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Article

A Reformulated Model of Narrative Mediation of Emerging Culture Conflict

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2014
Keywords narrative mediation, ethnic and cultural conflict, psychoanalysis of communal violence, peacekeeping
Authors Patrick J Christian
AbstractAuthor's information

    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.


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.
Article

Responsibility and Peace Activism: Lessons from the Balkans

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2014
Keywords Responsibility, peace activism, non-violence, conflict, dynamical systems, Balkans, Levinas
Authors Borislava Manojlovic
AbstractAuthor's information

    Background: The notion of responsibility for peace in this article is examined through the analysis of stories told by seven peace activists that have chosen to promote peace in the midst of the violent 1990s conflicts in the Balkans by resisting or rejecting violence. Purpose: This study aims to explore what it means to perform responsible action (i.e. why certain individuals choose peace in the midst of conflict, despite danger and risk for themselves), and what makes their peace activities successful. Methodology: The research is based on seven in-depth semi-structured interviews. By means of dynamical systems theory and Levinas’ concept of responsibility, this study traces the positive attractor dynamics within individual narratives of these peace activists, which includes actions or thinking that produce peaceful outcomes in conflict systems. Findings: The findings suggest that inquiry and openness towards the Other rooted in care and responsibility can serve as a positive attractor in a conflict system. Successful peace activities are enabled through learning from past mistakes and creation of inclusive and diverse spaces for interaction in which historical narratives can be expanded and non-violent strategies can be embraced. Originality/value: This study contributes to the body of knowledge on how change leading to peaceful outcomes can be introduced in conflict systems through peace activism and how we can deal with the current and future violent conflicts more constructively. It also helps to bridge the gap between practice of and research on conflict resolution by giving voice to the practitioners and eliciting lessons from the ground.


Borislava Manojlovic
Borislava Manojlovic, PhD, is the director of research projects and professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University, USA. Her email address is: borislava.manojlovic@shu.edu.
Article

No Career Ladder for Mediators

A Failure of the Field

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2014
Keywords mediator career, new mediators, career ladder, access to field, practice cases
Authors David Matz
AbstractAuthor's information

    As a field, mediation has excellent training and education and excellent service delivery. But it has no career path from the completion of education to a case flow practice. There is no apprenticeship process, there is no way to gain experience with significant cases, there is no structure for serious supervision, there is no way to establish a reputation for professional competence. The result is the loss of many talented, particularly young, mediators. One major cause is a failure to attract cases valued at more than small claims level and less than, say, $100,000. The field needs to focus on this gap in its professional process.


David Matz
Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Partner at The Mediation Group, Brookline, Massachusetts.
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.
Article

Success in Conflict Intervention Is What We Make of It but Significance Is the Goal

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2014
Keywords conflict intervention research, measure of success, measure of significance, third party impact, mediation
Authors Brian Polkinghorn and Abraham (Avi) Mozes-Carmel
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines two issues relating to why and how we measure and derive any meaning of ‘success’ regarding the effective intervention into conflict episodes. The first issue focuses on who we say we are in relation to what we do as interveners and researchers who occupy an eclectic and clustered field of study and practice. We argue the field itself impacts the framing of success and as such we should resist the urge to fuse the field into tightly bound conceptual frameworks or through any unifying theories and remain – at least for now – a wide open and diverse conglomerate so as to focus our attention on the fission of unique ideas. The second issue argues that there is no one universal or ‘normal’ framework or method relating to how we measure success in conflict intervention. Therefore we argue that the measure of success is not the true aim of conflict intervention research, but rather gaining an understanding of the significance and impact the process and intervener have on the parties.


Brian Polkinghorn
Brian Polkinghorn is Distinguished Professor and Program Director at the Department of Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution and Executive Director at the Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution, Salisbury University, USA.

Abraham (Avi) Mozes-Carmel
Abraham (Avi) Mozes-Carmel Senior Research Fellow at the Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution, Salisbury University, USA.
Article

Transformative Mediation

A Self-Assessment

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2014
Keywords relational approach to mediation, transformative mediation, ideology and mediation, Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation, USPS REDRESS Mediation Program
Authors Joseph Folger and Robert A. Baruch Bush
AbstractAuthor's information

    Transformative mediation is an approach to third party intervention that has been implemented in a range of dispute settings over the past twenty years. This article offers an explanation of what led us to develop the transformative model of mediation, and an assessment of the body of work related to both the theory and practice of transformative mediation. Specifically, we offer an assessment of: how well the relational premises of the model have been articulated, whether transformative practice remained aligned with its underlying premises, what the impact of practice has been, and what effect this approach to conflict intervention has had on the discourse of the conflict field in general.


Joseph Folger
Joseph Folger, Ph.D., is Professor of Adult and Organizational Development at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. He is a co-founder of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation (<www.transformativemediation.org>).

Robert A. Baruch Bush
Robert A. Baruch Bush, J.D., is Rains Distinguished Professor of Law at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law, Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York, New York, U.S.A. He is a co-founder of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation (<www.transformativemediation.org>).
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
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