Topical Audio Interview Segments from the Beyond Intractability Project

 

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  • A Container for Creative Contention

    The third side recognizes and respects all the other sides, says William Ury. It is "a container for creative contention" that allows for the transformation of the conflict.

  • A Cooperative Approach to Conflict

    Morton Deutsch explains one of his basic principles of conflict resolution: how to get people to approach a conflict cooperatively rather than competitively.

  • A Culture of Peace

    Ron Fisher, of American University, explains that our ultimate goal should be a culture of peace, in which people -- and especially decision-makers -- look to cooperative nonviolent methods for dealing with their differences, and eschew violence except when attacked.

  • A Good Leader

    What defines a good leader? Mark Gerzon, key organizer of the Congressional civility retreats, suggests that a good leader is one who knows how to deal with differences constructively and is able to oppose adversaries without demonizing them.

  • A Holistic Picture of Peacemakers

    Though she doesn't use the world per se, peacebuilder Elise Boulding highlights the important role of women, children, and artists in the peacemaking process.

  • A One-Person Rumor-Control Team

    Mediator Silke Hansen describes how she gained the parties' trust by serving as a one-person rumor-control team.

  • A Story from Indonesia

    Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, recounts a story from Indonesia in which the pervasiveness of violence necessitated much attention at the grassroots level.

  • A Third Side Analogy

    The third side, says its inventor, William Ury, is like an immune system against violence.

  • A West Point Conference

    Guy Burgess, Co-Director of the University of Colorado Conflict Research Consortium and the Beyond Intractability Project, describes a conference at West Point that brought home the complexity of bringing peace to Iraq.

  • Abortion

    Michelle LeBaron, Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia and Director of UBC's Dispute Resolution Program, recounts a dialogue between pro-choice and pro-life activists.

  • Absence of Communication

    Nancy Ferrell, private mediator and trainer, talks about re-establishing channels of communication during family mediation. She discusses strategies that intervenors can use to help family members clearly describe what they need and expect from each other. This includes setting ground rules for the relationship.

  • Academia and the Media as Watchdogs over Government Policy

    Pamela Aall, of the U.S. Institute of Peace, describes a South Asian conference held by the Institute, in which the media and academic communities put pressure on the Indian government to be more sensitive to Muslims in that country.

  • Action Evaluation

    Jay Rothman, President of the ARIA Group, Inc., explains action evaluation and describes a case from New York.

  • Active Listening

    Civil rights mediator Stephen Thom explains how he helps each side understand the others' perspectives.

  • Addressing Power Inequities Early

    Wallace Warfield describes how parties often try to disempower each other before even reaching the table, and talks about how this can be addressed by the intervenor.

  • Advice

    Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides some advice for those new to the field.

  • Advice

    John McDonald, of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, gives some advice for those coming into the field. He emphasizes commitment, patience, and dedication.

  • Advice

    Robert Stains, of the Public Conversations Project, explains the importance of having faith in the people you are working with.

  • Advice

    Robert Stains, of the Public Conversations Project, gives advice for dialogue practitioners.

  • Advice

    Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, advises those entering the field to develop professional networks and to carve out a professional niche, of which there are many available.

  • Advice

    Paul van Tongeren, executive director of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention, advises conflict intervenors to do their homework before becoming involved in a conflict. His Centre is dedicated to advancing learning in the field.

  • Advice

    Paul van Tongeren, executive director of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention, advises conflict intervenors to do their homework before becoming involved in a conflict. His Centre is dedicated to advancing learning in the field.

  • Advice

    Joshua Weiss, Associate Director, Global Negotiation Project, Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, offers advice for those interested in entering the field of negotiation and conflict resolution more generally.

  • Advice About Cross-Cultural Mediation

    Richard Salem, a community and race-relations mediator, explains some basic rules for mediators and/or trainers working in cultures other than their own.

  • Advice to Intervenors

    Jayne Docherty's advice to intervenors: Be cognizant of the fact that your intervention will never be perfect. She has done extensive research on the FBI-Branch Davidian standoff at Waco. She says that though they had the best negotiation technology available at the time, their intervention was far from perfect.

  • Advice to New CR Practitioners

    Suzanne Ghais, Program Manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, advises new conflict resolution practioners not to get in over their head as they learn the trade.

  • Advice to New Practitioners

    What advice does Mark Gerzon, organizer of the Congressional civility retreats, have for new practitioners? He recommends viewing one's knowledge about conflict resolution as a tool to be utilized in real-life situations.

  • Advice to Third Parties

    The two most critical things you can learn are how to listen and how to "shut-up." Among other things, these two elements are key for third parties trying to build trust in conflict situations according to Marcia Caton Campbell of the University of Wisconsin.

  • Advice to Track II on How to Deal With Track I

    Chester Crocker of Georgetown University offers some insight as to how Track II actors might approach and work with Track I. First, he recommends that track II actors know their limits and act within them. Second, he thinks that a more nuanced view of Track I actors would allow for more effective collaboration. In particular, this means recognizing the wide variety of Track I actors.

  • Advocacy Approach

    Angela Khaminwa, Program Officer for Outreach and Communication at The Coexistence Initiative, describes the benefits of an advocacy approach as opposed to the conflict resolution field.

  • Alliance for International Conflict Resolution

    Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, describes the origins of the Alliance for International Conflict Resolution, an organization meant to be a network to facilitate communication and coordination amongst conflict resolution practitioners.

  • Alternative Methods for International Security

    Carolyn Stephenson, a peace researcher at the University of Hawai'i, talks about alternative definitions of pursuing "security."

  • Anger

  • Apology and Forgiveness

  • Applying Systems Theory

    Peter Coleman describes people who are using systems theory to address the complexity of intractable conflicts in a practical way.

  • Artistic Third Siders

    William Ury describes how Venezuelan third siders are using performing art to bring people together across divides.

  • Arts in Conflict Resolution

    Indira Kajosevic of the Reconciliation and Culture Cooperative Network (RACOON) in New York works with trauma victims from the wars in the Balkans using a unique blend of arts and social services. In addition to dealing with strong emotions in the aftermath of violence, the new arrivals must adjust to a new life and a new culture. RACOON both helps them to gain access to the social services they need and organizes activities to help them deal with trauma. These activities include language workshops, theater workshops, puppet shows, and storytelling.

  • Assessment of Success

    Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggests some means of assessing the success of his interventions as an ombudsman.

  • Authoritarian Regime: Iraq and War

    Sanda Kaufman, professor of planning and public administration at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, suggests that understanding the situation in Iraq and the sentiments of those who live there requires an awareness of what it means to live in a dictatorship. In her view, abstaining from war would not have meant peace for the people of Iraq.

  • Autistic Hostility

    Morton Deutsch explains how "autistic hostility" contributes to intractability.

  • Bad Interventions and Poor Tradecraft

    Chester Crocker of Georgetown University talks about the vastly important role that language plays in securing peace agreements around the world. He also discusses the pitfalls of poorly executed peace processes. In his view, poor drafting of agreements, lack of implementation and monitoring, and low levels of signatory trust often simply contribute to further intractability. He uses the cases of Sudan, Peru and Angola to illustrate his points.

  • BATNAs as a Cause of the Oslo Accords' Failure

    Though he didn't use the acronym, Herb Kelman explains how BATNAs caused Oslo to break down.

  • Becoming a Practitioner

    Most practitioners would argue that both theory and practice are important in training mediators. Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, takes this idea a step further by highlighting practitioners' responsibility to provide internship and apprenticeship opportunities for students of conflict resolution.

  • Becoming a Sponge

    CRS mediator Stephen Thom describes collecting information about a conflict by becoming a "sponge." But sorting through all the disparate information and deciding who to trust is a challenge.

  • Benefits of Conflict

    Long-time peace scholar Louis Kriesberg talks about the development of the field and his work in it, focusing on the understanding that conflicts can have benefits as well as costs.

  • Benefits of Conflict

  • Best Alternatives to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)

  • Bi-Partisanship in Identity Issues

    Intervenors should not be neutral when it comes to identity issues, says Helen Chauncey, of the Coexistence Initiative. They should be bi-partisan.

  • Bias and Ambiguity

    Racial or gender bias is often insidious and subtle. It is the ambiguity of its presence that makes it difficult to clearly identify, accept, understand and transform. S.Y. Bowland gives an example of how confusing it can be to develop a coherent reaction to bias.

  • Bias and Ambiguity

    African-American mediator, S.Y. Bowland describes how subtle racial or gender bias can lead to misunderstandings. The subtlety and ambiguity of such bias also makes it difficult to remedy.

  • Blaming

    Blaming the other side is common, observes long-time peace scholar Louis Kriesberg, but actually dis-empowers the blamer.

  • Bosnia

    John McDonald, of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, describes his work in Bosnia.

  • Bosnia and Kosovo's Women's Initiatives

    Greg Brown, Program Officer for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), describes the Bosnia and Kosovo's Women's Initiatives, which provided funding for cross-cultural projects. Rather than directly confronting tensions, the projects gave the women common goals.

  • Brainstorming in Problem Solving Workshops

    Herb Kelman talks about the role of brainstorming in problem solving workshops.

  • Bridge Builders

  • British Petroleum Development Work in Georgia

    Over the past ten or fifteen years, the standards of acceptable behavior for multinationals acting in developing nations have risen considerably. Steve Power of Mercy Corps talks about his organization's community development work in the country of Georgia, where British Petroleum (BP) is building an oil pipeline. He describes community development work as a way to build relationships among the various actors.

  • Building and Repairing Trust

    Building trust at first and repairing broken trust are very different, observes Roy Lewicki, who has been studying the subject for years. Repairing broken trust is much more difficult -- sometimes it may even be impossible, he says. But apologies are a start.

  • Building Mediator Trust

    Former CRS mediator Werner Petterson describes how mediators can earn the trust of their clients.

  • Building Trust Across Racial Divides

    Civil rights mediator Silke Hansen describes how she builds trust with minority groups even though she is white.

  • Building Trust Between Factions in South Africa

    Ron Fisher, of American University, briefly describes an information process in South Africa that helped restore trust between factions, paving the way toward a peace agreement.

  • Building Trust Between Parties

    Silke Hansen, a mediator with the U.S. Community Relations Service, says that trust often grows very quickly between parties once they are seated at the same table.

  • Building Trust in the Inter-Tajik Dialogue

    Ron Fisher, of American University, describes the Inter-Tajik dialogue conducted by Hal Saunders and Randa Slim that paved the way for official negotiations. Building trust between the parties and figuring out some strategies to deal with the problem of refugees were key elements of their problem-solving workshops.

  • Capacity Building

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, provides some examples of the work he has done with conflict resolution training and capacity building.

  • Capacity Building

    In addition to solving the immediate problem, civil rights mediator Ozell Sutton has always tried to help the parties learn how to deal with their future problems themselves.

  • Capacity Building and Neutrality

    Community Relations Service Mediator Silke Hansen describes how it helps to level the playing field by helping community groups prepare for mediation.

  • Capacity Building through Systems Design

    Civil rights mediator Nancy Ferrell discusses the outcome of a major intervention at a university that was having racial problems among its students.

  • Capacity Building through Systems Design

    Mediator Will Reed describes how his goal is to teach disputants how to solve their own problems in the future and to set up systems to enable them to do that which will last a long time.

  • Carrots and Sticks

    Does the international justice system inadvertently lengthen the time that dictators stay in power by making them afraid to step down? Where does the balance lie between providing incentives for dictators to step down and enforcing punishment mechanisms for leaders who have behaved unjustly? Terrence Lyons, Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, discusses these issues.

  • Caucuses

    S.Y. Bowland talks about a very interesting technique she uses in conjunction with caucuses that seems to help during cross-racial or cross-cultural mediations. When difficult emotions emerge and people feel aggrieved, she finds it useful to check in with people during caucus both to see how they are feeling and also to help them engage the other party with these emotions in a way that will still be constructive.

  • Challenges in Clinical Studies on Humiliation

    Jennifer Goldman, graduate fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and a graduate student at the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, describes the challenges of conducting clinical studies on humiliation.

  • Challenges of Funding

    Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, describes the challenges of funding as an obstacle to her work.

  • Challenges of Scaling-up

    Jay Rothman, President of the ARIA Group, Inc., describes the challenge of scaling up and sustaining gains made in action evaluation.

  • Change "Outside the Bubble"

    Tamra d'Estrée describes the challenge of taking new attitudes out of the small group setting back into one's day-to-day life. The change in the small group is change in "a bubble," she says. Getting change "outside the bubble" is much harder.

  • Changing Conflicts

    Mari Fitzduff, a veteran of the Northern Ireland conflict and expert in many communal conflicts, says conflicts don't end, they change.

  • Changing Perceptions

    Nancy Ferrell explains how you need to overtly change erroneous perceptions and work hard to figure out what those perceptions are.

  • Channels of Communication

    Ray Shonholtz, director of Partners for Democratic Change and founder of the San Francisco Community Mediation Boards, talks about the opportunities for dialogue and social justice that are presented by effective community dispute resolution.

  • Channels of Communication

  • Characteristics of Intractable Conflict

  • Civil Society

    Ray Shonholtz, director of Partners for Democratic Change and founder of the San Francisco Community Mediation Boards, speaks about the ability and willingness of people to solve community problems on their own.

  • Civil Society in Violence Prevention and Post-War Reconstruction

    What is the role of civil society in conflict prevention and resolution? Paul van Tongeren, executive director of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention, talks about organizing international conferences dedicated to discussing and disseminating lessons learned about the role of civil society in peacebuilding.

  • Clarify Goals

  • Class and Cultural Difference

    Within-party differences are illustrated among whites, who are not "all the same" as sometimes assumed, says scholar-practitioner Wallace Warfield.

  • Co-Destruction

    "If we don't coexist, we all co-destruct," says Angela Khaminwa quoting Susan Collin Marx. Coexistence, she goes on to explain, is essential for human security.

  • Coaching

    Nancy Ferrell explains how she coaches both sides to explain their issues in a way they are heard and understood and she explains to those in power why they should listen.

  • Coaching and Modelling

    One job of a facilitator is to model good process so the clients eventually can handle things themselves, says mediator Nancy Ferrell.

  • Coaching and Power

    Nancy Ferrell describes how she coaches all the parties so they can participate effectively in the mediation process.

  • Codes of Conduct for Intervenors

  • Coercive Peacemaking

    According to Dennis Sandole, the coercive peacemaking force is necessary for parties to break out of conflict-habituated systems.

  • Coexistence

    Developing an attitude and means of achieving coexistence is key to overcoming many intractable religious, ethnic, and other intergroup conflicts. However, defining what coexistence is and how it can be achieved, is a challenge. Helen Chauncey, Angela Khaminwa, and Sarah Peterson all talked to us about their coexistence work with the NGO, The Coexistence Initiative.

  • Coexistence and Human Rights

    Helen Chauncey of the Coexistence Initiative likens their work in achieving an appreciation of diversity and coexistence to the work of early human rights activists.

  • Coexistence and Social Inclusion Policies

    Angela Khaminwa, Program Officer for Outreach and Communication at The Coexistence Initiative, describes her current work on coexistence and social inclusion policies.

  • Coexistence and Transformative Mediation

    Helen Chauncey, of the Coexistence Initiative explains how their use of the term "coexistence" is different from traditional definitions. It is a bit like transformative mediation, interviewer Julian Portilla observes.

  • Coexistence Community Consultations in South Africa

    Sarah Peterson describes a negotiation process in South Africa involving land reform that has, with effort, led to longer-term coexistence. But maintenance of coexistence takes continual effort, she explains.

  • Coexistence vs. Peacebuilding

    Angela Khaminwa and Sarah Peterson, of The Coexistence Initiative, explain the interrelationship between peacebuilding and coexistence work.

  • Coexisting in Cyprus

    Reaching out to other identities can be constructive, argues Helen Chauncey, of the Coexistence Initiatative.

  • "Cognitive Blindness"

    Dennis Sandole explains how people in intractable conflicts are frequently afflicted with "cognitive blindness," which prevents them from seeing or understanding the other side's point of view.

  • Cognitive Blindness

    If party A comes across information from party B that doesn't fit into party A's cognitive schema, it can sometimes be ignored. S.Y. Bowland talks about how to understand party B's reaction to this exchange and where it goes from that point, particularly in the context of a cross-racial relationship.

  • Collaboration

    Sallyann Roth, co-founder of the Public Conversations Project, talks about collaboration as a way to elicit parties' wishes, needs, fears, and hopes. This is an important part of dialogue design and training.

  • Collaborative Design

    Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project, talks about collaborating with participants to improve the quality of dialogue groups. By interviewing participants after the first session, she has found it easier to be receptive to their needs and set an appropriate agenda.

  • Comfort with Cross-Cultural Conflict

    S.Y. Bowland, an African-American mediator discusses the importance of openly discussing the mediator's or facilitator's degree of comfort with cross-cultural conflict situations when it is appropriate.

  • Common Obstacles

    Joshua Weiss, Associate Director, Global Negotiation Project, Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, describes common obstacles to effective international negotiation. The issues he focuses on are rigidity, managing emotions, power and perceptions of power, and seeing value beyond monetary terms.

  • Common Patterns of Destruction

    Nancy Ferrell, private mediator and trainer, talks about how family members get caught up in destructive patterns of interaction in an effort to save face.

  • Communicating Around Barriers

    Carolyn Stephenson tried to implement a Track II program in Cyprus, but was blocked by the government which prevented the Greeks and Turkish Cypriots from coming together. She talks about how such problems can sometimes be avoided.

  • Communication Tools for Understanding Cultural Differences

    Here are several comments on cross cultural communication. African-American mediator S.Y. Bowland talks about cultural stereotypes and cultural competency, as does white scholar and mediator Kevin Avruch. Both of them relate their comments to U.S. race relations, while Louise Diamond talks about cross cultural communication between Greeks and Turks in Cyprus.

  • Community Boards

    Ray Shonholtz, Director of Partners for Democratic Change, developed the San Francisco Community Mediation Boards as a way to keep young people out of the juvenile court system. Here he talks about the development and philosophies of the Community Boards and their role as violence prevention mechanisms. He suggests that this new form of dispute resolution is a valuable alternative to the court system.

  • Community Mediation

    John Katunga of Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) discusses efforts at rehabilitation and reconciliation after ethnic conflict through community mediation. Examples are drawn from Kenya.

  • Community Organizing for Effective Mediation

    Bob Hughes describes how mediators sometimes have to do community organizing first in order to have someone with whom to mediate.

  • Competitive and Cooperative Approaches to Conflict

  • Complementarity and Networking

    Complementarity and networking are common words in the field of conflict resolution. Often, the assumption is that everyone is doing their part for peace and the sum of all the efforts will add up to peace. Mary Anderson, of the Collaborative for Development Action (CDAinc), suggests, however, that there need to be more explicit linkages among the various peacebuilding efforts.

  • Complementarity and Networking

    Complementarity and networking are common words in the field of conflict resolution. Often, the assumption is that everyone is doing their part for peace and the sum of all the efforts will add up to peace. Mary Anderson, of the Collaborative for Development Action (CDAinc), suggests, however, that there need to be more explicit linkages among these various peace initiatives.

  • Complex Adaptive Systems

    Wendell Jones, an Ombudsman at Sandia National Lab, talks about approaching human conflict as a complex adaptive system. He suggests that the kinds of systems that thrive and adapt successfully are the ones that employ both cooperative and competitive strategies. When conflict develops, this affects the whole system. Intervenors cannot simply divide the conflict into separate components and work on each of these pieces separately. Understanding and addressing conflict dynamics requires a more holistic and integrative approach.

  • Complex Problem Solving

    How do interveners deal with the messiness of reality when trying to make assessments of incredibly complex conflicts? Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, says that by keeping his methodology simple, straightforward and transparent, he is able to cope with the complexities that arise.

  • Complexity

    One characteristic of most intractable conflicts is that they are highly complex, with many parties, issues, interests, needs, and often many intervenors and conflict resolution processes going on at once. Effective transformation or resolution requires parties (both disputants and third party intervenors) understand what is going on, who is involved, and how their efforts fit into the conflict system as a whole.

  • Complexity of Conflicts

    Louis Kriesberg describes the complexity of conflicts, explaining that many people are interacting in many different ways and every individual CAN make a difference.

  • Complexity, Roles, and Expertise

    Ron Fisher, of American University, reflects on the complexity of peace practice, as well as the importance (and difficulty) of understanding the extent of one's own role and expertise, and how they intersect with the roles and expertise of other people.

  • Complicating Efforts

    Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, tells how one bad experience had a long-lasting effect.

  • Compromise

    What is the difference between giving and giving up? Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, talks about what it means to compromise.

