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Conversations on restorative justice

A talk with Howard Zehr

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2022
Authors Brunilda Pali
Author's information

Brunilda Pali
Brunilda Pali is Senior Researcher, Social and Cultural Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, KU Leuven, Belgium. Corresponding author: Brunilda Pali at brunilda.pali@kuleuven.be.
Article

Teaching restorative practices through games: an experiential and relational restorative pedagogy

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords restorative pedagogy, games, teaching, experiential learning
Authors Lindsey Pointer and Kathleen McGoey
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article argues for the use of games as an effective and dynamic way to teach restorative practices. Grounded in an understanding of restorative pedagogy, a paradigm of teaching in alignment with restorative values and principles, as well as experiential learning strategies, this article introduces games as a way for students to experience and more deeply understand restorative practices while building relationships and skills. Personal accounts of the authors about the impact of using games to teach restorative practices in their own communities are also included.


Lindsey Pointer
Lindsey Pointer is a PhD Candidate at Victoria University of Wellington and Creative Director of Aspen Restorative Consulting in Wellington, New Zealand.

Kathleen McGoey
Kathleen McGoey is the Executive Director of Longmont Community Justice Partnership, Longmont, USA.
Article

Documentary Filmmakers

Bridging Practice and Scholarship in Peacebuilding

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2016
Keywords documentary, film, peacebuilding, narratives, storytelling
Authors Dana Townsend and Kuldeep Niraula
AbstractAuthor's information

    In settings characterized by violent conflict, documentary filmmakers serve as a conduit between local experiences and the broader public. Highlighting these experiences requires filmmakers to immerse themselves in a context, digest scholarly findings, interview local sources and organize information into an accessible storyline. Those who utilize this craft often draw from established research or collaborate with scholars to ensure the narrative resonates with people and represents verified events. At the same time, their films contribute to the practice of peacebuilding through a participatory process that focuses on storytelling and community healing. This article explores the dual role of documentary filmmakers by positioning them as potential bridge-builders between practice and scholarship in peacebuilding. Specifically, it looks at the way filmmakers navigate between these realms by countering hegemonic narratives, introducing marginalized voices, contextualizing conflict and sharing stories with a wide audience – while also reflecting on the way their own identities and viewpoints influence this process.


Dana Townsend
Dana Townsend is a PhD student in Psychology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research focuses on the impact of political violence on youth’s psychological functioning as well as the ways that youth engage with memories of violence and utilize narratives to position themselves in their social worlds. She is also interested in the use of digital storytelling for community engagement, healing and reconciliation.

Kuldeep Niraula
Kuldeep Niraula is a PhD student in Conflict Resolution at George Mason University and graduated with an MA in International Peacebuilding from the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. His MA Thesis, “Addressing the Neglect of Local Peacebuilding Practices through Documentaries: A Case Study of Everyday Gandhis” analyses the possibilities and challenges of using documentaries to share local perspectives of peace with a wider audience.
Article

From Liberation Theology to (Liberationist) Peace Studies

Practice, Reflection and the Generation of Scholarship

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2016
Keywords liberation theology, theory, practice, peace studies, religion
Authors Leo Guardado
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article illustrates liberation theology’s evolution and method and argues that its approach to bridging the gap between theory and practice serves as a complement and challenge for conceptualizing the dynamic and fluid relationship between scholarship and practice in peace studies. The 1971 publication of A Theology of Liberation made Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez one of the most influential scholars and theologians of the 20th century, but the process that led to this publication rests upon the day-to-day reflective practice of its author. Gutiérrez’ commitment to pastoral practice, especially among poor communities, raises questions about whose and what kind of knowledge is privileged in the academy, about the possibility of sustainably sourcing wisdom from local communities and about the necessity of scholars to locate themselves within the realities and among the communities they study. Given the affinity between liberation theology’s inductive method and the elicitive approach in some currents of peace studies, the article places its emphasis on the convergent contributions of Gustavo Gutiérrez and John Paul Lederach and draws information from personal conversations with both authors. As a whole, the article contributes to the bourgeoning and necessary dialogue between peace studies and theology.


