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Article

Narrative Approaches to Understanding and Responding to Conflict

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2016
Keywords narrative, conflict resolution, development, assessment, evaluation
Authors Sarah Federman
AbstractAuthor's information

    While stories have circulated for millennia and constitute the very fabric of life in society, narrative as an optic for understanding and engaging with conflict emerged in the field of conflict resolution only in the past few decades, and has already amassed an array of significant contributions (Bar-Tal and Salomon, 2006; Cobb, 2013; Grigorian and Kaufman, 2007; Kellett, 2001; Lara, 2007; Nelson, 2001; Rotberg, 2006; Winslade and Monk, 2000). They encompass several spheres of action. Narrative analysis provides a means to locate individual and communal meaning in their discourse and to pinpoint conflicts in their world views that threaten their identity and agency. Further, it helps explain how marginalized people remain marginalized. Narrative interventions allow for conflict transformation, helping people to renegotiate their social positions and reclaim lost agency stemming from marginalized positions. Narrative evaluation highlights the flexibility of that model to measure change through a detection of discursive shifts over time. This article provides an overview of narrative approaches to conflict, answering: (a) What is narrative and what is its potential as a tool for understanding and responding to conflict? (b) How might we conduct a narrative analysis of a conflict? (c) From this analysis, how might we then construct narrative interventions and programme evaluations?


Sarah Federman
Sarah Federman is an Assistant Professor at the University of Baltimore in the department of Negotiations and Conflict Management. Federman completed her doctorate at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution where she studied the role of the French National Railways (SNCF) in the Holocaust and the on-going conflict in the United States over whether the company has done enough to make amends. She used narrative and ethnographic methods to construct a narrative landscape of the conflict over time and to better understand the social construction of victim-perpetrator binaries. Federman began this research as a masters student at the American University of Paris.
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.

    This article demonstrates how international policy frameworks provide space for iterative engagement between peacebuilding scholars and practitioners. I focus on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which prioritized gender mainstreaming in all stages of peacebuilding. This analysis is based on a review of documents and literature that trace the trajectory of UNSCR 1325 from a variety of perspectives, and informal field interviews with practitioners working at the nexus of gender and peacebuilding. UNSCR 1325 was the product of practitioners who felt that gender was central to peace and security in practice and supported their views with theory. The process of drafting and implementing UNSCR 1325 simultaneously legitimized practitioner projects to incorporate women in peacebuilding and narrowed their scope, prompting critique and research from scholars and scholar-practitioners. The ensuing debates reveal how international policy frameworks can provide a space for iterative and productive discourse between scholars and practitioners by reaffirming shared normative objectives and making the contributions and limitations of both theory and practice visible. Scholar-practitioners can expand the frequency, quality and impact of interactions in this space by acting as intermediaries who circulate between and bridge the worlds of scholarship, policy and practice.


Danielle Fulmer
Danielle Fulmer is a former PhD student in the joint programme in Sociology and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include local–global collaborations to transform gender norms and the role of intermediary actors in grassroots social movements.
Article

Process Pluralism in Transitional-Restorative Justice

Lessons from Dispute Resolution for Cultural Variations in Goals beyond Rule of Law and Democracy Development (Argentina and Chile)

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords transitional justice, conflict resolution, process pluralism, cultural variation, individual and collective justice
Authors Carrie Menkel-Meadow
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article reviews some of the key issues in transitional justice process and institutional design, based on my research and experience working and living in several post-conflict societies, and suggests that cultural and political variations in transitional justice design, practices, and processes are necessary to accomplish plural goals. The idea of process pluralism, derived from the more general fields of conflict resolution and ‘alternative dispute resolution’ in legal contexts, is an essential part of transitional justice, where multiple processes may occur simultaneously or in sequence over time (e.g. truth and reconciliation processes, with or without amnesty, prosecutions, lustration and/or more local legal and communitarian processes), depending on both individual and collective preferences and resources. Transitional justice is itself ‘in transition’ as iterative learning has developed from assessment of different processes in different contexts (post-military dictatorships, civil wars, and international and sub-national conflicts). This article draws on examples from Argentina’s and Chile’s emergence from post-military dictatorships to describe and analyze a plurality of processes, including more formal governmental processes, but also those formed by civil society groups at sub-national levels. This article suggests that ‘democracy development’ and legalistic ‘rule of law’ goals and institutional design may not necessarily be the only desiderata in transitional justice, where more than the ‘legal’ and ‘governmental’ is at stake for more peaceful human flourishing. To use an important concept from dispute resolution, the “forum must fit the fuss”, and there are many different kinds of ‘fusses’ to be dealt with in transitional justice, at different levels of society – more than legal and governmental but also social, cultural and reparative.


Carrie Menkel-Meadow
Carrie Menkel-Meadow is Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science, University of California, Irvine.
Article

Success and Failure in ADR

A Dialogue between Partners

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2014
Keywords collaborative, adjudicatory, pedagogy, interdisciplinary, diversity
Authors Lela P. Love and Joseph B. Stulberg
AbstractAuthor's information

    Love and Stulberg critically discuss policy, scholarly, and practice developments in four areas of program development in the area historically referenced as alternative dispute resolution (ADR): the range of process options; the impact of court procedures on ADR program development and practice; the nature of ADR scholarship and training; and the general public's receptiveness to or rejection of the normative principles that structure ADR collaborative processes. Their concluding remarks suggest that the promise of ADR, particularly of the mediation process, remains inspiring to many, even if its effective implementation remains uneven.


Lela P. Love
Lela P. Love is Professor of Law and Director of the Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

Joseph B. Stulberg
Joseph B. Stulberg is the Michael E. Moritz Chair in Alternative Dispute Resolution at The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law.
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