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InConjunctionwiththe

Conflict Research Consortium

Conflict

What this Program Is:


This is a college-level course built on the Beyond Intractability and CRInfo (Conflict Resolution
Information Source) websites. The course focuses on things everybody should know about
conflict: why it occurs, how it can be beneficial, and how to manage it so that it is beneficial and
not harmful.
This course is a spin-off from another course called "Dealing Constructively with Intractable
Conflicts." As the name implies, that course focuses on very long-lasting conflicts that are
difficult to resolve international conflicts such as Israeli/Palestinian relations, and domestic
conflicts over highly contentious issues such as abortion and gay marriage.
However, a lot of the material in that course is also relevant to more "ordinary" conflicts
parents arguing with their kids about behavior problems, spousal disagreements, workplace
tensions, and so on. This course is designed to focus more on conflicts of that kind than on the
very difficult international ones, although we have not entirely cut out the intractable material, as
family, workplace, and community conflicts can, indeed, be very intractable! In addition, the
principles that apply to Israelis and Palestinians also apply to conflicts between identity groups in
this country: between blacks and whites, fundamentalist Christians and gays although, we
hope, to a lesser degree! Therefore, rather than rewriting these essays to eliminate all the
references to international conflicts, we have tried to supplement those illustrations with
domestic illustrations, or show how the ideas apply in both the domestic and international
contexts.
About half of the material is theoretical, covering topics such as:

The nature and causes of conflict


The costs and benefits of conflict
The dynamics of conflicts

How conflicts end

The other half of the material is more practical, covering such questions as:

Can conflict be avoided? If so, how?


How (and why) does one do a conflict assessment?
How does one deal with conflict in a constructive way?
How can communication escalate and de-escalate conflict?
How can one negotiate effectively?
What kinds of assistance and intervention are available for dealing with conflict
(mediation, for example)?
How do these different types of intervention work?
How does one decide what approach to take?
How does one find assistance if one needs it?

Who is this Program For?


This program will be of interest to college students (both advanced undergraduates and graduate
students), people who deal with conflict a lot in their jobs (teachers, managers, health care
providers, etc.), parents who want to do a better job of dealing with their kids or spouses, or
anyone who wants a better understanding of ways of dealing with conflict.

Course Instructors
Heidi Burgess, Ph.D., and Guy Burgess, Ph.D., are the primary instructors, and they are assisted
by their graduate students. The Burgesses are co-directors of the Beyond Intractability project, as
well as the University of Colorado Conflict Research Consortium, which they founded (with
others) in 1988. As a team, they have been doing research, writing, and teaching on intractable
conflicts for about twenty years, with an emphasis on international, inter-group, value-based, and
environmental conflicts. They have also been leaders in the field of Internet dissemination of
conflict resolution information.

Course Units

Unit I: Understanding Conflict: The Basics


Unit II: The Psychology of Conflict
Unit III: Relationships in Conflict
Unit IV: Communication Issues
Unit V: Power Issues
Unit VI: Cultural Issues
Unit VII: Escalation and De-Escalation Strategies
Unit VIII: Negotiation
Unit IX: When Negotiation Alone Doesn't Work
Unit X: The Third Side

Unit I
Understanding Conflict: The Basics
Unit Objectives: The objective of this unit is to teach you to distinguish between "conflicts" and
"disputes," learn why the distinction matters, and examine the costs and benefits of
conflicts and disputes on individuals, organizations, communities, and societies.
Unit Requirements:

Writing Assignment: For this unit ONLY, the writing assignment comes first
BEFORE you do the reading.

Writing Assignment:
Take out a piece of paper. (Does this sound like your worst nightmare from grade school? It
won't be that bad.)

Part 1a: When you think of the word "conflict," what other words do you think of? Write
them down at least 10 of them, maybe even 20.
Part 1b: Then ask 3 other people to do the same thing without showing them your (or
anyone else's) list.
Part 2: Now go to your computer. Type all the words onto one big list and then sort it into
two columns. One column will have words indicating good things; the other bad things
or at least not-so-good things. For example: "Sports" might be a good thing when you
think of conflict, while "war" is a bad thing. How many of the words were "good" words?
How many were "bad" words? (Put the sum of each at the bottom of your two lists.)
Part 3: Then answer the following questions and send all this in for your Unit I
assignment.
1. What does this tell you about how you and your friends view conflict? Was
there a noticeable difference between people?
2. What do you think this might mean?
3. How does your view of conflict affect how you think about it and engage in it?

For this assignment (and all others), save your responses in a file preferably Microsoft Word
or Corel WordPerfect; if you use a different word processor, try saving as a .txt or .rtf file. Send
the file as an attachment to Touro Institute.
Unit I Reading:
Okay, now it is time to start the readings. When you do the readings all of the readings in this
unit and the others you will note that some of the essays have a box at the right that says
"comments: listen/read." Be sure to click on this box and listen to the person or people talking
and/or read the transcript for additional information on the essay topic. Sometimes there are just
one or two audio comments; sometimes there are quite a few. If there are lots, you may not have

time to listen to them all, but they tend to "bring life" to the readings, so we encourage you to
listen to as many as you can. All of these folks are leaders in the field of conflict resolution from
around the world, talking about their areas of expertise. Listening to their voices will really bring
these ideas alive for you in ways that the reading alone cannot do.
Another note: While most of the required readings are either theoretical or practical (how-to)
essays, some are what we call "personal reflections" and/or case studies written about real
conflict situations. Since real situations are not nice and neat, they often won't track perfectly
with the other readings. But again, they are meant to illustrate how values and conflict affect real
people in real life, and, we hope, they also will help to bring this course to life.
A final note: There are LOTS and LOTS of links and additional readings in each of these essays.
These are totally optional. Follow them as your interests and time allow.
So, onto the readings...
These essays introduce you to some of the most basic ideas and terms in the conflict resolution
field. Please read these essays and listen to (or read) at least some of the audio comments
associated with them as well.
Conflicts and Disputes
Conflict scholars make a critical distinction between short-term disputes and deep-rooted,
long-term conflicts. Learn why conflicts and disputes are so common, and why conflicts
are so much harder to resolve than disputes.
What Are Intractable Conflicts?
Although this course primarily addresses the sort of "regular conflicts" that we all deal
with all of the time, it seems that we in America (and elsewhere) are also encountering
difficult, seemingly intractable conflicts more and more (US/Iraq, abortion, gay marriage,
the "red-blue divide," etc.) This essay discusses why some conflicts become intractable,
and, very briefly, what's to be done about that.
Causes of Conflicts and Disputes
Disputes are generally caused by misunderstandings or conflicts of interests, while
conflicts are caused by more deep-rooted differences over values or fundamental
human needs, for example. This essay reviews the common causes of both.
Costs of Conflicts and Disputes
Although the costs of some conflicts the Iraq war, for example are very evident (to
those who pay attention, at least), the costs of other conflicts, such as family conflicts or
workplace conflicts, are often hidden and overlooked. This essay discusses some of the
psychological, sociological, and economic costs of interpersonal and organizational
conflicts, as well as briefly touching on the costs of larger-scale conflicts such as the war
in Iraq.
Benefits of Conflicts and Disputes
Conflict is change. Without it, attitudes, behaviors, and relationships stay the same,
regardless of whether they are fair. Although conflict is often understood as something
negative, this essay explores its many benefits.

Conflict Stages
Most conflicts go through a series of stages, which may or may not occur in order. They
often start as latent conflict problems brewing, but not yet erupted. They then emerge,
escalate, de-escalate and are resolved sometimes permanently, sometimes temporarily
until they emerge or escalate again. This essay describes the stages, and links to more
detailed essays on each stage. (These detailed essays are optional.)
Conflict Assessment
Conflict assessment is the first stage in the process of conflict management and
resolution. It begins by clarifying participants' interests, needs, positions, and issues, and
then engages stakeholders to find solutions. Understanding what is involved in and
then doing at least a simple conflict assessment is essential for anyone wanting to
resolve any but the simplest dispute successfully.
Settlement, Resolution, Management, and Transformation: An Explanation of Terms
These refer to four different goals for approaching and perhaps ending a conflict or
dispute. While these terms are frequently considered to be synonomous, they actually
refer to very different philosophies and approaches to conflict, and result in a
considerably different end state.

ConflictsandDisputes

By
Heidi Burgess
Brad Spangler

TheDifferenceBetween"Conflicts"and"Disputes"
Most people probably do not recognize a

distinct difference between the terms "conflict"


and "dispute." However, many conflict scholars
do draw a distinction between the two terms. As
is unfortunately common in this field, different
scholars define the terms in different ways,
leading to confusion.
One way that is particularly useful, however, is
the distinction made by John Burton which
distinguishes the two based on time and issues
in contention. Disputes, Burton suggests, are
short-term disagreements that are relatively
easy to resolve. Long-term, deep-rooted
problems that involve seemingly non-negotiable issues and are resistant to resolution are what
Burton refers to as conflicts. Though both types of disagreement can occur independently of one
another, they may also be connected. In fact, one way to think about the difference between them
is that short-term disputes may exist within a larger, longer conflict. A similar concept would be
the notion of battles, which occur within the broader context of a war.
Following Burton's distinction, disputes involve interests that are negotiable. That means it is
possible to find a solution that at least partially meets the interests and needs of both sides. For
example, it generally is possible to find an agreeable price for a piece of merchandise. The seller
may want more, the buyer may want to pay less, but eventually they can agree on a price that is
acceptable to both. Likewise, co-workers may disagree about who is to do what task in an office.
After negotiating, each may have to do something they did not want to do, but in exchange they
will get enough of what they did want to settle the dispute (see compromise).
Long-term conflicts, on the other hand, usually involve non-negotiable issues. They may involve
deep-rooted moral or value differences, high-stakes distributional questions, or conflicts about
who dominates whom. Fundamental human psychological needs for identity, security, and
recognition are often at issue as well. None of these issues are negotiable. People will not
compromise fundamental values. They will not give up their chance for a better life by
submitting to continued injustice or domination, nor will they change or give up their selfidentity. Deep-rooted conflicts over these types of issues tend to be drawn out and highly
resistant to resolution, often escalating or evolving into intractable conflicts.

AClarifyingExampleTheColdWar
While many disputes stand alone and are settled permanently, others are part of a continuing
long-term conflict. Looking back at events that represent concrete manifestations of the Cold
War between the United States and U.S.S.R. provides a good example of this idea. For example,
each round of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S.-Vietnam War,

Cold War. The Vietnam War was extremely serious and relatively long, but nonetheless was a
short-term conflict or "dispute" in the context of the Cold War, which played out over more than
40 years. However, as this example illustrates, even the most resolution-resistant conflicts can be
transformed and resolved. While the U.S. and Russia are not "best friends" today, their
relationship is certainly much more positive now than it was during the Cold War. Moreover,
expectations for a U.S.-Russian war are now far more remote.

OtherDistinctionsbetweenConflictandDispute
Costintino and Merchant[1] define conflict as the fundamental disagreement between two
parties, of which a dispute is one possible outcome. (Conciliation, conflict avoidance, or
capitulation are other outcomes.) This is similar to Douglas Yarn's observation that conflict is a
state, rather than a process. People who have opposing interests, values, or needs are in a state of
conflict, which may be latent (meaning not acted upon) or manifest, in which case it is brought
forward in the form of a dispute or disputing process. In this sense, "a conflict can exist without a
dispute, but a dispute cannot exist without a conflict."[2]

[1] Costintino, C.A. and Merchant C.S. Designing Conflict Management Systems: A Guide to
Creating Productive and Healthy Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996, pp 4-5
[2] Douglas H. Yarn, ed. "Conflict" in Dictionary of Conflict Resolution, San Francisco: JosseyBass 1999. p. 115.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Offline(Print)Sources
Burton,JohnW."ConflictDisputeDistinction."InConflict:ResolutionandProvention.NewYork,NY:
St.Martin'sPress,Inc.,July1990.Pages:2.
Thisisabriefdiscussionofthedefinitionaldifferencebetweentheterms"conflict"and"dispute."

Burton,JohnW."ConflictResolutionasapoliticalphilosophy."InConflictResolutionTheoryand
Practice:IntegrationandApplication.EditedbyderMerwe,HugovanandDennisJ.D.Sandole,eds.
ManchesterandNewYork:ManchesterUniversityPress,1993.
Theauthorlooksatnewtechniqueshavethatbeendevelopedindisputemanagmentinrecentyears.
Conflictresolutionhasnotreceivedasmuchattentionthough.Itiscapableofdealingwithboth
domesticandinternationalconflicts,aswellasinoperatingindifferenteconomicandpoliticalsystems.
Butthesearenotthemaintasksofconflictresolution.Themajorpromiseofitisconflictprovention.
Bothgoalspromoteconditionsforpeacefultransformationofthesocietiestowardsocialharmony.


Deutsch,Morton."IntroductiontoTheHandbookofConflictResolution."InTheHandbookofConflict
Resolution:TheoryandPractice.EditedbyColeman,PeterT.andMortonDeutsch,eds.SanFrancisco:
JosseyBassPublishers,2000.
Thischapterpresentsseveralexamplesofconflictsandthetypesofquestionsonemightposeto
understandwhatishappeninginthoseconflicts.Theauthorincludesadiscussionofthedifferences
betweenconflictresolutionpractitioners'andresearchertheorists'perspectives,aswellasabrief
historyofthestudyofconflictfromthesocialpsychologicalperspective.

Deutsch,Morton."IntroductiontoTheResolutionofConflict."InTheResolutionofConflict:
ConstructiveandDestructiveProcesses.NewHaven,CT:YaleUniversityPress,1973.Pages:319.
Thisintroductorychapterpresentsavarietyoffoundationinformationaboutconflicttheory.Deutsch
outlinesvariablesaffectingthecourseofconflict,discussesthefunctionsofconflict,andoffersa
typologyofconflicts.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
ConflictDisputeDiagram:TheRelationshipBetweenConflictsandDisputes.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/essay/Dufountain.htm.
Thediagramanddiscussionprovidedonthispagedemonstratesthedifferencebetweenshortterm
disputesandlongtermconflicts.Themainpointisthatdisputesettlementisnotthesameasconflict
resolution.Oneisatemporarysettlementofanimmediateproblem,whiletheotherisalongterm
settlementofanunderlying,longstandingconflict.

WhatAreIntractableConflicts?

By
Heidi Burgess
Guy M. Burgess

Definition
"Intractability" is a controversial concept, which
means different things to different people. Some
people on the project team intensely dislike the
term, as they see it as too negative: intractable
conflicts are impossible to resolve, they say, so
people think they are not worth dealing with. "Do
not use a term that undermines everything we are
trying to do," argued project member Andrea
Strimling.[1]

Additionalinsightsdiscussingintractableconflicts
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/11064

Nevertheless, all project participants agreed, there is a set of conflicts out there that are hard to
deal with. "Protracted." "Destructive." "Deep-rooted." "Resolution-resistant." "Intransigent."
"Gridlocked." "Identity-based." "Needs based." "Complex." "Difficult." "Malignant."
"Enduring."
All of these words capture some of what we are trying to get at, but none capture it all. As we see
it, intractable conflicts are those that lie at the frontier of the field -- the conflicts that stubbornly
seem to elude resolution, even when the best available techniques are applied. Examples abound:
abortion, homosexual rights, and race relations in the United States; and the Israeli-Palestinian
problem, Sri Lanka , and Kashmir (among many others) abroad.
These conflicts are not hopeless, and they most certainly are worth dealing with. But they are
very different from more tractable conflicts, such as most labor-management conflicts, some
family conflicts, many workplace conflicts and even many international conflicts that can be
successfully resolved through negotiation or mediation. Intractable conflicts need a different,
more multi-faceted, and more prolonged approach.

CharacteristicsofIntractableConflicts

Mutable Characteristics
First we should say that intractability is not a dichotomous concept. In other words, you can't
have two bins -- one tractable, and one intractable -- and put conflicts in one bin or the other.
Rather, intractability exists on a continuum, with very stubborn, apparently intractable conflicts
at one end; very simple, readily resolvable conflicts at the other end and many conflicts
somewhere in between the two extremes.

Intractability is also a dynamic state. Few conflicts are intractable at the beginning; rather, they
become one way or the other according to how they are handled. Conflicts that become highly
escalated and involve repeated patterns of violence are likely to move toward the intractable end,
sometimes quite quickly. Conflicts that are managed skillfully to limit escalation and violence
are likely to move toward the tractable end.

Pre-Disposing Characteristics
But some characteristics make conflicts more difficult to handle no matter what. One might say
these conflicts are "predisposed" to become intractable. For example, conflicts that involve
irreducible, high-stakes, win-lose issues that have no "zone of possible agreement" (ZOPA) often
become intractable. These are conflicts from which the participants see no "Way Out" (using a
Bill Zartman term)[2], because any "solution" would require giving up some very important
value.[3]
Louis Kriesberg adds that the conflicts we are concerned with are especially destructive. Some
conflicts go on for a long time, but if they do not do damage, and if the parties are not worried
about them, he does not consider them intractable. Intractable conflicts are conflicts that are
doing substantial harm, yet the parties seem unable to extricate themselves -- either alone or with
outside help. This is because the perceived costs of "getting out" are still seen as higher than the
costs of "staying in."[4]

Yet intractability is a perception, not a firm characteristic, which can be perceived differently by
different people or groups. While some people may consider Israeli-Palestinian conflict to be
intractable, others may not, because they see the costs of staying in as higher than the costs of an
agreement.

Perception is important, because it influences action. If a conflict is perceived to be intractable,


then disputants are likely to engage in desperate measures, such as suicide bombings. Yet those
very measures are likely to increase the intractability of the conflict. However, if a conflict is
seen to be moving beyond intractability, then more credibility is given to the peacebuilders, the
people on both sides and in the middle who are trying to broker some kind of agreement.
The key, it would seem, is not in denying that intractable conflicts exist, as they clearly do, but to
develop an image of a "way out," not necessarily substantive, but at least procedural. In other
words, people have to have the understanding that there are positive things they can do, even
while they are stuck in the morass of an intractable conflict. There are positive actions that can
be taken to transform the conflict from a destructive one to a constructive one, even if a full
resolution cannot soon be found.
Indeed, even in the context of long-running seemingly intractable conflicts, particular disputes or
"episodes" are settled. For example, a law can be passed providing greater or diminished access
to abortions, an agreement can be reached regarding the terms of a cease-fire on the West Bank
and Gaza Strip, or a Supreme Court decision can clarify what types of "Affirmative Action"
programs are Constitutional and which are not. Understood for what they are, such settlements
are helpful. They often defuse tension and anger, and provide a vehicle for people working
together. But they do not solve the underlying conflict, which must be confronted with a long
series of settlements to different issues over a long period of time. Only after all the issues are
confronted and successfully dealt with will a true "resolution" be found.

CausesofIntractability
The causes of intractability are varied. In earlier publications, we have listed three:

IrreconcilableMoralDifferences
HighStakesDistributionalIssues
Dominationor"peckingorder"conflicts

Irreconcilable moral differences are conflicts about right and wrong, good and evil. They may be
rooted in different religions, different cultures, or different worldviews. For example, most
abortion foes will not negotiate about an act they consider equivalent to murder; similarly, most
homosexual rights advocates will not negotiate about their rights to equal treatment under the
law. Rather, they will continue to fight for what they know is right, even if they know that, over
the short term, they cannot win. What is important to them is that they are engaged in a noble
crusade.
High-Stakes distributional issues are conflicts over "who gets what" when the item in contention
is very valuable -- often impossible to do without. People are unlikely to abandon continuing
struggles over land, water, employment opportunities, and wealth, in general. When there isn't
enough to "go around," or when distribution is highly inequitable, these fights are likely to be
especially bitter and destructive.
Domination or "pecking order" conflicts are conflicts over power and status: who is on top of the

social and political hierarchy, and who is not. While people with higher status tend to win the
distributional conflicts, more often than not, status conflicts go beyond distributional conflicts -they involve subjective assessments of an individual's or a group's "goodness," "value" or "social
worth."
The presence of one or more of these characteristics does not automatically make a conflict
intractable, but it makes it more likely to be at the intractable end of the continuum. And the
more of these characteristics a conflict has, the farther left on the continuum (meaning the more
intractable) a conflict is likely to be. All of these issues, for example, are combined in the
identity conflicts which divide the many different ethnic, religious, class, and national groups
which are at the center of so many of the world's tragic and deadly trouble spots. Identity
conflicts involve conflicts over social status and privilege and the distribution of scarce
resources, along with a moral component, since each group tends to believe in its own moral
superiority. The combination of all three of these aspects make these conflicts especially difficult
to resolve.
Other authors suggest additional causes:
Peter Coleman makes a distinction between issues, context, and conflict dynamics.
Issues: The issues of intractable conflicts are varied, he says, but there tend to be multiple, interrelated issues relating to resources, values, power, and basic human needs. Another issue
Coleman highlights is time. Intractable conflicts usually have "an extensive past, a turbulent
present, and a murky future."[5] The hatred, the fear, and often the history of past atrocities are
hard to let go of, which makes moving into a new relationship with the former "enemy"
especially difficult.
Context: Many intractable conflicts, especially at the inter-group and international levels, are
embedded in a context of long-standing differences and inequalities. They are "rooted in a
history of colonialism, ethnocentrism, racism, sexism, or human rights abuses" which causes a
large imbalance of power and what Edward Azar called "structural victimization," or what
Johann Galtung called "structural violence." Both terms suggest that the low-power groups are
harmed by the basic social structure of society.
Dynamics: Intractable conflicts tend to be self-perpetuating. Guy Burgess has often argued that
the enemy is not the other side, but rather the process of escalation, that takes conflicts out of the
disputants' control, and pushes them to act in increasingly extreme ways that would not, under
other circumstances be considered remotely acceptable.[6] Indeed, unrestrained escalation is
often what takes a formerly tractable conflict and turns it into an intractable one. Like a one-way
road without a road going the other way anywhere to be found, escalation is easy to fall into. It is
much harder to get out of.
Human needs are stressed by many other scholars as well, among them John Burton[7] and
Herbert Kelman,[8] who believe that deep-rooted conflicts are caused by the absence of the
fundamental needs of security, identity, respect, safety, and control. These needs, human needs
theorists argue, are non-negotiable. As such, if they are absent, the resulting conflict will remain

intractable until the structure of society is changed to provide such needs to all.
Identity, in particular, is a human need that is singled out by numerous authors (most notably Jay
Rothman[9] and John Paul Lederach[10]) as a fundamental driver of intractable conflict. When
identities are threatened, people respond very negatively and take either defensive or often also
offensive action to protect what they see as the essence of themselves. Identity conflicts in
particular are not negotiable interest-based conflicts, so if they are approached with interestbased negotiation, the settlements are likely to be temporary, at best.
Complexity: The sheer complexity of these problems also contributes to intractability. There are
so many issues and parties that it is often not logistically possible to do all that is required to
reconcile competing interests, even when such reconciliation is theoretically possible. Even
when everyone knows "the way out," complexity can make it seemingly impossible to get there.
Most observers, for instance, believe that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem is a twostate solution (meaning the continuation of the State of Israel and the formation of a second state
of Palestine), but there are so many difficult issues involved, no one seems to know how to get
from here to there.
Social-Psychological Factors: Intractable conflicts typically have conflicts within groups as
well as between groups. Morton Deutsch argues that these internal conflicts actually perpetuate
the external conflict, as leaders need to perpetuate the external conflict to preserve their identity
as a leader and to encourage group cohesiveness.[11] Fear of losing face also keeps leaders
involved in conflicts that are doing more harm than good. If they see no way out that doesn't
admit that all their previous sacrifices were wrong or in vain, they are likely to continue to call
for more sacrifices, rather than admitting that they made a mistake.[12]

ConsequencesofIntractableConflict
The consequences of intractable conflicts are huge, most of them negative, because intractable
conflicts tend to be pursued in damaging and destructive ways. The violence that is very
common in inter-group and international conflicts causes widespread loss of life and damage to
property. This creates massive economic costs, which are supplemented by the costs of defense.
But the social and psychological costs are huge too: the fear, the hatred, the anger, the guilt are
difficult to deal with while the conflict is ongoing, and are equally difficult to remedy after the
conflict has supposedly been resolved. The Rwandan children, for example, who either watched
their parents be killed, or who were forced to kill others themselves, will probably never be
psychologically healthy. How can these children put their lives back together and grow into
productive adults? A few will, one hopes, but most, probably, will not.
Even conflicts that occur within violence limiting institutions -- such as conflicts over abortion,
sexual orientation, or race relations in the U.S. have significant negative socio-economic and
psychological costs. They tear apart relationships, and challenge institutions (such as churches
and schools) which spend much of their time dealing with these issues rather than focusing on
their primary goals of education and/or spiritual growth and healing.
Intractable conflicts can be particularly paradoxical, as they cause disputants to destroy

themselves and the things they value in an effort to destroy the other. They may even realize that
this is happening, but they will continue, because the goal of destroying the other is seen as
supreme (even though the reason to destroy the other is because you think they are out to destroy
you). Needless to say, such situations are very destructive for all sides.

BeyondIntractablity
As we said at the beginning of this essay, many of the participants in this project, as well as
others, have felt that we should not use the term "intractable," because it sounds too hopeless. If
conflicts are intractable, they said, that means nothing can be done about them. So why would
people read this Web site, they asked?
We have several answers to this question.
First, even though intractable conflicts may not be amenable to final, near-term resolution, they
are not hopeless. The parties, with or without the help of intermediaries, can move beyond
intractability to make their interactions less destructive and more constructive. Even when
conflicts cannot be resolved, parties can learn to live together with less distrust, overt hostility,
and violence. They can learn to work with people on the other side, and come to understand the
reason for their differences, even if those differences do not go away.
People who have engaged in dialogues about abortion, for example, do not change their attitudes
about abortion. But they do change their attitudes about the people on the other side: they learn
they are intelligent, thoughtful, caring, humans who, for a variety of reasons, see the issue of
abortion differently. But they are people who can and should be respected, people who can even
become one's friends.[13]
People caught up in ethnic conflicts, too, can learn to respect people on the other side, learning
that they also are intelligent, thoughtful, caring humans who are caught up in a cycle of fear and
violence that nobody wants. Working together to try to figure out how to disrupt that cycle is a
positive way to respond to intractable conflict, and can make those conflicts less destructive,
even as they continue.
Second, sometimes, seemingly endless, hopeless intractable conflicts are resolved. The Cold War
is one example; South African Apartheid is another. When we started working in this field in the
1970s, both conflicts seemed firmly entrenched. No one imagined the Berlin Wall falling, much
less the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the inclusion of former Warsaw Pact countries in
NATO. Few imagined the end of apartheid, with Nelson Mandela serving as President and
former President F.W. de Klerk as one of his two deputy presidents. These amazing
transformations prove that no matter how deep-rooted, widespread, and seemingly "endless,"
intractable conflicts do end. And even more are transformed, as is evidenced by the fragile, but
growing peace in Northern Ireland.
Third, if we just ignore intractable conflicts, very often they will just get worse. Like an
untreated infection, they will spread, getting "hotter and hotter," and doing more and more
damage. As with untreated infections, in destructive conflicts, people will die. So ignoring them,

though perhaps tempting, is not a good option.


While our field does not know how to stop these very difficult conflicts completely, we do know
a lot about violence prevention and conflict transformation. The breadth and depth of our
knowledge is illustrated in this knowledge base: it has over 200 entries now, and over 100 more
will be available within the next few months, all discussing what we know about how to deal
with intractable conflicts effectively.
However, we still have a lot to learn. Though over 100 people contributed to this web site, we
could not come close to including all of their knowledge, let alone all of the knowledge of others
around the world who have been dealing with these conflicts every day. We welcome
contributions from other people who have ideas to add to our collection. These problems are too
difficult to assume that any one group of people "knows the answer." This Web site is a start, but
we hope readers will help us make it better.
Since the nature of intractability was a central topic of discussion as this project was developing,
we are including several essays on that topic. This is one; others have been contributed by Louis
Kriesberg, who wrote several early books on the subject, and Jacob Bercovitch, who has been
studying the use of mediation as a means to end intractable conflicts for many years.

[1] Statement made at the first project conference in March of 2002.


[2] The presence or absence of a "way out" is discussed in Bill Zartman's discussion of Ripeness
and Promoting Ripeness in this Knowledge Base.
[3] Observation made by Morton Deutsch in a project discussion on the meaning of
"intractability." March 2002.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Peter Coleman. "Intractable Conflict," in Morton Deutsch and Peter Coleman, eds. Handbook
of Conflict Resolution (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass), 2000. 432.
[6] See his essays on violence breakover, personalization breakover as well as the main essay on
escalation.
[7] John Burton, Conflict: Human Needs Theory (New York: St. Martin's Press), 1990.
[8] Ed. Herbert Kelman, International Behavior: A Social Psychological Analysis (New York:
Holt, Rinehart and Winston), 1965.
[9] Jay Rothman, Resolving Identity-Based Conflicts (San Francisco: Jossey Bass), 1997.
[10] John Paul Lederach, Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies

(United States Institute of Peace), 1998.


[11] Morton Deutsch, as discussed in the March 2002 Intractable Conflict Knowledge Base
Conference.
[12] See the essay on entrapment.
[13] Anne Fowler and others, "Talking with the Enemy." The Boston Globe, 28 January 2001,
Focus section. Reproduced at
http://www.publicconversations.org/pcp/resources/resource_detail.asp?ref_id=102.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Jameson,JessicaK."TheEscalationandDeescalationofIntractableConflict."CommunicatingWar
andTerror,
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

Thisarticlediscussesonetheoryofthestagesofconflictescalationthatleadtointractability,aswell
threelevelsofdeescalationthatcanleadtoresolution.
Offline(Print)Sources
ConflictResearchConsortiumStaff."IntractableConflictsandtheirTransformationsBookSummary."
UniversityofColorado:ConflictResearchConsortium.
ThissummaryofIntractableConflictsandTheirTransformations,editedbyLouisKriesberg,Terrell
NorthrupandStuartThorson,givesagoodoverviewofthebook.Thebookbringstogetheressaysfrom
anumberofauthorswhoexploreintractabilitythroughdiversetheoreticalframeworksandcase
histories.

Putnam,LindaL."Intractability:Definitions,Dimensions,andDistinctions."InMakingSenseof
IntractableEnvironmentalConflicts:FramesandCases.EditedbyGray,Barbara,MichaelElliottand
RoyJ.Lewicki,eds.Washington,DC:IslandPress,2003.
Thischapteroffersathoroughdiscussionoftheconceptofintractability,attemptingtoflechoutthe
variousdefinitionsandinterpretationsoftheterm.Theauthorhighlightsthevariationsaswellasthe
commonalitiesamongintractableconflictsandproposesacontinuumonwhichtounderstandthe
movementandpatternsofintractableconflicts.

Coleman,PeterT."IntractableConflict."InTheHandbookofConflictResolution:TheoryandPractice.
EditedbyDeutsch,MortonandPeterT.Coleman,eds.SanFrancisco:JosseyBassPublishers,2000.

Thischapterdiscussesthecharacteristics,causes,andconsequencesofintractableconflictaswellas
implicationsforinterveninginsuchsituations.

Kriesberg,Louis,TerrellA.NorthrupandStuartJ.Thorson,eds.IntractableConflictsandTheir
Transformation.NewYork:SyracuseUniversityPress,October1989.
IntractableConflictsbringstogetheressaysfromanumberofauthorswhoexploreintractabilitythrough
diversetheoreticalframeworksandcasehistories.Theseessayswerefirstpresentedataconference
sponsoredbySyracuseUniversity'sProgramontheAnalysisandResolutionofConflicts.Clickherefor
moreinfo.

Northrup,TerrellA.,StuartJ.ThorsonandLouisKriesberg,eds.IntractableConflictsandtheir
Transformations.NewYork:SyracuseUniversityPress,1989.
Theeditorsbringtogetheressaysfromanumberofauthorswhoexploreintractabilitythroughdiverse
theoreticalframeworksandcasehistories.Inalloftheseessays,intractableconflictsareseenas
resistingresolution,butarenotconsidered"unresolvable."Clickhereformoreinfo.

Azar,EdwardE.andRickAyre."ProtractedSocialConflict:AnAnalyticalFramework."InThe
ManagementofProtractedSocialConflict:TheoryandCases.Brookfield,VT:DartmouthPress,April
1990.Pages:517.
Thischapteroffersaframeworkforanalyzingdifficultprotracted,or"intractable,"conflicts.Itdescribes
whatsortsofinternalandexternalfactorsshouldbegivenattentionintryingtodeterminethecausesof
theconflictanditsenduringnature.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Walter,Barbara.ReputationandWar:ExplainingtheIntractabilityofTerritorialConflict.Universityof
CaliforniaSanDiego:GraduateSchoolofInternationalRelationsandPacificStudies.
Availableat:http://www.ciaonet.org/wps/wab04/wab04.pdf.
Thispaperexaminesthefactorsthatplayintowhethergovernmentswillnegotiateterritorialconflicts
thataregroundedinselfdeterminationmovements,ornot.Theauthorarguesthatgovernmentsof
multiethnicstatesarefarlesslikelytonegotiatethanaregovernmentsthatpresideovermore
homogeneouspopulations.
Offline(Print)Sources
Kriesberg,Louis."TransformingConflictsintheMiddleEastandCentralEurope."InIntractable
ConflictsandTheirTransformation.EditedbyNorthrup,TerrellA.,StuartJ.ThorsonandLouis
Kriesberg,eds.Syracuse,NY:SyracuseUniversityPress,1989.
Theauthordescribeseffortsdirectedatpreventionoftwocasestudies'intractabilityaswellasthose
thatencouragedtheirtransformationtowardbecomingmorenegotiable.AccordingtoKriesberg,for
transformationtohappen,astrategyshouldbedevelopedthatincorporates"theappropriateparties,
issues,andcombinationofinducementsforthedesiredmovementataparticulartime".Clickherefor

moreinfo.

Cavanaugh,KathleenA."UnderstandingProtractedSocialConflict:ABasicNeedsApproach."In
ReconcilableDifferences:TurningPointsinEthnopoliticalConflict.EditedbyIrvin,CynthiaL.andSean
Byrne,eds.WestHartford,CT:KumarianPress,Inc.,2000.
Accordingtoaneedsbasedapproachtoconflictanalysisandresolution,conflictisrootedinthedenial
ofbasichumanneedssuchasidentityrecognitionandsecurity.Theauthorappliessuchanapproachto
theNorthernIrelandcaseandsuggeststhatunmetneedshavecontributedtothesociopolitical
instabilityoftheregionsince1968.

CausesofConflictsandDisputes

By
Michelle Maiese

Introduction
Disputes and conflicts can be caused by many things: simple misunderstandings, competition for
scarce resources, conflicts of interests, feelings of injustice or denied rights or needs, and
struggles for status or power. Typically, disputes are simpler: they have fewer underlying causes
and these causes can be relatively easily resolved.
Forexample,manydisputesarecreatedwhenonepersonsayssomethingandanotherinterpretsitina
wayitwasnotintended.Iftherecipientofthe"negative"commentgetsangryandlashesback,the
conflictcanescalate.Butiftherecipientusesactivelisteningtoclarifywhatwassaid,thedisputecan
oftenbesolvedrelativelyquicklyandeasily.Orifadisputeiscausedbyanapparentconflictofinterest,
itcanoftenbesolvedusinginterestbasedbargaining,wherepositionsaredistinguishedfrominterests,
andthepartiescooperatetofindareasofmutualgain.Thisdoesn'talwayswork,ofcourse,butitoften
doesandifitdoesn't,enlistingtheassistanceofathirdparty(amediator,forexample)willoftenhelp
facilitatereachingasettlement.

Conflicts generally have deeper, and more complex causes. As discussed in the previous article,
those causes often include fundamental moral disagreements, high-stakes distributional conflicts
(that are not amenable to a win-win solution), and status or power conflicts. As conflicts escalate,
any tangible issues may become embedded within a larger set of values, beliefs, identities, and
cultures. Disputes about land, money, or other resources may take on increased symbolic
significance.[1] Over the course of conflict, the original issues can even become irrelevant as
new causes for conflict are generated by actions within the conflict itself. Those on opposing
sides come to view each other as enemies and may resort to highly destructive means.
Eventually, the parties become unable to separate different issues and may see no way out of the
conflict other than through total victory or defeat.[2]
This degree of escalation often makes conflicts intractable--meaning they remain unresolved for
long periods of time and then become stuck at a high level of intensity and destructiveness. They
typically involve many parties and concern an intricate set of historical, religious, cultural,
political, and economic issues.[3] These matters are central to human social existence and
typically resist any attempts at resolution. In fact, parties often refuse to negotiate or compromise
with respect to such issues. As a result, each side views the rigid position of the other as a threat
to its very existence. They may develop a mutual fear of each other and a profound desire to
inflict as much harm on each other as possible.[4] What are the underlying causes of these
destructive conflict dynamics?
What is common to all intractable conflicts is that they involve interests or values that the
disputants regard as critical to their survival. These underlying causes include parties' moral
values, identities, and fundamental human needs. Because conflicts grounded in these issues
involve the basic molds for thought and action within given communities and culture, they are
usually not resolvable by negotiation or compromise.[6] This is because the problem in question
is one that cannot be resolved in a win-win way. If one value system is followed, another is
threatened. If one nation controls a piece of land, another does not. If one group is dominant,

another is subordinate.
While sharing is possible in theory, contending sides usually regard compromise as a loss. This
is especially true in societies where natural fear and hatred is so ingrained that opposing groups
cannot imagine living with or working cooperatively with the other side. Instead, they are often
willing to take whatever means necessary to ensure group survival and protect their way of life.
Below are brief summaries of some of the central underlying causes of intractable conflict. These
causes are also causes of much simpler disputes and tractable conflicts as well. Intractability
becomes increasingly likely as more of these factors are present.

MoralConflicts
In general, conflicts over funamental moral differences tend to be intractable and long-lasting.[7]
The substantive issues are often a matter of rigidly held moral beliefs, based in fundamental
assumptions that cannot be proven wrong.[8] These fundamental moral, religious, and personal
values are not easily changed, and people who adhere to a particular ideology may very well be
unwilling to compromise their world view. In addition, because parties to such conflicts often
have great difficulty in describing the substantive issues in shared terms, they will find it difficult
to reach some sort of compromise even if they are willing.
Such conflicts tend to result from a clash between differing worldviews. One group's most
fundamental and cherished assumptions about the best way to live may differ radically from the
values held by another group.[9] Parties may have different standards of rightness and goodness
and give fundamentally different answers to serious moral questions.[10] When groups have
different ideas about the good life, they often stress the importance of different things, and may
develop radically different or incompatible goals. In some cases, one group may regard the
beliefs and actions of another group as so fundamentally evil that they exceed the bounds of
tolerance and require active, committed opposition. (This is the case with parties on both sides of
the abortion controversy, for example.) Because values and morals tend to be quite stable, people
are often unwilling to negotiate or compromise with respect to these topics. Indeed, if the basic
substantive issues of the conflict are deeply embedded in the participants' moral orders, these
issues are likely to be non-negotiable.[11] Parties to such conflicts tend to have great difficulty in
imagining a win-win resolution.
Those involved in moral conflict may even regard perpetuation of the conflict as virtuous or
necessary. They may derive part of their identity from being warriors or opponents of their
enemy and have a stake in the continuation of the conflict because it provides them with a highly
desirable role.[12] In addition, because struggles over values often involve claims to status and
power, parties may have a great stake in neutralizing, injuring or eliminating their rivals. They
may view any compromise about their most cherished values as a threat to their basic human
needs and their sense of identity. In intractable conflicts, the continuation of a conflict may seem
preferable to what would have to be given up in order to accommodate the other party.[13]

IssuesofJustice
Because the desire for justice is one that people tend to be unwilling to compromise, assertions
of injustice often lead to intractable conflicts as well. An individual's sense of justice is
connected to the norms, rights, and entitlements that are thought to underlie decent human
treatment. If there is a perceived discrepancy between what a person obtains, what she wants,
and what she believes she is entitled to, she may come to believe she is being deprived of the
benefits she deserves.[14] This can occur when either a procedure or outcome is viewed as
unfair. When people believe that they have been treated unfairly, they may try to "get even" or
challenge those who have treated them unjustly.
Indeed, a sense of injustice often motivates aggression or retaliation. Individuals may come to
view violence as the only way to address the injustice they have suffered and ensure that their
fundamental needs are met. This is especially likely if no procedures are in place to correct the
oppressive social structures or bring about retributive or restorative justice. However, the
powerful often respond by attempting to quell the disturbance and maintain the status quo.[15]
This can lead to ongoing violent conflict.
Conflicts that center on issues of justice tend to be intractable in part because reaching an
agreement about what qualifies as injustice is often exceedingly difficult. Those who benefit
from injustice often perpetuate it, often without being fully aware that they are contributing to
injustice. Not surprisingly, victims are typically more sensitive to injustice than victimizers.[16]
What seems fair to one person may not seem fair to another, and these perceptions are often
affected by self-interest. However, parties often speak of justice in absolute terms, as some
independent and objective standard of fairness that can be used to determine who is right.[17]
Not surprisingly, once one group has framed the conflict in terms of justice, it becomes much
more difficult to resolve. If one or both groups advance their claim as a matter of justice,
moderate positions become less likely. Parties who believe they have suffered injustice may
claim a higher moral ground for themselves, hardening their position to the point of
inflexibility.[18] People are typically unwilling to compromise on justice issues, or even enter
into dialogue with those whose points of view differ from their own.[19] Negotiation and
problem solving thus become more difficult, and actual interests are obscured as the conflict
becomes framed as win-lose.[20] People who believe that their cause is just are unlikely to back
down or to begin the process of forgiveness and reconciliation.
In fact, those who feel they have been the victims of injustice or unfair treatment may grow
extremely angry and feel justified in seeking revenge. Or, they may blame members of the other
group and denigrate them as morally inferior, paving the way for dehumanization and more
violence.[21] This may simply lead to further injustice and cause the conflict to escalate out of
control. If vengeance becomes the primary goal, attention may be shifted away from addressing
the central justice issues that gave rise to conflict in the first place.

Rights
Rights-based grievances likewise contribute to intractability. A dispute begins when one person
or group makes a claim or demand on another who rejects it. One way to resolve disputes is to
rely on some independent standard of perceived legitimacy or fairness.[22] However, if both
groups advance their claim as a "right," moderate positions become less likely and it becomes
difficult to compromise or reach consensus. Rights talk can foreclose "further communication
with those whose points of view differ from our own."[23] This is in part because people treat
rights-based arguments as "trump cards" that neutralize all other positions. A tendency towards
absolute formulations in rights talk promotes unrealistic expectations and increases the
likelihood of conflict. It also ignores social costs and the rights of others, and inhibits dialogue
that might lead to the discovery of common ground or compromise.[24] For example, abortion is
typically framed as pitting two interests against each other in an all-or-nothing contest. This sort
of absolute, win-lose framing is typically not conducive to problem solving.
People's assumptions that they are entitled to certain rights can also result in self-centeredness.
Transforming something into a right gives bearers of the supposed right the ability to demand its
realization from those who have a "duty" to realize it.[25] However, such demands may make it
more difficult to modify one's claims in the face of reasonable claims of others. Indeed, rights
talk often leads parties to forget that their liberties are limited by the stipulation that they do not
harm others.[26] When parties do not balance their rights claims against the rights of others, their
conflict is likely to become intractable.

UnmetHumanNeeds
Human needs theorists argue that many intractable conflicts are caused by the lack of provision
of fundamental human needs. These include basic needs for food, water, and shelter as well as
more complex needs for safety, security, self-esteem, and personal fulfillment.[29] These more
complex needs center on the capacity to exercise choice in all aspects of one's life and to have
one's identity and cultural values accepted as legitimate. The need for both distributive justice
and the ability to participate in civil society are also crucial. All of these needs are fundamental
requirements for human development.[30] Thus, while interests can be negotiated when they
come into conflict, needs cannot.
Various types of structural violence jeopardize individuals' physical safety and security. Poverty,
environmental degradation, poor health care, and lack of adequate housing often lead to the
denial of their basic needs for dignity, safety, and control over their lives.[31] Likewise, conflicts
that develop around issues of identity, ethnicity, religion, or culture are often grounded in unmet
human needs. Because all individuals are driven to fulfill these essential needs, they will fight
indefinitely to achieve them and will not give up until their goal is attained. Indeed, individuals,
groups and entire societies are affected by peoples' unstoppable drive to fulfill unmet human
needs.[32] For example, the conflict about immigration (legal and illegal) in the U.S. involves
threats to both the identity and security of the immigrants, and is seen by some U.S. citizens to
also be a threat to their livelihood.

IdentityIssues
Identity is one of the fundamental human needs that underlies many intractable conflicts.
Conflicts over identity arise when group members feel that their sense of self is threatened or
denied legitimacy and respect. Because identity is integral to one's self-esteem and how one
interprets the rest of the world, any threat to identity is likely to produce a strong response.
Typically this response is both aggressive and defensive, and can escalate quickly into an
intractable conflict. Because threats to identity are not easily put aside, such conflicts tend to
persist.
Intractable conflicts are often maintained by the development of polarized collective identities
among group members.[33] Group memberships form along the lines of nationality, ethnicity,
race, religion, or whatever other categories are relevant to the conflict. Individuals identify with
those in their own group and begin to organize against those in the opposing group. While
collective identities may initially form around issues such as resisting oppressive social
structures or staking claims to territory, they eventually take on meaning and value of their own.
As the conflict escalates, the opposing groups become increasingly polarized and develop
hostility towards those in the out-group. A high level of in-group identification, together with a
high degree of perceived threat from the other group, leads to a basic impulse to preserve oneself
and destroy the opponent.[34]
Identity is the primary issue in most racial and ethnic conflicts. It is also a key issue in many
gender and family conflicts, when men and women disagree on the proper role or "place" of the
other, or children disagree with their parents about who is in control of their lives and how they
present themselves to the outside world. These conflicts center on matters of security, fair
treatment, and a sense of control over one's life.[35] Because identity-based concerns are tied to
fundamental human needs, conflicts surrounding identity often threaten parties' very existence.
Such conflicts are typically more intense than interest-based conflicts. This is because the issues
in interest-based conflicts are typically more clearly defined and have greater potential for
compromise. Identity conflicts, on the other hand, are based on people's psychology, culture,
basic values, shared history, and beliefs. These issues tend to be more abstract and are connected
to people's basic needs for survival.
In addition, rigid collective identities may make it more difficult for groups to compromise.
When they feel that another group poses a threat to their authority or legitimacy, they may lash
out. Those in the out-group may be excluded, which limits contact between identity groups and
contributes to the development of negative stereotypes and intergroup violence.[36] Parties view
their adversaries as evil or even nonhuman and regard their views and feelings as unworthy of
attention. Because merely sitting down with the opponent can be seen as a threat to one's own
identity, even beginning efforts at reconciliation can be extremely difficult. Furthermore, the
negation of the opposing group often becomes a fundamental aspect of one's own identity.[37]
During the Cold War, for example, an important aspect of identity for many United States
citizens was being anti-Communist.

HighStakesDistributionalIssues
Conflicts surrounding who gets what and how much they get also tend to be intractable. The
items to be distributed include tangible resources such as money, land, or better jobs, as well as
intangible resources such as social status. If there are plenty of resources available, then
everyone simply takes what they need and no conflict develops. However, when there is not
enough of a given resource to satisfy everyone's needs or wants, and no more can be found or
created, the conflict becomes a "win-lose" situation. The more one party gets, the less the other
party gets (or the more he or she "loses"). When the item in question is very important or
valuable, these conflicts tend to become very intractable.
For example, conflicts over water in arid lands are high-stakes classic distributional conflicts. In
the Western United States, as well as many other arid regions, water is extremely valuable, as
life cannot exist without it. Because there is not enough water to go around, endless conflicts
arise about who gets what amount of water for what purpose. Although individual disputes get
resolved, another dispute over the same water will almost certainly arise again later on.
Domination conflicts are a special type of high-stakes distributional conflict in which the
resource to be distributed is social status. Because most groups want to be on top of the social,
economic, and/or political hierarchy, there is often a perpetual struggle between those at the top
and those at the bottom. Conflicts over social status can occur between individuals or between
nations. Because issues of social status are connected to matters of unequal economic power, the
divide between the rich and poor has contributed to intractable conflict both within nations and
across international society as a whole. These conflicts tend to be very difficult to resolve
because no one wants to be on the bottom, and few are willing to share the top level of the social
hierarchy.
While those in weaker positions want to gain more power and reverse the relationship, those with
the most power do not wish to give up the benefits associated with their position. Unless those
people at the top are willing to share their privileges with everyone else, such conflicts are likely
to continue. Even if those with low social or economic status are able to reverse the situation and
assume a leadership position, the conflict will continue as the new group on the bottom strives to
gain status.

[1] Peter Coleman, "Characteristics of Protracted, Intractable Conflict: Towards the


Development of a Meta-Framework," forthcoming, 27.
[2] Coleman, "Characteristics of Protracted, Intractable Conflict," 29.
[3] Peter Coleman, "Intractable Conflict," in The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and
Practice, eds. Morton Deutsch and Peter Coleman, (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc., 2000), 428.

[4] Coleman, "Intractable Conflict," 430.


[5] Louis Kriesberg, "Intractable Conflicts," in The Handbook of Interethnic Coexistence, ed.
Eugene Weiner, (New York: Continuum Publishing Co., 1998), 334.
[6] Coleman, "Characteristics of Protracted, Intractable Conflict," 20.
[7] W. Barnett Pearce and Stephen W. Littlejohn. Moral Conflict: When Social Worlds Collide.
(Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Inc., 1997), 68.
[8] David P. Barash and Charles P. Webel. Peace and Conflict Studies. ( California : Sage
Publications, 2002), 234.
[9] Pearce and Littlejohn, 49.
[10] Otomar J. Bartos and Paul Wehr. Using Conflict Theory. ( New York : Cambridge
University Press, 2002), 41.
[11] Pearce and Littlejohn, 50.
[12] Pearce and Littlejohn, 70.
[13] Pearce and Littlejohn, 70.
[14] Morton Deutsch, "Justice and Conflict," in The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory
and Practice, M. Deutsch and P. Coleman, eds. ( San Francisco : Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2000),
44.
[15] Coleman, "Characteristics of Protracted, Intractable Conflict," 16.
[16] Deutsch, 45.
[17] William Ury, J. Brett, and S. Goldberg, Getting Disputes Resolved: Designing Systems to
Cut the Cost of Conflict. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1988), 7.
[18] Deutsch, 55.
[19] Mary Ann Glendon. Rights Talk. The Impoverishment of Political Discourse, reprint edition.
(New York: Free Press, 1993), 9.
[20] Deutsch, 52.
[21] Deutsch, 55.
[22] William Ury, J. Brett, and S. Goldberg, Getting Disputes Resolved: Designing Systems to

Cut the Cost of Conflict. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1988) 7.


[23] Mary Ann Glendon, Rights Talk. The Impoverishment of Political Discourse, reprint edition.
(New York: Free Press, 1993), 9.
[24] Glendon, 14.
[25] Antonio Cassese. Human Rights in a Changing World. (Philadelphia: Temple University
Press, 1990), 63.
[26] Amitai Etzioni. The Spirit of Community: Rights, Responsibilities, and the Communitarian
Agenda. (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1993), 7.
[27] "Human Rights Today: A United Nations Priority," The United Nations, 2000.
[available at: http://www.un.org/rights/HRToday/]
[28] Michel Veuthey, "International Humanitarian Law and the Restoration and Maintenance of
Peace." African Security Review, Vol. 7, No. 5, Institute for Security Studies, 1998.[available at:
http://www.iss.co.za/Pubs/ASR/7No5/InternationalHumanitarian.html]
[29] Jay Rothman. Resolving Identity-Based Conflict in Nations, Organizations, and
Communities. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997.
[30] John Burton. Conflict Resolution and Provention. New York: St. Martins Press, 1990.
[31] Coleman, "Intractable Conflict," 433.
[32] Terrell A. Northrup. "The Dynamic of Identity in Personal and Social Conflict." In
Intractable Conflicts and their Transformation, ed. Louis Kriesberg, Terrell A. Northrup and
Stuart J. Thorson, 55-82. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press, 1989.
[33] Coleman, "Characteristics of Protracted, Intractable Conflict," 31.
[34] Ibid, 33.
[35] Coleman, "Intractable Conflict," 431.
[36] Coleman, "Characteristics of Protracted, Intractable Conflict," 29.
[37] Ibid, 33.
[38] Coleman, "Intractable Conflict," 433.
[39] Coleman, "Characteristics of Protracted, Intractable Conflict," 15.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
TheAmbivalenceoftheSacred:Religion,Violence,andReconciliation.CarnegieCommissionon
PreventingDeadlyConflict,1999.
Availableat:http://wwics.si.edu/subsites/ccpdc/pubs/apple/toc.htm.

"Terroristsandpeacemakersmaygrowupinthesamecommunityandadheretothesamereligious
tradition.Thekillingcarriedoutbyoneandthereconciliationfosteredbytheotherindicatestherange
ofdramaticandcontradictoryresponsestohumansufferingbyreligiousactors.Yetreligion'sabilityto
inspireviolenceisintimatelyrelatedtoitsequallyimpressivepowerasaforceforpeace,especiallyin
thegrowingnumberofconflictsaroundtheworldthatinvolvereligiousclaimsandreligiouslyinspired
combatants.Thisbookexplainswhatreligiousterroristsandreligiouspeacemakersshareincommon,
whatcausesthemtotakedifferentpathsinfightinginjustice,andhowadeeperunderstandingof
religiousextremismcanandmustbeintegratedmoreeffectivelyintoourthinkingabouttribal,regional,
andinternationalconflict."EditorialReview

Glaser,Tanya."AnAnswertoWar:ConflictsandInterventioninContemporaryInternational
RelationsSummary."UniversityofColoradoBoulder:ConflictResearchConsortium,1900.
Availableat:http://www.beyondintractability.org/articlesummary/10580/.

ThissummarycoversachapterauthoredbyRobertoToscano,fromTheHandbookofInterethnic
Coexistence.Inthischapter,theauthorarguesthatwiththeendoftheColdWar,theoristsneedtoshift
theirfocusawayfromgametheory,weaponssystemsandthe"theologyofdeterrence"andinstead
focusonthemechanismsthatcancause,preventorstopconflicts.Theymustshiftawayfromlarge
scalesystematicinterpretationswhichattributeconflictstoexternalforces.Insteadtheymustrecognize
thepolycentric,pluralisticnatureofmanycontemporaryconflicts.

Adan,Mohamud,RutoPkalyaandIsabellaMasinde."ConflictinNorthernKenya:AFocusonthe
InternallyDisplacedConflictVictimsinNorthernKenya."IntermediateTechnologyDevelopment
Group,2003.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

ThiscasestudydescribesthenatureofviolentconflictsintheNortherndistrictsofKenya.Itdescribes
thecausesandconsequencesattachedtotheconflicts,theactorsinvolvedandpreventativemeasures
thatcanbeusedtotransformandpreventtheseviolentepisodes.

Burton,JohnW."ConflictResolution:TheHumanDimension."InternationalJournalofPeaceStudies,
Vol.3,No.1,1998
Availableat:http://www.gmu.edu/academic/ijps/vol3_1/burton.htm.


BurtondescribesHumanNeedsTheoryexplainingthatneeds,ratherthaninterests,areoftentheroot
causeoflongtermconflicts.

Harris,PeterandBenjaminReilly.DemocracyandDeepRootedConflict.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
ThisistheopeningchapteroftheInternationalInstituteforDemocracyandElectoralAsisstance'sonline
book,"DemocracyandDeepRootedConflict".Thispiecediscussesthefactorsthattendtobeinplayin
particularlydifficulttoresolveconflicts.

Crawford,BeverlyandRonnieLipschutz."PolicyBrief2:"Ethnic"ConflictIsn't.",March1995
Availableat:http://igcc.ucsd.edu/pdf/policybriefs/pb02.pdf.

Inthispolicybrief,theauthorspointoutthat"ethnic"and"sectarian"conflictarenotcausedby
ethnicityorreligion.Suchconflictsoccurwhenacountry's"socialcontract"comesunderpressurefrom
bothinternalandexternalforces.Whentheglobaleconomypressuresgovernmentstoengageinrapid
politicalandeconomicreform,ethnicandsectarianentrepreneursmobilizeconstituenciesaround
ethnicorreligiousdifferencesinanattempttograborrestorepositionsofpowerandwealth.Avoiding
futureepisodesof"ethnicandsectarianconflict"requiresearlywarningsystemsandinterventionin
societiesundergoingrapidanddestabilizingeconomicandpoliticaltransitions.

Stewart,Frances.RootCausesofViolentConflictinDevelopingCountries.
Availableat:http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/324/7333/342.
Thispiecediscussesculturalandeconomicfactorsexistingindevelopingcountries,whichtheauthor
believespredisposepopulationsindevelopingcountriestoviolentconflict.
Offline(Print)Sources
Sandole,DennisJ.D.CapturingtheComplexityofConflict:DealingWithViolentEthnicConflictsinthe
PostColdWarEra.PinterPubLtd,April1,2000.
Thisbookexplorestheterrainofethnicconflictsinthepostcoldwarera,focusingspecificallyonthe
causes,conditions,andperpetuationofviolentconflictandwar.

Burton,JohnW.Conflict:ResolutionandProvention.NewYork,NY:St.Martin'sPress,Inc.,July1990.
Theauthorsuggeststhatprotractedconflictoftenarisesoutofunmethumanneeds.Conflictprovention
seekstoaddresstheunderlyingsystemiccausesofconflictratherthanmerelydealingwithits
symptoms.Itsuggeststhatthebestwaytodealwithserioussocialproblemsistoalterthestructuresof
thesocialenvironmentsthatgiverisetotheseproblems.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Kupchan,CharlesA."EmpiresandGeopoliticalCompetition:GoneforGood?."InTurbulentPeace:The
ChallengesofManagingInternationalConflict.EditedbyCrocker,ChesterA.,FenOslerHampsonand
PamelaAall,eds.Herndon,VA:USIPPress,July1,2001.
Theauthorsuggeststhattraditionalpowerpoliticsandgeopoliticalcomepetitionarestillpresentin

today'sworld.Democracy,internationalinstitutions,andtheglobalizationofmarketsfortradeand
informationmayencouragerivalryamongregionsandcontributetoinstability.

Gleditsch,Nils."EnvironmentalChange,SecurityandConflict."InTurbulentPeace:TheChallengesof
ManagingInternationalConflict.EditedbyCrocker,ChesterA.,FenOslerHampsonandPamelaAall,
eds.Herndon,VA:USIPPress,July1,2001.
Thischapterlooksattheexpandingnotionofsecurityininternationalpoliticstoincludecommonand
humansecurity,withissuesspanningtherealmsofpolitical,economicandsocial,culturaland
environmentalsecurity.

Brown,MichaelE."EthnicandInternalConflicts:CausesandImplications."InTurbulentPeace:The
ChallengesofManagingInternationalConflict.EditedbyCrocker,ChesterA.,FenOslerHampsonand
PamelaAall,eds.Herndon,VA:USIPPress,July1,2001.
Theauthordiscussesvarioustheoriesabouttheunderlyingcausesofethnicandinternalconflictsand
identifiesthefourtypesofcausecommonlycitedbyscholars:structural,political,economic/social,and
cultural.Hesuggeststhatmoreattentionshouldbepaidtothefactorsthattriggeraconflict,particularly
theactionsofdomesticelites.Becausenosinglesetoffactorsisresponsibleforeverytypeofconflict,
differentpolicyresponsewillbenecessaryineachcase.

InternationalDimensionsofInternalConflict.Cambridge,MA:MITPress,1996.
Thisbookanalyzesthedomestic,regional,andinternationaldimensionsofinternalconflicts,looking
beyondthe'ancienthatreds'interpretationofpopularjournalismtounderstandwhysuchconflictsare
occurringnowandhowtheymightbeameliorated.Thefirstpartofthebookexaminesthesourcesof
internalconflictsandthewaysthesemayspilloverordrawinneighboringstatesandtheinternational
community.Thesecondpartexaminesspecificproblems,policyinstruments,andkeyactorsincluding:
thecontrolofaggressivenationalism,thepreventionofsecessionistviolence,andtheresolutionofcivil
wars;therolesofthemediaandnongovernmentalorganizations;armslimitationsandeconomic
sanctions;militarychallenges;thepoliciesoftheUnitedStatesandtheUnitedNations;andthe
prospectsforcollectiveaction.Thebookrecommendsspecificapproachestohelppreventand
moderateinternalconflictandtolimititsspreadwhenitarises.

Coleman,PeterT."IntractableConflict."InTheHandbookofConflictResolution:TheoryandPractice.
EditedbyDeutsch,MortonandPeterT.Coleman,eds.SanFrancisco:JosseyBassPublishers,2000.
Thisarticlediscussesthecharacteristics,causes,andconsequencesofintractableconflictaswellas
implicationsforhowtoaddressthem.Itsunderlyingcausesincludeirreconcilablemoraldifferences,
highstakesdistributionalissues,andissuesofidentity.

Northrup,TerrellA.,StuartJ.ThorsonandLouisKriesberg,eds.IntractableConflictsandtheir
Transformations.NewYork:SyracuseUniversityPress,1989.
Theeditorsbringtogetheressaysfromanumberofauthorswhoexploreintractabilitythroughdiverse
theoreticalframeworksandcasehistories.Inalloftheseessays,intractableconflictsareseenas

resistingresolution,butarenotconsidered"unresolvable."Clickhereformoreinfo.

Deutsch,Morton."JusticeandConflict."InTheHandbookofConflictResolution:TheoryandPractice.
EditedbyColeman,PeterT.andMortonDeutsch,eds.SanFrancisco:JosseyBass,2000.
Thischapterexploresthevarioustypesofjustice,thescopeofjustice,andhowperceivedinjusticecan
serveasanunderlyingcauseofintractableconflict.

Kaufman,Stuart.ModernHatreds:TheSymbolicPoliticsofEthnicWar.Ithaca,NY:CornellUniversity
Press,July2001.
Thisawardwinningbookpresentsanentirelynewgeneraltheoryofethnicwars.Thetheorycombines
rationalchoiceandpsychologicalexplanationsintoasymbolicpoliticstheoryinordertoexplainwhy
peopleengageinethnicwarfare.Thecoreassumptionofthetheoryisthatpeoplemakepoliticalchoices
basedonemotionandinresponsetosymbols.Theauthorappliesthetheorytoseveralcasesfromthe
formerSovietUnionandtheBalkans.

Pearce,W.BarnettandStephenW.Littlejohn.MoralConflict:WhenSocialWorldsCollide.Thousand
Oaks,CA:SagePublications,April1997.
MoralConflictsarepassionateanddifficulttoresolve.Responsesthatarenormallyeffective,suchas
explaining,persuading,andcompromising,canmakemattersworseanddrivepeoplefurtherapartin
suchconflicts.Moralconflictsoccurwhenincommensuratesocialrealitiescometoclash.Inanoriginal
synthesisofcommunicationtheoryandtheirownresearch,W.BarnettPearceandStephenW.
Littlejohndescribeadialecticaltensionbetweentheexpressionandsuppressionofconflictthatcanbe
transcendedinwaysthatleadtopersonalgrowthandproductivepatternsofsocialaction.

Glendon,MaryAnn.RightsTalk:TheImpoverishmentofPoliticalDiscourse.NewYork:FreePress,
1993.
GlendonarguesthatmodernAmericanpoliticaldiscourseencouragespeopletoframeissuesintermsof
absoluteindividualrights.Thisimpedesunderstandingandlimitstheextenttowhichpartiesengagedin
conflictarewillingtocompromise.Rightstalkinthiswaycontributestointractableconflict.