  • Compromise

  • Conceptual Framework

    John McDonald, of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, describes his work to trace the links between different tracks and develop a conceptual framework for achieving peace between the tracks.

  • Conciliation

    Ray Shonholtz, Director of Partners for Democratic Change, is the founder of the San Francisco Community Mediation Boards. He suggests that the Boards actually emphasize conciliation rather than mediation in the traditional sense. Their aim is not to craft settlement agreements, but rather to provide parties with a safe space in which to express their emotions and heal their relationships.

  • Conflict Assessment

    Most practitioners of conflict resolution agree that third parties should conduct conflict assessments before intervening in a conflict situation. Louise Diamond, founder of Peace-Tech, talks about ethical guidelines for third party intervention and assessment.

  • Conflict Assessment

    Leo Smyth, professor of management at National University of Ireland, suggests that sometimes rather than telling the intervenor what the problem is, parties will actually demonstrate it. He describes a case where watching how parties behaved provided some important insight.

  • Conflict Assessment

    According to Chester Crocker of Georgetown University, an important part of conflict assessment is analyzing the underlying sources of conflict. He points to spoilers, whose identity is linked to the continuation of conflict, as a major obstacle to successful intervention.

  • Conflict Assessment

    Before one can intervene in a complex conflict, one must do a conflict assessment to understand what is going on. Parties, too, need to do their own assessment if they are to be able to make informed choices about what to advocate and how to go about pursuing their goals. Many of our respondents had comments or advice on the conflict assessment process, as it is so important to both conflict prosecution and transformation or resolution.

  • Conflict Assessment

    Before one can intervene in a complex conflict, one must do a conflict assessment to understand what is going on. Parties, too, need to do their own assessment if they are to be able to make informed choices about what to advocate and how to go about pursuing their goals. Many of our respondents had comments or advice on the conflict assessment process, as it is so important to both conflict prosecution and transformation or resolution.

  • Conflict Assessment Pre-Negotiation

    Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, has some strong feelings about the necessity of conducting a conflict assessment before beginning a facilitated, multi-stakeholder negotiation on complex problems. He says that intervenors' lack of discipline in conducting conflict assessments has "dramatically held back the application of dispute resolution in the public arena."

  • Conflict Assessment Process

    Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, discusses various conflict assessment techniques. He focuses on how to publicize the assessment process, how to get parties to the table, how to explore parties' best alternatives to participating in a facilitated negotiation, and how to defuse intensely emotional parties.

  • Conflict Maps

    Paul Wehr, of the Peace and Conflict Studies program at the University of Colorado, talks about two techniques he used to intervene in a university conflict. The first was a well-known conflict mapping technique that he invented in order to create in-depth conflict assessments. The second was a process of single-text negotiation to help parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement.

  • Conflict Narratives

    The stories we read about in history books are more often about conflicts than how to deal with them. Elise Boulding talks about the potential problems of this narrative imbalance.

  • Conflict Phases

    Tamra d'Estrée illustrates how different processes are more appropriate at different phases of a conflict and accomplish different goals. Sometimes they are used sequentially; sometimes simultaneously for best results.

  • Conflict Profiteers

  • Conflict Psychology

    Morton Deutsch explains how psychology affects conflicts at different levels from the interpersonal to the international.

  • Conflict Resolution and Other Peace Processes

    Ron Fisher, of American University, discusses how the field of conflict resolution relates to other peace processes in complex conflict situations.

  • Conflict Resolution During Crisis

    Maria Volpe, from the City University of New York, talks about the lack of conflict resolution response in New York immediately after 9-11.

  • Conflict Resolution Expertise

    Guy Burgess, Co-Director of the University of Colorado Conflict Research Consortium and the Beyond Intractability Project, analogizes the need for a variety of conflict resolution expertise to the varied expertise needed to build an airplane.

  • Conflict Resolution Field

    Guy Burgess, Co-Director of the University of Colorado Conflict Research Consortium and the Beyond Intractability Project, argues that the conflict resolution field needs to think bigger and individual practitioners would improve their work through greater coordination.

  • Conflict Resolution Gaps

    William Zartman, of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, notes several "gaps" in the field of conflict resolution. He begins by saying that realists and "peaceniks" have a lot to learn from each other. He criticizes realists for ignoring cooperative actions between competing actors and he criticizes "peaceniks" for ignoring the issues of power and interests. He then talks about the often-lamented gap between conflict resolution theory and practice and concludes with the friction often present between Track I and Track II.

  • Conflict Resolution in Communities of Color

    The Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute is a conflict resolution research consortium designed to develop best practices among people working in conflict resolution in communities of color. S.Y. Bowland talks about how PRASI came about.

  • Conflict Resolution in Communities of Color

    African-American mediator S.Y. Bowland describes the development of Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute (PRASI) as a means of establishing relationships between and sharing the knowledge of mediators of color.

  • Conflict Resolution Models Across Cultures

    Can North American models of conflict resolution be used and taught in the Middle East? Mohammed Abu-Nimer, a Palestinian peacebuilder, says no; training should be elicitive, not prescriptive, and use indiginous approaches to conflict resolution. Yet, interveners should still be aware of their fundamental assumptions and principles and be open about them, and meld them with the local conflict resolution techniques. The end result can be transformative for everyone, says Abu-Nimer.

  • Conflict Roots

    Is there a way to halt suicide bombings? Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, suggests that the violent way a conflict is waged often simply spawns new hatred. She talks about how conflict in Israel and Northern Ireland perpetuates itself.

  • Conflict Stages

  • Conflict Stories

    What does narrative mean and what does it have to do with conflict? Sarah Cobb of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution discusses the ways in which people typically frame their stories about conflict. She points to "narrative facilitation" as a way to reframe these stories.

  • Conflict Transformation

    John Paul Lederach, Professor of International Peacebuilding, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, reflects on instances of transformation as he grew in the field.

  • Conflict Transformation

    Even the most intractable conflicts can be transformed and resolved, says Harvard scholar and practitioner William Ury. Look at Western Europe for example, or South Africa, or Northern Ireland. All of these are amazing stories of successful conflict transformation.

  • Conflicts' End

    Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, makes a short observation about how intractable conflicts end.

  • Confronting Hatred

    Mediator Ozell Sutton used humor to de-escalate a situation, though resolution remained elusive.

  • Confronting Violence

    Mediator Julian Klugman describes how he handles violent or potentially violent situations.

  • Congressional Civility Retreats

    This is the full story of Mark Gerzon's facilitation of the U.S. Congressional Retreats. Much of this is duplicated in other segments, but for those wanting the "whole story," it is here.

  • Consensus

    How much consensus is enough? According to Frank Blechman, "somewhere between a super majority and exhaustion is sometimes the best you can do." Searching for expansive consensus is not always an efficient use of people's time.

  • Consensus Building

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, talks about the possible pros and cons of using collaborative processes to build consensus on environmental issues. He describes the development of a guide designed for environmental advocates interested in learning more about consensus building processes.

  • Consensus Building

    Consensus building (or collaborative problem solving) is basically mediation with a large number of parties, and often a large number of issues. It is commonly used in complex public policy and environmental conflicts, although it can be used in other contexts as well.

  • Consensus Building in the International Context

    Do the American models of consensus building and problem solving work in international settings? Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harward Law School, says that he typically gets help from a local partner organization in order to tailor the model to each individual cultural setting.

  • Consensus Building in the Middle East

    What were the chances of success for a consensus-building process between Arabs and Israelis embroiled in a land and water use conflict during the second Intifada? Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, suggests that the most difficult part of mediating this environmental dispute was exposing parties to the process of mediation and getting them to the table.

  • Consensus-Building Process

    Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, says that some of the most inspiring moments for consensus-building practitioners are instances where they get the adversaries to actually come to the table and agree on what they are going to talk about.

  • Constituent Communication / Communication Scale-Up

  • Constituent Communication / Communication Scale-Up

  • Controlling Rumors

    Nancy Ferrell talks about how rumors can be controlled by opening lines of credible communication.

  • Controversies Over Terms

    Guy Burgess, Co-Director of the University of Colorado Conflict Research Consortium and the Beyond Intractability Project, describes controversies over the use of different terms in the field.

  • Convening Processes

    Convening processes include all of the actions an intermediary must take before a negotiation, mediation, facilitation, or dialogue process starts. It involves conflict assessment, stakeholder identification, obtaining resources and a venue, and at least starting to design a process. Numerous respondents have comments on how this is done.

  • Cooperation and Competition

    Morton Deutsch is one of the founding fathers of conflict research. Here he describes his early work in cooperation and competition.

  • Cooperation Between Track I and Track II

    Track II players are constantly trying to win legitimacy and respect in the eyes of Track I officials, says Ron Fisher, of American University. Ideally, they will work together in a complementary way, either sequentially or sometimes simultaneously.

  • Coordinating Activities

    Susan Allen Nan, Director of the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), describes the challenges of coordinating the activities of the many external actors seeking to intervene in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict.

  • Coordinating the Pieces

    Mari Fitzduff talks about her organization's role in coordinating the peacemaking efforts of various agencies in Northern Ireland. She describes multi-track diplomacy as "putting all the pieces of the jigsaw in place" so that people can work together toward a common goal.

  • Coordinating Track I and Track II Diplomacy

    John McDonald, of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, describes the challenges he has faced in trying to better coordinate Track I and Track II diplomacy. In particular, he focuses on getting the U.S. government to pay closer attention to Track II.

  • Coordination and Cooperation in Conflict Areas

    Helen Chauncey describes the different kinds of people and organizations that work in conflict areas. They all need to be aware of each other and how their work intersects, she says.

  • Coordination between Conflict Organizations

    What happens when there are several organizations working on a similar problem from different angles? Is there an invisible hand that guides their work in such a way that the sum of all of their efforts will lead to peace? According to Mary Anderson, of CDAinc, peace efforts need to collaborate strategically in order to have collective progress. Here Jock Baker, of CARE, discusses two possible approaches to facilitating coordination among organizations working in the same conflict area.

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis and Visioning

    What strategies can mediators use to help family members move beyond wanting to walk out? Nancy Ferrell, private mediator and trainer, talks about the techniques of cost-benefit analysis and visioning.

  • Costing

  • Costs and Benefits of Intractable Conflicts

  • Costs and Benefits of Peace

    Mari Fitzduff, formerly Executive Director of INCORE, suggests that peacemakers persuade parties that it is in their own interest to end conflict. This means pointing out the human, social, and economic costs of continuing conflict, as well as the possible benefits of cooperation.

  • Counting Backwards

    Frank Blechman suggests that the ability to count backwards is a crucial skill for a conflict intervenor. This means that intervenors should help parties to envision where they want to be and when they need to be there, and then work backwards. This allows parties to consider more carefully the needs and demands of their constituency and increases the likelihood of successfully completing the process.

  • Creating Safe Spaces

    Robert Stains, program director of the Public Conversations Project, talks about creating a safe space in which dialogue participants can speak honestly and listen deeply. He discusses the importance of preparation, well-structured initial meetings, and collaborative agenda-setting.

  • Creating Safe Spaces

    Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project, suggests that effective group dialogue is analagous to healing in the body. Central to the healing process are creating ground rules and fostering an environment conducive to constructive conversation.

  • Creating Safe Spaces for Communication

  • Creativity

    Creativity is essential to good conflict resolution. Our frames of reference inhibit creativity. But letting go of frames is frightening for people because they represent our most deeply cherished assumptions. How can we open our frames, or help other people open their frames, to become more creative without sparking defensiveness and denial? Leo Smyth discusses the matter.

  • Credibility

    Robert Stains, program director of the Public Conversations Project, describes a training he did in which a participant challenged his credibility. Rather than becoming defensive, he initiated a dialogue in which participants were urged to share their own personal stories. Stains describes the process of listening to personal narratives as the "what's-at-the-heart-of-the-matter-for-you" approach.

  • Cross-Cultural Communication

    S.Y. Bowland tells a great story about some cross-cultural differences in perception. A person of leadership of color comes into conflict with a white subordinate. Assumptions come to the surface and each party learns some interesting things about the other.

  • Cross-Cultural Communication

    Communicating effectively with people from different cultures is often a challenge, both for parties and for mediators or other intermediaries. Several Beyond Intractability participants comment on the types of errors that tend to be made, and what can be done to avoid them.

  • 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.

  • Cultural Assumptions

    What concerns might CR practitioners of color have that other practitioners might not? What cultural assumptions underlie mainstream CR practice? In situations where there are parties who speak different languages, what are the responsibilities of the mediator to translate? S.Y. Bowland talks about an experience related to her by a practitioner of color in which some assumptions came to light that proved to be problematic.

  • Cultural Bias

    As parties or intervenors, we are all looking through our own cultural lenses. So how can we recognize when our cultural biases are affecting a conflict or when the cultural frames of others are having an impact? Kevin Avruch, a cultural anthropology professor at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, talks about ways intervenors can raise their cultural competency. He illustrates his point with an example of Hispanic gang violence in Washington D.C.

  • Cultural Customs

    Will Reed recounts a cultural misunderstanding that he had with a group of Native American leaders.

  • Cultural Differences

    Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), discusses how cultural differences can lead to different interpretations of the conflict.

  • Cultural Factors in the L.A. Riots

    Julian Klugman discusses some of the cultural factors in the L.A. riots, including one of the main reasons why Asian businesses were targeted.

  • Cultural Frames

    How does a mediator deal with a situation in which one party sees the conflict origin in race and another party sees the conflict origin as personality? S.Y. Bowland has seen this many times and reflects on how to interpret the situation and how to act. She analyses the situation from a sociological perspective and then talks about possible techniques to deal with the situation.

  • Cultural Frames and Differences

    According to Sanda Kaufman, professor of planning and public administration at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, intervenors should try to be aware of the ways in which cultural frames affect their interpretations and assessments of conflict situations. They should also avoid confusing familiarity with a conflict for genuine knowledge about that conflict. In her view, it is important to be humble.

  • Cultural Misunderstanding

    Civil rights mediator Efrain Martinez explains how cultural misunderstandings between Vietnamese and local fisherman in Texas caused tensions.

  • Culture and Conflict

  • Culture in Conflict

    According to Kevin Avruch, a cultural anthropology professor at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, culture is the lens through which the causes of conflict are refracted. The notion of culture can be used to emphasize differences or obfuscate the use or misuse of power. One of the jobs of the third party is to be aware of the different ways in which culture can be used and to identify political differences disguised as cultural differences.

  • Culture-based Negotiation Styles

    People in different cultures negotiate differently. They make different assumptions about the nature of their conflict, and about the appropriate way of dealing with it. If disputants do not understand and adjust to these differences, further difficulties are likely to ensue. Project participants discuss how disputants and intermediaries can avoid such problems.

  • De-centric Facilitation

    Robert Stains, program director of the Public Conversations Project, talks about a de-centric approach to facilitation, in which the facilitator tries to stay out of the participants' conversation as much as possible. He thinks that dialogue facilitators should be nearly invisible.

  • Dealing with Anger

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University discusses how best to deal with anger, a natural component of trauma.

  • Dealing with Conflict

    According to Paul Wehr, professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Colorado, conflict is an inevitable part of human society. The question is whether one chooses constructive or destructive means of waging conflict. Some of the goals of the conflict resolution movement are to give people information about the many ways of doing conflict and to make conflict harmless.

  • Dealing with Intractable Conflict

    Long-time peace scholar Louis Kriesberg explains his answer to the common question, "Well, what would you do?"

  • Dealing with Strong Emotions

    Nancy Ferrell discusses her techniques for dealing with very emotionally-charged mediation situations.

  • Deciding Who Will Be At The Table

    What happens when one of the potential mediation participants is objectionable to another party? Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, describes a situation in which she addressed this problem by allowing the contested party to act as a consultant. She suggests that preliminary meetings can serve as a way to overcome roadblocks early on.

  • Deep Communication

  • Defining "Coexistence"

    Helen Chauncey, of the Coexistence Initiative defines "coexistence" more precisely.

  • Definition of Culture

    "Culture matters, but it is never the entire cause of a conflict," says Kevin Avruch, a cultural anthropology professor at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. While culture is rarely the root cause of conflict, it is often the lens through which the issues in conflict are interpreted.

  • Defusing Anger

    Julian Klugman talks about different ways of defusing anger and hostility.

  • Democracy and Conflict Management

    Democratic processes are, in effect, one form of conflict management, where decisions are made by the electoral, legislative, and judicial processes. Two project participants discuss the importance of these processes, and observe problems that seem to be arising in American democracy.

  • Democracy?

    Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project, talks about the degeneration of public discourse and the rise of single-issue politics. She thinks that unless there is some way to counter this divisiveness, genuine democracy will not be able to flourish.

  • Designing Dialogue Groups

    Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project, talks about using feedback from former participants to improve the design of dialogue groups. She describes collaborative facilitation as a way to discover the elements that foster constructive conversation.

  • Designing Dispute Resolution Systems

    How does one go about designing a dispute resolution system that is culturally appropriate if one is not from that culture? Peter Woodrow, of CDR Associates in Boulder, CO, talks about the methods he and Chris Moore, also of CDR, use to adapt the traditional American model to foreign contexts.

  • Designing Intervention Strategies

    How does one move from individual transformation to societal or institutional transformation? Mary Anderson, of the Collaborative for Development Action (CDAinc), suggests designing interventions strategically using her four-square framework of conflict resolution intervention categories.

  • Determining Appropriate Role

    Nancy Ferrell explains that some situations call for "technical assistance," while at other times, "table mediation" is necessary. The existing level of communication is one determining factor.

  • Developing Coexistence

    Coexistence must be developed slowly over time, say Sarah Peterson and Angela Khaminwa. This allows people to overcome obstacles such as crime, corruption, and fear. Dialogue and large-scale communication are especially important here.

  • Developing Trust

    Silke Hansen, a mediator with the U.S. Community Relations Service, talks about the impact that her role as a federal employee has on developing trust with her clients. She notes that setting realistic expectations and explaining what she can and cannot do is critical in building rapport with the parties she is involved with. Here she uses her involvement in the aftermath of the Rodney King case to illustrate her points.

  • Development and Conflict

    Olympio Barbanti, from the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Minas Gerais, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil is a specialist in conflict and development. Here he talks about why and how development needs to be considered in a broader context than it has been traditionally.

  • Development and Conflict: Introduction

  • Development of Conflict Through the Media

    All significant conflicts get played out, in part, in the media, says journalist Jannie Botes.

  • Dialogue

    This is a long discussion about the Maire Dugan's dialogue and envisioning workshops. Most involved people of different cultures and/or races, although the techniques apply in many other situations as well.

  • Dialogue

    The term "dialogue" can be used in many different ways, ranging from a very formal, structured process to an informal give-and-take of ideas. Both views are represented in the comments below, although many come from Public Conversations Project facilitators, who follow a very formal, structured process to address highly-emotional and intractable issues, such as abortion.

  • Dialogue and Development

    Palestinian peacebuilder Mohammed Abu-Nimer suggests that dialogue is more effective if it is done in the context of development activities.

  • Dialogue and the Big Issues

    Bob Ensley says that getting disputing parties to talk to one another is a crucial step toward managing racism and other overarching issues.

  • Dialogue Between Israeli and Palestinian Women

    Eileen Babbit describes an ICAR-based project that brought together high-level Israeli and Palestinian women in a long series of workshops starting in 1992 with the goal of getting a dialogue started. She discusses the insights gained from involving only women in the project. Babbit also describes efforts to assess the impact of the workshops after a year.

  • Dialogue Facilitation

    Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project, suggests that the job of dialogue intervenors is to facilitate a fair and balanced conversation. To gain the trust of participants, facilitators should be honest about their own views rather than claiming to be neutral.

  • Dialogue in Cyprus

    Louise Diamond, founder of Peace-Tech, talks about her work with dialogue groups in Cyprus and describes how participants encountered great difficulties upon their return home. After being attacked by the press for speaking to people from the other side, dialogue participants asked the media to conduct interviews to raise public awareness about their experiences. This changed the public's attitude about talking to the other side. Eventually, what started out as a group of just a handful of people resulted in the participation of 10,000 Cypriots and the creation of an official U.S. policy to support dialogue projects on the island.

  • Dialogue within the US House of Representatives

    Mark Gerzon, organizer of the Congressional civility retreats, talks about the dialogue that took place during a retreat for Representatives of the U.S. Congress. He suggests that the recognition of shared pain allowed parties to see one another as real human beings.

  • Diaspora Influences on Conflict

    According to Terrence Lyons, Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, diaspora populations often have a significant and negative impact on conflict by framing it as an all-or-nothing struggle. However, the presence of these populations in the United States also presents an opportunity for conflict resolution efforts outside the immediate arena of the conflict. Lyons talks about the formation of dialogue groups involving diaspora populations and suggests that this might be a way to decrease polarization and generate new options for constructive conflict resolution.

