied powers conferred by the imprecise enabling legislation, however, local authorities tend to go beyond intended legal powers and as a result take unreasonable, arbitrary and invalid decisions. More so, drafters rarely provide sufficient guidance about which considerations are properly relevant to the exercise of discretion and which are not. Secondly, obscure, wide and ambiguous enabling clauses in the primary legislations are substantial causes of courts’ misinterpretation of legislation as understanding the limits of the powers of the local authorities is a challenge. On the other hand, it is questionable whether the whole range of activities performed by a local authority by invoking implied powers, while exercising discretion, under the umbrella of doing anything that is calculated to facilitate or is conducive to or incidental to the discharge of any of its functions can be regarded as lawful. This article attempts to respond to that question. Although the principle of ultra vires requires the strict observance of the limits of the powers conferred in legislation, local authorities tend to invoke widely drafted provisions to perform activities that are said to be incidental to the express powers of which courts may declare invalid.


Charles Aguma
Charles Aguma graduated in Legislative Drafting (LLM) from the University of London- Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2012.

    The aim of this study is to prove that the use of section headings in legislation contributes to achieve effectiveness by helping readers of legislation find what they need to know faster, and understand it more easily. To prove the hypothesis, this study uses a comparative methodology by applying Horn’s criteria: Primary Users and Official Interpreters; Assistance for Primary Users; and Assistance for Official Interpreters. The study applies those criteria to Australian and Rwandan jurisdictions.


Samuel Ngirinshuti
Samuel Ngirinshuti graduated in Legislative Drafting (LLM) from the University of London- Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in 2012.

    The Dutch non-profit Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) and Amnesty International – Netherlands (AI-NL) commissioned in 2012 a study on transparency of multinational enterprises to the Utrecht University’s Molengraaff Institute for Private Law. With this study SOMO and AI-NL aim to substantiate the need for enhancing corporate transparency in order to stimulate responsible business conduct and be able to hold companies to account for adverse impacts they cause or contribute to.


Joris Oldenziel
Joris Oldenziel is program manager and senior researcher at the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO).

Heleen Tiemersma
Heleen Tiemersma is business and human rights specialist at Amnesty International.
Article

Access_open Multinationals and Transparency in Foreign Direct Liability Cases

The Prospects for Obtaining Evidence under the Dutch Civil Procedural Regime on the Production of Exhibits

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 3 2013
Keywords foreign direct liability, corporate social responsibility, transparency document disclosure, Dutch Shell Nigeria case
Authors Liesbeth F.H. Enneking
AbstractAuthor's information

    On 30 January 2013, the The Hague district court rendered a final judgment with respect to a number of civil liability claims against Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) and its Nigerian subsidiary Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) that had been pursued by four Nigerian farmers and the Dutch NGO Milieudefensie in relation to various oil spills from SPDC-operated pipelines in the Nigerian Niger Delta. This case is the first Dutch example of a broader, worldwide trend towards similar transnational civil liability procedures against multinational corporations for harm caused to people and planet in developing host countries. This worldwide trend towards so-called ‘foreign direct liability cases’ and the Dutch Shell Nigeria case in particular raise many interesting socio-political as well as legal questions. This article will focus on the question what the prospects are for plaintiffs seeking to pursue such claims before a Dutch court when it comes to obtaining evidence under the Dutch civil procedural regime on the production of exhibits. This is a highly relevant question, since the proceedings in the Dutch Shell Nigeria case seem to indicate that the relatively restrictive Dutch regime on the production of exhibits in civil procedures may potentially impose a structural barrier on the access to remedies before Dutch courts of the victims of corporate violations of people and planet abroad.


Liesbeth F.H. Enneking
Liesbeth Enneking is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at UCALL, Utrecht University’s multidisciplinary Centre for Accountability and Liability Law, and an Assistant Professor of Private International Law at Utrecht University’s Molengraaff Institute for Private Law. The author would like to thank prof. I. Giesen for comments on an earlier version of this article.
Article

Access_open Multinational Corporations and Human Rights

Civil Procedure as a Means of Obtaining Transparency

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 3 2013
Keywords civil litigation, discovery, human rights, multinationals
Authors R.R. Verkerk
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores the degree in which civil procedural rules may promote transparancy from multinationals about human rights policies and allegations of human rights violations.