Howard,Michael."TheCausesofWar."InTurbulentPeace:TheChallengesofManagingInternational
Conflict.EditedbyCrocker,ChesterA.,FenOslerHampsonandPamelaAall,eds.Herndon,VA:USIP
Press,July1,2001.
Manyhavetriedtodevelopatheorythatwillenableustoexplain,understand,andcontrolthe
phenomenonofwar.Historically,however,warhasbeenanacceptableandtolerablewayofhandling
disputes.Theauthordiscussesthedifferentcausesthathavedrivenpartiestowarthroughouthistory
andsuggeststhatultimatelyitisareasoneddecisionmadebybothparties.Theybelievetheycan
achievemorebygoingtowarthanbyremainingatpeace.

Northrup,TerrellA."TheDynamicofIdentityinPersonalandSocialConflict."IntractableConflictsand
TheirTransformation,October1989.

InthisessayNorthruparguesthatidentityisalwaysanimportantfactorinconflictualrelationships,as
threatstoidentitycancauseconflictorcontributetoitsintractability.Theessaygivesadefinitionanda
thoroughanalysisoftheconceptofidentity.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Guehenno,JeanMarie."TheImpactofGlobalizationonStrategy."InTurbulentPeace:TheChallenges
ofManagingInternationalConflict.EditedbyCrocker,ChesterA.,FenOslerHampsonandPamela
Aall,eds.Herndon,VA:USIPPress,July1,2001.
Invirtueofglobalization,theseparationbetweendomesticandinternationalaffairsiscollapsingand
localinterestscannotbeisolatedfrommoreglobalconcerns.Globalizationinthiswaychangesthe
natureofthreatstobefacedandcreatesacertaininstabilityintheinternationalcommunity.Civil
conflictandinternationalterrorismaretwothreatsthatstandout.

Fisher,RonaldJ.TheSocialPsychologyofIntergroupConflictandInternationalConflictResolution.
NewYork,NY:SpringVerlag,January1990.
TheSocialPsychologyofIntergroupandInternationalConflictResolutionexploresthe"causation,
escalation,deescalation,andresolution"ofintergroupconflictsfromtheperspectiveofsocial
psychology.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Nafziger,E.W.,FrancesStewartandR.Vayrynen,eds.War,HungerandDisplacement:TheOriginof
HumanitarianEmergenciesVolumeOne:Analysis.Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,2000.
Thefirstvolumeofthisworkoffersacollectionofessaysthatexplaintheeconomic,political,and
environmentalfactorsthatleadtointernationalemergencies.

Cashman,Greg.WhatCausesWar?:AnIntroductiontoTheoriesofInternationalConflict.Lanham,
MD:LexingtonBooks,December1,1999.
Thisbookcontainsatheoreticalanalysisofthecausesofwarandinternationalconflict.Itcontainsa
reviewoftheliteratureonthetopicandincludesmultipleschoolsofthought.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Karl,Terry."AlarmsandResponses:AComparativeStudyofContemporaryInternationalEffortsto
AnticipateandPreventViolentConflictsTheCaseofElSalvador."ConflictEarlyWarningSystems
(CEWS).
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

ThisessaygivesanarrativeaccountoftheElSalvadorconflict.Itdetailsthecausesofthecivilwar,and
givesspecificsaboutthepeaceprocess.Furthermore,thisessayexplainswhythisconflictcouldhave
beenpredicted,andhowtimelyinterventioncouldhavelessenedorevenpreventeditsoccurrence.

Prendergast,John.BuildingforPeaceintheHornofAfrica:DiplomacyandBeyond.
Availableat:http://www.usip.org/pubs/specialreports/sr990628.html.

ThisUSIPreportreviewsthematicallythecausesofconflictsintheHornofAfricaregion,analyzes
currenteffortsatresolvingthesewars,andprovidesanalternativeframeworkofengagementthatgoes
beyonddiplomacyandisaimedatbuildingtheinstitutionalbasisforfuturepeace.

Weiss,JoshuaN."DisastrousBalancingAct:TheBeginningofCambodia'sMisery."OnlineJournalof
PeaceandConflictResolution,Vol.1,No.1,March1998
Availableat:http://www.trinstitute.org/ojpcr/1_1weiss.htm.

ThepurposeofthispaperistoseektoexplainhowthebeginningoftheCambodianconflictunder
PrinceNorodomSihanouksetthestageforsomeoftheworstmassviolencetheworldeverwitnessed
thatoftheKhmerRouge(KR)era.Throughoutthecourseofthispapercriticalquestionswillbe
addressed,inhopesofgaininganunderstandingofhowintractableconflictsbeginandsustain
themselvesoverlongperiodsoftime.

HomerDixon,ThomasandValeriePercival."EnvironmentalScarcityandViolentConflict:TheCaseof
Rwanda.",
Availableat:http://www.library.utoronto.ca/pcs/eps/rwanda/rwanda1.htm.

AcasestudyofenvironmentalfactorsthatleadtocivilwarinRwanda.

"MoldovaNarrative:OriginsandBackgroundConditionsoftheMoldova/NiesterConflict."Conflict
EarlyWarningSystems(CEWS),1900.
Availableat:http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/ir/cews/database/Moldova/moldova.pdf.

ThisessaysoffersinsightsintotheMoldova.Niesterconflictby:providinghistoricalfactsaboutthe
area;explainingthemultidimensionalculturalandsocialaspectsoftheconflict;anddetailingthe
emergenceoftheconflictfollowingindependencefromSovietRussia.

Padilla,LuisAlberto."PreventionSuccessesandFailures:PeacemakingandConflictTransformationin
Guatemala."ConflictEarlyWarningSystems(CEWS),1900.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

ThisessayexaminesthecausesoftheconflictinGuatemala,anddetailsthesubsequentpeaceprocess.
Italsolooksatfactorsassociatedwiththisconflictthatcanbeusedtobetterunderstandhowconflicts
canbepreventedortransformed.

Havermans,Jos."Rwanda:RwandanCrisisLingerson.",1999
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

ThisisanarticleabouttheongoingconflictsinRwanda.

Boutwell,JeffreyandThomasHomerDixon.TheProjectonEnvironmentalScarcities,StateCapacity,
andCivilViolence.Peace&ConflictStudiesProgramattheUniversityofToronto.
Availableat:http://www.library.utoronto.ca/pcs/state.htm.
Projectexaminesthelinkagesbetweenweakstates,civilwars,andresourcescarcity.Findsthatmost
problemsrevolvearoundelitecontroloverscarceresourcesnotscarcityitselfasadirectcausalvariable.
Offline(Print)Sources
Ganguly,Sumit."ExplainingtheKashmirInsurgency:PoliticalMobilizationandInstitutionalDecay."
InternationalSecurity21:2,1996.
Thisarticleprovidesadetailedaccountofthehistoricaloriginsoftheinsurgencyamongpartiestothe
KashmirconflictbetweenIndianandPakistaniethnonationalistfactions.Theauthorconsiderssome
generalexplanationsofethnicconflictandothersoftheKashmirconflictinparticular.Thentheauthor
offersanalternativeexplanation,whichaccountsfortheoutbreakofinsurgencyaswellasitstiming.
Thistheorycontendsthattheinterlinkedforcesofpoliticalmobilizationandinstitutionaldecaybest
explaintheinsurgencyinKashmir.

Starr,Harvey,ed.UnderstandingandManagementofGlobalViolence:NewApproachestoTheory
andResearchonProtractedConflict.NewYork:PalgraveMacmillan,September1999.
Theessaysinthiseditedvolumeapproachsocialconflictthroughthestudyof"protractedconflict",or
conflictsthatarelongtermandpermeateallaspectsofsociety.Theworkattemptstounderstand
contemporaryglobalpoliticsandconflictbylookingacrosslevelsofanalysis,frominternational,to
transnationaltodomesticbehavior.Theapproachisgroundedintwolevelanalysis,focusingonthe
analysisofcrisisandthenatureofidentitygroupsandenduringrivalries.Includedareexaminationsof
Israel,thePalestinians,andLebanon;thePhilippines,Nicaragua;SriLanka,IndiaandPakistan;and
NorthernIreland.

Cavanaugh,KathleenA."UnderstandingProtractedSocialConflict:ABasicNeedsApproach."In
ReconcilableDifferences:TurningPointsinEthnopoliticalConflict.EditedbyIrvin,CynthiaL.andSean
Byrne,eds.WestHartford,CT:KumarianPress,Inc.,2000.
Accordingtoaneedsbasedapproachtoconflictanalysisandresolution,conflictisrootedinthedenial
ofbasichumanneedssuchasidentityrecognitionandsecurity.Theauthorappliessuchanapproachto
theNorthernIrelandcaseandsuggeststhatunmetneedshavecontributedtothesociopolitical
instabilityoftheregionsince1968.

Stewart,Frances,R.VayrynenandE.W.Nafziger,eds.War,HungerandDisplacement:TheOriginof
HumanitarianEmergenciesVolumeTwo:CaseStudies.Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,2000.
Thesecondvolumeofthisworkpresentsindepthcasestudiesofthirteenconflictsthatoccurredasa
resultofpoliticaloreconomicweaknesswithinastate.

Audiovisual Materials on this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
TheMideast:ACenturyofConflictPart1:TheodorHerzlandtheFirstZionistCongress.NPR.
September30,2002.
Availableat:http://www.npr.org/news/specials/mideast/history/history1.html.

ThisaudioclipdiscussestheinitialpropositionbyTheodorHerzltocreateaJewishstate.Thepolitical
movementthatwascreatedtohelppursuetheJewishstatewasZionism.

TheMideast:ACenturyofConflictPart2:TheBalfourDeclarationandtheBritishMandate.NPR.
October1,2002.
Availableat:http://www.npr.org/news/specials/mideast/history/index.html.

ThisaudioclipdiscussesthecreationofIsraelunderBritishcontrolinPalestine.Violencebrokeout
betweentheZionistsettlersandtheindigenousPalestinianArabsfromtheverybeginning.
Offline(Print)Sources
ARepublicGoneMad:Rwanda18941994.Directedand/orProducedby:deHeusch,LucandKathleen
deBethune.FirstRunIcarusFilms.1996.
ThisfilmdelvesintothehistoryofRwandatotellthestoryofhowcolonizationimpactedethnic
relationsbetweentheHutuandTutsi.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Daresalam/LetThereBePeace.Directedand/orProducedby:Coelo,IssaSerge.CaliforniaNewsreel.
2000.
ByfocusingonanumberofpostcolonialAfricacivilwars,thisfilmelicitsthecorecausesassociatedwith
them.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Iran,VeiledAppearances.Directedand/orProducedby:Michel,Thierry.FirstRunIcarusFilms.2002.
ThisfilmdepictsvariousmembersoftheIraniancommunityastheyrelatetheirinsightsandstories
concerningtheconflictbetweenextremefundamentalistsandyoungpeople,whoarepushingforsocial
change.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Yugoslavia:OriginsofaWar.Directedand/orProducedby:Talczewski,Christophe.FirstRunIcarus
Films.1992.
ThisfilmhighlightshistoricalfactorsandkeyissuesassociatedwithconflictsintheformerYugoslavia.
Clickhereformoreinfo.

CostsofConflictsandDisputes

By
Eric Brahm

Note:ThisessayisadaptedfromtheoriginalessayonBeyondIntractabilitythatfocusedindepthonthe
costofinternationalconflicts,especiallywar.Sincethiscourseisfocusingprimarilyonlowerleveland
lowerintensityconflicts,wehaveeditedoutthematerialonthecostsofwaralthoughtheyare
increasinglyaffectingusintheU.S.atthistime.Ifyouareinterestedinlearningaboutthecostsofwar
intheU.S.andabroad,lookatthe"sisterarticle"onBeyondIntractability:TheCostsofIntractable
Conflict.

CostsofUnresolvedConflictsandDisputes
It goes without saying that conflict has many costs. The loss of human life is the most obvious
one. The twentieth century was the deadliest in all of human history--and the 21st seems to be
starting off just as badly. But conflict exacts costs at all levels of society: within businesses and
other organizations (schools, churches, government agencies, clubs), within communities, and
within families. Although these costs are evident if one pays attention, they are often considered
"unavoidable" or "normal," and are thus overlooked.
One can account for organizational costs in a number of ways.[1] First are the direct costs,
including such things as fees paid to lawyers and other professionals for their intervention in the
conflict. Second, conflict often has significant productivity costs in terms of the value of lost
time to the organization. It diverts worker attention from normal duties. Absenteeism often
increases due to conflict. What is more, conflict often reduces motivation and increases turnover.
Third, conflict can have continuity costs -- namely, it can cause damage to ongoing relationships
that wrecks the feeling of community in organizations. Fourth, conflict has emotional costs for
those involved.
Despite this, businesses often do not highly value the time necessary to resolve conflict because,
at best, it indirectly shows up in the financials. The costs, however, are very real. It is estimated
that senior human resource people in Fortune 500 companies spend 20% of their time on
litigation and managers spend upwards of 30% of their time dealing with workplace conflict.[2]
A more recent study found that managers spend upwards of 42% of their time negotiating
agreements to end conflict.[3]
The cost of conflicts and disputes in families is also significant, although it is seldom measured
in financial terms. Rather the costs are emotional--damaged relationships, a lost sense of
security, fear, anger, and distrust. These costs can be extremely painful in their own right, and
they can damage people's ability to function in other areas of their lives--work, school, and
community. When the conflict ends in divorce, the costs can, of course, become monetary as

well, as they can if they lead to the need for counseling.


Similarly, disputes and conflicts within communities cause damage to relationships, anger,
distrust, lack of a sense of belonging (and hence identity) in the community, stress on community
members, and often, poor decisions (or lack of decisions) because the dispute prevents effective
decisionmaking from taking place. It can also greatly increase costs of community projects, as
actions get delayed, and costs rise.

SoWhyNotQuit?
Given that the costs of conflict are so high, why do people engage in conflict? Why don't they
say, "enough is enough," and resolve the conflict as best they can? There are many reasons,
which are covered in many of the other essays in this knowledge base. Fundamentally, however,
most can be attributed to three reasons:
People underestimate the costs of continuing the conflict, and overestimate their chances of
winning.
People know that the conflict is doing harm, but they see no way out.
People know that the conflict is doing harm, but they fear that the costs of resolving the conflict
will be even higher (including, perhaps, admitting that you were wrong.)
These problems are all ones that need to be addressed if disputes and conflicts are to be
successfully resolved and the costs of those conflicts and disputes controlled.

[1] Stewart Levine, "The Many Costs of Conflict," http://www.mediate.com/articles/levine1.cfm


(accessed June 21, 2004).
[2] Cynthia Barnes-Slater and John Ford. 2004. "Measuring Conflict: Both The Hidden Costs
and the Benefits of Conflict Management Interventions"
http://www.lawmemo.com/emp/articles/measuring.htm (accessed June 16, 2004).; Stewart
Levine, "The Many Costs of Conflict," http://www.mediate.com/articles/levine1.cfm (accessed
June 21, 2004); Kenneth W. Thomas and W. H. Schmidt, "A Survey of Managerial Interests with
Respect to Conflict," Academy of Management Journal, June 1976.
[3] Carol Watson and Richard Hoffman, "Managers as Negotiators," Leadership Quarterly, 7(1),
1996.

BenefitsofConflictsandDisputes

By
Eric Brahm

It may come as a surprise, particularly since we often dwell on the costs of conflict, that conflict
also has benefits. Yet, clearly there are significant benefits to conflict or it would not be the
prominent characteristic of human relationships that it is. Conflict is often driven by a sense of
grievance, be it scarcity, inequality, cultural or moral differences, or the distribution of power.[1]
Thereby, engaging in the conflict provides one means of addressing these concerns--either
affirming a position of advantage or overcoming perceived shortcomings.[2] Conflict, says Guy
Burgess "is the engine of social learning." Without conflict, attitudes, behavior, and relationships
stay the same, regardless of whether they are fair. Conflict reveals problems and encourages
those problems to be dealt with. Whether they are dealt with constructively or destructively
depends on how the conflict is handled.
To say that there are benefits to conflict is certainly not to say that motivations or consequences
are always benign or just. Spoilers benefit from sustaining conflict, but most outside observers
would probably argue that their actions are malign. Conflict profiteers also gain from conflict by
gaining money or power, but those gains are also widely viewed as illegitimate. Legitimate
benefits of conflict accrue to much wider groupings. While certainly not exhaustive, some of the
most significant benefits of conflict are social, psychological, and material.

TheCollectiveBenefitsofConflictsandDisputes
Social interaction often begins through some form of conflict. Coser explains that children often
first interact when they fight over a toy; this later evolves into cooperative play. Adults too, he
observes, often might first in the context of the dispute. Once the dispute is resolved, trust can be
gained, and the parties can interact smoothly after that.
Conflict is particularly prevalent, Coser observes, in intimate relationships.[3] It is extremely
unlikely that two people living and working together in close proximity over a long period of
time would not disagree on anything. So absence of conflict probably suggests that one person is
being suppressed or is subordinating his or her view or wishes to the other. This might be
acceptable over the short term, but over the long term, it is very dangerous to the relationship as
anger is likely to build to the point where the conflict, when it surfaces, will be very intense.
Yet constructively handled conflict can lead to long-term peace and cooperation. Husbands and
wives in strong relationships will not always agree, but they will have a constructive process for
resolving their differences.
Similar processes appear to be at work in parent-child relationships. For example, studies have
suggested that relationships between children and adults often begin conflictually and then

develop in more positive directions.[4]


Conflict often has significant benefits for group cohesion. It can help to construct group
boundaries by helping individuals recognize their common interest. War, for example, has been
described as the creator of the modern nation-state, at least in Europe. Conflict, thus, can provide
stability and serve as a unifying force. In helping individuals to realize their common interest,
conflict can go a long way in constructing identities, an issue to be taken up below. Facing a
common opponent can create new bonds and associations amongst those that previously were
unrelated. Identifying a common threat may allow individuals to not only realize a common
interest but also to reaffirm a shared identity that may have a longer history. Groups may actually
seek enemies to maintain internal cohesion.[5] (For example, it has been argued that the U.S. had
to find an enemy to replace the U.S.S.R. once the Cold War ended. Iraq, it was argued, was the
unlucky choice.) The same dynamic can be seen in workplace conflicts and even family
conflicts, as workers coalesce--in unions or otherwise--to bargain more effectively with
management; and children may cooperate to outwit parents (not necessarily seen as a benefit by
the parents, of course, but it might be better than the kids fighting!)
Group cohesion may be strengthened as much, if not more, by an internal threat. In some cases,
conflict can provide a safety-valve to allow a group to clear the air in a less destructive way than
might otherwise occur. The potential also clearly exists for this to descend into scapegoating,
which may or may not be beneficial for cohesion. Infighting has costs of its own and may be
dysfunctional. Expressing anger to the in-group is more costly. At the same time, in some
instances it might be preferable to social breakdown. Whether in the international system or in
families, conflict can give rise to new norms and rules to govern conduct which can have longterm benefits. Likewise, in domestic contexts, conflict can lead to establishing new statutes
meant to deal with the sources of conflict. In addition, in any of these contexts, institutions are
often created to enforce new rules.
As the prior examples suggest, group cohesion can be important for fighting oppression. This is a
defensive mechanism that applies as much to a national group as it does to an interest group that
finds its core interest at risk. Conflict allows groups and individuals to protect their interests.
Conflict can also bring about needed social change and empower previously lower-powered
groups. After all, if no one ever contested anything, many gross injustices would continue
indefinitely.

ThePsychologicalBenefitsofConflictsandDisputes
As introduced above, conflict can initiate a process through which individuals realize they have
common interests and common enemies. As a result, individuals may come to see a strong stake
in their side emerging triumphant. One's identity is important for maintaining self-esteem.
Therefore, the more of one's identity that is tied up in the group, the more likely individuals are
to fight for it. The threat produced by conflict often results in stronger self-identities. This can be
positive or negative depending on the nature of that identity.

TheMaterialBenefitsofConflictsandDisputes
Conflict often has concrete material rewards in the form of money or jobs. It provides benefits in
terms enhancing one's power. A number of examples point to the tremendous economic benefits
that are often realized from conflict. Often cited is the money to be gained by arms
manufacturers and people providing security services--the "military-industrial complex" is alive
and well! It even funds psychotherapists and mediators! Where would we be, if people learned to
resolve their conflicts on their own?! Conflict also frequently provides significant benefits to
those that are ostensibly bystanders. Often, those on the sidelines see their relative power
increase as a result of combatants weakening each other.

ConcludingThoughts
Conflictisalmostcertainlytoremainafundamentalchallengeforhumansocieties.Thefactthatitcan
producebenefitsforindividuals,groups,andnationsleavesonetoconcludethisislikelytocontinue.
Manywouldprobablyconcurthatanumberofthebenefitsoutlinedaboveareclearlypositive
outcomes(andnotnecessarilyspeakingonlyselfishly).Fightinginjusticeandforgingidentitiesarebut
twoimportantrolesofconflict.Thechallengeistorealizethebenefitsofconflictinsuchawaysoasto
minimizethemanycostsalsoassociatedwithconflict.

[1] Louis Kriesberg, Constructive Conflicts: From Escalation to Resolution Second Edition.
(Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2003), Chapter 2.
[2] Ibid., Chapter 3.
[3] Lewis A. Coser, "The Functions of Social Conflict." New York: Free Press, 1964.
[4] Ibid., p. 122.
[5] Ibid.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
ConstructiveConfrontation.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/constcon.htm.
Thispageoffersabriefdiscussionoftheconceptofconstructiveconfrontation.Thisconflictstrategy
wasdevelopedbyGuyandHeidiBurgess,andfocusesuponhelpingthepartiesdevelopmore
constructivestrategiesforpursuinginevitableconfrontations.Itisanincrementalapproachwhich
involvesdiagnosingparticularconflictproblems,andthendesigningremediesforthoseproblemsso

thattheresultingconflictismoreconstructive.Thepageincludeslinkstofurtherreadingonthesubject.

Burgess,GuyM.andHeidiBurgess.ConstructiveConfrontationTheoreticalFramework.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/essay/con_conf.htm.
"Tobetterdealwithintractableconflicts,wehavebeendevelopinganapproachwhichwecall
constructiveconfrontation.Thisapproachisbasedontheassumptionthatintense,longterm
confrontationsoverimportantanddifficultissuesareinevitable.Whatisnotinevitable,however,isthe
destructivenesscommonlyassociatedwiththeseconflicts.(Consider,forexample,thedeaths,fear,and
despaircreatedbylongrunningethnicconflicts,orthetheeconomiclossesofprotractedlaborunrest.
Tolimitsuchdestructiveness,wesuggestthatthepartiesandintermediariesinvolvedinintractable
conflictsshouldmoveawayfromtheunrealisticgoalofresolution,andfocus,instead,onhowthese
conflictscanbeconductedmoreconstructively."

Weiser,Ricky.ConstructiveConfrontation:NutsandBoltsAdviceforActivists.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
ThispaperisaneditedtranscriptofatalkgivenbyRickyWeiserfortheIntractableConflict/Constructive
ConfrontationProjectonApril10,1993.Ittalksaboutthemicrolevelofcitizenadvocacyandhowa
single,privatecitizencaninterfacewiththepoliticalrealitiesofcitycouncils,countycommissioners,and
evenhigherlevelgovernmentalorganizations.But,primarilyitfocusesonhowtoaccomplishthingsat
thelocallevel.Thiswillalsoincludemethodsofresolvingconflictsinthelocalpoliticalsphere.

Burgess,GuyM.andHeidiBurgess.ConstructiveConfrontation:AStrategyforDealingwith
IntractableEnvironmentalConflicts.ConflictResearchConsortium.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
BurgessandBurgess'sstrategyfordealingwithintractableenvironmentalconflicts;irreconcilablemoral
differences;highstakesdistributionalissues
Offline(Print)Sources
Kriesberg,Louis.ConstructiveConflicts:FromEscalationtoResolution.NewYork:Rowmanand
Littlefield,April1,1998.
Thisbooksdiscusseshowconflictcanbewagedconstructivelyateachstageofitscoursefrom
emergence,escalation,deescalation,termination,andfinally,toresolution.Kriesbergalsoexploresthe
basesofsocialconflict,typesofinducements,conflictstrategies,andthecontributionsof
intermediaries.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Johnson,RogerT.,DavidW.JohnsonandKarlA.Smith.AcademicControversy:EnrichingCollege
InstructionThroughIntellectualConflict,Vol.25.Washington,DC:GraduateSchoolofEducationand
HumanDevelopmentGeorgeWashingtonUniversity,1996.
"Boththeoreticalandpracticalreasonssupportthebeliefthatarousingintellectualconflictisoneofthe
mostimportantandpowerfulinstructionalproceduresavailabletocollegefaculty.Yetmostfaculty
avoidandsuppressintellectualconflict,perhapsoutoffearitwillbedivisive,orbecausetheyhave
neverbeentrainedinhowtouseinstructionalproceduresthatmaximizethelikelihoodthatintellectual

conflictwillbeconstructive,notdestructive,orbecausethecurrentsocietalandpedagogicalnorms
discouragethemfromdoingso.Thissituationneedstochange,andintellectualconflictneedsto
becomepartofdaytodaystudentlifeincollegesanduniversities."PublisherClickhereformoreinfo.

Simmel,George.ConflictandtheWebofGroupAffiliations.FreePress,October1,1964.

Kriesberg,Louis.ConstructiveConflicts:FromEscalationtoResolution,2ndEdition.NewYork:
RowmanandLittlefield,November2002.
Thisvolumediscussesthecatalystsandphasesofconflictaswellastheprocessesofconflictresolution.
Itidentifiesthecomplexitiesofconstructiveconflictsandoutlinescasestudiesofintractableconflict
movingtowardsresolution.

Robinson,Ian."TheEastTimorConflict(1975)."InTheTrueCostofConflict:SevenRecentWarsand
TheirEffectsonSociety.EditedbyCranna,Michael,ed.NewYork:TheNewPress,1994.
ThischapterprovidesanassessmentofthecostsofconflictinEastTimorforthosedirectlyinvolvedin
theconflictaswellastheinternationalcommunity.

Macdonald,GordonandAngelaBurke."TheformerYugoslaviaConflict."InTheTrueCostofConflict:
SevenRecentWarsandTheirEffectsonSociety.EditedbyCranna,Michael,ed.NewYork:TheNew
Press,1994.
ThischapterprovidesadiscussionofthecostsandbenefitsoftheconflictintheBalkansfortheformer
Yugoslavrepublics,theEuropeanUnion,andtheUnitedStates.

Coser,LewisA.TheFunctionsofSocialConflict.NewYork:FreePress,1964.
Thisisatheoreticalworkfocusingonthesocialpsychologicaldimensionsofsocialconflict.Theauthor
discussesavarietyofissuesrelatedtogroupidentity.

Quinn,Gregory."TheIraqConflict."InTheTrueCostofConflict:SevenRecentWarsandTheirEffects
onSociety.EditedbyCranna,Michael,ed.NewYork:TheNewPress,1994.
ThischapterexaminesthecostsandbenefitsoftheGulfWarforIraq,Kuwait,SaudiArabia,andthe
West.Italsoundertakesthethoughtexperimentofwhatwouldhavehappenedhadtheconflictnot
occurred.

Bhinda,Nils."TheKashmirConflict."InTheTrueCostofConflict:SevenRecentWarsandTheirEffects
onSociety.EditedbyCranna,Michael,ed.NewYork:TheNewPress,1994.
ThischapterexaminesthecostsandbenefitsoftheKashmirconflictfortheregionaswellasIndia,
Pakistan,China,andtheWest.

Vincent,Shaun."TheMozambiqueConflict(19801992)."InTheTrueCostofConflict:SevenRecent
WarsandTheirEffectsonSociety.EditedbyCranna,Michael,ed.NewYork:TheNewPress,1994.
Thischapterprovidesanassessmentofawholerangeofcosts(andbenefitswhereapplicable)ofthe

MozambiquancivilwarbothforMozambiqueaswellasitsneighborsandtheinternationalcommunity
ingeneral.

Shave,David."ThePeruConflict."InTheTrueCostofConflict:SevenRecentWarsandTheirEffectson
Society.EditedbyCranna,Michael,ed.NewYork:TheNewPress,1994.
ThischapterexaminesthecostsandbenefitsofthePeruviancivilwartoPeruandtheUnitedStates.

Shalita,Nicholas."TheSudanConflict."InTheTrueCostofConflict:SevenRecentWarsandTheir
EffectsonSociety.EditedbyCranna,Michael,ed.NewYork:TheNewPress,1994.
ThischapterexaminesthecostsandbenefitsoftheconflictinSudanforthecountry,itsneighbors,and
theUnitedStates.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
TheStrangeDemiseofJimCrow.Directedand/orProducedby:Berman,David.CaliforniaNewsreel.
1998.
Thisfilmhighlightshowcivilrightsactivistsusefullycreatedsituationsofnonviolentconflictasawayto
engagetheopposingside,andtocreateanatmosphereripefornegotiation.Clickhereformoreinfo.

ConflictStages

By
Eric Brahm

It has become common to describe conflicts as passing through a series of phases.[1] Different
authors name and describe these stages differently, but most include, at a minimum:

Noconflict
Latentconflict
Emergence
Escalation
(Hurting)Stalemate
DeEscalation
Settlement/Resolution

PostConflictPeacebuildingandReconciliation

These phases are frequently shown on a diagram that looks something like this, although the
accompanying text will always explain that the progress from one stage to the next is not smooth
and conflicts may repeat stages several times.

These stages are described briefly in this introductory essay, and then each is discussed in more
depth in other essays.
The potential for conflict exists whenever people have different needs, values, or interests; this is
the "latent" conflict stage. The conflict may not become apparent until a "triggering event" leads
to the emergence (or beginning) of the obvious conflict. Emergence may be followed quickly by
settlement or resolution, or it may be followed by escalation, which can become very destructive.
Escalation, however, cannot continue indefinitely. De-escalation can be temporary or can be part
of a broader trend toward settlement or resolution. Or escalation may lead to a stalemate, a
situation in which neither side can win. If the pain of continuing the conflict exceeds that of
maintaining the confrontation, the parties are in what Zartman calls a "hurting stalemate,"[2]
which often presents an ideal opportunity for negotiation and a potential settlement. Finally, if
and when an agreement is reached, peacebuilding efforts work to repair damaged relationships
with the long-term goal of reconciling former opponents.
Some scholars add other phases to this list. For intractable conflict, in particular, Kriesberg adds
failed peacemaking efforts after escalation, and institutionalization of destructive conflict after
that.[3] This latter stage is closely linked with the hurting stalemate.
Alker, Gurr, and Rupesinghe distinguish between six phases:

dispute(equivalenttoconflictemergence);

crisis(equivalenttoescalation);
limitedviolence;
massiveviolence;
abatement(equivalenttodeescalation);and
settlement.[4]

These stages are similar to those set out by the Complex Emergency Response and Transition
Initiative (CERTI) project:

conflict,
crisis,
chaos,
complexemergency,
recovery.

The related Health as a Bridge for Peace (HBP) project defines five phases:

impendingcrisis,
outbreakofviolence,
war,
postcrisis,and
stablepeace(whichisonestagebeyondthefinalphaseofthefirstlistabove).[5]

All of these models are idealized. Actual conflicts usually do not follow a linear path. Rather,
they evolve in fits and starts, alternatively experiencing progress and setbacks toward resolution.
The lack of linear progress helps to give the conflict a sense of intractability. Escalation may
resume after temporary stalemate or negotiation. Escalation and de-escalation may alternate.
Negotiations may take place in the absence of a stalemate. However, these models are still
useful, because most conflicts pass through similar stages at least once in their history.
Delineating different stages is also useful in efforts to resolve conflict. By recognizing the
different dynamics occurring at each stage of a conflict, one can appreciate that the strategies and
tactics for participants and interveners differ depending on the phase of the conflict.
Note that the stage of a conflict is determined subjectively by those involved. Some participants
may see the conflict as escalating, while others believe it is de-escalating; one side may perceive
itself to be in a hurting stalemate, while the other side believes it can prevail through continued
force. Determining each party's assumptions regarding the stage of the conflict is thus important,
before one can design a conflict management, transformation, or resolution strategy.
In addition, Kriesberg observes that the sequence of the phases differs from group to group.
"Moderates, hardliners, spoilers, and various other factions within each camp tend to be in
different phases of intractability at any given time. Therefore, shifts in the relative size and
influence of these factions will produce changes in the conflict's course."[6]

[1] See, for example, Creative Associates International, Inc., Conflict Prevention Guide Click
here for full URL.
[2] I William Zartman, Ripe for Resolution (New York: Oxford, 1985/1989)
[3] Louis Kriesberg, "Nature, Dynamics, and Phases of Intractability" Chapter in a forthcoming
book edited by Chester Crocker, Fen Hampson, and Pamela Aall on Intractable Conflicts (exact
title as yet unknown), to be published by U.S. Institute of Peace Press.
[4] The Conflict Database, accessible online at Click here for full URL.
[5]Rosalia Rodriguez-Garcia, et al. "How Can Health Serve as a Bridge for Peace?" Available
online at http://www.certi.org/publications/policy/gwc-12-a-brief.htm.
[6] Louis Kriesberg in a draft version of "Nature, Dynamics, and Phases of Intractability" a
chapter in a forthcoming book edited by Chester Crocker, Fen Hampson, and Pamela Aall on
Intractable Conflicts (exact title as yet unknown), to be published by U.S. Institute of Peace
Press.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Sandole,DennisJ.D."ComprehensiveMappingofConflictandConflictResolution:AThreePillar
Approach,A.",December1998
Availableat:http://www.gmu.edu/academic/pcs/sandole.htm.

Thisarticleattemptstodevelopaframeworkformappingintrastateconflicts.Thecomprehensive
mappingofconflictandconflictresolutionproposedhereisbasedontheassumptionthat"mapping"
anyparticularconflictintermsofvariouscategories e.g.,(i)conflict;(ii)conflictcausesandconditions;
and(iii)conflictinterventionperspectivesandprocessesconstitutesapreliminarysteptodesigning
andimplementinganeffectiveinterventionintoit.

Noll,DouglasE."ConflictEscalation:AFivePhaseModel.",November2000
Availableat:http://www.mediate.com/articles/noll2.cfm.

Theauthorlistsfivephasesofconflictescalation,andarguesthatasconflictsescalatethroughvarious
stages,thepartiesshowbehaviorsindicatingmovementbackwardthroughtheirstagesofemotional
development.

Glaser,Tanya."Process:TheDynamicsandProgressionofConflictSummary."Universityof
ColoradoConflictResearchConsortium,1900.
Availableat:http://www.beyondintractability.org/articlesummary/10359/.

ThispageisasummaryofachapterinBuildingPeace,byJohnPaulLederach.Inthissectionentitled
Process:TheDynamicsandProgressionofConflict,LederachadoptsmediatorAdamCurle'smatrixfor
describingtheprogressofconflictsintermsofthebalanceofpowerbetweentheparties,andthe
degreetowhichthepartiesareawareoftheirconflictingneedsandinterests.

Glaser,Tanya."SocialConflict:Escalation,StalemateandSettlementBookSummary."Universityof
Colorado:ConflictResearchConsortium,1900.
Availableat:http://www.beyondintractability.org/booksummary/10477/.

ThisisasummaryofthebookSocialConflict,byDeanG.PruittandSungHeeKim.Inthework,the
authorsdescribehowpeopleengageinsocialconflicts.Theauthorsdescribethesourcesofconflict,
identifyfivebasicconflictstrategies,andexploreprocessesofconflictescalationandresolution.(This
summaryreferstothefirsteditionofthebook.)
Offline(Print)Sources
Kriesberg,Louis.ConstructiveConflicts:FromEscalationtoResolution,2ndEdition.NewYork:
RowmanandLittlefield,November2002.
Thisvolumediscussesthecatalystsandphasesofconflictaswellastheprocessesofconflictresolution.
Itidentifiesthecomplexitiesofconstructiveconflictsandoutlinescasestudiesofintractableconflict
movingtowardsresolution.

Kriesberg,Louis."Nature,Dynamics,andPhasesofIntractability."InGraspingtheNettle:Analyzing
CasesofIntractableConflict.EditedbyDosi,Giovanni,ed.WashingtonD.C.:U.S.InstituteofPeace,
April30,2005.
Thechapterreviewsfactorsthatcontributetointractibilityateachstageofaconflict.Inaddition,it
discussesstepsthatmaybetakentoreducethesenseofintractibility.

Tillett,Gregory.ResolvingConflict:APracticalApproach,2ndedition.OxfordUniversityPress,2000.
Thisbookexaminespracticalmethodsofconflictresolutiontobeappliedinthepolitical,business,and
personalarenas.Thereisafocusonwhatapproachesareappropriatefordifferentstagesofconflict.

Zartman,I.William.RipeforResolution:ConflictandInterventioninAfrica(UpdatedEd.).Oxford:
OxfordUniversityPress,January1,1989.
ThisstudyexaminesthecausesandnatureofAfricanconflictandaddressestheissueofhowforeign
powerscancontributeproductivelytothemanagementandresolutionofsuchconflictswithout
resortingtotheuseofmilitaryforce.Thebookfocusesonfourcasestudiesoflocalconflictandexternal
response(WesternSahara,theHornofAfrica,theShabaprovinceinZaire,andNamibia)toassess
variousapproachestoconflictmanagement,andoffersguidelinesforidentifyingtheripemomentfor

effectiveexternalresponse.

Pruitt,DeanG.,JeffreyZ.RubinandSungHeeKim.SocialConflict:Escalation,Stalemate,and
Settlement,2ndEdition.NewYork:McGrawHillCollegeDivision,January1,1994.
Thisworkexploresthedynamicsofconflictescalation,focusingontacticalconsiderationsofconflict
strategiesandtheirpotentialoutcomes.Italsogoesbeyondescalationtodiscussstalemate,de
escalation,problemsolving,andthirdpartyintervention.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Deutsch,Morton.TheResolutionofConflict:ConstructiveandDestructiveProcesses.NewHaven,CT:
YaleUniversityPress,1973.
Thisworkprovidesasetoftheoreticalessaysandresearchpapersthatdealwiththenatureofconflict
anddiscussvariousstrategiesforresolvingconflict.Comingfromthepointofviewofsocialpsychology,
theauthorfocusesheavilyontheconceptsofcooperation,competition,andtrustinexplicating
constructiveanddestructiveconflictresolutionprocesses.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
OneIsland,TwoIrelands.Directedand/orProducedby:Meurice,JeanMichel.FirstRunIcarusFilms.
1998.
Thisfilmusesarchivalmaterialsdatingfrom1916,totellthehistoryofIreland'scivilwar.Clickherefor
moreinfo.

WarandPeaceinIreland.Directedand/orProducedby:MacCaig,Arthur.FirstRunIcarusFilms.1998.

ThisfilmfollowstheconflictinNorthernIrelandthroughitsdifferentstages.Itgivesapictureofhow
violenceescalatedduringthe1960s,hownegotiationshelpedeasetheviolenceinthe1980s,andhow
ceasefiresinthe1990sbroughtwiththemtheprospectofpeace.Clickhereformoreinfo.

ConflictAssessment
By
Deborah Shmueli

Introduction
Conflict assessment is the essential first stage in the process of conflict management and
resolution. A primary goal of such assessment is for all concerned parties to gain a deeper
understanding of the dynamics inherent in their relationships. This understanding not only
clarifies one's own interests and positions, but leads to an acknowledgement of the basis for the
interests and positions held by others, and thereby promotes reflection by the stakeholders. The
assessment maps the conflict, and then uses it as an evaluation tool to determine whether or not
there is a reasonable possibility for settlement or resolution or for initiating an intervention
process,such as mediation, to manage or resolve the dispute. In relatively simple situations, the
parties can do an assessment themselves--in fact, it is wise for disputants to always do at least a
quick assessment of the problem and potential solutions before they decide how to respond. In
more complex disputes or conflicts, however, an outside "assessor" often helps with the
assessment process.
Susskind and Thomas-Larmer[1] have pointed out that since the 1970s and '80s, assessments
have been used as preludes to intervening in disputes. They noted that the assessment concept
became formalized in the context of prospective negotiated rulemaking in the early 1980s,[2] and
that the Administrative Conference of the United States formally recommended that such
assessments be included as part of negotiated rulemaking in 1990.[3] (Rulemaking is the process
that administrative agencies go through when they develop the details -- the rules -- that specify
how laws are to be applied.) Conflict assessments are also now commonly employed in
consensus-building and dispute resolution, in informal ways as well as through the utilization of
outside, impartial assessors in the conduct of formal assessments.[4][5]
The assessment is designed to be embedded in reflection and social learning. The assessor must
therefore be particularly sensitive to helping the disputants reveal, often through self-discovery,
the issues that are really important to them, as well as to understand the priorities that motivate
the beliefs and actions of the other stakeholders. In this sense, then, the assessment becomes a
learning process.
The initial data-gathering stage is interactive, as stakeholders clarify their interests and positions.
The assessment can be helpful in building relationships among stakeholders as well as between
the stakeholders and the assessor, and in eliciting stakeholder participation in managing and
resolving the dispute. As an evaluation tool, assessment has inherent advantages. It offers

insights into the type of intervention most likely to succeed, and provides input into designing a
work plan, should intervention be initiated.
What differentiates conflict assessment from other forms of evaluation is that stakeholders and
other interested parties may not have come together as a group previously, and therefore may
lack a common information base. The initial phase of the process presents the opportunity to
build such a shared body of information and knowledge, before group interaction commences.
Moreover, as issues that had previously been submerged come to the forefront, this informational
stage can lead to the identification of other stakeholders. Stakeholder identification is therefore
more than an a priori action, it is a continuous process.
In intractable conflicts especially, the issues in contention are likely to be deeply embedded in
personal and group interests, self/other characterizations, or overarching political and
socioeconomic agendas. Since many such conflicts are geographically bounded, the parties may
have encountered one another in similar or different sets of disputes. The conflict at hand may
therefore be colored by a backlog of animosities, historical grievances, mistrust, alliances, and
structural power imbalances. If intervention is to be initiated, a full understanding of these
complex relationships has to be shared by all involved parties. In such disputes, there is likely to
be no consensus over the boundaries of the conflict. Using a "snowball"[6] method for
identifying all the interested parties to the dispute, as well as those parties that might be helpful
in the conflict management process, the assessment probes such topics as:

Stakeholders'interestsandperceptionsaboutthemselvesandotherswhomtheyconsidertobe
involved;
Issuesdeemedimportanttoeachstakeholdergroup,atleastattheoutset;
Institutional,financial,andotherimpedimentstosuccessfulintervention;
Conditionsstipulatedbyeachstakeholderforparticipatinginanytypeofconflictmanagement
process,and
Agreementastowhoistorepresentstakeholders(oroutsideinterestedparties)atthe
negotiationtable.

Assessor roles are essentially facilitative and communicative. Assessors must be effective
interviewers and sensitive listeners, who have some knowledge of the issues at stake. Most
assessments are conducted by dispute-resolution professionals, although assessors with general
consensus-building skills may also be effective. In some cases, the assessment may be conducted
by one or two individuals. In others, and especially in complex cases, a team of several
nonpartisan assessors is more appropriate. The assessor(s) should make clear to the stakeholders
that his or her role at this stage is not that of an intervener, although the relationships which
develop between the assessor and stakeholders may make the former the optimal choice for
playing such a role at a later stage. However, it is important that the assessor's recommendations
to move on to the intervention stage not be influenced by the desire to assume the intervener role.
Another possible pitfall is a situation in which the convener is also a stakeholder. In such a
situation, extra cautionary measures are necessary to ensure against the distortion of the
assessment process. This highlights the need for assessor objectivity and impartiality in the
information-gathering, as well as the recommendation phases.

PhasesofConflictAssessment
In general, conflict assessment includes the
following phases:[7],[8],[9]

1. Introduction:Aclearmandatefromthe
convener.Preparationofinterviewprotocols

thatencompassasetofopenendedquestions,
Additionalinsightsintoconflictassessment
designedtoobtaininformationorganized
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10265
aroundspecificaspectsoftheconflict.
2. Informationgathering:Surveyofgeneral
recordsandprotocolsdealingwiththeconflictasbackgroundtostakeholderinterviews.The
bulkofthedataisderivedfrompersonalinterviewswiththestakeholdersandotherinterested
parties.Thisphasebeginswithanexaminationoftheappropriatedocumentsandprotocols.In
thescheduleofinterviewsthatfollow,itmaybedesirabletointerviewthemostimportant
stakeholderstowardtheend,inordertoenrichthequestionstobeaskedofthekeyactors.
Identificationofadditionalimportantstakeholdersmayalsoemergefromtheearlierinterviews.

One way of conducting the interviews is to have one person ask the questions and prompt
the responses, while another takes written notes. Tape recording may substitute for notetaking, or serve as a supplement, if the comfort level of the interviewee allows this
technique. In all cases, interviewers should review the main issues to verify the accuracy
of the notes, before moving on to the analysis stage.
The results of the interviews and the examination of the other information protocols are
expected to yield insights into:
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o

Developmentoftheconflictfromtheviewpointofstakeholdersinthatcategory,
includingthehistoricalchainofeventsthathaveledtotheconflict;
Thekeyissuesrelatingtotheconflict;
Basicinterests;
Proposedsolutionsandacknowledgmentofotheroptions;
Pointswhicharenegotiableandnonnegotiabletopartiesattheoutset;
Importantissuesforfuturediscussion;
Perceptionsandreactionstothedecisionmakingprocess;
Barrierstointroducinganapproachbasedonnegotiation,mediation,andconsensus
decisionmaking.

All suggestions and opinions are included, with no indication of a majority view; the
purpose is simply to set forth the range of ideas, not to indicate which views are
dominant. Confidentiality may be assured by clustering the comments according to
stakeholder category and topics, without attribution to individuals or their organizational
affiliations.
3. Analysis:Summarizingfindings,mappingareasofagreementanddisagreement,andderiving
framinginformation,allofwhichhavedirectimplicationsforthedesignoftheconflict
managementandresolutionprocess.CarpenterandKennedy[10]haveprovideduseful
examplesofinstrumentsforthesystematicanalysisofthevariousparties'interestsandissues,

andformeasuringtheconflictdynamiccontinuum.

In presenting the data, the focus may be integrative, emphasizing the common interests
and positions amongst the different groups, and blurring the distinctions. The integrative
approach emphasizes the convergence of interests as a basis for consensus-building.
Where differences are acute, however, the integrative approach may be
counterproductive, because it could engender distrust of the process as a whole.
Another approach, especially when the differences are deep, is to present the analysis in a
group-by-group format. Findings are sent to all stakeholders in each category for review,
revision, and approval, before being integrated into a final report which is sent to all
stakeholders, as well as to the convener.
4. Processdesign:Goals,agenda,selectionofstakeholderrepresentativeswhowillparticipate
directlyintheprocess,andtimeframeforsuggestedstages.
5. Reportwriting,feedback,distribution:Thereportmaybeacatalystforbringingtogethera
smallsubsetofthepartiestoelicitinitialfeedback.Thereisnoprescribedlengthforthe
assessmentreport,sincetherearetradeoffswithregardtothelevelofdetailthatistobe
included.Inmanyinstances,complexityoftheissueswilldictatethesizeofthereport.Thiscan
provideguidanceforcraftingthefeedbackformatorfutureinterventiondesignforthelarger
stakeholderuniverse.

Benefits of Conflict Assessment


Conflict Assessment is helpful to the disputants, convener, and assessor(s) in the following ways.
For the disputants:

Offersareflectivetoolwhichclarifiestheirowninterests,positions,andissueswithregardto
theconflict,aswellasrevealingthoseofotherstakeholders;
Buildsasharedbodyofinformationandknowledge;
Beginstoreframerelationships,buildinterestandissuebasedcoalitions.

For the convener:

Elicitsstakeholderparticipation;
Offersinsightsintothetypeofinterventionlikelytosucceed,ifany;
Providesinputintodesigningaworkplan,shouldinterventionbeinitiated.

For the assessor (and sometimes would-be intervener):

Buildsrelationshipswithstakeholders.

Comprehensive Guide to Reaching Agreement, Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, pp.
99-135.
[2] Harter, P.J., 1982. "Negotiating Regulations: A Cure for Malice?" Georgetown Law Journal,
71(1), 1-113.
[3] Pritzker, D.M. and D.S. Dalton, 1990. Negotiated Rulemaking sourcebook. Washington,
D.C.; U.S. Government Printing Office.
[4] Moore , C.W., 1986. The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict, San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
[5] Carpenter, S.C. and W.J.D. Kennedy, 1988. "Analyzing the Conflict," In Managing Public
Disputes: A Practical Guide to Handling Conflict and Reaching Agreements, San Francisco,
Calif.: Jossey-Bass Publishers, Chapter 4, pp. 71-91.
[6] All interviewees are asked whom they consider to be additional stakeholders. If a
name/organization is identified more than once, it is included.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Shmueli, D. and M. Ben Gal, forthcoming 2004. "Stakeholder Frames in the Mapping of the
Lower Kishon River Basin Conflict," Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 21:2.
[10] Ibid, 86-91.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
CenterforHumanRightsandConflictResolutionatTuftsUniversity.
Availableat:http://www.chrcr.org/.
bringstogetherpractitionersofhumanrightsandconflictmanagementtraditions.Itswebsitehas
informationonitsprojects,publicationsandanexcellentlistoffurtherreadingthatexploresthe
relationshipbetweenthesetwocommunities

Solomon,Hussein.AnalysingConflicts.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
Thepurposeofthisarticleistoprovideabriefoverviewofstepstowardseffectiveconflictanalysis.The
authorexplainssomeaspectsofthemethodologyemployedbyACCORD'sEarlyWarningSysteminits
analysisofconflictsandpotentialconflictsinrelationtoAfrica'slargenumberofcivilpoliticalconflict.

ConflictAnalysisandCountryRiskAssessment.CanadianInternationalDevelopmentAgency.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
Thissiteofferslinkstotoolsandmodelsthatcanbeusedintheassessmentofconflictrisk.Someofthe
documentsthatcanbeaccessedinclude:FastEarlyRecognitionofTensionandFactFinding;
FrameworkforIdentifyingConflictRisksandOptionsforEngagement;IndicatorModelforUseasan
AdditionalInstrumentforPlanningandAnalysisinDevelopmentCooperation;andManualforEarly
WarningandEarlyResponse.

"ConflictAssessment.",
Availableat:http://spot.colorado.edu/~wehr/40GD1.HTM.

Thispageoutlinestwodifferentmodelsforconflictassessmentinastepbystep,howtoformat.They
areWehr'sConflictMappingtechniqueandtheHockerWilmotConflictAssessmentGuide.Bothmodels
stressopenended,participantbaseddataasthepathtospecifyingandunderstandingconflict
processes.

McKearnan,Sarah."ConflictAssessment:APreliminaryStepThatEnhancesChanceofSuccess.",
Availableat:http://www.mediate.com/articles/assessment.cfm.

Whetheritiscalled"conflictassessment,""situationassessment,"ora"conveningreport,"practitioners
agreetheyshouldstartworkonacasebyconductingaseriesofinterviewswiththeparties,then
preparingarecommendationaboutwhatkindofprocess,ifany,shouldbeundertaken.Doinganinitial
assessmentdramaticallyincreasesthechancesthataconsensusbuildingprocesswillsucceed.Not
doingoneinvitesdisaster.Thisarticlediscussesthedifferentmethodsusedtoconductthisinitial
assessmentandwhytheprocessissoimportant.

Verstegen,Suzanne.ConflictPrognostication:TowardaTentativeFrameworkforConflictAssessment.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
"Theobjectiveofthisstudyonconflictprognosticationisthedevelopmentofaframeworkfor
standardizedearlywarning(conflictassessment)analysistohelpstructuretheusualreportingfromdesk
officersandfieldpersonnel,inordertoenhancethecapacitytoidentifyandprioritizeoptionsfor
operationalresponses."FromArticle

ConveningQuestions.
Availableat:http://www.resolv.org/articles/t_questions.htm.
Thisarticlediscussesthefeasibilityassessmentprocessthatmostneutralsemploybeforebeginninga
negotiation.Thisprocesshelpstheneutralstructurethenegotiationsinthemostefficient,effective
way.
Offline(Print)Sources
Carpenter,SusanL.andW.J.D.Kennedy."AnalyzingtheConflict."InManagingPublicDisputes:A
PracticalGuideforProfessionalsinGovernment,BusinessandCitizen'sGroups.JohnWiley&Sons,

July31,2001.Pages:7191.
Thischapteroutlinesthestepsnecessarytoproperlyanalyzeapublicpolicydispute.Theauthorslayout
threekeysteps:preliminaryreview,collectinginformation,andassessinginformation.Allofthesesteps
areaimedatgainingathoroughunderstandingoftheconflictathand.

Moore,ChristopherW."CollectingandAnalyzingBackgroundInformation."InTheMediationProcess:
PracticalStrategiesforResolvingConflict,2ndEdition.SanFrancisco:JosseyBassPublishers,1996.
Pages:114140.
ThischapterofTheMediationProcess,discussesstepsamediatorshouldtakeinordertogetastrong
handleontheconflictsituationpriortodevelopingamediationplanandengagingtheparties.The
chapterfocusesontheprocessesofdatacollectionandanalysis,ortheintegrationandinterpretationof
data.Clickhereformoreinfo.

ThomasLarmer,JenniferandLawrenceSusskind."ConductingaConflictAssessment."InThe
ConsensusBuildingHandbook:AComprehensiveGuidetoReachingAgreement.EditedbyMcKearnan,
Sarah,JenniferThomasLarmerandLawrenceSusskind,eds.ThousandOaks,CA:SagePublications,
1999.
Thisinformativechapterprovidesadetaileddiscussionofwhatexactlyisinvolvedintheprocessof
conflictassessment.Sectiononecoversconflictassessmentsingeneral.Thesecondsectionoffers
prescriptiveadviceonhowtocarryoutassessments.Sectionthreediscussessomeofthedebates
surroundingthepraticeofconflictassessment.Finally,thefourthsectionconsidersthelikelyfutureof
conflictassessmentandthefieldofdisputeresolution.

Hocker,JoyceandWilliamWilmot."ConflictAssessment."InInterpersonalConflict,2ndEdition.
EditedbyHocker,JoyceandWilliamWilmot,eds.Dubuque,Iowa:WilliamC.BrownPublishers,1985.
Theauthorsdescribewaysofassessingconflictandidentifyingconflictpatterns.Afullassessmentwill
describetheworkingsoftheoverallconflictsystem,identifyrecurringpatternswithintheconflict,and
identifyindividuals'contributionstotheconflictsystem.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Wehr,Paul.ConflictRegulation.WestviewPress:Boulder,CO,1979.
Thisworkpresentsageneralframeworkforanalyzingandunderstandingconflict.Thisearlyworkinthe
fieldofconflictresolutionexplainsthebasicsofconflictmappingatthemicroandmacrolevels.Italso
includescasestudiesof"selflimiting"conflictanddiscussestheemergenceofalternativedispute
resoutionprocessesinsolvingenvironmentalconflictsinColoradomountaincommunities.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
HowDidYouDoYourOnsiteAssessment?.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/civil_rights/topics/0900.html.

Duringthepast35years,CommunityRelationsService(CRS)mediatorsandconciliatorshaveresponded
tothousandsofvolatilecivilrightsdisputes,includingvirtuallyeverymajorracialandethnicconflictthat
occurredintheUSAduringthistimeperiod.ThissiteshareshowseventeenCRSmediatorsconducted
onsiteconflictassessments.
Offline(Print)Sources
Caddick,Jennifer,KariJermansenandJillMastrototaro."ConflictAssessmentandtheCapeCod
NationalSeashore."MediationQuarterly17:1,1999.
"Overthepastseveraldecades,theCapeCodNationalSeashorehasexperiencedaclashbetween
interestsregardingoffroadvehicleuseandtheprotectionofpipingploverhabitat.thisconflictcameto
aheadinSeptember1995whenpartiesinterestedinresolvingthedisputecommittedtoanegotiated
rulemakingprocess,onein1993andasecondin1995.Becauseconflictassessmentisnotalways
attemptedbymediatorspriortonegotiatedrulemakingormediationingeneral(Susskind,1998),this
articleattemptstoacknowledgethevalueofsuchanengagementtostakeholders.Here,interviews
serveastheprimarymethodbywhichinformationwascollectedfromsomeoftheorganizations
involvedintherulemaking.Overallresearchresultsindicatestakeholdersupportfortheuseofconflict
assessmentineffectivelypreparingthemforthenegotiatedrulemakingprocess."ArticleAbstract

Galtung,Johan.SolvingConflicts:APeaceResearchPerspective.Honolulu,HI:UniversityofHawaii:
SparkM.MatsunagaInstituteforPeace,1989.
Inthiswork,Galtungdiscussesbroadinternationalconflictsthathecalls,"EastWest","NorthSouth",
and"MiddleEast",repsectively.Hearguesthattheseconflictsarerealandgroundedinincompatible
goalsandinterestsofthevariousparties.Theauthordescribeswhatismeantbyeachmonikerandgoes
ontosuggestpotentialavenuesforresolvingeachsituation.

Settlement,Resolution,Management,andTransformation:An
ExplanationofTerms
By
Brad Spangler

DistinguishingResolutionTerms
Explaining the meaning of resolution, in the arena of conflict
research, demands a discussion of several terms that refer to
different ways of dealing with conflict.

"Terminologythatdominatesa
fieldordisciplineevolveswiththe
changingconceptualprocessesof
Conflict scholars draw distinctions between certain terms that
itspractitioners.Suchisthecase
others often use interchangeably. For example, disputes and
particularlyintheareaofconflict
conflicts are often considered to be different phenomena, based resolution."JohnPaulLederach,
on their nature and duration (see conflicts and disputes). Scholars inPreparingforPeace:Conflict
also draw distinctions between dispute settlement, conflict
TransformationAcrossCultures,p.
management, conflict resolution, and conflict transformation.
1617

The first three terms are commonly used and have fairly
straightforward meanings, while conflict transformation
represents a departure from the other approaches.

Dispute Settlement
Disputes are generally considered to be disagreements that involve negotiable interests. Such
issues can be settled through negotiation, mediation, or adjudication. They are generally shortterm and, given the right process, lend themselves to the development of mutually satisfactory
solutions. Dispute settlement therefore refers to the working out of a mutually satisfactory
agreement between the parties involved. Dispute settlement is primarily concerned with
upholding established social norms (of right and wrong) and is aimed at bringing the dispute to
an end, without necessarily dealing with its fundamental causes.[1] Thus, although the particular
dispute might be settled permanently, another similar or related dispute may arise again later if
the underlying causes are still there.[2]

Conflict Resolution
Incompatible interests are not the only things at issue in more severe conflicts. Conflicts last
longer and are more deeply rooted than disputes. They tend to arise over non-negotiable issues
such as fundamental human needs, intolerable moral differences, or high-stakes distributional
issues regarding essential resources, such as money, water, or land. To truly resolve a conflict,
the solution must go beyond just satisfying the parties' interests as in dispute settlement. To end

or resolve a long-term conflict, a relatively stable solution that identifies and deals with the
underlying sources of the conflict must be found. This is a more difficult task than simple dispute
settlement, because resolution means going beyond negotiating interests to meet all sides' basic
needs, while simultaneously finding a way to respect their underlying values and identities.
However, some of the same intervention processes used in dispute settlement (i.e., mediation)
are also used to achieve resolution.
True conflict resolution requires a more analytical, problem-solving approach than dispute
settlement. The main difference is that resolution requires identifying the causal factors behind
the conflict, and finding ways to deal with them. On the other hand, settlement is simply aimed at
ending a dispute as quickly and amicably as possible. This means that it is possible to settle a
dispute that exists within the context of a larger conflict, without resolving the overall conflict.
This occurs when a dispute is settled, but the underlying causes of the conflict are not addressed
There are many reasons why underlying causes of conflict may not be addressed. Often, the
underlying causes of conflict are embedded in the institutional structure of society. Achieving
complete resolution of a conflict can require making significant socioeconomic or political
changes that restructure society in a more just or inclusive way. Changing societal structures,
such as the distribution of wealth in society, is a difficult thing to do and can take decades to
accomplish.[3] Thus, fully resolving conflict can be a long, laborious process. As a result there
are other conceptions of ways to deal with, but not necessarily "resolve," conflicts.

Conflict Management
Conflict management involves the control, but not resolution, of a long-term or deep-rooted
conflict. This is the approach taken when complete resolution seems to be impossible, yet
something needs to be done. In cases of resolution-resistant or even intractable conflict, it is
possible to manage the situation in ways that make it more constructive and less destructive.[4]
The goal of conflict management is to intervene in ways that make the ongoing conflict more
beneficial and less damaging to all sides. For example, sending peacekeeping forces into a region
enmeshed in strife may help calm the situation and limit casualties. However, peacekeeping
missions will not resolve the conflict. In some cases, where non-negotiable human needs are at
stake, management is the most feasible step.

ACritiqueandAlternative:ConflictTransformation
A number of conflict theorists and practitioners, including John Paul Lederach, advocate the
pursuit of conflict transformation, as opposed to "conflict resolution" or "conflict management."
Conflict transformation is different from the other two, Lederach asserts, because it reflects a
better understanding of the nature of conflict itself. "Conflict resolution" implies that conflict is
bad, and is therefore something that should be ended. It also assumes that conflict is a short-term
phenomenon that can be "resolved" permanently through mediation or other intervention
processes. "Conflict management" correctly assumes that conflicts are long-term processes that
often cannot be quickly resolved. The problem with the notion of "management," however, is

dealing with the real source of the problem.[5]


Conflict transformation, as described by Lederach, does not suggest that we simply eliminate or
control conflict, but rather that we recognize and work with its "dialectic nature." First, Lederach
argues that social conflict is a natural occurrence between humans who are involved in
relationships. Once conflict occurs, it changes or transforms those events, people, and
relationships that created the initial conflict. Thus, the cause-and-effect relationship goes both
ways -- from the people and the relationships to the conflict and back to the people and
relationships. In this sense, "conflict transformation" is a term that describes the natural process
of conflict. Conflicts change relationships in predictable ways, altering communication patterns
and patterns of social organization, altering images of the self and of the other.[6]
Conflict transformation is also a prescriptive concept. It suggests that the destructive
consequences of a conflict can be modified or transformed so that self-images, relationships, and
social structures improve as a result of conflict instead of being harmed by it. Usually, this
involves transforming perceptions of issues, actions, and other people or groups. Conflict usually
transforms perceptions by accentuating the differences between people and positions. Lederach
believes that effective conflict transformation can utilize this highlighting of differences in a
constructive way, and can improve mutual understanding. From the perspective of conflict
transformation, intervention has been successful if each group gains a relatively accurate
understanding of the other. In the end, improving understanding is the objective of conflict
transformation, in spite of parties differing or even irreconcilable interests, values, and needs (for
a more in-depth discussion, see the essay on conflict transformation).[7]

[1] John Burton and Frank Dukes, Conflict: Practices in Management, Settlement & Resolution
(New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990), 83-87.
[2] John Burton, Conflict: Resolution & Provention (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990), 5.
[3] For a more in-depth discussion of the challenge of changing social and economic institutions
in ways that would help societies avoid conflict, see Chapter 5 of: John Burton, Conflict:
Resolution & Provention (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990), 66-82.
[4] For a more in-depth discussion of constructive and destructive conflict resolution processes,
see: Morton Deutsch, The Resolution of Conflict: Constructive and Destructive Processes (New
Haven: Yale University Press, 1973). Deutsch's introduction offers a brief explanation of the
difference and the ensuing chapters offer in-depth examinations of constructive and destructive
aspects of conflict and its resolution.
[5] John Paul Lederach, Preparing for Peace: Conflict Transformation Across Cultures
(Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1995), 16-17.
[6] Ibid, 17.

