Transformation

 

General Comments

Mari Fitzduff, in a short comment, says conflicts don't end, but change.
Tamra d'Estrée cautions that changes take a long time; improvement comes in little steps.
Peter Coleman discusses how some aspects of an intractable conflict might be transformed while others are not.
Robert Stains discusses the difference between visible and invisible products of dialogue. Transformation is not always visible, he explains.
In a heartfelt and inspiring way, William Ury observes that even the most seemingly intractable conflicts can be transformed and resolved.
William Ury explains that mediation is only one "tool" in a peacebuilder's toolbox. There are many more that are needed as well.

How Transformation Happens

William Ury explains that mediation is only one "tool" in a peacebuilder's toolbox. There are many more that are needed as well: teachers, bridge-builders, healers, referees, witnesses-all of the third side roles must work together to prevent violence and bring about conflict transformation.
William Ury says the third side recognizes and respects all the other sides. It is "a container for creative contention" that allows for the transformation of the conflict.
Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University describes the nexus of trauma healing, justice, conflict transformation, and peace-building.
Mary Anderson describes how one "scales up" interventions from the personal level to the institutional, structural, and societal level to bring about transformation of intractable conflicts.
Mark Chupp talks about how to extend the benefits of the appreciative inquiry process beyond the immediate participants.
Máire Dugan talks about moving from the transformation of dialogue participants to broader social change.
Roy Lewicki describes how frames can be transformative.
Silke Hansen talks about how parties' increased understanding of the other side's perspective can transform conflict dynamics.
Sarah Cobb talks about ways to enrich people's narratives and get to the underbelly of conflict.
Sarah Cobb discusses the use of narratives to cope with violence. Rich narratives can help people develop a new way to deal with past violence that enables them to transform the conflict and their lives in relation to that event.
Sarah Cobb explores circular questions and appreciative inquiry as non-threatening methods to enrich people's narratives.
Tamra d'Estrée cautions that changes take a long time; improvement comes in little steps.
Mark Gerzon suggests that improving relationships must be done on an ongoing basis.
Silke Hansen explains that as trust is built between parties, their language and demands become more civil and flexible.

Case Examples

Peter Coleman discusses the transformation of a track two process to a track one process.
Louise Diamond talks about her work with dialogue groups in Cyprus.
Louise Diamond talks about a transformative inter-ethnic dialogue that took place in Bosnia.
Frank Dukes describes how people on opposite sides of a contentious issue can work together as a team to build consensus. In this story the group was able to transform the last holdout in a consensus process who had become involved to block consensus and in the end supported it, along with all the others.
Mari Fitzduff talks about her experiences in Northern Ireland and covers everything from peacebuilding to paramilitaries. It is a story of how that conflict came to be transformed from one of distrust, hatred, and violence, to one that is now much more constructive.
Mark Chupp describes how he used appreciative inquiry to transform race relations in a community conflict in Ohio.
Peter Coleman describes an abortion dialogue in which the parties came to respect each other and protect one another, but they were still very polarized on the abortion issue. Thus their attitudes towards each other were transformed, though their beliefs regarding the presenting issue did not change.
Wallace Warfield tells a story that illustrates how sometimes police force, not mediation is more appropriate.
John Paul Lederach reflects on instances of transformation as he grew in the field.
Mohammed Abu-Nimer, a Palestinian peacebuilder says, can North American models of conflict resolution be used and taught in the Middle East? Not exactly.
Mohammed Abu-Nimer states that even if people are completely hostile to the idea of conflict resolution initially, sometimes if you work with them long enough they'll come around to seeing it as valuable. He explains how this happened when he was working with Palestinians in Gaza.