Women’s Issues

Conflicts and Disputes

Most people probably do not recognize a distinct difference between the terms “conflict” and “dispute.” However, many conflict scholars do draw a distinction between the two terms. As is unfortunately common in this field, different scholars define the terms in different ways, leading to confusion.

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Levels of Action

Should peace be built from the top down, or from the bottom up? What roles should the different actors play? John Paul Lederach has answered this question with a diagram…a “peacebuilding pyramid.” 

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Why Can’t We Fix Anything Anymore?

The answer that Guy and I have is that almost all of the problems that they identify that are in need of fixing our underlain by conflict problems and we haven’t learned how to deal successfully with intractable conflict. Let me illustrate.
 

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Emotions

Anyone who has ever gotten angry with a spouse or been demeaned and humiliated by a co-worker will recognize this fact readily. It is also important to note that conflicts sometimes arise precisely because parties ignore their own or others’ feelings and emotions. 

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Capacity Building

“Capacity building, capacity development, empowerment and strengthening-all describe an increase in the ability of a social organization to achieve the goals that are set by that organization.”

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Pick a Mood, any Mood – Just Pick a Good One

There aren’t many benefits to being in a bad mood, even if that’s your reliable, long-standing default mode. Being in a bad mood can make you less effective, less open to creative solutions, and due to stress, it can affect your health.  Most peoples’ jobs have a degree of stress, some much more than others.

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The Dangers of Being a “Bad Ass” Woman Mediator

Yesterday was an interesting day for me.  I spent the day in a training for a Personnel Commission for which I have served as a Hearing Officer for over a decade.  At its conclusion, a very young female participant in the training took me aside and complemented me for being a “bad ass” woman whom she hoped to emulate in her burgeoning career.

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A Complexity-Oriented Approach

The MOOS seminars all take what we call a complexity-oriented approach to intractability and responses to it.  While our primary focus is on very large-scale conflicts (the kind that involve millions of people), much of what we have to say is also applicable to smaller scale conflicts.

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