[7] Ibid, 18.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
BerghofHandbookforConflictTransformation.BergofResearchCenterforConstructiveConflict
Management,December2000.
Availableat:http://www.berghofhandbook.net/.

ThisHandbookconsistsofmanydifferentarticlesonconflicttransformation.Itgivespractitionersand
scholarsanoverviewofthecurrentlyavailableapproaches,methods,techniquesandtheoriesofconflict
transformation.TheHandbookdocumentsandassessesthestateoftheartinthefield,aswellas
offeringopportunitiestoreflectonanddiscussthestrengthsandweaknessesoftheseapproaches.The
topicstructureoftheHandbookisorganizedaccordingtotheconceptualpreconditions,thedifferent
sociallevels,andthevariousdimensionsofconflicttransformation.

Negowetti,Nicole."Reconciliation:CentralComponentofConflictTransformation.",April4,2003
Availableat:http://www.peace.ie/read/reconciliation.html.

ThisessayexaminestheconceptofreconciliationascentraltoJonhPaulLederach'stheoryofconflict
transformation.Itassertsthatcontemporaryintrastateconflictsrequireinnovativeapproachesthat
considerthesubjectiveexperiencesofbothvictimsandperpetrators,fortheirtransformation.Thepiece
includesdiscussionofLederach'sdistinctionbetweenconflicttransformationandtheconceptsof
conflictresolutionandconflictmanagement.

TheSurprisingPreponderanceofPeace.2003.
Availableat:http://www.aworldofpossibilities.com/details.cfm?id=107.

AninterviewbySusanCollinMarks,FrankDeford,RobertFuller,andWilliamUry.Peace,itturnsout,is
actuallythenormthroughouthumanhistory.War,though,isfarfromextinct.Inthis,thefirstofafour
partseries,weask,"Whatwouldittaketoeliminatewarasameansofsettlingconflicts?"and,"Isthere
abettergamethanwar?"
Offline(Print)Sources
Fisher,Roger,ElizabethKopelmanandAndreaKupferSchneider.BeyondMachiavelli:ToolsforCoping
withConflict.Cambridge,MA:HarvardUniversityPress,April1,1994.
Thisworkprovidesadviceandguidelinesforhandlingdisputesofanykind.Conflictmanagementis
discussedinthecontextofmultiplearenas,frominternationalpoliticstocorporateissues.Thework
specificallyfocusesontheconceptofconflictmanagement,ratherthanconflictresolution.Clickherefor
moreinfo.


Jeong,HoWon,ed.ConflictResolution:Dynamics,ProcessandStructure.Brookfield,VT:Ashgate
PublishingCo.,September1999.
Theessayscompiledinthiseditedvolumearemeanttoofferfurtherconceptualdevelopmentofsome
approachestoconflictresolution.Theaimistodevelopapproachesthatconsiderthebroadercontextof
conflictinamorerealisticway,especiallyintermsofrecognizinglargersocialprocessandstructure.The
volumeexamineswaysinwhichadversarialrelationshipscanbetransformedandreconciledindiverse
settings.

Burton,JohnW.andE.FrankDukes.Conflict:PracticesinManagement,Settlement,andResolution.
NewYork:St.Martin'sPress,October1990.
Conflict:PracticesinManagement,Settlement,andResolutiondescribesdifferenttypesofconflictsand
differentapproachestoconflictmanagement.Itattemptstomatchthedifferenttypesofconflictwith
themostappropriatemanagementprocess.Thisworkincludessomeveryinfluentialdefinitionsofkey
termsinthefieldofconflictresolution.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Burton,JohnW.Conflict:ResolutionandProvention.NewYork,NY:St.Martin'sPress,Inc.,July1990.
Thisworkpresentsanhistoricalandtheoreticalperspective,andaframeworkforconsiderationof
theoryandpracticeinconflictresolution.Itrepresentsashiftinthefield,fromapproachestoconflict
thatemphasizeddeterrenceandconflictmanagementtothosethatemphasizeconflictpreventionand
resolution.Theauthor'sperspectiveonconflictisgroundedinhumanneedstheory.Clickhereformore
info.

Lederach,JohnPaul.PreparingforPeace:ConflictTransformationAcrossCultures.Syracuse,NY:
SyracuseUniversityPress,August1,1996.
Inthisbooktheauthordrawsonhispersonalexperiencesinordertoexaminethepracticeofteaching
conflictresolution.Lederachseekstoaddresstheproblemofuniversalizedtechniquesthatarefalsely
assumedtoworkacrossdifferentculturalcontexts.Instead,Lederachexploresthepurposeofdispute
resolutiontraininganditsrelationshipwithculture.Theauthorpromotesaframeworkforpeacethatis
basedonthenotionofconflicttransformation,whichdiffersinitsprinciplesfrom"conflictresolution"
and"conflictmanagement."Clickhereformoreinfo.

Pruitt,DeanG.,JeffreyZ.RubinandSungHeeKim.SocialConflict:Escalation,Stalemate,and
Settlement,2ndEdition.NewYork:McGrawHillCollegeDivision,January1,1994.
Thisworkseekstodevelopacomprehensivetheoryofconflictbydescribingthevariousstrategiesthat
partiesinvolvedinconflictuse.Theauthordiscussesthenatureofconflictanditsprimarycauses,the
causesandstagesofescalation,stalemateanddeescalation,andconditionsthatfosterproblemsolving
approachestodealingwithconflict.Thebookisorientedtowardaproblemsolvingapproachtoconflict
andincludesadiscussionoftheroleofthirdpartyinterveners.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Deutsch,Morton.TheResolutionofConflict:ConstructiveandDestructiveProcesses.NewHaven,CT:
YaleUniversityPress,1973.

Thisworkprovidesasetoftheoreticalessaysandresearchpapersthatdealwiththenatureofconflict
anddiscussvariousstrategiesforresolvingconflict.Comingfromthepointofviewofsocialpsychology,
theauthorfocusesheavilyontheconceptsofcooperation,competition,andtrustinexplicating
constructiveanddestructiveconflictresolutionprocesses.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Nathan,Laurie."CrisisResolutionandConflictManagementinAfrica.",
Availableat:http://ccrweb.ccr.uct.ac.za/archive/staff_papers/laurie_bank.html.

ThispaperarguesthatinthecontextofAfricaviolencemaybethepredominantconcernfroma
humanitarianperspective,butthatitshouldbeviewedasasymptomofintrastatecrisesfroman
analyticalperspective.Thepieceidentifiesfourspecificstructuralconditionsthatarearguedtogiverise
tocrises:1)authoritarianrule;(2)theexclusionofminorityormajoritygroupsfromgovernance;(3)
socioeconomicdeprivationcombinedwithinequity;(4)andweakstateswhichlacktheinstitutional
capacitytomanagepoliticalandsocialconflict.Theauthorarguestheseconditionsaretheprimary
causesofmassviolenceinAfrica,andthatsustainablepeaceispossibleonlyiftheyareaddressed
satisfactorily.Thedistinctionbetweenaddressingsymptomsofconflictandcausesofconflict,closely
parallelstheconceptualdifferencesbetween"conflictmanagement"and"conflictresolution."

Dukes,E.Frank."WhyConflictTransformationMatters:ThreeCases.",November1999
Availableat:http://www.gmu.edu/academic/pcs/Dukes61PCS.html.

Thisessaybeginswithanexaminationoftheimportanceofconflicttransformation.Thefailingsofan
ideologyofconflictmanagementcurrentlydominatingtheconflictresolutionfield,arecontrastedwith
componentsofatransformativepractice.Theauthorthenoffersthreecasesfrompersonalexperience
anddrawslessonsfromthemtoillustratethepotentialofconflictresolutioninthreedistinctareas:
fosteringcommunity,buildingaresponsivegovernance,andresolvingpublicconflict.
Offline(Print)Sources
Hauss,Charles(Chip).InternationalConflictResolution:InternationalRelationsforthe21stCentury.
NewYork:ContinuumPublishing,2001.
Partoneofthisworkfocusesontheoriesabouthowtoresolveconflictsintheinternationalarena.The
authoremphasizesnewapproachestoconflictresolutionthatstresswinwinoutcomes,reconciliation,
andstablepeace.Thesecondpartoftheworkpresentsaseriesofcasestudiesthatdemonstratethe
rangeofconflictsthatexistatthedawnofthe21stcentury.Someofthestudiesillustratecasesinwhich
progresshasbeenmadetowardresolutionandothersinwhichithasnot.Thecasestudiesareintended
togivereadersalookattheconditionsunderwhichwinwinconflictresolutionandstablepeaceare
most,andleast,likelytooccur.

Unit II
The Psychology of Conflict
Psychology is deeply intertwined with conflict both as a cause and an effect. When people are
afraid or angry or distrustful, this tends to contribute to conflict escalation, and at the same time,
conflicts can cause people to become afraid, angry, and/or distrustful. The same is true though
usually to a lesser degree in disputes. The following essays investigate the interaction
between psychological factors and conflicts/disputes.
Emotions
Negotiation theory often assumes that people in conflict behave rationally, but emotional
factors also play a large role in people's attitudes and behaviors. This essay examines the
importance of these emotional factors in both conflict assessment and response.
Anger
Anger can be constructive, but is more often destructive. This essay examines the
interplay between anger and conflict and discusses when and how anger should be
managed.
Fear
Fear is both a cause and a consequence of both violent and nonviolent conflicts. It
certainly makes conflict resolution more difficult.
Guilt and Shame
We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are. Both lead to and are
caused by conflict.
Face
"Face" refers to self-esteem. While it is of more importance in some cultures than others,
no one, in any culture, likes to look "stupid," or to be made fun of. Like the other
pyschological factors here, face loss of or saving face can effect conflict in both
positive and negative ways.
Unit II Assignment:
Choose a dispute or conflict that has affected you deeply. It can be a personal one a fight at
work or in the family or a more public one that you care about deeply the war in Iraq,
abortion, gay rights, whatever. In 3-4 pages, examine how emotions played a role in that conflict
and what was done (or might have been done) to harness these emotions in a more positive way.


Emotions

By
Michelle Maiese

The issue of how to manage and resolve conflict is typically approached as if it is solely or
primarily a rational problem. Indeed, most negotiation and mediation training focuses on
material positions and interests, and looks at the way to get the most for oneself, or a "win-win"
outcome for both sides, measuring "wins" and "losses" in material terms. When emotions are
mentioned, they are something to be "managed" or "suppressed" or "vented" at the beginning and
then ignored. [1] When they are considered, the discussion about emotions is often limited to an
emphasis on how anger causes conflict escalation and how to control it. Many disputants believe
that by relying solely on logic, they can mask their emotions and defend themselves from
vulnerability. [2] Substantive issues often seem easier to discuss than feelings of humiliation,
wounded pride, and anxiety, which are viewed as obstacles to rational thinking and a sign of
weakness. [3]
It seems clear, however, that emotions and feelings significantly influence how people deal with
conflict. Anyone who has ever gotten angry with a spouse or been demeaned and humiliated by a
co-worker will recognize this fact readily. It is also important to note that conflicts sometimes
arise precisely because parties ignore their own or others' feelings and emotions. Negative
emotions are both a cause and escalator of conflict, and positive feelings among the parties are
often a key component of resolution. Once one accepts that emotion is the foundation of all
conflict, the issue of how emotion influences the management of conflict becomes central. Many
theorists have begun to point out that the lack of detailed attention paid to emotions and their role
in relationships limits our understanding of conflict and that more work needs to be done to
remedy this. [4]

EmotionandConflict
Some people assume that material causes are central to a given conflict, while emotional and
relational causes are subsidiary. However, most conflicts are fueled by both material and nonmaterial concerns. In addition to instrumental goals and rational interests, people have emotional
needs, such as the desire for love, status, recognition, and belonging. [5] To see that conflict has
significant relational and emotional causes, one only has to take a look at any of today's "highprofile" conflicts: the "War on Terror," race relations in the U.S., abortion, gay rights, etc.
Family conflicts, too, usually have a high emotional component--usually higher, actually, than
the material issues ostensibly in dispute.

Emotions play a role in how parties make sense of their


relationships, degree of power, and social status. People
constantly evaluate situations and events to feel out if they are
personally relevant. [7] These understandings and appraisals are
infused with various emotions and feelings. Thus, emotion not
only serves a side effect of conflict, but also frames the way in
which parties understand and define their dispute.

When emotions are hidden and


disguised, "the dispute becomes a
labyrinth, with layers and layers of
thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
so concealed that the conflict
seems inevitable and insoluble." -Thomas J. Scheff, from Bloody
Revenge: Emotions, Nationalism,
and War, p. 14.

Second, within the context of relationships, emotions typically


serve a "forward-looking communicative function" and express
people's agendas, desires, and goals. [8] When parties perceive

that they have incompatible goals or that others are interfering


with their desires and pursuits, this elicits emotions and leads to
conflict. Often the desires in question are a matter of wanting to
be taken seriously, treated with respect, and to have one's identity affirmed. Perceived threats to
identity and signs of disrespect typically cause emotions to flare and result in interpersonal or
intergroup conflict. In other words, the same issues that lead to protracted conflict, (e.g. values,
status, and identity), are also the triggers of strong emotions. People who feel "unfairly attacked,
misunderstood, wronged, or righteously indignant" are typically overcome with emotion and
respond with hostility and aggression. [9] The intensity of an emotion often signifies the
importance and salience of an issue and reveals the underlying values of disputants. Thus, the
more personally relevant a situation seems, and the more negative feelings parties experience,
the greater the potential for destructive conflict.
Some common emotional responses that reveal concerns about identity are pride, shame, and
anger. While feelings of pride are linked to parties' feelings of closeness and connectedness,
feelings of shame often result from parties' sense that these relationships are threatened. [10]
Parties caught in a dispute are prone to unintentionally humiliate each other or disregard one
another's perspectives. Resulting feelings of humiliation and disrespect may give rise to
unacknowledged shame. Whether parties can manage shame determines whether there will be
cooperation or protracted conflict. If they remain unacknowledged and are not dealt with, hurt
feelings and shame tend to give rise to anger, aggression, and conflict escalation. [11] At this
point, the substantive issues of the dispute may become less important than parties' hurt feelings
and rage. Anger, resentment, and hatred may ultimately give rise to a cycle of violence, and thus
serve as a driving force behind many of the world's religious wars and ethno-political conflicts.

TheRoleofEmotioninMediationandNegotiation
Much of the training literature for negotiation and mediation suggests that emotions should be
simply ignored. The prevailing idea seems to be that negotiators should try to set their feelings
aside and mediators should try to steer disputants towards "rational" behavior. However, it seems
obvious that strong emotions, in particular, the parties' fear and anger, are typically part of the
negotiation process. Emotions often cause disputes to escalate and sometimes even cause
negotiations to break down. When people feel that their interests are threatened, they often
become agitated, angry, and fearful. Ignoring such emotions is likely to harm the negotiation

resentment and the breakdown of agreements. Parties may try to disrupt a process because they
do not feel heard, or refuse to follow through with an agreement because their feelings were not
recognized. [13]
Roger Fisher and William Ury (1983) suggest that the first step in dealing with strong emotions
is to acknowledge them, and to try to understand their source. In many cases, these emotions
should be dealt with before addressing the substance of the dispute. A refusal to deal with
emotional and relational issues may make it impossible to address substantive issues, they argue.
Parties must acknowledge the fact that certain emotions are present and allow the other side to
express their feelings. They must also be careful not to dismiss others' feelings or lash out in
response to emotional outbursts, as this is likely to provoke an even more intense emotional
response from the other side.
Because emotion often plays a much more central role in decision making than we realize, it is
important to look at parties' subjective view of the situation when trying to determine whether a
settlement can and will be reached.
Emotions have the potential to play either a positive or negative role in negotation. During
negotiations, the decision as to whether or not to settle rests in part on emotional factors. For an
agreement to be reached, it is not necessary that parties overcome all obstacles or address all
their substantive concerns. There simply need to be enough incentives to make settlement look
like the best option. Because emotion often overcomes logic in the course of the negotiation
process, it is important to keep in mind the sorts of feelings that move parties toward resolution.
If parties are not emotionally invested in the process, negotiation is unlikely to succeed. Some
examples of emotional rewards that might result from reaching an agreement include the
establishment of good personal relationships, trust, respect recognition, honor, satisfaction, sense
of belonging, and appreciation. [14]
In general, positive emotions increase the likelihood that parties will reach their instrumental
goals. Negotiators who are in a positive mood tend to enjoy the interaction more, use less
aggressive tactics, and achieve more integrative outcomes. [15] Research has shown that positive
emotions foster problem solving, creativity, respect for others' perspectives, and even improved
cognitive ability. In addition, feelings of empathy may improve understanding, facilitate
communication, and allow us to care for others. [16]
Negative feelings, on the other hand, may have a detrimental impact on negotiations and
mediation processes. During negotiations, emotions may intensify as a result of perceived
rudeness, rule violations, misrepresentation, challenges to one's own authority, or parties' sense
of shame. Feelings that may dissuade parties from agreeing to a negotiated settlement that
appears (in all other respects) to be reasonable include distrust, anger, fear, contempt,
embarrassment, shame, pride, and disappointment. In many instances, these same negative
emotions inhibit communication during mediation and make it difficult for parties to engage in
constructive discussion. As a result of negative feelings, one party may be antagonistic and resist
anything the other party proposes. A person may also seek revenge for what she sees as the bad
behavior of the other side. Anger, in particular, sometimes disrupts negotiations by reducing the
level of trust, clouding parties' judgment, narrowing parties' focus of attention, and changing

their central goal from reaching agreement to retaliating against the offender. [17] In sum,
negative emotions tend to lead toward inaccurate judgments, lessened concern for the other
parties' preferences, and neglect of one's own instrumental goals. [18]
However, there are some instances when the expression of negative emotions can benefit
negotiation or mediation. Legitimately expressed anger, for example, can be an extremely
effective way to communicate one's commitment, sincerity, and needs. [19] In addition,
strategically highlighting one's feelings can sometimes serve as an effective negotiating tactic.
Parties need to find ways to express their emotions effectively during negotiations. In Western
cultures, this means being assertive without being provocative or confrontational as well as being
willing to make small concessions in order to build trust and defuse anger. Negotiators should
also learn to recognize anger before it erupts, try to assess the cause of anger, and apologize
when appropriate. Finally, empathizing with another party's emotions and sharing one's own
vulnerable feelings can help to build trust and provide reassurance.

ManagingStrongEmotions
There are various methods parties can use to deal with emotions so that they have a constructive
effect on conflict, rather than a destructive one. Anger management strategies are probably the
ones most widely discussed in negotiation and mediation texts. These tactics include relaxation
techniques, cognitive restructuring exercises, and communication and listening techniques. These
tactics are supposed to give disputants a way to express their angry feelings without being
destructive or causing more hurt feelings. One way for disputants to express their feelings in a
non-confrontational way is through "I-messages." Theorists note that people "who express anger
constructively may provide listeners with a rapid, exact and comprehensive description of their
grievances and needs" that is informative and beneficial. [20]
In addition, there are various communication processes that attempt to meet the emotions head
on and channel them in constructive ways. In transformative mediation, two of the central goals
are empowerment and parties' mutual recognition of relational issues. Insofar as emotions are
seen as an integral part of conflict, mediators encourage their expression during proceedings.
One of the mediator's primary tasks is to help parties to become more aware of their own
emotional expressions and behaviors and to recognize the feelings of others. Rather than trying
to suppress or control the emotions, mediators should "learn to identify cues to unacknowledged
emotions in the discourse of the disputing parties." [22] Helping parties to communicate and
acknowledge their emotions is key to the restoration of healthy relationships.
Various tools are available to deal with strong emotions that surface during intervention
processes. First, mediators should try to validate and/or soothe parties' emotions and attempt to
set a constructive tone for mediation. Some methods of emotional management and
communication include empathic listening (also called "active listening"), perspective taking,
apology, symbolic gestures, and trust building. In addition, the mediator may allow the parties to
vent their emotions in a caucus or joint session; or suppress and contain emotions by interrupting
a conversation, taking a cooling-off break, or engaging in shuttle diplomacy. [23] When
conversations become overly heated or destructive, mediators can identify the emotional

expression as problematic and offer explicit guidelines to govern communication.


Mediators can also assist parties in emotionally reappraising and reframing the current situation.
Parties in conflict appraise their circumstances in certain ways and react emotionally as a result.
Through dialogue, analytical problem solving, and discussion, disputants can modify their
appraisals and co-construct their emotional reactions. [24] This involves the ability to visualize
the world as it appears to others and imagine how they must be feeling. As parties reshape the
emotional meaning attached to their relationship and interaction and alter their view of the
situation at hand, parties can determine which feelings they experience and in effect negotiate
their emotions.
One technique that may serve as a complement to emotional reframing is appreciative inquiry.
[25] This approach relies upon collaborative inquiry and affirmative questioning to collect
positive stories and attend to what is best within their community or group. In this way,
disputants cooperatively search for the passions and feelings that hold the potential for
constructive change. Parties then use their understanding of "the best of what is" to construct a
vision of what their community might be if they could identify their strengths and build upon
their current achievements. Thus, this approach taps into whatever positive feelings are available
and builds upon them.

[1] Suzanne Retzinger and Thomas Scheff, "Emotion, Alienation, and Narratives: Resolving
Intractable Conflict." Mediation Quarterly 18(12)(2000-2001); available at:
http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/scheff/16.html
[2] Erik A. Fisher and Steven W. Sharp, The Art of Managing Everyday Conflict: Understanding
Emotions and Power Struggles, (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2004), 60.
[3] Daniel L. Shapiro, "Negotiating Emotions," in Conflict Resolution Quarterly, (20:1, 2002),
68.
[4] Retzinger and Scheff, http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/scheff/16.html
[5] Shiri Milo-Locker,"The Decision to Settle - Balance, Setoffs and Tradeoffs Between
Rational, Emotional and Psychological Forces," Mediate.com, available at:
http://www.mediate.com/articles/lockerS1.cfm?nl=51
[6] Retzinger and Scheff, http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/scheff/16.html
[7] Shapiro, 72.
[8] ibid.

[9] T.S. Jones and A. Bodtker, "Mediating With Heart in Mind: Addressing Emotion in
Mediation Practice," in Negotiation Journal, (17:3, 2001), 228.
[10] T. J. Scheff, Bloody Revenge: Emotions, Nationalism, and War,(Boulder, CO: Westview
Press, 1994), 3.
[11] ibid., 22.
[12] Daniel Bjerknes and Kristine Paranica,"Training Emotional Intelligence For Conflict
Resolution Practitioners," Mediate.com, available at: http://mediate.com/articles/bjerknes.cfm
[13] ibid.
[14] Milo-Locker, http://www.mediate.com/articles/lockerS1.cfm?nl=51
[15] Shapiro, 69.
[16] Robert S. Adler, Benson Rosen, and Elliot M. Silverstein, "Emotions in Negotiation: How
to Manage Fear and Anger," in Negotiation Journal, (14:2, 1998). Summary available at:
http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/full_text_search/AllCRCDocs/adler.htm
[17] ibid.
[18] Shapiro, 70.
[19] Adler, Rosen, and Silverstein,
http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/full_text_search/AllCRCDocs/adler.htm
[20] Retzinger and Scheff, http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/scheff/16.html
[21] ibid.
[22] ibid.
[23] Schreier, 103-4.
[24] Shapiro,78.
[25] International Institute for Sustainable Development, "Appreciative Inquiry and Community
Development," available at: http://www.iisd.org/ai/

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Glaser,Tanya."DifficultConversations:HowtoDiscussWhatMattersMostSummary."Universityof
ColoradoConflictResearchConsortium,UniversityofColoradoConflictResearchConsortium,2000.
Availableat:http://www.beyondintractability.org/booksummary/10170/.

ThisisasummaryofDouglasStone,BrucePatton,andSheilaHeen's,DifficultConversations:Howto
DiscussWhatMattersMost.Thisbookexploreswhatmakessomeconversationsdifficult,whypeople
avoidhavingdifficultconversations,andwhypeopleoftenmanagedifficultconversationspoorly.The
authorsoffertechniquesforhavingmoreeffective,fruitfuldiscussions.

Glaser,Tanya."EmotionsinNegotiation:HowtoManageFearandAngerSummary."Universityof
Colorado:ConflictResearchConsortium.
Availableat:http://www.beyondintractability.org/articlesummary/10011/.

ThissummarycoversanarticlebyRobertS.Adler,BensonRosen,andElliotM.Silversteinfromthe
NegotiationJournal.Inthearticle,theauthorsdiscussthemanagementoffearandangerinnegotiation
situations.

ManagingStrongEmotions.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/angermgt.htm.
Interactionsinvolvingpartieswhoareextremelyangrywitheachotheroftendegenerateintoemotional
confrontationswhichincrease,ratherthandecrease,hostilities.Effectiveangermanagementstrategies
areneededtohelppeopledealwiththeirangerwithoutfurtherescalatingtheconflict.?Otherstrong
emotionssuchasdistrust,fear,andsuspicionmustbedealtwithaswellifescalationistobeavoidedor
diminished.?

Retzinger,SuzanneandThomasScheff."Emotion,Alienation,andNarratives:ResolvingIntractable
Conflict.",
Availableat:http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/scheff/16.html.

"Thisarticleexplorestheroleofemotionandalienationinprotractedconflict,makingpreliminary
suggestionsastohowtheymightbemanaged.Firstwenotetheslightattentiongiventhesetopicsin
themediation/negotiationliterature.Thenweshowhowemotional/relationalissuesarerelatedto
theoriesofeconomic/politicalinterests,ontheonehand,andnarrativesandideologiesofconflict,on
theother.Wefocusonthewayalienatedrelationshipsimpaircommunication,andthewaythey
generateintenseemotions,especiallyshameandanger.Inourview,secret(unacknowledged)
alienationandshamearetheprimarycausesofintractableconflict.Finally,weproposearolefor
mediatorsintheacknowledgmentofemotionandalienationasawayofresolvingintractableconflicts."

ArticleAbstract

ConflictResearchConsortium.ManagingStrongEmotions.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/angermgt.htm.
Thiswebpageprovidestipsonhowtodealwithemotionswheninvolvedinconflict.

Bell,Chris.Shame,GuiltandJustice:SelfConsciousEmotionsasMediatorsofthePositiveEffectsof
PerceivedJustice.SocialScienceElectronicPublishing,Inc..
Availableat:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=321367.
Whileorganizationalandjusticeresearchhasexploredissuesrelatedtoaffect,shameandguilthave
beenvirtuallyignored.Shameandguiltareselfconscious,selfevaluativeemotionsthatoccurinasocial
context,andhaveimportantbehavioralandattitudinalimplications.Findingone'sselfresponsiblefora
negativeperformanceevaluationisjustsuchacontextinwhichpeoplecanpotentiallyfeelshameand
guilt.Shame,however,isconnectedwithglobalassessmentsoftheself,whileguiltismoreabout
specificbehaviorsratherthanthewholeperson.Peopleexperiencingshamefeellesscontroloverthe
situation,andengageinwithdrawalbehaviors.Peopleexperiencingguiltfeeltheyhaverelativelymore
controloverthesituation,andaremoreoutwardlyfocused,engaginginbehaviorsaimedatreparation
andamends.Negativefeedbackcanalsoproducecognitiveeffectssuchasalossofselfefficacy,and
socialeffectssuchasalossofidentificationwiththesocialgroup.

MiloLocker,Shiri."TheDecisiontoSettleBalance,SetoffsandTradeoffsBetweenRational,
EmotionalandPsychologicalForces.",April2004
Availableat:http://www.mediate.com/articles/lockerS1.cfm?nl=51.

Thisarticlesuggeststhedecisiontosettleisbasedontradeoffsbalancingbetweenrationaleconomical,
emotional,andpsychologicaldimensions.Italsoproposesathreestepprocesstoassesseachparties'
needsanddecipherwhetherornottheywillagreetosettleandthereasonsmotivatingtheirdecision.

Bjerknes,DanielandKristineParanica."TrainingEmotionalIntelligenceForConflictResolution
Practitioners.",September4,2002
Availableat:http://mediate.com/articles/bjerknes.cfm.

Thisarticleexaminesthebenefittotrainingemotionalintelligence.
Offline(Print)Sources
Stone,Douglas,BrucePattonandSheilaHeen.DifficultConversations:HowtoDiscusswhatMatters
Most.NewYork:Viking,April3,1999.
Thisbookwalksyouthroughaproven,concrete,stepbystepapproachforunderstandingand
conductingtoughconversations.Itshowsyouhowtogetready,howtostarttheconversationsinways
thatreducedefensiveness,andhowtokeeptheconversationonaconstructivetrackregardlessofhow
theotherpersonresponds.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Fisher,Roger,WilliamL.UryandBrucePatton.GettingtoYes:NegotiatingAgreementWithoutGiving
In,2ndEdition.Boston:HoughtonMifflinCo.,April1992.
ThisisanupdatedversionofRogerFisher'sandWilliamUry'sclassic1981text,GettingtoYes:
NegotiatingAgreementWithoutGivingIn.Inthisbestseller,Fisher,Ury,andPattondescribewhatthey
call"principlednegotiation",whichisbasicallyinterestbasedbargainingwithafewextratwists.Key
ideasinclude:1)separatethepeoplefromtheproblem;2)negotiateinterests,notpositions;3)lookfor
mutuallybeneficialoptions;and4)useobjectivecriteria.Thisworkisconsideredessentialfoundational
readingforanyoneinterestedinnegotiation.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Scheff,ThomasJ.BloodyRevenge:Emotions,Nationalism,andWar.Boulder,CO:WestviewPress,
1994.
InthisbookScheffarguesthatintractableconflictsarerootedinfeelingsofshameandrage.He
examinesseveraldifferentsourcesofunresolvedpsychologicaltraumathatcan,andoftendoes,
contributetothelengthandviolentnatureofaconflict.

Terry,Susanne."Conciliation:ResponsestotheEmotionalContentofDisputes."MediationQuarterly
45:16,1987.
Thisarticleexamineshowtheexpressionofemotionscanbeusedtoencouragesettlement.Terry
arguesthatmediatorsmustinterpretemotionsbycloseobservationsoftheirclients,thentheymust
decidewhatkindofresponsetotheseemotionsshouldbeused.Mediatorsmusttakeintoaccount
reasonsfortheirclientsbehaviorandalsothetrustthattheyhaveinthesincerityoftheirclients
behavior.Terrythenlistssixappropriateresponsesformediatorswhendealingwithemotions.

Augsburger,DavidW.ConflictMediationAcrossCultures:PathwaysandPatterns.WestminsterJohn
KnoxPress,1995.
"Believingnotonlythatconflictisinevitableinhumanlifebutthatitisessentialandcanbequite
constructive,Augsburgerproposesashifttoan"international"approachinresolvingconflict.
Augsburgerfocusesoninterpersonalandgroupconflictsandprovidesacomparisonofconflictpatterns
withinandamongvariouscultures."

Retzinger,SuzanneandThomasScheff."Emotion,Alienation,andNarratives:ResolvingIntractable
Conflict."MediationQuarterly18:1,2000.
"Thisarticleexplorestheroleofemotionandalienationinprotractedconflictandmakessuggestionsas
tohowtheymightbemanaged.Firstwenotethescantattentiongiventothesetopicsinthemediation
andnegotiationliterature.Thenweshowhowemotionalandrelationalissuesarerelatedtotheoriesof
economicandpoliticalinterests,ontheonehand,andnarrativesandideologiesofconflict,onthe
other.Wefocusonthewayalienatedrelationshipsimpaircommunicationandthewaytheygenerate
intenseemotions,especiallyshameandanger.Inourview,secret(unacknowledged)alienationand
shamearetheprimarycausesofintractableconflict.Finally,weproposearoleformediatorsinthe
acknowledgementofemotionandalienationasawayofresolvingintractableconflicts."

Sfchreider,LoriS."EmotionalIntelligenceandMediationTraining."ConflictResolutionQuarterly20:1,
2002.
Thisarticleexamineshowwellmediationtrainingprogramsemphasizeemotionalintelligenceandmake
somerecommendationsforimprovingtraininginemotionalintelligence.

Scheff,ThomasJandSuzanneM.Retzinger.EmotionsandViolence:ShameandRageinDestructive
Conflicts.Lexington,MA:LexingtonBooks,January1991.
Theyexplorehumaninteractioninpsychotherapysessions,maritalquarrels,TVgameshows,andhigh
politics.Theiroriginalinterpretationofaclassicworkoffiction,Goethe'sTheSufferingsofYoung
Werther,andcasestudiesofHitlerandhismasterarchitect,AlbertSpeer,offeradditional,powerful
illustrationsoftheirtheory:violencearisesfromthedenialofemotionsparticularlyfromthedenialof
shameandfromhiddenalienationinrelationships.

Scheff,ThomasJ.Emotions,theSocialBond,andHumanReality.Cambridge:CambridgeUniversity
Press,1997.
"Inhisimportantnewbook,ThomasScheffoffersaninnovativeapproachtoresearchinghuman
behaviorwhichrelatesthesmallestpartsofsocialinteractiontothegreatestwholesofsocialstructure.
Thesearethedetailsandconnectionsusuallyfoundonlyinthefinestnovels,butScheffcombinesthe
insightsofthehumanitiesandsocialsciencestocapturethesameevocativedetailsofsight,sound,and
context,bettertounderstandwhathecalls"humanreality."Heputsafreshemphasisonthe
importanceofemotionsinthesocialbond,anddescribesinnewlysubtlewaystheouterandinnerlives
ofpersonsinreallife,suchasinnercitychildren,andinfiction,suchasJaneAusten'sheroines.By
closelyobservingthesignificanceofwordsandgesturesinthecontextinwhichtheyoccur,heisableto
illuminatetheconnectionbetweenpeople'slivesandthesocietyinwhichtheylive."Publisher'sWord

Jones,TriciaS.andAndreaBodtker."MediatingwithHeartinMind:AddressingEmotioninMediation
Practice."NegotiationJournal17:3,July1,2001.
"Giventhecentralityofemotionandemotionalcommunicationtoconflictinteraction,thelackof
attentiontoemotioninmediationisparticularlysurprising.Thisessaysuggeststhatmediationpractice
canandshouldbeinformedbythewealthofexistingtheoryandresearchonemotioninthesocial
sciences.Theauthorsdefineemotionandarguethecentralityofitsplaceinconflict.Theyaddressissues
germanetothecognitive,expressive,andphysiologicalaspectsofemotionandtheirrelevanceto
mediationpractice.Withineacharea,theydiscusstheimplicationsoftheemotionalexperienceofthe
disputantandtheemotionalexperienceofthemediator."(Abstractfromarticle)

Shapiro,Daniel."NegotiatingEmotions."ConflictResolutionQuarterly20:1,2002.
Thisarticlearguesagainstthecommonbeliefthatemotionsshouldbeleftoutofnegotiation.Shapiro
believesthatmakingpractitionersmoreawareofemotionscanallowtothemtonegotiatemore
effectively.

Taylor,Gabriele.Pride,ShameandGuilt:EmotionsofSelfAssessment.Oxford:ClarendonPress,1988.
"Inthisbook,theauthor'sdiscussionofpride,shameandguiltcentresonthebeliefsinvolvedinthe

experienceofanyoftheseemotions.Throughadetailedstudy,sheshowshowthesebeliefsarealikein
thattheyaredirectedtowardstheselfanditsstatus,andhowtheydifferinthespecificviewtakenof
theself.SheillustratestheexperienceofthesethreeemotionsbyexamplestakenfromEngish
literature.Unlikeinventedcases,thesesupplyaacontextandindicatethecomplexityofthewebin
whichtheseemotionsusuallyoccur.Anexaminationofintegritymakescleartherelevantnotionofthe
selfandprovidesthesenseinwhichsomeoftheemotionsofselfassessmentarealsomoralemotions."
Publisher'sDescription

Fisher,ErikandStevenSharp."TheArtofManagingEverydayConflict:UnderstandingEmotionsand
PowerStruggles."InTheArtofManagingEverydayConflict:UnderstandingEmotionsandPower
Struggles.EditedbyFisher,ErikandStevenSharp,eds.Westport,CT:PraegarPublishers,April30,
2004.
Weallhavepowerstrugglesaffectingeachofusineverystageofourlife,nearlyeveryday.Weallget
wrappedupinconflicts,butoftenhavenoideahowtoresolvethem.Thisbookdicussesthe"hows"and
"whys"ofconflictandprovideseasytousesolutionsformostsituations.Thefocusisontheroleof
emotion.Conflictresultsfromthewayinwhichweviewourownpower,andourviewsonpowerare
largelyinfluencedbyouremotions.Sowemustbeginbylookingcloselyatouremotions.Fisherand
Sharpguideustopinpointthoseandseehowemotionsmoveusintoplayingoneoftheclassicrolesin
conflictVictim,Persecutor,InstigatororRescuer.Andwelearnhowemotionscanplayproductive
purposes;howtheycanbeusedtominimizeandremoveseriousconflictinourlives.Thetextincludes
vignettes,anecdotes,personalinventories,illustrationsandconcreteexercises.Whilegeneralreaders
willfindthistextofinterest,itwillalsoprovidevaluableinformationforstudentsofpsychology,
sociology,businessmanagement,humanresourcesandfamilystudies.

Mallozzi,J.S.,K.G.AllredandF.et.al.Matsui."TheInfluenceofAngerandCompassiononNegotiation
Performance."OrganizationalBehaviorandHumanDecisionProcesses70:3,1997.
Thisexperimenttestedhowperceivedharmfulbehavioraffectsaperson'swillingnesstoparticipatein
negotiation.Ifapersonbelievedtheirpartnerwasresponsibleforharmfulbehaviorthenthisreduced
thedesiretoworktogethertonegotiate.

Ury,WilliamL.TheThirdSide:WhyWeFightandHowWeCanStop.NewYork:PenguinBooks,
September2000.
Inthisbook,WilliamUryexplainsthatittakestwosidestofightandathirdtostopit.Basedonyearsof
experienceasaconflictresolutionpractitioner,Urydescribestenpracticalrolesthatpeoplecanplayto
preventdestructiveconflict.Hearguesthatfightingisnotinevitablehumanbehaviorandthatwecan
transformbattlesintoconstructiveconflictandcooperationbyturningtowhathecalls,"thethirdside".

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
Moore,D.B."Pride,ShameandEmpathyamongPeers:CommunityConferencingasTransformative
JusticeinEducation."Children'sPeerRelations,1998.

Berry,Bonnie.SocialRage:EmotionalandCulturalConflict.NewYork:GarlandPublishing,1999.
Berryexaminestheconceptofsocialrage,orthewayinwhichangeratanindividuallevelgets
translatedintogroupanger.Theintroductorychapterisparticularlyhelpfulinunderstandinghowsocial
rageisformed,expressed,andhandled.

Anger

By
Phil Barker

WhatIsAnger?
Everyone has been angry and knows what anger is. Anger can vary widely (from mild irritation
to intense fury) and can be sparked by a variety of things (specific people, events, memories, or
personal problems). Anger is a natural and potentially productive emotion. However, anger can
get out of control and become destructive and problematic.[1]
So why do we get angry? People get angry when their expectations are not met -- whether those
expectations are about the future, about themselves, or about others. When our expectations are
unmet, we revert to illusions of control, "unrealistically expecting all people to behave and all
situations to turn out as we think they should."[2] Anger over these unmet expectations often
leads us to blame others and shift aggression towards them.
Gary Ginter, a psychologist who specializes in anger management explains that there are several
sources of anger: physiological, cognitive, and behavioral.[3] Physiological anger is natural
anger. In certain threatening situations, for instance when we are attacked physically, our bodies
respond by making us physically angry. Cognitive sources of anger are based on how we
perceive things. These perceptions may be accurate...a situation may, indeed, be threatening, or
they may not be. Sometimes we will perceive a threat, even though the external situation is not
actually as dangerous as we think it is. In other words, there may be no real reason for anger, but
our personal biases and emotions take over, leading to aggression. Finally, behavioral sources of
anger come from the environment we create for ourselves. Chronically angry people create an
atmosphere in which others are aggressive in return, creating a cycle of anger.

ExpressingAnger
Anger is a natural response to certain threats. As a result, aggression is sometimes the
appropriate response to anger, as it allows us to defend ourselves. Therefore, a certain amount of
anger is necessary. In addition, anger can be useful in expressing how we feel to others.
However, we cannot get angry with everyone and everything we encounter. As a result, we must
learn to express our anger appropriately.[4]
There are three main approaches to expressing anger -- expression, suppression, and calming.
Expression involves conveying your feelings in an assertive, but not aggressive, manner. This is
the best way to handle your anger. However, you must make sure that you are respectful of
others and are not being overly demanding or pushy, as this will likely only produce aggression
in return.
Anger can also be repressed and redirected. Essentially, you want to stop thinking about the
source of your anger and focus on something else that can be approached constructively.
However, you must be careful when repressing angry feelings. Repressing anger with no
constructive outlet can be dangerous and damaging, both physically and mentally. On the other
hand, the old idea that you should simply "vent" or "let it all out" is discouraged by conflict
experts, who claim that doing so is actually counterproductive, "an exercise in rehearsing the
very attributions that arouse anger in the first place."[5]

Finally, one can respond to anger by focusing on calming down -- controlling your external and
internal responses (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.) to anger. Take deep breaths and relax. Several
of these techniques are covered later in this article.

SocialRage[6]
The same issues that can arouse anger in

individuals can also arouse anger in large


groups. This concept of social rage, or social
anger, is an important one for understanding
conflict. Social rage is similar to personal rage,
but it is generated by social issues and
expressed by social groups. Examples of social
rage are abundant: anger at immigrants over
unemployment, hate crimes, homophobia, etc.
Many of the factors at play in personal rage are
also important in social rage, including
humiliation and a sense of violation of
expectations.

WhenIsAngerGood?
Anger can serve very positive functions when expressed properly. Studies continue to show that
anger can have beneficial effects on individuals' health, their relationships and their work.
Socially, very positive changes can come from anger -- for instance, the civil rights movement of
the 1960s or the women's suffrage movement in the early 20th century. On an individual level,
scientists have shown angry episodes actually strengthen personal relationships more than half of
the time.
Social scientists agree that anger can be beneficial when it is expressed constructively. One way
to ensure this is through the use of feedback loops. Constructive anger expression involves both
parties, not just the angry person. Ideally, the angry person expresses his or her anger and the
target has a chance to respond. Oftentimes, simple expression helps to ease the situation,
particularly if the anger is justified. Remember that this is not simply an opportunity for someone
to "vent." It must be approached with the attitude of solving a problem.

DealingwithAnger/AngerManagement
As discussed, anger is not necessarily bad. Anger becomes problematic when it is expressed in
improper or damaging ways. However, there are many things that can be done to help promote
the constructive use of angry feelings.

What Individuals Can Do:


The first step in dealing with anger is to become aware of it. Learn how anger affects you, how
you deal with it, and what triggers it in you. There are many ways to handle anger once you learn

to recognize it and catch it early on. The American Psychological Association suggests the
following:[7]
Relaxation -- As simple as it sounds, basic relaxation exercises can be powerful tools in
overcoming one's anger. Among these simple techniques are deep breathing; slowly repeating a
relaxing phrase, such as "relax" or "take it easy"; using peaceful imagery to imagine a relaxing
situation; and relaxing exercise, like yoga or tai-chi.
Cognitive Restructuring -- Cognitive restructuring is basically changing the way you think about
things. This involves thinking more positively about a situation; avoiding terms like "always"
and "never," which can be used to justify your anger; using logic on yourself to prevent irrational
behavior; and learning to change your approach -- requesting rather than demanding, for
example.
Problem Solving -- Not all anger is inappropriate. When there is a very real root to your anger,
approaching the situation from the perspective of a problem solver can help to diffuse your
strong feelings. Make a plan for how you can fix the situation and approach it with good
intentions.
Better Communication -- Angry people tend to jump to conclusions and overreact. By slowing
down and thinking about what you say, this problem can be avoided. Also, make sure you
understand what other people are saying before responding to them. Listen to the reasons for
others' anger and try not to be overly critical. Listening is as important to communication as
speaking is.
Using Humor -- By refusing to take yourself too seriously, you can defuse your anger. Try using
humorous imagery to lighten your mood or to make fun of yourself. However, you should avoid
using sarcastic and harsh humor, which is simply another expression of anger. You should also
avoid simply "laughing off" your problems, which ignores the issue at hand. Instead use humor
to approach the problem more constructively.
Change Your Environment -- Oftentimes our environment contributes to our anger by causing
irritation and fury. Make a point to take a break. Schedule personal time. When stress becomes
too intense, simply get away for 15 minutes to regroup and refresh.

What Officials Can Do:


As with fear, political leaders can use anger as a tool to gain political support. Leaders can either
aggravate or alleviate anger in large groups of people. As a result, leaders must recognize the
consequences of their actions and aim to use tools to lessen anger and be very leery of playing
off of the anger of their constituents for political gain (see fear essay).

What Third Parties Can Do:


Mediators and third parties can also play a role in alleviating anger. The most important way in
which third parties can assist those dealing with anger is through education. Counselors can

teach individuals how to locate the source of their anger, and then overcome it. However, it is
important that these counselors understand the sources of anger themselves.
Third parties can also help individuals (and particularly children) cope with angry feelings by
creating a safe environment, by modeling appropriate behavior, and by encouraging others to
talk about their anger in a constructive manner. Mediators working with adults can use empathic
listening with each party separately to try to help them deal with their anger and rephrase or
reframe their issues and concerns in a constructive way when they are together with the other
party. In addition, all of the steps discussed above ("what individuals can do") can be encouraged
and facilitated by third parties.

[1] Controlling Anger -- Before It Controls You (http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/anger.html)


[2] Anatomy of Anger, by Oliver Ross (http://www.mediate.com/articles/oliverR.cfm)
[3] Controlling Anger -- Before It Controls You.
[4] Ibid.
[5] Allred, Keith G. Anger and Retaliation in Conflict: The Role of Attribution
[6] Berry, Bonnie. Social Rage: Emotional and Cultural Conflict (New York: Garland
Publishing, 1999), 8.
[7] Controlling Anger -- Before It Controls You.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Glaser,Tanya."DealingwithanAngryPublic:TheMutualGainsApproachtoResolvingDisputes
Summary."UniversityofColorado:ConflictResearchConsortium,UniversityofColorado:Conflict
ResearchConsortium,1998.
Availableat:http://www.beyondintractability.org/booksummary/10563/.

Thispageoffersasummaryofthebook,DealingwithanAngryPublic,byLawrenceSusskindandPatrick
Field.SusskindandFieldwarnthatanangry,suspiciouspublicwillundermineAmericancompetitiveness
intheglobalmarketplace,andwillundermineconfidenceinbasicsocialinstitutions.Theauthors
developamutualgainsapproachtodealingwiththepublic,whichviewspublicrelationsasakindof
multiparty,multiissuenegotiation,andsofollowsthebasicprinciplesforeffectivenegotiations.


"ControllingAngerBeforeItControlsYou.",1900
Availableat:http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/anger.html.

Thisbrochure,publishedbytheAmericanPsychologicalAssociation(APA),ismeanttohelpthepeople
understandandcontroltheiranger.Thesectionsinclude:WhatisAnger?;AngerManagement;
StrategiestoKeepAngeratBay?;andDoYouNeedcounseling?.

Marion,Marian."HelpingYoungChildrenDealwithAnger.",1997
Availableat:http://www.ericdigests.org/19982/anger.htm.

Children'sangerpresentschallengestoteacherscommittedtoconstructive,ethical,andeffectivechild
guidance.ThisDigestexploreswhatweknowaboutthecomponentsofchildren'sanger,factors
contributingtounderstandingandmanaginganger,andthewaysteacherscanguidechildren's
expressionsofanger.

InflammatoryStatements.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/problem/inflame.htm.
Sometimescommunicationcanmakemattersworseratherthanbetter.Whencommunicationis
threatening,hostile,orinflammatoryitcandomoretoescalateaconflictthanitcantodefuseit.

Bell,Bryan.LessonsinLifemanship:AngerasControl.BryanBell,1900.
Availableat:http://bbll.com/ch13.html.

Thisonlinebookgivesadviceonhowtoimprovepersonalandfamilyrelationshipsbyusinganumberof
techniquessuchasactivelistening,forgiveness,angercontrol,andmediation.Italsocovershowto
improveworkplacerelationshipsusingnegotiationandproblemsolvingtechniques.

Ross,Oliver."TheAnatomyofAnger.",2002
Availableat:http://www.mediate.com/articles/oliverR.cfm.

OliverRossdiscussestheroleofexpectationsinthedevelopmentofanger.Whenourstandards(or
expectations)orgoodandbadorrightandwrongarenotmet,wefeeloutofcontrol,andresortto
anger.Rossshowshowtorecognizeandcontroltheseimpulsesbylookingatourownissuesratherthan
blamingothers.

DeAngelis,Tori."WhenAnger'saPlus.",1900
Availableat:http://www.apa.org/monitor/mar03/whenanger.html.

TheconstructiveaspectsofangerareexaminedinthisarticlebytheAPA,includingtheconceptofa
positivefeedbackloop.

Offline(Print)Sources
Susskind,LawrenceandPatrickField.DealingWithAnAngryPublic:TheMutualGainsApproachTo
ResolvingDisputes.NewYork:FreePress,January1,1996.
ThispracticalbookbyLawrenceSusskindandPatrickFieldanalyzesscoresofbothprivateandpublic
sectorcases,aswellascrisisscenariossuchastheAlaskanoilspill,thesiliconebreastimplant
controversy,andnuclearplantmalfunctionatThreeMileIsland.Allofthesecasesaffectedlargegroups
ofpeoplewhowereextremelyupsetwiththeproblems.Theauthorsshowhowtomanagetheangerof
thepublicsectorandovercomeresistancetobothpublicandprivateinitiativesthroughamutualgains
(integrative)approach,involvingfacetofacenegotiation.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Allred,KeithG."AngerandRetaliationinConflict:TheRoleofAttribution."InTheHandbookof
ConflictResolution:TheoryandPractice.EditedbyDeutsch,MortonandPeterT.Coleman,eds.San
Francisco:JosseyBass,2000.
Allredlooksattheroleofattributionintheconflict/angercycle,pointingoutthatthewayinwhichwe
seeothersaffectsourtendencytofeelanger.Byunderstandingtheprocessofattribution(orwhat
intentionsandfeelingsweattributetoothers)wecantakestepstowardsovercomingouranger.

Adler,RobertS.,BensonRosenandElliotM.Silverstein."EmotionsinNegotiation:HowtoManage
FearandAnger."NegotiationJournal14:2,April1998.
"Whenemotionsrunamok,negotiatorsloseperspectiveandmakeseriousmistakesorperformpoorly.
Theauthorsdescribeemotions,exploretheirorigins,detailtheirphysiology,demonstratetheirkeyrole
inhumanbehavior(particularlyinnegotiation),andproposeaseriesofrecommendationsfordealing
withfearandanger,twocriticalemotionsinnegotiations."NegotiationJournalClickhereformoreinfo.

Grillo,Trina."RespectingtheStruggle:FollowingtheParties'Lead."13:4,1996.
Theauthorexplorestheelementsoftransformativepracticeinthecontextofdivorcemediation.She
arguesthatmediatorsshouldtakeareactiveratherthandirectivestance.Grillo,however,locatesthe
definingcharacteristicoftransformativemediationinthemediator's"respectfortheparties
and...attitudeofgenuineinquiry."Clickhereformoreinfo.

Retzinger,SuzanneM.ShameandRageinMaritalQuarrels.NewburyPark,CA:SAGEPublications,
1991.
Asindicatedbythetitle,Retzingerfocusesonangerandshameinmarriage.Inparticular,she
emphasizesthewayinwhichshameandangerinterrelatewhenmarriedcouplesfight.

Amodeo,JohnandKrisWentworth."WorkingwithAnger."InBridgesNotWalls.EditedbyStewart,
John,ed.NewYork:McGrawHill,1995.
Theauthorspointoutthatangeritselfisneutral(notnecessarilybadornegative).Infact,angercanbe
beneficialtocommunicationandgrowth.However,angermustbeexpressedinconstructiveratherthan
destructiveways.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
Berry,Bonnie.SocialRage:EmotionalandCulturalConflict.NewYork:GarlandPublishing,1999.
Berryexaminestheconceptofsocialrage,orthewayinwhichangeratanindividuallevelgets
translatedintogroupanger.Theintroductorychapterisparticularlyhelpfulinunderstandinghowsocial
rageisformed,expressed,andhandled.

Audiovisual Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
BlacksandJews.Directedand/orProducedby:Snitow,AlanandDeborahKaufman.California
Newsreel.1997.
ThisfilmbeginsbyexaminingtheangerandmistrustthathasgrownbetweenBlacksandJewsintheUS.
Itcontinuesbyshowinghowdialogueandcooperationcanbeusedtobuildtrust,andthus,narrowthe
dividebetweenthesetwogroupsofpeople.Clickhereformoreinfo.

ShadowsintheSun.Directedand/orProducedby:Rijavec,Frank.FirstRunIcarusFilms.1995.
ThisfilmfollowsagroupofJapanesepeopleintoPapuaNewGuinea,weretheyfeelangerabouttheir
nation'sandtheirfathers'pastactionsassociatedwithWWII.Clickhereformoreinfo.

WarandPeaceinIreland.Directedand/orProducedby:MacCaig,Arthur.FirstRunIcarusFilms.1998.

ByfocusingonNorthernIreland'scivilrightsmovementasittransformedintocivilwar,thisfilmhelps
showtheviewerhowissuesofrightsgavewaytoissuesofdefense,anger,andvengeance.Clickherefor
moreinfo.

Fear

By
Phil Barker

WhatIsFear?
Fear is "an unpleasant and often strong emotion caused by
anticipation or awareness of danger."[1] Fear is completely
natural and helps people to recognize and respond to dangerous
situations and threats. However, healthy fear -- or fear which has
a protective function -- can evolve into unhealthy or pathological
fear, which can lead to exaggerated and violent behavior.

"Thecommonthreadthatweaves
violentpoliticalmovements
togetherisfear.Itisnottheonly
motivatingfactorbehindpolitical
violence,nornecessarilythemost
obvious,butitisvirtuallyalways
there.Wheneverweaskwhy
peoplehate,orwhytheyare
willingtokillordieforacause,the
answerisinvariablyfear."James
F.Mattil

Dr. Ivan Kos lays out several different stages of fear. The first is
real fear, or fear based on a real situation. If someone or
something hurts you, you have a reason to fear it in the future.
Second is realistic, or possible fear. This is fear based in reality
that causes a person to avoid a threat in the first place (i.e.
waiting to cross a busy road for safety reasons). Next,
exaggerated or emotional fear deals with an individual "recalling
past fears or occurrences and injecting them into a current situation."[2] This type of fear is
particularly relevant to conflict. Emotional fear affects the way people handle conflictual
situations.

CausesofFear
Conflict is often driven by unfulfilled needs and the fears related to these needs. The most
common fear in intractable conflict is the fear of losing one's identity and/or security. Individuals
and groups identify themselves in certain ways (based on culture, language, race, religion, etc.)
and threats to those identities arouse very real fears -- fears of extinction, fears of the future,
fears of oppression, etc.
For many people, the world is changing rapidly and their lives are being altered as a result. For
some religious people, this change leads to the fear that young people will abandon the Church
or Mosque, that the media will become more important and influential in the lives of their
children, and that they are losing control of their own future. These threats to identity result in
fear.[3]
Similarly, in many ethnic conflicts, a history of "humiliation, oppression, victimhood, feelings
of inferiority, persecution of one's group, and other kinds of discrimination" lead to a fear of
similar wrongdoing in the future.[4] These historical memories shape how groups and people see
each other. As a result, historical violence between Israelis and Palestinians, Hutus and Tutsis,
and Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland affects how these groups look at one another
and often leads to fear of one another. Group fears often translate into individual fears, as group
extinction is often associated with individual extinction.
These examples illustrate the important role that history plays in the development of fear.
Memories of past injustices lead individuals to anticipate future oppression or violence with a
sense of anxiety and dread.

WhyFearMatters
Fear is a very important factor in intractable conflict. Emotions like fear can often cause extreme
and seemingly irrational behavior in people, which can result in escalating conflict. According to
James F. Mattil, the Managing Editor of Flashpoints: Guide to World Conflict, "The common
thread that weaves violent political movements together is fear. It is not the only motivating
factor behind political violence, nor necessarily the most obvious, but it is virtually always there.
Whenever we ask why people hate, or why they are willing to kill or die for a cause, the answer
is invariably fear."[5]
People are social in nature, with shared values, religion, tradition, language, etc. Whenever the
basic characteristics that tie a group together are threatened, the group will fear for its survival.
As a result, the group will also attempt to get rid of the threat, sometimes through distorted or
violent means.
History plays an important role in this process. Historical experiences shape how groups view
threats. If a group has been hurt or wounded in the past, it affects their outlook today. For
example, historical tensions and wrongdoing affect the way Israelis and Palestinians see each
other today. Oftentimes, history is exaggerated -- meaning one group is portrayed as extremely
heroic and another group portrayed as barbarian or inhuman. This in turn leads to more
mistreatment, as it is easier to abuse or hurt a group that has been dehumanized. A cycle
develops--someone is hurt, resulting in fear and the demonization of the person or group that hurt
them. This, in turn, makes it easier for future wrongdoing to occur.
It is also important to note the impact that elites, or leaders, have on fear and conflict.
Oftentimes, leaders use fear to their political advantage. Leaders need support from those they
lead, and one way to gain this support is by playing on the fears of the people. Leaders in
Northern Ireland can use the fear of either the Protestants or the Catholics to their own political
advantage. Many have asserted that George Bush used the fear of another 9-11 to support the
second U.S. war in Iraq. Leaders can even intentionally deepen these fears for their own
purposes. Doing so can aggravate the already existing fears and lead to future difficulties.[6]

DealingwithFear
Individuals: There are many ways of approaching fear in the context of conflict. However, since
fear is such a personal issue, most approaches focus on the individual. There are various ways to
deal with your own fear, including

becomingawareofit,
identifyingthewaysyouexpressfear
recognizingthesituationswhichtriggerfear,and
usingbehavioraltechniquestoreducefearandstress.[7]

In order to overcome fears, individuals and groups must first come to terms with their own fears
and understand just how destructive they can be. However, it is equally important to be aware of
others' fears. Being aware of other people's fear allows you to deal with it appropriately. One of

the most effective ways of handling the fear of others is through empathy, or seeing things from
the other person's perspective. Once one does that, one can recognize actions of one's own that
might be unnecessarily causing fear on the other side. By toning down one's language, or
clarifying one's interests and needs, it is possible to dispel unwarranted fears, thereby helping the
other side feel more secure. Empathy is also important in any attempt at reconciliation or
mediation because it helps to foster a positive interaction between people.[8] It is also important
to share your own fears so that others can empathize with you in return, and alter their behavior
in ways that will lessen that fear as well.
Officials: Public support is essential for political leaders. One

way leaders can gain this support is by addressing, playing off of, "Wehavenothingtofearbutfear
or even causing the fears of his or her people. As a result, leaders itself."FranklinRoosevelt1933,
can play an important role in the creation and/or calming of
FirstInauguralAddress
fears, particularly in ethnic or inter-group conflicts. It is
important that leaders are aware of the consequences of using
fear as a motivational tool. Because fear is such a powerful emotion, leaders must be extremely
cautious about playing on the fears of people. The former Yugoslavia is a perfect example of
how the fears of the people can be used by leaders for power. Serb leaders often played on Serb
fears in order to strengthen their power and to push people to do things they might otherwise
have refused to do.[9] Contrast this with the very famous quote of Franklin Roosevelt: "We have
nothing to fear but fear itself." This is an overstatement...fear can be real and justified, but it is
far too dangerous to exploit for other aims.
Third Parties: Mediators and third parties can play an important part in helping people to
overcome their fears. By understanding the ways in which fear can create and escalate conflict,
third parties can address these issues in a constructive manner. One way this can be
accomplished is by assuring that people on both sides of a conflict feel that their individual needs
and fears are being addressed. Oftentimes this is done through no-fault discussions, wherein
people are not allowed to discuss who is wrong in a situation, but only ways in which they may
move toward a peaceful resolution. Neither side should have to sacrifice in areas that they
consider to be an important need or fear. Solutions must always "satisfy fundamental needs and
allay deepest fears."[10]
It is also important to remember that an issue such as identity and the fears associated with it are
not zero-sum. In other words, the calming of one group's fear does not necessarily mean that
another group has more reason to fear. Usually quite the opposite is true. The more secure one
group feels, the less they feel a need to attack other groups. Thus security can actually be a winwin or positive sum game: the more one side has, the more the other side has too. This is true
from the bully on the playground...who is usually an insecure child, to the bully in the
international system.
Through empathy and understanding, groups in conflict can learn about the fears and needs of
others and, in the process, overcome their own fears as well.

[1] Merriam-Webster Online [book on-line] (accessed 7 March 2003); available from
http://www.webster.com; Internet.
[2] Paul Wahrhaftig, Belgrade Combating Fear Project [article on-line] (accessed 11 March
2003); available from http://www.conflictres.org/vol181/belgrade.html; Internet.
[3] James F. Mattil, What in the Name of God?: Fundamentalism, Fear & Terrorism [article online] (accessed 7 March 2003); available from
http://www.flashpoints.info/issue_briefings/Analysis%20&%20Commentary/AnalysisReligion_main.htm ; Internet.
[4] Steve Utterwulghe, Rwanda's Protracted Social Conflict: Considering the Subjective
Perspective in Conflict Resolution Strategies [article on-line] (accessed 7 March 2003); available
from http://www.trinstitute.org/ojpcr/2_3utter.htm; Internet.
[5] James F. Mattil, What in the Name of God?: Fundamentalism, Fear & Terrorism [article online] (accessed 7 March 2003); available from
http://www.flashpoints.info/issue_briefings/Analysis%20&%20Commentary/AnalysisReligion_main.htm ; Internet.
[6] Herbert Kelman, "Social-Psychological Dimensions of International Conflict," in
Peacemaking in International Conflict: Methods and Techniques, eds. I. William Zartman and J.
Lewis Rasmussen (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1997), 197.
[7] **Endnote missing (will add later).
[8] Herbert Kelman, "Social-Psychological Dimensions of International Conflict," in
Peacemaking in International Conflict: Methods and Techniques, eds. I. William Zartman and J.
Lewis Rasmussen (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1997), 199.
[9] Anthony Oberschall, The manipulation of ethnicity: from ethnic cooperation to violence and
war in Yugoslavia [article on-line] (accessed 13 March 2003); available from
http://www.unc.edu/courses/2002fall/soci/326/039/manipulation_of_ethnicity.pdf; Internet.
[10] Herbert Kelman, "Social-Psychological Dimensions of International Conflict," in
Peacemaking in International Conflict: Methods and Techniques, eds. I. William Zartman and J.
Lewis Rasmussen (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1997), 197.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Glaser,Tanya."EmotionsinNegotiation:HowtoManageFearandAngerSummary."Universityof
Colorado:ConflictResearchConsortium.

Availableat:http://www.beyondintractability.org/articlesummary/10011/.

ThissummarycoversanarticlebyRobertS.Adler,BensonRosen,andElliotM.Silversteinfromthe
NegotiationJournal.Inthearticle,theauthorsdiscussthemanagementoffearandangerinnegotiation
situations.

Williams,Dai."FearandViolenceinStressedPopulations:Stress,ViolenceandPeaceintheBalkans.",
April27,1999
Availableat:http://www.eoslifework.co.uk/gturmap.htm.