  • Differences

    Nancy Ferrell, private mediator and trainer, talks about the way in which people tend to devalue differences. When there is disagreement, we tend to think that we are right and to discount those with opposing views.

  • Different Paths to Becoming a Mediator

    Pamela Aall of the U.S. Institute of Peace talks about who becomes an international mediator and why. "Sometimes it is random," she says.

  • Different Types of Intractable Conflicts

    Peter Coleman, from Columbia University, discusses different types of intractable conflicts.

  • Difficulties for Reintegration

    Eileen Babbit explains the difficulties in using economic development schemes for reintegration.

  • Diffuse Interest Problem Solving

    In complex, multi-stakeholder conflicts, there are often interested parties that are in danger of being left out of a facilitated negotiation because they have no formal representative body. Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, calls this the "diffuse interest problem." He recommends holding meetings where members of hard-to-represent stakeholder groups can come together to jointly select a representative.

  • Diplomatic Efforts in Cyprus

    John McDonald, of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, describes diplomatic efforts in Cyprus, which he sees as an inspirational story.

  • Disputants

  • Dispute Resolution Systems Design

    Ray Shonholtz, director of Partners for Democratic Change, developed the San Francisco Community Mediation Boards. Here, he discusses the evolution that took place in the design and structure of the Boards during the early years of their operation.

  • Dispute Resolution Systems Design

    Although dispute systems design was originally developed for labor-management conflicts, it is now widely used at the national level for democratization and other post-conflict peacebuilding efforts. Peter Woodrow describes several such efforts below, as do several other Beyond Intractability participants.

  • Dispute Systems Design

  • Diversity

    Helen Chauncey, of the Coexistence Initiative, explains that "identity" is handled differently at different stages of conflict. "You can't leave your identity parked at the door indefinitely," she explains.

  • Diversity

    Helen Chauncey, of the Coexistence Initiative, explains how identity lies at the heart of many of today's conflicts. She sees "co-existence"--the positive embrace of different identities-- as key to those conflicts' resolution.

  • Drug Addiction

    Onaje Mu'id, MSW and CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) with the Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute (PRASI), describes drug addiction as a means of controlling unruly minorities.

  • Economic Development

    Mark Amstutz, a professor at Wheaton College, describes how the international community's interest in justice in South Africa has not translated into development assistance.

  • Educators

    Teachers can play an important role in conflict prevention, but they don't always know how to do that, nor do they always do it willingly. In the clips below, Pamela Aall describes how the U.S. Institute of Peace has worked with teachers to make them more effective. Herb Kelman describes how other people must also play an education role--in his example, official leaders need to educate the public about possible peace agreements to gain their support.

  • Elections after Conflicts

    While elections are an important part of post-conflict transitions to democracy and stability, there are risks associated with instituting elections too quickly. Terrence Lyons, Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, notes the risks associated both with premature elections and with waiting too long to hold elections. He also suggests that less-than-ideal first elections may not be the best measure by which to judge a country in transition.

  • Elicitive Training

  • Emerging Trauma

    Onaje Mu'id, MSW and CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) with the Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute (PRASI), explores how trauma emerges from a cycle of drug addiction and violence.

  • Emotional and Psychological Dimensions

  • Emotions

    Leo Cardenas explains how strong emotions are important to get people interested in working on a problem.

  • Emotions

    Dennis Sandole discusses the role of emotions in intractable violent conflicts. Third parties typically work at the cognitive level and don't deal with the trauma and emotions which have to be addressed to get to the root causes of the conflict.

  • Emotions

  • Empathic Listening

    Long a neglected skill, many of our respondents stressed the very critical role of listening for both disputants and third party intermediaries.

  • Empathic Listening

    Long a neglected skill, many of our respondents stressed the very critical role of listening for both disputants and third party intermediaries.

  • Empathic Listening and Emotions

    Richard Salem talks about the importance of empathic listening in dealing with the emotional aspects of mediation.

  • Empathy

    Do mediators need to give special consideration to building trust with parties of color? What role can a mediator play in putting parties at ease when the parties are mistrustful of the system in which they are working? S.Y. Bowland relates some of her experiences with these matters.

  • Empathy

    Sometimes parties distrust the process or they system they are thrust in. This is frequently true with people of color who become involved in the U.S. criminal justice system. Having a person of color as a mediator in such instances can help a lot, obseves S.Y. Bowland, an African American mediator.

  • Empathy

    Nancy Ferrell explains how empathy is necessary for successful relationships and successful mediation.

  • Empathy

    What can a third party do to help parties reach some compromise? Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, says that increased understanding about the others' limitations and point of view can help to eliminate distrust and transform conflict dynamics. As a result, collaborative relationships may develop.

  • Empowerment

    Once conflict parties have agreed to a ceasefire, what role should paramilitaries play? Mari Fitzduff, formerly Executive Director of INCORE, suggests instituting informational programs to help them learn about gaining power through politics.

  • Empowerment

  • Empowerment as a Side-Effect

    Will Reed emphasizes that empowerment is a side-effect of the work that he does, not the primary goal.

  • Empowerment by Police

    CRS mediator Ozell Sutton discusses empowerment and "systemic illiteracy" -- a lack of understanding about how to work within "the system" to become empowered.

  • Empowerment by Police

    CRS mediator Stephen Thom talks about how police officers can empower community members to deal with problems.

  • Empowerment Doesn't Diminish Anyone

    Nancy Ferrell discusses the important fact that empowerment of one party is a benefit to all, and doesn't diminish anyone else's standing in a mediation.

  • Empowerment of Student Groups

    Stephen Thom discusses a case in which he guided a school principal through a student empowerment process over the phone.

  • Enemy Image

  • Enforcing Groundrules

    Former U.S. Community Relations Service mediator Edward Howden describes how he got control of a very uncontrolled mediation process.

  • Engaging Society in Venezuela

    William Ury describes how, with help from key outside people, all levels of society have become engaged in the effort to prevent massive violence in Venezuela.

  • Enriching Narrative

    Parties immersed in conflict often have very narrow views of what is happening and express these views in the stories they tell. Robert Stains, program director of the Public Conversations Project, describes dialogue as a way to enrich parties' narratives about conflict.

  • Enriching Narratives

    Sarah Cobb of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution explores circular questions and appreciative inquiry as non-threatening methods to enrich people's narratives. Reframing narratives can help to humanize one's opponent and transform conflict.

  • Envisioning

  • Errors Committed in the Context of Cultural Conflict Resolution

    Kevin Avruch, a cultural anthropology professor at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, says that there are two major types of errors commonly committed when engaging in culturally sensitive conflict resolution practice. Type I errors commonly underestimate a culture's impact on a conflict situation, while Type II errors commonly overestimate the impact of culture on conflict.

  • Errors Committed in the Context of Cultural Conflict Resolution

    Kevin Avruch, a cultural anthropology professor at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, says that peace practitioners sometimes overestimate the impact of culture on conflict. An example of such an error is a failure to distinguish a legitimate challenge to the universality of human rights from a rhetorical appeal to culture.

  • Errors in Framing Conflict

    Roy Lewicki, an expert on framing and negotiation, observes that even conflict resolution specialists make framing errors.

  • Escalation

  • Escalation and De-escalation

    One of the field's long-term challenges, says Carolyn Stephenson, is to figure out the proper mixture of escalation and de-escalation needed to bring a conflict to resolution.

  • Escalation-Limiting Language

    When people are in conflict, they often say things that inflame the conflict more than they intended to. Two project participants, Suzanne Ghais and Roy Lewicki, talk about ways such inadvertent escalation can be avoided by using language carefully.

  • Establishing Channels of Communication and Long-Term Relationships

    Will Reed explains how establishing communication is key to forming relationships that will allow parties to solve problems over the long term.

  • Establishing Personal Relationships

    Tamra d'Estrée explains how relationship-building processes work in different ways, some focusing on past injuries, other on more constructive future relationships.

  • Establishment of Personal Relationships

  • Evaluation

    Tamra d'Estrée explains how evaluation can be used as a focusing tool.

  • Evaluation of Efforts

    John Katunga of Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) explains NPI's efforts to evaluate their community mediation efforts.

  • Evaluation of Interventions

  • Examples of Ripeness

    William Zartman, of the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and developer of the concept of "ripeness," illustrates his concept with examples of some "ripe" conflicts -- those ready for intervention -- and others that were not.

  • Experiences in Northern Ireland

    Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, tells how she got involved in peace work, and what she did to help transform the Northern Irish conflict.

  • Experiencing Differences

    Sanda Kaufman, a Romanian Jew who now lives in the United States and has traveled world-wide, explains how exposing ourselves to people of different cultures is helpful for broadening one's own view of the world.

  • Expert Advice

    Mediator Edward Howden brought in outside experts to help resolve factual disagreements in a water dispute.

  • Explanation of "Frames" and "Framing"

    Roy Lewicki, an expert on frames and framing, explains what those terms mean.

  • Explanation of Methods

    Suzanne Ghais, Program Manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, recommends that mediators coach parties on how to negotiate more effectively.

  • Exploring the Past

    There are differing opinions as to whether it is productive to explore the past during mediation or if it is better to remain strictly future focused. There are those who argue that it is important to explore the past insofar as it helps to understand a person's behavior or a person's reaction to another's behavior. S.Y. Bowland gives an example of how this can be useful.

  • Exploring the Past

    According to Suzanne Ghais, Program Manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, exploring the past is necessary if mediators hope to understand the conflict from the parties' perspectives. Stories from the past help to contextualize the dispute as well as explain parties' current perceptions and reactions.

  • Expressing Values

    Narratives are often more persuasive when they express the values of narrator. Sarah Cobb of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution tells the story of how she transformed the narrative of the head prosecutor at the International Court of Justice at the Hague through a very simple process of inquiry.

  • Extremists

    The challenge of learning how to deal with extremists, terrorists and fundamentalists is increasingly salient for world stability. Jayne Docherty of Eastern Mennonite University suggests in order to deal with extremism one must understand its underlying causes and the mechanisms that support it. She talks about Mid-East fundamentalist groups, Israeli settlers, Virginia chicken farmers, and U.S. anti-terrorist operations to illustrate her points.

  • Extremists / Spoilers

  • Extremists, Spoilers, and Difficult Parties

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, discusses how mediators can deal with particularly difficult or intransigent parties. He recommends asking spoilers a series of questions to determine their goals and concerns.

  • Face-to-Face Meetings

    Bob Ensley, a black mediator with the U.S. Community Relations Service, tells a story about intervening in racial conflicts in the South in the '60s, when discrimination was still overt. Face-to-face meetings clarified who was who and who could be trusted. And it sometimes brought surprises.

  • Facilitating Problem Solving Workshops

    Herb Kelman talks about the preparation and commitment needed to facilitate problem solving workshops.

  • Facilitating Problem Solving Workshops

    Herb Kelman talks about the preparation and commitment needed to facilitate problem solving workshops.

  • Facilitation

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, describes a communication technique that he sometimes used in particularly tense consensus building processes. He arranges a particular stakeholder group in a circle and encourages them to discuss what they take to be central issues while the rest of the participants look on and listen. This technique both allows parties to talk about what is really bothering them and helps observers to better understand the feelings and perspectives of other groups.

  • Facilitation

  • Facilitator's Role

    A good facilitator is important to any large or small public process. Frank Blechman talks about the role of facilitators in desiging the processes within which interactions will take place.

  • Facilitators

    The audio clips below describe facilitators working in interfaith dialogues, problem solving workshops, and narrative workshops.

  • Fact Frames

  • Fact-Finding Teams

    Mediator Bob Hughes reports that one aspect of an agreement after a police shooting incident was the formation of a fact-finding team.

  • Facts

  • Factual Disagreements

    Sometimes people remember facts differently, or don't remember facts at all, CRS mediator Ernest Jones observes.

  • Failure of the Media After 9/11

    The media failed us after 9/11, Jannie Botes observes, because they were too caught up in it.

  • Fairness in an Insider Role

    John Paul Lederach, Professor of International Peacebuilding, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, describes how to guarantee fairness if in a partial/insider role.

  • Family Groundrules

    Nancy Ferrell believes that groundrules are the boundaries for the needs family members may have. A family needs to define both groundrules and needs.

  • Fatal Identities

    Heroism and cross-cutting peace actions are often the seeds of peace from which positive change can grow in the midst of conflict. Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, tells a moving story about a fatal mistake in identity that ended several people's lives despite an inspiring act of bravery.

  • Fear

  • Fighting Pessimism

    Eileen Babbit describes the work of Yona Shamir and the Center for Negotiation and Mediation in Israel. Shamir has worked to fight the pessimism that set in as the Palestinian-Israeli peace process unraveled in the late 1990s. In particular, Shamir sensed a need to attend to the relationship between Arab-Israelis and Jews. Babbitt explains how she aided Shamir in training Arab-Israelis and Jews to serve as insider facilitators.

  • Finding Common Ground

    Laura Chasin, one of the founders of the Public Conversations Project (PCP) describes a high-profile dialogue with abortion leaders. She describes how the dialogue got started, how the parties were chosen, how PCP facilitated, and what the results were, both for the parties, for the issue, and for the way PCP conducted future dialogues.

  • Finding Leaders

    Renaldo Rivera explains how he identifies leaders in community conflicts when he doesn't know the community.

  • Finding People to Talk With

    Bob Ensley describes how he finds out what is going on in a town when he first visits a conflict site.

  • Focusing on Smaller Problems to Reframe Values

    Can one reframe issues in conflicts in which parties' worldviews are fundamentally different? Perhaps one solution is to move the focus away from people's values and focus instead on smaller, practical problems that can be divided and resolved. Marcia Caton Campbell of the University of Wisconsin illustrates her point with an example of a conflict in which ranchers, loggers and environmentalists had to come to an agreement over the future of their community.

  • Forgiveness

    Mark Amstutz, a professor at Wheaton College, explains the motivation behind his book, The Healing of Nations, which explores the possibilities of forgiveness after a history of human rights abuses.

  • Forgiveness Across Different Religions

    Mark Amstutz, a professor at Wheaton College, assesses the possibility of forgiveness across different religious denominations.

  • Formative Evaluation

    Tamra d'Estrée explains how evaluation can influence training goals and help maximize impact.

  • Founding The Coexistence Initiative

    Angela Khaminwa and Sarah Peterson explain the origins of The Coexistence Initiative. Its main purpose, initially, was networking among many different types of NGOs.

  • Frames in Conflict Zones

    Pamela Aall, of the U.S. Institute of Peace, observes that even educators in conflict zones seem to have (or at least teach) a very simplistic and biased view of the conflict they are involved in.

  • Frames, Framing, and Reframing

  • Framing

    Suzanne Ghais, Program Manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, talks about the challenges intervenors face when working with parties that have disparate worldviews and very different styles of communication. She suggests that reframing conflict to increase mutual understanding is often quite difficult.

  • Framing Environmental Conflict

    Roy Lewicki, Professor of Management and Human Resources at Ohio State University, describes how power differentials in an environmental conflict influenced how that conflict was viewed and pursued by the different parties. As is often the case in the U.S., the environmental groups, which are usually lower power, actually held the upper hand due to strict environmental laws supporting their side.

  • Framing Environmental Conflict

    Roy Lewicki, Professor of Management and Human Resources at Ohio State University, describes the different ways parties to an environmental conflict framed the situation, and how these frames influenced what happened.

  • Framing Environmental Issues

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, suggests that not all issues pertaining to the environment are framed as environmental concerns. Much depends on whether one is approaching an issue from an environmental perspective, a business perspective, or a public interest perspective.

  • Framing Intractable Conflicts

    Peter Coleman explains how intractable conflicts can be framed negatively or positively through envisioning a better future.

  • Free and Frank Exchange of Ideas

    Mediator Bob Hughes describes how he insisted that everyone be heard out, even if it was painful or upsetting to the other side.

  • Gangs

    Wallace Warfield worked in the U.S. Community Relations Service for close to twenty years before becoming a professor at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in 1990. Here Warfield describes his work with street gangs in New York City in the 1960s. He speaks quite candidly about the drawbacks in the intervention method he was using at the time and provides some insight into the basic human needs that gangs can fulfill for their members.

  • Gender and Conflict

  • Georgia

    John McDonald, of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, describes his work in Georgia.

  • Getting and Keeping People Involved in Mediation

    Community Relations Service Mediator Ozell Sutton describes the difference between "street mediation" and "table mediation" and how he got -- and kept -- people involved in each in a very hostile employment dispute.

  • Getting Past Impasse by Refusing to Negotiate

    CRS mediator Stephen Thom tells an interesting story about the repatriation of Native American remains. Surprisingly, agreement was reached when the whites, who had been accommodating, refused (at the Native Americans' request) to negotiate any further.

  • Getting People to Talk

    Mediator Richard Salem usually tried to get people together to talk, but they sometimes were not ready to do so.

  • Global Network of Peacebuilding

    John Katunga of Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) describes the global network of peacebuilding and religious organizations that support peacebuilding in Africa.

  • Goals and Visions

    Helen Chauncey, of the Coexistence Initiative, explains how important it is for them, as well as other NGOs, to have a clear conception of what they are doing, how, and for whom. For instance, they had to decide what they meant by "coexistence," and how they would pursue it.

  • Goals of Intervention

    Silke Hansen goes into all disputes aiming for mediation, she says. But if that doesn't work, then she asks herself what else she can do to be useful to the parties.

  • Good Versus Bad Narratives

    Sarah Cobb of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution suggests that there are both bad narratives and good narratives. To help enrich people's narratives and transform their view of the conflict, Cobb often appeals to irony.

  • Good Versus Bad Narratives

    Because it is often threatening for people to change their narratives, Sarah Cobb of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution recommends working with parties separately before holding group sessions.

  • Gradual Approach to Negotiation

    Joshua Weiss, Associate Director, Global Negotiation Project, Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, discusses his research that suggests that a gradual approach to negotiation that tackles the less contentious issues first is not the only way forward.

  • Grassroots and Leadership

    Robert Stains, program director of the Public Conversations Project, does dialogue work at various levels of influence. He talks about conducting dialogue groups, both at the grassroots level and at the level of leadership, and suggests that working with lay people is often the first step.

  • Grassroots Momentum

    Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, discusses the multifaceted, multi-track pre-political work of building grassroots momentum for a peace process in Northern Ireland.

  • Grassroots Peacebuilding

    John Katunga of Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) describes the long-term process of grassroots peacebuilding through community mediation to deal with ethnic conflict in Ghana.

  • Grassroots Peacebuilding

    Richard Salem, a community and race-relations mediator, explains a grassroots peacebuilding and violence prevention program with gangs in El Salvador.

  • Grassroots Peacebuilding

  • Grassroots Process Design

    Many people discussed the importance of involving local people in the design of interventions.

  • Ground Rules

    Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project, recommends that dialogue groups adopt concrete ground rules.

  • Ground Rules

    Ground rules often allow constructive communication to take place when it had not been possible before.

  • Groundrules

    Maria Volpe tells a story about a university mediation she did where she violated many traditional groundrules; in so doing, though, she built trust with the students and reached a successful resolution.

  • Handling a Power Imbalance

    Werner Petterson describes the symptoms of a power imbalance, and talks about what can be done to lessen its destructive effects.

  • Handling Emotions

    Parties to conflict can have strong feelings of frustration and anger about the subject at hand. How can mediators address these emotions in a productive way? Silke Hansen recommends bringing these emotions to the mediation table so that parties can better understand each others' perspective.

  • Helping Educators in Conflict Zones

    Pamela Aall describes how the U.S. Institute of Peace helps educators in conflict zones teach about conflict and peace. One key element of that is bringing people from different conflict zones together to share ideas and instill hope.

  • Hierarchical Intervention Levels

    In complex intractable conflicts, intervention must happen at many levels simultaneously. Here scholars and practitioners discuss how this is done in theory...and in practice.

  • Hierarchical Intervention Levels

  • Hierarchical Intervention Levels

    In complex intractable conflicts, intervention must happen at many levels simultaneously. Here scholars and practitioners discuss how this is done in theory...and in practice.

  • Historical Facts

  • History

    Dennis Sandole explains the importance of history, identity, and emotion in many "deep-rooted" or intractable conflicts. Americans, he asserts, don't understand this.

  • History

  • Holding onto the Past

    Dennis Sandole explains that people sometimes hold onto the past because they haven't had a chance to grieve, nor have they received an apology. Rather they receive blame for causing the problem.

  • How EU Membership Affected Cyprus Negotiations

    Carolyn Stephenson, a peace researcher at the University of Hawai'i, talks about how the "carrot" of EU membership helped push Greeks and Cypriots into negotiations on Cyprus.

  • How to Approach a Peacemaking Situation

    Elise Boulding talks about the need for third parties to approach a situation as an "apprentice" rather than an expert.

