Small Pieces of a Larger System


Jayne Docherty

Eastern Mennonite University

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

The most complicated and most pressing conflicts that we deal with are so multi-dimensional, that any intervention that we do as small problem solving we must see it as only part of a much bigger set of interventions that needed to take place. We must learn to be more aware of what other things need to happen. So for example if you do an environmental conflict dialogue around land management issues in the far west you must think about the overall agricultural economy. You can't do land allocation resources without talking about water; all of these things have to be brought into the open. It's not that you have to do everything in a single intervention; but you must not sell a single intervention as the magic bullet that's going to fix everything. 

We must also think about how we work with other people, not necessarily conflict resolution people, community development people, that kind of cross. What are we calling it now? Internationally, we call it, there's a whole new slogan, inter-field. We're now talking at the international level about sort of inter-field collaboration between development work and conflict resolution, and conflict transformation work. We have to take that same approach domestically, here in the US. And we're way behind.