R.R. Verkerk
Remme Verkerk practices law at Houthoff Buruma (Rotterdam).
Article

Access_open The Conflict Minerals Rule

Private Alternatives?

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 3 2013
Keywords corporate social responsibility, conflict minerals, codes of conduct, contract law
Authors A.L. Vytopil
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses Section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Act in respect of the transparency certain American companies are to provide in respect of conflict minerals and the Rule drawn up by the Securities and Exchange Commission following this legislation. It explains the requirements it poses on companies. Moreover, it highlights some of the societal criticism in respect of the Securities and Exchange Commission Rule, the legal challenge of this Rule and the subsequent court verdict by the District Court for the District of Columbia. Finally, it elaborates upon private regulatory initiatives that could provide viable alternatives to conflict minerals legislation, and it concludes that for the Netherlands, private regulation would probably be more effective than legislation comparable to Section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Act.


A.L. Vytopil
Louise Vytopil, LL.B MA MSc, is a Ph.D.-candidate and assistant-professor at Utrecht University’s Molengraaff Institute for Private Law.
Article

Access_open The Opacity of a Multinational Company’s Organization, Legal Structure and Power

What Type of Corporate Information Must a Multinational Company Make Public Pursuant to Dutch Law? Options for Improving Dutch Law: Better Access to Corporate Information for Stakeholders

Journal The Dovenschmidt Quarterly, Issue 3 2013
Keywords transparency, CSR disclosure, corporate legal structure, legal framework for corporate reporting, integrated reporting
Authors Tineke E. Lambooy, Rosalien A. Diepeveen, Kim Nguyen e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article describes the types of information that a multinational company must make public pursuant to Book 2 of the Dutch Civil Code, the Act on Financial Supervision and the Commercial Registers Act. We ascertain that: (i) the Dutch Trade Register fails in providing adequate information about the foreign parts of a group; (ii) the annual reporting laws fail to require companies to provide an insight in the group legal structure, the business organization and the corporate social responsibility profile of a multinational company; and (iii) the Act on Financial Supervision fails to include disclosure requirements regarding the corporate social responsibility profile of a listed company. Different possible legislative amendments are provided in this article that could enhance transparency concerning a Dutch multinational company’s business organization, the legal structure and its corporate social responsibility profile, so that corporate information is better accessible for stakeholders. We conclude that most of these improvements are not limited to the Dutch legal system, but can be seen in the light of a global trend of increased corporate transparency. With this article, we hope to contribute to a new mind-set whereby transparency is stimulated, by offering concrete (policy) tools.


Tineke E. Lambooy
Dr. T.E. Lambooy, LL.M., is an associate professor at Utrecht University’s Molengraaff Institute for Private Law and at Nyenrode Business University’s Center for Sustainability. She is the author of Corporate Social Responsibility. Legal and Semi-Legal Frameworks Supporting CSR (Kluwer, 2010).

Rosalien A. Diepeveen

Kim Nguyen
P.K. Nguyen obtained her LL.M. degree at Utrecht University Law School.

Sander van ’t Foort
R.A. Diepeveen and S. van ’t Foort are currently pursuing an LL.M. degree at Utrecht University Law School. The authors are very grateful to R. Hordijk, LL.M., for supporting them in the research on this topic and to K. Hooft, LL.M., for reviewing the draft contribution.
Article

Treaties X Human Rights Treaties

A Critical Analysis of the Dual Stance on Treaties in the Brazilian Legal System

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2013
Keywords human rights, international treaties, hierarchy of the treaties
Authors Gustavo Ferreira Santos
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil provides two procedures for incorporating treaties into domestic law. Human rights treaties must be approved by a special quorum: it is necessary that of three-fifths of the members of each legislative house vote in favour, with two rounds in each chamber. This proceeding is similar to a constitutional amendment. Treaties on other subjects need only the approval of the majority. This system has been in place since 2004. The Brazilian Supreme Court decided that human rights treaties incorporated after 2004 have the same hierarchical level of constitutional provisions but human rights treaties enacted before that have the same hierarchical position of ordinary statutory laws. This system needs to be reformed in order to allow an easier integration with international law. All human rights treaties should have the same position as constitutional provisions.