  • How to Deal with Spoilers

    Greg Brown, Program Officer for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), reflects on how to deal with spoilers who sought to hamper the Bosnia and Kosovo's Women's Initiatives.

  • Human Connection

    Robert Stains, program director of the Public Conversations Project, recommends holding a social event before the formal commencement of a dialogue group. This allows participants to get to know each other and helps to reduce stereotypes.

  • Human Needs

    What should an outsider consider about local culture before intervening? Scholar-practitioner Wallace Warfield explains the debate between the basic human needs approach and the cultural anthropological view that the uniqueness of different cultures makes the search for basic human needs moot. Wallace also defends the "western model of intervention," even in some non-western cultures. To hear a cultural anthropologist's view on using western models of conflict resolution in non-western settings, listen to interview segments with Kevin Avruch.

  • Human Rights v. Human Needs

    John Burton's theory of basic human needs is widely accepted. However, Kevin Avruch, a cultural anthropology professor at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, doubts that basic human needs are the same for everyone everywhere.

  • Humanitarian Aid/Development Assistance

  • Humanization

  • Humiliation

    Jennifer Goldman, graduate fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and a graduate student at the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, defines the concept of humiliation.

  • Humiliation and Conflict Dynamics

    Jennifer Goldman, graduate fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and a graduate student at the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, describes what is unique about humiliation and how it leads to different conflict dynamics.

  • Humility

    Peter Coleman says that intervenors in intractable conflicts have no magic bullets. Instead, they need a great deal of humility.

  • Hurting Stalemate Stage

  • Ideal Traits

    Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, suggests traits she thinks are useful in the discipline.

  • Identifying Leaders

    Sometimes the leaders are not the people making the most noise, observes CRS mediator Bob Ensley.

  • Identifying Stakeholders

    Former CRS mediator Manuel Salinas describes how he identified key stakeholders in a community conflict.

  • Identifying Stakeholders

    Sometimes identifying all the stakeholders is a painstaking process, CRS mediator Steven Thom explains.

  • Identity

    Jay Rothman, President of the ARIA Group, Inc., explains how identity can be a source of conflict, but that identity is also changeable.

  • Identity and Cultural Sensitivity

    Why won't a woman from the Balkans allow police to help her in a domestic violence situation? Indira Kajosevic of the Reconciliation and Culture Cooperative Network in New York City suggests that to understand this one must look to issues of identity and culture. She recommends taking a culturally sensitive approach to the issues faced by those from the Balkans and now living in New York City.

  • Identity and Fear

    Helen Chauncey explains how fear can interfere with coexistence efforts, especially when it is the high-power group that is proposing "coexistence."

  • Identity Frames

  • Identity Issues

  • Iguazu Occupation Conflicts

    Julian Portilla and Gachi Tapia, of Partners for Democratic Change International, continue discussing land conflict in Argentina's Iguazu province. They point out the complexity of having different levels of government involved, internal disagreement amongst the occupiers, and being part of the dialogue as a conflict resolution professional.

  • Implementation and Monitoring

    Chester Crocker of Georgetown University discusses a model for implementing and monitoring peace agreements that was used during negotiations in Southern Africa. The model emphasizes the notion that parties to the conflict should take ownership over the enforcement of their own agreement.

  • Importance of Listening

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University discusses the importance of listening in facilitating trauma healing.

  • Importance of Preparation

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotation at the University of Virginia, suggests that consensus building and mediation involves a substantial amount of preparatory work. While facilitation is important, process design is often even more crucial.

  • In-Depth Communication

  • Inclusion Policies

    Structural inequality between identity groups often makes conflicts virtually irresolvable. Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, talks about policies of inclusion in Northern Ireland that have led to progress towards peace.

  • Incompatible Frames

    Roy Lewicki, a Professor of Management and Human Resources at Ohio State University, discusses how incompatible ways of viewing a conflict (which he calls "frames") can make conflicts intractable.

  • Increasing Exploration

    Guy Burgess, Co-Director of the University of Colorado Conflict Research Consortium and the Beyond Intractability Project, sees the field increasingly exploring subjectivity and emotional aspects.

  • Incrementalism

    Tamra d'Estrée, of the University of Denver, cautions that changes take a long time; improvement comes in little steps.

  • Individual Transformations

    John Katunga of Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) reveals some "magic moments" of individual transformations in village dialogue.

  • Individuals and Intractable Conflict

    Individuals can have intractable conflicts, observes Roy Lewicki. But sometimes they can be managed by avoidance of difficult issues.

  • Informal Third Parties

    Jannie Botes, of the University of Baltimore, talks about the important and often-ignored role of informal third parties in conflicts of all types, tractable and intractable.

  • Inhibition of Sustainable Development

    Brazilian economist Olympio Barbanti discusses how development efforts empower some groups but not others, which is a source of community and inter-community conflict. In addition, that "empowerment" may be more ephemeral than lasting.

  • Inhibition of Sustainable Development

    Brazilian economist Olympio Barbanti discusses development and conflict in the Brazilian Amazon,explaining how development efforts cause conflict, while the conflict inhibits successful sustainable development.

  • Inhibition of Sustainable Development

    Brazilian economist Olympio Barbanti discusses development and conflict in the Brazilian Amazon, explaining how development efforts cause conflict, while the conflict inhibits successful sustainable development.

  • Inner-City Trust

    Maria Volpe describes meetings between inner-city children and the police. They start with a lot of distrust, and usually see a small amount of transformation, in which the kids come to trust the police more, and vice-versa.

  • Insider Peacemakers

    Although outsiders may bring fresh perspectives and ideas to a conflict, ultimately the peacemakers with the most credibility will come from the inside. Mari Fitzduff, formerly Executive Director of INCORE, talks about the advantages of insider peacemaking.

  • Insider Versus Outsider

    John Paul Lederach, Professor of International Peacebuilding, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, explains the distinction between an insider/partial role and an outsider/neutral one using examples from Latin America.

  • Insider-Partial Mediation

  • Inspiration for Coexistence Work

    Angela Khaminwa explains that The Coexistence Initiative looked to the environmental movement for inspiration for their coexistence work, and they are trying to work both at the grassroots and the policy level in much the same way as the environmental movement has so successfully done.

  • Inspiration from Nelson Mandela

    Jennifer Goldman, graduate fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and a graduate student at the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, sees inspiration and constructive consequences of humiliation in the life of Nelson Mandela.

  • Inspiration through Dialogue

    Joshua Weiss, Associate Director, Global Negotiation Project, Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, speaks of the inspiration drawn from seeing opponents say things and reach agreements that they would never have imagined.

  • Inspirations

    Robert Stains, program director of the Public Conversations Project, talks about the dialogue groups he facilitated with the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. These conversations about sexual orientation and human sexuality helped the parties to develop mutual understanding and respect and discover points of agreement. One group even decided to work together to write a book about what they had learned.

  • Inspiring People

    Guy Burgess, Co-Director of the University of Colorado Conflict Research Consortium and the Beyond Intractability Project, points to the importance of inspiring people to action through spreading stories.

  • Inspiring Stories

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University relates two inspiring stories of trauma healing from the Balkans.

  • Inspiring Story

    Onaje Mu'id, MSW and CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) with the Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute (PRASI), recounts an inspiring story of someone who broke the cycle of violence and addiction through learning something about conflict resolution.

  • Inspiring Work on Human Rights

    Helen Chauncey explains why the human rights movement is very inspirational for their work on coexistence. Over a 50 year period, human rights workers have "stayed the course" and now, while not universal, the notion of the legitimacy of "human rights" is very widely accepted worldwide. Coexistence workers need to aspire to the same kind of effort, and the same result.

  • Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy

    John McDonald, of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, discusses the origins of the organization.

  • Intentional Divisions

    Mari Fitzduff, former Executive Director of INCORE, suggests that leaders sometimes intentionally create divisions within a society so as to benefit themselves or their political party. This mismanagement of diversity often leads to deep conflict.

  • Inter-ethnic Dialogue in Bosnia

    Is reconciliation among groups with terribly strained relationships possible? Louise Diamond, founder of Peace-Tech, talks about a transformative inter-ethnic dialogue that took place in Bosnia.

  • Interest-Based Bargaining

    Most people familiar with interest-based bargaining are familiar with the story in which two people are fighting over an orange, and finding the best solution is a matter of interests rather than positions. Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, suggests that a good mediator will take this approach one step further. Focusing on underlying needs can generate a wide range of possible solutions.

  • Interests

    Sanda Kaufman, professor of planning and public administration at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, recommends that practitioners be aware that parties are likely to frame information in a way that favors their own interests or concerns. Obtaining balanced, trustworthy information is an important part of effective interventions.

  • Interfaith Dialogues

    Palestinian peacebuilder Mohammed Abu-Nimer sees interfaith dialogue as a sure way to break down stereotypes, establish relationships, and humanize "the other" in intractable conflicts between people of differing faiths.

  • Intermediary Roles

    Intermediaries can play many roles. Some are familiar: mediator, arbitrator, facilitator. Others are less familiar: national therapist, and confidant, for example. The following segments describe differences between various intervention roles, characteristics of intervenors, suggestions for intervenors from people with a great deal of experience, and lastly, a couple of important observations about possible ill-effects intervenors can have.

  • Interpersonal Disputes and Structural Problems

    Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), gives some suggestions on distinguishing between interpersonal disputes and structural problems.

  • Intervention Coordination

  • Intervention Methods

    Paul Wehr, of the University of Colorado, advocates having a wide variety of intervention methods prepared for complex projects. A simple approach to a complex situation may lead to more harm than good, according to Wehr. One very important element for the development of that bag of tricks is to use local knowledge. Wehr advises against promoting what he calls "the tyranny of experts."

  • Intervention Process

  • Intervention Roles

  • Investment in Peacebuilding

    Why should funders invest in conflict resolution initiatives that do not guarantee clear results? Paul van Tongeren, executive director of the European Centre for Conflict Prevention, talks about the need for the conflict resolution community to emphasize the positive impact of long-term peacebuilding initiatives.

  • Invisibility

    Sallyann Roth, co-founder of the Public Conversations Project, suggests that an effective facilitator will become almost invisible. The dialogue group should feel that it's doing its own work.

  • Invisible vs. Visible Products

    Robert Stains, program director of the Public Conversations Project, discusses the difference between visible and invisible products of dialogue. He notes that while respectful conversation and the transformation of people's attitudes are in a sense invisible, they are nonetheless quite valuable. The problem is that the lack of visible outcomes often makes it difficult to get funding.

  • Issue Identification

    Former civil rights mediator Wallace Warfield explains how he works with the parties to help them clarify their issues. He often needs to help the minority side more than the white side, which can cause problems, he says, unless you are transparent about it.

  • It Is Not Your Job To Solve The Problem

    Do mediators have a responsibility to solve the problem at hand? Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, recommends that mediators often play more of a facilitative role.

  • Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian Refugees and Their Histories

    Do you know what was on this land before 1948? If a Palestinian was to come and say, 'I'm from here originally,' would you like to meet him or her and what would you like to say to him or her? And, do you see a possible solution to the Palestinian refugee problem? These are the questions that Julia Chaitin of the Peace Research Institute of the Middle East PRIME asks Jewish Israeli refugees living on formerly Palestinian land during interviews about their histories and their views on the issue of refugees. Her project has led her to come across some surprising peacemakers.

  • Joint Projects

  • Journalism and the Coverage of "Events"

    Journalists need to cover conflicts and conflict resolution efforts in all their stages, not just when high-profile "events" happen, observes South African journalist Jannie Botes.

  • Journalism in South Africa During Apartheid

    Jannie Botes, a South African now at the University of Baltimore, talks about the frustration of working as a journalist in South Africa during the apartheid era.

  • Journalists as Conflict Analysts

    Journalists do not perceive mediation to be part of their role, but they do see their role as being conflict analysts. That is how to engage them in conflict theory, says South African journalist Jannie Botes.

  • Journalists as Escalators of Conflicts

    Journalists frequently escalate conflicts. This can be a positive effect if it ripens a conflict, but it can have very negative effects as well, especially when journalists inadvertently legitimize and/or empower protest groups that are not otherwise legitimate.

  • Journalists as Parties to the Conflicts They Cover

    Journalists need to understand how their coverage affects conflicts, and that they are essentially parties, too, when they start covering conflicts, says Jannie Botes, South African journalist and Baltimore-based conflict resolution scholar.

  • Judging the Success of Interventions

    Susan Allen Nan, Director of the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), reflects on judging the success of interventions.

  • Keeping a Low Profile

    Greg Brown, Program Officer for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), with reference to the Bosnia and Kosovo's Women's Initiatives, discusses how one manages the desire to keep a low profile on joint projects while also facilitating large-scale structural change.

  • Keeping the Process Going

    Former U.S. Community Relations Service mediator Edward Howden describes how mediators sometimes need to be assertive to hold the process together.

  • Knowing the Other Side

    Carolyn Stephenson, a University of Hawai'i peace researcher who had a Fulbright Grant to work in Cyprus, describes the importance of personal relationships there.

  • Knowledge Intervention

    Mari Fitzduff, formerly Executive Director of Irish NGO INCORE, and now a Professor of Intercommunal Coexistence at Brandeis University, describes which she calls a "knowledge intervention," when people are encouraged to look at other cases to learn about their own situation and possible ways to address it.

  • Land Tenure Conflicts and East Timor

    East Timor was a Portuguese colony until 1975, when Indonesia took it over. In a referendum in 1999, the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence and the departing Indonesian military destroyed most official records of land ownership. After independence, there was a great deal of refugee repatriation and disputes arose over conflicting land claims. With no court system in place to deal with the fallout, the United Nations asked Chris Moore and Peter Woodrow, of CDR Associates in Boulder, CO, to design a mediation system for the country's land tenure conflicts and disputes.

  • Language

    Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, recommends that mediators meet with the parties separately in order to locate points of flexibility and test their willingness to bend. She describes this tactic as a benign form of manipulation.

  • Language

    Sometimes the language used to frame a problem is critical to reaching a solution. Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, recommends that mediators try out language with the parties separately in order to find an acceptable way to reframe the problem.

  • Language and Mediation

    Suzanne Ghais, Program Manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, talks about modeling her language according to the terms used by her clients. She suggests that language affects the way parties approach the mediation process.

  • Language Barriers

    Silke Hansen discusses a situation in which language was a significant hindrance to the mediation process.

  • Language in Conflict

    Roy Lewicki, Professor of Management and Human Resources at Ohio State University, suggests that more conservative groups sometimes approach conflict in terms of advancing the justice of their cause rather than reaching resolution. However, he suggests that referring to such groups as extremists or fundamentalists is itself a framing issue. Language is a key part of working toward mutual understanding.

  • Large-Scale Communication

    The media can play both positive and negative roles in conflict as is illustrated in these comments. Many are from Jannie Botes, a South African journalist, now at the University of Baltimore.

  • Latin American Government

    Julian Portilla and Gachi Tapia, of Partners for Democratic Change International based in Buenos Aires, describe the problems of poor governance and lack of public participation in government in Latin America.

  • Law Students Thinking

    Michelle LeBaron, Professor of Law at the University of British Columbia and Director of UBC's Dispute Resolution Program, gives an example of getting law students to think in unusual ways.

  • Leaders and Leadership

  • Leadership

    What defines good leadership? Louise Diamond, president and founder of Peace-Tech, suggests that good leadership has more to do with moving toward peace rather than getting stuck in the past.

  • Leadership and Gangs

    Wallace Warfield, who was with the U.S. Community Relations Service for 19 years before becoming a professor at George Mason University, has focused a great deal of attention on the issue of leadership. He talks about the sometimes-tricky business of identifying the real power loci in groups whose apparent leadership figures may not be the people making the important decisions for the group they represent. He uses his experiences with street gangs in New York City to illustrate his points.

  • Leading Peace

    Mari Fitzduff, formerly Executive Director of INCORE, challenges the notion that opposing leaders need to make each other weak in order to gain peace and discusses how they can work together to overcome internal political obstacles. She also suggests that there is much to be learned from the way conflicts are handled in other parts of the world.

  • Learning from Other Intervenors

    Much could be learned if different types of intervenors would learn from each other, observes Helen Chauncey. A concern about neutrality is one thing that keeps this learning from happening.

  • Learning the Community History

    It is easy to learn the history of the community if you listen more than talk, observes CRS mediator Renaldo Rivera.

  • Lessons from Venezuela

    William Ury discusses the lessons he has learned so far while implementing a third side approach in Venezuela.

  • Lessons Learned

    "The presenting problem and issues that people talk about are rarely the ones that are most significant. What looks like one set of issues will almost always end up being another set of issues." Frank Dukes of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia talks about the dangers of an intervenor assuming he or she knows what a particular conflict is about.

  • Lessons Learned

    Jennifer Goldman, graduate fellow at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and a graduate student at the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University, describes some of the lessons learned from her work on humiliation.

  • Lessons Learned

    John Katunga of Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) shares some lessons from his experience in facilitating community dialogue in ethnic conflicts in Africa.

  • Lessons Learned from Protective Accompaniment Experiences

    Pat Coy describes the lessons learned from past experience with protective accompaniment.

  • Leveling the Playing Field

    CRS mediator Stephen Thom discusses the need to "level the playing field" for mediation between parties of unequal power.

  • Limited Language, Using Metaphors

    Does language matter when mediating? Susan Dearborn, of the Pacific Family Mediation Institute, suggests that the metaphors many mediators use to talk about reaching agreement may have a negative impact on discussions. Third parties need to begin to develop new and more useful metaphors.

  • Limiting Escalation / De-escalation

  • Linking the Grassroots and Power Levels

    Intervenors must make the effort to link the grassroots to those in power, says Helen Chauncey, of the Coexistence Intiative. Otherwise, grassroots work is likely to be lost effort.

  • Listening

    Morton Deutsch explains how listening to the other can actually allow people to see that "non-negotiable" differences can actually be resolved in a mutually satisfactory way.

  • Listening

    Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, suggests that listening was a critical component of her mediation work with the Korean community in the aftermath of the Rodney King case. She emphasizes the importance of listening to parties' immediate concerns as well as their feelings about the past.

  • Listening and Empathy

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, tells a story that illustrates what a profound impact genuine listening may have.

  • Local Partners

    Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, gives an example from Indonesia related to working with local partners and being sensitive to relationship and dynamics.

  • Long-Term Crisis Response

    Efrain Martinez describes the response in Houston and Jasper, TX to two racial incidents. The Jasper situation was especially remarkable because the triggering incident was a very violent hate crime.

  • Looking Beyond Ethnicity in Mediation

    Leo Cardenas talks about how to "work the ethnicity out of" a conflict situation, so that more immediate issues can be addressed.

  • Lowering Expectations

    According to Frank Blechman, lowering people's expectations of the intervenor empowers people to take ownership over a given process and may also help to put people at ease.

  • Main Obstacles

    Sanda Kaufman, a scholar practitioner, says one obstacle to success is over-estimating what conflict resolvers, alone, can actually do.

  • Mainstreaming Peace

    Mari Fitzduff, formerly Executive Director of INCORE, recommends mainstreaming peacemaking efforts at every level possible: schools, military, police, etc.

  • Maintaining Neutrality in Conflict Assessment

    When a third party is invited to intervene in a conflict by a stakeholder acting as a convener, how does the intervenor maintain impartiality in the eyes of the other stakeholders? According to Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, the first step is to agree only to conduct an assessment. Then, based on that assessment, the stakeholders can decide themselves whether or not to engage in a mediation process. Other techniques include inviting other stakeholders to be co-conveners and making sure to be up-front about the methodology being used.

  • Major Obstacles

    John Katunga of Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) describes some of the major obstacles to generating dialogue and building peace through examples from Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • Managing Conflict

    Morton Deutsch continues his discussion of what makes people be competitive or cooperative, and describes the results of those choices.

  • "Managing" Distrust

    Roy Lewicki, Professor of Management and Human Resources at Ohio State University, suggests that many of the mechanisms implemented to manage distrust typically offer little hope of building trust. The rules and procedures associated with security measures, workplace regulations, and prenuptial agreements are directed instead at preventing violations or reducing risks.

  • Managing Interpersonal Trust and Distrust

  • Martyrs

    Mari Fitzduff, a conflict resolver from Northern Ireland, comments on the problem of revenge.

  • Mass Media

    The media can play both positive and negative roles in conflict as is illustrated in these comments. Many are from Jannie Botes, a South African journalist, now at the University of Baltimore.

  • Mass Media Efforts

    Guy Burgess, Co-Director of the University of Colorado Conflict Research Consortium and the Beyond Intractability Project, describes Search for Common Ground's mass media efforts in developing countries beset with conflict.