Thisarticlediscusseshowfearandstresscanleadtostrongreactionsfromindividualsandsubsequent
conflict.Thewaysinwhichindividualshandlestressandfearareconsideredthroughdiscussionand
diagrams.

ScaringOurselvestoDeath:ConqueringFearinaTimeofTerror.2004.
Availableat:http://www.aworldofpossibilities.com/details.cfm?id=175.

AninterviewwithMohamedIbrahim,JimMcDermott,NeilSmelser,andAdeleWelty.Since9/11we've
beenbuffetedbyorangeandredalertsandtherhetoricofthreatcausingustoinhabitacultureoffear.
Joinusasweaskwhetherwecanimmunizeourselvesagainstthevirusoffearandwhetherthisfear
threatensusfarmorethantheterroristsevercouldontheirown.

Lieberman,DavidJ."ThePsychologyBehindtheConflicts."MakePeacewithAnyone,2002
Availableat:http://www.makepeacewithanyone.com/conflicts.html.

Averysimpleapproachtothepsychologybehindconflict,thisarticlelaysoutwhyfearplaysarolein
conflict.Chapter2isofparticularinterest,asitexplainsthestepsleadinguptoconflict,andwhyfearis
importantintheprocess.

Mattil,JamesF."WhatintheNameofGod?:ReligiousFundamentalism,Fear&Terrorism.",1900
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

Mattillooksattheroleoffearinthedevelopmentofreligiousfundamentalism.Specifically,thepower
thatfearofchangehasoverpeopleisaddressed.
Offline(Print)Sources
Heppen,Jessicaetal."Conclusion:TowardaSocialIdentityFrameworkforIntergroupConflict."In
SocialIdentity,IntergroupConflict,andConflictReduction.EditedbyAshmore,RichardD.,LeeJussim
andDavidWilder,eds.Oxford:OxfordUniversityPress,2001.

Adler,RobertS.,BensonRosenandElliotM.Silverstein."EmotionsinNegotiation:HowtoManage
FearandAnger."NegotiationJournal14:2,April1998.
Adler,Rosen,andSilversteinlookattheroleoffearandangerinthenegotiationprocess.Specifically,
theyconsiderthewaystodealwithangerandfearsoastopreventnegotiationsfrombreakingdown.
Clickhereformoreinfo.

Kelman,HerbertC."SocialPsychologicalDimensionsofInternationalConflict."InPeacemakingin
InternationalConflicts:MethodsandTechniques.EditedbyZartman,I.WilliamandJ.Lewis
Rasmussen,eds.Herndon,VA:USIPPress,August1,1997.
Kelmanprovidesagoodexplanationoftheideasbehindconflictasaprocessdrivenbycollectiveneeds
andfears.Theprocessthattakesplacewhenfearistranslatedintoconflictisexplainedfromasocial
psychologicalperspective,andthenvariousapproachestodealingwithconflictarediscussed.Kelman
alsoaddressestheroleofelitesinthemobilizationofgroupsthroughoutthechapter.

Chandler,DavidB."Violence,Fear,andCommunication:TheVariableImpactofDomesticViolenceon
Mediation."MediationQuarterly7:4,1990.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Wahrhaftig,Paul."BelgradeCombatingFearProject.",1900
Availableat:http://mediate.com/articles/fear1.cfm.

ThisbriefarticledescribestheroleoffearintheethnicconflictsoftheBalkanPeninsula.Itdiscusses
waysinwhichworkshopshaveattemptedtoovercomethefearsofthosethatwereaffectedbythe
fighting,aswellasthevarioustypesoffearthatpeopleexperience.

EyewitnessAccounts:GenocideinBangladesh.BosniaandEastTimorPages.
Availableat:http://www.globalwebpost.com/genocide1971/witness/witness.htm.
AneyewitnessgiveshisstoryoffearandviolenceinBangladeshbyPakistansoldiers.

"PreventionProgramsAddressingBullyingandConflictResolution.",1900
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

Theroleoffearinbullyingisaddressedinthisarticleonconflictresolutionwithchildren.

Utterwulghe,Steve."Rwanda'sProtractedSocialConflict:ConsideringtheSubjectivePerspectivein
ConflictResolutionStrategies."OnlineJournalofPeaceandConflictResolution,Vol.2,No.3,
Availableat:http://trinstitute.org/ojpcr/2_3utter.htm.

Rwanda'straumaticethnicconflictandgenocideareconsideredfromseveralperspectivesinthisarticle.
Thesectionson"PsychoculturalConflictTheory"layoutawayoflookingattherolethatidentityhadin

theconflictmostnotablytheimportanceoffearasafactor.Thearticlealsoprovideshistorical
backgroundtotheconflict.

WilltheCenterHold?TamingtheTerrorinNorthernIreland.2004.
Availableat:http://www.aworldofpossibilities.com/details.cfm?id=174.

AninterviewwithMarkDurkan,MariFitzduff,DavidFord,andJaneMorrice.NorthernIreland:
lovelinessandstrifeatoncebut,you'llhearnogunfiretheretoday.Aftergenerationsofanimosities,
ProtestantsandCatholicsreachforreconcilitation.Inthisprogram,welearnfromthemabouttaming
terrorandthefearofit.ThisisanIrishtalethatisbothcautionaryandhopeful.
Offline(Print)Sources
Oberschall,Anthony."TheManipulationofEthnicity:FromEthnicCooperationtoViolenceandWarin
Yugoslavia."EthnicandRacialStudies23:6,2000.
OberschalllooksattheroleofelitemanipulationinthecontextoftheBalkanwarsbetweenSerbiaand
theotherformerYugoslavstates.Thearticlediscusseshowleadersandthemediaplayedastrongrole
increatingethnictensionthroughtheuseoffearanddistortedhistories.

Audiovisual Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
Alonso'sDream.Directedand/orProducedby:Lacourse,DanieleandYvanPatry.FirstRunIcarus
Films.2000.
ThisfilmpresentsacontemplativeandcriticallookattheimpacttheZapatistauprisingandparamilitary
violencehavehadontheMayanpeople.Clickhereformoreinfo.

AnAmericanIsm:JoeMcCarthy.Directedand/orProducedby:Silber,Glenn.FirstRunIcarusFilms.
1978.
Thisfilmusesthevoicesofpoliticians,andMcCarthysupportersandvictims,toexplainhowanti
CommunistsupportersusedfeartoundermineUSdemocraticprocessesandtojustifyblacklistingand
ruiningthelivesofAmericansaffiliatedwithanopposingpoliticalideology.Clickhereformoreinfo.

AqabatJaber:PeaceWithNoReturn?.Directedand/orProducedby:Sivan,Eyal.FirstRunIcarus
Films.1995.
InthisfilmthepeopleofAqabatJaber,aPalestinianrefugeecamp,relatetheirexperiencesasrefugees
andtheirhopesandfearsofthefuture.

FirstKill.Directedand/orProducedby:Schrijber,Coco.FirstRunIcarusFilms.2001.
Thisfilmexploresthepsychologicalandemotionaleffectsofwaronhumans.Morespecifically,it
interviewsveteransinitseffortstounderstandtheseductivepowerofwar,andthecomplexityof
emotionsthatwarandkillingbringtothoseinvolved.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Guatemala:PersonalTestimonies.FirstRunIcarusFilms.1982.
Inthisfilm,Guatemalans'givewitnesstothehumanrightsabusestheyenduredduringthe
government'smilitarycampaignoffear.Clickhereformoreinfo.

ScaredAgain:JewsinBerlin,1993.Directedand/orProducedby:Hoepker,Thomas.FirstRunIcarus
Films.1993.
Throughtheeyesofsometimesfearful,sometimesdefiantGermanJews,thisfilmexploresthenew
waveofantisemitismthathasemergedinGermanysinceitsreunification.Clickhereformoreinfo.

ScarsofMemory/CicatrizdelaMemoria.Directedand/orProducedby:Gould,JeffreyandCarlos
HenriquezConsalvi.FirstRunIcarusFilms.2002.
ThisfilmdocumentsthetestimoniesofnumerousSalvadorianswhosurvivedthe1932brutalmass
murderofthousandsofpeasantdissenters.Clickhereformoreinfo.

GuiltandShame

By
Phil Barker

WhatIsGuilt?WhatisShame?
Guilt is a feeling that everyone is familiar with. It can be described as "a bothered conscience"[1]
or "a feeling of culpability for offenses."[2] We feel guilty when we feel responsible for an
action that we regret. There are several types of guilt. People can feel ashamed, unworthy, or
embarrassed about actions for which they are responsible. In this case, we refer to true guilt -- or
guilt that is appropriate. However, true guilt is only one form of guilt. People can also feel guilty
about events for which they are not responsible. This false guilt can be equally destructive, if not
more so. Feeling guilty for events which are out of our control is often unproductive and
detrimental.
Although shame is an emotion that is closely related to guilt, it is important to understand the
differences. Shame can be defined as "a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt,
shortcoming, or impropriety."[3] Others have distinguished between the two by indicating that
"We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are."[4] Shame is often a much
stronger and more profound emotion than guilt. "Shame is when we feel disappointed about
something inside of us, our basic nature."[5] Both shame and guilt can have intensive
implications for our perceptions of self and our behavior toward other people, particularly in
situations of conflict.

ReactionstoGuiltandShame
Because of the differences between shame and guilt (who I am versus what I did), people
respond to each emotion differently. Guilt, because it emphasizes what someone did wrong,
tends to elicit more constructive responses, particularly responses which seek to mend the
damage done. Guilt is tied to beliefs about what is right and wrong, moral and immoral. When
we violate one of these moral guidelines, it causes us to feel guilty over our actions and seek to
fix what we have done (see cognitive dissonance). As a result, guilt is an important tool in
maintaining standards of right and wrong in individuals and society as a whole. As such, guilt
can often be used as a tool to overcome conflict.
Shame, on the other hand, emphasizes what is wrong with ourselves. It has a much more inward
focus, and as such, leads shameful parties to feel poorly about themselves, rather than simply the
actions they have taken. The result is often an inward-turning behavior -- avoiding others, hiding
your face, removing yourself from social situations. Therefore, shame can be problematic, as it is
often less constructive than guilt. In fact, shame can lead to withdrawal from social situations
and a subsequent defensive, aggressive, and retaliatory behavior, which only exacerbates
conflict, rather than alleviating it.[6]
Shame can also lead to other types of behavior, many of which serve little or no constructive
role. People cope with shame in many ways. However, few get at the actual source of the
emotion. The following is a list of common shame-driven behaviors:

Attackingorstrikingoutatotherpeople.Inanattempttofeelbetterabouttheirshame,people
willoftentimesstrikeoutatothersinthehopesthattheywillbeliftedupbybringingothers

down.Whilethisbehaviormayproduceshorttehrmrelieffromshame,inthelongtermshame
isonlystrengthenedinbothpartiesandnothingisdonetogetattherootoftheproblem.
Seekingpowerandperfection.Othersattempttoovercometheirshamebypreventingthe
possibilityoffutureshame.Onewayinwhichtheydothisisbyaimingforperfection aprocess
thatinevitablyfailsandcausesmoreproblems.Anothermannerinwhichpeoplecopeisby
seekingpower,whichmakesthemfeelmorevaluable.
Divertingblame.Byblamingourfaultsorproblemsonothers,wecanavoidguiltandshame.
However,likethepreviousresponses,doingthisfailstogetatthecoreproblemsandasaresult,
failstoachieveitspurpose.
Beingoverlyniceorselfsacrificing.Peoplesometimescompensateforfeelingsofshameor
unworthinessbyattemptingtobeexceptionallynicetoothers.Bypleasingeveryoneelse,we
hopetoproveourworth.However,thisinevitablyinvolvescoveringupourtruefeelings,which
is,onceagain,selfdefeating.
Withdrawal.Bywithdrawingfromtherealworld,wecanessentiallynumbourselvestothe
feelingsofguiltandshamesothatwearenolongerupsetbythesesortsofthings.Again,
nothinghasbeendonetoaddressthecoreissuesoftheproblem.[7]

While each of these actions may provide temporary relief, the long term effects are often
negative, and the result is the passing on of guilt or shame to others.[8]

TheRoleofGuiltandShameinConflict
As illustrated previously, guilt and shame can play important roles in both the creation and
alleviation of conflict. In particular, shame can be an important factor in the development of
conflicts. The nature of shame and the resulting tendencies to withdraw and lash out defensively
can lead to escalation of an already tense situation. This can result in a cycle of conflict; as one
party lashes out at the other, both sides view themselves less positively, increasing shame all
around. This in turn results in continued aggressive behavior. Take, for instance, a situation of
ethnic conflict, particularly where the members of one side have been treated like lesser human
beings because of their ethnic identity. The resulting shame over who they are leads to retaliatory
behavior and aggressive actions. In a situation of divorce where one or both parties have been
shamed for various reasons, the resulting responses can only enhance the negative aspects of
what is already an unpleasant experience.
Although shame often leads to negative behavior, guilt can cause positive and constructive
changes in the way people act. Guy Burgess refers to "guilt mobilization," the act of forcing
people to recognize the contradictions between what they say and what they do. Martin Luther
King and other nonviolent civil rights leaders mobilized the white's guilt, when they made clear
the discrepancy between white American's deep-rooted beliefs in freedom and equality and the
way African Americans were treated in this country.[9] Once the collective guilt became strong
enough, racial segregation became illegal in the U.S., and remedies, such as affirmative action,
were implemented to try to make amends.
Using guilt as an influence tool can be very helpful, but must be used with caution. Guilt can be
used to influence people to do both good and bad -- positive and negative. As with any tool, it is
important that it is used appropriately and responsibly.

Guilt is also useful in preventing conflict in the first place. We all have a moral code, or an idea
of what we think is right and wrong. Whenever we consider doing something in contrast with
this moral code, our guilt will often kick in and prevent us from doing so before we ever act. As
Baumeister, Stillwell, and Heatherton indicate, "guilt directly contributes to good relationships
by promoting behaviors that benefit relationships..." We treat people in accordance with our
moral codes because we don't want to feel guilty.
However, in order for guilt to play a role in conflict resolution and prevention, an individual
must view certain acts as important. In other words, in order for guilt to prevent conflictinducing behavior, people must view their behavior as wrong and as significant. For example, a
person who drives 65 miles per hour in a 50 miles per hour zone will only feel guilty about it if
they view speeding as an important action. The same is true of ethnic conflict or marital
relations. In order to prevent ethnic cleansing, people must view that action as important to
avoid. Otherwise, guilt will not be an important factor.

WhatIndividualsCanDo
Both guilt and shame are important social factors. As such, both are intrinsically tied to social
situations. Our ideas about guilt and shame (what is right and wrong) come from social situations
-- education, family, work, etc. As a result, it is important that educators, parents, friends, and
family work to make sure that those around them (particularly children) have a sense of selfworth. By showing people empathy and caring, we indicate that doing something wrong does not
necessarily reflect on the person as a whole. By differentiating between the action and the actor,
we can help prevent shame and its negative connotations, while still encouraging a healthy sense
of right, wrong, and guilt when necessary.

[1] Bales, Norman. "Coping with Shame and Guilt." http://fbg-church.org/articles/guilt.htm


[2] Available at: http://www.webster.com
[3] Available at: www.webster.com
[4] Bales, Norman. "Coping with Shame and Guilt." http://fbg-church.org/articles/guilt.htm
[5] Available at: http://mentalhelp.net/psyhelp/chap6/chap6i.htm.
[6] Tangney -- 120
[7] Available at: http://www.mentalhelp.net/psyhelp/chap6/chap6i.htm.
[8] See also, the essay on humiliation, which is closely related to shame, but is caused by
external sources and is a common cause and effect of deep-rooted identity conflicts.

[9] Personal conversation, July 20, 2003.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Morris,DixieandFrankMorris.GuiltandShame.
Availableat:http://www.liberationpsych.org/guilt.html.
Thisarticleprovidesafairlyindepthdiscussionofguiltandshame.Theauthorsdistinguishbetween
"realguilt"and"selfimposedguilt"andalsoclarifythemeaningofshame.

Bell,Chris.Shame,GuiltandJustice:SelfConsciousEmotionsasMediatorsofthePositiveEffectsof
PerceivedJustice.SocialScienceElectronicPublishing,Inc..
Availableat:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=321367.
Whileorganizationalandjusticeresearchhasexploredissuesrelatedtoaffect,shameandguilthave
beenvirtuallyignored.Shameandguiltareselfconscious,selfevaluativeemotionsthatoccurinasocial
context,andhaveimportantbehavioralandattitudinalimplications.Findingone'sselfresponsiblefora
negativeperformanceevaluationisjustsuchacontextinwhichpeoplecanpotentiallyfeelshameand
guilt.Shame,however,isconnectedwithglobalassessmentsoftheself,whileguiltismoreabout
specificbehaviorsratherthanthewholeperson.Peopleexperiencingshamefeellesscontroloverthe
situation,andengageinwithdrawalbehaviors.Peopleexperiencingguiltfeeltheyhaverelativelymore
controloverthesituation,andaremoreoutwardlyfocused,engaginginbehaviorsaimedatreparation
andamends.Negativefeedbackcanalsoproducecognitiveeffectssuchasalossofselfefficacy,and
socialeffectssuchasalossofidentificationwiththesocialgroup.

Hartwell,MarciaByrom."TheRoleofForgivenessinReconstructingSocietyAfterConflict."Journalof
HumanitarianAssistance,2000
Availableat:http://www.jha.ac/articles/a048.htm.

Thispaperwilladdressesthetopicofforgivenessbyfirstdefiningitandsecondlybyfocusingonits
possibilityandrelevanceinapostconflictsituation.Itwillconsiderforgivenesswithintheframeworkof
socialreconciliationacollectiveattempttorebuildamutuallybeneficialandcooperativecivilsocietyby
examiningtheconceptofjustice,bydrawinguponpsychologicalmodelsofinterpersonalforgiveness,
andbyconsideringotherstrategiesforsocialhealing.Thetraditionalmodelofjusticeasfairnessis
questionedinitseffectivenesstostopcyclesofrevengeandviolencewithinacountry.Amorerecent
evolutionofa"justiceasreconciliation"paradigmdevelopedbyMahmoodMamdaniandderivedfrom
theSouthAfricanexperience,isexploredasanapproachthatcanembracetheprocessofforgiveness
withintheconstructionofreconciliation.

Offline(Print)Sources
Scheff,ThomasJandSuzanneM.Retzinger.EmotionsandViolence:ShameandRageinDestructive
Conflicts.Lexington,MA:LexingtonBooks,January1991.
Theyexplorehumaninteractioninpsychotherapysessions,maritalquarrels,TVgameshows,andhigh
politics.Theiroriginalinterpretationofaclassicworkoffiction,Goethe'sTheSufferingsofYoung
Werther,andcasestudiesofHitlerandhismasterarchitect,AlbertSpeer,offeradditional,powerful
illustrationsoftheirtheory:violencearisesfromthedenialofemotionsparticularlyfromthedenialof
shameandfromhiddenalienationinrelationships.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
Krog,AntjieandCharlayneHunterGault.CountryofMySkull:Guilt,Sorrow,andtheLimitsof
ForgivenessintheNewSouthAfrica.NewYork:TimesBooks,March1999.
ThisworkisanaccountofthetrialsandtribulationsofthehearingsoftheSouthAfricanTruthand
ReconciliationCommission,asthenationattemptedtoreconcileinthewakeofapartheid.

Audiovisual Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
EastofWar.Directedand/orProducedby:Beckermann,Ruth.FirstRunIcarusFilms.1997.
Inthisfilm,formerWWIIGermansoldiersrelatetheirexperiences,eachframingthemintheirownway.
Somesoldiersfeelguiltandshameabouteventsthattookplace,whileothersdonot.Clickherefor
moreinfo.

SensoDaughters.Directedand/orProducedby:Sekiguchi,Noriko.FirstRunIcarusFilms.1989.
Thisfilmdelvesintotheissueofhistoricalamnesia.PapuaNewGuineawomentestifyabouttheabuse
theyenduredatthehandsoftheJapaneseduringWWII,whiletheJapanesedenytheseabusestook
place.Thisfilmquestionswhatrelationshipshamehastotheacceptanceordenialofhistoricalfacts.
Clickhereformoreinfo.

Face

By
Sarah Rosenberg

Much has been written about the Cuban missile

crisis of 1962. One perspective put forth by a


leading researcher on face theories, Stella TingToomey, is that the negotiation came down to how
both sides could retreat to more peaceful positions

without losing face, or causing loss of face for each NancyFerrelltalksabouthowfamilymembersget


other. From the correspondence between the two
caughtupindestructivepatternsofinteraction.
leaders (Kennedy and Khrushchev),[1] it is
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10434
apparent that they were trying to figure out how
they could both retain personal and national honor
in relation to each other and to the international arena. Kennedy, in his memoirs, wrote about the
seven lessons he learned during the crisis, number six being, "Don't humiliate your opponent,"
which is, of course, a central face issue. And, as Ting-Toomey put it, "By understanding the
face-honoring process intuitively, intellectually, and diplomatically, the two statesmen learned to
honor and give face mutually in the eyes of their salient referents and in the arena of
international diplomacy."

Face:AGeneralDefinition:
Face is a multi-faceted term, and its meaning is inextricably linked with culture and other terms
such as honor and its opposite, humiliation. Saving face or giving face has different levels of
importance, depending on the culture or society with which one is dealing. Perhaps the most
familiar term to many is "saving face," which we understand simply to mean not being
disrespectful to others in public, or taking preventive actions so that we will not appear to lose
face in the eyes of others. Some will immediately associate the term "face" with Sino-Japanese
cultures, but it would be a mistake to think that those are the only cases where face issues are
important. In the Cuban missile crisis, it was very important both sides not to lose face or
credibility, and this need guided both sides' negotiating tactics.
Ting-Toomey defines face as "the interaction between the degree of threats or considerations one
party offers to another party, and the degree of claim for a sense of self-respect (or demand for
respect toward one's national image or cultural group) put forth by the other party in a given
situation."[2] Specific to face-negotiation theory, face is understood as the image one projects of
oneself or one's national image in a public forum. As Brown understood the issue:
Amongthemosttroublesomekindsofproblemsthatariseinnegotiationaretheintangibleissuesrelated
tolossofface.Insomeinstances,protectingagainstlossoffacebecomessocentralanissuethatit

swampstheimportanceofthetangibleissuesatstakeandgeneratesintenseconflictsthatcanimpede
progresstowardagreementandincreasesubstantiallythecostsofconflictresolution.[3]

LowContextvs.HighContextCultures
To understand the relevance of face in different cultures, one must learn how to identify lowcontext and high-context societies and what types of characteristics they each imply, especially
in negotiating behavior. It is important to note that many cultures are neither wholly low-context
nor high-context, but instead combine the two, and that the context may vary depending on the
situation. However, these principles are helpful as a framework for discussion and analysis.
In general, the U.S. and other Western countries are considered low-context societies. This
means that verbal communication is most often direct, and that there is very little concern or
need for nonverbal cues in order for people to understand each other. Raymond Cohen, a
respected researcher on culture and negotiation, explains that at the core of a low-context society
is the belief in the freedom of the individual, hence the term "individualistic" societies.
In these societies, individual rights supercede blind duty to one's family, clan, ethnic group, or
nation. People generally try to "say what they mean and mean what they say." In individualistic
societies, "[e]quality is the prevailing ethic in society and politics. Status is acquired, not
inherited..." and, more importantly, "...contract, not custom, prescribes the individual's legal
obligation to a given transaction, role or course of action."[4] In these societies, it is individual,
personal guilt that serves as a moral compass. If one commits a social blunder as an adult, in
most cases, there is no group shame involved, only personal embarrassment, and (one hopes) a
desire to correct the wrong with a sincere apology. Conflicts are seen as a natural part of life;
they are simply dealt with and then people move on. In individualistic societies, in theory if not
always in practice, people are free to move and associate themselves with any groups they like.
In light of all this, the place that face issues hold in low-context cultures is not nearly as
important as in collectivistic societies. But when communicating with cultural "others," it is
obviously extremely important to make oneself aware of possible differences beforehand. Face,
it turns out, is quite a serious issue in many places.
High-context societies include countries such as Korea, China, and Japan in Asia, MiddleEastern countries such as Egypt and Iran,[5] and Latin American countries. Sometimes, these
cultures are referred to as collectivistic, or interdependent. Very often, these high-context
cultures are hierarchical and traditional societies in which the concepts of shame and honor are
much more important than they are in low-context societies.[6]
In high-context cultures, group harmony is of utmost importance. People in these cultures dislike
direct confrontation, and for the most part avoid expressing a clear "no." Evasion and inaccuracy
are preferred in order to keep appearances pleasant. There is a danger of losing face simply by
not reaching an agreement with another person or group, if that was the goal. Being humiliated
before the group, or losing face before one's constituents, can be a fate worse than death in some
cases.[7]
Ways in which one can lose face include:

arebuffedoverture
exposuretopersonalinsult
exposuretoaderogatoryremarkordisregardforone'sstatus
beingforcedtogiveupacherishedvalue
makingwhatmaylaterbeseenasan"unnecessary"concession
failuretoachievegoals
revelationofpersonalinadequacy
damagetoavaluedrelationship.[8]

The key difference to remember here is that high-context cultures want to repair or build
relationships while low-context cultures most often desire to simply problem-solve and move on.
Somewhere in this difference in thinking and behavior lies the key to the importance of face in
interdependent cultures.

ImportanceinCommunicationandLanguage
High-context communication is primarily concerned with maintaining face and group
harmony.[9] Every word is considered carefully, and many expressions of respect and courtesy
are included. These communicators are concerned about losing face, and will usually employ
evasiveness instead of explicit disagreement, because being rebuffed could cause loss of face.
This is when tone, phrasing, and body language become very important. For example, lowcontext negotiators often have trouble recognizing a "no" when a high-context negotiator
expresses a vague, non-binding form of an affirmative.
For the low-context communicator, language is a means to find and convey information. One is
not offended when met with contradiction, Cohen says, because individualistic societies thrive
on debate and the fundamental belief in the freedom of expression. One's behavior is guided by a
sense of personal responsibility and a personal sense of guilt, rather than by shame inflicted by
the group; as a result, communication is much less carefully watched than in collectivistic
cultures, where humiliation is to be avoided at all costs.

ImportanceinNegotiation
According to Cohen, a high-context negotiator's nightmare is loss of face. As listed above, there
are many ways in which this might happen, and he or she will do everything in order to ensure
that it will not happen. A high-context negotiator prefers to take as much uncertainty as possible
out of the picture. Even failure to reach an agreement can result in loss of face, so he or she will
try to foresee and plan every aspect of the ensuing negotiation in order to prevent failure. Cohen
lists China and Japan as two different strategic examples for how this is done. Many Japanese
negotiators engage in extensive information gathering, so that they know the positions ahead of
time and can then adjust their own position to what they think will be realistic. Chinese strategy
is the exact opposite. They make sure that the other party is quite aware of nonnegotiable
positions ahead of time. They will only come to the table if these terms have already been
implicitly accepted. Most likely, they will not come to the table if they think there is too much

positions, according to Cohen, is "avoiding a leap into the unknown" and diminishing the
possibilities for loss of face ahead of time.[10]

TingToomey'sFaceNegotiationModel
Ting-Toomey's article, Intergroup Diplomatic Communication, highlights the fact that during
negotiation, there are two simultaneous face processes going on. Although much more attention
has been given in the past to face-threatening behaviors, face-honoring processes also occur. She
argues that diplomats must learn that face-maintenance is the key to successful inter-group
negotiation. By face-maintenance, she means "the desire to project an image of strength and
capability, or conversely, to avoid projecting an image of incapability, weakness, or
foolishness."[11] The following figure helps to explain this model.

Face-threatening processes include face-saving and face-restoration. Face-saving measures


have to do with anticipating potential loss of face, and are future-oriented. Face-restoration deals
with repairing damage to one's image that has already occurred. Thus, the first is an offensive
perspective, while the second is defensive. Both revolve around one's own face (self-face
concern), while having very little to do with the other's face (other-face concern). Ting-Toomey
says that in negotiation, one needs to take into consideration the realities of mutual face-concern,
or the face-honoring processes, which often take place hand-in-hand with face-threatening
maneuvers. Ting-Toomey cites international diplomatic cases such as the Camp David Accords,
the Sino-British Hong Kong case, and the Cuban missile crisis as examples of this dual process.
The face-honoring process includes two components:
1. Oneorbothpartiesfeelthattheotherismakingpositiveoverturesofrespect,andthattheir
image(face)isbeingvalidatedandhonoredbytheother.
2. Concessionsareperceivedbythepartiesasequitable,andneitherfeelsexploitedbytheother.

When one party states their needs and wants in an honorable manner, taking into consideration
the notion of mutual face-concern, this is called face-assertive behavior. When one side
purposely takes action to enhance the honor of the other, especially in regard to national face,
this is called face-giving behavior. As can be expected, low-context cultures tend to engage in
more face-threatening exchanges, while high-context cultures will focus more on face-honoring
exchanges. Another way to look at this dichotomy is to see it as "getting to the point," as
opposed to "building relationships." As Ting-Toomey reminds us, other "cultural variability
factors, interaction event constraint factors, personality factors, and the perceived and actual
communication exchanges between the inter-group negotiators all work simultaneously to
influence the face-negotiation process."[12]
When we talk about face in an international negotiation setting, there are three types of face to
worry about. There is the personal individual level, the national honor the diplomat represents,
and finally the national face in relation to international politics. In order to repair damage caused
by face-threatening behavior and to return to a mutual face-concern attitude, it is necessary to
consider which of the three faces need to be attended to.
Despite cultural differences, face-threatening acts will most likely lead to more of the same in
any culture. When face-threatening moves are deemed necessary, the chances for a successful
negotiation increase when there is a good balance of face-honoring moves as well, to mollify the
effects of threats to face. In general, according to Ting-Toomey, a bilateral attitude of mutual
face-concern will tend to lead to more productive outcomes in intergroup diplomatic exchanges.

RelevanceofFaceandNegotiationinDifferentCountries
France is a good example of a Western country in which face matters. For the most part, the
French try to avoid negotiation altogether. They have little belief in the values of negotiation and
compromise, because, in their view, concessions tend to lead to loss of power and status. "The
French have a strong sense that their own status and prestige is constantly at stake in any
negotiation, and it often can be protected best by rejecting discussion or concessions, or taking a
conflictual stand on grounds of principle." The importance of maintaining national honor is
important, but unlike in high-context societies, failure to reach an agreement does not cause loss
of face. Instead, unnecessary concessions are more cause for concern about national face.
In the former Soviet Union, compromising was only for the weak. A strong person, someone
with self-esteem, would choose a confrontational strategy and would only agree to compromise
if it could be proven that the negotiator had struggled very hard. The Russians seem to fall
between the U.S. and France in regard to negotiating styles and importance of face. The Russians
still prefer progress to abandoning the process altogether. However, they prefer to do this by
getting the other side to make the first concession. They make every one of their own
concessions seem like a huge burden, and so increase the appearance of benevolence to the other
group and to outsiders.
For Egypt, the use of a third party was a key factor in saving face for the Egyptians and
achieving the Camp David Accords in 1978. Shuttle diplomacy, which is a common way of
negotiating in the Middle East, enabled Egypt to make concessions to and for the U.S. that

Egyptian President Sadat could not have made directly to Israel without suffering severe loss of
face.
The key to resolving the stalemate at Camp David had to do with realizing that Egypt's main
concern was restoring lost face. Because Egypt had been sorely humiliated after the 1967 war,
Egypt's need to regain all of the Sinai was about restoring lost face, whereas Israel's need was for
security. The solution was a demilitarized Egyptian Sinai and everybody was relatively happy.
This formed the basis of the 1978 Camp David Accords.
The Chinese term lian is the source for the concept of face. "It represents the confidence of
society in the integrity of moral character." Loss of face occurs when one fails to meet the
requirements of one's position in society. The cornerstone for the conflict resolution process in
Chinese culture is for both parties to care about the other's face. In many cases, in order to save
face, as in Middle Eastern countries, respected third-party mediators are needed to manage the
communication between parties in conflict.
According to Harry Irwin, author of Communicating with Asia, in order to understand Chinese
personal corporate and national identities, one must get a feel for all of the face work that is
needed. For the Chinese, proper conduct of face maintenance is equivalent to being a moral
member of society; the most important social value is creating and perpetuating group harmony.
Gaining face is as important a concept as losing face. A primary goal in many Asian cultures is
to increase one's face value or standing in society, while successfully avoiding the loss of
face.[13]

Conclusion
Although countries are changing and modernizing all the time, face issues can be very important,
especially in intergroup negotiating processes. However, even in same-culture conflict resolution
or negotiating, it seems likely that a shared attitude of mutual face concern will yield more
successful results than aggressive confrontation and face-threatening behaviors. It may also be
important to include a mutually respected third party to assist when face issues between two
parties are difficult to solve.

[1]. This is according to the reporting in Ting-Toomey, Stella, A Face Negotiation Perspective
Communicating for Peace. Sage, 1990. Other cases where face was considered an important
bargaining feature according to Brown were the 1951 Korean ceasefire negotiation, the 1972
Paris-Vietnam peace talks and Middle East truce negotiations. p. 80.
[2]. Ting-Toomey lists a number of sources for this definition. Brown, 1977: Brown and
Levinson, 1978, 1987; Goffman, 1955, 1967; Ho, 1976, Hu, 1944; Katriel, 1986; Lim, 1988
Ting-Toomey, 1985, 1988; Yutang, 1968
[3]. Brown, B. (1977) "Face Saving and Face Restoration in Negotiation." In D. Druckman (Ed.),
Negotiations: Social-Psychological Perspectives. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. P. 275.

[4]. Cohen, Raymond. Negotiating Across Cultures. Communications Obstacles in International


Diplomacy. Washington DC: U.S. Institute of Peace Press. 1997.
[5]. Israel, although in the Middle East, is considered to be one of the most extreme cases of lowcontext societies. This has caused some problems during negotiations with its Middle-Eastern
neighbors, such as Egypt.
[6]. There are also pockets of honor-based societies in Western countries, such as street gangs
and some Southern culture in the U.S. for example.
[7]. Cohen, p. 133.
[8]. Cohen, p.56.
[9]. Cohen, p.25
[10]. Cohen, p.56-57
[11] Ting-Toomey, p. 80
[12]. Ting-Toomey p.83
[13]. Irwin, p.68.
Additional resources:
More on Collectivism and Individualism can be found in:
Adamopoulos, John. "The Emergence of Cultural Patterns of Interpersonal Behavior" in Social
Psychology and Cultural Context Adamopoulos, J. and Kashima, Y. Eds. Sage, 1999.
Triandis, H.C. "Collectivism and Individualism as Cultural Syndromes." Cross-Cultural
Research, 27, 155-180. 1993.
Culture and Negotiation Faure, Guy and Rubin, Jeffery Z. Eds. Cohen Raymond, "An Advocate's
View". p.30-31 on Egypt and Israel. More on cultural differences that influence negotiating
styles.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
FaceSaving.

Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/facsavsr.htm.
Thisbriefpiecedescribeswhatfacesaving(savingface)isandhowitplaysintonegotiationsinconflict
situations.Thepagealsoofferssuggestionsforfurtherreadingonthesubject.

TingToomey,Stella."InterculturalConflictCompetence:EasternandWesternLenses.",
Availableat:http://www.cic.sfu.ca/forum/STingToomeyJuly131999.html.

ThisisasummaryofseveralbasicassumptionsoftheFaceworkTheory,whichismeanttoprovidea
frameworkforeffectivelydealingwithinterculturalconflict.
Offline(Print)Sources
Korzenny,FelipeandStellaTingToomey."AFaceNegotiationPerspective."CommunicatingforPeace
,1990.

LeBaron,Michelle."CulturalFluencyinConflict:CurrenciesandStartingPoints."InBridgingCultural
Conflicts:NewApproachesforaChangingWorld.SanFrancisco:JosseyBassPublishers,April2003.
Pages:5382.
Thischapterbuildsonpreviousonesinitsexplorationofthewaysinwhichcultureandcommunication
areintertwined,butfocusesspecificallyonwaysthatculturaldifferencesmayfuelconflicts.THeauthor
explainsthedifferencesbetweenhighandlowcontextcommunication,aswellasothercultural
variablestoconsiderinconflictandnegotiationsituations.Thechapteralsoincludesasection
specificallyonfacesaving.

Brown,B."FaceSavingandFaceRestorationinNegotiation."InNegotiations:SocialPsychological
Perspectives.EditedbyDruckman,D.,ed.BeverlyHills,CA:Sage,1977.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
Cohen,Raymond."AnAdvocate'sView."InCultureandNegotiation.EditedbyRubin,JeffreyandGuy
OliverFaure,eds.NewburyPark,CA:SagePublications,Inc,1993.
Thischapterdiscussestheoftenpowerfuleffectsofcultureonnegotiation.Theauthorfocusesonthe
effectofculturaldifferencesonbilateralinterculturalnegotiations.Severalspecificexamplesof
interculturaldiplomaticnegotiationsfromrecentdecadesareemployedtoillustratetheauthor'spoints,
withrelationsbetweenIsraelandEgyptbeinggiventhemostattention.

Cohen,Raymond.NegotiatingAcrossCultures:InternationalCommunicationinanInterdependent
World,RevisedEdition.Washington,DC:USIPPress,December1,1997.
Thisbookprovidesexamplesofthedissonanceandconfusionthatculturaldifferencecancreateateach
stageofinternationalnegotiations.Cohenmakesadistinctionbetween"lowcontextcultures"and
"highcontextcultures",andprovidesconcreteexamplesofmiscommunicationandmisunderstanding
betweenrepresentativesfromthetwotypesofcultures.Caseexamplesaredrawnfromnegotiations

betweentheUnitedStates(alowcontextculture)andandMexico,Egypt,India,China,andJapan,allof
whicharelabeledashighcontextcultures.Theauthornotesspecificinstancesineachexamplewhere
facewasanissue.

Teaching Materials on this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Cooper,Christopher."TeachingYoungPeopletoSaveFaceThroughConflictResolutionTraining.",
January1997
Availableat:http://www.crnetwork.ca/library/search.asp?Method=Title.

Thisbriefarticleexaminesfacesavingskillsthatenableyoungpeopletoleaveconflictsituationsnotjust
unharmed,butalsoallowthemtodepartgracefully.Thistypeofresponsemakessensetomany
teenagerssincetheyavoidinjury,embarrassment,humiliation,and/orlossofdignity.

Unit III
Relationships in Conflict
Relationships good and bad are a key to disputes, conflicts, and their resolution. These
essays examine relationship issues the good and the bad.
Damaged or Destroyed Relationships
People on opposite sides of a long-running conflict tend to distrust or even hate each
other. This takes an emotional toll on both parties and prevents them from working
together in the future.
Managing Interpersonal Trust and Distrust
Trust has often been praised as the "glue" that holds relationships together and enables
individuals to pool their resources with others. Unfortunately, when conflict escalates to a
dysfunctional level, trust is often one of the first casualties.
Distrust
Distrust can result in a self-fulfilling prophecy, where every move another person makes
is interpreted as evidence that he/she cannot be trusted. When the other person
reciprocates this sentiment, there is mutual distrust that further fuels the escalation of
conflict.
Trust and Trust Building
Trust comes from the understanding that humans are interdependent, that they need each
other to survive. Third parties can attempt to use this insight to promote trust between
disputing parties.
Respect
Treating people with respect is key to conflict transformation. When they are denied
respect or are humiliated, people tend to react negatively, creating conflicts or escalating
existing ones.
Conflict Transformation
Many people believe that conflict happens for a reason and that it brings much-needed
change. Therefore, to eliminate conflict would also be to eliminate conflict's dynamic
power. In transformation, a conflict is changed into something constructive, rather than
being eliminated altogether.
Apology and Forgiveness
One powerful way to mend relationships after conflicts and disputes is through apology
and forgiveness. These are two sides of the multi-faceted "diamond" of reconciliation.
Though often skipped (for a variety of reasons), both are necessary for true reconciliation
to take place.
Unit III Assignment:
Choose ANOTHER dispute or conflict that has affected you deeply. It can be a personal one a
fight at work or in the family or a more public one that you care about deeply the war in

Iraq, abortion, gay rights, whatever. In 3-4 pages, look at the relationship issues involved in this
conflict. What relationships have been damaged? How? What can be done to repair them?

DamagedorDestroyedRelationships

By
Heidi Burgess
Damage to relationships is almost inevitable in intractable conflicts. Relationships that had been
friendly, open, and trusting no longer are so. Walls go up, as people move farther and farther
apart. The "norm" becomes distrust, fear, anger, and hostility, where friendship and trust
prevailed before.

Example:TheFailingMarriage
Strained marriages are an example. Newlyweds, generally, are in love. They become
increasingly intimate and "in tune" with each other, sharing thoughts and feelings, interests and
jokes. When they take their vows, they promise to love and live together forever... "until death
do us part." Although there are exceptions, newlyweds usually trust each other, and try hard to
accommodate the others' wishes (although living together for the first time can be the first,
surprising source of strain).
As time goes by, some relationships get stronger and stronger, while others start to deteriorate.
Sometimes this deterioration is caused by a specific event: physical abuse or an affair, loss of a
job or death of a parent. Or, the deterioration may grow slowly over time. The couple may
develop different interests, or they may start to have disputes over "little things" that are handled
badly and begin to drive them apart.
Although all couples have little problems, those in successful marriages learn how to negotiate
solutions early on. If they do not, tension can build up in the relationship that becomes harder
and harder to deal with. Positive interaction is increasingly replaced by negative interaction:
criticism, putdowns, power struggles, and abuse. This mode of interaction becomes seen as
"normal," while the earlier positive interactions become rare. Although therapy can sometimes
help rebuild a failing relationship, the longer the destructive dynamics have gone on, the more
damage has usually been done, and the harder the relationship is to repair.

OtherRelationships
The same is true in many other kinds of relationships, from interpersonal to international. People
on opposite sides of a long-running conflict tend to avoid each other, or be watchful when the
other is around. Information is no longer shared; that which is shared is no longer trusted. The
longer the conflict has lasted, the more the hostility and distrust becomes identified as the
"normal" relationship, and the harder it is to re-establish the openness and trust that existed

before the conflict started.


This is not critical in some conflicts, where the relationship was only supposed to be short-term
anyway. Thus, if one is involved in a business relationship that breaks down, one can stop doing
business with the adversary, and while you may have had considerable aggravation and lost
some money, the end of the relationship is not itself a major cost.
In other cases, however, the end of the relationship is a huge cost. This is often true in family
conflicts, particularly if there are children involved. The same is true with groups of people who
have to work or live together, whether they want to or not. Blacks and whites, conservatives and
liberals, Christians, Muslims, and Jews--we all live together in the U.S. and few of us want to
leave. The Israeli Jews and the Palestinians have to learn to live together -- part of what is so
frustrating about that conflict is that most people know that. But the relationships have been so
damaged, the hostility and distrust is so deep, that repairing it to the point that peace can be
achieved is a very difficult struggle.
Also, if extremely hostile relationships persist they get integrated into the culture of the societies.
History gets written, and passed down through families, painting one's own side as virtuous, and
the other side as evil. If these messages are heard over and over again from trusted sources -one's parents, one's teachers, one's friends -- it gets very hard to question or oppose such beliefs,
and people who do are often ostracized, persecuted, or even killed. So damaged relationships are
somewhat like a one-way street with no street going the other way. It is surprisingly easy to go
down that street -- but it is often very hard to get back.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Schneider,CarlD.""I'mSorry":ThePowerofApologyinMediation.",1900
Availableat:http://www.mediate.com/articles/apology.cfm.

Thisarticlediscussestheimportanceofanapologyinmediation.Itoutlineswhetherornottouseitasa
technique,assessingwhetherornotitwillhelp,andthelegalitiessurroundinganapology.

ThePowerofApologies.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/Ombuds/Apologies1.pdf.
Thisshortpieceexplainshowtomakeaneffectiveapologyanddiscusseswhyanapologycanbesucha
significantsteptowardrepairingadamagedrelationship.
Offline(Print)Sources
Davis,Laura.IThoughtWe'dNeverSpeakAgain:TheRoadfromEstrangementtoReconciliation.New
York:HarperCollins,2002.

Thisbookexaminesreconciliation,primarilyininterpersonalrelationships.Theworkincludesstories
aboutreconciliationaswellashelpfuladviceonhowtogoaboutit.Theauthorfocusesspecificallyon
helpingtheindividualsharmedbyadamagedrelationshipthemselvesorthatarecurrentlyembroiledin
conflict.

ManagingInterpersonalTrustandDistrust

By
Edward C. Tomlinson
Roy J. Lewicki

Trust indicates a willingness to become vulnerable to another based on confident positive


expectations of their conduct. It has often been praised as the "glue" that holds relationships
together and enables individuals to perform more efficiently. Trust reduces uncertainty over
future outcomes and simplifies decision processes, and provides us with peace of mind.
Unfortunately, when conflict escalates to a dysfunctional level, trust in the other party is often
one of the first casualties, and this can inhibit the effective resolution of the conflict.
If the parties to a conflict desire to reverse the conflict escalation process, they must find a way
to (1) cultivate (or restore) an atmosphere of trust, and (2) manage the level of distrust. Trust
building is important in de-escalating conflict because it allows individuals to accept the risk of
being vulnerable and making conciliatory initiatives to the other with some degree of assurance
that they will not be exploited. Until the parties can alleviate their predominant concern for selfprotection against the other, they will be reluctant to work together in resolving their conflict. In
contrast to distrust, where conflict escalates due to each party's sinister attributions toward the
other, trust building is a process that can replace suspicion and defensiveness with benevolence
and cooperation. The ultimate objective is to reduce tension and hostility to create the conditions
that allow for conflict to spiral downward.
To illustrate the dynamics involved in these processes, we make use of recent research that has
drawn the distinction between trust and distrust. Contrary to the traditional notion of trust as a
unidimensional construct (i.e., that trust and distrust are bipolar opposites), recent work has
asserted that trust and distrust exist along separate dimensions. Whereas trust is seen as the
trustor's confident positive expectations regarding the trustee's conduct, distrust is defined as the
trustor's confident negative expectations regarding the trustee's conduct. While both trust and
distrust involve movements toward certainty of another's conduct, the nature of that certainty and
the emotional and behavioral reactions that come with it will differ considerably. That is, trust
evokes a feeling of hope and a demonstrated willingness to become vulnerable to the trustee.

Distrust, on the other hand, evokes fear and actions to buffer oneself from the harmful conduct of
the other party.

Viewing trust and distrust as existing along separate dimensions also recognizes that
relationships are complex and multifaceted. In other words, we may trust another in some
contexts, but not in others, and similarly distrust them in some contexts and not others. You may
trust another individual to arrive on time for a meeting, but not to complete required paperwork
by the deadline. An elaboration of this perspective is found in Lewicki and Wiethoff :

Relationshipsaremultifaceted,andeachfacetrepresentsaninteractionthatprovidesuswith
informationabouttheother.Thegreaterthevarietyofsettingsandcontextsinwhichtheparties
interact,themorecomplexandmultifacetedtherelationshipbecomes.Withinthesamerelationship,
elementsoftrustanddistrustmaypeacefullycoexistbecausetheyarerelatedtodifferentexperiences
withtheotherorknowledgeoftheotherindifferentcontexts.[1]

Thus, arriving at an overall evaluation of the trustee involves a complex assessment that
considers both trust and distrust. Moreover, this new view of trust stresses that both trust and
distrust have a valid role in managing complex relationships: contrary to traditional, normative
views that trust is good and distrust is bad, this new perspective recognizes that trust is valuable
insofar as it is appropriate to the context, and that a healthy amount of distrust can protect
against the risk of exploitation.
Accordingly, conflicts can be managed most effectively when attention is given to managing the
initiation and development of trust, as well as to tempering distrust. In the distrust and trustbuilding essays, we describe the origins of distrust and trust, the effects of violated expectations
for each, and the process of rebuilding damaged trust and tempering distrust. We conclude by

discussing the practical implications of our review and directing interested readers to additional
resources.
TRUSTBUILDINGESSAY

DISTRUST ESSAY

Overview

Overview

Origins and Development

OriginsandDevelopment

ViolatedExpectations

ViolatedExpectations

RebuildingTrust

TemperingDistrust

Practical Implications

PracticalImplications

Additional Resources

AdditionalResources

[1] Lewicki, R. J., & Wiethoff, C. (2000). "Trust, trust development, and trust repair," in The
Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and practice, Eds. M. Deutsch & P. Coleman, San
Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Pp. 86-107. (p. 92)

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Keyton,JoannandFayeSmith.AComparativeEmpiricalAnalysisofTheoreticalFormulationsof
Distrust.SocialScienceElectronicPublishing,Inc..
Availableat:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=399500.
Abstract:Recentlytherehasbeenacallforabetterunderstandingoftrustanddistrust.Thisstudy
examinedthecomponentsofdistrust.Contentanalysiswasusedtocodethenarrativesofemployeesof
alargepaperprocessorganization.Separatecontentanalysesexaminedtwothemesinthedistrust
literature:a)dimensionsofdistrustareoppositedimensionsoftrust,andb)distrustisaviolationof
trust.

Ruckelshaus,WilliamD."FromConflicttoCollaboration:RestoringTrustinGovernment.",May1,
1997
Availableat:http://www.uwyo.edu/enr/ienr/DistinguishedSpeakers/WDRMay97.asp.


ThisarticlediscussesthenotionofrestoringfaithandtrustintheU.S.government.Theauthorfocuses
onenvironmentalprotectionandresourcemanagementasareasofcentralimportanceinthis
restorationprocess.Theauthoriscallingfordrasticchangesinthewaythatgovernments,businesses,
publicinterestgroups,individualsandevenuniversitiesconductthemselves,namelytheuseof
collaborativedecisionmakingprocessesthatencourageandincorporatepublicparticipation.

Tomlinson,EdwardC.andRoyJ.Lewicki.TheEffectsofReputationandPostViolationCommunication
onTrustandDistrust.SocialScienceElectronicPublishing,Inc.
Availableat:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=400941.
"Thispaperproposesalaboratoryexperimentthatwilllendempiricalsupporttorecenttheoretical
advancesregardingthesimultaneousoccurrenceoftrustanddistrustinrelationships.Wehighlightthe
roleofreputationsbeforeatransactionalrelationshipbegins,aswellastheimpactofapologiesin
rebuildingtrustandreducingdistrustfollowingatrustviolation."ArticleAbstract
Offline(Print)Sources
"NotSoDifferentAfterAll:ACrossDisciplineViewofTrust."AcademyofManagementReview23,
January1,1998.
Thisarticleexploresthetopicoftrustinorganizations,andisanexcellentreviewoftheresearchon
trustinavarietyoffields.

Worchel,S."TrustandDistrust."InPsychologyofIntergroupRelations.EditedbyWorchel,S.andW.
G.Austin,eds.Chicago:NelsonHallPublishers,1986.
Thischapterreviewsresearchontrustanddistrust,andtheconditionsleadingtoeach.Inpart,itgives
moredetailedtreatmentoftitfortat(orconditionalbenevolence)asastrategicresponsetomanage
distrust.

Lewicki,RoyJ.andCarolynWiethoff."Trust,TrustDevelopmentandTrustRepair."InTheHandbook
ofConflictResolution:TheoryandPractice.EditedbyDeutsch,MortonandPeterT.Coleman,eds.San
Francisco:JosseyBassPublishers,2000.
Thischapterintegratespriortheoreticalworkontrustdevelopmentwiththemultidimensionalviewof
trust,whichpositsthattrustanddistrustcancoexistwithinrelationships.Aseriesofimplicationsfor
relationshipmanagementarediscussed.

Teaching Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
DeFuria,Guy.InterpersonalTrustSurveys.SanFrancisco,CA:JosseyBass,January1,1997.
"InterpersonalTrustiscrucialtoachievinghighperformancewithinanyorganization.Thiscomplete
trainingprogramispackedwiththeinformationandtoolsnecessarytogetyourorganizationrunning
effectivelyandefficiently."

Distrust

By
Roy J. Lewicki
Edward C. Tomlinson

DistrustOverview
Distrust is the confident expectation that another individual's motives, intentions, and behaviors
are sinister and harmful to one's own interests. In interdependent relationships, this often entails
a sense of fear and anticipation of discomfort or danger. Distrust naturally prompts us to take
steps that reduce our vulnerability in an attempt to protect our interests. Accordingly, our distrust
of others is likely to evoke a competitive (as opposed to cooperative) orientation that stimulates
and exacerbates conflict. Distrust has also been linked to lower job satisfaction, commitment,
and motivation.
Due to its destructive potential, we proceed to review the origins and development of distrust to
lend insight into the phenomenon of distrust and how it can be managed more effectively.

OriginsandDevelopmentofDistrust
Distrust may arise due to differences in group membership: individuals identify and are
positively attached to their in-groups, yet assign negative stereotypes to out-group members and
may view them with suspicion and hostility. Distrust can also arise directly as the result of
personal experiences among individuals, such as when one person breaks a promise to another.
Distrust is likely to increase with the magnitude of the violation, the number of past violations,
and the perception that the offender intended to commit the violation. (Also see the section
on violated expectations in the trust essay.)
Once in place, distrust forms a powerful frame on subsequent events in the relationship, such that
even good-faith efforts by the offender to restore the relationship are met with skepticism and
suspicion. The result is a "self-fulfilling prophecy," where every move the other person makes is
interpreted as additional evidence that justifies an initial decision to distrust him/her. This
distrust not only inhibits cooperation in the relationship, but also may result in retaliation that
causes the conflict to escalate. When the other person reciprocates this sentiment, there is mutual
distrust that further fuels the escalation of conflict.
Our review will focus on the distinction between functional and dysfunctional distrust, as well as
the levels of distrust in relationships.

Functional versus Dysfunctional Distrust


Functional distrust. Although distrust has generally been regarded as patently harmful, it should
be acknowledged that there are potentially valuable benefits of some distrust. All of us have had
experiences where we misjudged another as credible and trustworthy, only to be exploited.
Hence, distrust can be a valuable mechanism that prevents us from falling prey to a naive view of
other people that allows us to be blind to clues of their untrustworthiness (and thus making us
willing co-conspirators to our own exploitation). A certain level of distrust is vital to preventing
excessive group cohesion that precludes sound decision making. In addition, a certain amount of
distrust allows us to set boundaries around another's behavior in a way that limits their freedom
yet permits functional interaction (so, for example, I might trust my friend to walk my dog, but

not trust them with a key to my house that would let them enter any time they choose). Vigilance
of another, periodic monitoring of their behavior, and formal contracts are all reasonable and
appropriate ways to ensure compliance and maintain "appropriate boundaries" in a relationship.
It also may be appropriate to strictly compartmentalize and set boundaries in certain
relationships, so that we minimize the areas in which one becomes vulnerable to another. In
short, it is possible (and even advisable) to have a 'healthy dose' of distrust, particularly with
people whom we do not know well.
Dysfunctional distrust. However, distrust can lead to adverse effects as well. As noted earlier,
distrust is associated with a lack of cooperation, lower satisfaction and commitment, and
possibly even retribution and actively hostile behavior. Taken to its extreme, distrust can give
rise to paranoid cognitions -- false or exaggerated cognitions that one is subject to malevolent
treatment by others.[1] Such perceptions drive individuals to the point of hypervigilance
(excessively trying to make sense of every action the other person takes) and rumination
(brooding or stewing on the meaning of the other person's behavior and their intentions),
resulting in a faulty diagnosis about whether the other can be trusted or not. Distrust leads the
parties to reduce their willingness to share information and engage in problem solving in conflict
situations, and hence to distributive bargaining approaches with the other party, an approach that
usually overlooks integrative, value-creating opportunities. Distrust can also cause conflicts to
escalate to the point of intractability, as positions harden and the parties become increasingly
reluctant to yield concessions. The negative emotions that emerge with distrust---fear, suspicion
and anger--cause the trustor to vilify and demonize the other party, and can even produce
paranoid cognitions. This view becomes especially damaging when the parties use these
perspectives of each other to justify retaliatory actions that cause the conflict to escalate out of
control.
Communication becomes less effective as a means of extricating the parties from the conflict, as
messages are assumed to be distorted or deceptive rather than honest and candid. Hence, even
bona-fide opportunities to create integrative agreements and/or heal the relationship are ignored
or discounted.

Levels of distrust development


Returning to our earlier distinction between calculus- and identification-based levels of trust, we
can draw the same distinction between calculus-based distrust (CBD) and identification-based
distrust (IBD).
CBD is confident negative expectations of another's conduct grounded in impersonal, armslength transactions where the overall costs of maintaining trust are expected to outweigh the
benefits of maintaining trust. We expect that in any encounter with the other, the costs will
outweigh the benefits.
IBD is confident negative expectations of another's conduct grounded in perceived
incompatibility of closely-held values, dissimilar or competing goals, and/or a negative
emotional attachment. We expect that we have little in common with the other, and that in fact
the other may be a committed adversary who is out to do us in.

ViolatedExpectations
We recognize that even in situations involving distrust, expectations can be violated. In this case,
however, we are concerned with situations in which we have confident negative expectations
about the other, and receive information that does not conform to those negative expectations.
Thus, we get information that another is trustworthy when we don't expect to be able to trust
them.
Expecting trust and having it violated is likely to have more psychological impact than expecting
distrust and experiencing trustworthiness. This is because negative information weighs more
heavily in human judgment; thus, experiencing disconfirmed expectations in distrust is not as
powerful, relatively speaking, as expecting trust and getting untrustworthy actions. In addition,
once distrust is activated, it forms a heavy shadow of suspicion---or even paranoia, as noted
above--that may not necessarily be allayed by subsequent good behavior. Because distrust has
been operating, any subsequent acts of trustworthiness may be viewed with extreme suspicion
and cynicism-- the other party may simply be setting us up for exploitation!
But if disconfirming evidence is compelling, significant enough, and/or becomes a frequent
occurrence, our perceptions of the other may result in lower distrust and possibly higher trust.
For example, research has indicated that repeated, close contact with the other party can alter the
negative views and assumptions we have of them (especially when the context changes to
provide both parties with shared, superordinate goals).

TemperingDistrust
As the foregoing discussion has noted, reducing distrust is an extremely difficult task. In
addition, it is not always appropriate. Despite earlier, normative notions that trust is always good
and distrust is always bad, we recognize that distrust has its proper time and place. Accordingly,
we are primarily concerned with how to temper distrust: that is, how to manage its presence in a
manner that is appropriate to the context. Just as before, we highlight that context in terms of the
distinction in levels of distrust.

Tempering CBD
In CBD relationships, the focus is on a transactional exchange and calculations of the other's
cost-benefit assessment of behaving in a trustworthy/untrustworthy manner. This tangible focus
implies that it is necessary to construct boundaries that limit the degree of interdependence and
vulnerability inherent in the transaction. Thus, a trustor has to take care that trust extended in one
sector of a relationship---e.g., trusting my neighbor to walk my dog---does not get automatically
extended to other sectors---e.g., trusting my neighbor with a key to my house. In addition,
systems that allow for monitoring and enforcement help ensure that distrust can be managed in
areas that do contain vulnerability (for example, limited access for joint venture research
scientists employed by a competitor). It is essential for the parties to try to establish open
communication to clarify their objectives, so both sides can try to ascertain the boundaries that
merit trust versus distrust. Finally, CBD can be managed by cultivating the potential for
alternative relationships to satisfy interests. When one has alternative ways to get one's needs

met, the need to trust a specific other decreases. This limits the degree of dependence on
someone who may violate trust.

Tempering IBD
IBD relationships denote incompatible values and goals, and also a negative emotional
attachment to the other. Distrust is felt viscerally (in the gut) as much as cognitively (in the
head). In most cases, we would choose to separate ourselves from people with whom we have
strong IBD, and minimize both our interaction with them and our dependence on them.
However, there are times when we must continue relationships with these people. There are
several ways to cope with this situation. First, our differences with this person may be more
imagined than real. Efforts to talk out our differences, often with the help of a third party who
can facilitate communications, may help the parties realize their commonalities. However, if this
is not effective, the parties will need to identify those specific areas where they need to work
together, and 'bound' their interactions with each other so that discussions around those issues are
careful, controlled, and above board. The parties may also try to work out their differences in
other key areas of contention, but if the distrust between them is strong and longstanding, such
efforts are unlikely to be productive.

PracticalImplicationsforManagingDysfunctionalDistrust
Breaking the cycle of dysfunctional distrust is a

complex and challenging endeavor that begins with


identification and analysis of root causes. Properly
analyzing the source of distrust is critical because
the originating events and circumstances may be

significantly different from the ways the parties


MariaVolpediscusseshownegativeimagesof
understand and express their differences, and
"theother"canpresentlongstandingobstaclesto
because this analysis is the foundation for an
conflictresolution,makingconflictsintractable.
effective solution. These processes can occur
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/11025
between individuals, in the media, and through
education.

What Individuals Can Do


While the presence of distrust is usually obvious, it may not always be apparent when distrust
has become more dysfunctional than beneficial. Thus, the first step in managing dysfunctional
distrust is for the parties to recognize its presence. Some common indicators may include: (a)
persistent suspicion about the other's motives and intentions; (b) chronic denial of benefits from
cooperation and continued interdependence, based on over-generalizing or overestimating the
degree of distrust, (c) need to closely monitor the other's actions, and (d) unwillingness to engage
in risks that might lead to opportunities for productive collaboration. If the parties cannot
recognize or understand these symptoms, third party assistance may also be helpful. Third party
assistance may take the form of mediation or arbitration; third party tactics may assist the parties
in achieving a deeper understanding of the substance of the conflict, or in devising a process to
manage the distrust more effectively.

Identification of distrust should be followed by an analysis of its origins. Again, the assistance of
a discovery or questioning process by neutral third party can help identify the source of distrust,
which may stem from a variety of causes: the greed of one of the parties, an excessively
competitive orientation of one of the parties, or a reaction to unfair treatment by one of the
parties. In the latter case, for example, A may commit some type of transgression against B in
response to a perceived injustice. If B does not recognize and label this behavior accurately, it
will be viewed as a reason for B to distrust A, and hence deny B the opportunity to correct the
source of the distrust. Instead of the distrust being resolved, it is further fueled by misperception
and miscommunication in a manner that leads to conflict escalation.
If a third party is unavailable, the parties may attempt perspective taking by temporarily stepping
out of their role to consider how the other party views the conflict. This approach can create the
empathy necessary to overcome any distorted perceptions that vilify the other party, and pave the
way for distrust reducing and trust building activities.

What the Media Can Do


Messages by the media can also assist in revealing instances where distrust has become
dysfunctional. News reports can provide valuable insight into how conflicts are viewed and
interpreted by third parties. To the extent that reporting is objective, thorough, and unbiased, the
parties to a conflict can avail themselves of the advantages of a third party mentioned above. In
addition, how news reports frame the conflict may have a profound impact on how the conflict is
interpreted. If the conflict is framed so as to enhance the distrust of one or both groups, the media
is serving a dysfunctional role. Since some media prefer to sensationalize and over-dramatize
conflict and distrust in order to attract readers/viewers, the media can play an active role in either
reducing or increasing distrust in a particular dispute.
Thorough news reporting can also provide a detailed public record that traces a complete history
of how the dysfunctional distrust began and escalated. Analysis of these reports may fill in the
gaps omitted by the selective perception of biased conflict participants or those who have
received only limited and filtered information. Consider the earlier example of distrust
stimulated as a reaction to a perceived injustice by the other party. Without the benefit of a
complete transcript or detailed narrative of how distrust evolved, the precipitating cause itself
may be overlooked by at least one of the parties and prevent an effective resolution.

