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Article

Tracing the Long-Term Impacts of a Generation of Israeli–Palestinian Youth Encounters

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2015
Keywords encounters, Israel-Palestine, impact, peace building, dialogue
Authors Karen Ross and Ned Lazarus
AbstractAuthor's information

    Since the 1980s, thousands of Israeli Jews, Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) have participated in intergroup dialogues, often referred to as ‘encounter programmes’. In the same historical span, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has proved thoroughly intractable. Given this political reality, what has been the impact of such initiatives, on direct participants and the conflict context? This article assesses the long-term impact by tracing the post-encounter peacebuilding activity and the evolving perspectives of former participants in three prominent encounter programmes – Seeds of Peace (SOP), Sadaka Reut (SR) and Peace Child Israel (PC) – over periods ranging from a few years to over two decades. Data is drawn from parallel studies conducted by each of the individual authors, encompassing research on 899 programme alumni. The article presents the results of complementary qualitative and quantitative analyses of the long-term peacebuilding engagement of graduates of these three programmes. The organizations profiled employ distinct methodologies, allowing for comparative analysis of interpersonal contact, social identity and critical theoretical approaches. The studies found 183 alumni – approximately one in five surveyed – active in peacebuilding and social change efforts as adults, often 10 or more years after initial participation in encounters. Crucially, long-term peacebuilding engagement was more common among alumni of programmes that explicitly address issues of intergroup conflict and social justice, as opposed to a ‘non-political’ cultural approach. Findings illustrate the potential of intergroup encounters to inspire sustained peacebuilding engagement at the individual level – even in a context of ongoing violent conflict – while highlighting dilemmas imposed by asymmetrical social contexts, and the limitations of micro-level strategies in effecting broader political change.


Karen Ross
Karen Ross is an Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and a Senior Fellow at the UMASS Boston Center for Peace, Democracy and Development.

Ned Lazarus
Ned Lazarus is a Research Fellow at the Gildenhorn Institute for Israel Studies at the University of Maryland and a Program Officer at the Israel Institute.
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

Transformative Experience, Conflict Resolution and Sustained Dialogue

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2015
Keywords conflict resolution, transformation, attitude change, adult learning, sustained dialogue
Authors Philip D. Stewart and Nissa Shamsi
AbstractAuthor's information

    The roots of conflict, whether international, community or interpersonal, are most often expressed in antagonistic attitudes or perspectives towards ‘the other’. Such attitudes frequently are deeply embedded and resistant to change. Yet lasting resolution of conflict is difficult, if not impossible, unless such attitudes of hatred, mistrust and anger can be addressed. This article begins with insights from science that shows that transformation of such perceptions under certain circumstances can occur. We then describe a well-tested but little known approach to conflict resolution whose design embodies these insights to transform conflicted relationships into more constructive ones. It is only through such transformation of perceptions, attitudes and relationships that the parties themselves become capable of constructively dealing with the economic, social and political issues in the conflict. This approach is called Sustained Dialogue. Sustained Dialogue has its roots in a high-level, U.S.–Soviet, now U.S.–Russia, dialogue, known as the Dartmouth Conference, which first met at Dartmouth College in 1960 and held its 137th session in October 2015. Its focus on transformation of relationships enables Sustained Dialogue to be effective in addressing a very wide range of conflicts, from a civil war in Tajikistan, to tensions between Israeli Arabs and Jews, to ethnic and racial tensions on 60 college campuses around the world and to intracommunity and intrainstitutional conflicts. Sustained Dialogue identifies five components of relationship: identity, interests, power, perceptions, misperceptions and stereotypes, as well as patterns of interaction. Moderators use these five elements not only to understand the nature of a conflict but also to guide the dialogue in ways that encourage transformative experiences. This takes time and occurs throughout the five stages of the process: deciding to engage, mapping relationships and naming problems, probing problems and relationships, scenario building as well as acting and learning together. The Sustained Dialogue Institute in Washington DC trains and encourages the use of this method. To provide the reader with a fuller sense of what this transformation process looks like and some of the results achieved, this article concludes with several illustrations from various kinds of conflicts.


Philip D. Stewart
Philip D. Stewart is Professor (Emeritus) at the Ohio State University.

Nissa Shamsi
Nissa Shamsi is a recent college graduate and former research assistant at the Sustained Dialogue Institute.
Article

Redefining Success in Arab–Jewish Dialogue Groups

Learning to Live in Both Worlds

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 2 2015
Keywords peace building, shift, interethnic dialogue, success in dialogue, dialogue groups
Authors Nurete Brenner and Victor Friedman
AbstractAuthor's information

    Despite the ongoing debate about the effectiveness of intergroup dialogue for conflict resolution, there is surprisingly little conceptualization of what constitutes successful dialogue. On the basis of a qualitative analysis of three US-based Arab–Jewish dialogue groups, using phenomenological methods and a comparison of case studies, this article presents three main dimensions of success: (1) a shift among group members to ‘living in both worlds’, which means that participants learn to accept the others’ views while still maintaining their own; (2) expansion beyond the group boundaries to include people outside the group such as family members, the larger community members and others and (3) resilience, which means being able to stay in relationship with rival group members without necessarily resolving the conflict. These three dimensions, which are linked together, provide potential criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of dialogue groups. The concept of shift is discussed and refined and contrasted with the more general concept of change. Ideas around generalizability are discussed, and the concept of expansion or ‘rippling out’ is suggested instead. Finally, resilience rather than resolution is offered as one of the main objectives of a successful dialogue.


Nurete Brenner
PhD, Ursuline College, Cleveland, Ohio.