  • Meaning of Intractability

    Beyond Intractability participants have thought and written a lot about the nature of intractability. Here are some of his thoughts about it, focusing on different kinds of intractable conflicts, how intractable conflicts are different from more negotiable or "tractable" disputes and how such difficult conflicts can be approached.

  • Measuring Community Support

    Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, describes how she measures the level of community support before she decides to intervene in a dispute. If support is lacking, intervention probably won't succeed.

  • Mechanisms in Trauma

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University distinguishes between the mechanisms at work in healing trauma and preserving trauma.

  • Media and the Venezuela Conflict

    William Ury describes the role of the media in the Venezuela conflict.

  • Media Frames

    Another reason why journalism is so important in conflict, observes South African journalist Jannie Botes, is that the media is the only way we get information about conflicts in which we are not personally involved.

  • Media Mediation

    In his discussion of "media mediation," Jannie Botes describes how some journalists, such as Ted Koppel on Nightline, act in very similar ways to mediators. The only major difference is that journalists do not stay with the conflict past the taping of the show.

  • Media Oversimplification of Conflicts

    Due to space constraints, journalists tend to oversimplify conflicts. This can give their audience a very inaccurate view of the situation, especially in complex intractable conflicts, according to Jannie Botes.

  • Media Strategies

  • Mediation

    Here are several suggestions of mediation strategies, along with some interesting stories and examples.

  • Mediation as a Tool

    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.

  • Mediation in the Sri Lankan Context

    Imagine a mediation in front of an entire village in which there was not one, but three mediators: a Buddhist monk, the mayor, and a school teacher, at least one of whom was likely to know one or both of the disputing parties. This is more or less what the mediation system designed by Chris Moore, of CDR Associates in Boulder, CO, looked like in Sri Lanka. CDR Associates' Peter Woodrow talks about adapting the classic American mediation model to other cultural contexts.

  • Mediation Models

    Class differences are more important than racial differences with respect to styles of mediation that work best, Wallace Warfield observes.

  • Mediation Strategies and Techniques

  • Mediation Techniques

    What should a mediator do when he/she doesn't really understand what's going on in a conflict? George Mason University professor and civil rights mediator Wallace Warfield says he/she should ask the parties what's going on. At the very least, this tactic can buy a mediator a little time to think things over. This seems to work across a wide range of cultural settings, Warfield observes.

  • Mediator Qualities

    Richard Salem, a community mediator, describes the many qualities that make a good mediator. Though he doesn't use the word, humility seems to be the bottom line.

  • Mediator Qualities

    Richard Salem, a community race-relations mediator, discusses why mediators often cannot be neutral, but rather, must be advocates for justice.

  • Mediator Transparency

    Suzanne Ghais, Program Manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, finds that explaining the mediation tactics she is using can help parties to communicate more effectively. For example, a quick explanation of interest-based bargaining and the importance of getting past positions can be very helpful.

  • Mediator's Guidance

    Sometimes the mediator's role is simply to help people find ways of being good to each other. George Mason University Professor Wallace Warfield, who was also with the U.S. Community Relations Service for close to twenty years, explains how using this knowledge has enabled him to help parties move beyond the stereotypes and fears they have held about each other. To illustrate his point (and to make another about the unpredictability of the secondary, often unintended effects of third-party processes) he uses an example from a police-brutality case in Des Moines, Iowa.

  • Mediator's Many Hats

    Mediators and facilitators play many different roles in a case as it unfolds, says mediator Silke Hansen.

  • Mediator's Qualities

    Frank Blechman talks about some qualities that may be of use to conflict intervenors and mediators: humility, humor, honesty and patience.

  • Mediators

  • Mediators Taking Hits

    Mediator Ozell Sutton describes a terrifying incident from the early civil rights era.

  • Meta Mediation

    William Ury explains how outsiders can facilitate the development and coordination of many different third-sider roles. This he calls "meta mediation."

  • Midlevel Leaders NGO's, GO's

  • Military Spending

    In a short quip, Mari Fitzduff, who grew up in Northern Ireland and directed the Northern Ireland Conflict Resolution Center INCORE, observes that sometimes priorities were reversed when it came to resolving the Northern Ireland conflict.

  • Misperceptions About Peacebuilding

    Palestinian peacebuilder Mohammed Abu-Nimer describes the misperceptions people have about peacebuilding. These misperceptions hamper its effectiveness, he feels. One misperception is about the different roles and relationships between Track I and Track II, and who is responsible for doing what.

  • Misunderstanding the Law

    In a case of Iranian students being harassed and attacked by white students in Oklahoma, the Iranian students did not understand the role of the local police and the laws that limited their involvement.

  • Misunderstandings

  • Misunderstandings

  • Misuse of the Press

    Mediator Bob Ensley noted that some people twist facts to their benefit for the press, which, if it publishes them, victimizes the other side.

  • Mobilizing the Third Side

    The biggest obstacle to implementing the third side approach, says William Ury, is awakening it, getting everyone to realize that they have an important role to play and that they can and should make a difference in the world around them.

  • Modeling Approach

    How does a trainer effectively transfer skills to his or her trainees? Nancy Farrell, private mediator and trainer, suggests that trainers should practice what they teach.

  • Monitoring of Agreements

  • Moral or Value Conflicts

    Conflicts over values, morals, or worldviews can be exceptionally difficult to resolve, as these beliefs are very deeply-rooted and seldom, if ever, ammenable to negotiation. Several respondents talked about the difficulty presented by this kind of conflict, while others talked about constructive ways of approaching such non-negotiable issues.

  • Most Important Skill

    Listening is the most important skill conflict intervenors can have, according to conflict resolution scholar and practitioner Paul Wehr, from the University of Colorado.

  • Mozambique and the Catholic Church

    In 1992, after one hundred years of colonization, a thirty-year war of independence, and a sixteen-year civil war, Mozambique surprised the world with what appears to be a lasting peace agreement. Andrea Bartoli, director of Columbia University's Center for International Conflict Resolution and a member of the Catholic religious community of Sant'Egidio, tells the story of how peace was acheived and what made the situation "ripe" for resolution.

  • Mozambique and the Catholic Church

    In 1992, after one hundred years of colonization, a thirty-year war of independence, and a sixteen-year civil war, Mozambique surprised the world with what appears to be a lasting peace agreement. Andrea Bartoli, director of Columbia University's Center for International Conflict Resolution and a member of the Catholic religious community of Sant'Egidio, tells the story of how the Catholic Church, through its association with Sant'Egidio, played the role of a bridge builder and peacemaker during the years of civil war in Mozambique. In addition to creating channels of communication between the Renamo rebels and the government, Sant'Egidio also helped to facilitate the organization and entry of U.N. Peacekeeping troops.

  • Multi-Track Diplomacy

  • Must the Media Always be "Neutral"?

    Jannie Botes reflects on whether journalists can or should be "neutral" when reporting on humanitarian crises or atrocities.

  • Nairobi Peace Initiative

    John Katunga of Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) describes how the organization got involved with religious organizations in generating dialogue to deal with ethnic conflict.

  • Name-Calling in Conflict

    Roy Lewicki describes how, in an environmental case, name-calling made the situation more difficult.

  • Narrative Facilitation

    Sarah Cobb of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution talks about "narrative facilitation." This approach focuses on understanding participants' narratives rather than trying to describe the conflict as an external, objective series of events. This helps to reveal the way that problems are being framed and discussed.

  • Narratives and Storytelling

  • Narratives and Violence

    Sarah Cobb of the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution suggests that storytelling can help parties to deal with violent events. The most transformative narratives are both temporally and morally complex and demonstrate the interdependence between victims and aggressors.

  • National Peace Policies

    Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, talks about the development of legislation that can help to institutionalize peace mechanisms in Northern Ireland.

  • Nature and Importance of Forgiveness

    Mark Amstutz, a professor at Wheaton College, describes the nature and importance of forgiveness after a history of human rights abuses.

  • Nature of Intractability

    This is a diverse set of comments, but the all relate to the fundamental question of why some conflicts are so much more difficult to resolve than others are.

  • Negative Images of "the Other"

    Maria Volpe discusses how negative images of "the other" can present long-standing obstacles to conflict resolution, making conflicts intractable.

  • Negative Third Party Effects

    Sometimes third parties can make things worse, not better. Pamela Aall, of the U.S. Institute of Peace, uses Cyprus, Korea and Sri Lanka as examples.

  • Negotiating in El Salvador

    William Steubner, executive director of the Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolution, talks about his experience negotiating peace settlements between the Salvadoran military and the FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation) forces. He suggests that even after a conflict has become ripe for negotiation, it may be difficult to "sell" to conflict profiteers.

  • Negotiating with the Devil

    Morton Deutsch talks about when and how you negotiate with people you see as "the Devil."

  • Negotiating Your Own Solution

    Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, suggests that mediation often means more than simply reaching an agreement. In her view, the process that parties go through to reach agreement sometimes changes the dynamics of their relationship.

  • Negotiation

  • Negotiation and Formula

    How do parties prepare for international trade negotiations? William Zartman, of the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies, learned that people first develop a broad idea of how to solve the problem -- which he calls a "formula" -- and then they work out the details.

  • Negotiation Preparation and Conflict Analysis

    William Zartman, of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, is writing a book that is a compilation of advice for new negotiators. Here he gives some preliminary highlights from that compilation that include how to prepare for negotiations and how to analyze a conflict. He also makes a reference to seeking out other conflicts that resemble the one being dealt with, in order to get a fresh perspective on possible solutions. Mari Fitzduff calls this type of comparison a "knowledge intervention."

  • Negotiations in Intractable Conflicts

    Ron Fisher, of American University, explains that negotiations in intractable conflict often do more harm than good. Parties must engage in other de-escalatory processes first, before they are ready or able to negotiate effectively.

  • Negotiator Attributes

    Joshua Weiss, Associate Director, Global Negotiation Project, Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, describes the attributes that an individual or organization needs in order to be an effective negotiator as part of a peace process.

  • Nelson Mandela as a Third Side

    William Ury explains how Nelson Mandela was a consummate third sider.

  • Nepal

    John McDonald, of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, describes his work in Nepal.

  • Networking

    Tamra d'Estrée, of the University of Denver, sees the lasting benefits of networks built up during small group processes as one of the positive benefits of those processes.

  • Networking

    Tamra d'Estrée explains how connections formed during small group processes can later be used to quell rumors or clarify disputed facts.

  • Neutral Fact-Finding

  • Neutral Parties

    Should mediators strive to be neutral? Susan Dearborn, Director of the Pacific Family Mediation Institute, suggests that third parties can never be truly neutral. In order to increase transparency and build trust, mediators should share more of their own personal stories. This may be particularly true in cross-cultural cases where clients may not be comfortable divulging personal information to authority figures.

  • Neutrality

    When Sarah Cobb intervenes in a conflict, she makes no attempt to be neutral. Instead, she is "multi-partial." One might ask what her interests are if she is so decidedly un-neutral. "My goal is the evolution of the narrative such that it is different than when the person came in."

  • Neutrality

    Peter Coleman of Columbia University says third parties are not neutral, as they actually wield enormous power.

  • Neutrality

    "Don't think you have to be neutral, because you ain't. You really aren't. Not if you live in Northern Ireland. You either aren't or you're not seen as, and I can tell you that put under pressure you won't be either." Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, talks about the distinctions between co-partiality, neutrality towards the conflict and neutrality towards a process.

  • Neutrality

    Where do your values as a mediator prevent you from being neutral in a given conflict? Scholar-practitioner Wallace Warfield believes every mediator should ask himself or herself this question before becoming involved in a case.

  • Neutrality

    All of these speakers believe that neutrality is, in many ways, a myth. Either it is not possible, or it is undesirable, or it is unnecessary for successful intervention and/or conflict transformation.

  • Neutrality in Environmental Negotiations

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, suggests that it is important for mediators not to seek to advance a particular set of interests. However, this does not mean that mediators are fully neutral. This is evidenced by the fact that in environmental negotiations, mediators need to be advocates for sustainability.

  • Never Forget Your Own Worldview

    Jayne Docherty of Eastern Mennonite University advises intervenors to be aware of their own world view, which is often a matter of culture. She suggests that one way that practitioners can begin to question their outlook and become more self-aware is through training.

  • NGOs and Forgotten Conflicts

    Pamela Aall, of the U.S. Institute of Peace, describes the important role of NGOs on "forgotten conflicts."

  • Non-Negotiable Issues

    Morton Deutsch, a founding father of the conflict resolution field, discusses how parties can come to negotiate "non-negotiable issues." One of the keys, he says, is realizing that they are in a hurting stalemate and choosing to change that situation.

  • Nonviolence

  • Northern Ireland Peace Process

    Mari Fitzduff, former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now Professor and Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, suggests that cease-fire agreements and peace processes take a long time to develop and will likely hit several stumbling blocks along the way. She describes the lengthy process in Northern Ireland and highlights the importance of celebrating small victories.

  • Obstacles

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University reflects on the obstacles he has encountered in dealing with trauma. He discusses the problems of funding, coordination, and cultural barriers.

  • Obstacles

    John McDonald, of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, describes the major obstacles to success in his work. He focuses on funding and building understanding on the part of Track I.

  • Obstacles for Intervenors

    According to Frank Blechman, the biggest obstacles for conflict intervenors are cynicism and lack of hope. Parties in conflict who have been severely hostile towards one another are likely to be wary of collaborative solutions to their problems. Trust and communication is likely to be poor; and they may doubt their constituents will accept any new ideas.

  • Obstacles for Intervenors

    According to public policy mediator Frank Blechman, parties often wait until they are entirely grid-locked before they call in a mediator for help.

  • Obstacles to Mediation

    How does a mediator deal with constituent groups who don't support the people who are sitting at the negotiating table? What happens when key external actors are not at the table? Though he has no simple answers, scholar-practitioner Wallace Warfield discusses these common mediation problems.

  • Occupation Conflicts

    Julian Portilla and Gachi Tapia, of Partners for Democratic Change International, recount conducting workshops to deal with land occupation conflicts in Argentina's Iguazu province.

  • Ombudsman

    Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), describes the difficulty in fighting the perception that the ombudsman is independent of the organization.

  • Ombudsman Qualities

    Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), describes the qualities likely to make for a successful ombudsman.

  • Opportunity for Deeper Dialogue

    Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, describes a workshop with some Green Berets where she saw the opportunity for deeper dialogue with the conflict resolution field.

  • Opposition to Caucuses

    Most standard mediation courses teach practitioners to separate parties during difficult portions of a mediation in order to gain more trust with parties or to try to influence them in some way. Professor and civil rights mediator Wallace Warfield finds himself opposed to the common wisdom in the field, as he believes that separating parties misses an important opportunity for change.

  • Oppression and Conflict: Introduction

  • Option Identification

  • Organizing ADR

    Maria Volpe, from the City University of New York, explains that getting organized to do an intervention, especially in difficult or intractable conflicts, takes a lot of groundwork.

  • Ovarian Cancer Dialogue

    Susan Dearborn, Director of the Pacific Family Mediation Institute, discusses her work generating dialogue with women with ovarian cancer and the medical community to build understanding and spread information where communication has historically been poor.

  • Palestinian and Israeli Textbook Project

    Textbook analysis of groups in conflict often reveals that people in conflict know precious little about each other. Julia Chaitin of the Peace Research Institute of the Middle East (PRIME) talks about a project funded by the Y-River People to People Project and the U.S. State Department to develop a dual narrative textbook for high school students. The text contains both Palestinian and Israeli narratives. She talks about some of the difficulties in writing the texts, agreeing on the texts, and the importance of publishing the texts and continuing the project.

  • Parallel Time Lines Between Track I and Track II Diplomacy

    Carolyn Stephenson, a University of Hawai'i peace researcher who had a Fulbright Grant to work in Cyprus, had a lot of trouble doing Track II work there because the Track I work was on a different time-line. Here she discusses the importance of parallel time lines.

  • Paramilitary Research

    Mari Fitzduff, formerly Executive Director of INCORE, shares the results of her research on people's motives to join paramilitary organizations. She suggests that one very common motive is the desire for power.

  • Partners for Democratic Change Centers Around the World

    Ray Shonholtz, Director of Partners for Democratic Change, talks about introducing conflict resolution training in the former Soviet Union and other countries. He suggests that widespread competency in conflict management is an important part of developing sound democratic institutions. However, it is important that the training centers work to teach people living in the country to themselves act as trainers. The idea has been to train people in an American model so that they can acculturate the model and adapt it to suit their society's needs.

  • Peace Agreements

  • Peace and the Military?

    Can the military be trained to create peace? It can if you understand its culture, according to Mari Fitzduff.

  • Peace and the Military?

    Can the military be trained to create peace? It can if you understand its culture, according to Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University.

  • Peace Brigades International and Protective Accompaniment

    Pat Coy describes his work with Peace Brigades International, an NGO that pioneered the tactic of international, non-violent, protective accompaniment. Coy gives a history and lessons learned of the practice in which volunteers from around the world travel to walk with threatened individuals. Coy gives examples from Sri Lanka.

  • Peace Education in Oppressive Environments

    Pamela Aall, of the U.S. Institute of Peace, explains how peace education can be risky for teachers. She tells a story of a teacher in the former Yugoslavia who had to teach conflict resolution under cover for fear of being arrested by Milosevic for treason.

  • Peace Processes

  • Peace Timelines

    Many academics and practitioners believe that it may take as long to get out of a conflict as it did to get into it. Mary Anderson, of the Collaborative for Development Action (CDAinc), suggests that practitioners are, in fact, too tolerant of slow processes towards peace.

  • Peace Timelines

    Many academics and practitioners believe that it may take as long to get out of a conflict as it did to get into it. Mary Anderson, of the Collaborative for Development Action (CDAinc), suggests that practitioners are, in fact, too tolerant of slow processes towards peace.

  • Peacebuilding

  • Peacebuilding in Cyprus

    Peacebuilding in Cyprus has been a long history of frustration, observes Ron Fisher, of American University. Even when the people wanted peace, their desire was thwarted by the leadership of Northern Cyprus.

  • Peacebuilding in Cyprus

    Peacebuilding in Cyprus has been a long history of frustration, where even massive demonstrations for peace were unsuccessful, reports Ron Fisher of American University.

  • Peacebuilding in El Salvador

    Richard Salem, a private mediator and trainer, describes the work of a local peacebuilding committee in El Salvador that established a "zone of peace" in its region. Activities included dialogue groups, teacher training and arts programs, all designed to instill a better understanding of positive approaches to conflict as an alternative to violence.

  • Peacemaking

  • Peacemaking Forces

    Mari Fitzduff, formerly Executive Director of INCORE, suggests that during intractable conflict, movements towards peace are likely to be concurrent with violent actions. Peacemakers should try to be patient, focusing on small steps forward rather than setbacks in order not to lose hope.

  • Perceptions and Facts

    Mediator Bob Hughes says that people frequently dispute the other side's "facts," but he explains that it is important that each side understand the other side's "perceptions."

  • Personal Healing

    Tamra d'Estrée explains how she finds the personal healing that occurs in some dialogues to be particularly inspiring. The stories participants tell seem to have a stonger impact, she says, than any facts and figures.

  • Personal Healing

    Tamra d'Estrée, of the University of Denver, describes a conflict where one side was forced to change his identity in order to achieve personal legitimacy. Through a dialogue process, some healing and humanization took place.

  • Personal Skills

    Robert Stains, program director of the Public Conversations Project, talks about the personal skills that dialogue practitioners need, especially when facilitating conversations about deep personal issues. He suggests that an important part of the dialogue practitioner's job is establishing a human connection with participants.

  • Personal Views

    What are the responsibilities of a third-party facilitator who has strong feelings about the issues being discussed? Robert Stains, of the Public Conversations Project, discusses respecting people you strongly disagree with and how to communicate your opinions as a third party to the dialogue participants.

  • Persuasion

  • Persuasion

  • Persuasion through Self Interest

    Nancy Ferrell explains how she persuaded a business community to address a racial problem with Iranian students by convincing the white leaders that the conflict might impact their financial interests.

  • Planning and Assessing the Situation

    What should one know about a setting in which one is about to intervene? 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.

  • Playing Different Roles

    Louis Kriesberg talks about the cross-cutting roles he has played in conflicts over the years. His academic role helped give him access and credibility, and his intervention activities enriched his research.

  • Plebiscite

    Onaje Mu'id, MSW and CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) with the Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute (PRASI), calls for a plebiscite to determine the relationship people of African descent should have with the USA.

  • Polarization

  • Polarization in Venezuela

    William Ury begins explaining his role in trying to prevent a civil war in Venezuela, where the country is extremely polarized between those who support the president and those who oppose him. Like many other countries, it is essentially a conflict between the "haves" and "have nots." Before Ury came in and introduced his notion of "the third side" or people "for the whole," there was no room for neutrals -- people were forced to take a side.