Gustavo Ferreira Santos
Professor of Constitutional Law at the Federal University of Pernambuco and the Catholic University of Pernambuco. Holder of a scholarship awarded by CNPq (Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development for Research Productivity).
Article

The Controversy Surrounding Article 9 of the Law That Defines How Brazilian Laws Are Applied

The Difficult Path to Reform of Private International Law Legislation in Brazil

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2013
Keywords willingness, connecting element, controversy, Brazil
Authors Paul Hugo Weberbauer
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study aims to demonstrate that the legislative reform of Private International Law is one of the most complex subjects to be understood in terms of the Law in Brazil. With this objective, the point of reference of this study will be the controversy, which involves willingness as a connecting element, and is also known as the controversy around Article 9 of LINDB. By analyzing willingness as a connecting element within Brazilian legislation, a general panorama of the aforementioned Law is developed, as well as the debate of a doctrine nature about willingness as a connecting element and its insertion in the legal system in effect in Brazil. Finally, the difficulties encountered considering Brazil’s position towards international treaties and conventions, as well as the many attempts to reform Private International Law legislation will be analyzed.


Paul Hugo Weberbauer
Ph.D. in Law and Associate Professor of Recife Law School, Legal Sciences Centre at the Federal University of Pernambuco. Research Group: Regional integration, globalisation and International Law. E-mail: phwberbauer@hotmail.com.
Article

Federalist Distortions in the Organization of the Legislative Branch of Brazilian Government

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2013
Keywords Brazilian federalism, legislature, distortions
Authors Marcelo Labanca Corrêa de Araújo and Glauco Salomão Leite
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the relationship between federalism and the legislature in Brazil. It examines distortions that occur in the structure of the federal legislature, in the powers conferred constitutionally and in the dynamics of legislative activity. It discusses how the role of the Senate as a house of representation of Member States has been mitigated, highlights the excessive concentration of legislative powers at the federal level and the suffocation of the autonomy of the state and municipal legislatures by the influx of the principle of symmetry.


Marcelo Labanca Corrêa de Araújo
Professor of Constitutional Law at the Catholic University of Pernambuco (undergraduate degree stricto sensu Postgraduate Program in Law). President of the OAB-Pernambuco’s Constitutional Studies Commission. CAPES grant for post-doctoral program abroad, at the University of Pisa’s Faculty of Law.

Glauco Salomão Leite
Professor of Constitutional Law at the Catholic University of Pernambuco. Professor of Public Law at the Federal University of Paraíba. Vice-President the OAB-Pernambuco’s Constitutional Studies Commission.
Article

Brazil and International Agreements

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2013
Keywords international agreements, Brazil, international scenario
Authors Eugênia Cristina Nilsen Ribeiro Barza
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article brings together an analysis about international agreements, highlighting their importance to States, either separately or in groups, considering aspects of the universal nature of their content, as well as regional aspects, stressing some particularities of the Brazilian legal system. It is based on the assumption that it is interesting for nation-States to participate in the elaboration of international agreements, although it is not always possible to implement them, their validity is not refuted or their efficacy denied. It is also relevant to reflect upon the international commitments internally, even more so when we see that the State will have to deal with a series of variables to validate such international commitments. At times when States are interdependent, the study about the participation of the State in the elaboration of international agreements is more than relevant, and is divided here in three perspectives. First, the participation of the State in regional agreements, highlighting the European experience of integration. Then, the Latin-American attempts at integration, from which MERCOSUL stands out, and, finally, matters unique to Brazil in light of international and regional challenges. At the end of this study, some answers as to how and why Brazil incorporates and implements its international agreements will be presented as final considerations.