Leo Guardado
Leo Guardado is a PhD student in the joint programme in Theology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include liberation theology, human displacement and the role of church communities for building justice and peace.
Article

Indigenous Cultural Resources for Peacebuilding

Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s Philosophy and Conflict in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Islam, Khudai Khidmatghar, Taliban, Pakhtuns, liberal peacebuilding
Authors Saira Bano Orakzai
AbstractAuthor's information

    Indigenous peacebuilding has introduced numerous challenges to the approach of liberal peacebuilding that is well advocated around the world. The conflict in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan presents one such challenge for the local peacebuilders – whereas the implementation of the liberal peacebuilding has failed. Adopting a subaltern perspective, this article examines indigenous cultural peacebuilding resources for this conflict. Prominent among these resources is the philosophy of non-violence and self-restraint of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his Khudai Khidmatgar non-violent movement. The article discusses Khan’s philosophy and the movement it inspired, while making a case for the value of such indigenous resources in the development of culturally appropriate responses for countering militancy and violence in FATA. The article uses the writings of Ghaffar Khan together with secondary resources to suggest measures to counter the contemporary violent extremism by the Taliban and draw upon indigenous approaches to make peacebuilding more effective in FATA.


Saira Bano Orakzai
Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, University of Free State, South Africa.
Article

Hybrid Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties

The Impact of the International Fund for Ireland and the European Union’s Peace III Fund

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Northern Ireland, economic aid, elicitive approach, liberal peace, grass-roots everyday peacemakers
Authors Julie Hyde and Sean Byrne
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article draws upon a wide qualitative study of the experiences and perceptions held by 107 community group leaders and 13 funding agency development officers within the liminal context of Northern Ireland and the Border Counties. These organizations received funding from the European Union’s Peace III Program and/or the International Fund for Ireland. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with key figures in these groups and agencies during the summer of 2010. This data is explored in relation to the concept of hybrid peacebuilding so as to better identify and articulate the potentialities and challenges associated with grass-roots macro-level interactions. The empirical findings indicate the necessity of flexibility in empowering local decision makers in a hybridized peacebuilding process. Local people should be involved with the funders and the governments in constructing and in implementing these processes. The theoretical findings are consistent with previous research that favors elicitive and local rather than top-down bureaucratic and technocratic processes. More attention needs to be paid to how local people see conflict and how they build peace. The prescriptive/practical implications are that policymakers must include the grass roots in devising and implementing peacebuilding; the grass roots need to ensure their local practices and knowledge are included; and external funders must include local people’s needs and visions in more heterogeneous hybrid peacebuilding approaches. The article is original, providing grass-roots evidence of the need to develop the hybrid peacebuilding model.


Julie Hyde
Julie Hyde is a Ph.D. Candidate in peace and conflict studies at the University of Manitoba. Her research focuses on critical approaches to peacebuilding, peace education, and indigenous/non-indigenous relationships.

Sean Byrne
Sean Byrne is professor of peace and conflict studies and director of the Arthur V Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, St. Paul’s College, University of Manitoba. He has published extensively in the area of critical and emancipatory peace building. He was a consultant to the special advisor to the Irish Taoiseach on arms decommissioning. He is a consultant on the Northern Ireland peace process to the senior advisor for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Senate foreign relations committee. His research was funded by SSHRC and the USIP.
Article

Exploring Barriers to Constructing Locally Based Peacebuilding Theory

The Case of Northern Ireland

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords peacebuilding, phronesis, civil society, practice–theory, Northern Ireland
Authors Emily Stanton PhD and Grainne Kelly
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article seeks to explore why, after significant financial investment and a history of nearly 50 years of civil society activity, there is a paucity of explicitly codified and consolidated indigenous theory that has emerged from peacebuilding practice in Northern Ireland. Methodologically, this apparent contradiction is explored, utilizing both empirical research (interviews with key peacebuilders) and the wide practitioner experience of the authors. It is argued that two complex dynamics have contributed to the subordination of local practice-based knowledge, namely, the professionalization of peace and the dominance of research over practice within academia. These two dynamics have played a mutually exacerbatory and significant role in creating barriers to constructing local peacebuilding theory. Phronesis, an Aristotelian term for practical knowledge, is explored to discover what insights it may contribute to both research, theory and practice in the field of peacebuilding, followed by examples of institutions demonstrating its value for practice–theory reflexivity. The article concludes with a call for peace research that validates and values practical knowledge. By doing so, the authors argue, new avenues for collaborative partnership between practitioners and academics can open up, which may play a constructive role in bridging practice–theory divides and, most importantly, contribute to building more effective and sustainable peacebuilding processes in Northern Ireland and in other conflict contexts.