  • Positive Outlook on People

    While some mediators advocate for lowering parties' expectations (Frank Blechman), others advocate for raising aspirations (Paul Wehr). Frank Dukes of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia weighs in on the issue with an inspirational note.

  • Power

  • Power and Authority

    Ozell Sutton, a mediator with the U.S. Community Relations Service, uses metaphor to describe the fact that exercising power and authority can deplete it.

  • Power and Coercion

    Dennis Sandole describes how integrative exchanges are superior forms of power and coercion.

  • Power and Track II Efforts

    Power plays a key role in the success or failure of Track II efforts, according to University of Hawai'i peace researcher Carolyn Stephenson.

  • Power Dominant Relationships

    What happens to people's pscyhe when they experience domination? What role can a mediator play in assisting parties to move out of this dominated mentality? Nancy Ferrell, private mediator and trainer, suggests using cost/benefit analyses with high-power parties and fostering self-empowerment strategies for low-power parties. Here she discusses her experiences as a mediator for the Community Relations Service of the Justice Department.

  • Power Inequities

  • Power Over Versus Power With

    Nancy Ferrell talks about the difference between "power over" and "power with," and discusses how a transition can be made from the former to the latter during mediation.

  • Power Struggles in Families

    Nancy Ferrell, private mediator and trainer, suggests that power struggles can contribute to intractability in family conflicts.

  • Practical Details in a Complicated Situation

    Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, talks about her experiences helping the Korean community in the aftermath of the Rodney King case. She suggests that tending to the practical details in a complicated situation can help to reduce tension and frustration.

  • Practice Networking

    Elise Boulding is known for her extensive networking among peacemakers. Here she gives advice on why and how to do it.

  • Practitioners Care

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University discusses how practitioners involved in trauma healing can take care of themselves in the course of their work.

  • Preparation

    How much preparation should go into facilitating a meeting, a retreat or a negotiation? According to Suzanne Ghais, Program Manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, it is extremely important for facilitators to have an in-depth understanding of the situation before designing an intervention.

  • Preparation

    Maria Volpe explains that preparations for both the mediator and the parties before the mediation session are very important.

  • Preparing as a Negotiator

    Joshua Weiss, Associate Director, Global Negotiation Project, Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, describes the challenge of anticipating what the parties want out of a negotiation and how to effectively prepare as a negotiator.

  • Preventing School Violence with Dialogue

    CRS mediator Stephen Thom talks about a dispute resolution and conflict prevention system that was put into place in a largely African American and Latino school district to work to prevent racial problems before they started.

  • Preventing Violence

    What is the link between human rights and peace? Lowell Ewert, director of the Peace Studies program at the Universtiy of Waterloo, talks about preventing violence by promoting human rights.

  • Preventing Violence

    Former Community Relations Service Mediator Nancy Ferrell describes how she dealt with potentially violent situations.

  • Preventing Violence

    Mediator Richard Salem describes how he de-escalated a potentially violent confrontation at the Wounded Knee take-over.

  • Preventing Violence

    Former Community Relations Service mediator Wallace Warfield discusses how he balances his mediation activities with justice concerns.

  • Preventing Violence Mediation

    CRS mediator Ozell Sutton tells how he works with parties to prevent violence during marches and demonstrations.

  • Preventive Diplomacy and Violence Prevention

    Ray Shonholtz, director of Partners for Democratic Change, developed the San Francisco Community Mediation Boards. Here, he talks about the benefits of establishing a community-based dispute resolution program that is capable of intercepting and settling conflicts that otherwise might become mired in the formal justice system.

  • Preventive Diplomacy and Violence Prevention

  • Problem Solving Workshop Theory

    Herb Kelman explains briefly the theory behind problem solving workshops.

  • Problem Solving Workshops

  • Problem Solving Workshops and Implementation

    Herb Kelman explains that problem solving workshops can develop new approaches for transforming conflict, but cannot implement them. Track I leaders need to do that, and they need to educate the public to gain their support.

  • Process Frames

  • Productive Peacebuilding in the Presence of Government Monitoring

    In the Middle East and other autocracies, it is common for government security people to monitor peacebuilding workshops. Palestinian peacebuilder Mohammed Abu-Nimer explains how he can still run a productive workshop under such circumstances.

  • Profile

    One of the founding fathers of the conflict resolution field and of problem solving workshops, Herb Kelman, reflects on his work from the '50s through the present, especially focusing on the intersection between social psychology and conflict resolution.

  • Profile

    Mohammed Abu-Nimer, a Palestinian peacebuilder who lived in Israel and later moved to the United States, tells how he got involved in peacebuilding and dialogue work, and reflects on the effects that this has had on his life and how he has coped with that.

  • Protective Accompaniment

  • Protective Accompaniment in Intractable Conflicts

    Pat Coy describes the strengths of protective accompaniment in dealing with intractable conflict.

  • Proximity to a Conflict and Neutrality

    Jannie Botes explains how it is hard for journalists to stay "neutral" when reporting on "their own" conflicts.

  • Public Conversations Project

    Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project, talks about the personal experience that inspired her to start public dialogue groups. As she watched pro-choice and pro-life leaders talk to one another, Chasin noticed how rapidly the conversation degenerated into name-calling and finger-pointing. She began to wonder whether communication techniques used in family therapy could be applied to conversations about polarized public issues.

  • Public Participation and Democracy

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, talks about the importance of public participation in conflict resolution processes. Bringing community members together allows them to build coalitions and move toward consensus on important public policy issues. In addition, those who participate in making decisions feel more connected to their communities and have a sense of responsibility and ownership.

  • Qualities a Mediator Should Have

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, talks about the sorts of personal qualities he thinks an effective mediator ought to have. These include humility, cultural competence, life experience, and substantive knowledge about the institutional arena in which the problem is being addressed.

  • Qualities of Interfaith Dialogue Facilitators

    What qualities are necessary for interfaith dialogue facilitators? Patience, trustworthiness, and flexibility are among those described by Mohammed Abu-Nimer, an experienced facilitator of interfaith dialogues.

  • Questions

    Sallyann Roth, co-founder of the Public Conversations Project, describes the questions posed to dialogue participants before the process begins. This helps people to get clear about the sorts of issues they would like to discuss and what they hope to get out of it.

  • Race Relations in One Ohio Community

    Race relations in the United States is a prototypical example of a particular variety of intractable conflict. Mark Chupp talks about using appreciative inquiry in a community in Ohio experiencing latent racial tension due to shifting demographics. The process took place in a traditionally Polish, Slavic and Slovenian neighborhood of about 30,000 people that was transitioning into a more predominantly African American neighborhood. In 1990, 3 percent of the neighborhood population was African American and by the 2000 census it had grown to 33 percent, surrounded by majority African American neighborhoods. Rather than focus on racial tensions in the neighborhood, the appreciative inquiry process designed by Chupp and his associates focused on finding examples of healthy cross-racial relations and trying to duplicate them. Interestingly, the process expanded to include questions of class relations as well.

  • Racial Profiling

    Jay Rothman, President of the ARIA Group, Inc., describes the use of action evaluation to find non-litigious ways, i.e. win-win, of dealing with racial profiling problems in Cincinnati. In particular, he highlights efforts to engage young people.

  • Rational Thinking Despite Fear

    CRS mediator Ozell Sutton recounts a situation in which he feared for his life, but still managed to think rationally about how he could obtain help.

  • Rationality

    How are we to make sense of another party's seemingly unreasonable positions, expectations or narratives? Why is there sometimes such fundamental disagreement about what is relevant to a conflict or its resolution? Jayne Docherty of Eastern Mennonite University suggests that there may be different types of rationality at work, each of which yields a particular way to approach conflict.

  • Realistic Elements of Conflict

    The task of the mediator, according to Leo Smyth, a mediator from Ireland, is to simultaneously honor people's personal frames and perceptions while dealing with the "realistic" elements of the conflict. This is, by no means, an easy balance to achieve.

  • Realizing Gains in Intervention at Different Levels

    Susan Allen Nan, Director of the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), describes the interconnectedness and challenges of realizing gains in intervention at different levels: leadership, mid-level, and grassroots.

  • Realizing that a Large Proportion of News is About Conflict

    Ninety percent of news is conflict; yet, journalists are not trained to recognize that or to know what to do about it, says Jannie Botes, a journalist from South Africa and now a Baltimore-based conflict resolution scholar.

  • Rebuilding after Conflict

    Rebuilding post-conflict areas is a pressing challenge throughout the world. The tension between maintaining stability and addressing past injustice is a particularly troubling issue. One cannot implement justice in the absence of stability and yet if a government leans too far towards stability it may lead to repression and contribute to further violence. Terrence Lyons, Professor of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, talks about ways to increase post-conflict stability through gradual democratization and the fostering of civil society.

  • Rebuilding Relationships in Bosnia

    Eileen Babbit describes the importance of activities and projects promoting working together as a means to rebuild relationships after conflict in Bosnia. Rock bands and basketball leagues have created opportunities. These things may bring people in, but it is important that at some level the activities address the conflict in subtle ways.

  • Rebuilding Relationships in Cyprus

    Ron Fisher of American University talks about the need to rebuild relationships in Cyprus to bring about reconciliation.

  • Rebuilding Relationships in Rwanda

    Eileen Babbit describes a project that brought together Tutsi and Hutu women in Rwanda.

  • Recognition

    Recognition in Different Contexts and Forms - these comments vary widely, but all speak to the importance of recognizing the legitimacy of the other side and the other side's interests and concerns.

  • Recognizing Values

    Susan Dearborn, of the Pacific Family Mediation Institute, suggests that focusing on common values or principles can generate empathy and help parties to recognize each other's concerns. In the end, recognition may be more important than the substantive issues. She describes a mediation regarding financial compensation for costly adaptive facilities installed for someone with a disability.

  • Reconciliation

    Onaje Mu'id, MSW and CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) with the Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute (PRASI), describes the need for some sort of reconciliation amongst the nations or races of the world, but the question relates to ripeness.

  • Reconciliation

  • Reducing Tensions

    Community Relations Service mediator Silke Hansen describes how she gets parties to sit down together before potentially violent demonstrations to work out the "rules of engagement." That usually prevents trouble before it starts.

  • Reducing Tensions

    Community Relations Service mediator Stephen Thom describes how he works with parties to help them communicate their concerns effectively.

  • Reframe Conflict to Promote "Ripeness"

    Roy Lewicki, Professor of Management and Human Resources at Ohio State University, discusses an environmental conflict in which the environmentalists had the upper hand in court. Here he considers whether facilitators should pursue resolution when the situation is not "ripe." One approach is to try to re-frame the conflict in order to promote ripeness where it didn't exist before.

  • Reframing

    CRS mediator Silke Hansen describes how she helps parties reframe their demands to ones that are not only attainable, but also will likely yield better outcomes for them over the long term.

  • Reframing

  • Reframing

  • Reframing Racial Issues

    Silke Hansen discusses the importance of looking past racial overtones, and focusing on the real issues of a particular conflict.

  • Reframing the Agenda

    Civil rights mediator Richard Salem explains how you help disputants devise an achievable agenda.

  • Refugee Resettlement

    Eileen Babbit describes the difficult refugee resettlement problem in Bosnia and Rwanda. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees asked her to become involved in evaluating their response. She begins to address how this project was approached.

  • Refugees

  • Reinforcing Communication

    Maria Volpe explains how one obstacle to successful conflict resolution is the tendency for people to only listen to others who have biases similar to their own.

  • Relationship Management

    Can conflicts be resolved by dealing with their root cause? According to Suzanne Ghais, Program Manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, focusing only on resolution will be inadequate in situations where ongoing relationships are a component of conflict. She stresses the importance of relationship management.

  • Religion and Conflict

    Often in history, religion has been cited as the cause of conflict. But what role can religion and religious organizations play in conflict resolution? Andrea Bartoli, director of Columbia University's Center for International Conflict Resolution and a member of the Catholic religious community of Sant'Egidio, talks about the role that religious organizations in Mozambique have played in conflict resolution.

  • Religion and Conflict

  • Religion and Conflict Resolution

    R. Scott Appleby, John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Professor of History at University of Notre Dame, argues that the media has not paid attention to the conflict resolution potential of religion.

  • Religion and Conflicts

    Richard Rubenstein, professor of conflict resolution and public affairs at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, suggests that religion plays a special role in both the expression of conflict and its resolution. He begins by making an important distinction between conflicts over religious doctrine and conflicts that use religion as a symbol for issues of identity and ethnicity.

  • Religion and Peace

  • Religion and September 11th

    R. Scott Appleby, John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Professor of History at University of Notre Dame, describes the opening provided by 9/11 to religion and peacebuilding.

  • Reluctant Disputants and the Third Party

    Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, suggests that people may be reluctant to participate in mediation because they see it as a failure to resolve their own problems. They may also be very wary of participating in a conversation with someone towards whom they feel quite hostile. One role of third parties is to determine whether mediation is a feasible option and put parties at ease.

  • Representation Questions

    Sometimes, says mediator Nancy Ferrell, who is at the table and who isn't becomes a contentious issue. A key question is whether or not extremist groups should be represented.

  • Repression in the Land of the Free

    Why would any group of high school kids possibly insist on attracting the wrath of a well-known gang by wearing that gang's colors? Indira Kajosevic of the Reconciliation and Culture Cooperative Network in New York tells the story of a group of Albanian high school teenagers fighting over colors with the Bloods of the Bronx. She suggests that to make sense of this situation, one must understand it in terms of cultural identity.

  • Research Professor at the Naval War College

    Community development projects that intend to benefit target populations often fail to consider that there are likely to be parties who benefit from the status quo and whose interests are threatened by these projects. Brad Hayes, Research Professor at the Naval War College, talks about ways to deal with these potential spoilers.

  • Resist the Temptation to Move Faster

    Even a seasoned conflict resolution professional can become impatient with the work. Elise Boulding talks about the need to resist the temptation to move faster than the parties are willing to go.

  • Resolving Conflict for Future Generations

    Bob Ensley discusses the importance of keeping the long-term goals of conflict resolution in mind.

  • Respect for the "Other"

    Eileen Babbit explains that a problem-solving workshop involving Israeli and Palestinian women contained the lesson that it is more effective to have all participants at the same stage of psychological development with respect to 'the other.'

  • Respectful Polarization

    Peter Coleman describes an abortion dialogue run by the Public Conversations Project with pro- and anti-abortion leaders in Boston. While the parties came to respect each other and protect one another, they were still very polarized on the abortion issue. Nevertheless, their relationships still improved, and they found a fair amount of common ground.

  • Response Modes

    Dennis Sandole briefly explains how different response modes may need to be used in concert to prevent violence.

  • Retributive Approaches to Justice

    Mark Amstutz, a professor at Wheaton College, finds fault with retributive approaches to justice because they do not pay sufficient attention to how individuals are to reconstruct their lives.

  • Ripeness

    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. In 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 peacemaking efforts in the Middle East were subject to less interference from the United States, conflict might become more ripe for negotiation.

  • Ripeness

    What does it mean for a conflict to be ripe for intervention? Who is responsible for recognizing ripeness, the intervenor or the parties involved? Does ripening mean increasing the pain each side feels? Is it futile to intervene in a conflict that is not ripe? How does one assess ripeness accurately? In other words, if an intervention fails, does this mean that the conflict was not ripe? William Zartman, of the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies and the main architect of the notion of ripeness, discusses these questions.

  • Ripeness

  • Ripeness Promoting Strategies

  • Risks of Losing Trust

    Greg Brown, Program Officer for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), uses his experience in the Balkans to reflect on whether bringing discussions of the conflict into joint projects risks shattering what little trust has been built.

  • Role of NGOs

  • Role of NGOs

  • Role of the Facilitator

    Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project, recommends that the first phases of dialogue proceed in a highly structured fashion. Various ground rules are established to help participants listen and speak effectively and to ensure constructive conversation. This structure allows participants to talk directly to one another, with facilitators playing only a minimal role.

  • Role of the Intervenor

    According to Louise Diamond, founder of Peace-Tech, intervenors should try to avoid geting caught up in the complex dynamics of a conflict system. She talks about some ways for mediators to become aware of being co-opted into the conflict system and how to avoid this. In her view, centeredness and self-awareness are particularly crucial.

  • Role of the Mediator

    Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, suggests that some of the mediator's central tasks are to put parties at ease and to help them make fair and informed decisions that meet their needs. Effective mediation often means reassuring parties that the mediator is not there to limit their choices, but rather to help them approach their problem in a constructive way.

  • Role of the Mediator

    Sometimes a mediator has to call it quits because mediation is not appropriate, as this story, told by Wallace Warfield, illustrates. Before becoming a professor at George Mason University, Warfield was a mediator with the U.S. Community Relations Service for 19 years, initially working with gangs in New York City. Here he tells about a situation in which he should have called the police, rather than take things into his own hands. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the story does demonstrate the dangers of not letting go of a case when the time is right. Besides telling a hair-raising tale, Wallace's story also serves to illustrate the possibilities of positive transformations in the midst of difficult circumstances.

  • Role Playing

    Frank Blechman, a private mediator and facilitator, suggests that facilitators should be open to play whatever role may be missing in the group dynamics. Often, Blechman plays a bad role model, to give the parties something to react against.

  • Roles and Listening

    Leo Cardenas describes how he took on some tasks that should have been done by the parties themselves, but they were not in a position to do so. By so doing, however, he helped give community groups a voice that they never had had before.

  • Roots of Conflict

    According to William Steubner, executive director of the Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolution, most conflict resolution practitioners tend to approach conflict analysis by asking why conflict has arisen. However, in many cases it is more useful to question why there wasn't violent conflict before.

  • Rumor Control

  • Rumor-Control Teams

    Mediator Manuel Salinas describes CRS rumor-control teams.

  • Rwandan Women

    Sarah Cobb of ICAR tells the story of three groups of Rwandan women. Each group received grants from the UNHCR but they had very different results for their projects. Sarah Cobb asserts that the fate of their projects was pre-determined by the stories each group had already developed for itself before the grants were disbursed.

  • Safe Spaces

    Maire Dugan, Director of Race Relations 2020, talks about how dialogue practitioners can create a space that's safe enough for participants to develop new insights. One method to encourage parties to reveal more about themselves is the sharing of personal stories.

  • Safe Spaces

    Wallace Warfield describes how he used to create safe situations in which all sides could effectively communicate with each other -- often for the first time.

  • Safe Spaces

    Susan Dearborn, of the Pacific Family Mediation Institute, talks about creating a safe space for mediation. She says this can reduce the possibility that an intervention will do more harm than good.

  • Safe Spaces for Communication

    Louise Diamond, founder of Peace-Tech, discusses how intervenors can create a safe space in which mutually mistrustful parties can begin to have a real dialogue. She talks about creating positive energy and validating the feelings of aggrieved parties.

  • Same Level, Different Sides

    Tamra d'Estrée observes that getting people of similar "levels" or professions from opposing sides together can be an eye-opening experience.

  • Scale Up

    Once dialogue participants have experienced a certain amount of personal transformation, can these results be transferred to the broader community? This is what Maire Dugan, Director of Race Relations 2020, calls the "re-entry question." To address this concern, she recommends that dialogue workshops be community-organized and that they draw delegates from neighborhood associations, churches, and work places. This creates a social infrastructure within which dialogues can operate more effectively.

  • Scale-Up

    Mark Chupp adapted the appreciative inquiry process (usually used in organizational development settings) for use in a neighborhood experiencing tension due to shifting racial and class demographics. The goal of the process was to change the nature of the relationships in the neighborhood. Any process aiming to change an entire community faces a scale-up problem: how does one move from the individual transformation of immediate participants to wider, communal transformation?

  • Scale-Up

    How can interventions move from individual transformation to broader social change? Louise Diamond, president and founder of Peace-Tech, talks about trying to locate leverage points that can draw on the experience of a handful of people to produce broader social effects. Multi-track diplomacy is a great way to do this.

  • Scale-up in Rwanda

    Eileen Babbit describes an Oxfam project in Rwanda that aimed to scale-up interpersonal and local transformation to bring about societal transformation.

  • Scale-Up of Individual Transformation

    Palestinian Mohammed Abu-Nimer discusses how individual transformation can be scaled up to reach the policy-making level.

  • Scaling Up

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University discusses the challenges of moving from individual healing to collective healing.

  • Scaling Up

    John Katunga of Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) describes the challenges of scaling up in village dialogue from individuals to the community level.

  • Scaling Up from Small-Group Processes

    Herb Kelman reflects on how one "moves up" from the small-group process of problem solving workshops to having a larger societal or political impact.

