Fundamentals Seminar Blog

Constructive Confrontation Initiative Spring 2018 Posts to Date
See Syllabus for additional background posts and planned, future posts (many of which are now accessible).
 
Other Blogs: MOOS Conflict Frontiers | BI in Context | Colleague Activities
 
Posts ordered from most recent to earliest.

  • Delegitimization
    Delegitimization drives escalation and violence—but how is it reversed?
  • Siege Mentality
    North Korea's siege mentality is particularly dangerous as the US is exhibiting a siege mentality too!
  • Ethos of Conflict
    Since the conflict ethos feeds continuation of the conflict, that needs to change for conflicts to be resolved.
  • Psychological Dynamics of Intractable Conflicts
    In intractable conflicts, entire societies can get tangled up in destructive psychological dynamics.
  • Limits of Rationality in Decision Making
    Emotions cannot be ignored in intractable conflicts--they are the elephant that a rider only tenuously controls.
  • Cultural and Worldview Frames
    Worldview frames go a long way in explaining why the US is becoming increasingly polarized.
  • Stereotypes / Characterization Frames
    Genocides start with negative stereotyping--is this where we want to go?
  • Identity Frames
    Identity frames shape who we are...and what we believe and do as well.
  • Competitive and Cooperative Approaches to Conflict
    Self-fulfilling prophecies keep us stuck in destructive conflict styles.
  • Process Frames
    Your process frame is a blinder that lets you see a solution...or forces it away.
  • Humiliation
    Evelin Lindner calls humiliation the "atom bomb of emotions" because it does such profound damage to relationships.
  • Power
    If power were one-dimensional, we could agree who has more and who has less. But we are often surprised at how power struggles come out.
  • Rich / Poor Conflicts
    Conflicts between the rich and the poor are intractable in many contexts.
  • Social Status
    Social status is intrinsically linked with ideas of power, humiliation, dignity and hierarchy--all of which drive conflict.
  • Frames, Framing and Reframing
    Frames determine what we believe is true. When we frame things differently, conflict resolution is a challenge!
  • High-Stakes Distributional Issues
    When conflicts over who gets what really matter--they are high stakes--they drive intractability.
  • Dealing with Extremists
    Violent extremism is one of the most difficult challenges of our time. We MUST design better ways of preventing it.
  • Within-Party Differences
    Not everyone on the "other side" is the same: some are open to compromise and others not. Don't lump them together.
  • Levels of Action (Lederach's Pyramid)
    Leaders at three levels of society can contribute to peace, but the middle level is often the most effective.
  • Leaders and Leadership
    "Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth." (Burns)
  • Third Siders
    Third siders are disputants and outsiders - united in a desire to transform conflicts for the better.
  • Parties to Intractable Conflict
    Everyone can play a role in making conflicts better--or worse!
  • Stable Peace
    Stable peace, says Boulding, exists when the thought of war as a tool to resolve conflicts is not considered.
  • Reconciliation
    Once a hot topic, now a hotly-needed but controversial one-- this essay tells why.
  • Conflict Transformation
    Conflict transformation sees conflict as an opportunity, not a problem needing a solution.

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