What the Educational System Can Do


Educational institutions can also provide a critical forum to train individuals in ways to recognize
and respond to distrust effectively. Formal instruction in negotiation and conflict resolution skills
can lead to greater acceptance of diverse (and distrusted) populations, while combating the
harmful effects of prejudice and stereotyping. Educational institutions can also employ the use of
dialogue groups, problem-solving workshops, and role playing activities to sensitize individuals
to the advantages of integrative bargaining, the issues surrounding trust and distrust in
relationships, and the awareness of when integrative potential is left untapped due to
dysfunctional distrust.

The same educational tools may allow individuals to develop workshops and seminars to
objectively analyze how distrust is activated and perpetuated in relationships. Role-plays that
begin with distrustful parties discussing the basis of their distrust can then refocus their efforts by
assigning the parties to work together to achieve a common, superordinate goal. These types of
learning events can enhance the ability of the individuals to analyze the underlying reasons for
the conflict (which may be very different from their original assumptions), while minimizing the
role of negative emotions that may cloud sound judgment.

PracticalImplicationsforManagingLevelsofDistrust

What Individuals Can Do


At the individual level, perhaps the most damaging aspect of extreme and/or chronic distrust is
the psychological impact that produces paranoid thoughts. Thus, an important step for parties
trapped in distrust is to regain a sense of control over their thinking and their fear by exploring
and cultivating other relationships in the pursuit of their needs. Although this is not always
possible, this strategy can help alleviate the anxiety that comes with only being able to meet
one's needs by way of a distrustful adversary, and reduces the sense of vulnerability one feels
from a trust violation on any particular encounter with a distrusted other.
Aside from cultivating power from the creation of alternatives, individuals can employ the
principles of GRIT (Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension Reduction) model.
Proposed originally by psychologist Charles Osgood as a strategy to reduce dysfunctional
distrust between the United States and Soviet Union during the cold war, GRIT consists of a
series of steps intended to correct biased and distorted perceptions, reduce tension, and cultivate
an atmosphere of mutual trust that will enable a more cooperative bargaining approach.[2] While
this model has received research support for many of its propositions, public pressure via neutral
third parties can further enhance its effectiveness.[3]
Essentially, an arms race in reverse, GRIT calls for the initiating party to make a general
statement indicating a desire to de-escalate the conflict and rebuild trust. Once this framework is
established, specific, unconditional, unilateral initiatives can be announced and performed in a
manner that permits verification, with some form of reciprocated action invited from the other,
but not demanded. Gradual and unilateral initiatives at tension reduction should continue even if
they are not immediately reciprocated by the other. Distrust will subside as the other party comes
to see the consistency between your benevolent stated intentions and your subsequent actions
(consistency is a key element of trust building). Moreover, persistent unilateral initiatives by the
actor convey one's sincerity and an unwillingness to act manipulatively.
However, it is important to choose unilateral initiatives that are sufficiently 'trusting' enough to
be significant (that is, to make the other believe you are truly incurring some risk of your own)
without leaving yourself in an unduly vulnerable position. In this vein, it is important for the
actor to retain some retaliatory capacity (i.e., to retain one's own ability to mount a defense
should it become necessary, but also to build one's reputation for trustworthiness by exposing
vulnerability to the other.). In addition, individuals should respond in kind to any trusting actions
initiated by the other party, matching their retaliation precisely with retaliation of your own but

also matching their acts of trust with your own acts of conciliation.

GRIT is thought to be an effective strategy for reducing distrust among individuals,


organizations and nations because it produces congruence between an individual's words and
subsequent actions, and builds credibility to one's stated intentions of benevolence. Hopefully,
this leads to a spiral of de-escalation as both parties can now act in their collective self-interest to
reduce distrust and create an environment that is conducive to productive negotiations.
A similar but competing strategy is explained by game theorist Richard Axelrod, and referred to
as a 'tit-for-tat' strategy.[4] Axelrod studied strategies that players could use to induce
cooperative behavior in another player, using simple experimental games such as Prisoner's
Dilemma. The 'tit-for-tat' strategy can best be described as a conditionally benevolent strategy,
where one's cooperation is contingent on the cooperation of the other party. Such an approach is
fair because it reacts the same to both acts of escalation and conciliation from the other party.
The strategy is forgiving in that it immediately returns to cooperation after the counterpart has
done so, and it produces a level of consistency that builds trust. Research has shown that this 'tit
for tat' strategy produces the greatest amount of cooperative behavior (compared to other game
strategies) in the long run. However, it differs from GRIT in that it is reactive to the other's
strategy, while GRIT is proactive and initiates trust. 'Tit for tat' also does not prescribe any other
conciliatory behavior in the absence of reciprocation.
Depending on the level of distrust in the relationship, there are other additional guidelines that
can be followed to reduce distrust. We suggest the following:

Provideforsufficientdeterrence(punishmentsforviolatingtherelationshipcontract).Aparty
willbelesslikelytodisruptthetrustbuildingprocesstotheextentthattheotherpartyhas
somepowerovertheactor.Onewaythatotherpartycanmaintainpowerisbybeingableto
communicateaboutthepotentialviolator'sreputation.Whenindividualsvaluetheirreputation,
theyaresensitivetotheriskofadversepublicityregardingtheirtrustworthiness,andhencemay
belesslikelytoviolatetrust.
Cultivateattractivealternativestosatisfyyourinterests.Anotherwayofgainingpoweristo
cultivatealternativerelationshipstosatisfyourinterests.Ifwecanhaveourneedsmetby
others,wedonotneedtherelationshipwiththepotentialtrustviolator.Havingotherwaysto
getourneedsmetreducesourvulnerability,andhencetheriskswemighthavetotakeby
continuingtoworkwiththeother.Thisstrategyofgeneratingotheroptionsisoftenreferredto
asone'sBestAlternativetoaNegotiatedAgreement(BATNA),whichprovidesaplantofallback
onifanagreementcannotbereachedwiththeotherpartyinaconflict.
Createvalidexpectations.Partiesshouldactivelydiscussandmanagetheother'sperceptions
andexpectationsofwhathasbeenagreedto,andwhoisexpectedtofollowthroughwith
specificactions.Eliminateanyambiguityaboutexpectations,andmakesuretocommitand
followthrough.
Agreetoproceduresformonitoringwhethertheotherisfollowingthrough.Thisallowsthe
partiestoverifyeachother'sactionstoensurethatexpectationsarebeingmet.
Increasetheother'sawarenessofhowtheirbehaviorisviewedbyothers.Evendishonestpeople
valueareputationforhonesty.Whenothersknowtheyarebeingwatched(evenoutsideofthe

focaltransaction),andwhentheybelieveothersmaydistrustthemaswell,theymaygainadded
incentivetobehaveinamoretrustworthyfashion.

In IBD relationships, the following suggestion may also be helpful:

Openlyacknowledgekeyareasofcontention.Avoidsituationsthatmakestrongareasof
identificationbaseddistrustsalient.Ifyouknowthatrepeatedlydiscussingareasofclear
ideologicaldisagreementonlymakestheproblemworse,stayawayfromdiscussingthattopic!
Attempttofindawayto"agreetodisagree."

What the Media Can Do


Effective distrust reduction hinges on accurate and thorough information so both parties can see
the conflict more objectively. The media can help by striving to investigate and document key
points in the evolution of a conflict, and presenting reports in an unbiased, objective fashion.
Sensationalist reports giving heavy attention to extremists are not likely to be helpful, and may
actually increase the spiral of distrust and conflict. In addition, journalists may have access to
similar conflicts that have been successfully resolved, and reporting on these comparison stories
may provide the conflicting parties with hope and concrete guidance from an analogous
situation.
Useful suggestions are also available in the essay on stereotypes .

What the Educational System Can Do


Educators can assist by using classroom experiences such as dialogue groups, problem-solving
workshops, and role-plays to practice GRIT tactics and tit-for-tat strategies. Subsequent
debriefing sessions can be used to explore a variety of related issues such as effective
communication techniques (both in terms of what to say and how to say it), emotional reactions
(how to manage in the face of fear, anger, and hostility), and drawing boundaries around known
areas of disagreement, so as to control any damage from further distrust. These types of
techniques may also be useful in reducing stereotypes and prejudice, and encourage participants
to come to embrace diversity

[1] Kramer, R. M. (1995). "In dubious battle: Heightened accountability, dysphoric cognition,
and self-defeating bargaining behavior," in Negotiation as a social process, Eds. R. M. Kramer
and D. M. Messick, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. P. 95-120. This chapter reviews paranoid
cognition and explicates its dysfunctional effects in trust-relevant interactions.
[2] Osgood, C. E. Osgood, C.E. (1962). An alternative to war or surrender. Urbana, IL:
University of Illinois Press
[3] (Lindskold, 1986, p. 315)

[4] Axelrod, R. The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books 1984. This book traces
game theory research on cooperation and defection in interdependent relationships and identifies
the tit-for-tat strategy as optimal in the long run.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Keyton,JoannandFayeSmith.AComparativeEmpiricalAnalysisofTheoreticalFormulationsof
Distrust.SocialScienceElectronicPublishing,Inc..
Availableat:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=399500.
Abstract:Recentlytherehasbeenacallforabetterunderstandingoftrustanddistrust.Thisstudy
examinedthecomponentsofdistrust.Contentanalysiswasusedtocodethenarrativesofemployeesof
alargepaperprocessorganization.Separatecontentanalysesexaminedtwothemesinthedistrust
literature:a)dimensionsofdistrustareoppositedimensionsoftrust,andb)distrustisaviolationof
trust.

Ginges,JeremyandDeepakK.Malhotra.DislikeorDistrust?TheDynamicsofNonCooperationAmong
JewishandArabIsraelis.
Availableat:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=398240.
Abstract:Thisstudyexaminesthedynamicsofnoncooperationinthecontextofanintractableethnic
conflict.ArabIsraeliparticipantsinteractedwithmembersoftheirownethnicityorwithJewishIsraeli
participantsinamixedmotivedecisiontask.Ineachcase,participantsweregivenamonetaryincentive
tonotcooperate,butifbothpartieswerenoncooperative,thetotalvalueoftheoutcomewouldbe
minimized.Theexperimentalsovariedthelevelofriskparticipantsfacedinlowriskconditions
participantswereinformedthattheotherpartyhadalreadychosentocooperate,whileinhighrisk
conditionstheyweretoldthatneitherpartywouldknowwhattheotherhadchosenbeforemakingtheir
owndecision.Inaddition,presentingsomeparticipantswithagroupvsgroupdecisionframewhile
otherswithanindividualvsindividualdecisionframetestedfortheimpactofmakingtheintergroup
natureoftheunderlyingconflictsalient.Finally,wetestedwhetheraparticipant'sattitudesregarding
empathy,trust,anddistrusttowardsmembersoftheoutgrouppredictedhis/herbehaviorinthe
variousriskandframingconditions.

Kim,Peter.RemovingtheShadowofSuspicion:TheEffectsofApologyVersusDenialforRepairing
CompetenceVersusIntegrityBasedTrustViolations.SocialScienceElectronicPublishing,Inc.
Availableat:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=398221.
Abstact:Twostudieswereconductedtoexaminetheimplicationsofanapologyversusadenialfor
repairingtrustafteranallegedviolation.Resultsrevealthattrustwasrepairedmoresuccessfullywhen
mistrustedparties:1)apologizedforviolationsconcerningmattersofcompetencebutdeniedculpability

forviolationsconcerningmattersofintegrity,and2)hadapologizedforviolationswhentherewas
subsequentevidenceofguilt,buthaddeniedculpabilityforviolationswhentherewassubsequent
evidenceofinnocence.Supplementaryanalysesalsorevealthattheinteractiveeffectsofviolationtype
andviolationresponseonparticipants'trustingintentionsweremediatedbytheirtrustingbeliefs.

Tomlinson,EdwardC.andRoyJ.Lewicki.TheEffectsofReputationandPostViolationCommunication
onTrustandDistrust.SocialScienceElectronicPublishing,Inc.
Availableat:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=400941.
"Thispaperproposesalaboratoryexperimentthatwilllendempiricalsupporttorecenttheoretical
advancesregardingthesimultaneousoccurrenceoftrustanddistrustinrelationships.Wehighlightthe
roleofreputationsbeforeatransactionalrelationshipbegins,aswellastheimpactofapologiesin
rebuildingtrustandreducingdistrustfollowingatrustviolation."ArticleAbstract

Lewis,Beata."TrustAndBetrayal.",1900
Availableat:http://www.mediate.com/articles/lewis2.cfm.

Thisarticlegivesadviceonhowtobuildorrebuildtrustinorganizationalsettings.
Offline(Print)Sources
Osgood,C.E.AnAlternativetoWarorSurrender.Urbana,IL:UniversityofIllinoisPress,1962.
ThisbookoutlinestheGRITproposalforreducingdistrustamongconflictingparties.

Lindskold,S."GRIT:ReducingDistrustThroughCarefullyIntroducedConciliation."InPsychologyof
IntergroupRelations.EditedbyAustin,W.G.andS.Worchel,eds.Chicago:NelsonHallPublishers,
1986.
ThischapterreviewsresearchsupportforCharlesOsgood's(1962)proposedGRIT(Graduatedand
ReciprocatedInitiativesinTensionreduction).TheGRITprocessisbasedontheideathatreciprocal
concessionscanleadtodeescalationofaconflict.Throughcooperativeactionstrustisbuiltoutof
distrust.

Kramer,RoderickM."InDubiousBattle:HeightenedAccountability,DysphoricCognition,andSelf
DefeatingBargainingBehavior."InNegotiationasaSocialProcess.EditedbyMessick,DavidM.and
RoderickM.Kramer,eds.ThousandOaks,CA:Sage,1995.
Thischapterreviewsparanoidcognitionandexplicatesitsdysfunctionaleffectsintrustrelevant
interactions.

"NotSoDifferentAfterAll:ACrossDisciplineViewofTrust."AcademyofManagementReview23,
January1,1998.
Thisarticleexploresthetopicoftrustinorganizations,andisanexcellentreviewoftheresearchon
trustinavarietyoffields.


Axelrod,Robert.TheEvolutionofCooperation.NewYork:BasicBooks,September1,1985.
Thisbooktracesgametheoryresearchoncooperationanddefectionininterdependentrelationships
andidentifiesthetitfortatstrategyasoptimalinthelongrun.

Worchel,S."TrustandDistrust."InPsychologyofIntergroupRelations.EditedbyWorchel,S.andW.
G.Austin,eds.Chicago:NelsonHallPublishers,1986.
Thischapterreviewsresearchontrustanddistrust,andtheconditionsleadingtoeach.Inpart,itgives
moredetailedtreatmentoftitfortat(orconditionalbenevolence)asastrategicresponsetomanage
distrust.

Lewicki,RoyJ.,D.J.McAllisterandR.J.Bies."TrustandDistrust:NewRelationshipsandRealities."
AcademyofManagementReview23,January1,1998.
Thisarticlecontraststraditionalnotionsoftrustanddistrustwithinrelationshipswithanewmodelthat
recognizesthevalueofsimultaneoustrustanddistrustinmultifacetedrelationships.

Lewicki,RoyJ.andCarolynWiethoff."Trust,TrustDevelopmentandTrustRepair."InTheHandbook
ofConflictResolution:TheoryandPractice.EditedbyDeutsch,MortonandPeterT.Coleman,eds.San
Francisco:JosseyBassPublishers,2000.
Thischapterintegratespriortheoreticalworkontrustdevelopmentwiththemultidimensionalviewof
trust,whichpositsthattrustanddistrustcancoexistwithinrelationships.Aseriesofimplicationsfor
relationshipmanagementarediscussed.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Broughton,SallyandEranFraenkel."Macedonia:ExtremeChallengesforthe"Model"
Multiculturalism.",2002
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

ThisarticledescribesthedynamicsofthecrisisinMacedonia,whichflaredupinthespringof2001.
OutbreaksofviolencearedirectlyrelatedtonationalisticsentimentsanddistrustbetweenMacedonians
andAlbanians.

WhatDidYouDoToBuildandSustainTrustWiththeParties?.CivilRightsMediationOralHistory
Project.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/civil_rights/topics/1060.html.
Duringthepast35years,CommunityRelationsService(CRS)mediatorsandconciliatorshaveresponded
tothousandsofvolatilecivilrightsdisputes,includingvirtuallyeverymajorracialandethnicconflictthat
occurredintheUSAduringthistimeperiod.ThissiteshareshowseventeenCRSmediatorsbuilttrust
withthestakeholdersinvolvedintheseconflicts.

Offline(Print)Sources
Rothman,Jay."ConflictManagementPolicyAnalysis."InFromConfrontationtoCooperation.Edited
byReed,RalphE,ed.NewburyPark,CA:SagePublications,1992.
Inthisessay,RothmananalyzesaborderdisputebetweenEgyptandIsrael.Muchoftheproblem,he
argues,wascausedbydistrustbetweentheparties,causedbytheenemyimagestheyhadofeachother
andhenceofeachother'smotivations.

Audiovisual Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
AnAmericanIsm:JoeMcCarthy.Directedand/orProducedby:Silber,Glenn.FirstRunIcarusFilms.
1978.
Thisfilmusesthevoicesofpoliticians,andMcCarthysupportersandvictims,toexplainhowanti
CommunistsupporterscreatedanatmosphereoffearanddistrustthatledmanyAmericanstoturn
againsttheirfellowneighborsandfriends.Clickhereformoreinfo.

BlacksandJews.Directedand/orProducedby:Snitow,AlanandDeborahKaufman.California
Newsreel.1997.
ThisfilmbeginsbyexaminingtheangerandmistrustthathasgrownbetweenBlacksandJewsinthe
UnitedStates.Itcontinuesbyshowinghowdialogueandcooperationcanbeusedtobuildtrust,and
thus,narrowthedividebetweenthesetwogroupsofpeople.Clickhereformoreinfo.

IrishWays.Directedand/orProducedby:MacCaig,Arthur.FirstRunIcarusFilms.1989.
ThisfilminvestigatesthepervasiveatmosphereoffearandmistrustinNorthernIreland.Clickherefor
moreinfo.

Teaching Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
DeFuria,Guy.InterpersonalTrustSurveys.SanFrancisco,CA:JosseyBass,January1,1997.
"InterpersonalTrustiscrucialtoachievinghighperformancewithinanyorganization.Thiscomplete
trainingprogramispackedwiththeinformationandtoolsnecessarytogetyourorganizationrunning
effectivelyandefficiently."

TrustandTrustBuilding

By
Roy J. Lewicki
Edward C. Tomlinson

TrustOverview
The phenomenon of trust has been extensively explored by a
variety of disciplines across the social sciences, including
economics, social psychology, and political science. The breadth
of this literature offers rich insight, and this is noted in the
common elements that appear in the definition of trust.

"Trustisapeculiarresource;itis
builtratherthandepletedbyuse."
Unknown

For example, Rousseau and her colleagues offer the following definition: "Trust is a
psychological state comprising the intention to accept vulnerability based upon positive
expectations of the intentions or behavior of another."[1] Similarly, Lewicki and his colleagues
describe trust as "an individual's belief in, and willingness to act on the basis of, the words,
actions, and decisions of another."[2]
The need for trust arises from our interdependence with others. We often depend on other people
to help us obtain, or at least not to frustrate, the outcomes we value (and they on us). As our
interests with others are intertwined, we also must recognize that there is an element of risk
involved insofar as we often encounter situations in which we cannot compel the cooperation we
seek. Therefore, trust can be very valuable in social interactions.
Trust has been identified as a key element of successful conflict resolution (including negotiation
and mediation). This is not surprising insofar as trust is associated with enhanced cooperation,
information sharing, and problem solving.

OriginsandDevelopmentofTrust

Armed with a definition of trust and a


description of the benefits it brings, we now
turn to examine its origins and development.
Theory on the origins of interpersonal trust has
proceeded broadly along three fronts: (1)
explaining differences in the individual
propensity to trust, (2) understanding
dimensions of trustworthy behavior, and (3)
suggesting levels of trust development.

Individual propensity to trust


Personality theorists have developed one of the
oldest theoretical perspectives on trust, and
argued that some people are more likely to trust
than others. Viewed as a fairly stable trait over
time, trust is regarded as a generalized
expectancy that other people can be relied on.
This expectancy is a function of the degree to
which trust has been honored in that individual's
history of prior social interactions, and may
have its most pronounced effect in novel or
ambiguous situations. While this expectancy
shapes perceptions of the character of people in
general, more recent work has identified the
characteristics of trustees that allow for the formation of trust and its growth to higher levels.

Dimensions of trustworthy behavior


Our trust in another individual can be grounded in our evaluation of his/her ability, integrity, and
benevolence. That is, the more we observe these characteristics in another person, our level of
trust in that person is likely to grow.
Ability refers to an assessment of the other's knowledge, skill, or competency. This dimension
recognizes that trust requires some sense that the other is able to perform in a manner that meets
our expectations.
Integrity is the degree to which the trustee adheres to principles that are acceptable to the trustor.
This dimension leads to trust based on consistency of past actions, credibility of communication,
commitment to standards of fairness, and the congruence of the other's word and deed.
Benevolence is our assessment that the trusted individual is concerned enough about our welfare
to either advance our interests, or at least not impede them. The other's perceived intentions or
motives of the trustee are most central. Honest and open communication, delegating decisions,
and sharing control indicate evidence of one's benevolence.

Although these three dimensions are likely to be linked to each other, they each contribute
separately to influence the level of trust in another within a relationship. However, ability and
integrity are likely to be most influential early in a relationship, as information on one's
benevolence needs more time to emerge. The effect of benevolence will increase as the
relationship between the parties grows closer. The next section describes trust development in
relationships in more detail.

Levels of trust development


Early theories of trust described it as a unidimensional phenomenon that simply increased or
decreased in magnitude and strength within a relationship. However, more recent approaches to
trust suggests that trust builds along a continuum of hierarchical and sequential stages, such that
as trust grows to 'higher' levels, it becomes stronger and more resilient and changes in character.
This is the primary perspective we adopt in the remainder of these essays.
At early stages of a relationship, trust is at a calculus-based level. In other words, an individual
will carefully calculate how the other party is likely to behave in a given situation depending on
the rewards for being trustworthy and the deterrents against untrustworthy behavior. In this
manner, rewards and punishments form the basis of control that a trustor has in ensuring the
trustee's behavioral consistency. Individuals deciding to trust the other mentally contemplate the
benefits of staying in the relationship with the trustee versus the benefits of 'cheating' on the
relationship, and the costs of staying in the relationship versus the costs of breaking the
relationship. Trust will only be extended to the other to the extent that this cost-benefit
calculation indicates that the continued trust will yield a net positive benefit. Over time, calculusbased trust (CBT) can be built as individuals manage their reputation and assure the stability of
their behavior by behaving consistently, meeting agreed-to deadlines, and fulfilling promises.
CBT is a largely cognitively-driven trust phenomenon, grounded in judgments of the trustees
predictability and reliability.
However, as the parties come to a deeper understanding of each other through repeated
interactions, they may become aware of shared values and goals. This allows trust to grow to a
higher and qualitatively different level. When trust evolves to the highest level, it is said to
function as identification-based trust (IBT). At this stage trust has been built to the point that the
parties have internalized each other's desires and intentions. They understand what the other
party really cares about so completely that each party is able to act as an agent for the other.
Trust at this advanced stage is also enhanced by a strong emotional bond between the parties,
based on a sense of shared goals and values. So, in contrast to CBT, IBT is a more emotionallydriven phenomenon, grounded in perceptions of interpersonal care and concern, and mutual need
satisfaction.

ViolatedExpectations
Trust violations occur when the trustor's (i.e., the victim's) confident positive expectations of the
trustee (i.e., the offender) are disconfirmed. These violations result in lower subsequent trust, and
may reduce the extent to which victims of these violations cooperate with the offender. Research

sharing, and even exert negative effects on organizational citizenship behaviors, job
performance, turnover, and profits.
The experience of a trust violation is likely to result in the trustor making (1) a cognitive
appraisal of the situation and (2) experiencing a distressed emotional state. The cognitive
appraisal refers to the victim's assignment of culpability to the offender and the evaluation of the
costs associated with the violation. The emotional reaction is likely to be composed of some
mixture of anger, disappointment, and/or frustration at oneself for trusting and at the offender for
exploiting that trust.
We proceed to consider how violations damage interpersonal trust.
In some cases, a single trust violation may seriously damage or irreparably destroy trust. In other
cases, one trust violation may not be that damaging when considered in isolation. Rather, a
pattern of violations may be needed to create serious damage to the relationship. In other words,
not all trust violations are created equally. So, to analyze the effect of trust violations on a
relationship, we need a way to describe how much harm (cognitive and/or emotional) a given
violation has created. We will broadly refer to this extent of harm as the Offense Severity, and
note that as it increases, it is likely to be met with more active and extreme responses by the
trustor (victim), and signal greater harm to interpersonal trust.
For example, minor offenses may be met with simply a reduced level of trust. That is, one may
have simply lower trust in another in a given context. The victim will be motivated to avoid
transactions with the trustee (offender) in the future, and to withhold further support and
cooperation. In situations where the relationship cannot be terminated (e.g., the parties have to
continue to interact or work together), the relationship continues as a hollow "shell," a facade of
superficial cooperation and/or specific transactions that are tightly controlled. These are
relatively passive approaches to low trust management strategies -- i.e., "Okay, you got me. I'm
simply not going to trust you any more, even though we have to deal with each other."
As Offense Severity grows, however, the victim is more likely to experience stronger negative
cognitive and emotional reactions, including a sense of moral outrage. Serious offenses harm
trust severely, often to the point of complete destruction. These serious offenses may also
stimulate the rapid growth of distrust. Accordingly, the victim is more likely to engage in more
severe reactions to the trust violation, including exacting retribution, escalating the conflict,
and/or terminating the relationship.
Offense Severity exists along a continuum from low to high. Offenses can be severe in several
ways:

Magnitudeoftheoffense.Themagnitudeoftheoffenseisanindicationoftheseriousnessof
consequencesincurredbythevictim.Toillustrate,whenadrycleanerlosesanoldshirtyou
wereplanningtoreplacesoonanyway,thismaybeviewedasatrivialviolationofyourtrustin
thedrycleaner.However,itwillbemuchmorethanamerenuisanceifthatdrycleaner
damagedabrandnew,expensivesuit!
Numberofpriorviolations.Whenthereisaclearpatternofpriortrustviolations,evenifthey
areeachrelativelyminorwhenviewedinisolation,theoverallpatternmaybedeemedaserious

breach.Astheproverbial"strawthatbrokethecamel'sback,"itisthepatternoftrustviolations
thatprovidesevidencethattheoffenderisnotworthyoffuturetrust.However,whenthereare
fewpastviolations,anygiventrustviolationmaybeviewedastheexceptionratherthanthe
rule.
Specificdimensionoftrustthatwasviolated. Violationsofintegrityandbenevolencearelikelyto
beexperiencedasmoresevereanddamagingthanviolationsthatimplicateone'sability.
Examplesmayincludeintentionaldeception,purposefullyrenegingonapromiseorobligation,
andrude,disrespectfultreatment.

At this point, we also wish to point out that trust violations that may be very disruptive to
Calculus-Based Trust (CBT) relationships may be viewed as trivial nuisances or not violations at
all in Identification-Based Trust (IBT) relationships. Because the relationship itself is the basis
for IBT, and because such a major emotional investment goes into creating and sustaining it, the
parties are relatively more motivated to maintain them. IBT relationships can become rather
resilient to trust violations as long as the violations do not challenge the underlying basis of the
relationship. However, when the basis of an IBT relationship becomes called into question by a
trust violation (e.g., marital infidelity), this has the potential to devastate the entire relationship.

RebuildingTrust
Despite the assertions of some scholars that broken trust cannot be repaired, we draw on recent
research indicating a more optimistic view. However, we caution that rebuilding trust is not as
straightforward as building trust in the first place. After trust has been damaged, there are two
key considerations for the victim: (1) dealing with the stress the violation imposed on the
relationship, and (2) determining if future violations will occur. After a trust violation and the
cognitive and affective fallout that ensues, the first critical question is, is the victim willing to
reconcile? If the victim believes that the violator will not make efforts at righting the wrongs and
minimizing future violations, the victim has no incentive to attempt reconciliation and restore
trust.
Let us first clarify the distinction between reconciliation and forgiveness. Reconciliation occurs
when both parties exert effort to rebuild a damaged relationship, and strive to settle the issues
that led to the disruption of that relationship. Reconciliation is a behavioral manifestation of
forgiveness, defined as a deliberate decision by the victim to surrender feelings of resentment
and grant amnesty to the offender. However, it is possible to forgive someone (release him or her
from responsibility for damage he/she has inflicted) without exhibiting a willingness to reconcile
the relationship or trust him or her again in the future. An example may be when a battered
woman forgives her abuser (as a means of coping and psychological healing), but does not allow
the relationship to continue. Thus, following a trust violation, the trust cannot be rebuilt if the
victim is not willing to reconcile. On the other hand, if the victim is willing to reconcile,
rebuilding trust in the relationship becomes possible (although not guaranteed). We will now
describe this repair process as it relates to CBT and IBT.

RebuildingCBT
In CBT relationships, expectations of the other party are grounded in a cognitive appraisal of the
costs and benefits involved in a given transaction, with minimal emphasis on the emotional
investment in the relationship (i.e., emotional concerns are not irrelevant, but just not as central
as cognitive concerns). Violations in a CBT relationship involve a focus on the exchange itself
and the loss of the specific benefits the victim was relying on from the exchange. In short, in
order to repair CBT, parties tend to focus on the impact (i.e., the direct consequences) of the trust
violation as the primary issue to address in any repair effort.
Accordingly, it is essential for the offender to take the initiative in stimulating reconciliation, and
this is most likely when the offender actually desires to rebuild trust and is skilled at perspective
taking (the ability to visualize the world as it appears to someone else). It may be that there were
incongruent or unclear expectations between the parties that can be quickly clarified.
Alternatively, there may be some explanation or justification that places the unexpected behavior
in context such that the event is no longer perceived by the victim as a violation. For example,
pushing someone to the ground so a car won't hit him or her would reframe an otherwise hostile
act as an act of trustworthiness. Finally, apologies and promises signal remorse and assurance for
the future, respectively. These are important forms of communication that help to restore balance
in the relationship and convince the victim that it will be safe to trust again in the future.
This repair may involve acts of restitution that compensate the victim for the specific
consequences of a violation. Restitution also carries important symbolism in that the offender is
actually trying to redeem his/her trustworthiness with concrete actions. In CBT relationships,
actions may speak louder than words, so it is imperative for the offender to honor trust in

subsequent interactions with tangible offerings designed to restore 'fairness' in the relationship.
Notice that while communication and action are both central elements to reconciliation and trust
recovery, the repair process for CBT is dominantly a material, transactional effort. To illustrate,
simply giving someone a hug after this type of violation is not likely to help, and may in fact
make things worse. Tangible reparation has to occur.

RebuildingIBT
In contrast, in IBT relationships, trust of the other party is grounded in the shared interests and
values of the parties and their collective emotional investment in the relationship. Thus,
violations may lead the victim to conclude that the parties are not as 'together' as they once may
have appeared. Compared to the exchange of tangible resources in a CBT relationship, IBT
relationships are more heavily grounded in intangible resources such as perceptions of mutual
attraction, support and caring for each other. Therefore, in contrast to the focus on impact in
CBT violations, violations of IBT lead the victim to question the intent (i.e., motives and desires)
of the other party that prompted the perceived betrayal. As mentioned earlier, IBT relationships
are often resilient to transactional discrepancies that would be sufficient to seriously damage a
CBT relationship, as long as the identification with the other party is not called into question.
Since an IBT violation threatens the very basis of identification with the other, the victim's
reaction to the violation involves the feeling that he/she may no longer really 'know' the offender
after all. Feelings of abandonment, estrangement, and alienation may not be uncommon.
For the offender to re-establish perceptions of his/her benevolent intent, the offender should
quickly and voluntarily offer a thorough and sincere apology which conveys remorse for harm
inflicted, an explanation of the details surrounding the betrayal, and a promise of future
cooperation. Further, it is critical for the parties to substantively reaffirm their commitment to
each other and to the ideals and values upon which the relationship is built. The offender should
explicitly recommit to the relationship, and discuss strategies to avoid similar problems in the
future.
As before, both communication and action are essential to the trust rebuilding process, but IBT
repair involves an emotional, relational focus. For example, simply paying some form of material
compensation may not be sufficient to re-assert shared values and rebuild the common sense of
identity that was the foundation of the trust.

PracticalImplicationsforBuildingTrust

What Individuals Can Do


It should be noted that trust building is a bilateral process that requires mutual commitment and
effort, especially when attempting to de-escalate conflict. Nonetheless, there are several ways
individuals can act on their own to initiate or encourage the trust building process. This is
accomplished by either taking steps to minimize the risk that the other party will act in
untrustworthy ways (also see the essay on distrust), or by policing one's own actions to ensure
they are perceived as evidence of trustworthiness.

At the CBT level, individuals can take several steps to strengthen another's trust in them,
particularly when these steps are performed repeatedly and within several different contexts of
the relationship.

Performcompetently.Oneshouldperformone'sdutiesandobligationscompetently.Individuals
shouldcontinuouslystrivetodemonstrateproficiencyincarryingouttheirobligations.Insome
cases,thismayentailupdatingskillsandabilitiesastechnologyadvances.Asotherscontemplate
howmuchtotrustyou,theywillassessyourqualificationsandabilitytoperform.
Establishconsistencyandpredictability.Wecanenhancethedegreetowhichotherswillregard
usastrustworthywhenwebehaveinconsistentandpredictableways.Everyeffortshouldbe
madetoensurethatourwordsarecongruentwithoursubsequentactionsandthatwehonor
pledgedcommitments.OurintegrityisreinforcedtotheextentthatweDoWhatWeSayWe
WillDo(DWWSWWD).
Communicateaccurately,openlyandtransparently.Inaddition,oneshouldactopenlythatis,
beclearabouttheintentionsandmotivesforone'sactions.Thishelpstheotherpartycalculate
ourtrustworthinessaccurately,becausewearewillingtoacttransparentlyandtobemonitored
forcompliance.
Shareanddelegatecontrol.Trustoftenneedstobegivenforittobereturned.Thereissymbolic
valueinsolicitinginputandsharingdecisioncontrolwithothers.Likewise,whensuchcontrolis
hoardedandothersfeelthattheyarenottrusted(suchaswithmonitoringandsurveillance
systems),theymaybemorelikelytoactoutagainstthiswithbehaviorsthatreinforcea
distrustfulimage.
Showconcernforothers.Thetrustothershaveinyouwillgrowwhenyoushowsensitivityto
theirneeds,desires,andinterests.Actinginawaythatrespectsandprotectsotherpeople,and
refrainingfromengaginginselfinterestedpursuitstothedetrimentofotherswillalso
contributegreatlytothetrustothersplaceinyou.Whenyouviolatesomeone'strust,they
deemthatyouareactinginyourownselfinterest.Accordingly,theirattentionwillbediverted
totheirownselfinterestandselfprotectionratherthanonconflictresolution.

At the IBT level, prescriptions for trust building entail a number of additional steps.

Establishacommonnameandidentity.Nurturingacommonidentitycreatesasenseofunity
thatcanfurtherstrengthentrust.Engageintalkandactionsthatbuildasenseof'we'rather
than'me'.Acommonnameandsharedidentityreducesdivisivenessandencouragesindividuals
toworktogether.
Capitalizeoncolocation.Asconflictingpartiescolocate,theirmorefrequentinteractioncan
helpthemgettoknowoneanotherbetter,strengthentheirperceivedcommonidentity,and
reducedistrustbyexposingfalsestereotypesandprejudices.Whenusedinconjunctionwiththe
recommendationabove,colocationmaydemonstratetothepartiesthattheyhavemore
commonalitiesthandifferences.
Createjointproductsandgoals.Workingtowardthecollectiveachievementofsuperordinate
goalsfostersafeelingof"oneness"thatcanbringthepartiestogetherinawaythat
strengthensasalient,sharedidentity.Partiescreateandbuildproducts,servicesandactivities
thatdefinetheircommonalityanduniqueness.
Promotesharedvaluesandemotionalattraction.Individualsshouldmodelaconcernforother
peoplebygettingtoknowthem,engaginginactivelistening,showingafocusontheirinterests,
recognizingthecontributionsofothers,anddemonstratingconfidenceinother'sabilities.

What the Media Can Do


The media can play an important role in the trust building process by using news reporting as a
way to increase the value of established, functional trust while simultaneously encouraging the
parties not to violate that trust. Journalism aimed at wide audiences encourages parties to place
more value on their reputations, as good reputations carry additional benefits, while bad
reputations carry heightened costs. The media can also create and report stories, which build trust
by featuring common identities, values, and concerns across diverse populations. In some cases,
the media can also act as a third party that can facilitate greater openness and transparency. The
parties can potentially use this forum to provide evidence of the compliance and trustworthiness
of conflicting parties. For example, the media frequently uses consumer advocate reporting to
investigate disputes between consumers and service providers. Finally, the media can promote
accurate information of the parties in order to dispel inaccurate and negative stereotypes that
forestall any trust-building efforts.

What the Educational System Can Do


Educators can assist by using classroom experiences such as dialog groups, problem-solving
workshops, simulations and role-plays to practice trust-building at various stages of
relationships. Subsequent debriefing sessions can also highlight how students manage their
emotional reactions in the trust building process (i.e., making the conversion from suspicion and
fear to benevolence and hope). These experiences have the benefit of allowing students to
develop their trust building skills in a safe environment that is somewhat detached from more
emotionally-charged and less controlled environments where trust may be hard to establish and
easy to break.

PracticalImplicationsforRebuildingTrust

What Individuals Can Do


As we have noted earlier, effective trust repair is often necessary to resolve conflicts. Although
this process is difficult, there are steps the offender can take to enhance the likelihood of
stimulating the victim's willingness to reconcile, and further the trust rebuilding process.
However, we stress that rebuilding trust is a process, not an event. As such, it is likely to
consume a lot of time and resources. Containing conflict in the short term may be confined to
managing distrust. Nonetheless, we offer several recommendations for rebuilding trust in both
CBT and IBT relationships.
For rebuilding CBT, the following steps are suggested:

Takeimmediateactionaftertheviolation.Offendersshouldactquicklytoengageinrestorative
efforts.Thiscommunicatessensitivitytothevictimandtherelationship,andavoidsthedouble
burdenthevictimhastoincurbybothsufferingtheconsequencesoftheviolationand havingto
confronttheoffenderwiththeconsequencesofhisbehavior.
Provideanapology,andgiveathoroughaccountofwhathappened.Takeresponsibilityforyour
actionsifyouareculpable,andexpressremorsefortheharmthatthevictimenduredbecause

oftheviolation.Yourremorseindicatestothevictimthatyouhavealsosufferedasaresultof
youractions,andthevictimmaybelesslikelytopursuevengeanceandescalatetheconflict.
Also,besuretocarefullyexplainthecircumstancesthatledtotheviolation,sothevictimcan
understandtheeventsthatledyoutoyourdecisions.Thiswillhelpthemseetherationale
behindyouractionsandgivethemabettersenseofthevaluesandparametersthatarelikelyto
shapeyouractionsinthefuture.
Besincere.Thevictimiscloselyscrutinizingyourmotivesandintentions,soitisimperativeto
sincerelystrivetorepairtheharmfromtheviolation.Takeactionunilaterallyandvolitionally,
andmakeeveryefforttoshowthroughyourwordsandactionsthatyougenuinelydesireto
earnthevictim'strustagain.
Becognizantofthedaytodayhistoryoftherelationship.Iftheoverallhistoryofthe
relationshipisgood,andtherearefewifanypasttrustviolations,theprospectsfortrustrepair
aremorepromisingthaninrelationshipscharacterizedbymanytrustviolationsorfewtrust
confirmingevents.Makeitaprioritytohonortrustonadailybasisinordertoprovidea
conduciveenvironmentfortrustrepairshouldtheneedarise.
Providerestitution/penance.Substantiateyourverbalclaimswithconcreteactionsthat
demonstrateagoodfaithefforttocompensatethevictimfortheharmfuleffectsofthe
violation.InCBTrelationships,whatthevictimwantsmorethanyourkindwordsissome
tangibleaspectofthetransactionthathe/shewascountingon.
Restateandrenegotiateexpectationsforthefuture,andbetrustworthyinfutureinteractions.
Youarelikelytobeon"probation"foraperiod,asthevictimteststhewaterstoseeifyou
actuallyresumetrustworthybehavior.Besuretotakethisintoaccount,andtakeproactive
stepstomanagetheexpectationsofthevictimbyspecificallyarticulatingwhatstandardsshould
beexpected.Thencommittofollowingthesestandardsinthefuture.

In IBT relationships, the following steps should also be followed:

Reaffirmcommitmenttotherelationship.Reassertsharedgoalsandinterests,aswellasthe
valueplacedontherelationalbondbetweentheparties.Reestablishtheaffectiveconnection
intherelationshipbyexpressingyouremotionalattachmenttotheotherparty,andstriveto
demonstratethattherelationshipisatoppriority.Youcanregaincredibilityasyoumakeclear
sacrificesthatestablishtheprimacyoftherelationshipoveryourownselfinterest.

A number of other helpful suggestions may be found in the essay on distrust.


Finally, we also wish to highlight possible obstacles to the trust rebuilding process. One of the
most common is that some people are not clearly 'attuned' to other people's reactions, and hence
do not understand when their behavior has violated someone else's trust. Thus, some individuals
may have limited perspective-taking skills that make them less able to understand the
consequences of trust violations they enact. Moreover, these same people may not know how to
take the appropriate corrective action in order to begin to rebuild the other's trust. There is also
an important psychological role for taking responsibility for one's actions, communicating
remorse, and going to special lengths to compensate victims for harm inflicted by the offender.
These types of restorative actions may threaten one's ego or self-esteem, and the expected
benefits derived from such actions may not be deemed to be worth the expected costs for some
individuals.

Another aspect to consider is the legal implications of our guidance. While apologies convey
remorse and responsibility that aids in the trust rebuilding process, they also admit culpability
that can be legally problematic. If trust rebuilding is the priority, the offender will have critical
decisions to make regarding whether and how to apologize. Once again, there may be instances
where the costs associated with trust rebuilding are unfortunately outweighed (for better or
worse) by other considerations, such as minimizing legal liability.

What the Media Can Do


While the media cannot directly rebuild trust between the parties, they can facilitate dialog and
provide documentation of trust-rebuilding efforts. Reparative efforts by offenders may carry
additional weight when conducted voluntarily and in a public forum. Knowing the risks to one's
reputation by publicizing a complete account may provide additional credence and demonstrate
sincerity. Media outlets may best provide this type of public forum.

What the Educational System Can Do


As with trust-building initiatives, the educational system can help parties rebuild trust
by promoting workshops and dialog groups that bring the parties together. Safe and structured
programs can allow the victims to articulate their interests and expectations, and how these
interests and expectations were violated, as well as provide the offender with an environment
that can facilitate their efforts at reconciliation and trust repair.

[1] Rousseau, D. M., Sitkin, S. B., Burt, R. S., and Camerer, C. (1998). "Not so Different After
All: A Cross-Discipline View of Trust," in Academy of Management Review, 23, 393-404.
[2] Lewicki, R. J., McAllister, D. J., & Bies, R. J. (1998). Trust and distrust: New relationships
and realities. Academy of Management Review, 23, 438-458.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Ruckelshaus,WilliamD."FromConflicttoCollaboration:RestoringTrustinGovernment.",May1,
1997
Availableat:http://www.uwyo.edu/enr/ienr/DistinguishedSpeakers/WDRMay97.asp.

ThisarticlediscussesthenotionofrestoringfaithandtrustintheU.S.government.Theauthorfocuses
onenvironmentalprotectionandresourcemanagementasareasofcentralimportanceinthis
restorationprocess.Theauthoriscallingfordrasticchangesinthewaythatgovernments,businesses,

publicinterestgroups,individualsandevenuniversitiesconductthemselves,namelytheuseof
collaborativedecisionmakingprocessesthatencourageandincorporatepublicparticipation.

Sitkin,SimB.,ChrisLongandLauraCardinal.ManagerialUseofControls,TrustBuilding,andFairness
BuildingtoManageOrganizationalConflicts.SocialScienceElectronicPublishing,Inc..
Availableat:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=400860.
Thispaperintroducesandexaminesaframeworkthatoutlineshowthepresenceofsuperior
subordinateconflictsleadmanagerstoapplymultipleformsoforganizationalcontrolsandinitiatetrust
buildingandfairnessbuildingactivities.Bybroadeningperspectivesofmanagerialattentionandaction,
thispaperrefinestheworkofcontroltheoristsandtheworkofjusticeandtrustscholarsbyexamining
factorsthatleadmanagerstopromoteorganizationaltrustandfairness.

Tomlinson,EdwardC.andRoyJ.Lewicki.TheEffectsofReputationandPostViolationCommunication
onTrustandDistrust.SocialScienceElectronicPublishing,Inc.
Availableat:http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=400941.
"Thispaperproposesalaboratoryexperimentthatwilllendempiricalsupporttorecenttheoretical
advancesregardingthesimultaneousoccurrenceoftrustanddistrustinrelationships.Wehighlightthe
roleofreputationsbeforeatransactionalrelationshipbegins,aswellastheimpactofapologiesin
rebuildingtrustandreducingdistrustfollowingatrustviolation."ArticleAbstract
Offline(Print)Sources
Lewicki,RoyJ."TrustinRelationships:AModelofDevelopmentandDecline."InConflict,Cooperation
andJustice:EssaysInspiredbytheWorkofMortonDeutsch.EditedbyDeutsch,Morton,ed.San
Francisco:JosseyBass,May1,1995.
Thischapterdevelopsandextendsatheoryoftrustdevelopment,andincludesadiscussionofthe
rebuildingprocessthatoccursafteratrustviolation.

Lewicki,RoyJ.andCarolynWiethoff."Trust,TrustDevelopmentandTrustRepair."InTheHandbook
ofConflictResolution:TheoryandPractice.EditedbyDeutsch,MortonandPeterT.Coleman,eds.San
Francisco:JosseyBassPublishers,2000.
Thischapterintegratespriortheoreticalworkontrustdevelopmentwiththemultidimensionalviewof
trust,whichpositsthattrustanddistrustcancoexistwithinrelationships.Aseriesofimplicationsfor
relationshipmanagementarediscussed.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Ningbabria,Aloyse.AfricanPeaceTeamSeekstoResolveLongstandingHatreds.FriendsPeaceTeams.

Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
ThisreportdocumentstheworkthatwasdownbytheKibimbaPeaceCommitteeintheirefforts
towardsbuildingpeaceandreconciliationtothepeopleofBurundi.

CreativeAssociatesInternational.Judicial/LegalMeasures:WarCrimesTribunals/TruthCommissions.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
Providesadescriptionofwarcrimestribunalsandtruthcommissionsandexplainstheirpurported
contributiontoconflictresolution.HasexamplesfromRwanda,Ethiopia,Uganda,Yugoslavia,El
Salvador,SouthAfrica,Argentina,Chile,andHaiti.

WhatDidYouDoToBuildandSustainTrustWiththeParties?.CivilRightsMediationOralHistory
Project.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/civil_rights/topics/1060.html.
Duringthepast35years,CommunityRelationsService(CRS)mediatorsandconciliatorshaveresponded
tothousandsofvolatilecivilrightsdisputes,includingvirtually everymajorracialandethnicconflictthat
occurredintheUSAduringthistimeperiod.ThissiteshareshowseventeenCRSmediatorsbuilttrust
withthestakeholdersinvolvedintheseconflicts.

Audiovisual Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
BlacksandJews.Directedand/orProducedby:Snitow,AlanandDeborahKaufman.California
Newsreel.1997.
ThisfilmbeginsbyexaminingtheangerandmistrustthathasgrownbetweenBlacksandJewsintheUS.
Itcontinuesbyshowinghowdialogueandcooperationcanbeusedtobuildtrust,andthus,narrowthe
dividebetweenthesetwogroupsofpeople.Clickhereformoreinfo.

PeaceofMind.Directedand/orProducedby:Landsman,Mark.GlobalActionProject,Inc..1999.
ThisfilmdocumentsthelifeofsevenPalestinianandIsraeliteenagerswhointheirdesiretounderstand
eachotherarewillingtomeet.Eventuallytheseteenagersdaretotrustoneanotherandgainhopethat
onedayPalestiniansandIsraeliswillcoexistinpeace.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Teaching Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
DeFuria,Guy.InterpersonalTrustSurveys.SanFrancisco,CA:JosseyBass,January1,1997.
"InterpersonalTrustiscrucialtoachievinghighperformancewithinanyorganization.Thiscomplete
trainingprogramispackedwiththeinformationandtoolsnecessarytogetyourorganizationrunning
effectivelyandefficiently."
R


Respect

By
Sana Farid

In a class on negotiations and the impact of power, two students


in a mock group negotiation exercise willingly walked out of a
"Whenmenandwomenareable
profitable deal just so that a stronger member of the group could torespectandaccepttheir
be taught a lesson and be left with nothing. When asked in the
differencesthenlovehasachance
debriefing session as to the reason, the response that came was
toblossom."JohnGray
that the man in power was asserting his authority over the less
powerful groups and constantly showed an arrogant attitude. The
lack of respect given was enough for them to accept losses, provided that the student with power
lost face in front of others.
Another group in the same class walked in with extremely different results. The outcome was
more equally distributed. In this case, the person in power was asked for the reason. His
reasoning was: I know I have power; but I dont need to show it. I have to build relationships
with these other players, so it is important I treat them with respect. For it is these small
relationships that will help me in the future.

WhatisRespect?
Every human being and nation, irrespective of their

power or strength, has the right to be respected.


Respect is an unassuming resounding force, the
stuff that equity and justice are made of.[1] It
means being treated with consideration and esteem

and to be willing to treat people similarly.. It means SarahCobbdescribestheimportanceofframing


to have a regard for other peoples feelings,[2]
valuesclearlyinone'snarratives.
listening to people and hearing them, i.e. giving
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10241
them ones full attention. Even more importantly,
respect means treating one with dignity. Respect is
the opposite of humiliation and contempt. So where the latter can be a cause of conflict, the
former and its opposite can help transform it. As William Ury writes in his book The Third Side:
Human beings have a host of emotional needs- for love and recognition, for belonging and
identity, for purpose and meaning to lives. If all these needs had to be subsumed in one word, it
might be respect[3].


ImportanceofRespectinConflictTransformation
Respect is the first positive step in building a relationship and relationships are central to conflict
transformation.[4] One does not have to like a person or understand his viewpoint to accord him
respect. Respect comes with the belief that a person or culture can have beliefs contradictory to
ours and we should still honor them, as basic respect is a fundamental right of all human beings.
In addition, goals and concessions become easier to attain when the element of respect is present
As Bill Richardson, the US permanent representative to the UN put it. You have to be a human
being. You cannot be arrogant..... If you treat each individual with respect, each nation with
dignity, you can get a lot further than trying to muscle them[5]
Peacebuilding and conflict transformation strongly emphasize the human relationship aspect.
Therefore, for peacebuilding to succeed, the element of respect is essential.
Respect plays an important role in a number of ways.
1.
2.
3.
4.

Respectallowsonetobuildtrustwiththeother.
Respectallowsonetobuildandrebuildrelationships.
Itprovidesonewithanentry,intotheotherside
Thosewhoarerespectedwithinthecommunityaremostlikelytobeabletobringorencourage
peace.
5. Inaddition,accordingrespectcanmakethekeydifferenceinthedirectionoftheconflict[7].
6. Itspresencecanleadtoapositivechange,whilstitsabsencemayleadtoevenmoredestruction.
Thepresenceofrespectcanthereforecreateopportunities.Itisthenuptothepeacebuildertoact
uponthem.

Thus, for a peacebuilder, it is important to look at respect from different angles. First is the
importance of treating parties to a conflict with civility and honor. Once people are accorded
respect, they are more willing to make compromises which are long term and sustainable, rather
than those that are made under duress. Second, peacebuilders and outsider neutral mediators
need to look for links within the conflicted society and community that have the respect of the
people, such as professors, elders, religious leaders etc.Through these people, the mediators and
peacebuilders can build networks and contacts. And through their help, peacebuilders and
mediators can begin to build rapport with the conflicting parties.

WhatHappensintheAbsenceofRespect?
Contempt and humiliation are the absence of respect, as are a sense of being unheard or not
understood. The absence of respect or a perceived lack of respect often leads to conflict at an

respect, the absence of respect or the breakdown of respect are also key factors in the breakdown
of relationships and in the occurrence of conflict. Relationships and contacts that are built
without the presence of respect are seldom long term or sustainable.

CreatingRespect
Respect is created in many ways.
1. Itiscreatedwhenpeopletreatothersastheywanttobetreated.Thisbringsustothefamous
quotationfromtheBible.Dountoothersasyouwouldothersdountoyou.Thisalsobrings
theelementofcircularitytoit.Thatis,thingsareconnectedandinrelationship.Sothegrowth
ofsomething,suchasrespect,oftennourishesitselffromitsownprocessanddynamics[8].Be
thefirsttoaccordrespect,andwithtime,itwilldevelopamongstalltheconflictingparties.
2. Avoidinsultingpeopleortheirculture;insteadtrytounderstandthem.Manydisastrous
interactionsarecharacterizedbyattitudessuchasarrogance,disdain,fearofdifference,etc.[9]
Toavoidthis,ithelpstocontactpeoplewhoarefamiliarwiththeunfamiliarcultureandcangive
thepeacebuilderguidelinesofhowtobestadapttotheculture.
3. Becourteous.Listentowhatothershavetosay[10].Treatpeoplefairly.Allthebasicelements
thatwelearnedinKindergartenwillgoalongwaytocreatinganatmosphereoftrustand
respect.[11]
4. Apartfromtheabove,whenalreadyinvolvedinaconflict,separatingthepeoplefromthe
problem[12]alsoallowsonetotreattheothersidewithhonor.Recognizingthattheissueisthe
problemathandandnotthepeoplecanalsohelpcreaterespect.

Conclusion
Thus the presence of respect can help transform conflicts, by providing opportunities that did not
exist before. At the same time, the absence of respect can lead to conflict. What makes men like
Bill Richardson and John Kamm succeed in negotiations and dialogue where many other fail,
especially in their dealings with cultures other than our own? What makes them different from
others? Both cite respect to be their main secret. Recognize respect to be a basic human right,
treat individuals and states with dignity, and you will receive a more sustainable response. The
relationships so established will be based on mutual trust and respect, and hence is likely to last.
In contrast, if you browbeat your enemies (or both sides if you are the mediator) then even
though the goal may be attained, the relationship will be resentful, and backlash, more than
stable peace is the more likely outcome.

[1] William Aiken. Respect. In CPA Journal. Available online at


http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2002/0202/nv/nv14a.htm
[2] http://dict.die.net/respect/
[3] Ury, William. The third side New York: Penguin, 2000

[4] Lederach. John Paul. The Little Book of Conflict Transformation


[5] Szulc, Tad. How to talk to a Dictator
[6] The MacArthur Fellows Program. Available online at
http://www.macfdn.org/programs/fel/fellows/kamm_john.htm
[7] Refer to the story from Ghana I do not wish to in John Paul Lederachs The Moral
Imagination
[8] Lederach. John Paul. The Little Book of Conflict Transformation
[9] Moore, Christopher W. and Woodrow, Peter. What Do I Need to Know About Culture?
Practitioners Suggest... In Into the Eye of the Storm. Edited by John Paul Lederach and Janice
Moomaw Jenner.
[10] http://www.goodcharacter.com/pp/respect.html
[11] All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten available online at
http://www.peace.ca/kindergarten.htm and as a book with the same title written by Robert
Fulghum. Ivy Books; Reissue edition. 1989.
[12] Ury, William & fisher. Getting to Yes. New York: Penguin Books. 1991

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Offline(Print)Sources
Fisher,Roger,WilliamUryandBrucePatton.GettingtoYes:NegotiatingAgreementWithoutGiving
In.PenguinBooks,January1,1981.
The2ndeditiontothisfamousbookgoesovertheauthors'method(separatethepeoplefromthe
problem;focusoninterests,notpositions;inventoptionsformutualgain;insistonusingobjective
criteria;BATNA;hardball)andthenaddsupdatedmaterialattheendofthebookondealingwith
culturaldifferences,fairnessissues,amoralpeople,tacticsandpowerimbalances.

Fisher,Roger,WilliamL.UryandBrucePatton.GettingtoYes:NegotiatingAgreementWithoutGiving
In,2ndEdition.Boston:HoughtonMifflinCo.,April1992.
ThisisanupdatedversionofRogerFisher'sandWilliamUry'sclassic1981text,GettingtoYes:
NegotiatingAgreementWithoutGivingIn.Inthisbestseller,Fisher,Ury,andPattondescribewhatthey
call"principlednegotiation",whichisbasicallyinterestbasedbargainingwithafewextratwists.Key
ideasinclude:1)separatethepeoplefromtheproblem;2)negotiateinterests,notpositions;3)lookfor

mutuallybeneficialoptions;and4)useobjectivecriteria.Thisworkisconsideredessentialfoundational
readingforanyoneinterestedinnegotiation.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Lederach,JohnPaul.TheMoralImagination:TheArtAndSoulOfBuildingPeace.OxfordUniversity
Press,2005.
AsfoundingDirectoroftheConflictTransformationProgramandInstituteofPeacebuildingatEastern
MennoniteUniversity,Lederach'sbookfocusesonhisthinkingandlearningoverthepastfewyears.He
explorestheevolutionofhisunderstandingofpeacebuildingbylookingbackonhisownexperiences.
Peacebuilding,inhisview,isbothaskillandanart.Findingthisart,hesays,requiresaworldviewshift.

Ury,WilliamL.TheThirdSide:WhyWeFightandHowWeCanStop.NewYork:PenguinBooks,
September2000.
Inthisbook,WilliamUryexplainsthatittakestwosidestofightandathirdtostopit.Basedonyearsof
experienceasaconflictresolutionpractitioner,Urydescribestenpracticalrolesthatpeoplecanplayto
preventdestructiveconflict.Hearguesthatfightingisnotinevitablehumanbehaviorandthatwecan
transformbattlesintoconstructiveconflictandcooperationbyturningtowhathecalls,"thethirdside".

ConflictTransformation

By
John Paul Lederach
Michelle Maiese

Introduction[1]
I have been using the phrase "conflict
transformation" since the late 1980s. I remember
that timeframe because it came on the heels of
intensive experience in Central America. When I
arrived there my teaching vocabulary was filled
with the terminology of conflict resolution and
management. But I soon found that many of my
Latin colleagues had questions, concerns, even
suspicions about what such concepts meant.

Additionalinsightsintotransformationareoffered
byseveralBeyondIntractabilityproject
participants.
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10270

Their worry was that quick solutions to deep socialpolitical problems would not change things in any significant way. "Conflicts happen for a
reason," they would say. "Is this resolution idea just another way to cover up the changes that are
really needed?" Their concerns were consistent with my own experience.
The ideas that inform much of my work arise out of the Anabaptist-Mennonite religious
framework. This framework emphasizes peace as embedded in justice, the building of right
relationships and social structures through a radical respect for human rights, and nonviolence as
way of life. In the course of my work in finding constructive responses to violent conflict, I
became increasingly convinced that much of what I was doing was seeking constructive change.
I recall that by the late 1980s I would talk about this work as a process of transformation.
However, this notion of transformation raised new questions. Despite its problems, the term
"resolution" was more well-known and widely accepted in mainstream academic and political
circles. "Transformation," on the other hand, was regarded by many as too value-laden, too
idealistic, or too "new age." But for me, the term was accurate, scientifically sound, and clear in
vision.
Conflict transformation is accurate because the core of my work is indeed about engaging myself
in constructive change initiatives that include and go beyond the resolution of particular
problems. It is scientifically sound because the writing and research about conflict converge in
two common ideas: conflict is normal in human relationships and conflict is a motor of change.
And transformation is clear in vision because it brings into focus the horizon toward which we
journey, namely the building of healthy relationships and communities, both locally and
globally. This process requires significant changes in our current ways of relating.
In this essay, I will engage a creative tension between the metaphors of resolution and
transformation in order to sharpen understanding. However, this is not done to minimize or
degrade the term "resolution" or the many individuals who creatively prefer it as the best prism
for understanding their work. My purpose is to add a voice to the ongoing discussion and search
for greater understanding and clarity in human relationships.
But the question remains, what is this transformation stuff? This essay is an attempt to share my
understanding of conflict transformation as an orientation, an approach and a framework. It

describes transformation as a lens and a strategy for approaching conflict.

TheLensesofConflictTransformation
In common everyday settings we experience social conflict as a time when a disruption occurs in
the "natural" discourse of our relationships. As conflict emerges, we stop and take notice that
something is not right. The relationship in which the difficulty is arising becomes complicated,
not easy and fluid as it once was. We no longer take things at face value, but rather spend greater
time and energy to interpret what things mean. As our communication becomes more difficult,
we find it harder and harder to express our perceptions and feelings. We also find it more
difficult to understand what others are doing and saying, and may develop feelings of uneasiness
and anxiety. This is often accompanied by a growing sense of urgency and frustration as the
conflict progresses, especially if no end is in sight.
If someone uninvolved in the situation asks what the conflict is about, our initial explanations
will typically be framed in terms of the specific issues the parties are dealing with. This is the
content of the conflict, the immediate problems that must be resolved through problem solving
and negotiation.
However, the transformational approach addresses this situation somewhat differently. This is
because conflict transformation is more than a set of specific techniques. It is about a way of
looking and seeing, and it provides a set of lenses through which we make sense of social
conflict. These lenses draw our attention to certain aspects of conflict, and help us to bring the
overall meaning of the conflict into sharper focus.
Before proceeding further, I should describe what I mean by a lens as a transformational tool. I
recently purchased a set of glasses that have what are called progressive lenses. This means that
in my eyeglasses I have three different lens types in the same frame. One lens helps bring into
focus things at a great distance that would otherwise be a blur. A second brings objects that are at
mid-range into a clear picture. The third helps me read a book or thread a fish line through a
hook.
It is interesting to note three things about my new glasses and how they relate to a
transformational view. First, if I try to use the close-up lens to see at a distance, the lens is
counterproductive and useless. Each lens has its function and serves to bring a specific aspect of
reality into focus. But when it brings that layer of reality in focus, other layers are placed in a
blur. If you look through a camera with a telephoto lens or through a microscope at a slide of
bacteria you can find this happening in dramatic fashion.
Second, no one lens is capable of bringing everything into focus. Rather, I need multiple lenses
to see different aspects of a complex reality, and cannot rely exclusively on one lens to see the
multiple layers of complexity.
Third, the three lenses are held together in a single frame. I need each of the different lenses to
see a particular portion of reality, and I need them to be integrated to see the whole picture. Thus,
we need lenses that help us address specific aspects of conflict as well as a framework that holds

them together in order to see the conflict as a whole.


So what are useful lenses that bring varying aspects of conflict complexity into focus and at the
same time create a picture of the whole? This essay will suggest three.

First,weneedalenstoseetheimmediatesituation.
Second,weneedalenstoseepasttheimmediateproblemsandviewthedeeperrelationship
patternsthatformthecontextoftheconflict.Thisgoesbeyondfindingaquicksolutiontothe
problemathand,andseekstoaddresswhatishappeninginhumanrelationshipsatadeeper
level.
Third,weneedalensthathelpsusenvisionaframeworkthatholdsthesetogetherandcreates
aplatformtoaddressthecontent,thecontext,andthestructureoftherelationship.Fromthis
platform,partiescanbegintofindcreativeresponsesandsolutions.