Emily Stanton PhD
Emily Stanton is PhD candidate in the School of Politics, Faculty of Social Science, Ulster University, Northern Ireland. Email: Stanton-E@email.ulster.ac.uk.

Grainne Kelly
Grainne Kelly is Lecturer of Peace and Conflict Studies at the International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), Ulster University, Northern Ireland. Email: g.kelly@ulster.ac.uk.
Article

Culture-Sensitive Mediation: A Hybrid Model for the Israeli Bukharian Community

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2014
Keywords Community mediation, traditional communities, ethnic, conflict resolution, cultural sensitivity, Bukharian
Authors David Shimoni
AbstractAuthor's information

    Background: Attempts to practice standard (Western) mediation in a traditional ethnic community – Jewish Bukharians in Ramla, Israel – failed owing to the incompatibility of this mediation with the community’s customs and norms. Purpose: To develop a hybrid model for conflict resolution in this community and traditional communities in general, following an extensive inquiry that examined the cultural characteristics of the Bukharian community in Ramla and the preferences of its members with regard to intervention in conflicts within the group. Methodology: Mixed methods research, combining questionnaires, a focus group and three interviews. Findings: The findings provided an in-depth understanding of the Bukharian community in Ramla, its cultural characteristics and their preference when dealing with conflicts. Largely, from the sample I studied it can be suggested that the Bukharians accept power distances as something natural, that they can tolerate ambiguous situations and tend to avoid direct confrontation and expression of emotions. Most of the informants have a clear preference to turn to respected members of the community when they seek assistance in handling conflicts. These findings allowed the construction of the hybrid mediation model composed of six stages: Intake, Framework Formation, Opening Statements, Emergence of Interests, Options Generation and Agreement. This model calls for co-mediation of a traditional indigenous dignitary with a professional mediator who together conduct a tailor-made mediation. Practical implications: This unique model is most suitable for the Jewish Bukharians, but can also be used by other groups worldwide that share the same cultural characteristics of the Bukharian Jews.


David Shimoni
David Shimoni, PhD, is the director of Goshrim Mediation Center in Israel and a lecturer at the Beit Berl academic college in Israel. His email address is: david@goshrim.com.
Article

Lessons from the Frontiers of Failure

Second-Order Social Learning and Conflict Resolution

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2014
Keywords conflict resolution, social learning, intractability, failure, adaptation
Authors Oliver Ramsbotham
AbstractAuthor's information

    From the beginning, second order social learning has been at the heart of conflict resolution. Learning from failure was seen by the founders of the field to be essential for individuals and social groups if they were to adapt and survive in a constantly changing environment. This article traces the origins of this concept within the field and then applies it to the field itself. How well has conflict resolution responded to failure during its 60 year development? Where are the ‘frontiers of failure’ today? The article ends with an example of adaptation to failure drawn from my own work on what can be done in the communicative sphere when, so far, conflict resolution does not work.


Oliver Ramsbotham
Emeritus Professor of Conflict Resolution, University of Bradford
Article

Reflections on the Field of Conflict Resolution

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2013
Keywords peacebuilding field, culture and conflict resolution, power and conflict resolution, future trends in peacebuilding, critique of peacebuilding
Authors Mohammed Abu-Nimer
AbstractAuthor's information

    Compared with other disciplines in the social sciences, conflict resolution is a relatively new, emerging professional and academic field. Many developments have shaped the current reality and boundaries of the field. This article is an attempt to provide a set of reflections on the major issues, challenges and possible future directions facing the field of conflict resolution. By narrating my own personal and professional journey, I hope to capture certain aspects and perspectives of this field. This is not a comprehensive review or ‘scientific’ charting of the field, nevertheless it attempts to shed light on areas and concepts that are otherwise taken for granted or neglected when the mapping of the field is done through more extensive empirical research. This mapping of conflict resolution after 30 years of practice, teaching and research first involves reflections on the conceptual or so-called theoretical groundings of the field. Second, it examines the various professional practices that have branched out through the last few decades. Third, it identifies some of the current limitations and challenges facing conflict resolution practitioners and scholars in their struggle to position the field in relation to current global realities. The final section discusses possible future directions to address existing gaps and refocus the research agenda of the field.


Mohammed Abu-Nimer
American University, International Peace and Conflict Resolution. E-mail: abunimer@american.edu. Special thanks to Timothy Seidel who reviewed, edited, and made critical comments on this manuscript. Also I am grateful to colleagues in the peace and conflict resolution programs who shared their insights and reflections in the process of writing this essay.
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