Eugênia Cristina Nilsen Ribeiro Barza
Ph.D. in Law and Associate Professor of the Recife Law School, Legal Sciences Centre at the Federal University of Pernambuco, where she teaches Private International Law. Research Group: Regional integration, globalisation and International Law. E-mail: ecnrbarza@terra.com.br.
Article

Judicial Delegation of Administrative Acts During the Execution Phase or Execution Process

The Application of the Constitutional Principle of Efficiency, Under the Inspiration of Recent Portuguese Law Reforms

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 2 2013
Keywords Brazilian constitutional principle of efficiency, enforcement agents in Portugal, delegation of judicial procedural administrative and enforcement acts, enforcement proceedings
Authors Rafael Cavalcanti Lemos
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Constitutional Amendment 45/2004 emphasized the need for efficiency in both administrative and judicial judgments in Brazil and introduced the right of a trial within reasonable time (Art. 5, item LXXVIII) in the 1988 Federal Constitution. Although more judges are needed to comply with this constitutional requirement, no statutory regulation was enacted to date to conform to it, particularly to allow judges to delegate administrative and enforcement functions to civil servants. However, given that fundamental rights have immediate applicability, the principle of efficiency must be implemented regardless of further regulation. In Portugal, judges are not required to order executive acts, which are conferred to an enforcement agent. A similar system should be adopted in Brazil, leaving judges time for decision-making. An efficient judicial service is essential to strengthen the image of the Judiciary and depends on this type of reforms.


Rafael Cavalcanti Lemos
Judge at the Pernambuco Court of Justice, Diploma in Civil Procedures Law, Federal University of Pernambuco.
Article

Conflict Resolution as a Profession and the Need for Communities of Inquiry

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2013
Keywords Reflective practice, conflict resolution, professional education, community of inquiry, expertise
Authors Tamra Pearson d’Estrée
AbstractAuthor's information

    Conflict resolution has obtained the markings of a profession, including published journals, professional associations and academic programs. However, professional status also carries with it expectations and obligations upon which conflict resolution as a community should deliberate. Acknowledging conflict resolution as a profession highlights associated responsibilities around knowledge accumulation and ethical practice. Complexities of modern practice call for reuniting theory, research and practice, and updating our professional educational paradigm. Competent modern conflict resolution professionals must be able to innovate and adapt to novel and complex contexts, and must develop communities of inquiry for learning that is public, shared and cumulative. Because of the time constraints facing many professionals, and the lack of structure for reflection, a combination of direct community conversation and periodic journal review would likely be the most realistic for nurturing the needed reflection, continual learning and paradigm critique that results in system learning by the community of conflict resolution professionals.


Tamra Pearson d’Estrée
Henry R. Luce Professor of Conflict Resolution in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies and Co-Director, Conflict Resolution Institute, University of Denver.
Article

Does Our Field Have a Centre?

Thoughts from the Academy

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2013
Keywords Conflict and Peace studies, peacebuilding, pedagogy, George Mason University, S-CAR
Authors Kevin Avruch
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article is a personal reflection on the development of the field of conflict resolution/peace and conflict studies from the perspective of the classroom: how what is thought necessary to teach has changed as the field has grown and reacted to often turbulent political change


Kevin Avruch
Henry Hart Rice Professor of Conflict Resolution & Professor of Anthropology, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. I thank my colleagues Arthur Romano, Richard Rubenstein, and Dennis Sandole for their careful and critical reading of earlier drafts of this essay, and Oliver Ramsbotham for his critical reading of a later one. Their various suggestions greatly improved the work.
Article

The Historical Contingencies of Conflict Resolution

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2013
Keywords History of ADR, consensus building, multi-party dispute resolution, theory development, conflict handling
Authors Carrie Menkel-Meadow
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article reviews the historical contingency of theory and practice in conflict engagement. World War II and the Cold War produced adversarial, distributive, competitive, and scarce resources conceptions of negotiation and conflict resolution, as evidenced by game theory and negotiation practice. More recent and more optimistic theory and practice has focused on party needs and interests and hopes for more party-tailored, contingent, flexible, participatory and more integrative and creative solutions for more than two disputants to a conflict. The current challenges of our present history are explored: continued conflict in both domestic and international settings, the challenge of “scaling up” conflict resolution theory and the problematics of developing universal theory in highly contextualized and diverse sets of conflict sites. The limits of “rationality” in conflict resolution is explored where feelings and ethical, religious and other values may be just as important in conflict engagement and handling.