ConflictTransformation:ASimpleDefinition
Although the definition is relatively short, its various components lend it a degree of complexity.
To better understand conflict transformation, an explanation of each component is needed.
Together, these components attempt to capture the attitudes and orientations we bring to creative
conflict transformation, the starting point of such an approach, and the various change processes
involved in such an approach.
To Envision and Respond: A transformational approach begins with two pro-active
foundations: 1) a positive orientation toward conflict, and 2) a willingness to engage in the
conflict in an effort to produce constructive change or growth. While conflict often produces
long-standing cycles of hurt and destruction, the key to transformation is the capacity to envision
conflict as having the potential for constructive change. Response, on the other hand, suggests a
bias toward direct involvement and an increased understanding that comes from real-life
experience. Both "envision" and "respond" represent the ways we orient ourselves toward the
presence of conflict in our lives, relationships, and communities.
Ebb and Flow: Conflict is a natural part of relationships. While relationships are sometimes
calm and predictable, at other times events and circumstances generate tensions and instability.
A transformational view, rather than looking at isolated conflict episodes, seeks to understand
how these particular episodes are embedded in the greater pattern of human relationships.
Change is understood both at the level of immediate issues and the broader patterns of
interaction.
Life-Giving Opportunities: On the one hand, this phrase suggests that life gives us conflict, and
that conflict is a natural part of human experience and relationships. Rather than viewing conflict
as a threat, the transformative view sees conflict as a valuable opportunity to grow and increases
our understanding of ourselves and others. Conflict helps us stop, assess and take notice. Without
it, life would be a monotonous flat topography of sameness and our relationships would be
woefully superficial. This phrase also suggests that conflict creates life and keeps everything
moving. It can be understood as a motor of change that keeps relationships and social structures
dynamically responsive to human needs.

Constructive Change Processes: This notion emphasizes the capacity of the transformational
approach to build new things. Conflict transformation begins with a central goal: to build
constructive change out of the energy created by conflict. By focusing this energy on the
underlying relationships and social structures, constructive changes can be brought about. The
key here is to move conflict away from destructive processes and toward constructive ones. The
primary task of conflict transformation is not to find quick solutions to immediate problems, but
rather to generate creative platforms that can simultaneously address surface issues and change
underlying social structures and relationship patterns.
Reduce Violence and Increase Justice: Transformation must be able to respond to life's on-theground challenges, needs, and realities. How do we address conflict in ways that reduce violence
and increase justice in human relationships? To reduce violence we must address both the
obvious issues and content of any given dispute and also their underlying patterns and causes. To
increase justice we must ensure that people have access to political procedures and voice in the
decisions that affect their lives.
Conflict transformation views peace as centered and rooted in the quality of relationships. This
includes both face-to-face interactions and the ways in which we structure our social, political,
economic, and cultural relationships. In this sense, peace is a "process-structure," a phenomenon
that is simultaneously dynamic, adaptive, and changing. In essence, rather than seeing peace as a
static "end-state," conflict transformation views peace as a continuously evolving and developing
quality of relationship. It is defined by intentional efforts to address the natural rise of human
conflict through nonviolent approaches that address issues and increase understanding, equality,
and respect in relationships.
Direct Interaction and Social Structures: The above concerns about violence and justice
suggest that we need to develop capacities to engage in change processes at the interpersonal,
inter-group, and social-structural levels. One set of capacities points toward direct, face-to-face
interaction between people or groups. The other set underscores the need to see, pursue, and
create change in our ways of organizing social structures, from families, to complex
bureaucracies, to structures at the global level. This requires a capacity to understand and sustain
dialogue as a fundamental means of constructive change.
Indeed, many of the skill-based mechanisms that reduce violence are rooted in communicative
capacities to exchange ideas, find common definitions, and move toward solutions. But dialogue
also plays a crucial role in the maintenance or change of social structures. Through dialogue,
these structures can be modified to be more responsive and just.
Human Relationships: Relationships are at the heart of conflict transformation.
Rather than concentrating exclusively on the content and substance of the dispute, the
transformational approach suggests that the key to understanding conflict and developing
creative change processes lies in seeing the less visible aspects of relationship. While the issues
over which people fight are important and require creative response, relationships represent a

web of connections that form the broader context of the conflict. It is out of this relationship
context that particular issues arise and either become volatile or get quickly resolved.

ConflictandChange
Both conflict and change are a normal part of human life. Conflict is continuously present in
human relationships, and the fabric of these relationships is constantly adapting and changing.
Before discussing practical approaches to conflict transformation, it is important to better
understand the link between conflict and change.
There are four central modes in which conflict impacts situations and changes things:
1.
2.
3.
4.

thepersonal,
therelational,
thestructural,and
thecultural.[2]

In addition, we can think about these changes in response to two questions. First, from a
descriptive view, what does conflict change? And second, from the standpoint of responding to
conflict as it arises, what kind of changes do we seek? In the first arena, we are simply
acknowledging the common patterns and impact of social conflict. In the second, we recognize
the need to identify what our values and intentions may be as we actively seek to respond,
intervene, and create change.

ChangeGoalsinConflict
Transformation:Transformation
understandssocialconflictas
evolvingfrom,andproducing
changesin,thepersonal,
relational,structuralandcultural
dimensionsofhumanexperience.
Itseekstopromoteconstructive
processeswithineachofthese
dimensions.

Personal:Minimize
destructiveeffectsof
socialconflictand
maximizethepotential
forpersonalgrowthat
physical,emotionaland
spirituallevels.
Relational:Minimize
poorlyfunctioning
communicationand

The personal dimension refers to changes effected in and


desired for the individual. This includes the cognitive, emotional,
perceptual, and spiritual aspects of human experience over the
course of conflict. From a descriptive perspective, transformation
suggests that individuals are affected by conflict in both negative
and positive ways. For example, conflict affects our physical
well-being, self-esteem, emotional stability, capacity to perceive
accurately, and spiritual integrity. Prescriptively, (i.e., relating to
what one should do) transformation represents deliberate
intervention to minimize the destructive effects of social conflict
and maximize its potential for individual growth at physical,
emotional, and spiritual levels.

Structural:Understand
andaddressrootcauses
ofviolentconflict;
promotenonviolent
mechanisms;minimize
violence;fosterstructures
thatmeetbasichuman
needsandmaximize
publicparticipation.
Cultural:Identifyand
understandthecultural
patternsthatcontribute
totheriseofviolent
expressionsofconflict;
identifyculturalresources
forconstructively
handlingconflict.

The relational dimension depicts the changes affected in and


desired for the face-to-face relationships. Here issues of
emotions, power, and interdependence, and the communicative
and interactive aspects of conflict are central. Descriptively,

transformation refers to how the patterns of communication and


interaction in relationships are affected by conflict. It looks
beyond visible issues to the underlying changes produced by conflict in how people perceive,
what they pursue, and how they structure their relationships. Most significantly, social conflict
makes explicit how close or distant people wish to be, how they will use and share power, what
they perceive of themselves and each other, and what patterns of interaction they wish to have.
Prescriptively, transformation represents intentional intervention to minimize poorly functioning
communication and maximize mutual understanding. This includes efforts to bring to the surface
in a more explicit manner the relational fears, hopes and goals of the people involved.
The structural dimension highlights the underlying causes of conflict, and stresses the ways in
which social structures, organizations, and institutions are built, sustained, and changed by
conflict. It is about the ways people build and organize social, economic, and institutional
relationships to meet basic human needs and provide access to resources and decision-making.
At the descriptive level transformation refers to the analysis of social conditions that give rise to
conflict and the way that conflict affects social structural change in existing social, political and
economic institutions.
At a prescriptive level, transformation represents efforts to provide insight into underlying causes
and social conditions that create and foster violent expressions of conflict, and to promote
nonviolent mechanisms that reduce adversarial interaction and minimize violence. Pursuit of this
change fosters structures that meet basic human needs (substantive justice) and maximize
people's participation in decisions that affect them (procedural justice).
The cultural dimension refers to the ways that conflict changes the patterns of group life as well
as the ways that culture affects the development of processes to handle and respond to conflict.
At a descriptive level, transformation seeks to understand how conflict affects and changes
cultural patterns of a group, and how those accumulated and shared patterns affect the way
people in a given context understand and respond to conflict. Prescriptively, transformation seeks

to uncover the cultural patterns that contribute to violence in a given context, and to identify and
build on existing cultural resources and mechanisms for handling conflict.

TheBigPicture:ConnectingResolutionandTransformation
Thus far we have discussed the concepts that make up the

various components of conflict transformation. We now want to Thetransformationmetaphor


move from the concept of transformation to the practice of
providesanexpandedviewof
transformation. We must therefore establish an operative frame time,situatesissuesandcrises
of reference for thinking about and developing the design of
withinaframeworkof
transformational approaches. Our starting point requires the
relationshipsandsocialcontext,
development of an image of our purpose, or what I call the "big andcreatesalenstolookatboth
picture." Since intractable conflicts are usually quite complex,
solutionsandongoingchanges.
developing a "big picture" helps us to develop a purpose and
direction. Without it, especially in the arena of intractable
conflict, we can easily find ourselves responding to a myriad of issues without a clear
understanding of what our responses add up to. We can solve lots of problems without
necessarily creating any significant constructive social change at a deeper level.

ResolutionandTransformation:ABriefComparisonofPerspective

ConflictResolutionPerspective

ConflictTransformationPerspective

Thekeyquestion

Howdoweendsomethingnot
desired?

Howtoendsomethingdestructiveandbuild
somethingdesired?

Thefocus

Itiscontentcentered.

Itisrelationshipcentered.

Thepurpose

Toachieveanagreementand
solutiontothepresenting
problemcreatingthecrisis.

Topromoteconstructivechangeprocesses,
inclusiveofbutnotlimitedtoimmediate
solutions.

Itisembeddedandbuiltaround
Itisconcernedwithrespondingtosymptoms
Thedevelopment theimmediacyoftherelationship
andengagingthesystemswithinwhich
oftheprocess
wherethepresentingproblems
relationshipsareembedded.
appear.

Viewofconflict

Itenvisionstheneedtode
escalateconflictprocesses.

Itenvisionsconflictasadynamicofebb
(conflictdeescalationtopursueconstructive
change)andflow(conflictescalationtopursue

CreatingaMapforConflictTransformation
It is common in the study of conflict to develop a map that helps us to engage in conflict
assessment and analysis. Similarly, it is useful to have a map of what we mean by
transformation. Figure 1 provides a shortcut overview of such a map, which can help us to
visualize the development of a strategy to constructively transform conflict.
This transformational framework has three components, each of which represent a point of
inquiry in the development of a response to conflict:

thepresentingsituation,
thehorizonofpreferredfuture,and
thedevelopmentofchangeprocesseslinkingthetwo.

The movement from the present toward the desired future is not a straight line, but rather a set of
dynamic initiatives that set in motion change processes and create a sustained platform to pursue
long-term change. Such a framework emphasizes the challenge of how to end something not
desired and how to build something that is desired.

Inquiry 1: The Presenting Situation


The first point of inquiry is the presenting situation, the conflict episode that provides an
opportunity to look both at the content of the dispute and the patterns of relationship in the
context in which the dispute is expressed. This is graphically represented in Figure 1 as a set of
embedded circles or spheres.

A transformational view raises two important questions: What are the immediate problems that
need to be solved? What is the overall context that needs to be addressed in order to change
destructive patterns? In other words, transformation views the presenting issues as an expression
of the larger system of relationship patterns. It moves beyond the "episodic" expression of the
conflict and focuses on the relational and historical patterns in which the conflict is rooted.
Put another way, presenting issues connect the present with the past. The patterns of how things
have been in the past provide a context in which the issues in a dispute rise toward the surface.
But while they create an opportunity to remember and recognize, presenting issues do not have
the power to change what has already transpired. The potential for change lies in our ability to
recognize, understand, and redress what has happened, and create new structures and ways of
interacting in the future.

Inquiry 2: The Horizon of the Future


The second point of inquiry is the horizon of the future, the image of what we wish to create. It
asks us to consider what we would ideally like to see in place.
However, this is not simply a model of linear change, in which there is movement from the
present situation to the desired future. While the presenting issues act as an impetus toward
change, the horizon of the future points toward possibilities of what could be constructed and
built. It represents a social energy that informs and creates orientation. Thus, the arrow points not
only forward to the future, but also back toward the immediate situation and the range of change
processes that may emerge. This combination of arrows suggests that transformation is both a
circular and a linear process, or what we will refer to here as a process structure.

Inquiry 3: The Development of Change Processes


The final major inquiry is the design and support of change processes. This broader component
requires that we think about response to conflict as the development of change processes that
attend to the web of interconnected needs, relationships, and patterns. Because the change
processes should address both the immediate problems and the broader relational and structural
patterns, we need to reflect on multiple levels and types of change rather than focusing on a
single operational solution. Change processes must not only promote short-term solutions, but
also build platforms capable of promoting long-term social change.
Taken as a whole, this big picture provides a lens that permits us to envision the possibilities of
immediate response and longer-term constructive change. It requires a capacity to see through
and beyond the presenting issues to the deeper patterns, while at the same time seeking creative
responses that address real-life issues in real time. However, to more fully understand this
approach we need to explore in greater depth how platforms for constructive change are
conceptualized and developed as process structures.

ProcessStructures:PlatformsforTransformation
We come now to the operational side of transformation. The key challenge is how to support and
sustain a platform with a capacity to adapt and generate ongoing desired change while at the
same time responding creatively to immediate needs. To engage this challenge we have to think
about platforms as process structures.
In modern physics, process structures are natural phenomena that are dynamic, adaptive and
changing, and yet at the same time sustain a functional and recognizable form and structure.[3]
Margaret Wheately refers to them as "things that maintain form over time yet have no rigidity of
structure."[4] The two terms that make up this term, "process" and "structure," point to two
interdependent characteristics: adaptability and purpose. Transformational change processes
must feature both of these characteristics. They must be both linear and circular.
In simple terms, linear means that things move from one point to
the next in a straight line. It is associated with a rational-logical Conflicttransformationisa
understanding of events in terms of cause and effect. However,
circularjourneywithapurpose.
in the social arena, events are likely moving along broad
directions not always visible from a short-term perspective. In
this arena, a linear perspective asks us to stand back and take a look at the overall direction of
social conflict and the change we seek. It requires us to articulate how we think things are related
and how movement is created. Specifically, it asks us to look at the patterns of interaction, not
just the immediate experience, and understand the changes in these broad patterns.
Circular understanding suggests that we need to think carefully about how social change actually
develops. This notion of circularity underscores some defining elements of transformational
change processes. First, it reminds us that things are connected and in relationship. Second, it
suggests that the growth of something often "nourishes" itself from its own process and dynamic.
In other words, it operates as a feedback loop. Third, and most critical to our inquiry, an
emphasis on circularity makes it clear that processes of change are not unidirectional. Figure 2
represents change as a circle, featuring four experiences common to those in the midst of a
difficult conflict.

1. Therearetimeswhenwefeelasifdesiredchangeishappening.Thingsmoveforwardand
progress,andwhatwehopetobuildseemstobeinsight.
2. Atothertimes,wefeelasifwehavereachedanimpasse or"hitawall."Nothingishappeningor
allpathwaysforwardseemedblocked.
3. Sometimeswefeelasifthechangeprocessesaregoingbackwards,andwhathasbeenachieved
isbeingundone.Inworstcasescenarioswehearlanguagelike,"Inasinglestroke,yearsofwork
havebeensetback."Commontothechangeprocessisthefeelingthatweare"swimming
againstthetide"orheadedupstream.
4. Finally,wesometimesfeellikewearelivingthroughacompletebreakdown.Itseemsasif
everythingisfallingapartandcollapsing.Theseperiodstendtobedeeplydepressing,andare
oftenaccompaniedbytherepeatedechoesof"wehavetostartfromgroundzero."

All of these experiences are integral parts of the change process and provide us with some
important insights about change. First, no one point in time determines the broader pattern.
Rather, change encompasses different sets of patterns and directions. Second, we should be
cautious about going forward too quickly. Sometimes going back may create more innovative
ways forward, and falling down may create new opportunities to build. Third, we should be
aware that life is never static and that we must constantly adapt.
Figure 3 represents a simple process structure, which features a web of dynamic circles that

create an overall momentum and direction. One might think of this as a rotini, a spiral made up
of multi-directional internal patterns that create a common overall movement. It features both the
purpose associated with linearity and the feedback loops associated with circularity.

The key to create a platform for transformation in the midst of social conflict lies in holding
together a healthy dose of both circular and linear perspectives. A transformational platform is
essentially this: The building of an on-going and adaptive base at the epicenter of conflict from
which it is possible to generate processes that create solutions to short-term needs and provide a
capacity to work on strategic long-term constructive change in systemic relational context.
We can visualize this idea in Figure 4 by adding to our process-structure the rising escalation of
conflict episodes. In order to understand a transformational platform, we need to visualize the
idea of an on-going base from which processes can be generated. The escalation of conflict
creates opportunity to establish and sustain this base. From the transformational view,
developing a process to provide a solution to the presenting problem is important but not the key.
Central to transformation is building a base that generates processes that 1) provide adaptive
responses to the immediate and future iterations of conflict episodes, and 2) address the deeper
and longer-term relational and systemic patterns that produce violent, destructive expressions of
conflict.

In other words, a conflict-transformation platform must be short-term responsive and long-term


strategic. The defining characteristic of such a platform is the capacity to generate and regenerate change processes responsive to both immediate episodes and the relational context. It is
in this way an adaptive process-structure, one that can produce creative solutions to a variety of
problems.

PracticesForTransformationalStrategies
In earlier sections, I described conflict transformation as a set of lenses that combine to create a
way to look at social conflict and develop responses. Here I explore how to make this framework
applicable by outlining several core practices that are useful in addressing social conflict from a
transformational approach.

Practice 1: Develop a capacity to see presenting issues as a window


A transformational approach relies on a capacity to see the immediate situation without being
overwhelmed by the demands of presenting issues, the urgency that pushes for a quick solution,
and the anxieties that often develop as conflict escalates. The pursuit of broader transformational
goals requires us to look beyond the immediate problems and to see these issues as a window.
Just as we look through the glass, focusing our attention on what lies beyond the window, we

look through the immediate issues to discover the relational context and the underlying causes of
conflict. This is what some authors have called the capacity to see the difference between content
of a conflict and its emotional and relational context.[5]

Practice 2: Develop a capacity to integrate multiple time frames


Approaching the immediate situation as a window also involves the ability to think about change
without being constrained by a short-term view of time. This is not to say that short-term
perspectives are never appropriate. The key is the ability to recognize the needs of multiple time
frames and create strategies that integrate short-term response with long-term change.
Addressing immediate episodes and broader relationship patterns requires processes with
different time frames. Processes that will be effective in one case are not likely to be effective in
another. For the transformation-oriented practitioner, the key capacity is an ability to recognize
what sorts of processes and time frames may be needed to address the different kinds of change.

Practice 3: Develop a capacity to pose the energies of conflict as dilemmas


Posing conflicts as dilemmas involves shifting from an either/or frame of reference to a both/and
frame of reference. In settings of sustained violence, we sometimes face what appear to be
impossible decisions that involve outright contradictions. For example, those of us working in
relief and aid agencies in Somalia in the early 1990s struggled with choices about where to put
our energies and responses when none of the apparent options seemed adequate. Should we send
food and relief aid even though we know armed groups will take advantage of it to continue the
war, or should we not send food but then feel helpless about the enormous humanitarian plight?
Far too often how we framed our questions limited our strategies. Framing choices in rigid
either/or terms made it difficult to handle complexity.
A shift in thinking emerged when we reframed our questions to reflect the legitimacy of different
but not incompatible goals. Rather than accepting a frame of reference that posed our situation as
choosing between one important goal or another, we reframed the questions in terms of
interdependent goals. How can we build capacities for peace in this setting and at the same time
create responsive mechanisms for the delivery of humanitarian aid? The formula is this: How can
we address "A" and at the same time build "B"? This way of formulating the question creates a
capacity to recognize different but interdependent aspects of a complex situation and develop
integrative responses. The capacity to reframe conflict in this way enables us to more clearly
identify our goals and seek innovative options for action.

Practice 4: Develop a capacity to make complexity a friend, not a foe


In conflicts, especially when there has been a long history of patterns and episodes that were not
constructively addressed, people feel overwhelmed. It may seem that that situation is just too
complicated, that there are too many things going on to even try to explain it. At times of
escalated conflict, complexity describes a situation in which we feel forced to live with multiple
and competing frames of reference about what things mean. We are also faced with lots of things
happening at multiple levels, between different sets of people, all at the same time. This often
leads to a sense of ambiguity, which produces three feelings: we feel insecure about what it all

means, we are not sure where it is going, and we feel as if we have little or no control over what
happens. This often leads people to seek escape or to find a quick solution.
But in order to constructively deal with complexity, we must make it a friend rather than a foe
and recognize its potential for building desired change. One of the great advantages of
complexity is that change is not tied exclusively to one thing, action or option. The first key is to
trust the capacity of systems to generate options and avenues for change. Second, we must
pursue those options that appear to hold the greatest promise for constructive change. Third, we
must not lock rigidly onto to one idea or approach. The potential avenues of change generated in
complex systems are numerous. Complexity is especially a friend when cycles and episodes of
conflict seem to narrow toward the same outcomes every time. It is here that paying careful
attention to the multiplicity of options can create new ways to look at old patterns.

Practice 5: Develop a capacity to hear and engage the voice of identity and
relationship
We have mentioned time and again the need to look for and see the patterns in the context that
underpin the presenting situation. This involves an ability to recognize and then develop
response processes that engage the deeper core of the conflict. Two central "root causes" of
social conflict are identity and relationship.
Identity is best understood as a relational dynamic that is constantly being redefined. It is not
primarily about negotiating an agreement to solve a material problem, but rather is about
protecting a sense of self and group survival. While it is rarely explicitly addressed, identity
shapes and moves the expression of conflict. At the deepest level it is lodged in the narratives of
how people see themselves, who they are, where they come from, and what they fear they will
become. It is also deeply rooted in their relationships with others.
A central challenge for transformation is how to create spaces and processes that encourage
people to address and articulate a positive sense of identity in relationship to others but not in
reaction to them. This can be accomplished in three ways.

First,beattentivetolanguage,metaphors,andexpressionsthatsignalthedistressesofidentity.
Inordertodealwithcoreissuesofidentity,onemustacknowledgethemasissues.
Second,movetowardappealstoidentityratherthanawayfromthem.Acknowledgethatthe
conflictrequiresaprocessthatmoreexplicitlyaddressesissuesofidentityandrelationship.
Generatingsolutionstoimmediateproblemsisnotenough.
Third,designtransformationprocessesasdynamicplatformsthatcreaterepeatingpatternsof
exchangeandexplorationratherthanproduceimmediatenegotiatedsolutions.

Three guiding principles that characterize this process of exchange and exploration: honesty,
iterative (i.e. repeating and cumulative) learning, and appropriate exchange.

First,weshouldworktowardthecreationofspaceswherepeoplefeelsafeenoughtobedeeply
honestwiththemselvesandothersabouttheirfears,hopes,hurtsandresponsibilities.Honesty
reflectsparties'senseofsafetyandbuildstrust.

Second,wemustcreatemultiplepointsofaccessandrepetitiveexaminationforaddressing
identity.Thenegotiationanddefinitionofidentityisacomplexprocessthatrequiresprocesses
ofinteractionwithothersaswellasinnerreflectionaboutself.Identityworkisnotaonetime
decisionmakingprocess,butratheranongoinglearningprocessaboutselfandother.This
requiresaniterativeplatformforaddressingidentityconcernswithinaframeworkofbroader
constructivechange.
Third,appropriateexchangecallsattentiontotheneedtodesignworkonidentityinwaysthat
respectpeople.Beyonddirectfacetofacedialogue,therearemanywaysthatlearningand
deepeningunderstandingaboutidentityandrelationshipcanoccur.Thisincludesdialogueas
music,dialogueassport,anddialogueassharedworktopreserveoldcitycenters,parksand
mountains.Allofthesemaydomorethantraditionaldialoguetoadvancelearningand
understanding.

In addition, it is important to be attentive to people's perceptions of how identity is linked to


power and the definition of the systems and structures that organize and govern their
relationships. This is particularly important for people who feel their identity is eroded,
marginalized or under deep threat. When addressing identity-based concerns, processes must
strive to understand the roots of people's perceptions and address the systemic changes needed to
assure access and respectful participation.

Conclusions
The lenses of conflict transformation focus on the potential for
constructive change emergent from and catalyzed by the rise of
social conflict. Because the potential for broader change is
inherent in any episode of conflict, from personal to structural
levels, the lenses can easily be applied to a wide range of
conflicts.

Maythewarmthofcomplexity
shineonyourface.
Maythewindsofgoodchange
blowgentlyatyourback.
Mayyourfeetfindtheroadsof
authenticity.
Maythewebofchangebegin!

A key advantage to this framework lies in its capacity to think


about multiple avenues of response. To use our earlier
comparison, we suggested that transformation builds on and
integrates the contribution and strengths of conflict-resolution approaches. A transformational
approach inquires about both the specifics, immediately apparent in the episode of conflict, as
well as the potential for broader constructive and desired change.
Clearly there are arenas in which transformation is limited and a quick and direct resolution of
the problem is more appropriate. In disputes where parties need a quick and final solution to a
problem and do not have a significant relationship, they typically appeal to negotiation and
mediation. In such cases the exploration of relational and structural patterns are of limited value.
For example, a one-time business dispute over a payment between two people who hardly know
each other and will never have contact again is not a context to explore a transformational
application.
However, in cases where parties share an extensive past and have the potential for significant
future relationships, and where the episodes arise in an organizational, community or broader
social context, simple resolution approaches may be too narrow. Though they may solve the

immediate problems, they miss the greater potential for constructive change. This is even more
significant in contexts where there are repeated and deep-rooted cycles of conflict episodes that
have created destructive and violent patterns. In such cases, avenues to promote transformational
change should be pursued.
Conflict transformation places before us some big questions: Where are we headed? Why do we
do this work? What are we hoping to contribute and build? Increasingly, I am convinced that
those in the alternative dispute-resolution field and the vast majority of people and communities
who wish to find more constructive ways to address conflict in their lives were drawn to the
perspectives and practices of conflict resolution because they wanted change. They wanted
human societies to move from violent and destructive patterns toward the potential for creative,
constructive and nonviolent capacities to deal with human conflict. This means replacing
patterns of violence and coercion with respect, creative problem-solving, increased dialogue, and
nonviolent mechanisms of social change. To accomplish this, a complex web of change
processes under-girded by a transformational understanding of life and relationship is needed.

[1] This essay is an excerpt from John Paul Lederach's book "The Little Book of Conflict
Transformation, published by Good Books, 2003. Conflict Research Consortium graduate
student Michelle Maise condensed the 70+ pages of material in the original draft of that
manuscript (with John Paul's and the publisher's permission) into this essay.
[2] See Preparing for Peace (Syracuse University Press, 1995) and Building Peace (US Institute
of Peace Press, 1999).
[3] See Margaret Wheatley's discussion of this in reference to learning organizations in
Leadership and the New Sciences, San Francisco: Barrett-Koehler, Publishers, 1994.
[4] Wheately, 1994:16.
[5] See Hocker and Wilmot's discussion of content and relationship in Interpersonal Conflict or
Edwin Friedman's discussion of anxiety, emotional process and symptomatic content in
Generation to Generation.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
BerghofHandbookforConflictTransformation.BergofResearchCenterforConstructiveConflict
Management,December2000.
Availableat:http://www.berghofhandbook.net/.

TheBerghofHandbookforConflictTransformationattemptstosummarizepractical,empiricaland

theoreticalknowledgeaboutconflicttransformation.Thehandbookprovidesanoverviewofcurrent
approaches,methods,techniques,andtheoriesofconflicttransformation.Itincludesadialoguearticle
onPeaceandConflictImpactAssessment,inwhichtheassessmentofconflicttransformationis
discussed.

Senghaas,Dieter."CivilizingConflict:ConstructivePacifismasaGuidingNotionforConflict
Transformation."
http://www.berghofhandbook.net/articles/senghaas_handbook.pdf.
Thisarticlepresents"causal/constructivepacifism"asaguidingnotionforconflicttransformation.Ifcivil
orinternationalwaristheeffectofanarchy,asocialorderfromwhichenduringpeaceemergesmustbe
builtatnational,regional/continentalandinternationallevels.Correspondingly,theauthordevelopsa
historicallyinformedmodelofacomplexpeacearchitecture("civilizationalhexagon"),thecomponents
ofwhichhediscussesatboththenationalandinternationallevel.Hexagonalizingpeaceistheverybasis
forconflicttransformation,i.e.forcivilizingconflictsinapotentiallyviolencepronepolitical,socio
economicandsocioculturalenvironment.

Burgess,HeidiandGuyM.Burgess."ConflictTransformationandPeacemaking.",1997
Availableat:http://www.beyondintractability.org/articlesummary/10299/.

ThispagedescribesJohnPaulLederach'sapproachtoconflicttransformation.It discussesjustice,peace,
andmercy,andcontrastsLederach'sapproachtothatofBushandFolger.

Miall,Hugh."ConflictTransformation:AMultiDimensionalTask."
http://www.berghofhandbook.net/articles/miall_handbook.pdf.
Thisessayidentifiesthekeytheoristsandmodesofpracticeofconflicttransformation.Itattemptsto
distinguishthesefromthetheoriesandpracticesofconflictresolutionandconflictmanagement,while
atthesametimearguingthatconflicttransformationdrawsheavilyontheseearliertraditions.Conflict
transformationasaresponsetothechangingnatureofcontemporaryconflict,however,itisstillan
incompletesynthesis.

Francis,Diana."ConflictTransformation:FromViolencetoPolitics."CCTSNewsletter,Number9,
Summer2000,2000
Availableat:http://www.cr.org/ccts/ccts9/vipolint.htm.

Thisisapaperwrittenforaseriesofseminarsdesignedtoexplorewhatisnecessarytomovefrom
violentconflicttosomethingwhichmightbedescribedaspeace.

ConstructiveConfrontation.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/constcon.htm.
Thispageoffersabriefdiscussionoftheconceptofconstructiveconfrontation.Thisconflictstrategy
wasdevelopedbyGuyandHeidiBurgess,andfocusesuponhelpingthepartiesdevelopmore
constructivestrategiesforpursuinginevitableconfrontations.Itisanincrementalapproachwhich

involvesdiagnosingparticularconflictproblems,andthendesigningremediesforthoseproblemsso
thattheresultingconflictismoreconstructive.Thepageincludeslinkstofurtherreadingonthesubject.

Jarman,Roswitha."HealingasPartofConflictTransformation."CCTSNewsletter,Number12,Spring
2001,2001
Availableat:http://www.cr.org/ccts/ccts12/healing.htm.

Thisarticleexploreshowoutsiderscomingintowartornregionscancontributetohealingthepersonal
andinterpersonalhurtofindividualsandgroupsandtherebycontributetotheprocessofconflict
transformation.

Negowetti,Nicole."Reconciliation:CentralComponentofConflictTransformation.",April4,2003
Availableat:http://www.peace.ie/read/reconciliation.html.

ThisessayexaminestheconceptofreconciliationascentraltoJonhPaulLederach'stheoryofconflict
transformation.Itassertsthatcontemporaryintrastateconflictsrequireinnovativeapproachesthat
considerthesubjectiveexperiencesofbothvictimsandperpetrators,fortheirtransformation.Thepiece
includesdiscussionofLederach'sdistinctionbetweenconflicttransformationandtheconceptsof
conflictresolutionandconflictmanagement.

Burgess,Heidi,GuyM.BurgessandTanyaGlaser.TransformativeApproachestoConflict.Conflict
ResearchConsortium.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/transform/index.html.
Thissitecontainsinformationaboutavarietyoftransformativeapproachestoconflictincluding
transformativemediation,JohnPaulLederach'sconceptionoftransformativepeacemakingandconflict
transformation,theanalyticalproblemsolving/humanneedsapproachtoconflicttransformation,
researchonthetransformationofconflictsfromintractabletotractable(primarilydoneatSyracuse
University),andothertechniquesforsuccessfullydealingwithintractableconflicts,particularlydialogue
andconstructiveconfrontation.
Offline(Print)Sources
Diamond,Louise.BeyondWinWin:TheHeroicJourneyofConflictTransformation.WashingtonD.C.:
TheInstituteForMultiTrackDiplomacy,1994.
Peaceisnotastaticphenomenon."Thediscoveryofpeace"isacontinuousprocessofdeveloping
structuresandrelationshipswhichfulfillourneedsandcorrespondtoourperceptionofwellbeing.To
discoverpeace,asystemencouragingconflictshouldbetransformed.Conflicttransformationis
differentfromconflictresolutionandmanagement.Itinvolveschangingparties'beliefsandbehaviors,
releasingtheenergylimitedbydeterminedpatternsofthoughtandaction,tomovetowardcreating
newrelationships."Totransformconflictistodiscoverpeace"(p.3).Thispaperpresentsamapofthe
journeyofdiscoveringpeaceandhence,transformingconflict.Itconsistsoffivepartsincluding
motivation(touchingtheideal),quest(visionandcommitment),test(causesandconsequences),death
(selfexaminationandlettinggo),andrebirth(reframingandaction).Clickhereformoreinfo.


Weiner,Eugene,ed.ConflictResolutionMovesEast:HowtheEmergingDemocraciesofCentraland
EasternEuropeAreFacingInterethnicConflict.NewYork:ContinuumPublishing,1998.
TheauthordrawsontheworkofPartnersforDemocraticChangeintheemergingdemocraciesof
EasternandCentralEurope.Shonholtzexploresthe"intersectionbetweenthehistoricalandcultural
suppressionofconflictandthedemocraticneedfortheexpressionandresolutionofconflict."(p.360)
Clickhereformoreinfo.

Chupp,Mark,ed.ConflictTransformation:ASpiritualProcess.ConciliationQuarterly,1993.
Conflicttransformationisaspiritualprocesswhichbringsinternal,relationalandstructuralchange.The
authorseessevenspiritualaspectstotransformationwhichdevelopalongacycle:comingtogether,
commitmentandtrust,listening,empathy,dialogue,andrestoration.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Burgess,Heidi."ConstructiveConfrontation:ATransformativeApproachtoIntractableConflicts."
MediationQuarterly13:4,1996.
Thisarticledescribestheconflictstrategyofconstructiveconfrontation.Thisstrategymaybeusedto
approachintractableconflictsthatarenotyetripeforresolution.Developedinthecontextoflarge
scalepublicpolicyandinternationalconflicts,thisapproachparallelstransformativemediationin
severalways.Mostimportantisanemphasisonempowermentandrecognition(thoughconstructive
confrontationusesdifferentterms)andafocusonconstructiveprocessesratherthanresolutionasthe
primarygoal.Thearticlehighlightsthesimilaritiesanddifferencesbetweenconstructiveconfrontation
andtransformativemediation.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Porter,ThomasW.andMarkConradMancao."EngageConflictWell:TransformingConflictinthe
UnitedMethodistChurch."InPositiveApproachestoPeacebuilding:AResourceforInnovators.Edited
byLiebler,Claudia,ed.etal.WashingtonDC:PactPublications,2003.
"TheJUSTPEACECenterforMediationandConflictTransformationbelievesthatcreatingjustpeace
throughconflicttransformationinvolvespreparingtheselfandengaginothersinprocessesthatmovein
positivedirections."EngageConflictWell"isanemergingmodelinTheUnitedMethodistChurch,which
explorestheseinterrelatedphasesofconflicttransformation.Thischapterpresentsasummaryofeach
elementinthemodelandthenoffersmoreindepthdiscussionofthethreeaspectsthataremost
germanetothisbookcircleprocess,relationalcovenants,andappreciativequestioning."

Schwerin,EdwardW.Mediation,CitizenEmpowermentandTransformationalPolitics.Westport,
Connecticut:Praeger,1995.
Theauthorarguesthatwhileempowermentisthecoreconceptoftransformationalideologies,it
remainsafuzzyconcept.Participationincommunitymediationisgenerallythoughttobeempowering,
sohebeginshisanalysisofempowermentbyexaminingthecommunitymediationmovement.Click
hereformoreinfo.

"PowerandSocialExchange."AmericanPoliticalScienceReview72,1978.
Thisarticleprovidestheoreticalgroundingforhelpingthirdpartiesorantagonistsreframeconflictual
environments.

"PowerandtheEmergenceofCommitmentBehaviorinNegotiatedExchange."AmericanSociological
Review,1993.
Relationsbasedonnegotiatedexchangesometimestransformtoonethatincorporatesexchangeof
noncontingentgiftsorlongtermreciprocaltransactions,evenwhenalternativestoexchangerelation
exist.

Dukes,E.Frank."PublicConflictResolution:ATransformativeApproach."9:1,January1993.
Theauthorexaminesboththetransformativeandmanagementapproachestomediation.Clickherefor
moreinfo.

Rothman,Jay."ReflexiveDialogueasTransformation."MediationQuarterly13:4,1996.
Rothmandescribeshisapproachtointerventioninidentityconflictsasfacilitatingreflexivedialogue.He
seesreflexivedialogueasaformoftransformativeconflictresolution.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Dukes,E.Frank.ResolvingPublicConflict:TransformingCommunityandGovernance(Political
Analyses).ManchesterUniversityPress,November1,1996.
Inthispowerfulandoptimisticbook,FranklinDukesmovesbeyondtheorthodoxremediesofrightand
lefttoexplainhowthefieldofpublicconflictresolutionoffersawaytocutthroughtheimpassein
publicpolicymaking.Drawingonconflictresolutionexperienceandrecentdemocratictheory,Dukes
tracesthephilosophicalrootsanddevelopmentofthepublicconflictresolutionfield.Heexaminesin
detailhowithasworkedinpractice,intheUSandotherwesterndemocracies.Finally,hearguesthata
moresystematicapplicationofpublicconflictresolutionbypolicymakerswouldconfrontthreekey
problemsofcontemporarydemocraticsociety:thedisintegrationofcommunity,alienationfrom
government,andtheinabilitytosolvepublicdisputes.*

Clements,KevinP."TheStateoftheArtofConflictTransformation."InSearchingforPeaceinEurope
andEurasia:AnOverviewofConflictPreventionandPeacebuildingActivities.EditedbyvanTongeren,
Paul,JulietteVerhoevenandHansvandeVeen,eds.Boulder,CO:LynneRiennerPublishers,2002.
"Thefieldofconflictresolution/conflicttransformationisstillinadynamicstageofevolution.Itisan
evolvingsphereorinterdisciplinaryendeavorthathasboththeoreticalandpracticalimplications.This
chapterwillbeginwithamapofthefieldandanassessmentofthestateoftheart.Itwillthenanalyze
andassesstheseschoolsofthoughtbyidentifyingtrendsorthemeswithinthedifferentperspectives.
Thiswillbefollowedbyacritiqueofthefieldandrecommendationsforimprovingthetheoryand
practiceofconflicttransformation."

Ury,WilliamL.TheThirdSide:WhyWeFightandHowWeCanStop.NewYork:PenguinBooks,
September2000.
Inthisbook,WilliamUryexplainsthatittakestwosidestofightandathirdtostopit.Basedonyearsof

experienceasaconflictresolutionpractitioner,Urydescribestenpracticalrolesthatpeoplecanplayto
preventdestructiveconflict.Hearguesthatfightingisnotinevitablehumanbehaviorandthatwecan
transformbattlesintoconstructiveconflictandcooperationbyturningtowhathecalls,"thethirdside".

Chupp,Mark."WhenMediationisNotEnough."10:3,1991.
Thisarticleanalyzesthevaluesystemthatdominatesthepresentfieldofmediation,theauthor
concludesthatthemediator'soriginalgoalofreconciliationhasbeenlost.Throughouttheyearsthere
hasbeenavalueshiftinthemediationfieldwhichisreflectedinthechanginguseofterminologyfrom
"reconciliation"to"conflictresolution"andto"conflictmanagement".Themodelthatheoutlinesinthis
articlehasavalueofinnerconflictandsocialstructuretransformationatthecoreandusesnonviolence
asatechniqueofconflictregulation.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Fetherston,A.B."FromConflictResolutiontoTransformativePeacebuilding:ReflectionsFrom
Croatia.",2000
Availableat:http://www.brad.ac.uk/acad/confres/assets/CCR4.pdf.

Theauthorarguesthatconflictresolutionneedstoundergoreappraisalinthelightofcriticalsocial
theoryandinthecontextofpeacebuildingpracticeswhichhaveemergedoutofwarzones.Fetherston
advocatesforaneedsbasedproblemsolvingprocessthatbringsaboutthetransformationofmodern
conflicts.

Clements,KevinP."TowardsConflictTransformationandaJustPeace."BerghofResearchCenterfor
ConstructiveConflictManagement,1900.
http://www.berghofhandbook.net/articles/clements_handbook.pdf.
Thisarticlearguesthatthestructuralsourcesofconflictpoliticalandeconomicinparticularhavebeen
relativelyunderdevelopedinconflictanalysisandinthedesignofinterventionprocesses.Thishas
meantthatmanyTrackIIinterventionsinconflicthavebeenorientedtowardsattitudinaland
behaviouralchangeratherthansituationalorstructuralchange.Untilthissituationisreversedandmore
attentionispaidtothetransformationofinstitutionsandprocesses,itwillbedifficulttogeneratestable
peacefulrelationships.Thearticleconcludeswithsomelessonslearnedfromexperiencesofconflict
interventioninAfrica,theCaucasusandAsia.

Dukes,E.Frank."WhyConflictTransformationMatters:ThreeCases.",November1999
Availableat:http://www.gmu.edu/academic/pcs/Dukes61PCS.html.

Thisessaybeginswithanexaminationoftheimportanceofconflicttransformation.Thefailingsofan
ideologyofconflictmanagementcurrentlydominatingtheconflictresolutionfield,arecontrastedwith

componentsofatransformativepractice.Theauthorthenoffersthreecasesfrompersonalexperience
anddrawslessonsfromthemtoillustratethepotentialofconflictresolutioninthreedistinctareas:
fosteringcommunity,buildingaresponsivegovernance,andresolvingpublicconflict.
Offline(Print)Sources
Kriesberg,Louis."MediationandtheTransformationoftheIsraeliPalestinianConflict."Journalof
PeaceResearch38:3,2001.
ThisarticlediscussesthecontributionsofvariousmediatorsinvolvedinIsraeliPalestinainnegotiations,
towardtransformingtheconflictinthe1990s.Theconflicthasmetseveredisruptionsand
retrogressions,butatvariousstagesofescalationanddeescalationdifferentkindsofmediatorshave
hadimportantimpactsonthecourseoftheconflict.

Jacobs,David."PolishSolidarityandTransformationalBargaining."NegotiationJournal8:2,April1,
1992.
ThisarticlediscussestheprocessofnegotiationinPoland,betweentheCommunistgovernmentand
Solidarity,overanarrayofpoliticalandeconomicreforms.Theauthorfocusesonnegotiatingtransfers
ofpowerthroughtransformationalbargaining.

ApologyandForgiveness

By
Charles (Chip) Hauss

WhatareApologyandForgiveness?
Apology and forgiveness are two sides of the same emotional
coin. They reflect the constructive ways the oppressors and the
oppressed in an intractable conflict can come to grips with the
pain and suffering the conflict produced.

Makingapologiesandgranting
forgivenessareintegralpartsof
anylongtermresolutionofan
intractableconflict.Withoutthem,
itisallbutimpossibletoachieve
reconciliationandlastingpeace.

The oppressors who committed human rights violations and


other atrocities have to take responsibility for their actions and
apologize. An apology has to be heartfelt and reflect true remorse
for past actions. An apology can still matter if it is made by
someone who is several generations removed from the abuses, something President William
Clinton understood when he apologized for slavery, even though it had been brought to an end
almost a century before he was born.

By the same token, the victims of those atrocities have to find the space in their hearts to forgive
those who victimized them, even though the pain and suffering will never disappear. But
forgiving is just as important as apologizing in any society which wishes to put its struggles
behind it and create a more peaceful and cooperative future.
In fact, atrocities are committed by both sides in most intractable conflicts. As a result, there is a
need for all parties to make apologies and grant forgiveness. Nonetheless, because most of those
disputes are "asymmetric" in the sense that one side has a lot more power than the other, the
burden of apologizing tends to lie primarily with one side and that of forgiving with the other,
something we saw in the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

WhyApologiesandForgivenessAreImportant
Apologies and forgiveness are important because

intractable conflicts generate such deep and searing


emotions. Even after the fighting stops, people still
feel the pain, hurt, anger, fear, and hatred that
produced the conflict and its horrors in the first

place. Without apology and forgiveness, people


Additionalinsightsintoapologyandforgiveness
remain locked in the value systems that produced
areofferedbyBeyondIntractabilityproject
the conflict. Little progress beyond a ceasefire can
participants.
be made.
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10043
It is not easy, however, to apologize or forgive. To
see that, consider two scenes from the remarkable documentary about the South African Truth
and Reconciliation Commission, "Long Night's Journey Into Day."[1]
The film ends with the case of two policemen who had asked for amnesty for their killing of
seven young black teenagers during the struggle for the townships in the 1980s. The apology
made by the white officer was anything but heartfelt. He remained arrogant, and clearly was
making the apology only in order to have a chance at gaining amnesty. His lack of sincerity was
obvious; he was refused. The other officer was black. The film showed his hearing before the

Commission, where it was clear that he truly felt remorse. Nonetheless, the mothers of the seven
boys were still so grief-stricken almost 15 years after the murders that they broke down and had
to be taken from the room.
The Commission then set up a meeting between the former officer and the seven women. The
officer was in tears for much of the session. For much of the session, the mothers remained
adamant in their refusal to forgive him. Finally, one of them noticed that his name means
"prayer" in Xhosa, his native language. She told him that, as a Christian, she realized that she
had a duty to forgive. At that point, you could feel the tension escape from the room. Those eight
people, brought together in tragedy, were ready to move on with their personal and political
lives.
The film opens with the story of the Biehl family. Amy Biehl was a Fulbright scholar working on
the transition to democracy in South Africa in 1993 when she was killed by a mob of angry
young black men in the Guguletu township outside of Cape Town, where the murder of those
seven boys occurred. Amy's parents, Peter and Linda Biehl, decided not to seek vengeance but to
continue their daughter's work by creating the Amy Biehl Foundation. Meanwhile, the four
young men who killed Amy were arrested and sentenced to lengthy prison terms. They then
petitioned the TRC for amnesty and release from prison. The Biehls decided to support their
claim because of the young men's remorse and their own commitment to the broader process of
reconciliation. The day before they testified, they met the families of two of the men. After the
film was completed, the Amy Biehl Foundation not only paid for the two who had shown the
most remorse to finish their education, they hired them after they graduated.
To again see the importance of apology and
forgiveness, consider the reactions of Germany and
Japan toward the people they abused during World
War II. Every German government since the
creation of the Federal Republic in 1949 has sought
to establish good working relationships with Israel.
German NGOs are actively engaged with Israel as
well. All the major German political parties have
active foundations which are major supporters of
the social sciences and the peace process in Israel.
The German national soccer team made a point of
The mother of murder victim Amy Biehl, meeting
visiting Israel's Holocaust memorial when they
with the family of one of Amy's killers, from
http://www.irisfilms.org/longnight/ln_biehl.htm
went there to play an international match. Many -though by no means all -- Germans have dug

deeply into their own souls to try to figure out how


their country could have produced the Third Reich, something the novelist Guenter Grass
depicted in his novel Dog Years, in which the German teenagers born right after the war all get
magic glasses that allow them to see what their parents did. The Israeli government has
reciprocated. Although few politicians have ever formally forgiven the Germans, almost all of
them work as comfortably with their German counterparts as they do with French, British, or
American politicians.[2]

By contrast, the Japanese political elite are still divided over whether their government should
apologize for some of its human-rights abuses, including forced prostitution in Korea, the "rape"
of Nanjing, and the brutal treatment of British and Dutch prisoners of war. School textbooks, for
instance, rarely even mention these events, whereas in Germany the rise and fall of Hitler's
regime is a central theme in public education. Not surprisingly, most of the aging victims of
those abuses continue to bear the Japanese considerable ill-will. While plenty of Jews are
nowhere-near ready to "get over" the Holocaust, there is nothing in their public life that is
anything like how the vitriol former British Prisoners of War demonstrate each year when they
demand reparations for their treatment.

WhatIndividuals,States,andThirdPartiesCanDo
As with everything involving reconciliation, apologizing and forgiving are, at their core, acts
only individuals can perform. Of course, President Clinton could apologize for slavery or for
failing to intervene in Rwanda on behalf of the American people. But his words are only empty
rhetoric unless those same American people actually share those feelings.
But it is hard for people to apologize or forgive on their own. There are some remarkable human
beings, like the Biehls, who can do so, but they are very much the exception to the rule. As a
result, states and international NGOs normally have to take the lead and help average citizens see
the need and then find the opportunity to apologize and forgive.

ButNotForget
There is an important but very common misperception about apology and forgiveness. When I
talk to many of my fellow Jews about the need to forgive Germans so that we can "get beyond"
the victim mentality so many of us still have following the Holocaust and the other trials we have
suffered over the centuries, I'm frequently accused of saying I want them to forget those horrid
events ever happened.
Absolutely not. We do have to remember the past as we consider ways of making certain
holocausts never happen again. I live with the constant pain that much of my family was wiped
out. We have pictures of relatives who were born at about the same time my mother was, in the
early 1920s. She never met them because international travel was rare in the 1930s. She never
will meet them because they are all dead. And I will never meet their children because they were
never born. I once toured the Holocaust Museum in Washington with a group of CIA officers.
The discussion we had during and after the visit was one of the most powerful and positive
dialogues I've ever been a part of.
In other words, I can forgive because I can remember. And because I can forgive, I can work
with ease with my German contemporaries, whose fathers may well have killed my cousins. And
because so many Germans have apologized for what happened under the Nazis, they can work
with people like me without feeling guilty for what their parents' generation did.

[1] Long Night's Journey Into Day, a documentary film written and directed by Frances Reid and
Deborah Hoffmann, produced by Frances Reid, Iris Films. Information about the film and a lot
of associated information can be found at http://www.irisfilms.org/longnight/index.htm.
[2] For another view of German/Jew reconciliation, read about (or listen to) the "To Reflect and
Trust" project described in Julia Chaitin's essay on Narratives and Storytelling. See also the
project Web site at http://www.toreflectandtrust.org/ and listen to her interview segment on TRT
here.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Schneider,CarlD.""I'mSorry":ThePowerofApologyinMediation.",1900
Availableat:http://www.mediate.com/articles/apology.cfm.

Thisarticlediscussestheimportanceofanapologyinmediation.Itoutlineswhetherornottouseitasa
technique,assessingwhetherornotitwillhelp,andthelegalitiessurroundinganapology.

ACampaignforForgivenessResearch.
Availableat:http://www.forgiving.org.
TheCampaignforForgivenessResearchseeksto"deepenourunderstandingofforgivenessandbegin
theprocessofbuildingmanydifferentroadstoreconciliation."Theorganizationsupportsavarietyof
researchprojectsthatdealwiththepowerofforgivenessandreconciliation.

CoventryUniversity:CentreforForgivenessandReconciliation.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
Thisisthehomepageofthisorganization,whichdedicatesitselftopromotingstrategiesforestablishing
sustainablepeaceinpostconflictregions.Theorganizationisguidedbythenotionthatforgivenessand
reconciliationareessentialcomponentsoflastingpeace.

Rigby,Andrew."ForgivingthePast:PathsTowardsaCultureofReconciliation.",2000
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

"Howdopeoplecometotermswithalegacyofpastatrocities,abusesandcriminalacts?Howcanthe
woundscausedbydivisionandconflictbehealed?Howcanapeoplerecoverfromcollectivetrauma?"
Theauthoranswersthesequestions.

ThePowerofApologies.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/Ombuds/Apologies1.pdf.
Thisshortpieceexplainshowtomakeaneffectiveapologyanddiscusseswhyanapologycanbesucha

significantsteptowardrepairingadamagedrelationship.

Hartwell,MarciaByrom."TheRoleofForgivenessinReconstructingSocietyAfterConflict."Journalof
HumanitarianAssistance,2000
Availableat:http://www.jha.ac/articles/a048.htm.

Thispaperwilladdressesthetopicofforgivenessbyfirstdefiningitandsecondlybyfocusingonits
possibilityandrelevanceinapostconflictsituation.Itwillconsiderforgivenesswithintheframeworkof
socialreconciliationacollectiveattempttorebuildamutuallybeneficialandcooperativecivilsocietyby
examiningtheconceptofjustice,bydrawinguponpsychologicalmodelsofinterpersonalforgiveness,
andbyconsideringotherstrategiesforsocialhealing.Thetraditionalmodelofjusticeasfairnessis
questionedinitseffectivenesstostopcyclesofrevengeandviolencewithinacountry.Amorerecent
evolutionofa"justiceasreconciliation"paradigmdevelopedbyMahmoodMamdaniandderivedfrom
theSouthAfricanexperience,isexploredasanapproachthatcanembracetheprocessofforgiveness
withintheconstructionofreconciliation.

WorldwideForgivenessAlliance.
Availableat:http://www.forgivenessday.org/.
ThisisthehomepageofTheWorldwideForgivenessAlliance,whichisanonprofiteducational
foundationdedicatedtoevokingthehealingpowerofforgivenessworldwide.Itisanondenominational
organization,opentoallreligions,creedsandbeliefs.TheAlliancepromotesforgivenessasawayof
creatingasafer,morejoyfulandpeacefulworld.Thesiteoffersaccesstoavarietyofresourcesabout
forgivenessandhowtoachieveit.
Offline(Print)Sources
Minow,MarthaL."DefiningVengeanceandForgiveness."InBetweenVengeanceandForgiveness:
FacingHistoryAfterGenocideandMassViolence.Boston:BeaconPress,1998.Pages:924.
Theoreticaldiscussionoftheareabetweentheconceptsofvengeanceandforgiveness.

Minow,MarthaL.BetweenVengeanceandForgiveness:FacingHistoryAfterGenocideandMass
Violence.Boston:BeaconPress,1998.
Thisbooklooksatthecapacityandlimitationsofformalnationalresponsestogenocide,systematic
rapes,andmasstorture.Suchresponseshavecomeintheformoflegalproceedings,truthcommission,
reparations,andmemorials,andgiverisetoquestionsaboutretributivejustice,forgiveness,and
healing.

Montiel,ChristinaJayne."ConstructiveandDestructivePostConflictForgiveness."PeaceReview12:1,
2000.
"Religiousmoraliststendtoperceiveforgivenessasalwaysgood,whileindividualsimmersedinthe
realpolitikofsocialconflictstendtoseeforgivenessasalwaysbad.Thisarticleaimstonarrowthe
cognitivegapbetweenmoralthinkersandsociopoliticalpractitionersbyexploringtheconditional
elementsthatresultinconstructiveordestructiveforgiveness."

Luskin,Frederic.ForgiveforGood:AProvenPrescriptionforHealthandHappiness.HarperCollins,
November24,2001.
Luskin,apracticingpsychologistandcofounderoftheStanfordUniversityForgivenessProject,shows
whyforgivenessisimportantformentalandphysicalhealth,explainshowtoformagrievanceand
suggestspracticalstepsforhealing.Heusesexamplesfromhisclinicalpracticeincludinginstancesof
broaderculturalgrievanceslikethosebetweenProtestantsandCatholicsinNorthernIrelandinthis
solidlyresearchedandconvincingguide."FromPublishersWeekly

Helmick,RaymondG.andRodneyL.Petersen,eds.ForgivenessandReconciliation:Religion,Public
Policy,andConflictTransformation.Philadelphia:TempletonFoundationPress,June1,2001.
"Thisbookbringstogetherauniquecombinationofexpertsintheareaofconflictresolutionandfocuses
ontheroleforgivenesscanplayintheprocess.Itdealswiththetheology,publicpolicy,psychological
andsocialtheory,andsocialpolicyimplementationofforgiveness."TempletonFoundationPress

Larsen,EarnieandCarolLarsenHegarty.FromAngertoForgiveness:APracticalGuidetoBreakingthe
NegativePowerofAngerandAchievingReconciliation.NewYork:HazeldonInformationEducation,
1992.
Thisbookpresentsanewstrategyforacknowledgingfeelingsofresentmentandrageandmoving
beyondthemtoforgiveness.

Staub,ErvinandLaurieAnnePearlman."Healing,ReconciliationandForgivingafterGenocideand
OtherCollectiveViolence."InForgivenessandReconciliation:Religion,PublicPolicy,andConflict
Transformation.EditedbyPetersen,RodneyL.andRaymondG.Helmick,eds.Philadelphia:
TempletonFoundationPress,2001.
Thischapterwillexploretheimpactofcollectiveviolenceonvictimsand,tosomedegree,on
perpetratorsaswell.Itwillconsidertheroleofhealing,forgiveness,andreconciliationinbuildinga
betterfutureinsocietiesinwhichsuchviolencehadtakenplaces.Asaprimaryexample,thechapterwill
focusonRwanda,wheretheauthorshavebeenconductingaprojectonhealing,forgiveness,and
reconciliation.

Schmidt,JanetP."MediationandtheHealingJourneyTowardForgiveness."14:3,1993.
Themainthemeofthearticleistheprocessofforgivenessandtherolemediatorsplayinthishealing
journey.Theauthordescribesthehealingprocessfromtwopointsofview:thevictims'journeyandthe
offenders'journey.Eachjourneyfollowsasetofstages,althoughthisisnotnecessarilyalinearprocess.
Clickhereformoreinfo.

McCullough,MichaelE.,StevenJ.SandageandEverettL.Worthington,Jr.ToForgiveisHuman:How
toPutYourPastinthePast.InterVarsityPress,1997.
Thisbook,drawingprimarilyonpsychologicalresearch,presentsadiscussionofthedynamicsof

forgiveness,andofferspracticaladviceonhowpeoplecanlearntoforgiveinaneffectiveand
constructiveway.

Schneider,CarlD."WhatItMeanstoBeSorry:ThePowerofApologyinMediation."Mediation
Quarterly17:3,2000.
"Theimportanceofapologyasacknowledgmentofinjuryisfamiliarinsomeformsofmediation,
includingvictimoffendermediation,butithasbeenmuchlessunderstoodindivorcemediation.Theact
ofapologyrepresentsoneofthecorereparativeopportunitiesindamagedrelations.Butit'snoteasy.
Thisarticledescribestheopportunitythatapologypresents,thedifficultywehaveinseizingthat
opportunity,andtherolethatthirdpartiescanplayininvitingapology.Itidentifies(1)whatisinvolved
inagenuineapology,includingthreeessentialcomponents;(2)theplaceofapologyinmediation,
includingrecognizingitasanacknowledgmentofinjuryandidentifyinghowtoassistclientsinoffering
anapology;and(3)therelationofapologytotheadversarialsystem."

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
ApologyAustralia.
Availableat:http://apology.west.net.au/.
AsitewhereAustralianscanaddtheirnamestoanapologytoAboriginalpeopleaffectedbygovernment
policywhichforciblesplitupfamilies.Therearecurrentlyover24,700namesonthelist.Thepagealso
haslinkstorelatedinformationonAboriginalreconciliation.

Menkin,ElizabethS."LifeAfterDeath."OnlineJournalofPeaceandConflictResolution,Vol.1,No.2,
May1998
Availableat:http://www.trinstitute.org/ojpcr/1_2menkin.htm.

Theauthorgivesapersonalaccountofherstrugglewiththetragicdeathofhersisteratthehandsofa
drunkdriver.Sheshareshowshewasledtovictimoffendermediation,andfinallyforgiveness.

Young,PaulaM."MediationandthePowerofanApology:TheCaseoftheMissingSnowman.",April
2000
Availableat:http://mediate.com/articles/young3.cfm.

Thisarticlefeaturesanddiscussesacasewheremediationprovidesaforuminwhichforgivenessand
apologyplayacriticalroleinreachingemotionalresolutionofthedispute.

TheForgivenessParty.
Availableat:http://www.cointelligence.org/Sforgivenessparty.html.
Thisisthestoryofselfmotivatedrestorativejustice,whichcentersarounda"forgivenessparty"thrown
bythevictimsofaburglary.

TuskegeeUniversityNationalCenterforBioethics.
Availableat:http://www.tuskegee.edu/Global/category.asp?C=35026.
ThissitegivesthefulltextofPresidentClinton's1997apologytoparticipantsinthetheTuskegee
syphilisstudyconducted19321972.Therearealsolinkstoadditionalcoverageoftheapologyandaudio
clips.
Offline(Print)Sources
Krog,AntjieandCharlayneHunterGault.CountryofMySkull:Guilt,Sorrow,andtheLimitsof
ForgivenessintheNewSouthAfrica.NewYork:TimesBooks,March1999.
ThisworkisanaccountofthetrialsandtribulationsofthehearingsoftheSouthAfricanTruthand
ReconciliationCommission,asthenationattemptedtoreconcileinthewakeofapartheid.

Bartoli,Andrea."ForgivenessandReconciliationintheMozambiquePeaceProcess."InForgiveness
andReconciliation:Religion,PublicPolicy,andConflictTransformation.EditedbyPetersen,RodneyL.
andRaymondG.Helmick,eds.Philadelphia:TempletonFoundationPress,2001.
"Thischapterwillarguethatthereligiousleaders,actors,andentitiesplayedacruciallyactiveand
indispensableroleinthepeaceprocessbothlocallyandinternationally....Areligiouscontributionmade
thepoliticaldiscoursemoreflexibleandabletorespondtotheincreasedcomplexityoftheprocess."

Henderson,Michael.Forgiveness:BreakingtheChainofHate.BookpartnersInc.,March1,2002.
Thisbookpresentsforgivenessasanimportantsteptowardreconcilliationandhealing.Itgivesaccounts
ofindividualsandgroupswhohavechosentoforgiveinjuriousoffenses,andhavethuscontributedto
positivechangeintheircommunitiesandnations.

Tutu,DesmondMpilo.NoFutureWithoutForgiveness.Doubleday,2000.
ThisisafirsthandaccountofSouthAfrica'sTruthandReconciliationCommission.DesmondTutu'sbook
outlinesthereasonswhySouthAfricapreferredatruthandreconciliationcommissiontoawarcrimes
tribunal.DesmondTutuarguesthattruthcommissionsweretheonlyviableoptionforSouthAfrica
followingapartheid.Hebelievesthatthefuturedependsondealingwiththepastinawaythatpaves
thewayforafutureofcoexistenceandunderstanding.

Govier,Trudy."TheEthicsofForgiveness."Interaction6:3,1994.
Govierexploresthenotionofforgivenessintheexampleoftheattemptsofreconciliationbetween
victimsandagentsofStasispyingintheformerEastGermany.

Amstutz,Mark.TheHealingofNations:ThePromiseandLimitsofPoliticalForgiveness.Lanham,MD:
Rowman&LittlefieldPublishers,2005.
Althoughregimeshaverarelyexplicitlypursuedsuchastrategy,thisbookarguesfortheimportanceof
forgivenessinpoliticalethics,especiallywhendealingwithcollectivewrongdoingbypoliticalregimes.
Clickhereformoreinfo.

Lederach,JohnPaul."TheMeetingPlace."InJourneyTowardsReconciliation.EditedbyLederach,

JohnPaul,ed.HaraldPress,1998.
Theauthordescribesthatthemostimportantgiftsthatherecievedthroughhisexperienceswasanew
setoflenses.ForfleetingmomentsIwasabletoseethingsaroundmeinnewways.ThroughtheireyesI
sawbeyondconflictresolutiontoreconciliation.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Audiovisual Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
Kim'sStory:TheRoadfromVietnam.Directedand/orProducedby:Saywell,Shelley.FirstRunIcarus
Films.1996.
ThisfilmrelatesthestoryofKimPhuc,whoyearsafterreachingworldrenownasthenineyearoldgirl
whowasrunningnakedinthefamousVietnamWarphotograph,wenttotheUSwereshepromotedan
atmosphereofpeaceandforgiveness.Clickhereformoreinfo.