Victor Friedman
EdD, Action Research Center for Social Justice, Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, Yezreel Valley, Israel.
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

Reframing War to Make Peace in Northern Ireland

IRA Internal Consensus-Building for Peace and Disarmament

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords Northern Ireland, intra-group negotiations, disarmament, political transition, IRA
Authors Dr. Benedetta Berti and Ariel Heifetz Knobel
AbstractAuthor's information

    In exploring alternatives to armed struggle, how do non-state armed groups embark on such complex internal discussions, and how do they reframe their worldview and strategy to persuade their militants to support such transition?
    The article tackles this question by examining the internal processes of consensus-building that brought the most prominent militant organization in Northern Ireland – the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) – from violent struggle for independence to non-violent political participation in the political system it had previously fought to expel.
    The study relies on fieldwork and applied research through interviews, conducted in Northern Ireland and Ireland with key stakeholders, ranging from ex-prisoner leaders and former militants to politicians, official negotiators and civil society practitioners who work with various conflict parties on the ground. Historical literature and primary sources are also used, including Sinn Féin and IRA official documents. All primary sources are integrated with the theoretical literature on intra-group consensus-building and discursive reframing.
    The analysis underscores the importance of discursive practices to ensure frame-shift in both the understanding of the conflict (consensus mobilization) and the means chosen to wage it (action mobilization). The case of the IRA further reveals the importance of preserving continuity with an organization’s core ideological pillars as a key mechanism to minimize chances of internal strife, along with enlisting credible supporters from the ‘militant constituency’ – such as former prisoners and/or militants with deep and personal involvement in the group’s armed struggle.


Dr. Benedetta Berti
Dr. Benedetta Berti is a Kreitman postdoctoral fellow at Ben Gurion University, a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), a lecturer at Tel Aviv University and the author of Armed Political Organizations. From Conflict to Integration. <https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/content/armed-political-organizations>.

Ariel Heifetz Knobel
Ariel Heifetz Knobel is a conflict transformation practitioner, facilitating Track 2 and Track 1.5 initiatives in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and working with Northern Irish peacemakers to bring best practices to the region. She has served as Public Diplomacy Director for five states at the Israeli Consulate to New England, and as a mediator in Boston’s district courts.
Article

Non-Violent Struggle

The 1992 Kenyan Case Study of the Protective Power and the Curse of Female Nakedness

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2015
Keywords non-violent struggle, dynamics of non-violent struggle, strategic planning in non-violent struggle, protective power of the vulva, curse of female nakedness
Authors Dr. Peter Karari
AbstractAuthor's information

    Non-violent struggle is a technique by which the population can restrict and sever the sources of power of their oppressors while mobilizing their own potentials into effective power. Female nakedness is one type of non-violent action that can be mobilized to facilitate women’s emancipation from gendered-cum-patriarchal oppression, violence and marginalization. A literature review indicates that female nakedness has been used for many centuries around the world to stop wars, ward off enemies, agitate for rights, prevent pests and increase harvests. Studies show that the effectiveness of non-violent struggle requires strategic planning and understanding of the dynamics involved. This article analyses the 1992 women’s nude protest in Kenya aimed at pushing for the release of political prisoners. This study investigates three questions: (1) In what ways was the 1992 women’s nude protest in Kenya a success? (2) What were the struggle’s flaws? (3) What strategic plans and/or dynamics of non-violent struggle could have been employed to make this protest more effective? The findings of this research indicate that: (1) The nude protest was partially a success because it secured the release of all political prisoners and nurtured democratization; (2) the struggle failed to embrace some strategic planning and/or the dynamics of non-violent struggle in addition to hunger strike and female nakedness; and (3) the protest could have been more successful if it embraced particular strategic plans and/or dynamics of non-violent struggle such as negotiation, power relations, prioritization of tactics and methods of non-violent struggle, access to critical material resources and clear monitoring and evaluation strategies.


Dr. Peter Karari
Dr. Peter Karari will be joining Karatina University, Kenya in September 2015 as a faculty member in the school of education and social sciences where he plans to start a department in Peace and Conflict Studies. He is a PhD graduate in peace and conflict studies from the Arthur Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, University of Manitoba. He also has a Bachelor in Social-Work from the University of Nairobi in Kenya and a Masters in Peace and Conflicts Research from Otto-von Guericke University in Magdeburg Germany. His areas of focus includes; ethnopolitical violence, transitional justice, peacebuilding, conflict-management, conflict-resolution, conflict-transformation, and human rights. His doctoral research was on ethno-political violence, transitional justice, and peacebuilding in Kenya. He has diverse field and work experience with Non-governmental and community based organizations. He was the Country Program Manager of Drug Abuse Education Program Kenya, Project Coordinator Compassion International Kenya, and Chief Executive Officer Kibera Slum Education Program, an Oxfam GB assisted project in Kenya. Peter has served in various capacities as a student leader, community leader, and as a member of the University of Manitoba senate. He has a great passion for the marginalized and the vulnerable people in the society and has greatly been recognized for his community leadership and human rights activism. He is the winner of the 2010 Nahlah Ayed Prize for Student Leadership and Global Citizenship, University of Manitoba; 2010 Paul Fortier Award in Student Activism, University of Manitoba Faculty Association; 2011 University of Manitoba Alumni Award; 2012 University of Manitoba Dean of Graduate Studies Student Achievement Award; and 2014 University of Manitoba Emerging Leaders Award. Apart from mentoring his students to explore new perspectives and ideas that address their inquisitiveness as human beings, Dr. Karari envisions to actively participate in peacebuilding initiatives to make the world a better place for all to live in. He envisions Perpetual Peace in the World!
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.
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