  • Scaling Up Processes to the Societal Level

    Ron Fisher, of American University, talks about the problem of scaling up table-oriented processes to the level of whole societies. "We don't know how to do that," he says, so we must work in conjunction with people who have other kinds of expertise. Journalists are especially important in this regard.

  • School Violence Prevention

    Community Relations Service mediator Stephen Thom describes how he uses student leaders to prevent school violence.

  • Secrecy and the Oslo Accords

    One of the problems with the Oslo agreements, according to Herb Kelman, is that they couldn't be done in the open, but because of the secrecy, the constituencies weren't "brought along" and weren't ready to accept the agreements.

  • Security

    Morton Deutsch talks about the importance of security at both the international and interpersonal levels.

  • Seeing and Not Seeing Reality

    Jayne Docherty of Eastern Mennonite University suggests that metaphors typically play an important role in defining people's worldviews. Identifying the metaphors that people use to describe their situations can be a useful tool for revealing the assumptions that underlie their values and beliefs. In this way, parties with disparate worldviews can begin to co-construct a common reality.

  • Seeing One's Role as a Cause or Effect

    It may be useful for a third party to attempt to define a party's frames of reference. This is certainly not easy, but one way to go about this, according to Irish mediator Leo Smyth, is to outline a person's place within a larger system. In this manner, an individual may be more likely to see his or her role as a cause or effect of various phenomena. Another important reason to analyze the system in which one operates is to attempt to outline the potential secondary effects a conflict (or its resolution) may have outside the immediate sphere of influence.

  • Seeing the Value of Conflict Resolution

    Even if people are completely hostile to the idea of conflict resolution initially, sometimes if you work with them for long enough, they'll come around to seeing it as valuable. Mohammed Abu-Nimer explains how this happened when he was working with Palestinians in Gaza.

  • Self Awareness

    Morton Deutsch explains how both sides must realize that they are contributing to a conflict's intractability too--it isn't just "the other."

  • Self Humanizing

    How much should a mediator reveal about himself or herself to the parties involved? More than the standard wisdom indicates, says professor and civil rights mediator Wallace Warfield. He says that to share the occasional personal detail with parties can help to humanize the mediator and actually gain parties' trust. To hear more about mediators sharing with the parties with which they are involved, listen to interview segments with Susan Dearborn.

  • Self-Analysis Exercises

    In an attempt to make a complex problem manageable, a third party may exclude important elements from the discussion that could be critical for resolution. Jayne Docherty of Eastern Mennonite University recommends that intervenors engage in self-analysis exercises in order to better understand their own worldviews and the potential impact of these worldviews on the process they are facilitating. She also talks about how parties to a negotiation may have several different identities to which they must be sensitive.

  • Self-enforcing Agreements

    Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, talks about the challenge of negotiating an agreement among multiple stakeholders with power differentials. He suggests that agreements reached in areas with little or no legal enforcement mechanisms need not be much different from those reached in areas with strict legal and regulatory statutes. He explains what it means for an agreement to be "nearly self-enforcing."

  • Selling Mediation

    Stephen Thom describes how he persuades the parties to mediate as he does his situation assessment. In the process, he explains the response options and sequencing to the parties, who realize the benefits of mediation as he establishes a relationship with them.

  • Sequencing

    Joshua Weiss, Associate Director, Global Negotiation Project, Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, gives some brief examples of three models of negotiation sequencing and discusses ideas about the circumstances in which particular sequencing models might be most beneficial.

  • Sequencing Interviews

    Former CRS mediator Richard Salem describes who he would talk to first when he got into a new conflict situation.

  • Sequencing Negotiations

    Morton Deutsch talks about how to sequence negotiations to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.

  • Sequencing Strategies and Tactics

  • Setting Goals

  • Setting Up Rumor-Control Teams

    Mediator Nancy Ferrell describes CRS rumor-control teams.

  • Settlement, Resolution, Management, and Transformation

  • Shared Questions

    Sallyann Roth, co-founder of the Public Conversations Project, recommends using dialogue participants' questions as a way to identify their common interests. This helps people to talk to those at whom they might otherwise be yelling.

  • Shared Questions

    Sallyann Roth, co-founder of the Public Conversations Project, recommends using dialogue participants' questions as a way to identify their common interests. This helps people to talk to those at whom they might otherwise be yelling.

  • Shortcomings of the Conflict Resolution Field

    Onaje Mu'id, MSW and CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor) with the Practitioners Research and Scholarship Institute (PRASI), describes obstacles in his work. In particular, Mu'id focuses on shortcomings of the conflict resolution field, in particular its ties to white privilege.

  • Shortcomings of Training

    Angela Khaminwa, Program Officer for Outreach and Communication at The Coexistence Initiative, discusses shortcomings of training in the field, which can stifle creativity and are costly.

  • Shuttle Diplomacy in Venezuela

    William Ury tells how he managed to build trust with the leaders in Venezuela and how, through shuttle diplomacy and focusing on their interests, he got them working together to prevent violence.

  • Signed Agreements

    What is a mediator to do if one party needs a written document and the other party will not sign anything? There may be many solutions depending on the circumstances, but Silke Hansen talks about what she did in one case.

  • Simple Mistakes

    Silke Hansen is an experienced mediator for the U.S. Community Relations Service. So it might come as a surprise to hear about a very simple mistake she made in a tricky situation. She talks about a very plain but important lesson she learned from her error as she tells the story of intervening in a situation in which all of the parties were not privy to her impending arrival.

  • Single-Text Agreements

    Single-text negotiation is a technique in which one party (often the third party) drafts an agreement, and then the parties modify it in turn until agreement is reached. Here Paul Wehr talks about using the technique in a university conflict intervention.

  • Small Pieces of a Larger System

    Jayne Docherty of Eastern Mennonite University says that any intervention into a complex conflict must be treated as a small piece of a larger system. Intervention into multi-dimensional conflicts requires inter-field collaboration.

  • Social Obstacles to Technical Problems

    Wendell Jones, Ombudsman at Sandia National Lab, is a well-known and accomplished physicist. However, he suggests that it is in his role as Ombudsman that he has had the greatest impact on the technical, scientific output of the laboratory. Helping scientists get past their differences allows for more productive collaboration.

  • Social Reconstruction

    Sarah Peterson, of The Coexistence Initiative, describes the process of "social reconstruction" which must parallel physical reconstruction in the "post-conflict" stage.

  • Some Elements of a Successful Intervention

    Chester Crocker of Georgetown University outlines the elements of a successful intervention. First, third parties should have a thorough understanding of the substantive issues of the conflict. Second, intervenors need to communicate and coordinate with each other and there should be cooperation between tracks I and II. Third, intervenors should have a clear institutional mandate for their activities. Lastly, Crocker cautions against perfunctory, symbolic interventions that lack institutional support.

  • Some Elements of a Successful Intervention

    Chester Crocker of Georgetown University outlines the elements of a successful intervention. First, third parties should have a thorough understanding of the substantive issues of the conflict. Second, intervenors need to communicate and coordinate with each other and there should be cooperation between tracks I and II. Third, intervenors should have a clear institutional mandate for their activities. Lastly, Crocker cautions against perfunctory, symbolic interventions that lack institutional support.

  • Some Elements of Conflict Analysis

    Most conflict resolution practitioners talk about the need for conflict analysis. Mary Anderson, of the Collaborative for Development Action (CDAinc), says that though there is wide agreement on the need for analysis, there is little consensus on what elements to include in the analysis. Though she does not propose to give a definitive list of what to include, she does provide some insight on the minimum requirements for any conflict analysis. She also provides a four-square matrix (see below) into which most, if not all, interventions fall. Moving between quadrants is important, she says, observing that those who do not work at the institutional level are largely ineffective over time.

  • South Africa

    Mark Amstutz, a professor at Wheaton College, describes the factors behind South Africa's remarkable transformation focusing in particular on the role of moral leadership.

  • South Africa's Transition and Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

    Joshua Weiss, Associate Director, Global Negotiation Project, Program on Negotiation, Harvard University, describes South Africa's transition and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as instances where significant obstacles were overcome.

  • Spiritual Centeredness

    Louise Diamond, president and founder of Peace-Tech and formerly the co-director of the Institute for MultiTrack Diplomacy, comes from a spiritual background and brings this to bear on her work, which she sees as a kind of "national therapy" which goes far beyond getting a signed agreement to influencing how people think and feel.

  • Spoilers

    What happens when all of the stakeholders involved in a conflict assessment agree to participate in a facilitated negotiation process, but one or more of the parties doesn't show up at the first meeting? What happens when an important stakeholder doesn't want to participate at all? Larry Susskind, co-director of the Public Disputes Program at Harvard Law School, talks about how to deal with spoilers during the convening process.

  • Stable Peace

  • Stages

  • Stakeholder Representatives

  • Stakeholders

  • Start with the Mayor

    CRS mediator Efrain Martinez reflects on the sequence he uses to find the key parties in a community conflict.

  • Starting Everywhere at Once

    Angela Khaminwa, Program Officer for Outreach and Communication at The Coexistence Initiative, describes Starting Everywhere at Once, a project that seeks to address the problem of violence in Kenyan universities by engaging different stakeholders.

  • State and Federal Conflict

    Sometimes the reframing of conflict can begin even before two conflicting parties meet. Suzanne Ghais, Program Manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, suggests that holding preparatory meetings with each party sometimes contributes to successful mediations.

  • Stereotypes / Characterization Frames

  • Stereotypes About Islam

    Mohammed Abu-Nimer, a Palestinian peacebuilder, challenges the stereotype that Islam is a violent religion. It is no more or less violent than any other religion, he suggests, yet this stereotype has been present in the West for centuries.

  • Stereotypes and Cultural Associations

    Where is the line between stereotypes and cultural associations? As mediators, we are told that we need to be aware of potential cultural differences between parties. Yet, S.Y. Bowland points out that it can be dangerous to have preconceived notions about the cultural assumptions that we make about how people from certain cultures will behave.

  • Stories from Around the World

    John Paul Lederach, Professor of International Peacebuilding, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, recounts examples of the value of storytelling from Pakistan, the Balkans, and Africa.

  • Storytelling

    John Paul Lederach, Professor of International Peacebuilding, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, describes his conception of storytelling as a personal reflection on a situation.

  • Structural Inequities

    Deborah Kolb, Co-Director of the Program on Negotiations in the Workplace at Harvard University, suggests that women in many societies are denied access to a level playing field. Even if they have learned negotiation techniques, their social position trumps their ability to bargain effectively. In fact, structural inequities often prevent women from even getting to the negotiation table.

  • Structural Limits

    In very high-tension situations of dialogue, there are structural limits in the form of ground rules that can be helpful to the discussion. Robert Stains talks about his work with the Public Conversations Project and the way he gets agreement from dialogue participants on how to have a conversation together.

  • Structural Problems

    Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provides an example in which what at first appeared to be an interpersonal dispute was actually due to structural problems.

  • Structural Violence

    Coexistence work is primarily on the individual and community level. How to scale it up to the national level -- to address issues of structural violence -- is an important question, observe Sarah Peterson and Angela Khaminwa of The Coexistence Initiative.

  • Studying Religion and Conflict

    R. Scott Appleby, John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Professor of History at University of Notre Dame, describes how he got interested in the role of religion in peacebuilding.

  • Success in Consensus Building

    Larry Susskind says that he doesn't measure his success in consensus-building processes by analyzing the quality of agreements reached during negotiation, or even by whether or not agreement was reached at all. In some cases, agreement may not be the most appropriate option for a group. How, then, does he measure success? He explains.

  • Success of Interventions

    How should the success of interventions be measured? If a peace intervention doesn't achieve positive peace in a 10-month programming cycle, is it a failure? Mary Anderson, of the Collaborative for Development Action (CDAinc), provides six criteria for measuring the effectiveness of interventions.

  • Successful Advocacy Campaigns

    Are there leverage points that peacemakers and activists can use to influence powerful multinationals? Kristin Clay of the World Wildlife Fund describes a successful advocacy campaign designed to encourage an Indonesian paper mill to practice sustainable forestry.

  • Surprises

    According to Frank Blechman, one of the most useful things that can occur during a conflict intervention is for the intervenor to be surprised by a party's behavior or speech. Surprises offer a chance to re-assess the assumptions an intervenor has made about a conflict and correct any misconcpetions. He illustrates this point with a story.

  • Suspicion of Outsider Interveners

    Mohammed Abu-Nimer discusses the suspicion Muslims have about Northern and Western peacebuilders, which derives from colonization and occupation.

  • Sustainable Intervention

    How can an intervenor make the most out of a short-term intervention? Suzanne Ghais, Program Manager at CDR Associates in Boulder, Colorado, suggests that setting an agenda and identifying goals to be accomplished can be very important. She describes a situation in which a lack of clarity about expectations detracted from the overall success of an intervention.

  • Symmetry and Fairness in the Middle East

    Sanda Kaufman, professor of planning and public administration at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, advises intervenors against treating a conflict as symmetrical in the name of fairness or impartiality. Besides being inaccurate, this may lead to conflict strategies that do not correspond to the reality of a given situation. She uses the conflict in the Middle East to illustrate this point.

  • Syracuse Area Middle East Dialogue

    Louis Kriesberg describes the Syracuse Area Middle East Dialogue group. He discusses how the group got started, how it operates, and what it does for the participants.

  • Systemic Change

    Civil rights mediator Nancy Ferrell always aims to make systemic changes.

  • Talking to Disputants

    Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, describes how she has to explain her role carefully and frequently when she is doing her conflict assessment.

  • Tariq Ramadan

    R. Scott Appleby, John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Professor of History at University of Notre Dame, reflects on the controversy surrounding Tariq Ramadan's efforts to enter the United States.

  • Teaching in South Africa

    Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, describes teaching a course for young adults in South Africa in which art and music proved a powerful means to create dialogue.

  • Technical Issues and Relationships

    Do relationships matter when talking about highly technical issues? How much technical expertise should a mediator have in order to intervene effectively? "Really the relationship between any two organizations, whether it's a federal agency, a university, or what have you, comes down to personal interactions," says Peter Woodrow, of CDR Associates in Boulder, CO. He illustrates his point with an example of a dispute over water regulations in the western United States.

  • Technical Negotiating

    Are there special tools an intervenor should use when people with a great deal of technical knowledge are ensconced in conflict? Frank Blechman talks about the methods he used to help a group of technicians to negotiate regulations for monitoring chemical weapons stock piles. These methods helped to generate more productive discussions, yielding results that would be understandable to the general public despite their highly technical nature.

  • Techniques for Dealing with Trauma

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University reflects on the techniques he has found most useful in dealing with trauma.

  • Terminology

    Silke Hansen talks about the delicate nature of naming an event in the context of her work with the Community Relations Service during the Rodney King "event."

  • Terrorism

    Richard Rubensten, professor of conflict resolution and public affairs at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, talks about common misconceptions associated with terrorism. He points out that it is counterproductive to conceive of terrorists as evil because it misdiagnoses both the goals and causes of terrorist activity. To avoid seeking rational reasons for what seem to be grotesque methods is to avoid taking responsibility for some of the conditions that give rise to terrorism. This, in turn, limits the possibilities for addressing the problem in an effective manner.

  • The "Table" Stage of Conflict

    Roy Lewicki, a negotiation expert, observes that we study the "table" stage of conflicts much more than the earlier or later stages.

  • The Benefits of Conflict

    Peter Coleman describes how an abortion dialogue in Boston run by the Public Conversations Project had its genesis in a shooting.

  • The Coexistence Component of Conflict Resolution

    Coexistence work is necessary to bring about peacebuilding success, argues Helen Chauncey of the Coexistence Initiative.

  • The Coexistence Spectrum

    Angela Khaminwa emphasizes the flexibility of meanings of the concept of "coexistence," ranging from the minimalist (they aren't killing each other) to a maximalist definition where the groups are highly interdependent and appreciative of each others' identities.

  • The Dangers of Re-entry

    Dennis Sandole discusses the dangers of going back to one's own group after attending a cross-group dialogue or meeting.

  • The Definition of Intractability

    Pamela Aall, of the U.S. Institute of Peace, discusses the disagreement among scholars and practitioners regarding a definition of "intractability."

  • The Developing World and U.S. Conflict Resolution Models

    Olympio Barbanti talks about the shortcomings of using U.S.-based conflict resolution models in the developing world. He says the lack of regulatory structure is a severe obstacle to U.S. models of conflict resolution in developing countries. He also believes it necessary to merge conflict resolution theory with other fields of social study (i.e. sociology, anthropology, political science, etc.).

  • The Developing World and US Conflict Resolution Models

    Olympio Barbanti talks about the shortcomings of using U.S. based conflict resolution models in the developing world. He says the lack of regulatory structure is a severe obstacle to U.S. conflict resolution processes in developing countries.

  • The Developing World and US Conflict Resolution Models

    Brazilian economist Olympio Barbanti explains how people working on development issues need to do a local conflict-assessment to determine what conflicts are being caused by the development effort and what impacts those and other conflicts are likely to have on the success of those efforts.Olympio Barbanti talks about the shortcomings of using U.S. based conflict resolution models in the developing world. He says the lack of regulatory structure is a severe obstacle to U.S. models of conflict resolution in developing countries.

  • The Developing World and US Conflict Resolution Models

    Brazilian economist Olympio Barbanti talks about people's view of conflict in developing countries. Rather than seeing conflict as something to solve, many people try to escalate conflict to promote change.

  • The Equalizer in Intractable Conflicts

    William Ury describes the role of the equalizer in intractable conflicts. Equalizers build up the power of the low-power group to enable them to be able to negotiate fairly with the other side. This can be done through violence, but it is also very effectively done through nonviolence. Mobilizing world public opinion is especially important and effective now, as the globe is shrinking socially, politically, and economically.

  • The European Centre for Conflict Prevention

    The European Centre for Conflict Prevention collects information about various peacemaking efforts from conflicts all over the world. Paul van Tongeren, executive director of the Centre, discusses the Centre's extensive database and talks about how knowledge of key resource persons and conflict background can be useful in conflict prevention and resolution.

  • The First Commandment of Conflict

    Morton Deutsch talks about Deutsch's "first commandment of conflict:" know what kind of conflict you are in.

  • The Focused Pause

    Sallyann Roth, co-founder of the Public Conversations Project, talks about the "Focused Pause" as a way for facilitators to encourage better listening, thinking, and speaking in training and dialogue settings.

  • The Frame is Only Part of the Whole Picture

    Leo Smyth, professor of management at National University of Ireland, suggests that one's frame of reference will often influence the way in which one assesses and interprets a conflict. Intervenors should be aware that while framing does yield valuable insights, these insights do not tell the full story.

  • The Framing of Governmental Information

    If the government doesn't give the news media information quickly, then the media will get it themselves and frame it for the public before the government gets a chance to put its spin on it, South African journalist Jannie Botes explains.

  • The Gap Between Intentions and Effects

    Sallyann Roth, co-founder of the Public Conversations Project, suggests that facilitators should be aware of the gap between their intentions and the actual effects. This will help them to become reconnected to the dialogue or training process so that they can try again.

  • The Impact of Media on Conflict

    Jannie Botes, of the University of Baltimore, says that the Nightline show in South Africa had a major positive impact on the conflict. The same was not true with a Nightline show on Israel, however.

  • The Importance of Evaluation

    Eileen Babbit describes some of the challenges in evaluating the UNHCR's refugee resettlement efforts in Bosnia and Rwanda.

  • The Importance of Networking

    Former Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association, Elise Boulding, tells how she started IPRA as a simple networking effort.

  • The Importance of Networking

    Former Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association, Elise Boulding, tells networking with others doing complementary work empowers everyone.

  • The Importance of Planning

    Planning and flexibility together are key for holding successful peacebuilding workshops, says peace researcher and trainer Carolyn Stephenson. Here she describes what happened in one workshop she held in Cyprus.

  • The Importance of Track II Diplomacy

    Carolyn Stephenson, a peace researcher from the University of Hawai'i, talks about the importance of Track II work for peacebuilding in Cyprus and elsewhere.

  • The Internet

    Guy Burgess, Co-Director of the University of Colorado Conflict Research Consortium and the Beyond Intractability Project, describes how the internet can provide a low cost, accessible source of information for people involved in conflict.

  • The Intervenor's Role

    Frank Blechman suggests that intervenors often provide counterbalance: to the very positive, they present doubt; to the doubtful, they provide reassurance; and to those who are too well grounded, they present unconsidered possibilities. He suggests that intervenors also play a role in helping parties deal with the pain of change.

  • The Lack of Networking Among Mediators

    Pamela Aall, of the U.S. Institute of Peace, says she was surprised to learn that international mediators don't know each other or "talk shop" together.

  • The Media as a Tool for Empowerment

    Jannie Botes explains how parties use the media as a tool for empowerment for their own group and cause.

