Cultural and Worldview Frames

People from different cultures usually view the world (and often their conflict) in very different ways. These different worldviews or cultural frames make mutual understanding and cooperation difficult--though not impossible--as illustrated in these comments.

How Different Worldviews Can Lead to Misunderstandings and Conflict

S.Y. Bowland describes how cultural frames can lead to misunderstanding and conflict.
Suzanne Ghais discusses the challenge of working with parties that have disparate worldviews and very different styles of communication.
Jayne Docherty suggests that resolving conflicts among parties with fundamentally different world views is extremely difficult.
Kevin Avruch discusses the relation between cultural frames and conflict.
Kevin Avruch suggests that cultural differences sometimes obfuscate the true motives that are driving conflict.
Silke Hansen discusses a situation in which language was a significant hindrance to the mediation process.

Dealing Effectively with Different Cultural Frames

Peter Woodrow discusses how to design dispute resolution systems that are culturally appropriate.
Sanda Kaufman recommends that intervenors be aware of the ways in which cultural frames affect their interpretations and assessments of conflict situations.
S.Y. Bowland discusses mediating conflicts when one party defines the problem as racial; the other does not.
Kevin Avruch talks about ways intervenors can raise their cultural competency.
Jayne Docherty advises intervenors to be aware of their own world view.
Paul Wehr talks about the importance of "multi-modal," culturally-appropriate interventions.
To mediate or not to mediate: that is the question, says Marcia Campbell, when approaching worldview or value conflicts.
Sanda Kaufman discusses the importance of broadening one's horizons beyond one's own culture.
Richard Rubenstein, professor of conflict resolution and public affairs at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, talks about the role of external actors in helping parties to get out of a hurting stalemate. On his view, external actors acting as neutrals eventually become part of the conflict, often making problems worse rather than ameliorating them. He suggests that if regional peaceamking efforts in the Middle East were subject to less United States' interference, conflict might become more ripe for negotiation
Silke Hansen discusses the importance of looking past racial overtones, and focusing on the real issues of a particular conflict.

Case Examples of Worldview Differences

Sanda Kaufman discusses the ways that people in the U.S. frame the situation in Iraq.
Indira Kajosevic recommends taking a culturally sensitive approach to the issues faced by those from the Balkans and now living in New York City.
Peter Woodrow discusses his work designing a dispute resolution system for East Timor land tenure conflicts.
Olympio Barbanti talks about shortcomings of US conflict resolution models in the developing world.
Mark Gerzon, an accomplished facilitator, talks about the importance of knowing the symbols and structures that give actors power in the context of a series of retreats designed for U.S. House Representatives in Washington intended to change the way Representatives treated each other.
Julian Klugman discusses some of the cultural factors in the L.A. riots, including one of the main reasons why Asian businesses were targeted.