LongNight'sJourneyintoDay:SouthAfrica'sSearchforTruthandReconciliation.Directedand/or
Producedby:Hoffmann,DeborahandFrancesReid.CaliforniaNewsreel.2000.
ThisfilmfollowsseveralSouthAfricanTruthandReconciliationCommissioncasesoveratwoyear
period.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Teaching Materials on this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
InternationalForgivenessInstitute(IFI).
Availableat:http://www.forgivenessinstitute.org/.
ThisisthehomepageoftheInternationalForgivenessInstitute(IFI),whichisaprivate,nonprofit
organizationthatwasestablishedin1994.TheIFIisanoutgrowthofthesocialscientificresearchonthe
processandeffectsofforgiveness,doneattheUniversityofWisconsinMadisonsince1985byRobert
Enrightandhiscolleagues.TheInstitutepublishesathriceyearlypublication,entitled"TheWorldof
Forgiveness,"whichhighlightsworkonforgivenesswithinsuchvarieddomainsasthepeacemovement,
thelegalprofession,Englishliterature,psycotherapy,educationalanddevelopmentalpsycologyand
otherdisciplines.OneofthemajorgoalsofIFIistodisseminatesound,accurateinformationabout
forgivenesstopeopleacrosstheglobeandtoaccelerateIFI'sactionorientedprograms,inordertohelp
individuals,families,andcommunitiestoexploreandimplementforgivenessforthepurposeof
restoringhealthyemotions,rebuildingrelationships,andestablishingmorepeacefulcommunities.

Unit IV
Communication Issues
Communication is also key to conflicts and disputes, and like emotions and relationships, the
interaction goes two ways. Communication problems tend to lead to or exacerbate conflict, while
good communication is essential to its resolution. These essays explore both issues.
Interpersonal / Small-Scale Communication
Robert Quillen wrote, "Discussion is an exchange of knowledge; argument an exchange
of emotion." This essay explains why interpersonal communication often breaks down
and how to make it more effective.
Channels of Communication
In escalated conflicts, parties often cease communicating altogether, or they ignore each
other, assuming the other is biased or simply wrong. Opening channels of communication
is an important first step in conflict management or resolution.
Misunderstandings
Normal conversations almost always involve miscommunication, but conflict seems to
worsen the problem. Even if the misunderstandings do not cause a conflict or dispute,
they can escalate one rapidly once it starts.
Empathic Listening
Richard Salem writes, "I spent long hours learning to read and write and even had
classroom training in public speaking, but I never had a lesson in listening or thought of
listening as a learnable skill until I entered the world of mediation as an adult." This essay
tries to remedy that situation.
I-Messages and You-Messages
I-messages can be a useful tool for defusing interpersonal conflict. This essay describes
how they can be used, their benefits, and their problems.
Dialogue
In the conflict-resolution sense, dialogue is a strategy used to explore deep differences
that are not likely to be easily resolved or ignored. In dialogue, the intention is not to
advocate but to inquire; not to argue but to explore; not to convince but to discover. This
essay introduces the concept of dialogue, discusses why it is needed, and suggests ways
to do it effectively.
Unit IV Assignment:
Try using empathic listening and I-messages in real discussions (two different discussions).
Then write up a 1-2 page summary for each (two different summaries), explaining what you did
and how it went. What did you learn?

Interpersonal/SmallScaleCommunication

By
Jennifer Akin
September 2003

InterpersonalCommunication

"Ineversawaninstanceofoneor
twodisputantsconvincingthe
otherbyargument."Thomas
Jefferson

"Discussionisanexchangeof
knowledge;argumentanexchange
ofemotion."RobertQuillen

Here is a scene with which we are all familiar: Alex says or does
something that Bob interprets as an insult or an attack. Bob
retaliates in words or action. Alex, having meant no harm in the
first place, now sees Bob's actions or words as an unprovoked
attack. The situation can quickly escalate even though there was
no real reason for a fight to begin in the first place. What has
happened here is not a failure to communicate, but a failure to
understand communication. More often than not, that is what lies
at the root of conflicts, although in intractable conflicts there may be many other factors as well.

Of course, misunderstanding of ideas or intent can also occur when there is an absence of
communication between two groups. When two parties are not speaking, there is no way to
clarify positions, intentions, or past actions; rumors can spread unchecked. Sometimes both
parties make a concerted effort to communicate as clearly as possible, but cultural differences or
language barriers obstruct clear understanding.
Even within a cultural group, misunderstandings can arise because of different personal
communication styles. One person will ask a lot of questions to show interest, while another
person will find that to be disrespectful. Men and women, in particular, are thought to have
different styles. Linguist Deborah Tannen notes that, for women, "talk creates intimacy... [b]ut
men live in a hierarchical world, where talk maintains independence and status."[1] Her research
has also shown that, when speaking, women tend to face each other and look each other in the
eye, while men prefer to sit at angles and look elsewhere in the room. Women also express more
agreement and sympathy with one another's problems, while men will dismiss each other's
problems. Both sets of responses are meant to reassure, but do not have that effect when used
with the opposite gender. For example, women often become angry if a man dismisses their
problem.
Fortunately, breakdowns in communication are usually repairable. Misunderstandings can be
explained, languages can be translated, relationships can be restored (though sometimes this
takes great effort over a long period of time), rumors can be controlled, and escalation limited -all through clear, verbal communication, i.e. talking. Despite common admonishments to
"improve communication skills," the majority of people are already very sophisticated at sending
and interpreting messages. The improvement most people need is more akin to a concert pianist
fine-tuning a particular technique than to a 10-year-old student heading off for her weekly piano

lesson.
A popular misconception about communication is what Michael Reddy calls "the conduit
metaphor."[2] This is the belief that language is like the postal service, that it can transfer
packages (ideas) from person to person without corruption of the original message: person A
puts his thought or feelings into words and "gives" or "sends" these words to B, who "extracts"
or unpacks the message. The danger of this metaphor is that it leads one to believe that language
is effortless. Misunderstandings are therefore extremely frustrating in that they are not supposed
to occur, and if they do occur, then someone must be at fault -- either the speaker did not
correctly package the message or the listener erred in unpacking it, or both. However, no such
exchange takes place. A more accurate description is that the speaker attempts to code ideas,
feelings, and images with words. Those words are transmitted to the listener who then matches
them with his/her own experiences. There is no universal codebook, so what A thinks of as
"success" will not necessarily match person B's definition. Words correspond to different ideas
and feelings for different people, and it can take multiple attempts before an idea has been
understood satisfactorily. The more cultural differences there are between speakers, the more
frequently they will have to stop and work out differences of meaning.
The "conduit metaphor" highlights two important aspects of language: metaphor and semantics.
Semantics refers to the specific meanings of words, as well as the value they carry beyond their
definition. For example, one could call a woman, "lady," "girl," "ma'am," "miss" or any of
dozens of synonymous terms. The difference between these terms, and the reason the addressee
will prefer some of them and be offended by others, is based on the value she places on each
definition.
A clear understanding of semantics is crucial to preventing misunderstandings. Arguments
frequently occur when two people think they are talking about the same thing, but really are just
using the same word for two different ideas or things. An exaggerated example of this would be
a misunderstanding over the question "What state was he in?" where one person is talking about
a state of mind and the other about a political region. Hopefully that is a misunderstanding that
can be cleared up quickly, but for a few moments both parties are likely to be confused and
possibly think the other is crazy. A subtler example would be an argument over the definition of
the word "respect." One person may understand "respect" to signify a feeling, while another sees
it as an attitude demonstrated through actions. Though Andrew feels respect for Betty, Betty is
angry that Andrew did not demonstrate this respect through actions. Andrew, on the other hand,
is convinced he was not at fault because he does (or did) genuinely feel respect for Betty. This
type of argument can drag on indefinitely with both sides vehemently defending themselves.
Metaphor is one of the most powerful linguistic devices. Metaphor expands understanding by
relating the unknown to the familiar. Complex or unfamiliar ideas, systems or relationships are
often explained by comparison to something already well known. The heart, for example, is a
complex muscle performing very specialized tasks, but it is easier to understand its function by
thinking of it as a familiar mechanical device such as a pump. Some cognitive scientists
hypothesize that much human knowledge is structured with metaphor. The hidden danger of
these linguistic devices is that, while creating associations of function or meaning ("the heart is
like a pump"), they also transmit value judgments ("a pump is an ugly utilitarian tool").

Sometimes a metaphor is so subtle or commonly used that one is unaware it is there. For
example, to "waste time" is a common English phrase, but how does one actually waste time? It
is impossible, unless we assume that time, like apples (or money!), is a physical commodity. For
most Americans, time is indeed thought of as a commodity that can be measured out, spent,
wasted, and valued. This conception of time becomes problematic when an American interacts
with someone from a culture for whom time is not a commodity.
A final misleading idea about language is the belief that words are harmless. "Sticks and stones
may break my bones, but words will never hurt me," is a children's rhyme in the United States.
Yet words can hurt people very badly. A biting criticism or personal attack can stay vivid in
one's memory for years. Some words can provoke a physical response; a punch in the face
perhaps. The words themselves may seem weightless, but they can bring about concrete
reactions and should be used with care.
The conflict resolution field specializes in helping people communicate more effectively and
avoid some of the pitfalls listed above. Two of the most common techniques taught are active
listening, or empathic listening, and the use of "I-messages" instead of "you-messages." Both of
these focus on trying to communicate without placing blame and really trying to hear and
understand what the other person is saying. When people are in conflict, making the extra effort
to improve communication between the disputants is often helpful in reducing the intensity of the
conflict, even if the conflict cannot be that easily resolved.

[1] Tannen, Deborah. "Sex, Lies and Conversation; Why Is It So Hard for Men and Women to
Talk to Each Other?" The Washington Post. 24 June 1990.
[2] Reddy, Michael. "The Conduit Metaphor -- A Case of Frame Conflict in our Language about
Language." Metaphor and Thought. Ed. Andrew Ortony, Cambridge, 1979.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
AmericanCommunicationAssociation(ACA).
Availableat:http://www.americancomm.org/.
TheAmericanCommunicationAssociationisanationalorganizationofpractitioners,scholars,and
studentsinthefieldofcommunicationstudies.TheACAhomepageallowshypertextaccesstoa
numberofresourcesrelatedtocommunication:includinglaw,conflictandcommunication,political
communication,etc.Thispageprovidesaccesstonumerouslevelsofinformation.

DialogicListening.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/dialist.htm.
Dialogiclisteningissimilartoactivelistening,althoughitemphasizesconversationasasharedactivity

andstressesanopenended,playfulattitudetowardtheconversation.Inaddition,thepartiesfocuson
whatishappeningbetweenthem(ratherthaneachpartyfocusingonwhatisgoingonwithinthemind
oftheother),anditfocusesonthepresentmorethanonthepastorthefuture.

InflammatoryStatements.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/problem/inflame.htm.
Sometimescommunicationcanmakemattersworseratherthanbetter.Whencommunicationis
threatening,hostile,orinflammatoryitcandomoretoescalateaconflictthanitcantodefuseit.

InterpersonalConflictBookSummary.
Availableat:http://www.beyondintractability.org/booksummary/10281/.
ThisisasummaryofInterpersonalConflict,byJoyceHockerandWilliamWilmot.Thebookexplores
factorsthatcontributetointerpersonalconflict,withparticularattentiontothecommunication
behaviorofconflictingparties.

Bellafiore,Donna."InterpersonalConflictandEffectiveCommunication.",2004
Availableat:http://www.drbalternatives.com/articles/cc2.html.

Thisarticleexaminesthedifferentstylesthatpeopleadoptwhenfacingsituationsofconflictona
personallevelandofferstechniquestopreventandmitigateharmfulinterpersonalconflict.

NationalCommunicationAssociation.
Availableat:http://www.natcom.org/nca/Template2.asp.
NCAisascholarlysocietyandassuchworkstoenhancetheresearch,teaching,andserviceproducedby
itsmembersontopicsofbothintellectualandsocialsignificance.Thesite's"CommunicationEducation
ResourcesIndex"(CERI)isanextensivebibliographyofbooksandarticlesarrangedbytopic.

Glaser,Tanya."NewDirectionsinMediationBookSummary."UniversityofColorado:Conflict
ResearchConsortium.
Availableat:http://www.beyondintractability.org/booksummary/10215/.

ThissummaryofNewDirectionsinMediation,editedbyJosephFolgerandTriciaJones,outlinesthe
contentsofthebook.Thebookisacollectionofessayswhichanalyzethemediationprocessfroma
communicativeperspective.Thecollectionincludesboththeoreticalapproachesanddiscussionsof
practicalapplication.
Offline(Print)Sources
Borisoff,DeborahandDavidA.Victor.ConflictManagement:ACommunicationSkillsApproach.Allyn
andBacon,October14,1997.
ConflictManagementpresentsacommunicationskillsapproachtowardmanagingconflicts.Itanalyses
therolecommunicationplaysinexacerbatingconflicts,andofferscommunicationstrategieswhich
promoteproductiveconflictmanagement.Clickhereformoreinfo.


Tannen,Deborah.TalkingFrom9to5:WomenandMenintheWorkplace.Quill,September2001.
Anexaminationofthewaysinwhichwomenandmen'sworkplaceconversationscontributetodiffering
sourcesofmiscommunicationandconflict.Usefulforencouragingpositivecoworkerrelations.

Tannen,Deborah.That'sNotWhatIMeant!HowConversationalStyleMakesorBreaksRelationships.
NewYork:Ballantine,January1,1991.
Thisbookfocusesonconversationalstyleasthemostimportantmeansofsteeringanargumentor
discussiontowardaconstructiveend.

Reddy,Michael."TheConduitMetaphor:ACaseofFrameConflictinourLanguageaboutLanguage."
MetaphorandThought,December1993.

Fauconnier,GilesandMarkTurner.TheWayWeThink:ConceptualBlendingandtheMind'sHidden
Complexities.BasicBooks,April2,2002.
Theauthorsarguethatconceptualblending,aprocessthatoperatesbelowthelevelofconsciousness
andinvolvesconnectingtwoconceptstocreatenewmeaning,canbeusedtoexplainabstractthought,
creativity,andlanguage.Thebookisagoodlookathowmetaphoricalthinkingcancontainmore
meaningthantheuserisawareof.

Tannen,Deborah.YouJustDon'tUnderstand:WomenandMeninConversation.NewYork:William
MorrowandCo.,Inc,January1,1990.
Tannenexamineshowwomenandmencommunicateinverydifferentwaysfromeachother.These
differencescontributetomuchmiscommunicationandgrief.Theauthorsuggestswaystoimprove
communicationbetweenthesexes.

ChannelsofCommunication

By
Julian Ouellet

Interpersonal communication is one of the fundamental underpinnings of society.


We can define communication, as Krauss and Morsella do, as the transfer of information.[1] In
this context communication channels can be understood simply as the modes or pathways
through which two parties might communicate. As population grows and technology evolves
accordingly, these channels of communication change as well.[2] Many have observed that "the
world is getting smaller," referring not only to the ease of travel, but also to the ease of
communication around the globe. Unfortunately, however, just because communication is easy
to accomplish does not mean that it is done, or that the result is an increase in understanding.
Thus, we must distinguish between communication channels and the messages that use them. In
conflicts, communication problems can arise from poorly communicated ideas which result in
misunderstandings and/or from poor channels of communication. This building block is
primarily concerned with the latter.

CommunicationinConflict
Often, during a dispute or a conflict,

communication is strained or broken off entirely.


Fighting husbands and wives may avoid each other
or stop talking freely to each other about each
person's feelings. Disputing co-workers, neighbors,

or friends will do the same. Disputes make many


Additionalinsightsintochannelsof
people uncomfortable, so they try to avoid the
communication
discomfort by avoiding its source--the person
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10193
and/or the situation that is causing the problem.
In larger-scale conflicts, not only is communication broken off, but often the only information
one gets about the other side comes either from rumors, or from the media, or both. There is a
strong tendency to only see what one expects or wants to see, and negative stereotypes develop
quickly. Without direct evidence to the contrary, provided by personal interactions, relationships
can become increasingly strained and assumptions about the other sides' beliefs, interests, needs,
and intentions are likely to become increasingly distorted.

ReEstablishingCommunication
One of the first goals to dealing constructively with both disputes and conflicts is to reestablish
channels of communication. Fighting spouses or co-workers should calm down (see cooling-off
periods) and then begin talking again, using de-escalatory language (such as I-messages and
empathic listening) to try to understand the other sides' interests and concerns.
If tensions are too high to undertake such communication without help, third parties are often
effective at reestablishing channels of communication -- they may in fact become THE channel
of communication between parties exploring conciliation. The third party may be an official
mediator, or it may simply be a mutual friend, a rabbi or pastor, a co-worker--anyone trusted by
both parties to help resolve the dispute. A third party can carry messages back and forth, and
explore ideas for settlement that the two parties could not discuss face-to-face. Third parties have

the added benefit of being able to manage the dialogue such that intent and meaning can be
communicated without hostile interpretations.

[1] Robert Krauss and Ezequiel Morsella, "Communication and Conflict," in M. Deutsch and P.
Coleman, eds., The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (San Francisco:
Jossey Bass, 2000), 131-143.
[2] Quincy Wright, A Study of War, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1967).
[3] Stephen Van Evera, "Why Cooperation Failed in 1914," World Politics 38, 1 (Winter 1985),
pp. 80-117. Jack Levy, "Necessary Conditions in Case Studies: Preferences, Constraints, and
Choices in July 1914," in G. Goertz and H., eds., Necessary Conditions: Theory, Methodology,
and Applications (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), 113-145.
[4] G. Allison, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missle Crisis, (Boston: Little,
Brown & Co., 1971).
[5] Krauss and Morsella "Communication," David Campbell, Writing Security: United States
Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity, (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998).
[6] Matthew Evangelista, "Cooperation Theory and Disarmament Theory in the 1950s," World
Politics Vol. 42, No. 4, (Summer 1990) pp 502-28.
[7] Marc Levy, "Mediation of Prisoner's Dilemma Conflicts and the Importance of the
Cooperation Threshold: The Case of Namibia," Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol. 29 No. 4
(Fall 1985), pp. 581-603.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Offline(Print)Sources
Wright,Quincy."ChapterVIII:CharacterofModernCivilization."InAStudyofWar,2ndEdition.
Chicago:UniversityofChicagoPress,1965.Pages:166217.
ThissectionofWright'sbookdescribeshowcommunicationadvancesandtechnologyhasaffectedthe
developmentofwarandpeace.Wrightarguesthatcommunicationadvanceshaveaidedthespreadof
humanistideas,butalsohelpedcreateconflictwithinthatspread.

Krauss,RobertM.andEzequielMorsella."CommunicationandConflict."InTheHandbookofConflict
Resolution:TheoryandPractice.EditedbyDeutsch,MortonandPeterT.Coleman,eds.JosseyBass
Publishers,2000.

Thischapterdescribeshowcommunicationstructuresandisstructuredbyconflict.Inthismanner
KraussandMorselladescribefourdifferentmodelsofunderstandingcommunicationandconflictin
ordertodescribewaystobridgecommunicationgaps.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
Evangelista,Matthew."CooperationTheoryandDisarmamentTheoryinthe1950s."WorldPolitics
42:4,1990.
Evangelista'sworkshowshowcommunicationpreventscooperation.Rationalactorsmodelsthat
assumenoncommunicationdonotleadautomaticallytocooperation.Thusincrisissituations,Titfor
Tattypeactionswillnotnecessarilyleadtoresolutionofthecrisis.

Allison,GrahamandPhilipZelikow.EssenceofDecision:ExplainingtheCubanMissileCrisis,2nded..
NewYork:PearsonLongman,1999.
Allison'sworkshowsthatbureaucraticlimitationsaswellaslimitationsoncommunicationbetween
groupslimitsthesolutionsthatgroupscanfindduringtimesofcrisis.Inthiscasethelackofopen
channelsofcommunicationoftencreatedmisperceptionoftheUnitedStates'andSoviet'sactions.

Levy,Marc.MediationofPrisoner'sDilemmaConflictsandtheImportanceoftheCooperation
Threshold:TheCaseofNamibia.
Levy'sarticleisacasestudythattriestodisprovesimplePrisoner'sDilemmatheoriesasexplanatory
modelsforcivilwars.Instead,arguesLevy,civilwarsarebettercharacterizedbygamesofdeadlock.

VanEvera,Stephen."WhyCooperationFailedin1914."WorldPolitics38:1,1985.
VanEvera'spieceshowsmanyofthestructuralandperceptuallimitstoclearcommunication.Itisan
effectiveexampleofthewaysinwhichmisperceptioncaninhibitcommunicationandisthusoneofthe
firstproblemsthatmustinaddressedinordertoresolveconflicts.

Misunderstandings

By
Heidi Burgess

Social conflicts often involve some misunderstanding. Parties in conflict communicate by what
they say (or do not say) and how they behave toward each other. Even normal interaction may

involve faulty communication, but conflict seems to worsen the problem. When two people are
in conflict, they often make negative assumptions about "the other." Consequently, a statement
that might have seemed innocuous when two parties were friends might seem hostile or
threatening when the same parties are in conflict.

SourcesofMisunderstanding
All communication has two parts: a sender and a receiver. The sender has a message he or she
intends to transmit, and s/he puts it in words, which, to her/him, best reflect what s/he is thinking.
But many things can intervene to prevent the intended message from being received accurately.
If the communication is verbal, tone of voice can

influence interpretation. The boss's words, "Hey, I


noticed you were taking an especially long break
this morning," could be interpreted as an attack if
she or he said that in a disapproving tone, while the

comment might be seen as a minor reminder about


FrankBlechmanstatesthatsurprisesofferthe
office rules if it was said in a friendly way. If the
intervenorachancetoreassesstheassumptions
employee has a health problem that sometimes
he/shehasmadeaboutaconflict.
requires long breaks, the comment might have even http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10107
been a friendly inquiry about what was happening
and whether the employee needed any help. Here,
tone of voice as well as situational and relationship factors would influence the interpretation of
the message.
Nonverbal cues also are important. Is the sender's posture open and friendly, or closed and cold?
Is her facial expression friendly or accusatory? All of these factors influence how the same
words will be received.
In addition to how the message is sent, many additional factors determine how the receiver
interprets the message. All new information we learn is compared with the knowledge we
already have. If it confirms what we already know, we will likely receive the new information
accurately, though we may pay little attention to it. If it calls into question our previous
assumptions or interpretation of the situation, we may distort it in our minds so that it is made to
fit our world view, or we may dismiss the information as deceptive, misguided, or simply wrong.
If the message is ambiguous, the receiver is especially likely to clarify it for him or herself in a
way which corresponds with his or her expectations. For example, if two people are involved in
an escalated conflict, and they each assume that the other is going to be aggressive and hostile,
then any ambiguous message will be interpreted as aggressive and hostile, even if it was not
intended to be that way at all. Our expectations work as blinders or filters that distort what we
see so that it fits our preconceived images of the world. (Conflict theorists call these filters
"frames." See the essay on Frames, Framing, and Reframing for more information.)
An analogy can be made to an experiment that tested people's interpretation of visual cues. When
people were given eyeglasses that turned the world upside-down, they had to suffer through with

upside-down images for a week or two. After that, their brains learned to reverse the images, so
they were seeing things right-side up again. The same thing happens when we hear something we
"know" is wrong. Our brains "fix" it so that it appears as we expect it to.
Cultural differences increase the likelihood of misunderstanding as well. If people speak
different languages, the danger of bad translation is obvious. But even if people speak the same
language, they may communicate in different ways.
Common differences are between high-context and low-context communication. Low-context
communication stands on its own; it does not require context or interpretation to give it meaning.
High-context communication is more ambiguous. It requires background knowledge and
understanding (context), in addition to the words themselves, for communication. While
everyone uses both kinds of communication, Western cultures tend to use low-context
communication more often, while Eastern and Latin American and African cultures tend to use
high-context communication. If such differences are not understood and adjusted for,
misunderstanding is almost inevitable.[1]
Culture also affects communication by influencing the recipients' assumptions. As described
above, our minds try to twist incoming information to make it fit in our worldview. Since
different cultures have very different worldviews, cross-cultural communication is especially
likely to change meaning between sender and receiver, as the sender may have a very different
worldview from the receiver.
Given our tendency to hear what we expect to hear, it is very easy for people in conflict to
misunderstand each other. Communication is already likely to be strained, and people will often
want to hide the truth to some extent. Thus the potential for misperception and misunderstanding
is high, which can make conflict management or resolution more difficult.

HowtoAvoidMisunderstanding
In conflict situations, avoiding misunderstanding
takes a lot of effort. Roger Fisher and William Ury
list four skills that can improve communication in
conflict situations.

Thefirstisactivelistening.Thegoalofactive
S.Y.Bowlanddescribeshowsubtleracialor
listening,theysay,istounderstandyour
genderbiascanleadtomisunderstandings.
opponentaswellasyouunderstandyourself.
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10158
Paycloseattentiontowhattheothersideis
saying.Asktheopponenttoclarifyorrepeat
anythingthatisunclearorseemsunreasonable(maybeitisn't,butyouareinterpretingit
wrong).Attempttorepeattheircase,astheyhavepresentedit,backtothem.Thisshowsthat
youarelistening(whichsuggeststhatyoucarewhattheyhavetosay)andthatyouunderstand
whattheyhavesaid.Itdoesnotindicatethatyouagreewithwhattheysaid,nordoyouhaveto.
Youjustneedtoindicatethatyoudounderstandthem.
FisherandUry'ssecondruleistospeakdirectlytoyouropponent.Thisisnotconsidered
appropriateinsomecultures,butwhenpermitted,ithelpstoincreaseunderstanding.Avoid

beingdistractedbyothers,orbyotherthingsgoingoninthesameroom.Focusonwhatyou
havetosay,andonsayingitinawaythatyouropponentcanunderstand.
Theirthirdruleistospeakaboutyourself,notaboutyouropponent.Describeyourownfeelings
andperceptions,ratherthanfocusingonyouropponent'smotives,misdeeds,orfailings.By
saying,"Ifeltletdown,"ratherthan"Youbrokeyourpromise,"youwillconveythesame
information,inawaythatdoesnotprovokeadefensiveorhostilereactionfromyouropponent.
Thisisoftenreferredtoasusing"Istatements"or"Imessages,"ratherthan"youmessages."
Youmessagessuggestblame,andencouragetherecipienttodenywrongdoingortoblamein
return.Imessagessimplystateaproblem,withoutblamingsomeoneforit.Thismakesiteasier
fortheothersidetohelpsolvetheproblem,withouthavingtoadmittheywerewrong.
FisherandUry'sfourthruleis"speakforapurpose."Toomuchcommunicationcanbe
counterproductive,theywarn.Beforeyoumakeasignificantstatement,pauseandconsider
whatyouwanttocommunicate,whyyouwanttocommunicatethat,andhowyoucandoitin
theclearestpossibleway.

Other rules might be added to these four. One is to avoid inflammatory language much as
possible. Inflammatory language just increases hostility and defensiveness; it seldom convinces
people that the speaker is right. (Actually, it usually does just the opposite.) Although
inflammatory remarks can arouse people's interest in a conflict and generate support for one's
own side, that support often comes at the cost of general conflict escalation. Making one's point
effectively without inflammatory statements is a better option.
Likewise, all opponents should be treated with respect. It doesn't help a conflict situation to treat
people disrespectfully; it just makes them angry and less likely to listen to you, understand you,
or do what you want. No matter what you think of another person, if they are treated with respect
and dignity -- even if you think they do not deserve it -- communication will be much more
successful, and the conflict will be more easily managed or resolved. Engaging in deep
conversations (through problem-solving workshops or dialogues) can also reduce
misunderstanding by improving relationships, by providing more context to communication, and
by breaking down stereotypes that contribute to negative characterizations or worldviews. The
more effort one makes to understand the person sending the message, the more likely the
message will be understood correctly.

[1] Edward T. Hall, Beyond Culture. (New York: Anchor/Doubleday, 1971)

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
ConflictResearchConsortiumStaff.CommunicationImprovement.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/commimp.htm.

Thispagebrieflydiscussestheimpactsofmisunderstandinginsocialconflictsandgoesontomake
suggestionsabouthowtoimprovecommunicationbetweenparties.

Gallozi,Chuck.Misunderstanding.
Availableat:http://www.personaldevelopment.com/chuck/misunderstanding.htm.
Thisarticlediscussesmisunderstanding,howitarises,andwhatpeoplecandotoeliminateit.
Specifically,theauthorpromotesempathiclisteningasthewaytowardendingmisunderstanding.
Offline(Print)Sources
Prentice,DeborahA.andDaleT.Miller,eds.CulturalDivides:UnderstandingandOvercomingGroup
Conflict.RussellSageFoundation,June1,1999.
ThisworkexaminesAmerica'sincreasinglydiversesocietyandattemptstoanswerquestionsregarding
thelimitsofpluralismintheUnitedStates.TheworkinvestigatesquestionssurroundingAmericans'
capacityfortoleranceandtoliveinharmonydespiteagrowinglevelofculturaldifferencebetween
groups.Thisbookfeaturesresearchabouttheoriginsandnatureofgroupconflictandexaminesthe
effectsofcultureonsociallifefromasocialpsychologicalperspective.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Kimmel,PaulR."CultureandConflict."InTheHandbookofConflictResolution:TheoryandPractice.
EditedbyDeutsch,MortonandPeterT.Coleman,eds.SanFrancisco:JosseyBassPublishers,2000.
Thisarticledescribeshowoursocialmeaningsandrealitiesareconstructedwithinthecontextofour
particularculture,andsuggeststhatdifferingsystemsofmeaningamongvariousculturesmayleadto
moralconflictandmiscommunication.However,wecanlearntobecomemoreawareofdiffering
culturalvaluesthrougheducation,trainingprograms,andoverallincreasedculturalawareness.Taking
suchstepsshouldreducethepossiblityofattributionerrorandculturalmisunderstanding.

Ward,AndrewandLeeRoss."NaiveRealisminEverydayLife:ImplicationsforSocialConflictand
Misunderstanding."InValuesandKnowledge.EditedbyReed,Edward,ElliotTurielandTerrance
Brown,eds.LawrenceErlbaumAssociation,February1997.
Thispaperexaminestheimpactsofsubjectiveinterpretationandthelimitsofsocialperceptiononsocial
conflict.Thebasicargumentisthatpeoplearegenerallynaiveintheirbeliefthattheirpersonal
judgementofasituationoranotherperson,isaccurateandwouldbeagreeabletoothers.Itfollows
thenthatthistraittendstoresultinmisunderstandingsandsocialconflict.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Storey,Andy.MisunderstandingEthnicity:AncientHatreds,FalseConsciousnessandRationalChoice.
Availableat:.
Thisarticlediscussestheextenttowhichtheconceptsofethnicityand"ethnicconflict"are
misunderstoodinmanymediaportrayals.Anexampleisthenotionthatethnicconflictsareeasily
categorizedasbeinggroundedinancient,atavisticemotions,ratherthaninmodern,politicalstrategies.
Theauthorarguesthatsuchmisunderstandingcanbeperpetuatedthroughthemediaandtherefore

makeitmoredifficulttoresolveethnicconflicts,suchastheRwandangenocide.

EmpathicListening

By
Richard Salem

TheBenefitsofEmpathicListening
Empathic listening (also called active listening or reflective
listening) is a way of listening and responding to another person
that improves mutual understanding and trust. It is an essential
skill for third parties and disputants alike, as it enables the
listener to receive and accurately interpret the speaker's message,
and then provide an appropriate response. The response is an
integral part of the listening process and can be critical to the
success of a negotiation or mediation. Among its benefits,
empathic listening
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

"Whenthefinalsessionended,the
leaderofthecommunity
organizationboltedacrossthe
floor,claspedthemediator'shand
andthankedhimforbeing
'differentfromtheothers.''How
wasIdifferent?'Chaceasked.'You
listened,'wasthereply.'Youwere
theonlyonewhocaredabout
whatweweresaying.'"[1]

buildstrustandrespect,
enablesthedisputantstoreleasetheiremotions,
reducestensions,
encouragesthesurfacingofinformation,and
createsasafeenvironmentthatisconducivetocollaborativeproblemsolving.

Though useful for everyone involved in a conflict, the ability and willingness to listen with
empathy is often what sets the mediator apart from others involved in the conflict.
Even when the conflict is not resolved during mediation, the listening process can have a
profound impact on the parties. Jonathon Chace, associate director of the U.S. Community
Relations Service, recalls a highly charged community race-related conflict he responded to
more than 30 years ago when he was a mediator in the agency's Mid-Atlantic office. It involved
the construction of a highway that would physically divide a community centered around a
public housing project. After weeks of protest activity, the parties agreed to mediation. In the
end, the public officials prevailed and the aggrieved community got little relief. When the final
session ended, the leader of the community organization bolted across the floor, clasped the
mediator's hand and thanked him for being "different from the others."
"HowwasIdifferent?"Chaceasked."Youlistened,"wasthereply."Youweretheonlyonewhocared
aboutwhatweweresaying."[1]

William Simkin, former director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and one of
the first practitioners to write in depth about the mediation process, noted in 1971 that
"understanding has limited utility unless the mediator can somehow convey to the parties the fact
that [the mediator] knows the essence of the problem. At that point," he said, "and only then, can
(the mediator) expect to be accorded confidence and respect."[2]
Simkin was writing about more than the need to understand and project an understanding of the
facts. Understanding "is not confined to bare facts," he said. "Quite frequently the strong
emotional background of an issue and the personalities involved may be more significant than
the facts." He suggested that mediators apply "sympathetic understanding,"[3] which in reality is
empathic listening.

HowtoListenwithEmpathy

Empathy is the ability to project oneself into the


personality of another person in order to better

understand that person's emotions or feelings.


Additionalinsightsintoempathiclistening
Through empathic listening the listener lets the
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10386
speaker know, "I understand your problem and how
you feel about it, I am interested in what you are
saying and I am not judging you." The listener unmistakably conveys this message through
words and non-verbal behaviors, including body language. In so doing, the listener encourages
the speaker to fully express herself or himself free of interruption, criticism or being told what to
do. It is neither advisable nor necessary for a mediator to agree with the speaker, even when
asked to do so. It is usually sufficient to let the speaker know, "I understand you and I am
interested in being a resource to help you resolve this problem."
While this article focuses on mediation, it should be apparent that empathic listening is a core
skill that will strengthen the interpersonal effectiveness of individuals in many aspects of their
professional and personal lives.[4] Parties to unassisted negotiations -- those that do not involve
a mediator -- can often function as their own mediator and increase their negotiating
effectiveness through the use of empathy. Through the use of skilled listening these "mediational
negotiators" can control the negotiation by their:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

willingnesstolettheotherpartiesdominatethediscussion,
attentivenesstowhatisbeingsaid,
carenottointerrupt,
useofopenendedquestions,
sensitivitytotheemotionsbeingexpressed,and
abilitytoreflectbacktotheotherpartythesubstanceandfeelingsbeingexpressed.

The power of empathic listening in volatile settings is reflected in Madelyn Burley-Allen's


description of the skilled listener. "When you listen well," Burley-Allen says, "you:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

acknowledgethespeaker,
increasethespeaker'sselfesteemandconfidence,
tellthespeaker,"Youareimportant"and"Iamnotjudgingyou,"
gainthespeaker'scooperation,
reducestressandtension,
buildteamwork,
gaintrust,
elicitopenness,
gainasharingofideasandthoughts,and
obtainmorevalidinformationaboutthespeakersandthesubject."[5]

To obtain these results, Burly-Allen says, a skilled listener:


1. "takesinformationfromotherswhileremainingnonjudgmentalandempathic,

2. acknowledgesthespeakerinawaythatinvitesthecommunicationtocontinue,and
3. providesalimitedbutencouragingresponse,carryingthespeaker'sideaonestepforward."

EmpathicListeninginMediation
Before a mediator can expect to obtain clear and accurate information about the conflict from a
party who is emotionally distraught, it is necessary to enable that party to engage in a cathartic
process, according to Lyman S. Steil,[6] a former president of the American Listening
Association. He defines catharsis as "the process of releasing emotion, the ventilation of feelings,
the sharing of problems or frustrations with an empathic listener. Catharsis," he continues,
"basically requires an understanding listener who is observant to the cathartic need cues and
clues. People who need catharsis will often give verbal and non-verbal cues, and good listeners
will be sensitive enough to recognize them. Cathartic fulfillment is necessary for maximized
success" at all other levels of communication.
"Cathartic communication," Steil continues, "requires caring, concerned, risk-taking and nonjudgmental listening. Truly empathic people suspend evaluation and criticism when they listen to
others. Here the challenge is to enter into the private world of the speaker, to understand without
judging actions or feelings."
Providing empathic responses to two or more parties to the same conflict should not present a
problem for a mediator who follows the basic principles of active listening. The mediator
demonstrates objectivity and fairness by remaining non-judgmental throughout the negotiation,
giving the parties equal time and attention and as much time as each needs to express
themselves.
Parties to volatile conflicts often feel that nobody on the other side is interested in what they
have to say. The parties often have been talking at each other and past each other, but not with
each other. Neither believes that their message has been listened to or understood. Nor do they
feel respected. Locked into positions that they know the other will not accept, the parties tend to
be close-minded, distrustful of each other, and often angry, frustrated, discouraged, or hurt.
When the mediator comes onto the scene, he or she continuously models good conflictmanagement behaviors, trying to create an environment where the parties in conflict will begin
to listen to each other with clear heads. For many disputants, this may be the first time they have
had an opportunity to fully present their story. During this process, the parties may hear things
that they have not heard before, things that broaden their understanding of how the other party
perceives the problem. This can open minds and create a receptivity to new ideas that might lead
to a settlement.[7] In creating a trusting environment, it is the mediator's hope that some strands
of trust will begin to connect the parties and replace the negative emotions that they brought to
the table.
Mediator Nancy Ferrell, who formerly responded to volatile community race-related conflicts for
the Dallas Office of the U.S. Community Relations Service, questions whether mediation can
work if some measure of empathy is not developed between the parties. She describes a multiissue case involving black students and members of a white fraternity that held an annual "black-

face" party at a university in Oklahoma. At the outset, the student president of the fraternity was
convinced that the annual tradition was harmless and inoffensive. It wasn't until the mediator
created an opportunity for him to listen to the aggrieved parties at the table that he realized the
extraordinary impact his fraternity's antics had on black students. Once he recognized the
problem, a solution to that part of the conflict was only a step away.
Ferrell seeks clues that the parties will respond to each other with some measure of empathy
before bringing them to the table. Speaking of conflicts between parties who had a continuing
relationship, she said, "One of my decisions about whether they were ready to meet at the table
was whether or not I could get any glimmer of empathy from all sides. ... If I couldn't get some
awareness of sensitivity to the other party's position, I was reluctant to go to the table. ... If you
can't create empathy, you can't have a relationship. Without that, mediation is not going to
work."[8]
George Williams, who was a volunteer mediator at Chicago 's Center for Conflict Resolution
after he retired as president of American University, recalled an incident in an entirely different
type of dispute in the mid-1980s. The conflict was between a trade school and a student who had
been expelled for what appeared to him to be a minor infraction of the rules, shortly after paying
his full tuition. After losing his internal appeal, he considered a lawsuit, but chose mediation.
The young man fared no better at mediation, yet later profusely thanked Williams for being "the
first person who listened to what I had to say."

Listening:ALearnableSkill
As many mediators, including myself, have come to understand, listening is a learnable skill.
Unfortunately, it is not typically taught along with other communication skills at home or in
school. I spend more time listening than using any other form of communication, yet as a
youngster I was never taught the skill. I spent long hours learning to read and write and even had
classroom training in public speaking, but I never had a lesson in listening or thought of listening
as a learnable skill until I entered the world of mediation as an adult. While some may have had
better experiences during their formative years, for many listening is often treated the same as
"hearing." We do not ordinarily receive instruction in using our other senses -- smell, sight, touch
and taste -- so why give lessons in hearing (sound)? A message that listening was an important
skill to learn would have fallen on deaf ears when I was a child. Perhaps now that peer mediation
is being taught in many classrooms across the nation, when children are taught to "Listen to your
elders," they also will be taught by elders who model good listening skills.

GuidelinesforEmpathicListening
Madelyn Burley-Allen offers these guidelines for empathic listening:
1. Beattentive.Beinterested.Bealertandnotdistracted.Createapositiveatmospherethrough
nonverbalbehavior.
2. Beasoundingboardallowthespeakertobounceideasandfeelingsoffyouwhileassuminga
nonjudgmental,noncriticalmanner.
3. Don'taskalotofquestions.Theycangivetheimpressionyouare"grilling"thespeaker.

4. Actlikeamirrorreflectbackwhatyouthinkthespeakerissayingandfeeling.
5. Don'tdiscountthespeaker'sfeelingsbyusingstockphraseslike"It'snotthatbad,"or"You'll
feelbettertomorrow."
6. Don'tletthespeaker"hook"you.Thiscanhappenifyougetangryorupset,allowyourselfto
getinvolvedinanargument,orpassjudgmentontheotherperson.
7. Indicateyouarelisteningby
o Providingbrief,noncommittalacknowledgingresponses,e.g.,"Uhhuh,""Isee."
o Givingnonverbalacknowledgements,e.g.,headnodding,facialexpressionsmatching
thespeaker,openandrelaxedbodyexpression,eyecontact.
o Invitationstosaymore,e.g.,"Tellmeaboutit,""I'dliketohearaboutthat."
8. Followgoodlistening"groundrules:"
o Don'tinterrupt.
o Don'tchangethesubjectormoveinanewdirection.
o Don'trehearseinyourownhead.
o Don'tinterrogate.
o Don'tteach.
o Don'tgiveadvice.
o Doreflectbacktothespeakerwhatyouunderstandandhowyouthinkthespeaker
feels.[9]

The ability to listen with empathy may be the most important attribute of interveners who
succeed in gaining the trust and cooperation of parties to intractable conflicts and other disputes
with high emotional content. Among its other advantages, as Burley-Allen points out, empathic
listening has empowering qualities. Providing an opportunity for people to talk through their
problem may clarify their thinking as well as provide a necessary emotional release. Thomas
Gordon agrees that active listening facilitates problem-solving and, like Burley-Allen's primer on
listening,[10] Gordon's "Leadership Effectiveness Training"[11] provides numerous exercises
and suggestions for those seeking to strengthen their listening skills.

[1] Richard Salem, "Community Dispute Resolution Through Outside Intervention," Peace &
Change Journal VIII, no. 2/3 (1982)
[2] William Simkin, Mediation and the Dynamics of Collective Bargaining (BNA Books, 1971)
[3] Ibid.
[4] Books on effective listening cited in this paper primarily address the topic in one-on-one
situations and use examples in both personal and professional settings. Three books by Thomas
Gordon all use the same communication models in a variety of settings. They are Gordon's
Leadership Effectiveness Training, (Bantam Books, 1977), Teacher Effectiveness Training,
(1974), and Parent Effectiveness Training.
[5] Madelyn Burley-Allen, Listening the Forgotten Skill, (John Wiley & sons, 1982). BurleyAllen is a former president of the American Listening Assn.

[6] Lyman K. Steil, "On Listening...and Not Listening," Executive Health, (newsletter, 1981).
Dr. Steil is a former president of the American Listening Assn. See also, "Effective Listening,"
by Steil, Barker and Watson, McGraw Hill, 1983 and "Listening Leaders," Beaver Press,
forthcoming, 2003.
[7] Labor mediator Walter Maggiolo wrote that the effective mediator performs the following
four essential tasks: (1) Understand and appreciate "the problems confronting the parties;" (2)
Impart to the parties "the fact that the mediator knows and appreciates their problems;" (3) create
"doubts in the minds of the parties about the validity of the positions they have assumed with
respect to the problems;" and (4) surface or suggest "alternative approaches which may facilitate
agreement." W. Maggiolo, "Techniques of Mediation," 1985.
[8] Nancy Ferrell, Oral History, Civil Rights Mediation Project, available at
http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/civil_rights/.
[9] Ibid, 101-102.
[10] Ibid.
[11] Thomas Gordon, Leadership Effectiveness Training, (Bantam Books, 1977). See also,
Thomas Gordon, Teacher Effectiveness Training (1974).

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
ActiveListening.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/activel.htm.
Activelisteningisdesignedtoovercomepoorlisteningpracticesbyrequiringpartiestolistentoand
thenrestatetheiropponent'sstatements,emphasizingthefeelingsexpressedaswellasthesubstance.
Thepurposeistoconfirmthatthelisteneraccuratelyunderstandsthemessagesentandacknowledges
thatmessage,althoughthelistenerisnotrequiredtoagree.

ConflictResearchConsortiumStaff.CommunicationImprovement.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/commimp.htm.
Thispagebrieflydiscussestheimpactsofmisunderstandinginsocialconflictsandgoesontomake
suggestionsabouthowtoimprovecommunicationbetweenparties.

DialogicListening.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/dialist.htm.
Dialogiclisteningissimilartoactivelistening,althoughitemphasizesconversationasasharedactivity

andstressesanopenended,playfulattitudetowardtheconversation.Inaddition,thepartiesfocuson
whatishappeningbetweenthem(ratherthaneachpartyfocusingonwhatisgoingonwithinthemind
oftheother),anditfocusesonthepresentmorethanonthepastorthefuture.

Gallozi,Chuck.Misunderstanding.
Availableat:http://www.personaldevelopment.com/chuck/misunderstanding.htm.
Thisarticlediscussesmisunderstanding,howitarises,andwhatpeoplecandotoeliminateit.
Specifically,theauthorpromotesempathiclisteningasthewaytowardendingmisunderstanding.

PracticingListeningSkills.
Availableat:http://www1.va.gov/adr/page.cfm?pg=44.
Aonepagelistoftipsonhowtobeabetteralistener.
Offline(Print)Sources
Salem,Richard."CommunityDisputeResolutionThroughOutsideIntervention."Peace&Change
8:2/3,January1,1982.
Thisessaydescribeshowthirdparties,throughtheuseofempatheticlistening,canhelpresolveor
transformcommunityconflicts.

Thomas,MiltandJohnStewart."DialogicListening:SculptingMutualMeanings."InBridgesNot
Walls.EditedbyStewart,John,ed.NewYork:McGrawhill,1995.
Theauthorsdefineandidentifythreeproblemswithactiveorempathiclistening.Theygoontocontrast
dialogiclisteningtoactiveorempathiclisteninganduncoverfourdistinctivecharacteristicsofdialogic
listening.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Steil,LymanK.EffectiveListening:KeytoYourSuccess.AddisonWesleyPublishingCompany,
December1982.

Madelyn,BurleyAllen.Listening:TheForgottenSkill:ASelfTeachingGuide,2ndEdition.JohnWiley&
Sons,February1995.
Thisguidedetailsthekeypointsofeffectivelistening,andexplainshowonecannotonlyacquire,but
alsoproductivelyusethisskilltoenhanceyourbusinessandpersonallife.

Gordon,Thomas.ParentEffectivenessTraining:TheProvenProgramforRaisingResponsibleChildren.
NewYork:ThreeRiversPress,October2000.
"P.E.T.,orParentEffectivenessTraining,beganalmostfortyyearsagoasthefirstnationalparent
trainingprogramtoteachparentshowtocommunicatemoreeffectivelywithkidsandofferstepby
stepadvicetoresolvingfamilyconflictssoeverybodywins.Thisbelovedclassicisthemoststudied,
highlypraised,andprovenparentingprogramintheworldanditwillworkforyou.Nowrevisedfor
thefirsttimesinceitsinitialpublication,thisgroundbreakingguidewillshowyou:Howtoavoidbeinga
permissiveparent;Howtolistensokidswilltalktoyouandtalksokidswilllistentoyou;Howtoteach
yourchildrento"own"theirproblemsandtosolvethem;Howtousethe"NoLose"methodtoresolve

conflicts."Amazon.com

Burch,NoelandThomasGordon.TeacherEffectivenessTraining:TheProgramProventoHelp
TeachersBringOuttheBestinStudents.ThreeRiversPress,August26,2003.
T.E.T.(TeacherEffectivnessTraining)canmeanthedifferencebetweenanunproductive,disruptive
classroomandacooperative,productiveenvironmentinwhichstudentsflourishandteachersfeel
rewarded.Youwilllearn:Whattodowhenstudentsgiveyouproblems;Howtotalksothatstudentswill
listen;Howtoresolveconflictssonoonelosesandnoonegetshurt;Howtobesthelpstudentswhen
they?rehavingaproblem;Howtosetclassroomrulessothatfarlessenforcementisnecessary;Howto
increaseteachingandlearningtime.(Amazon)Clickhereformoreinfo.

Maggiolo,Walter.TechniquesofMediation.NewYork:OceanaPublications,December1985.
Thisworkspellsoutfouressentialingredientsamediatorneedstobringtothelabornegotiationtable:
knowtheproblem;letthepartiesknowyouunderstandtheissuesandtheirconcerns;castedoubton
thesoundnessofeachpartiesposition;andsuggestalternativesthateachsidecanlivewith.Italso
highlightstheimportanceofnotjustlisteningtoeach,butlisteningwithunderstanding.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Monroe,Cynthia,GeneKnudsenHoffmanandLeahGreen."CompassionateListening:AnExploratory
SourcebookaboutConflictTransformation.",August2001
Availableat:http://www.newconversations.net/compassion/complisten.pdf.

ThispiececoversGeneKnudsenHoffman'sreconciliationprocessCompassionateListening.Descriptions
ofprojectsinIsrael/PalestineandAlaskaaredescribed,andlessonplansfortrainingincompassionate
listeningareincluded,ontopicssuchasforgiveness,hatredanddenial.Alsoavailableonwebsiteas
several,smallerHTMLfiles.

Teaching Materials on this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
InternationalListeningAssociation(ILA).
Availableat:http://www.listen.org/.
TheInternationalListeningAssociationpromotesthestudy,development,andteachingoflisteningand
thepracticeofeffectivelisteningskillsandtechniques.Their"resources"pagelistsseverallistening
exercises.
Offline(Print)Sources
Gordon,Thomas.LeaderEffectivenessTraining(L.E.T.):TheProvenPeopleSkillsforToday'sLeaders
Tomorrow.Perigee,October9,2001.
"L.E.T.haschangedcountlesscorporationsandprivatebusinessesincludingmanyFortune500

companieswithitsdowntoearthcommunicationandconflictresolutionskills.Now,thisindispensable
sourcehasbeennewlyrevisedwithupdatedresearchandtimelycasestudies."Amazon.com

IMessagesandYouMessages

By
Heidi Burgess
One of the easiest ways to defuse an interpersonal conflict is to avoid accusatory or escalatory
language. One way to do this is by using statements about yourself and your feelings (called "Imessages" because they start with "I feel" or "I felt"), instead of "you-messages," which start
with an accusation, such as, "You did this (bad thing)," or, "You are (another bad thing)."

TheUpsideofIMessages
In other words, if you say, "I felt let down," rather than, "You broke your promise," you will
convey the same information. But you will do so in a way that is less likely to provoke a
defensive or hostile reaction from your opponent.
You-messages suggest blame, and encourage the recipient to deny wrong-doing or to blame
back. For example, if you say, "You broke your promise," the answer is likely to be, "No, I
didn't," which sets you up for a lengthy argument, or, "Well, you did, too," which also continues
the conflict.
I-messages simply state a problem, without blaming someone for it. This makes it easier for the
other side to help solve the problem, without having to admit that they were wrong (see also
saving face).
Remembering to use I-messages can be difficult, however, because many people are not used to
talking about themselves or their feelings (and in some cultures, this would be highly
inappropriate).
In addition, when we are in a conflict -- especially an escalated conflict -- there is a very strong
tendency to blame many of one's problems on the other side. So stating the problem in terms of a
"you-message" is much more natural, and is more consistent with one's view of the problem. But
by making the effort to change one's language, one can also reframe the way one thinks about the
conflict, increasing the likelihood that a resolution can be found.

TheDownsideofIMessages
I-messages can be manipulative, and can give the recipient the impression that it is their

responsibility to make sure that the other person is always happy. In an interesting essay entitled,
"What's Wrong with I-Messages," Jane Bluestein argues that I-messages "are frequently used in
ways that produce negative and unwanted results."[1] The problem occurs, Bluestein argues,
when we use I-messages to try to control or change someone. For example, if you say, "I feel
unhappy when you are late," you are really blaming the other for being late, and trying to get
them to change their behavior. The focus of Bluestein's article is on parent-child relationships
and communication, where she says that "I-statements make the child responsible for the parents'
state of mind and convey the impression to the child that he somehow has the power to control
how Mommy and Daddy act and feel."[2] This suggests that power relationships affect the use of
I-messages. While equals would probably understand that they are not broadly responsible for
the other's state of mind -- but just need to work out a solution to a specific problem -- a child or
a person who feels greatly over-powered or out-ranked by another person may not recognize
that. So I-messages, while useful in many circumstances, should be used with care regarding
how they are received and interpreted (see active listening).

[1] Jane Bluestein, "What's Wrong with I-Messages," available online at


http://www.nhny.org/i_messages.htm (accessed September 15, 2003).
[2] Ibid.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Bluestein,Jane.What'sWrongwith"IMessages"?.
Availableat:http://66.175.44.246/ece/ece_frameset.html.
ThisessayarguesthatImessagesaremanipulativeandoftendomoreharmthangood.

Perry,SusanK.You'dBetterLike"IMessages"(OrElse!).
Availableat:http://www.couplescompany.com/Advice/Mark/Imessages.pdf.
ThisessayechoessomeofthereservationsexpressedbyJaneBluesteininherarticlecriticizingI
messages.However,thisarticlealsodiscusseshowImessagescanbeusedeffectivelybetweenhusband
andwifeorotherequalcouples.
Offline(Print)Sources
Ury,WilliamL.GettingPastNo:NegotiatingWithDifficultPeople.NewYork:BantamBooks,January
1,1993.
Thisbookprovidesstepbystepapproachestodefusingconfrontationanddevelopingcreativesolutions
towardresolvingconflictsthroughnegotiation.Inparticular,itfocusesondevelopingcommunication

skillsthatfacilitatecooperation.Imessagesareoneofthetechniquesdiscussedasawaytogetthrough
difficultsituations.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Kirshenbaum,MiraandCharlesFoster.ParentTeenBreakthrough:TheRelationshipApproach,
ReissueEdition.NewYork:Plume,1995.
Thisbookprovidesadviceandguidanceonhowtobuildarespectfulandlovingrelationshipbetween
parentandteenager.Thebookincludessampledialoguesandpracticalsuggestionsfordevelopingthese
relationships.

Gordon,Thomas.ParentEffectivenessTraining:TheProvenProgramforRaisingResponsibleChildren.
NewYork:ThreeRiversPress,October2000.
ThisrecenteditionofthisclassicworkonParentEffectivenessTrainingteachesparentshowto
communicateeffectivelywiththeirchildrenandhowtoresolvefamilyconflicts.Thebookcontainsa
veryearly(perhapstheearliest)descriptionofImessagesandhowtheymaybeused.

Dialogue

By
Michelle Maiese

TheNeedforDialogue
People often lack the ability to converse about subjects that
matter deeply to them without getting into a dispute. As a result,
public discourse about divisive issues is often characterized by
destructive debate that can lead to group division and violence.

"Dialoguemeanswesitandtalk
witheachother,especiallythose
withwhomwemaythinkwehave
thegreatestdifferences.However,
This is often because parties are operating from different
talkingtogetheralltoooften
interpretations of facts and events that may not even be fully
meansdebating,discussingwitha
understood by the parties themselves.[1] When public conflicts viewtoconvincingtheother,
are long-lasting and involve seemingly irreconcilable differences arguingforourpointofview,
of identity, worldviews, and values, parties tend to cling to their examiningpro'sandcon's.In
own positions and denigrate views of the opposing side. They
dialogue,theintentionisnotto
rarely ask each other questions or genuinely listen to what the
advocatebuttoinquire;notto
other side is saying. In many cases, while one person is talking, arguebuttoexplore;notto
the other person is thinking of what he will say when it is his turn convincebuttodiscover."Louise
to talk. Effective communication is blocked by competition,
Diamond,TheInstituteforMulti
prejudice, and fear, and parties' ways of relating start to
TrackDiplomacy

deteriorate. They tend to make impassioned statements about the


issues and to focus on moral or logical flaws in the other side's
position. Opponents often rely on rhetoric, and become defensive in the face of evidence that
their position is invalid or that an opposed opinion is valid.[2] They also tend to stereotype each
other and misunderstand each other's positions, causing them to become increasingly polarized.
As a result, the atmosphere of conversations is often threatening, characterized by personal
attacks and interruptions. Even if parties are secretly undecided about any aspect of the issue,
they will not voice these reservations. They may fear that if they do not hold on to their
positions, they will look weak or be criticized by their compatriots.[3]

These destructive shouting matches do not help to

address long-standing conflicts over public issues.


Repetitive communication that is based in
entrenched positions tends to close people's minds
to new ideas. Parties simply argue more loudly and

refuse to be receptive to others' views. These


Additionalinsightsintodialogue
polarized ways of relating pose significant barriers http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10338
for collaboration, and make informed and empathic
problem-solving impossible. Opportunities for
social learning are often lost. In addition, because such conversations are filled with rhetoric and
accusations, the public is exposed to a very limited discourse in public debates. This detracts
from the involvement and education of citizens.[4] In order to move toward productive
collaboration, parties need to find new ways of relating to each other that help them to more fully
understand the beliefs, meanings, values, and fears held by both their opponents and
themselves.[5] Before they are willing to sit down to negotiate or discuss resolution, parties to
deep-rooted, identity- or value-based conflict may be willing to partake in such a conversation.

WhatisDialogue
Dialogue is a both a kind of conversation and a way of relating.[6] It is a small-scale
communication process in which participants may say or hear something they never said or heard
before, and from which they may emerge irrevocably changed.[7] The approach emphasizes
listening, learning, and the development of shared understandings.[8]
Dialogue differs from other central modes of communication, including mediation, negotiation,
discussion, and debate. In discussion, for example, parties try to persuade each other of the
accuracy of a particular point of view. The goal is to bat ideas back and forth, evaluate multiple
perspectives, and select the best one. Parties try to justify and defend their assumptions and
convince one another that their opinion is the right opinion.[9] In discussion, disputants have a
tendency to become defensive and reactive.
Dialogue, on the other hand, seeks to inform and learn rather than to persuade. It is a
conversation "animated by a search for understanding rather than for agreements or
solutions."[10] One is concerned not only about oneself and one's own position, but also about
the other party and the position that that party advances. Participants focus on their relationship
and the joint process of making sense of each other, rather than winning or losing.[11]
Dialogue has no fixed goal or predetermined agenda. The emphasis is not on resolving disputes,
but rather on improving the way in which people with significant differences relate to each
other.[12] The broad aim is to promote respectful inquiry, and to stimulate a new sort of
conversation that allows important issues to surface freely. While opponents in deep-rooted
conflict are unlikely to agree with each other's views, they can come to understand each other's
perspectives.
Most dialogue processes involve people who are engaged in protracted conflict, sitting down
together to explore their feelings about each other and their conflict. The following conditions
help to ensure productive dialogue:

Participantssitinacircle,sothatthereisnohierarchyofphysicalpositionandeveryonecan
communicatedirectly.[13]
Whileitmaybeusefultohaveafacilitatortogetthedialoguemoving,thisroleshouldbe
limited.
Inagooddialogue,allparticipantscanbeheardastheyspeaktooneanotheracrossthecircle.
Peoplespeakopenly,andlistenrespectfullyandattentively.Derogatoryattributions,attacks,
anddefensivenesshavenoroleindialogue.
Participantsdonotmakeassumptionsaboutthemotivesorcharacterofothers.[14]
Questionsaresincere,anddrivenbycuriosity.

As they listen to one another and relate in new ways, participants learn new perspectives, reflect
on their own views, and develop mutual understanding. In dialogue, when one person says
something, another person's response expresses a slightly different meaning. This difference in
meaning allows parties to see something new, which is relevant both to their own views and
those of the other party. The conversation moves back and forth, with the continual emergence of

new meaning.[15]
Through inquiry and conversation, parties try to integrate multiple perspectives and unfold
shared meaning. This involves uncovering and examining their assumptions and judgments.
When people enter into conversations with others, they bring with them basic assumptions about
the meaning of life, their country's interest, how society works, and what is most valuable. Most
of these basic assumptions come from society and are rooted in culture, race, religion, and
economic background. As a result, people coming from different backgrounds have different
basic assumptions and values, and these clashing views and perspectives often lead to conflict.
Dialogue attempts to expose these assumptions and the thought processes that lie behind
them.[16] It calls on participants to pay attention to their thinking, feelings, assumptions, and
patterns of communication. Their patterns of thought include feelings, desires, and ways of
interpreting information. Individuals typically have a sense that their way of interpreting the
world is the only way that it can be interpreted. They are not immediately aware of the degree to
which their conception of reality is biased and influenced by their personal needs and fears.[17]
(The essay on cultural frames examines this phenomenon more.)
In dialogue, participants explore the presuppositions, beliefs, and feelings that shape their
interactions; they discover how hidden values and intentions control people's behavior and
contribute to communication successes and failures. For example, it begins to become clear why
a group avoids certain issues, or why it insists, against all reason, on defending certain positions.
Participants can collectively observe how unnoticed cultural differences often clash, without
their realizing what is happening.[18] These observations help participants to determine what is
blocking effective communication.[19]
However, this can happen only if people are able to listen to each other without prejudice and
without trying to influence one another. Because its broad goal is to increase understanding
about parties' concerns, fears, and needs, dialogue centers on inquiry and reflection. Participants
refrain from assuming that they already know the thoughts, feelings, and intentions of the
other.[20] Instead, they assume that the other is speaking honestly from experience, and listen
closely. This process of deep listening and reflection typically slows down the speed at which
parties converse. The slower interchange enables individuals to observe the conversation while it
is actually occurring, so that they become more aware of both the content of the communication
process and the structures that govern it. They gain insight into the "assumptions and unspoken
implications of what is being expressed along with that which is being avoided."[21] Each
participant can examine the preconceptions and prejudices that lie behind his or her opinions and
feelings, and then share these insights with one another. Participants not only expose ideas to one
another's scrutiny, but also open themselves up to the possibility that their ideas will be changed.
This means that they try to appreciate what the other side is saying and keep their ears open,
even when they do not like what they hear.[22] To be fully open to new ideas, participants must
be ready to abandon their old ideas in the face of new and better ones. They must be willing to
change their minds and emerge from the dialogue as altered people. If they instead strive to
convey their own points of view and defend their positions, genuine dialogue will not be
possible.[23]

Different groups have varying ideas about the specific ways in which meetings should be
organized and structured.[24] For example, some suggest that dialogues should involve five to
eight people and take about two hours,[25] while others assert that 20 to 40 people should be
involved and meetings should be ongoing.[26] However, the dialogue approach has common
central elements, which are discussed in detail below.

Immediacy and Spontaneity


In dialogue, communicators are available to each other in the here and now. Their interaction is
not rehearsed, but is instead characterized by spontaneity. Rather than trying to protect their
positions and egos, participants wish to discover what emerges through their encounter with the
other. Parties do not know exactly what they are going to say before the conversation actually
takes place. Instead, dialogue presumes that communication among participants is largely
unscripted and that the course of the conversation cannot be predicted.[27] It requires
participants to view one another as unique and dynamic entities, who are constantly changing
and making choices. This spontaneity and unfamiliarity among the participants provides the
ground for new learning. As a result, dialogue has unanticipated consequences.