  • The Need for Track I-Track II Cooperation

    Carolyn Stephenson, a University of Hawai'i peace researcher who had a Fulbright Grant to work in Cyprus, describes one instance where her Track II work was stymied by Track I concerns.

  • The New Pope

    R. Scott Appleby, John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Professor of History at University of Notre Dame, reflects on the appointment of Pope Benedict XVI.

  • The Orange Story Expanded

    Silke Hansen suggests a useful extension of the common "girls with the orange" metaphor for interest-based bargaining.

  • The Oslo Accords

    Herb Kelman reflects on his role in what went right and wrong with the Oslo Accords.

  • The Process Behind Problem Solving Workshops

    Herb Kelman describes how problem solving workshops differ from other kinds of third-party processes, and describes the process he uses in detail.

  • The Process of Discovery

    Leo Smyth, professor of management at National University of Ireland, recommends that mediators avoid imposing their preconceived notions about the goals of intervention. In many cases, mediation is a process of discovery.

  • The Public Impact of Dialogue

    Laura Chasin, director of the Public Conversations Project, describes dialogue as a local initiative that has had a far-reaching impact on both society and the field of conflict resolution. While the number of dialogue groups that have been conducted is small, there has been a great deal of media exposure.

  • The Purpose of Evaluations

    Helen Chauncey explains why the Coexistence Initiative does evaluations.

  • The Re-entry Problem

    How can change among individuals ensure that long-term institutional changes are sustained? Mark Gerzon, organizer of the Congressional civility retreats, suggests that the transformative impact that dialogues have cannot fuel broader social change unless there is some infrastructure to continue the process.

  • The Rodney King Crisis

    Silke Hansen, of the U.S. Community Relations Service, was part of the team to respond to the aftermath of the Rodney King crisis. Here she talks about the problem solving that was required in this very complex humanitarian emergency. She describes her work as more a matter of logistics than of traditional conflict resolution.

  • The Role of Ethnicity in Mediator-Party Relations

    CRS mediator Stephen Thom discusses the role his own ethnicity plays in dealing with people from different ethnic backgrounds.

  • The Third Side as a Container

    The third side can help prevent violence, but it does not resolve the conflict, cautions William Ury. Rather, it provides a "container" in which the "lead of destructive conflict" is turned into the "gold of constructive confrontation."

  • The Third Side as a Self-Organizing Social Movement

    William Ury explains that the third side is a self-organizing social movement that works at all levels of the society, from the grassroots to the elite. Outsiders can help get the movement started and can give it support, but basically the work is done from within.

  • The Third Side in Every Culture

    The third side is "the key evolutionary mechanism," says William Ury, which exists in every culture to allow it to survive. Without all the roles of the third side, we'd tear ourselves apart.

  • The Third Side in the Middle East

    The problem in the Middle East, William Ury observes, is that the third side isn't operating. If those conflicts are to be transformed, all ten third-side roles are needed.

  • The Two Fuse Theory

    CRS mediator Silke Hansen explains the "two taproot" or "two fuse" theory of conflict escalation.

  • The Ubiquity of the Media Mediation Model

    Jannie Botes, a South African at the University of Baltimore, observes that media mediation takes place "a million times a day all over the world," but people don't recognize it or its importance.

  • The UN and Religion

    R. Scott Appleby, John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Professor of History at University of Notre Dame, describes a recent UN conference on religion and tolerance.

  • The Value of Anger

    Silke Hansen discusses the anger that is often expressed by parties who feel disempowered, and how that anger can influence mediation.

  • Theories of Change

  • Theories of Teaching & Training

  • Theory of Change

    Tamra d'Estrée emphasizes the importance of thinking through what changes are desired from training or interventions and structuring the process so as to facilitate that change.

  • The Third Side as a Self-Organizing Social Movement

    William Ury explains that the third side is a self-organizing social movement that works at all levels of the society, from the grassroots to the elite. Outsiders can help get the movement started and can give it support, but basically the work is done from within.

  • The Third Side in Every Culture

    The third side is "the key evolutionary mechanism," says William Ury, which exists in every culture to allow it to survive. Without all the roles of the third side, we'd tear ourselves apart.

  • The Third Side in the Middle East

    The problem in the Middle East, William Ury observes, is that the third side isn't operating. If those conflicts are to be transformed, all ten third-side roles are needed.

  • The Two Fuse Theory

    CRS mediator Silke Hansen explains the "two taproot" or "two fuse" theory of conflict escalation.

  • The Ubiquity of the Media Mediation Model

    Jannie Botes, a South African at the University of Baltimore, observes that media mediation takes place "a million times a day all over the world," but people don't recognize it or its importance.

  • The UN and Religion

    R. Scott Appleby, John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Professor of History at University of Notre Dame, describes a recent UN conference on religion and tolerance.

  • The Value of Anger

    Silke Hansen discusses the anger that is often expressed by parties who feel disempowered, and how that anger can influence mediation.

  • Theories of Change

  • Theories of Teaching & Training

  • Theory of Change

    Tamra d'Estrée emphasizes the importance of thinking through what changes are desired from training or interventions and structuring the process so as to facilitate that change.

  • Track I Communication in Track II

    Track I and track II are thought to be distinct realms of practice in the field of peacemaking. However, according to Chester Crocker of Georgetown University, in their use there are various points of convergence. The two tracks often employ quite similar techniques.

  • Track I Diplomacy

  • Track I/II and Mozambique

    Chester Crocker of Georgetown University suggests that the success of the peace process in Mozambique is a shining example of great coordination between several actors, excellent trade craft, and good luck. He talks about the role that NGOs, Track I, and Track II actors played in the development, implementation, and monitoring phases of the peace process.

  • Track I/II and the Ivory Coast

    Chester Crocker of Georgetown University talks about how Tracks I and II commonly misunderstand each other. Track I actors tend to be either ignorant or skeptical about the contribution of Track II. Track II actors, on the other hand, tend to overestimate their contribution and are sometimes skeptical of Track I's motives for intervention. Crocker suggests that although every institution has its agenda, they can work together toward their common goal of peace.

  • Track I/Track II Cooperation

    Chester Crocker of Georgetown University tells the story of his involvement in Southern Africa. He talks about the importance of having communication channels to the decision-makers. He says that the real decision-makers are sometimes hidden from view and that developing networks of people who have contact or access to the decision-makers is essential. As a track I diplomat, it may not be immediately clear who to talk to or, more likely, how to get in a position to talk to the real decision-makers. He ends with a discussion of an interesting model for peace agreement implementation and monitoring.

  • Track II/Citizen Diplomacy

  • Track One-Track Two Cooperation

  • "Tractable" vs. Intractable Conflicts

    Peter Coleman explains how intractable conflicts are different from simpler "tractable" conflicts.

  • Training

    Dennis Sandole suggests that interveners can help parties (and themselves) deal with the emotional/cognitive interplay by training both sides separately and then together before undertaking any mediation or conflict resolution strategy.

  • Training Tools

    What happens when a potential client asks for a tool that a third party is not comfortable providing? How much responsibility does a trainer have for how his/her teachings are used after the fact? Scholar-practitioner Wallace Warfield talks about a situation in which he was asked to prepare American negotiators to deal with the U.N. inspection team.

  • Training Trainers at PDCI

    Ray Shonholtz, Director of Partners for Democratic Change, talks about why the training of trainers is such an important part of capacity development and democracy building: it helps to bring conflict management skills to a much wider audience.

  • Transformation

    People on opposite sides of a contentious issue working together for long periods of time are likely to change their mode of interaction. Frank Dukes, director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia, recounts a case in which a group of people trying to build consensus about a highway expansion eventually began to work as a team.

  • Transformation

  • Transformation

  • Transformation in Olso

    Peter Coleman discusses the transformation of a track two process to a track one process and how that transformation so fundamentally changed the process.

  • Transformative Mediation

    Roy Lewicki, an expert on framing, describes how re-framing can transform the nature of a conflict and the relationships of the people in the conflict.

  • Transformative Mediation

    Maria Volpe explains that transforming intractable conflicts takes a long time. Here she describes a dialogue between cops and kids in New York.

  • Transformative Mediation

  • Transforming Intractable Conflicts

    Peter Coleman discusses how some aspects of an intractable conflict might be transformed while others might not.

  • Transitions

    Dennis Sandole explains that transition between paradigms is very difficult and is often fraught with an upsurge in violence.

  • Transparency

    According to Susan Dearborn, of the Pacific Family Mediation Institute, it is extremely important for parties to trust the intervenor and feel comfortable with the mediation process. One technique she uses to put parties at ease is to explain why she is asking certain questions. Another is to ask their permission to pursue certain topics.

  • Transparency

  • Trauma and Violence

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University explains how trauma can contribute to perpetuating the cycle of violence. He draws examples from the Balkans.

  • Trauma Dialogue

    Indira Kajosevic of the Reconciliation and Culture Cooperative Network in New York suggests that something as simple as dialogue can help to ease the emotional difficulties stemming from trauma-induced stress. Dialogue groups have helped Balkan refugees to distinguish between individual trauma and group trauma, which she says is necessary for the healing process to begin.

  • Trauma Healing

  • Trauma Healing and Justice

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University describes the nexus of trauma healing, justice, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding.

  • Trauma Healing in the Balkans

    Barry Hart of Eastern Mennonite University describes some programs in the Balkans to facilitate trauma healing. He also reflects on the connection between intervention and dealing with trauma.

  • Trauma in the Field

    Louise Diamond, founder of Peace-Tech, suggests that third parties should be sure to allow themselves the necessary time to deal with the psychological effects that accompany exposure to deep-rooted conflicts. If they are emotionally-distanced, they will be unable to provide empathy or compassion.

  • Trust

    Can trust survive the occasional stab in the back? Leo Smyth, professor of managment at National University of Ireland, contends that under certain conditions, this can actually help to build trust.

  • Trust

  • Trust and Distrust

    Civil rights mediator Efrain Martinez talks about building, losing, and mediating with and without trust.

  • Trust and Distrust

    Roy Lewicki, Professor of Management and Human Resources at Ohio State University, talks about the difference between building trust and managing distrust. While building trust is a matter of creating positive expectations about another person's conduct, managing distrust is more a matter of guarding oneself against risk.

  • Trust and Shared Identity

    Roy Lewicki has been studying trust for years. Shared identity, he says, contributes significantly to the level of trust between parties.

  • Trust as a Commodity

    Nancy Ferrell, a former mediator with the U.S. Community Relations Service, talks about trust being the only commodity that a mediator has to offer.

  • Trust Building

  • Trust in Families

    Can a person's family meet all of their expectations and needs? Probably not, according to Nancy Ferrell. Recognizing this, outlining what needs and expectations can and cannot be met, and creating a space where the trust level is such that these conversations can take place honestly are key components to creating a happy family.

  • Trust in Mediation

  • Trust Tempers Demands

    Silke Hansen explains that as trust is built between parties, their language and demands become more civil and flexible.

  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission

    Mark Amstutz, a professor at Wheaton College, describes South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and its conditional amnesty provision in particular.

  • Truth-Seeking

    Mark Amstutz, a professor at Wheaton College, describes how truth-seeking can be a crucial part of social healing after conflict.

  • U.S. Government Agencies and Religious Peacebuilding

    R. Scott Appleby, John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Professor of History at University of Notre Dame, describes the response of various U.S. government agencies to the potential of religion as peacebuilding.

  • U.S. House of Representatives Retreat

    Empathy, dialogue and humanization are terms not often associated with the U.S. House of Representatives, but all of these elements are what emerged during a retreat for Representatives from both sides of the aisle. Mark Gerzon designed and helped facilitate the process.

  • Underlying Causes of Intractable Conflict

  • Underlying Gender Assumption

    Can the way in which an organization is structured lead to injustice? Deborah Kolb, Co-Director of the Program on Negotiations in the Workplace at Harvard University, talks here about work she did with an organization that wanted to determine why it could not keep women in its ranks. Her efforts focused largely on revealing the company's underlying assumptions about gender and their impact on the compensation scheme.

  • Understanding Intractable Conflicts

    Peter Coleman describes five different metaphors or ways of defining what intractable conflicts are all about.

  • Understanding Paradigms

    Dennis Sandole talks about the importance of understanding the paradigms of the people involved in the conflict.

  • Understanding Power

  • Understanding the Others' Issues

    Nancy Ferrell explains why it is so important that each side sees the legitimacy, at least, of the others' interests.

  • Unique Peacemakers

    Can combatants in a conflict become advocates for peace? Mari Fitzduff, formerly Executive Director of INCORE, suggests that some of the best facilitators are paramilitaries and ex-prisoners. Their position as strident advocates for their side's cause may make them uniquely effective peacemakers.

  • Unmet Human Needs

  • Unripeness

    When South Ossetia declared their independence from Georgia in 1989, a bloody conflict ensued. The conflict has now reached a stalemate in which it is extremely difficult to get past the fixed agendas that people have. Steve Power, of Mercy Corps, talks about the parties most likely to lose from a peaceful settlement between Ossetia and Georgia and who, despite the popular demand for an end to the conflict, are quite actively avoiding peace talks.

  • Us versus Them

    Can institutional dynamics contribute to stereotypes? Mark Gerzon, organizer of the Congressional civility retreats, suggests that part of what determines the way parties treat each other is the institutional structure in which personal relationships are created. In his view, the U.S. House of Representatives is plagued by divisive stereotypes and enemy images.

  • Using Different Identities as Conflict Resolution Tools

    Peace researcher Carolyn Stephenson explains how one needs to look at many factors in a conflict to figure out how best to intervene.

  • Using Different Identities as Conflict Resolution Tools

    Peace researcher Carolyn Stephenson describes different approaches to peacebuilding.

  • Using Different Identities as Conflict Resolution Tools

    Peace researcher Carolyn Stephenson describes how teaching can be useful as a conflict resolution tool because it is so non-threatening.

  • Venting

    Civil rights mediator Leo Cardenas explains how he lets aggrieved parties express their anger and hostility before he tries to get them to define their issues in a more rational or interest-based way.

  • Victimhood

    Morton Deutsch explains how people can get "stuck" in the victim role.

  • Violence

  • Violence

  • Violence Prevention

    Angel Alderette explains how listening can help prevent violence.

  • Violence Prevention

    Dennis Sandole explains that force is sometimes needed to prevent violent conflict from escalating.

  • Violence Prevention by Enforcing Groundrules

    Former Community Relations Service mediator Will Reed describes how he greatly reduced tensions by getting the guns off the table.

  • Visibility Causes Problems

    Greg Brown, Program Officer for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), describes how the success and visibility of the Bosnia and Kosovo's Women's Initiatives actually jeopardized them by making participation more risky.

  • Visioning

    How can intervenors encourage parties to imagine future possibilities? Maire Dugan, Director of Race Relations 2020, suggests that practitioners redesign dialogue groups to include an envisioning workshop. She describes various techniques to elicit clarity about future goals and identify both their positive and negative consequences.

  • Visioning

    Understanding what changes should take place in order for parties' needs to be satisfied can often be a complicated matter for mediators. However, according to Silke Hansen of the U.S. Community Relations Service, using a little visioning and attempting to separate positions from interests can help move parties towards more collaborative solutions.

  • Visioning and Future Studies

    Images matter. Groups who have a positive self-image will thrive while those who do not will wither. Elise Boulding talks about various aspects of visioning and their impact on various groups with which she has been involved.

  • Visioning and Future Studies

    Intractable conflicts are less so if one envisions a way out, says peace researcher Elise Boulding. If one looks at others' successes, one can envision ways out of other seemingly intractable conflicts.

  • Visioning and Future Studies

    In a discussion of future studies and envisioning, Darthmouth peace researcher Elise Boulding talks about the difficulties of disarming when no one knows what disarmament looks like.

  • Western Conflict Models in a World Context

    Are western models of conflict resolution applicable to non-western settings? Kevin Avruch, a cultural anthropology professor at George Mason University's Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, advocates an approach that combines endogenous conflict resolution strategies with strategies brought in by third parties.

  • What are Intractable Conflicts?

    Beyond Intractability participants have thought and written a lot about the nature of intractability. Here are some of their thoughts about it, focusing on different kinds of intractable conflicts, how intractable conflicts are different from more negotiable or "tractable" disputes and how such difficult conflicts can be approached.

  • What Exists is Possible

    What exists is possible. So said Kenneth Bouldingaccording to his wife Elise. Elise Boulding explains the power and meaning of the phrase for conflict resolution practitioners.

  • When Things Happened

    Determining when events happened is important to understanding a situation, says mediator Silke Hansen. Sometime people describe recent events together with events from long ago.

  • Who Should be at the Table?

    Peter Coleman, of Columbia University, argues that people excluded from the negotiating process are likely to become "spoilers" - people who try to sabotage an agreement after it is reached.

  • Why Are Women Not At the Negotiation Table?

    Some people talk about negotiation and gender in terms of how women negotiate differently from men. Deborah Kolb, Co-Director of the Program on Negotiations in the Workplace at Harvard University, says that what people should really be talking about is why women are not at the negotiation table in the first place.

  • Willingness to Engage in Conflict Management

    Sanda Kaufman, a Romanian Jew now living in the United States, observes that Westerners expect very quick results when it comes to conflict resolution. This is not realistic, and so contributes to our sense of failure, she asserts.

  • Withholding Citizenship

    Angela Khaminwa, Program Officer for Outreach and Communication at The Coexistence Initiative, explores the withholding of citizenship as a form of political violence.

  • Within-Party Differences

    CRS Mediator Stephen Thom describes how some parties can help the mediator more than others.

  • Women and Conflict

    Is there a special role for women in Peacemaking? This was the question put to Elise Boulding who has written a great deal on what she calls "the underside of history" -- the invisible work that women have done throughout history. She talks about women's role in peacemaking and how that came to be.

  • Women and Intractable Conflict

  • Women and Peacemaking

    Mari Fitzduff, the former Executive Director of Irish conflict resolution organization INCORE, and now a professor and the Director of the MA Conflict and Coexistence Programme at Brandeis University, suggests that because women are not perceived as warriors, they sometimes have a special opportunity to play a peacemaking role. She describes how women in Ireland have crossed boundaries of conflict and worked to establish peaceful relationships.

  • Women in Peacemaking

    Is there a special role for women in Peacemaking? This was the question put to Elise Boulding who has written a great deal on what she calls "the underside of history"-the invisible work that women have done throughout history. Women have a special role in peacemaking, she asserts, because they typically listen more carefully to what is going on than do men.

  • Workarounds

    Sometimes you cannot work with some leaders, but you can work with others, observes CRS mediator Stephen Thom.

  • Working Across Levels

    Helen Chauncey, of the Coexistence Initiative says they work at three levels: practitioners, leaders, and the grassroots.

  • Working Across Levels

    Helen Chauncey, of the Coexistence Initiative points out that leaders can undo a lot of positive work if they don't share the peacebuilders' values. So working at the leadership level, along with other levels, is important in peacebuilding.

  • Working In Indonesia

    Andrea Strimling, Commissioner, International ADR, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, retells an experience working to build local capacity in Indonesia, where dialogue regarding military power was not possible because it did not enter people's minds to question it.

  • Working through Anger

    Former Community Relations Service mediator Manuel Salinas describes how he used caucuses to defuse a situation.

  • Working Without Trust

    CRS mediator Silke Hansen explains how you can sometimes be effective, even when the parties do not trust you initially. If they'll give you a chance, you can prove yourself over time, she explains.

  • Workplace Mediation

    Howard Gadlin, Ombudsman at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), describes his work in providing workplace mediation. It involves a reactive element of dealing with disputes, but also identifying common institutional problems that can be corrected.

  • Workshops

    Susan Allen Nan, Director of the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT), describes a workshop that brought together Georgian and Abkhaz children in Washington DC. She outlines some of the lessons learned from the experience.

  • World Without Weapons

    Carolyn Stephenson, a peace researcher at the University of Hawai'i, describes her use of Elise Boulding's envisioning workshops with women on Cyprus.

  • Worldview Conflicts

    Worldview conflicts are not a separate category of conflict; every conflict has a "worldview dimension." So says Jayne Docherty of Eastern Mennonite University. She notes the importance of differentiating between impasses caused by worldview differences versus those that are caused by bad faith on the part of the parties or communication problems.

  • Worldview Problem

    Why is it sometimes so difficult for parties to understand one another's perspective? Jayne Docherty of Eastern Mennonite University suggests that the problem may be the inability of the two parties to negotiate a common reality. She describes the FBI-Branch Dividian standoff at Waco to illustrate one such fundamental difference in world views, and points to reframing as a way to approach this problem.

  • Zero-Sum Conflicts

    Roy Lewicki, an expert on negotiation, observes that we don't have theories about how to deal with zero-sum conflicts.

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