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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

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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