Identifying Assumptions
Our assumptions play a large role in the decisions we make and how we behave. They affect the
way we experience things and the way we select and interpret information.[28] However,
assumptions are so embedded in our ways of thinking that we typically do not notice they are
there. This failure to recognize our underlying assumptions and beliefs often leads to ineffective
problem-solving strategies. Therefore, dialogue participants are asked to pay attention to their
reactions, impulses, feelings, and opinions as they occur, and work to uncover the deeper
meaning underlying their thought processes. Identifying assumptions is a way of exploring
differences with others, working to build common ground, and getting to the root of
misunderstandings.[29] The friction between contrasting values that emerges in dialogue allows
participants to notice the assumptions that are active in the group, as well as their own personal
assumptions. They can then recognize the self-destructive nature of their current ways of
thinking and relating.

Suspension of Assumptions and Judgments


Suspension requires stepping back and looking at how certain assumptions and feelings affect
one's behavior.[30] Once they have begun to identify these assumptions, parties should neither
act on nor suppress them, but should instead examine them, observing the thought process that
underlies the conversation and allowing opinions to come to the surface. Rather than reacting in
a hostile way to each other's opinions, parties must examine the meaning of these opposing
opinions and assumptions. This requires opening to new and alternative views of reality, rather
than trying to defend one's position.[31] When they are tempted to state an assumption about the
motives or beliefs of the other person, participants should instead ask a question.
Suspending assumptions makes people aware of their thought processes and brings about an
enhanced level of consciousness.[32] It enables participants to become aware of things they

would not have otherwise seen, and allows thought to move more freely so that truth can emerge.
In addition, when parties' judgments are not fixed, an environment of trust can be created in
which parties are open to different points of view.

Inquiry and Reflection


Inquiry elicits information; one gains insight into someone else's perspective through asking
questions. In reflection, one thinks about this information creatively, which enables parties to
build on past experiences and allows for collective learning. As parties ask questions and listen,
they gain greater awareness into their own and others' thought processes, and discover issues that
separate or unite them. By pausing to reflect, parties also slow down the pace of conversation.
This makes it easier to identify assumptions and patterns of interaction, as well as to look for
new ideas.[33]

Listening
Effective listening contributes to our capacity to learn and build relationships with others. When
parties suspend judgment and genuinely listen to diverse perspectives, they can begin to expand
their worldview. Listening allows for the development of new insights and allows parties to be
influenced by one another. It also makes parties aware of one another's assumptions and helps
them to recognize shared meaning. Once they have listened carefully, parties can make better
choices about their actions. Finally, listening is an important part of "confirmation," one of the
central aspects of dialogue. Confirmation means that parties endorse each other, recognize each
other, and acknowledge each other as people.[34] They acknowledge an affiliation with each
other and validate each other's experience. Genuine listening is one of the central ways that
parties can confirm each other's existence and worth.

Collective Thought and Collaboration


In dialogue, people think together. One person gets an idea, another person takes it up, and
someone else adds to it. Respect for difference supports dialogue. The idea is that all participants
have an important contribution to make, and that the full range of their perspectives and ideas is
necessary for developing an integrated, whole view.
The goal is for parties to learn from each other, rather than to evaluate perspectives and
determine who has the "best" view.[35] They participate in the conversation together, as equals.
As they interact and listen to one another, participants become aware of all of the different
opinions that have surfaced, and begin to examine them. Rather than trying to persuade or
convince one another, they regard their opinions as existing on the same level as the opinions of
others. Once they have laid all of the assumptions and opinions of group members out on the
table, they can begin to do something that none of them can do separately. They begin to talk
with one another rather than at one another, and to listen to one another's opinions. While they
may very well continue to disagree, they can begin to think and work in some common area
beyond these different opinions.[36] The content of their conversation does not exist prior to or
independently of dialogue, but rather arises as they collaborate and relate to one another.[37]

Fostering the New[38]


In order to prevent the recurrence of old, destructive patterns of communication, there must be
space for a new sort of conversation to take place, one that avoids the old ruts and dead ends.
Parties with radically different views must find constructive new ways of communicating, which
can stimulate the formation of new ideas and open up the possibility for change. Deep-rooted
conflict is often rooted in issues that people consider nonnegotiable. However, dialogue leads
people to question whether their ideas really are absolutely necessary, transforms the way they
approach these issues, and opens up opportunities for creativity.[39]
There are various ways to introduce fresh content into the conversation. First, parties must be
committed to creating an environment conducive to conversation. An atmosphere of safety and
respect is crucial. Parties should ask each other sincere questions, and listen to responses
carefully and openly. They should refrain from rhetorical questions or accusations. In order for
participants to feel safe enough to loosen their hold on their positions, they must feel that there is
no threat to their security, identity, or dignity. This sense of security can be enhanced through the
establishment of a set of ground rules and careful facilitation.
Second, participants should encourage personal rather than positional presentations. When
communicators appeal to group rhetoric, they tend to get stuck in old arguments, personal
attacks, and defensiveness. Instead, parties should tell personal stories about their experience
with the issue at hand. These stories complete with human idiosyncrasies, surprises, and
compelling moments, draw the attention of listeners and suppress the impulse to argue.[40] They
also guide the conversation away from entrenched positions and toward individual perspectives
and experience. Participants begin to connect to each other as unique human beings, rather than
as advocates for their group or position.
Third, ideas and experiences that are typically dismissed or omitted should be included in the
conversation. For example, participants might be encouraged to speak about values that are
incongruent with their primary beliefs. Information that is often suppressed in conversation may
emerge. As participants note the complexity of one another's views, they are likely to become
genuinely interested in what others are saying. This enlarges participants' understanding of the
issues, and the subtle nuances of people's views with respect to those issues.
Finally, the dialogue group can participate in exercises to break down stereotypes. For example,
participants can list stereotypes commonly held about themselves or their group and then explain
which stereotypes are understandable, which totally inaccurate, and which are most painful.[41]
This helps other participants get to know them more fully and to see them as multidimensional. It
also helps to diminish hostility and distrust and to develop a sense of empathy.

PreparingforDialogue
As previously noted, participants in a dialogue do not plan what they will say or who they will
be. No standard method or recipe can ensure dialogue, and parties should not approach it in
terms of technique or a set of rules that govern its use. Rather, they should focus on the

Nevertheless, while the content and the dynamics of dialogue cannot be predetermined, parties
can be prepared for dialogue and can develop certain abilities that will make them more
equipped for dialogue.[42]
Much of the work required for an effective dialogue is done before the meeting takes place. First,
those invited to participate are generally not outspoken leaders. Instead, they are individuals
whose unique experiences and viewpoints are likely to differ from the stereotypical images
associated with their "side." The meeting invitation indicates what participants should expect,
and what will be expected of them. It also explains the broad objectives of dialogue. Participants
should agree to attend only if they can commit to participating for the full duration of the
process, and if they feel able and willing to participate in a conversation of this kind.[43] This
initial preparation of participants is an essential part of the dialogue process.
Once parties have agreed to attend, facilitators usually conduct telephone conversations to get a
sense of what participants hope to get out of the dialogue and what they are concerned about.
The facilitators can learn much about the fears and hopes of participants in these initial
conversations, and can also come to understand the controversy more fully.
Using what they have learned in this direct telephone contact with participants, facilitators then
outline a broad plan for the dialogue. This includes aspects of convening and greeting people,
procedures by which participants will introduce each other, and opening questions and exercises.
Before the meeting takes place, facilitators collaborate with participants to reach agreements
about meeting times and establish ground rules. Participants typically agree to keep meetings
confidential, refrain from interruptions or negative attributions, ask genuine, nonrhetorical
questions, and speak for oneself rather than for one's "group." They also make a commitment to
use respectful language, adhere to limits in speaking time, and give everyone the right to decline
to answer a question without explaining why.[44] These ground rules make participants feel safe
and help to promote respectful conversation. They also help participants to express intense
feelings in a way that is authentic but not attacking. This helps to ensure that parties do not slip
back into habitual, unproductive ways of relating and communicating, and helps them to deal
with any passionate and fundamental differences they may have. However, beyond these basic
ground rules, no firm rules can be laid down. Dialogue is exploratory and is intended to be "an
unfolding process of creative participation between peers."[45]
Because dialogue is by its very nature a conversation between equals, controlling authorities or
hierarchies have no place in it. However, some guidance is often needed in the early stages of
dialogue, to facilitate the process and help it run more smoothly.[46] Rather than telling
participants what to do, facilitators provide a context in which constructive conversation can
occur. They contribute ideas and try to keep the conversation going through questions and
reflections. However, facilitators have no investment in any particular outcome, and the
conversation ultimately centers on topics of interest to the participants.

BenefitsofDialogue
Dialogues are commonly used in public-policy conflicts, international conflicts, and ethnic
conflicts to build up mutual understanding and trust between members of opposing groups. They
do a great deal to enhance public conversation and transform the way parties interact. Through
dialogue, public discourse can become more complex, inviting, and informative.[47] Those who
engage in dialogue may bring their new ways of thinking and relating back to their organizations,
friends, families, or citizen groups. They may question derogatory attributions made about their
opponent and may work to combat stereotypes in their larger society. They may also be less
likely to accept extremist leaders.
When participants are activists, they can influence the organizations at which they work or can
affect key decision makers. When parties themselves are leaders, the impact on public discourse
may be even more direct and immediate.[48] Although dialogues do not lead directly to
resolution, and this is not their immediate goal, they can help parties to develop new
understanding that leads to formal negotiations. This paves the way for effective problem solving
and increases the possibility of eventual resolution. Constructive public conversations about
divisive controversy thus decrease the costs and dangers typically associated with deep-rooted
conflict.
Dialogue also has various transformative effects on relationships. Like transformative mediation,
it puts the relational development of disputants ahead of settlement.[49] When people are stuck
in protracted conflict, they often view each other as inferior beings with inadequate moral or
cognitive capacities. Through dialogue, disputants learn to articulate their own voices clearly and
to recognize each other's viewpoints as valid.[50] Disputants honestly express uncertainties
about their own position and explore the complexities of the issues being discussed, which can
help them to let go of stereotypes, distrust, and reverse patterns of polarization. Thoughts and
feelings that are often kept hidden are thus revealed. Disputants can begin to incorporate their
different subjective viewpoints into a shared definition of their different needs, motives, and
values.[51] As they become aware of the fears, hopes, and deeply held values of the other
participants, parties may begin to trust each other more and feel closer to each other. People
begin to realize that they have important things in common, which allows for collective learning,
creativity, and an increased sense of fellowship. This can help to create a community-based
culture of cooperation, collaboration, partnership, and inclusion.[52]
But in addition to the transformation that takes place at a relational level, dialogue can also
transform parties at an individual level. Because participants do not know beforehand what they
will say, they must listen not only to one another, but also to themselves. Parties must inquire
into what conflict means to them and how their own processes and behavior have negatively
shaped the course of conflict. As they begin to express themselves in new ways, they come to
better understand their own motives and needs. This sort of interaction makes growth and real
learning possible, and allows parties to more fully realize the potential that lies within them.[53]
In one sense, the self comes into existence through dialogue.

LimitsoftheDialogueApproach
Dialogue is effective in a wide variety of cases. It has been used in community settings to
address disputes over a variety of divisive public issues: abortion, teen pregnancy,
homosexuality, the environment, land use and development, affirmative action, multiculturalism,
and education. However, the approach does have some limitations.
First, participants must be willing and able to participate in the process. Dialogue is not
appropriate in cases where either side refuses to talk or where there are significant power
differences. Because dialogue requires participants to open themselves up to one another, it may
not be appropriate in cases where parties cling to their hatred and anger and refuse to listen.
Efforts to de-escalate conflict may be necessary before dialogue is a viable approach. It is
likewise difficult for genuine dialogue to take place between the oppressed and oppressors. There
must be a power balance for constructive and honest dialogue to take place. Otherwise, the
conversation may simply be taken over by those with greater power.
In addition, participants in a dialogue may sometimes experience frustration. They are devoting
time and attention to a task that has no definite goal and often does not lead in any obvious
direction. This may lead to anxiety and annoyance. In addition, because dialogue brings out the
deep assumptions of the people who are participating, it can create intense feelings and
emotional outbursts.[54] In some cases, these expressions of anger, dissatisfaction, and
frustration can provide fertile ground for exploration. However, in other instances participants
may try to break up the group, or dominate it and steer it in a particular direction.[55] If they feel
they are getting nowhere, they may stop listening and begin to interrupt or personally attack one
another. While communication ground rules help to keep this from happening, in some cases it
cannot be avoided.
Finally, certain cultural factors constrain parties' ability to enter into dialogue. For example, the
emphasis on competitive individualism in the United States has made many people ill-equipped
to develop the respect for others that is necessary for productive dialogue. Instead, Americans
often assume that communication involves separate people who are simply transmitting
messages in order to influence others. Rather than showing a sustained interest in what others
have to say, many people tend to turn the topic of conversation to themselves and their own
interests. This sort of behavior stifles collective thought, detracts from genuine listening, and
makes it unlikely that parties will develop long-term relationships. When parties are
unresponsive to topics raised by others and have no interest in learning about others'
perspectives, dialogue cannot possibly occur. American-style individualism thus gives rise to
"conversational narcissism" and self-absorption, the antitheses of dialogue.[56] These cultural
tendencies are not universal and can be unlearned, however. Indeed, many productive dialogues
have been held in the United States with Americans on a wide variety of issues.

[1] Jay Rothman, "Reflexive Dialogue as Transformation," in Mediation Quarterly, 13:4, pp.
345-352. (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1996), 347.

[2] David Bohm, On Dialogue, ed. Lee Nichol, (New York: Routledge, 1996), 11.
[3] Margaret Herzig, "Moving From Polarized Polemic to Constructive Conversation (The
Public Conversations Project, 2001), available at:
http://www.publicconversations.org/pcp/resources/resource_detail.asp?ref_id=92; Internet.?
[4] Ibid.
[5] Chasin et al, 324.
[6] Ibid. 325.
[7] Kenneth N. Cissna and Rob Anderson, "Communication and the Ground of Dialogue," pp. 930 in The Reach of Dialogue: Confirmation, Voice, and Community, eds. Rob Anderson,
Kenneth N. Cissna, and Ronald C. Arnett. (New Jersey: Hampton Press, Inc., 1994), 17.
[8] "What is Dialogue?" (The Dialogue Group Online), available at:
http://www.thedialoguegrouponline.com/whatsdialogue.html; Internet.
[9] Ibid.
[10] "Constructive Conversations about Challenging Times: A Guide to Community Dialogue,"
(The Public Conversations Project, p. 3), available at:
http://www.publicconversations.org/pcp/uploadDocs/CommunityGuide3.0.pdf; Internet.
[11] Cissna and Anderson, 14.
[12] Chasin et al, 325.
[13] Bohm, 15.
[14] Chasin et al, 325.
[15] Bohm, 2.
[16] Ibid. 8.
[17] David Bohm, Donald Factor and Peter Garrett, "Dialogue: A Proposal, (1991), available at:
http://www.muc.de/~heuvel/dialogue/dialogue_proposal.html; Internet.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Bohm, 4.
[20] Cissna and Anderson, 14.

[21] Bohm, Factor, and Garrett, available at:


http://www.muc.de/~heuvel/dialogue/dialogue_proposal.html
[22] "Constructive Conversations about Challenging Times: A Guide to Community
Dialogue,"?(p. 6), available at:
http://www.publicconversations.org/pcp/uploadDocs/CommunityGuide3.0.pdf; Internet.
[23] Bohm, 3.
[24] Some of these groups include: The Public Conversations Project, available at
http://www.publicconversations.org/ ; Public Dialogue Consortium, available at
?www.publicdialogue.org ; Search for Common Ground, available at?http://www.sfcg.org/ ; and
The Dialogue Group Online, available at?http://www.thedialoguegrouponline.com
[25] The Public Conversations Project suggests that community dialogues can be organized in
this way. See "Constructive Conversations about Challenging Times: A Guide to Community
Dialogue," available at:
http://www.publicconversations.org/pcp/uploadDocs/CommunityGuide3.0.pdf; Internet.?
[26] See Bohm, Factor, and Garrett, "Dialogue: A Proposal." David Bohm's approach suggests
that groups should be larger and represent a microcosm of society.
[27] Cissna and Anderson, 14.
[28] Bohm, 69.
[29] "What is Dialogue?" available at:
http://www.thedialoguegrouponline.com/whatsdialogue.html; Internet.
[30] Bohm, 73.
[31] What is Dialogue?" available at:
http://www.thedialoguegrouponline.com/whatsdialogue.html; Internet.??
[32] Bohm, 25.
[33] What is Dialogue?" available at:
http://www.thedialoguegrouponline.com/whatsdialogue.html;?Internet.?
[34] Cissna and Anderson, 23.
[35] What is Dialogue?" available at:
http://www.thedialoguegrouponline.com/whatsdialogue.html; Internet.??
[36] Bohm, 27.

[37] Abraham Kaplan, "The Life of Dialogue," pp. 34- 46 in The Reach of Dialogue:
Confirmation, Voice, and Community, eds. Rob Anderson, Kenneth N. Cissna, and Ronald C.
Arnett, (New Jersey: Hampton Press, Inc., 1994), 40.
[38] This is the term that Chasin et. al. use in "From Diatribe to Dialogue on Divisive Public
Issues" to describe the need to create new spaces for constructive conversation.
[39] Bohm, 23.
[40] Chasin et al, 335.
[41] Ibid., 337.
[42] Cissna and Anderson, 22-3.
[43] Herzig, "Moving From Polarized Polemic to Constructive Conversation."
[44] Chasin et al, 332.
[45] Bohm, Factor, and Garrett, "Dialogue: A Proposal"
[46] Ibid.
[47] Herzig, "Moving From Polarized Polemic to Constructive Conversation."
[48] Chasin et al, 327.
[49] For a comparison of dialogue and transformative mediation, see "From Diatribe to Dialogue
on Divisive Public Issues," pp. 337-340.
[50] Rothman, 351.
[51] Ibid., 346.
[52] "What is Dialogue?" available at:
http://www.thedialoguegrouponline.com/whatsdialogue.html; Internet.
[53] Kaplan, 41.
[54] Bohm, 19.
[55] "What is Dialogue?" available at:
http://www.thedialoguegrouponline.com/whatsdialogue.html; Internet.
[56] Cissna and Anderson, 17-19.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Saunders,Joe.BridgingHumanRightsandConflictResolution:ADialogueBetweenCritical
Communities.
Availableat:http://www.cceia.org/resources/articles_papers_reports/161.html.

isaverygoodsummaryoftheworkshopin2001,conductedbytheCarnegieCouncilbringingtwo
communitiestogether.

ComingtotheTable.
Availableat:http://www.emu.edu/cjp/comingtothetable/index.html.

"HumanRightsDialogue:IntegratingHumanRightsandPeaceWork.",2000
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

Introublespotsacrosstheglobetoday,fromNorthernIrelandtoSriLanka,fromSierraLeoneto
Indonesia,humanrightsactivistsoftenhavedifferentperspectivesandprioritiesthanconflictresolution
specialistsandpeaceactivists.OurWinter2002HumanRightsDialogueexploressomeofthesetensions
andofferssuggestionsforbuildingmoreconstructiverelationshipsbetweenthehumanrightsandpeace
communities.Abstract

ConstructiveConversationsaboutChallengingTimes:AGuidetoCommunityDialogue.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
ThisisaguideintendedtosupportpeopleinhavingaconstructiveconversationsabouttheSeptember
11attacksandtheiraftermathwithneighbors,colleagues,fellowworshippers,etc.Theguideprovidesa
'plan'tofacilitateastructureddialoguewhichcanalsobeusedtobringelementsofdialogueinto
spontaneousandinformalconversationswithfamilyandfriends.

DialogicListening.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/dialist.htm.
Dialogiclisteningissimilartoactivelistening,althoughitemphasizesconversationasasharedactivity
andstressesanopenended,playfulattitudetowardtheconversation.Inaddition,thepartiesfocuson
whatishappeningbetweenthem(ratherthaneachpartyfocusingonwhatisgoingonwithinthemind
oftheother),anditfocusesonthepresentmorethanonthepastorthefuture.

Burgess,HeidiandGuyM.Burgess."Dialogue.",1997
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/transform/dialog.htm.

Thispagedescribestheuseofdialogueinconflictsituations.Dialogueisaformofconversationanda
formofrelatingtopeoplethatdiffersfrommediation,negotiation,anddebateinthatitseekstoinform
andlearn,butnottopersuadeortoresolveanything.

DialogueProjects.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/dialog2.htm.
Dialogueisastructuredformofcommunicationwhichemphasizesrespectfulandattentivelistening
aboutdeeprootedfeelings,beliefsandexperiences.?Inmanycases,thepartiesmaybeunwillingto
participateinanegotiationprocessbecausetheydon'twanttocompromisetheirdeeplyheldvalues.
Nevertheless,theymaybewillingtoparticipateinadialoguewheretheobjectiveisforthepartiesto
betterunderstandeachotherandestablishapositiverelationshipwitheachotherwithoutbeing
pressuredtochangetheirownviews.

Factor,Donald,DavidBohmandPeterGarrett."Dialogue:AProposal.",1991
Availableat:http://world.std.com/~lo/bohm/0000.html.

Thispaperdiscussestheprocessofdialogueandwhatitoffersthosewhochoosetoengageinitasa
wayofresolvingcrises.Theauthorsoutlinetheirconceptionofdialogue,whytheybelievedialogueis
valuable,aswellaswhatdialogueisnot.Inaddition,theyprovidesomepracticaladviceonhowtogo
aboutinitiatingdialogueininterpersonalsituationsandorganizations.

Herzig,Margaret."MovingFromPolarizedPolemictoConstructiveConversation."Interact:The
JournalofPublicParticipation(July,2001).,2001
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

Thisarticlebeginsbybrieflydescribingsomecommonpatternsofpolarizationregardingcontroversial
publicissues.Next,theauthordescribesthegeneralapproachandalsothespecificstepsthatthePublic
ConversationsProjecthasdevelopedtoreversepolarizationpatternsthroughdialogue.Lastly,twocases
arereferencedtoshowhowprivatedialoguecanenhancepublicparticipationinresolvingpublicpolicy
issues.

"PublicConversationsProject:ToolBox.",April20,2000
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

Siteprovidesusefulinformationtopromotetheirmissiontofosteramoreinclusive,empathicand
collaborativesocietybypromotingconstructiveconversationsandrelationshipsamongthosewhohave
differingvalues,worldviews,andpositionsrelatedtodivisivepublicissues.

Briggs,JohnandDavidPeat."TheDialogueExperiment.",1999
Availableat:http://www.davidbohm.net/dialogue/experiment.html.

Thispaperdescribesasituationinwhichagroupofpeopleexperimentedwiththeprocessofdialogue,

attemptingtotestsomeofDavidBohm'stheoriesondialogueandcollectivecreativity.

Ellinor,LindaandGlennaGerard.WhatisDialogue?.
Availableat:http://www.thedialoguegrouponline.com/whatsdialogue.html.
Thispiecedescribesthecentralelementsofdialogueandemphasizesitscapacitytoimprove
communicationandtransformrelationshipss.Itcontrastsdialoguewithdiscussionandpresentsvarious
skillsandguidelinestofacilitateconstructiveconversation.
Offline(Print)Sources
Anderson,RobandKennethN.Cissna."CommunicationandtheGroundofDialogue."InTheReachof
Dialogue:Confirmation,Voice,andCommunity.EditedbyArnett,RonaldC.,RobAndersonand
KennethN.Cissna,eds.NewJersey:HamptonPress,Inc.,1994.
Thispiecedescribesdialogueasaprocessofcommunicationinwhichparticipantslearnabout
themselvesandopenthemselvesuptonewinsights.Itbrieflydescribessomeofthecoreliteratureon
dialogue,outlinessomeofitscentralcharacteristics,andthendiscussessomeculturalconstraintson
dialogue.

Thomas,MiltandJohnStewart."DialogicListening:SculptingMutualMeanings."InBridgesNot
Walls.EditedbyStewart,John,ed.NewYork:McGrawhill,1995.
Theauthorsdefineandidentifythreeproblemswithactiveorempathiclistening.Theygoontocontrast
dialogiclisteningtoactiveorempathiclisteninganduncoverfourdistinctivecharacteristicsofdialogic
listening.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Teurfs,LindaandGlennaGerard."DialogueandOrganizationalTransformation."InCommunitySpirit:
RenewingSpiritandLearninginBusiness.EditedbyGozdz,Kazimierz,ed.SanFrancisco:NewLeaders
Press,1995.
Theauthorsarguethatthepracticeofdialoguehasthepotentialtotransformorganizationalcultures
andbuildcommunity.Theydescribethespecificskillsandguidelinesneededtopracticedialogue.They
thendescribethegeneraltransformativepotentialofdialogue,anditsparticularbenefittotheproblem
solvingprocess.Theauthorsclosebyreviewingtwocasesinwhichdialoguehelpedtotransform
organizationalculture.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Isaacs,William.DialogueandtheArtofThinkingTogether:APioneeringApproachtoCommunicating
inBusinessandinLife.RandomHouse,September14,1999.
Isaacsarguesthatcorporate,political,andpersonalcommunicationcanbeaprocessofthinking
togetherratherthantyringtoconvinceothersofone'sposition.Heoffersconcreteideasforboth
listeningandspeakingandforavoidingtheforcesthatunderminemeaningfulconversation.This
collecitveobservationandthought,hesays,contributesmuchtosuccessfulbusinessoperations.

Ellinor,LindaandGlendaGerard.Dialogue:RediscovertheTransformingPowerofConversation.John
Wiley&Sons,March1,1998.
Thisbookprovidesguidancetobusinesspeople,especiallymanagers,onhowtofosterconstructive

communicationamongemployeesthroughtheprocessofdialogue.Dialogueiswayofconversingand
thinkingtogetherthathelpstobridgediversity,fostercooperation,andincreasecreativity.Theauthors
suggeststhatitcanhaveatremendouspositiveimpactoninteractionsintheworkplace.

Flick,DeborahL.FromDebatetoDialogue:UsingtheUnderstandingProcesstoTransformOur
Conversations.OrchidPublications,August13,1998.
Thisbookdiscusseswaysinwhichconflictingpartiescanworktowardinstigatingproductivedialogue
ratherthancounterproductivedebate.Theauthordescribesan"understandingprocess,"inwhich
partiesmakeanefforttounderstandothersfromwithintheirframeofreferenceratherthantryingto
winadebate.The"understandingprocess"approachtodialogueaimstotransformrelationsthipsand
allowparticipantstoexpressopposingpointsofviewwithoutbecomingpolarized.

Chasin,Richard."FromDiatribetoDialogueonDivisivePublicIssues:ApproachesDrawnfromFamily
Therapy."MediationQuarterly13:4,1996.
Publicdiscourseondivisiveissuesisoftendominatedbydestructivedebatebetweenpolarized
opponents.Applyingfamilytherapyideas,thePublicConversationsProjectfostersconstructivedialogue
onsuchconflicts.Theirapproachincludes(1)collaboratingwithparticipants,startingwithextensive
premeetingexchanges,(2)usinggroundrulesandformatsthatpreventreenactmentofthe"old"
conversation,and(3)fosteringrespectfulinquirytostimulatea"new"conversationthatincreases
understandingofthe"other"asaperson,notastereotypeorposition.Theproject'semphasisisnoton
resolveingspecificdisputesbutonimprovingthewaypeoplewithstrongdifferencesrelatetoeach
other."Clickhereformoreinfo.

Schoem,DavidLouisandSylviaHurtado.IntergroupDialogue:DeliberativeDemocracyinSchool,
College,Community,andWorkplace.Michigan:UniversityofMichiganPress,August1,2001.
Thisbookputsforwardtheory,practice,andresearchonintergroupdialogue.Italsopresentscase
studies,andevaluationsconnectedtothisprocess.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Bohm,David.OnDialogue.Routledge,December1,1996.
ThisworkfeaturesDavidBohm'sconceptionofthedialogueprocess.AccordingtoBohm,dialogueis
aboutthinkingonadifferentlevelandcloselyobservingthecontentandthoughtpatternsrevealedin
conversation.Itcentersonparticipatorythoughtandaimstochangethewaythatthoughtprocesses
occuratthecollectivelevel.

Rothman,Jay."ReflexiveDialogueasTransformation."MediationQuarterly13:4,1996.
Rothmandescribeshisapproachtointerventioninidentityconflictsasfacilitatingreflexivedialogue.He
seesreflexivedialogueasaformoftransformativeconflictresolution.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Yankelovich,Daniel.TheMagicofDialogue:TransformingConflictintoCooperation.Simon&
Schuster,September1,1999.
Dialogueisacommunicationprocessthataimstopromotemutualunderstandingamongstthosewith
opposingviewpoints.Thisbookoutlinesfifteenstrategiesthatcanbeusedtoironoutdifferencesina

widevarietyofworkplacesettingsandemphasizesdialogue'scapacitytobuildunderstandingandtrust.

Volkan,VamikD."TheTreeModel:PsychopoliticalDialoguesandthePromotionofCoexistence."In
TheHandbookofInterethnicCoexistence.EditedbyWeiner,Eugene,ed.NewYork:Continuum
Publishing,1998.
Theauthor'sTreeModeldescribeshowimprovedinterethnicrelationsachievedinfacilitateddialogue
maybemaintainedandappliedtorealworldprojects.Theauthorgoesontodescribehoweachpartof
thetreerepresentsphasesofthedialogueprocess.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Examples Illustrating this Topic:


Online(Web)Sources
Dessel,Adrienne."AnIsrael/PalestineCommunityDialogue.",2003
Availableat:http://www.publicconversations.org/pcp/index.asp?page_id=244.

ThisarticletellsthestoryofacommunitydialogueorganizedinKnoxville,TNthatbroughtmembersof
thelocalIsraeliandPalestiniancommunitiestogether.

BeyondtheAbortionDebateCommonGround.
Availableat:http://www.cointelligence.org/Sbeyondabortiondebate.html.
ThispiecedescribesdialoguesinitiatedbySearchforCommonGround,betweenprolifeandprochoice
activists.Theoriginaldialoguespawnedfurthergroups,allofwhichallowedconstructiveconversation
aboutahighlycontentiousissue.

CanadianAdversariesTakeaBreaktoDream.
Availableat:http://www.cointelligence.org/SCanadaadvrsariesdream.html.
ThisbriefpiecetellsthestoryofasuccessfulnationaldialogueinitiativeinCanada,whichwasdesigned
todevelopanationalvisionforthefuture.

Roth,Sallyann."ConstructiveConversationintheAbortionDebate:UseoftheDialogueProcess."
PublicConversationsProject,1994
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

ThePublicConversationsProjectworkstodevelopmodelsforfacilitatingdialogueaboutdivisivepublic
issues.Thispieceoutlinessomeofthecentralelements ofthedialogueprocessanddiscusseshowithas
provedusefulinthedebatesurroundingabortion.

CrossfiretoCeaseFire:MovingtheMediafromSlashandBurntoListenandLearn.2005.
Availableat:http://www.aworldofpossibilities.com/details.cfm?id=198.

AninterviewwithBobBarr,ThomHartmann,ScottMcConnell,andKatrinavandenHeuvel.Manyon
bothsidesofthepartisandividebelieveourdifferencesthreatenthe veryviabilityofourrepublic.Inthis

program,webeginwiththeconvictionthatnoneofusaloneholdstheanswerbutthatallholdpiecesof
theanswer.Both/andratherthaneither/or.Joinusandexplorewaysofengaginginconversationsthat
mediateratherthaninfuriate.

Abu,Alpha."DialogueonJusticeandReconciliation."Accord,Vol.9,September2000
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

Scrolldowntothebottomofthepageandclickon"Dialogueonjusticeandreconciliation."InMarch
2000,wellbeforetheMaycrisisinthepeaceprocess,fivekeyfiguresinSierraLeone'ssearchforpeace
werebroughttogetherinFreetowntodiscusstheprospectsforjusticeandreconciliationandthe
potentialimpactoftheTruthandReconciliationCommission(TRC)envisagedintheLom?Agreement.
ThediscussionwasfacilitatedbyFlorellaHazely,advocacyofficerfortheCouncilofChurchesinSierra
Leone,andthereportpreparedbyAlphaAbu,whoworksforboththeradioandtelevisionstationsof
theSierraLeoneBroadcastingService.Excerptsarereproducedbelow.

Sarsar,Saliba."MakingaDifference:ArabJewishGrassrootsDialogueGroupsintheUnitedStates."
OnlineJournalofPeaceandConflictResolution,Vol.1,No.3,August1998
Availableat:http://www.trinstitute.org/ojpcr/1_3sar.htm.

ThisarticlediscussesthegrassrootsformationofdialoguegroupsofArabsandJewsintheUnitedStates.
Thearticlefocusesonafewsuchgroupsandtheactivitiestheycarryoutinordertobuildpersonal
relationshipsandpromotethepeacefulcoexistenceofJewsandArabsintheU.S.

Posthumus,Bram."Mali:SuccessfulMediationEffortCouldLeadtoLastingPeace.",2000
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

ThisarticleoutliesthedynamicsoftherebelinsurgencyinMaliintheearly1990sandthesubsequent
peaceeffortsthattookplace.Itisnotedthatthemediatedpeacesettlementhasbeensuccessfulmostly
becauseofinclusivestakeholderrepresentationandparticipation.

Isseroff,Ami."MidEastDialogGroups:BuildingaGrassRootsForceforPeace."OnlineJournalof
PeaceandConflictResolution,Vol.1,No.3,August1998
Availableat:http://www.trinstitute.org/ojpcr/1_3iss.htm.

ThisarticlediscussesthehighlycriticizedpeaceprocessintheMiddleEastandtherecentformationand
workofthegrassroots,PEACEdialoggroup.Thearticleincludesdescriptionsofthegroup'sactivitiesand
discussionofthevalueoftheinternetandemailasinstrumentsofchange.

Aarbakke,Vemund."MutualLearning:FacilitatingDialogueinFormerYugoslavia."International
PeaceResearchInstitute,February2002.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

ThisisareportontheBalkanDialogueProjectfrom19942001.Theprojectworkstotrainpeopleof
variousethnicbackgroundsinNansenDialoguetechniquestofacilitateimprovedcommunicationinthe
Balkans.

NorthernForestDialogueProject.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
Duringthesummerof1993,agroupcomposedofindividualsfromthetimberindustry,environmental
organizations,governmentoffices,andcommunitygroupsgatheredtogetherinVermonttodiscusstheir
concerns,fears,andvisionsfortheNorthernForest.Thispieceoutlinesthedialogueprocessthattook
placeandexploresitcentralaims.

PublicConversationsProject:DialogueStoriesandPCPForums.
Availableat:http://www.publicconversations.org/pcp/index.asp?catid=66.
Thispageprovidesaccesstoanumberofpersonalnarrativesfromindividualswhohaveemployedthe
PublicConversationProject'sapproachinordertoconvenedialoguesintheircommunities.Thereare
alsolinksthatallowuserstoparticipateinongoingdialogueforumsaboutcurrentissues.

Saunders,HaroldH.andRanaH.Slim."TheInterTajikDialogue:FromCivilWarTowardsCivil
Society."Accord,Vol.10,March2001
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

ThisarticleexaminestheInterTajikDialogueanditscrucialroleinestablishingcommunicationbetween
conflictingfactionsinvolvedintheTajikistancivilwar.
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Albeck,J.H.,S.AdwanandD.BarOn."DialogueGroups:TRT'sGuidelinesforWorkingThrough
IntractableConflictsbyPersonalStorytelling."PeaceandConflict8:4,December1,2002.
Thisarticleexplainstheconcept"workingthrough"asitpertainstopersonalnarrativesassociatedwith
intergroupconflict.Inessence,bothpartiestoaconflicttellpersonalstorieswhichleadtoalarger
dialoguebetweenthegroups.Thearticlealsogivesexamplesofhowthistechniquehasbeenusedin
intractablesituationssuchasinNorthernIrelandandtheMiddleEast.

AbuNimer,Mohammed.Dialogue,ConflictResolution,andChange:ArabJewishEncountersinIsrael.
SUNYPress,1999.
"InhisindepthexaminationofinterventionmodelsinIsrael,AbuNimerprovidesafreshinsightintothe
importantroleofdialogueinconflictresolution.Thiscomprehensivestudywillnotonlyserveasauseful
guideforfutureArabIsraelidialogues,butalsoaframeworkforothercitizendiplomacyprogramsin
areasofconflictaroundtheworld."JohnW.McDonald,Ambassador,andChairmanandcofounderof
theInstituteforMultiTrackDiplomacy

ExplorationsinGlobalEthics:ComparativeReligiousEthicsandInterreligiousDialogue.Westview
Press,October1,1999.

This"volumeforthefirsttimebringsthescholarlydisciplineofcomparativereligiousethicsinto
constructivecollaborationwiththecommunityofinterreligiousdialogue.""Thevolume'scontributors
sharethisvisionofcollaboration,drawingexplicitlyfrombothcommunitiesofdiscourseinamanner
thatcrossesdisciplinaryandprofessionalboundariestodealcreativelyandconstructivelywith
importantmethodologicalandglobalmoralissue."

LeBaron,MichelleandNikeCarstarphen."NegotiatingIntractableConflict:TheCommonGround
DialogueProcessandAbortion."NegotiationJournal13:4,October1997.
ThisarticledescribesadialogueprocessusedinseveralNorthAmericancitiestostresscommon
concernsofallpartiesintheconflictoverabortion.Afterspendingadayinsmallandlargegroup
interactions,participantsreportincreasedempathyandtrusttowardadvocatesfordifferentpositions.
Clickhereformoreinfo.

Audiovisual Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
BlacksandJews.Directedand/orProducedby:Snitow,AlanandDeborahKaufman.California
Newsreel.1997.
ThisfilmbeginsbyexaminingtheangerandmistrustthathasgrownbetweenBlacksandJewsinthe
UnitedStates.Itcontinuesbyshowinghowdialogueandcooperationcanbeusedtobuildtrust,and
thus,narrowthedividebetweenthesetwogroupsofpeople.Clickhereformoreinfo.

SkinDeep:BuildingDiverseCampusCommunities.Directedand/orProducedby:Reid,Frances.
CaliforniaNewsreel.1995.
ThisfilmgoestoanumberofUScollegecampusesandengagesadiversebodyofstudentsindialog
aboutracialandethnicissues,initsefforttobringtolifetheformidableracial/ethnicdividefoundat
theseinstitutions.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Unit V
Power Issues
Power is another key factor in all conflicts and disputes, although it may not be evident or
overtly utilized. It also is not as one-dimensional as many people think. Oftentimes we assume
that the rich, strong, and well-connected people are the ones with power, while the rest of us are
relatively powerless. If we understand the different sources and types of power, however, we
learn that it is not nearly that simple. We all have power if we know how to find it and use it
effectively.
Power
If power were one-dimensional, we could agree on who has more and who has less.
However, we are often surprised when a seemingly less powerful party holds a more
powerful party at bay. This essay discusses both potential and actual power, the forms
power can take, and its role in causing and solving conflicts.
Coercive Power
When they think of "power," many people think of coercion the ability to force people
to do what you want by threatening them with overwhelming force. This is, indeed, one
form of power, though there are others. This essay discusses the pros and cons of using
coercive power and the forms that such power can take.
Revenge and the Backlash Effect
Most people hate to be forced to do things against their will. Using threats often produces
such a large backlash that more problems are caused than solved, as this essay explains.
Nonviolence and Nonviolent Direct Action
One form of coercive power that is less likely to spawn revenge is nonviolent direct
action. This is action such as strikes, boycotts, marches, or demonstrations that is
usually undertaken by a group of people in an effort to persuade someone else to change
their behavior. Though sometimes considered "whimpy" or "cowardly," nonviolence can
actually take a great deal of courage and be a very strong tool of persuasion.
Exchange Power
Simply, exchange power means that "I do something for you in order to get you to do
something for me." However, this simple concept has formed the basis for very complex
human interactions. It also forms the basis of all negotiation.
Integrative Power
Integrative power is the power that binds humans together. Kenneth Boulding calls it
"love" or, "if that is too strong," he says, "call it respect." Though seldom studied or
discussed, Boulding argues that it is the strongest form of power, especially because the
other two forms (exchange and coercive power) cannot operate without integrative power
too.
Persuasion
Persuasion is the ability to change people's attitudes largely through the skillful use of
language. Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail is a classic example of
persuasion.

Power Inequities
Plutarch wrote, "An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment
of all republics." This essay deals with the power inequities that have existed in almost all
human societies.
Empowerment
Saul Alinsky wrote, "I tell people to hell with charity, the only thing you'll get is what
you're strong enough to get." This essay discusses what empowerment is, how it can be
accomplished, who should do it, when, and what the outcomes might be.
Voice
Those whose voices are most often silenced include women, children, minority groups,
indigenous peoples, and the poor. This essay explains the importance of having a voice,
whether it is through voting, holding office, or having a seat at the negotiating table.
Capacity Building
In order to negotiate effectively, parties sometimes need to build their own or others'
capacity to respond to their situation effectively by building knowledge, providing
resources, or both. This is one of several ways to build one's power.
Networking
This essay describes how networking can be used to build relationships and empower
individuals and groups to confront difficult conflicts more effectively.
Coalition Building
Coalition building is the making of alliances or coalitions between individuals, groups, or
countries who cooperatively work together to reach a common goal. It is yet another way
to increase a person's or group's power.
Activism
This essay discusses ways that disputants can (and do) address conflicts in constructive
ways through activism.
Social Movements
Social movements are groups of individuals who come together around an issue to bring
about (or resist) change.
Unit V Assignment:
Go back to the dispute or conflict that you discussed in Unit II or III (or you can choose another
one, but that will be more work because you'll have to explain it to me). In 3-4 pages, explain
what sources of power the primary parties have and what power strategies (integrative, coercive,
or exchange) were used by whom. Also, what other power options might be used in this
circumstance? Would these be helpful or harmful?

Power

By
Mire A. Dugan

In one of the few in-depth treatments of power in conflict situations, Hubert M. Blalock begins
by acknowledging something most of us know but rarely state: "The concept of power is both
exceedingly slippery to pin down and yet indispensable in enabling one to analyze...."[1]
Having defined power, as in physics, as having both potential and kinetic forms, he opts for the
latter usage alone in his text. That is, he acknowledges power as both the capacity of an
individual or group to accomplish something, and the actual doing of something, but he limits his
discussion to "actions actually accomplished."
This has two advantages. First, it dovetails with

how most of us think about power most of the time.


Second, it is easier to quantify. It is much easier to
measure something that has occurred than
something that is a possibility. An actual

occurrence is a fact that can be checked. There may


Additionalinsightsintounderstandingpower
be disagreement on the sources of its occurrence,
http://crinfo.beyondintractability.org/audio/10995
but the argument about its occurrence is likely to be
short-lived if adequate facts can be brought to bear.
If one side has won in a disagreement (in that it has gotten the other to do something it wanted),
we have prima facie evidence that the first is more powerful -- or at least has exerted more power
-- than the second.
Since concerns of relative power are important in conflicts, it is helpful to have a clear picture of
who has more. We can then more easily say that one is more (or less) powerful than another.
Theoretically, at least, we can predict who will win and who will lose the confrontation.
Hopefully, we could then dissuade a party from pursuing a destructive battle that it is bound to
lose.

DefiningPower
Before defining power in a sociological sense, let's look at a type
of power with which we are familiar on a daily basis -- electrical Truththreatenspower,andpower
power. We know that electricity is available to us when we plug threatenstruth.Hans
an appliance into an outlet and turn it on. Except in the case of an Morgenthau
outage or a malfunction, we expect electricity to be available to
us to make electrical appliances function. Further, when the
appliance is functioning, we can see and benefit from the power we have at our disposal. In other
words, we can detect both potential and actual power.
So, too, with social and political power. There's nothing quite as visible and uniform as an outlet
to identify its source, but it functions in both the potential and actual. As with electricity, for all
its complexity in operation, social and political power has a simple definition.

PoweristheCapacitytoBringaboutChange
Oftentimes, power is more narrowly defined, even when both its actual and potential forms are

changing the other. Thus, power is often defined as the capacity to influence others' behavior, to
get others to do what challengers want, rather than what the initial parties themselves want. It is,
however, important to recognize that change can be within rather than without, or that it may be
a combination of the two. This recognition is important in concerns about empowerment; beyond
this, it opens up additional strategies to consider in combating injustice and seeking social
change.

SourcesofPower
If power were one-dimensional, we could agree with some

degree of certitude who has more and who has less and thus, who "Willisineffectivewithoutpower;
will be the victor in a contest of wills. However, we are often
butpowerisonlyrandomly
confronted with surprises in this regard when a seemingly less
effectivewithoutwill."KarlM.
powerful party holds a more powerful party at bay. As an
Deutsch
example, Iraq lost the first Gulf War. This can be documented. A
major source of its defeat was that the massive alliance arrayed
against it had vastly superior firepower. That situation remained after the war was over.
Nonetheless, Iraq successfully evaded U.N. inspection directives for over a decade. Where was
its source of power? To be able to answer such questions, it is important to look beyond military
might as a source of power.
Electrical power provides an additional metaphor in the consideration of social and political
power. It provides a window on the importance of the sources of power. There are many cases
where electrical power may be insufficient. In the case of a developing nation, lack of
inexpensive electricity may be limiting its industrial potential, which may in turn be contributing
to the impoverishment of its citizens. In a region facing an influx of residents, there may not be
sufficient electricity to provide expected services. In an overdeveloped area, people may be
facing power outages during peak usage times of the day.
In the last case, the best plan of action may be to face hard choices about limiting future growth.
But even here, people are most likely concerned with how to obtain more power, more easily
accessible power, and/or less expensive power. To do any of these, we need to understand the
sources of power and compare their relative ease, benefit, and cost. Is a fossil fuel plant the best
option? What about the air pollution in the surrounding area? How about a nuclear plant? Who is
to bear the cost of the heat pollution it generates in the waters into which its outtake valves
deposit formerly cooler water? What about the dangers of accidents?
Obtaining power is never without cost. Technological advances provide additional choices on
how to generate electricity, which may enable us to limit or mute some of those costs. The same
is true with increasing or obtaining political power, where identifying and developing alternative
sources of power may mitigate some of its undesirable impacts.
Gene Sharp provides a broad list of sources of power.[2] Sources include:

authority,thatis,theperceptionamongthegovernedthattheleaderhastherighttogivethem
directives.
humanresourcesintheformofpeoplewhosupportandassisttheleaderaswellastheir

percentageinthegeneralpopulation.
skillsandknowledge,includingthetalentsofthosewhoworkfortheleader.
intangiblefactors,"suchaspsychologicalandideologicalfactors,suchashabitsandattitudes
towardobedienceandsubmission,andthepresenceorabsenceofacommonfaith,ideology,or
senseofmission."[3]
materialresourcesintheformofcontroloverwealth,property,naturalresources,
communications,andtransportation.
sanctionsorreprisalswhichtheleaderisbothwillingandabletouseagainsther/hisown
constituencyand/oranadversary.

A couple of comments are in order before leaving this list. First, while each item on the list is
obviously a potential source of the capacity to bring about change (power), only the last is, by
definition, directly related to force and coercion. Second, I want to underscore authority as a
source of power. Stanley Milgram has compellingly highlighted its import in the series of
experiments in which people were asked to shock a "learner" at increasingly higher voltages if
the learner did not answer questions correctly. Sixty-five percent of the subjects did as requested,
even after hearing feigned cries of pain (the learner was a confederate of the experimenter and
was not actually receiving any shocks). Milgram concluded that:
With numbing regularity good people were seen to knuckle under the demands of authority and
perform actions that were callous and severe. Men who are in everyday life responsible and
decent were seduced by the trappings of authority, by the control of their perceptions, and by the
uncritical acceptance of the experimenter's definition of the situation, into performing harsh acts.
...A substantial proportion of people do what they are told to do, irrespective of the content of the
act and without limitations of conscience, so long as they perceive that the command comes from
a legitimate authority.[4]

TypesofPower
Given that power's sources are very different, it is not surprising that its manifestations are in fact
different enough in kind to justify a separate treatment for each. But as a brief overview, let us
consider the image presented by Kenneth Boulding, a preeminent peace researcher and
economist who has provided us with a powerful metaphor for grappling with the different types
of power: the stick, the carrot, and the hug. The stick and the carrot are familiar metaphors, the
first for force and the second for enticement. The third is for a form of power which Boulding
claims to be the most-often used -- integrative or collaborative power.[5]
Coercive power, as mentioned above, is the form most meant when one refers to power.
Coercive power is based on superior strength, often in the form of physical strength or superior
arms. While the stick is its metaphor, force can be achieved through less overtly violent means,
as, for example, when the necessities of life are withheld or when someone is embarrassed into
submission. Coercion is often accomplished without the actual infliction of force. The mere
threat of its use, when believed, can be sufficient to obtain compliance. The chapter on coercive
and threat power will deal with this spectrum of power.
The carrot represents a much gentler type of power, one that relies on a variety of exchange and

reward possibilities. Oftentimes, an exchange is made or implied. Person A does the bidding of
Person B because of something Person A will do in return. Global economies are run largely on
the basis of exchange power. So, too, on a more personal level, are much of day-to-day finances.
Workers perform their tasks in exchange for the pay they are given. A worker may choose to
meet an early deadline requested by a manager in order to receive the manager's appreciation,
perhaps even a raise or promotion. This spectrum of reasons that people change their behavior is
the subject of the section on Exchange Power.
It is the final element, the hug, which brings us to the least-explored form of power. The section
on integrative or collaborative power will explore a range of more internalized reasons that
people change their behavior in a direction that may be more desirable to themselves or someone
else. The first element the hug brings to mind is love, but collaborative power can also be based
on qualities such as loyalty and legitimacy, or simply a conviction that teamwork is a more
productive approach than hierarchy. It may also involve the use of persuasion, the persuader
drawing on not only the logic of her own case, but also the values of the other.
While love and other integrative aspects of power are not usually considered when discussing
power, this focus is not new. Karl M. Deutsch, a pre-eminent political scientist of the mid-20th
century, put it this way:
Power is...neither the center nor the essence of politics. It is one of the currencies of politics, one
of the important mechanisms of acceleration or of damage control where influence, habit, or
voluntary coordination may have failed, or where these may have failed to serve adequately the
function of goal attainment. Force is another and narrower currency and damage control
mechanism of this kind. Influence and the trading of ... desired favors -- the traditional "playing
politics" of American colloquial speech -- are still others. All these are important, but each is
replaceable by the others, and all are secondary to what now appears...as the essence of politics:
the dependable coordination of human efforts and expectations for the attainment of the goals of
the society.[6]
Feminist scholars provide a different lens through which to look at the three forms of power,
which are referred to, respectively, as "power over," "power to," and "power with."[7] "Power
over" refers to power through domination; it is coercive and operates largely through threat and
fear. "Power to" directs our attention back to the definition of power in general. If power is the
capacity to change, then should we not focus our first thoughts, not on fear and force, but on
getting things done? "Power with" refers to a certain form of getting things done, that is,
collaborative endeavors. This is the form of power that receives most emphasis in feminist
literature as well as other literatures from those with lesser amounts of power, e.g., liberation
theology. It reflects a concern about moving away from hierarchical forms of governance and
society to what Riane Eisler calls "partnership societies."[8]
Louis Kriesberg looks at power from the position of a party in a conflict:
A conflict party has three basic ways to induce adversaries to move toward the position it
desires: It may try to persuade, coerce, or reward the opponents.[9]

In a conflict, a party thus has three general sources of improving its chances of meeting its own
goals and/or reducing the chances of its adversary from meeting goals to which it objects: sticks,
carrots or hugs.
In the real world, it is rare that any of these forms of power is exercised on its own. More
typically, exercise of power involves a combination of some aspects of at least two, and
oftentimes all three. The chapter on Power Strategies Mix focuses on how types of power are
combined in practice, and possibly more importantly, identifies the appropriateness of different
combinations depending on variables such as openness to change on the parts of the parties,
degree of injustice, and parity.
A related essay in this section on power is empowerment. How can less powerful parties make
use of the array of sources of power? What sorts of power should they seek? Feminist and other
liberation literatures put a particular emphasis on this question, which is reflected in the
empowerment essay.

[1] Hubert M. Blalock, Power and Conflict: Toward a General Theory (Newbury Park, CA:
Sage, 1989), 26.
[2] Gene Sharp, Power and Struggle (Politics of Nonviolent Action, Part I), (Boston: Porter
Sargent Publishers, 1973)
[3] Ibid, 11.
[4] Thomas Blass, "Stanley Milgram." (2002, accessed on November 15, 2002); Available from
http://www.stanleymilgram.com/quotes.html; Internet
[5] Kenneth Boulding, Three Faces of Power. (Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications, 1989)
[6] Karl M. Deutsch, The Nerves of Government: Models of Political Communication and
Control. (New York: The Free Press, 1963), 124.
[7] Lynne M. Woehrle. Social Constructions of Power and Empowerment: Thoughts from
Feminist Approaches to Peace Research and Peace-making (Syracuse: Syracuse University
Press, 1992.)
[8] Riane Eisler, The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future. (San Francisco: Harper
San Francisco, 1988.)
[9] Louis Kriesberg, Social Conflicts (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1982), 115.

SourcesofAdditional,IndepthInformationonthisTopic

Additional Explanations of the Underlying Concepts:


Online(Web)Sources
Wehr,Paul.AlternativestoForce.
Availableat:http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/treatment/non_force.htm.
ThispageoffersabriefdiscussionofKennethBoulding'snotionofthethreeformsofsocialpower.The
threekeytypesarethreat,exchange,andintegration.

Atlee,JohnS.andTomAtlee.Democracy:ASocialPowerAnalysis.
Availableat:http://www.cointelligence.org/CIPol_democSocPwrAnal.html.
Thisessaydiscussesvariousaspectsofsocialpowerinrelationtodemocracyandfreedom.Theauthors
offeradefinitionandbriefdiscussionofsocialpower,andthenexaminetherelationshipbetweensocial
powerandfreedom.Thefollowingsectionsdiscussseveralaspectsoftherelationshipbetweensocial
poweranddemocracy,withtheauthorsstatingthat"democracyisasocietycharacterizedbyequalityof
socialpower."Lastly,therearebriefdescriptionsofvariousformsofsocialpower.

Fulda,JosephS.EconomicPower.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
Thisisabriefarticleabouteconomicpower,whatthetermmeansandtherelationshipbetweenwealth
andpoliticalpower.

Carli,LindaL.Gender,InterpersonalPower,andSocialInfluence.JournalofSocialIssues.
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Thisarticlediscussesthepowerinequitiesbetweenwomenandmen,focusingontherealconsequences
oftheimbalanceforwomen.Inthisarticle,theauthorexamines"thewaymenandwomenexert
influencebychangingtheopinionsofothers,andthewaypeopleperceiveandrespondtomenand
womenasinfluenceagents.Althoughtheliteratureongenderdifferencesinsocialinfluenceisnot
extensive,itdoesrevealthatmenandwomendodifferintheirabilitytoinfluenceothersandthatthese
differencescorrespondtogenderdifferencesinpower."FromArticle

Hutcheon,PatDuffy.HannahArendtontheConceptofPower.
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.
TheauthorhighlightstheimportanceofArendt'swork,andfocusesonhercontributiontothe
"clarificationofkeyconcepts,mostparticularly,herinsightsintothenatureofpowerinhuman
relations."

Coleman,PeterT."PositivePower:MappingtheDimensionsofConstructivePowerRelations.",1900
Availableat:Clickhereformoreinfo.

Traditionalapproachestothestudyofpowerhaveemphasizeditsmorecoerciveanddominating
aspectsandhaveapproacheditasaproblemtobecontainedandavoided.Analternativeorientationto
powerispresentedherewhichfocusesonpositiveformsofmutuallyconstructivepower.Thisapproach
topoweroffersavisionofwhatcouldbe,aswellasastrategyforlimitingtheuseofcoercivepowerby
proactivelyapproachingandbuildingpositivepoweratalllevelsofsocialinteraction.Theimplicationsof
destructiveandconstructivepowerforfamilies,schools,workorganizationsandethnicconflictare
discussed.Abstract
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ThisclassicandhighlyacademictextpresentsFoucault'stakeonthedevelopmentoftheprison,which
heemploysasacaseexampleoftherelationshipbetweenknowledgeandpoweraswellasbetweenthe
individualandtheState.ThisistheworkinwhichFoucaultexpoundeduponJeremyBentham'swell
knownconceptofthepanopticon.

Clegg,StewardR.FrameworksofPower.NewburyPark,CA:SagePublications,August1989.
Thistextbookoffersaclearandthoroughdiscussionofdifferentframeworksforunderstandingpower
thathavebeenproposedinthesocialsciences.Theworkcoversclassicliteratureonpower,focusing
particularlyonMachiavelliandHobbes.Inadditiontocoveringthehistoryofsuchframeworks,the
authorattemptstosynthesizeanewframeworkforunderstandingpowerandappliesittothestudyof
theemergenceofthemodernstate.

Aronowitz,Stanley.HowClassWorks:PowerandSocialMovement.NewHaven,CT:YaleUniversity
Press,May2003.
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TheauthordemonstratesthatclassisstillapotentforceintheUnitedStatesandthatitshouldnotbe
understoodsimplyintermsofsocialstratification.Instead,Aronowitzarguesthatclassshouldbe
understoodasthepowerofsocialgroupstomakeadifferenceinsociety.Heemployslabormovements,
environmentalactivism,andfeminismasexamplesofgroupsthathaveengagedinclassstrugglesas
theirdemandsforpowerreconfiguredthesocialorder.

Chaiken,ShellyL."PersuasioninNegotiationsandConflictSituations."InTheHandbookofConflict
Resolution:TheoryandPractice.EditedbyDeutsch,M.andPeterT.Coleman,eds.SanFrancisco,CA:
JosseyBassPublishers,2000.
Thischapterfocusesontheaspectsofpersuasionandattitudechangeinnegotiation,bargaining,and
conflictresolution.

Coleman,PeterT."PowerandConflict."InTheHandbookofConflictResolution:TheoryandPractice,.
EditedbyDeutsch,MortonandPeterT.Coleman,eds.SanFrancisco:JosseyBass,2000.
Thischapteraimstoimproveunderstandingoftherelationshipbetweenpowerandconflict.Theauthor
discussesvariousconceptionsandtypologiesofpowerandoffersaworkingdefinitionofpower.
Colemanthendiscusseshowcertainpersonalandsituationalfactorsaffectpeoples'responsestopower

insocialrelations.Lastly,heconsidershowthoseideasarerelevanttoconflictresolution,describingthe
tendenciesandstrategiesusedbymembersofgroupswithvaryingdegreesofpowerwhentheyare
facedwithconflict.

PowerandConflict:TowardaGeneralTheory.ThousandOaks,CA:SagePublications,November1989.

Blalockexploresdifferentargumentsrelatedtopowerandconflict.Ageneralconflictmodelhelpsto
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Sharp,Gene.PowerandStruggle:PoliticsofNonviolentAction,PartI.Boston:PorterSargentPub.,
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Hocker,JoyceL.andWilliamWilmotBurton."PowerinInterpersonalConflict."InInterpersonal
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Kriesberg,Louis.SocialConflicts,2ndEdition.EnglewoodCliffs,NJ:PrenticeHall,January1982.

Woehrle,LynneM.SocialConstructionsofPowerandEmpowerment:ThoughtsfromFeminist
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Boulding,KennethE.ThreeFacesofPower.NewburyPark,CA:SagePublications,May1989.
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economic,andintegrative.Bouldingexamineseachtypeofpowerbothfromapersonalandan
organizationalperspective.Heclosesthisworkbyconsideringtheroleofpowerinbiologicalandsocial
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Online(Web)Sources
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Thisreportpresentstheresultsofa2001conference,cosponsoredbyActionAidUSA,theAsia
Foundation,theParticipationGroupattheInstituteofDevelopmentStudiesandJustAssociates.The
conferenceinvolvedactivistsfromaroundtheworldandwasfocusedonexploringanexpandedviewof
advocacyandcitizenparticipation.Participantsrecognizedthatadvocacyandcivicparticipationinvolve
acomplexinteractionofpowerandresistance.Theconferencewasfocusedonwaysactivistscanhelp
oneanotherorganize,raiseconsciousnessandfosterpoliticalempowermentforsocialtransformation.

Martel,WilliamC.TechnologyandMilitaryPower.
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unequaledbyanyotherstates."ToevaluatethefoundationsofU.S.technologicalpowerandits
implicationsforAmericansecurityandinternationalsecurityinthetwentyfirstcentury,thisarticle
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VanCreveld,Martin.TheEffectivenessofMilitaryPower.
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Sargent,1970.
ExploringNonviolentAlternativesexaminespotentialfortechniquesofnonviolentresistancetoreplace
relianceonviolenceasthemeansoffinalresortinconflict.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Wehr,Paul,HeidiBurgessandGuyM.Burgess,eds.JusticeWithoutViolence.Boulder,CO:Lynne
RiennerPublishers,1994.
"Awellintegratedmixtureoftheoreticalanalysisandcasestudies(fromAsia,Africa,Europe,Latin
AmericaandtheMiddleEast),thebookexaminesnonviolentdirectaction,politicalaction,economic
sanctionsandsocialmovementsasalternativeremediesinthestruggleforjustice."

Sharp,Gene.MakingEuropeUnconquerable:ThePotentialofCivilianBasedDeterrenceandDefense.
Cambridge,MA:BallingerPublishingCompany,October1985.
MakingEuropeUnconquerablearguesthatcivilianbasednonviolentdeterrenceanddefenseisaviable
alternativetoconventionalmilitaryapproachestonationalsecurity.Clickhereformoreinfo.

Sharp,Gene.MethodsofNonviolentAction:PoliticsofNonviolentAction,Part2.Boston:Porter
SargentPub.,January1,1973.
TheMethodsofNonviolentActiondescribesnearlytwohundredspecificmethodsofnonviolentaction.
Clickhereformoreinfo.

Eisler,Riane.TheChaliceandtheBlade:OurHistory,OurFuture.SanFrancisco,CA:Harper,October1,
1988.
"TheChaliceandtheBladehasinspiredagenerationofwomenandmentoenvisionatrulyegalitarian
societybyexploringthelegacyofthepeaceful,goddessworshippingculturesfromourprehistoricpast."
Clickhereformoreinfo.

Deutsch,KarlWolfgang.TheNervesofGovernment:ModelsofPoliticalCommunicationandControl.
NewYork:TheFreePress,January1,1963.
Thisbookisa"comparativestudyofmanysystemsofcommunicationandcontrol,rangingfrom
electroniccomputerstobiologicalandnervoussystems,andtohumanorganizationsandsocieties."

Audiovisual Materials on this Topic:


Offline(Print)Sources
TheUprisingof'34.Directedand/orProducedby:Stoney,Georgedir.,JudithHelfandandSusanne
Rostock.FirstRunIcarusFilms.1995.
Thisfilmexploreshowgrassrootsorganizingresultedinthemassivemillworkersstrikeof1934which
resultedintheblacklisting,andmurderofcottonmillworkers.Clickhereformoreinfo.

WarandPeace.Directedand/orProducedby:Patwardhan,Anand.FirstRunIcarusFilms.2002.
Thisfilmexamineshow,andwhy,fourcountrieschosetouseforceasameansofattainingwhatthey
desired.Clickhereformoreinfo.

YouGottoMove.Directedand/orProducedby:Phenix,LucyMassieandVeronicaSelver.FirstRun
IcarusFilms.1985.
Thisfilmdocumentshowcollectivepowerhasbeenusedtoaddressissuesofcivilandsocialjustice.
Clickhereformoreinfo.