Carrie Menkel-Meadow
Chancellor’s Professor of Law, University of California Irvine Law School and A.B. Chettle Jr. Professor of Dispute Resolution and Civil Procedure, Georgetown University Law Center.
Article

Is There a Theory of Radical Disagreement?

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2013
Keywords Radical disagreement, linguistic intractability, agonistic dialogue, conflict engagement
Authors Oliver Ramsbotham
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article concerns linguistic intractability, the verbal aspect of those conflicts that so far cannot be settled or transformed. At its heart lies the phenomenon of radical disagreement. This is generally discounted in conflict resolution as positional or adversarial debate. It is seen as a terminus to dialogue that must from the outset be transformed, not learnt from. In this article the refusal to take radical disagreement seriously is traced back to the way radical disagreement is described and explained in the third party theories that frame attempts at settlement and resolution in the first place.
    On pp. 58-60 a theory of radical disagreement is contrasted with an example. In the theory radical disagreement is described as a juxtaposition of equivalent subjective narratives that do not ‘reflect truth’ but merely serve as ‘motivational tools’ for group survival. In the example, it can be seen that neither speaker is saying that. The Palestinian claim (A) is not about a subjective narrative or motivational tool, but about a lived reality endured for 60 years. And the Israeli claim (B) is not about a juxtaposition of equivalent accounts, but a fierce refutation of faults and misrepresentations in what the other says. This mismatch between third party theory and participant example explains a great deal about why third party interventions based on those theoretical assumptions fail.
    The rest of the article looks at a range of putative theories invoked in conflict analysis and conflict resolution. This is a search for third party descriptions and explanations that are adequate to examples of what they purport to describe and explain. Surprisingly the net is hauled in empty. The interim conclusion to this article is that there is no adequate theory of radical disagreement.
    In the first issue of the International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, this article sets the scene for an exploration of the relationship between engagement and resolution that it is hoped will be developed in future issues. It will be argued there that the practical implication of the discovery that there is no adequate theory of radical disagreement is that in intractable conflicts it is a mistake to ignore this phenomenon. Radical disagreement is not all too familiar but perhaps the least familiar feature of intense political conflict. What is required in the face of linguistic intractability, therefore, is not less radical disagreement but more – namely promotion of a ‘strategic engagement of discourses’. Only then is it possible to move from engagement to resolution and to create the space for a future revival of attempts at settlement and transformation in the linguistic sphere.


Oliver Ramsbotham
Emeritus Professor of Conflict Resolution, University of Bradford. Paper first presented at the Conflict Research Society Annual Conference, Coventry, September 2012.
Article

Relational Constructionism

Generative Theory and Practice for Conflict Engagement and Resolution

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2013
Keywords Conflict transformation, conflict resolution, action research, positioning theory, relational constructionism
Authors Nikki R. Slocum-Bradley
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article draws upon relational constructionist ideas to facilitate a meta-theoretical shift in conflict engagement and transformation. Based upon insight into conceptual and relational inter-dependency, two tasks are suggested as key aims for future work: 1) nurturing a profound respect for inter-dependent self/other and appreciation for relationships, and 2) developing skills to construct nurturing, generative relationships. Underscoring that research, theory-building and other aspects of scholarship are in themselves practices, the author encourages the design of these and other practices to facilitate conflict transformation. Exploring the implications of relational constructionist insights, an approach is proposed that merges the boundaries of theory-building, research methodology, and conflict engagement: Action Research for the Transformation of Conflicts (ART-C). While ART-C provides a process that facilitates the construction of cooperative relationships, insights from Positioning Theory illuminate how actors co-construct relationships by evoking meanings and norms that guide action. These concepts are applied to a variety of examples from around the globe that illustrate the transformation of identities, relationships and conflicts.


Nikki R. Slocum-Bradley
Associate Research Fellow, United Nations University (UNU-CRIS).
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